I am a polyamorous person.
Hey, it feels kind of good to get that out there. If you're not familiar with polyamory, you're probably also not familiar with the fact that it means something different to just about everyone who uses the term. At its most basic and agreed-upon level, though, it is the practice of having, or being open to having, many loves. What it means for me is:
*I remain open to the possibility of engaging in multiple open relationships.
*Those whom I engage in these relationships will have full knowledge of and consent to the situation.
*I will encourage additional positive relationships in the lives of those I love.
*I will be responsible for my own happiness, and encourage the same in others.
Choosing this relationship style requires a certain amount of personal awareness, and growth, for most people. My decision to follow this path has led to learning and practicing better communication and awareness of the root causes of my emotions. It's not always easy to work on one's inner self, but it is greatly rewarding. My relationship with my husband, and those with my friends have benefited greatly from my increased personal awareness and thoughtful communication. Not that I'm perfect, by any means, but I continue to work on it.
I am not someone who believes that polyamory is a more enlightened path, or a good fit for everyone. I acknowledge that people can pursue any relationship style they choose in a healthy manner. I do, however, believe that I was born with my preference. I had my first thoughts in this direction when I was 15 years old, and had a few almost-poly experiences after that, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I realized that my wishes were actually a possibility. By that time, I was already in a relationship with my now-husband, and assumed that I wouldn't be able to have the kinds of relationships I wanted. It took me until late last year to finally bring the issue up, and the end result was that he agreed to give this poly thing a shot.
So here I am, poly in theory but still monogamous in practice. I've learned a lot along the way, and I continue to learn. I'm somewhat active on a poly-themed forum, and I've read a couple of books which helped me figure out exactly what I want, and gave me ideas on how to deal with future jealousy and other issues.
Of course, nothing can fully prepare a person for actually experiencing these things, but I remain hopeful.
To the future we go!