There is a movie with Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn called Same Time Next Year (1978).  In it both people are married to others but met on separate holidays.  From this chance encounter, they develop a relationship that meets on the same weekend every year.  The rest of the year, they are a dedicated husband or wife but that weekend belongs to them alone.  The movie travels through several years of this relationship as they grow old together one weekend at a time.  A similar movie is the Jack Lemmon/Juliet Mills comedy Avanti (1972).  Here, the two stars find themselves continuing an affair started by his father and her mother when they meet to claim the bodies of the older couple.

trustBoth movies deal with another dynamic where the intimate couple or more only get together at certain times of the year.  They lead a rather ‘normal’ life otherwise.

You will also find polyamory to be a part of different cultures in society.  Ones best known are the Pirate, Burning Man and Science Fiction communities.  There are many more.  One caution is that you may also find swinging as well so if you want one and not the other, be sure to find out which your possible new partner wants.  For those of you who are interested in trying both science fiction and polyamory, Robert A. Heinlein’s works are considered forerunners of the polyamory lifestyle.  The word wasn’t around then but the lifestyle was.

One of the most historically unique poly environments had to be the town of Oneidia, New York.  Today, it is best known for silver flatware and is a community of about 12.000 citizens.  But in 1840, its population was only 300 and a very different kind of community.  Through their Christian religious leader, John Noyes, the whole town was considered married to each other in one big happy family.  Instead of polyamory it was known as a ‘complex marriage’.  In it, each person was allowed to celebrate and worship love with anyone and everyone.  Some claim that this community lasted through three different generations.  The only reason why it stopped was because of the government stepping in and shutting it down as ‘complicated marriage’ was considered illegal.

It was reported by members of the community that they lived happily together with less problems than a normal society.  Everyone worked together and loved together.  Sounds like a kind of a 19th century version of the 1960s ideal.

I did not touch on sexual orientation such as gay, straight or bisexual (except as a unicorn) in addition to other types for one simple reason.  The orientation of the person does not really matter.  All relationships are the same.  A gay couple have the same dynamics and difficulties as a straight or hydrid orientation.  What makes the poly family work is the individual components working together.

To sum up, these are only a few qualifiers to the definition of the poly family.  Each family is unique but most families will start out with the basic agreements and add to their definition of what a poly family should be for them.  It is like tending a garden.  You plant a seed and see what grows with tender loving care.


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