This comment was by Dr. Graham Stevenson on the post The Tip of the Polyamorous Iceberg by Michael J. Russer.
I think the capacity for love is partly personal, (some prefer lots of connections whereas others prefer few), but I observe that it is also largely influenced by culture. Speaking practically we each have only limited time so that intensity is more possible with one-to-one relationships where more time can be given to it than a multiplicity of relationships.
However, the “not enough” idea is in my mind totally bogus. Monogamous relationships are extremely rare where each is ‘enough’ in every respect – they simply compromise or not, later on down the line, and fall apart. A monogamous relationship of 3.5 years may indicate that each was not enough for it to continue (if it doesn’t that is). The “not enough” of many monogamous relationships sometimes surfaces after time. In order to maintain the primacy of the relationship (for the benefit of children and others) it might be possible if an honest openness to flexible solutions was possible. However, culturally we are programmed to link sex (for example) with all the other emotional attachments/meanings that make for all-in or all-out solutions.
As someone who also deals with emotional and intimacy issues professionally I think honest negotiation is the key to relationships, which will inevitably produce a variety to suit the variety there is in humanity. I avoid the dualistic approach of either one or the other, as ‘one size fits all’ seems inherently illogical. The worst case occurs in both monogamy with limited personal growth and expression over time and the polyfuckery that is the worst of poly relationships.
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