Falling In Love With You And You And You…

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For both religious reasons and romantic reasons, the monogamous relationship between two people has been considered the ideal in many societies throughout the world.  Nevertheless, in both traditional natural societies and modern technological societies, there are generally accepted sexual relationships permitted in the society that involve more than two people.

In traditional natural societies, there are basically two kinds of relationships of this type.  Both of them occur under the rubric of polygamy.  Both of them involve marriages between a partner of one sex and more than one partner of another.  Polygyny is a marriage between a man and more than one woman.  This kind of marriage occurs for both practical and religious reasons.  In societies that are frequently at war with their neighbors, polygyny is a vehicle by which slain men can be replaced as quickly as possible in children-producing relationships with women.  It means that a husband can easily have more than one woman impregnated at the same time.  Among fringe groups of fundamentalist Christian and Mormon religious groups in the United States and Mexico, polygyny is a vehicle to follow religious tenets, although mainstream members of the two religions have forcefully rejected it.

Polyandry is the marriage between one woman and more than one man. It occurs in natural living environments that are unable to support a natural increase in the population.  In polyandrous societies, there is female infanticide to keep down the number of females available to get pregnant.


Neither one of these two kinds of marriage concerns itself with deep intimacy.  There seems to be a sense of relief among the women in a polygynous marriage that they don’t have to worry about satisfying their men every night.  They are afraid of the intense passion that a man brings to the relationship.  It is a passion that in a monogamous relationship would be too intense for them.  It would lead to their loss of self- definition and to their undifferentiation.  The same would be true for a man in a polyandrous society.  As for a man in a polygynous relationship, having more than one woman acts to protect him from the kind of intense passionate deep relationship with one woman that would lead to him being swallowed up psychologically and being undifferentiated.  The same for a woman in a polyandrous relationship.  Having many partners prevents the development of a deep psychological connection the kind of which normally occurs between two people.  At any rate, because these relationships do occur in a living environment so filled with flowing blendable continual organic stimuli, many people who choose to live within it, do so by keeping their relationships formalized and highly structured, filled with defined discrete stimuli, in order to prevent these relationships from undifferentiating them, from swallowing them up.

We are presented with a different set of problems in sexual relationships in a modern technological society.  Here, the problem is not being able to generate enough passion to form a meaningful romantic connection.  Numbness is the enemy of passion.  To the extent that a person lives in an experiential vacuum, to that extent he is incapable of forming the kind of intimate relationship that he nevertheless craves.

One way of dealing with this existential problem, is by having romantic relationships that aren’t so formalized and structured.  Hence the development of polyamory.  Just as marriage is regulated by a lot of defined discrete rules in any given society, so polyamory seems pretty open-ended in the different forms it can take.  The one common denominator is that all forms of polyamory include more than two people.  However, unlike the more structured forms of group marriage that tend to occur in more traditional natural societies, polyamory can take many different forms and can shift in form as people come into the relationship and leave it.  Polyamory tends to differ from open relationships in that the focus is more on the romantic aspects of the relationship while with open relationships the focus is more on the sexual aspects.  While traditional group romantic relationships tend to focus on the structure they provide so that people don’t get swallowed up by the passion that is stimulated in them, leading them to become emotionally undifferentiated, modern technological group romantic relationships focus more on a fluidity within the connections in the relationships, on the ins and outs, the comings and goings of different people which generates a passionate organic stimulation and pulls them out of the base numbness that people tend to sink into in today’s experiential vacuum world.  A core marriage can be a part of a polyamory relationship, but it doesn’t have to be.  The rules surrounding marriage can be numbing for some people.

© 2024 Laurence Mesirow

Acerca de Laurence Mesirow

Durante mi estadía en la Ciudad de México en los años setenta, me di cuenta que esta enorme ciudad contenía en sus colonias distintos "medio ambientes vivenciales", que iban desde muy antiguas a muy recientes; desde muy primitivas a muy modernas.Observé que había diferencias sutiles en la conducta de la gente y en sus interacciones en las diferentes colonias. Esta observación fue fundamental en la fundación de mis teorías con respecto a los efectos de la tecnología moderna sobre los medio ambientes vivenciales y sobre la conducta humana.En México, publiqué mi libro "Paisaje Sin Terreno" (Editorial Pax-México), y luego di conferencias para la U.N.A.M. y la Universidad Anahuac. También, presenté un ensayo para un Congreso de Psicología.Ahora que mis hijas son adultas, tengo el tiempo de explorar mis ideas de vuelta. Le agradezco mucho a ForoJudio.com y en especial al Sr. Daniel Ajzen por la oportunidad de presentar mis ideas.

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