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5 Reasons Why Polyamory Can Be Healthy for You (Guest Post)

5 Reasons Polyamory Can Be Healthy For You

About Me

Steadfast has been part of a poly family for over 14 years. Co-founder of Poly Living with her husband Antony, they work to inform and help those in polyamory and raise poly awareness. She and her spice, Antony and Jadez live in Texas where they raise their children. Her family has been interviewed by Lester Holt on Weekend Today and has done a few radio and newspaper interviews.

“An apple a day helps keep the doctor away”, but so can ethical polyamory. Polyamory (or ethical non-monogamy) means that a person maintains more than one open romantic relationship at a time with everyone’s full knowledge and consent. Polyamory, an alternative to monogamy, can have health benefits that you might not realize. Here’s five reasons why polyamory can be healthy for you:

#1 Sex benefits our health – More sex = better health

In theory, more sex could be more beneficial.  Since in polyamory we have more than one romantic relationship at a time, this also means that we can have more sex than the average person. Many of us already know that sex benefits our health. According to Kathleen Doheny of WebMD’s article “Sex & Relationships“, sex lessens stress, improves blood pressure, boosts immunity, burns calories, improves cardiac health, lifts self-esteem, deepens intimacy, helps relieve pain, and increases sleep.  It can also help men to ward off prostate cancer. Let’s face it: sex is fun, and while we have fun, we can have good health too!

#2 Polyamory can offer stress relief

Polyamory offers stress relief because there are more people to help with your daily life. It has been proven that stress can have a detrimental effect on your health.  The Haitian proverb, “Many hands lighten the load” rings true for polyamorists. Loving more than one person allows you to have more people around which in turn can have an added side benefit of help with your daily household activities. For instance, Antony and I take turns driving children to their various engagements, while Jadez stays home to cook dinner. Since we are three, we take turns cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. Grocery shopping together minimizes our time in the store from two hours to 45 minutes. Because poly people have more than just two people taking turns and dividing up the chores and errands, we have more time to relax and not worry about the little things.

#3 Increase in general life satisfaction

Your chances of life satisfaction increase due to more opportunities to pursue college, career and other worthwhile endeavors is another polyamory plus.   According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we all desire and need a healthy sense of self-esteem.  We do this by boosting our confidence and levels of achievement.  Since there are more people in a polyamorous relationship, we support and help one another to reach life goals.  For example, when Jadez went to college, Antony and I worked.  After she received her degree, her and I continued working, while Antony attended college.  A few years later, I also attended college and finished my degree with Antony and Jadez’s full support.  Now, we all work and support the family.   Dr. Elisabeth Sheff in “Diversity and Polyamory” states, “The vast majority (of polyamorists) are middle or upper middle class people in their early 30s to mid 60s with high levels of education, who typically live in urban or suburban areas, and often work at professional jobs in information technology, education, or healthcare.”  Evidently, poly people tend to be professional, well-educated people, which raises our level of personal satisfaction.

#4 More love has psychological benefits

Having more people who love us has psychological benefits. Maslow also states that people need to feel loved and like they belong somewhere. We have a need for friendship, family and sexual intimacy. Since ethical polyamory is about loving more than one personal intimately, we increase our chances of being loved more and belonging to a larger family.  This fulfills a deep rooted psychological need for love and helps us to be happier.

#5 Polyamory helps to become emotionally stronger & stable

Polyamory helps us learn how to acclimate to an ever changing world and to be emotionally stable. Dr. Deborah Anapol in her article “Love Without Limits: the Upside to Polyamory” in Psychology Today states:

“Because multiple-partner relationships are inherently more complex and demanding than monogamous ones and because they challenge the norms of our culture, they offer other valuable learning opportunities. Lessons about loving yourself, about tolerance for diversity, about speaking from the heart and communicating clearly, and about learning to trust an internal sense of rightness and to think for yourself rather than blindly relying on outside               opinion are only a sampling of the lessons. These qualities are earmarks of an emotionally and spiritually mature person–the kind of person who makes a good parent and who can contribute to his or her community.”

What are your Experiences with Polyamory? What are your Thoughts on the Benefits of Polyamory?

Must Read: Monogamy – A Failed Approach To A Happy Long-Term Relationship?

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  • unmovable

    Why is it as intelligent beings we with the power of reasoning God gave us, can’t see that being Faithful, Loyal, Honorable and denying ones self for the greater good of the family unit takes balls! For which I pity such fools who think we should live like animals. In essence it shows your lack of humanity but I doubt anybody here is intelligent enough to understand such things.

  • Alex Dubois

    To read how this has worked, in fiction, read “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” by Robert Heinlein.

    Background: The moon is used as a prison, where men and women are sent. It is a life sentence. Once you have been on the moon for a month you can never return to Earth. More men are sent to the moon than women.

    Quote from the book, “All the women on Luna are beautiful. Some are just more beautiful than others.”

  • Crys Landry

    This is amazing I would love to have “sister wives” or my husband to have “brother husbands” not from a sexual stand point but from a financial and emotional stand point.

  • Sophia

    I agree completely Adina that everyone should look for the sort of relationship that suits them best. So I encourage people to try new things on their way to knowing what’s right for them.

    I’ve learned a lot over the last few years. That jealousy is contagious and sprouts from a need to own, a fear of being alone. Strangely, that I learned in a closed monogamous relationship. When I lived as a polyamorous I saw others kissing my loves every day and I never felt jealous. If every card is on the table though and you know that “it’s good for me and my loves to flirt with and reach out to new people, because it enables us to feel attractive and we know that we love each other. We don’t want to own each others bodies or sexuality, we just want to have each other in our life close to us.” then the fear of being left of another do not interfere. The pressure on you as a partner is lighter because you don’t need to be everything and preform. If there are several people who can satisfy you with cooking, intimate talk, sex and love, the same time as you don’t have to be the only one to turn to if someone of your partners having a problem, and you wont bear all the weight alone, then you wont get on each others nerves or disappoint each other because you cant do everything. You will focus on the things that really matter and your love/loves will feel cared for.

    One of my best moments in life was when I walked hand in hand with two people who I loved and they loved me back and each other. I can never forget that feeling of safety, love and their hands in mine when we went laughing and talking down a street in the autumn. I hope I’ll experience many similar situations in my life and I wish that for others to.
    Maybe you don’t feel more loved when there are more partners involved, but I feel that for every person I get to love my heart grows and fills up with warmth even more. (To get love-explanations from several persons your in love with during one day is a very magnificent feeling making you feel so appreciated.)

    Thats some things I’ve found out and probably there’s much more to come. I actually started out with polyamory having several relationships, then I’ve tried out having a monogamous relation but it turned out quite hard because there was to much pressure(and just think, the poor person had to take over the part that four persons had filled before). I’m sorry for the long read(and the many wrongs that probably haunts it since I’m not talking English very often) but I wanted to share this. Thanks you both for sharing a bit of your stories and views on the matter.

    Ps. I think it needs to be said that not every polyamorous relationship is open. There are “poly-families” that are closed, even though they’re not often talked about in media.

  • Adina Rivers

    Even though I run this site I am not sure yet if I can agree with all the points mentioned. The reason I posted the article is the fact that I want to be as open hearted and open minded as possible. And writing about Open Relationship and Polyamory helps each of us to confront ourselves with deep rooted old-fashioned belief systems. Belief-System we did not create ourselves but belief system we saw in our parents relationship etc.

    I belief each of us has to find its own way of defining an intimate relationship. there is no right or wrong. no better or easier and smarter. The only thing I can rely on is my gut feeling and what feels like the truth inside me. The truth is whatever resonates with me, whatever makes me feel fulfilled.

    If there is a slight dissatisfaction or something don’t feel right then I have to go out and explore it. For a monogamous relationship this might mean to open up to new ways of relating & loving.

    I am not sure if more love partners will bring more love into my life because it might as well be that more love partner bring less focused, comitted and intense love to my partner. It might as well be that more I have more stress dealing with more different types of personalities.

    In the end I don’t know. But all I know now is the positive about Open Relationships is to challenge my old belief systems, to face my fears and insecurities which I hoped to avoid by closing my relationship.

    I want to grow as a human being. I want to overcome my ego. For me these are the most important reasons for an open relationship.

    • Do all poly relationships have each of these health advantages? No, especially in the beginning when they are first starting out. However, all healthy poly relationships can have these benefits especially if they live together. I find that I am not expected to do all house chores or all errands because I have two other live in partners to help me as well. I also find that because we all work it puts us in upper middle class, so we can afford more. One person mentioned that I should have added for point five that because we tend to work through our troubles via constant open communicating that we gain strength. I agree. We need to be master communicators. I have lived poly for almost 15 years and find that all these points apply to us now. They didn’t always due to outside societal pressure on us, but they do now as we have matured in our relationships.

    • Adina,

      When a former monogamous couple first opens up their marriage to be polyamorous, it is difficult and stressful. Not only will you deal with insecurity and jealousy, but you might also deal with outside interference from friends, family and/or society. Many couples opening up for the first time will try to protect their relationship with rules and vetoes because they experience a lot of fears and insecurities due to ingrained monogamous societal training not realizing theses rules can hurt other partners and show a distrust of your primary partner.

      As time passes, hopefully, the couple grows and matures, which leads to more security and trust knowing your partner won’t leave you for another person. This leads to a healthier relationship built on trust. Once this healthier relationship occurs, the fear is gone making it possible for everyone to enjoy and love all of their partners. At this point, we can experience such health benefits of poly as mentioned in the article.

      Blessings,

      Steady

    • David

      before I knew of Poly, like Adina said about the gut feeling….that hit me first……I saw many of my friends and all are married , yet they desire others at various times for various reasons……..I am from the Caribbean where we project to be very religious christian to be exact, note I said project, so something like poly easily will not be openly welcome…….but back to my main point, I decided I did not want a situation where I had to be hiding and doing stuff that if became know would eventually hurt my lover , so I decided I needed a situation simular to Hugh Heffner……..most importantly I wanted to love and respect my lady companions, i did not what to give off the thought where I wanted to be a pimp or player, I do not like that…….also I had an experience where I actually fell in love with a lesbian couple, I really loved them both and wanted to be there for both them and sex was not my motivation as I was not having sex with one of them…..the opportunity did not surface……….again like Adina said, it is a personal journey of each of us and we have to be honest with our selves, some of us may not be ready for that level of honesty….but I see and realize my truth and decide when ever I enter a relationship I will be honest about my thoughts and direction relating to poly………I like the article, not sure on all the reasons but they all were understandable within reason, to each lies their own truth through their own path, no right or wrong, ones own journey………thanks for sharing this article Adina, thanks for preparing the article Steady……love the vibe on this page…openness and transparency

      • Adina Rivers

        wonderful comment. warm-hearted and open. those comments are the reason I love growing this page. Bringing together non-judgemental people that open up to new thoughts and ideas are so needed in a world where many people have unlearned to think for themselves and create their own lives. We can only create if we try. We can never create if we follow the rules. Love to you. Adina

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