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A Polyamorous Commitment?


I know, I know…the title of the blog is an oxymoron. How can you be polyamorous and be in a committed relationship? But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. First, what does it mean to be polyamorous? It’s not exactly an old or established term.

To be polyamorous means to be “open to romantic relationships with more than one person at a time.” Consider Sarah Brylinsky who is legally married to Brandon Brylinsky. Two years ago, they met Matte Namer. All three of them fell in love. “Now, the three plan to have a child, and they want to make their relationship official so that they can be recognized by their community as a family.”

As a kind of consensual non-monogamy, polyamory is on the rise. A 2021 study found that one in nine single American adults had engaged in it. Currently in the United States it is illegal to be married to more than one person at a time. Only the city of Somerville, MA, legally recognizes polyamorous domestic relationships (started in 2020).

Yet what is growing in frequency is a “commitment ceremony,” symbolically but not legally binding the involved. They are often very similar to a wedding, including such things as vows. Processionals can also be involved. For example, a couple who is already married might wait at the end of the aisle while the third person walks down to symbolically join them.

As one wedding planner in New York noted, “You can do whatever you want.”

And that is the issue.

And even the reason for having a “commitment” ceremony.

Jessica Fern, a Boulder-based psychotherapist who works with polyamorous people, touted the potential benefits of ceremonies like this. She said,

“When someone experiences legal marginalization for their relationship structure or style, commitment ceremonies can go a long way to deepen a relationship, publicly acknowledge its significance, and even assuage some of the pain and injustice that being a minority can create.”

In other words, these ceremonies culturally and publicly seek to validate the choice.

Let’s be clear. It can only be deemed the deepest of ironies that a polyamorous relationship would want to be governed by commitment, much less vows, much less marriage. The very idea of a polyamorous relationship is a disavowal of commitment.

I know that the world is veering steeply away from a biblical perspective. But that does not mean that biblical truth is not… well, biblical truth.

Marriage is between one man and one woman.

This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.