Funny how things are with humans. We grow older and, with fortune, humility and persistence, come to realizations about themselves. Realizations which were in some ways very clear from the beginning.
I'm thinking about a friend of mine, let's call her "Sarah". When we were both in college, she was a fun and freaky little thing. Very into sex, or at least sensuality, she had a variety of experiences, some of which I was a part of. Then she met her man, and became monogamous.
Now after having reconnected with her years later, it turns out that she's just recently realized she's polyamorous. She wants loving relationships with more than one person at a time. This was very tough for her man - the same one she met in college - but they were working it out. After what must have been a rather intense conversation that took place on Christmas day...
A cynical part of my mind wonders if Sarah has just become disenchanted with this man in particular, and is unconsciously finding a way to leave. With others this might be more believeable - but polyamory fits very closely with that Sarah I first met. Back in college, Sarah enjoyed an essentially polyamorous lifestyle. She liked having a few different very close people to fool around with, and was not visibly jealous of those others' escapades as long as she received closeness. It's taken a journey of roughly 15 years, for her to realize this more fully about herself.
As for me, while I've not yet discovered that I'm polyamorous (at least, not much more than most other single men), I have been realizing ways I am in relationships which have been similarly evident, for 15 years or longer.
A lot of life's lessons seem like this. Not so much a circle, as a spiral. It is a blessing that, on making the journey of discovery, with perseverance humility and good fortune we may come back to some place near where we began - but with a much higher level of understanding, and a greater range of vision.
This spiraling process may also show that when we started on our journey, we may not have been as wrong as we thought we were.
ADDigression 1 - Rather mythic, isn't it, this journey through a labyrinth of relationships, to bring the grail of self-knowledge back home? Like Joseph Campbell meets the Kinsey Report...
ADDigression 2 - interesting links.
Polyamory and the hierarchy of relationships
An outsiders account of the Kerista Polyamorous commune, 1971 - 1991.
ADDigression 3 - The accepted term is "polyamory" and not "polyamorality" - to avoid the awkwardness of the full word "amorality" inside. Critics would say it's still in the lifestyle itself; adherents would say polyamory is very moral, it's just an acknowledgement of the reality of human attraction and a way to build relationships that honor it.
Certainly, the extent that human relationships remain completely monogamous for lifetime spans is pretty small. Living as we do now in an increasing vacuum of church, state and society-enforced morality, it seems that it's up to consenting adults to determine what is and isn't moral with their sexing. We'll be able to determine what really works best for humans psychology in 100 years. Or by 2012 when the Aliens come, if you prefer.
ADDigression 4 - If the Aliens come, will we even notice? Will they have to get jobs like everyone else? Will they be outsourced to other Aliens, and protest by disintegrating management?