Navigating Diversity in Love: Polyamory and Monogamy in LGBTQIA+ RelationshipsDec 01, 2023
When I look back at my life, I have centered myself in and around relationship. Intimate relationships have been where I’ve learned some of life’s hardest lessons and grown with velocity.
Truth bomb: I’ve been in relationship either with one partner or multiple partners in ethical open non-monogamy for close to 30 years. Have I done it perfectly? Hell no. Have I learned? Yes.
I’ve not been someone who has needed to spend time alone in between relationships and have only had a few brief moments of singledom. It’s not that I can’t be by myself - I lived alone in the bush for 3.5 years and loved it. But I’ve maintained loverships and partnerships for almost the entirety of my adult life. It’s a topic I’m fascinated with.
Models of relationship
We inherit the monogamy model of relationship but that’s not the only model. People often ask if the model was successful, but it’s not the model that is successful or not successful. People in a monogamous relationship model break up and people in open relationships or polyamorous relationships break up. What works is to both be on the same page about what model of relationship you are committed to being in.
Identity is yours alone
You have all the say about how you identify. Nobody else has any say over that. You get to say. How I identify has nothing to do with the model of relationship I enter into. I identify as a red hot-blooded lesbian who is bi-gender and polyamorous. I am married to Chris who identifies as non-binary trans masc with over 20 years of lived experience as a lesbian. We can identify differently and still be in a successful relationship.
The Power of Agreements
Can someone who is polyamorous be with someone who is monogamous? Not always, but yes sometimes. Here’s how: Relationship is about agreements. The agreements you create as two consenting adults - both spoken and unspoken are what give the relationship its shape. Think of it as architecture, both the foundations and the scaffolding or support the relationship needs. You can read more about agreements here but suffice it to say, even though my spouse does not identify as polyamorous and never once asked me to change myself, we created an agreement that we don’t see other people. And I still identify as poly. And that works for us.
What doesn’t work
Stop trying to change each other’s identities and convince the other person that they should be poly or monogamous. Stop trying to change yourself to be poly or monogamous. You can identify as polyamorous, you can identify as monogamous. The agreements you make in your relationship are distinct from your identities. The same goes for gender identity. If your partner comes out as trans, nonbinary or gender diverse, that doesn’t mean anything about your identity - both your sexuality and your own gender identity. There’s identity then there are the agreements of your relationship. They are distinct.
What does work
Come back to the agreements you’ve made both consciously and unconsciously. Spoken and unspoken. Have you jumped straight into being a partner for someone when the model of the relationship is lovers? What works is to clarify the agreements of the relationship, then either behave that way - or say you’re not going to and change the agreements.
Diversity is a value that our LGBTQIA+ community often espouses. But how well are we practicing it? Diversity allows for multiple points of view. It recognises that there are as many points of view as there are people on the planet. Let’s give up micro-managing each other's identities and trying to change and control each other and revel in the rich tapestry that diversity allows for.
Seek and see the divine in other people and your world will transform.
P.S If you like this conversation, you’ll love the #1 problem that keeps queer, lesbian and non-binary couples from having a fulfilling sex life. Download your free gift now.
Hello my friend, 🌈 I'm Danica Lani, here to empower you on your journey of self-discovery and liberation. With over two decades of yoga practice and a decade of teaching experience, I've led transformative workshops on queer tantra for hundreds of queer-identifying women, non-binary, and trans individuals since 2014. My mission is to empower you to disappear lesbian bed death and for queer people to enjoy long, juicy, and fulfilling lives together. Join me as we discover the power of tantra within a queer context. 🤗💖 #QueerTantra
Get me in your inbox!
Inspiration and love letters delivered right to your inbox.
No spam. I will never sell your information, for any reason.