Saturday, February 21, 2015

Progressive Love + Open Relationships

{Disclaimer: Every opinion expressed is that of my own, supported by previous research and experiences.  I am aware of the controversial theme of this topic that could possibly cause debate, but before commenting, I ask that you please read the article thoroughly, and to be respectful of me, as well others who have commented before you. Try not speak out from a defensive standpoint, rather than an intellectual one. Thank you so much for your cooperation.}

Growing up, I was constantly exposed to couples who held monogamous romantic relationships in high regard. Naturally, it molded my perspective on relationships.  Not to say that everything I grew up with is still relevant to how I choose to live my life now, because there are several beliefs and practices that I don't hold onto anymore, but for the most part, my core values haven't changed.

When it comes to progressive love, there are certain aspects of this theology that I respect and happily apply them to any relationship I have, such as open communication and the principle of constant growth.  The part I don't understand is the celebration of several different committed relationships at once.  People who practice open relationships have clung to the theory that in order to enhance, enrich, and create harmony within their love and sex lives, they would allow love and sexual energy to flow through to multiple partners at one time. It wasn't until Kenya K. Stevens {to watch her video on What is Progressive Love, click here} hosted a seminar at my college that I knew it was even a thing; to ditch ancient ideas of love and relationships and shift into this contemporary paradigm that went against all "normal" standards of society. 

I've always thought of myself as an open-minded person, which is the way I am with religion and spirituality. I'm not the type of person who is completely for or against anything that involves my faith and that of others, because I think that truth can be found from all sources. On the contrary, when this movement became more mainstream to my culture, it made me rethink how open I really am.  

Despite my own rigid beliefs in regards to marriage, or how any committed relationship should operate, it was still intriguing to discover that people are actually okay with their partners participating in outside emotional and sexual relationships, even the individuals who grew up with the same understanding I did.  No matter how much it was discussed, my reaction was unchanging, a stiff opposition each time.

Now more than ever, couples across the board have deviated from traditional lifestyle values and migrated towards what I'd like to call, an agreement of infidelity. It's not to sound harsh, but that's the way I view it. Maybe the switched views brings about different terminology, but in chemistry, the form may change but the identity doesn't. In other words, no matter how it's worded, it's still the same and I honestly can't quite wrap my finger around that being an ingredient to a better relationship or marriage. Not implying that it is wrong; I'm just saying I don't think it's for me.

Just like anything else, monogamy, open relationships, and polygamy are a matter of personal taste and the preferences of the two (or more) individuals involved. I do not prefer to date women, but that doesn't mean I am against the people who love that way nor am I against same sex marriages. And if a group of people can experience love and happiness in a way that I may or may not comprehend, my opinion really doesn't matter. The opinion I have is not to knock someone else's view on how they want to live their life and I am in no position to dictate what is wrong or right for them. If anything, it sure does serve as a great debate piece, especially when all parties are willing to reveal why they hold on to certain beliefs, practices, ideas, etc. and are willing to listen to all sides presented. 

What do you guys think? Are you "hip" the whole idea of progressive love? Would you ever, or have you ever been involved in, an open relationship? Can you explain your experience?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. 

-original publish date: February 15, 2013

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