I believe we are capable of loving more than one person at a time and having committed relationships with each of them. As with any relationship though, the key to making it work is open and honest communication with everyone. You can have a primary partner, many would have a legal spouse with another committed relationship or relationships, but you have to be honest and forthcoming with each of them. There’s no other way.
Jealousy should never be a problem. When you realize that you are all important parts of the whole, that you are not more or less than any other, that loving one someone else doesn’t take away from the love that they have for you, jealousy becomes a non issue.
It was described to me this way once. A couple has a child. That child is loved and cared for by her parents. Everything is wonderful. Then the couple has more children. Each child is loved and cared for by their parents. Everything is still wonderful. We can have intimate relationships like this as well. We already have friendships like this don’t we? We each have more than one friend that is there for us when we need them, that we care about and support in their life as well. Why should that be different when the relationship is that of lover rather than that of friend? Your lovers should be your friends. If they aren’t they won’t last.
Somebody else tried to put it to me something like this… He said that over the years he has played, without the sex component, with many women. During a scene he would often time become excited and turned on but would never move on to something sexual because he was in a committed relationship. To him, being poly meant that he could continue the play with sex if they both wanted to. If you know anything about polyamorous relationships you know that what he described isn’t poly, it is an open relationship. Putting the term poly on it for him made it seem ok, even though it IS NOT POLY.
Another non-poly lifestyle that people try to lump in with it is swinging. Being swingers is not being poly. You can be in polyamorous relationships and swing with your partners, but that is an addition to not an included with and still, every partner needs to be aware and supportive of the swinging. Not everything in life needs to be, or can be, made into some super sized combo where every side that is available is added.
Many people jump on the polyamorous bandwagon because they think it is a free pass to fuck around with whomever they want, whenever they want. That is not what poly is. If you are in a relationship and going behind your partners back to have sexual relations with other people you are not being polyamorous, you are cheating. If she knows about it and supports you in your extracurricular activities it is an open relationship, but still not poly.
Forcing your partner, or partners, to do things they don’t want to do or to accept things they aren’t comfortable with is abuse regardless of what label you put on it.
Polyamory is about more than sex, it is about relationships, and not just your relationships with your partners but also their relationships with each other. It all has to work and it takes a lot of work to build and maintain those relationships. It is about supporting each other, loving each other, no matter what. As with any relationship your sex life will have its ebbs and flows. Love is the reason people have polyamorous relationships, not sex. Love is not sex. Sex is not love. (I’m sure you knew that already but it had to be said.)