Because polyamory is as diverse as the people who practice it, my reasons for being poly are personal to me. There are other people who agree with some aspects, I’m sure, and some people who could add other reasons. I’m going to break them up into two parts. These are what I think are the more logic-centered reasons.

1. Achieving financial and emotional security: Any monogamous couple and any set of roommates knows that sharing finances is a good way to spread responsibility as well as to amass resources. Roommates can afford better housing because they all pool their incomes together. Couples can afford to support each other through school because one can work while the other is getting an education. Imagine that extended to two, three, four, five or more partners. In these uncertain economic times, how many people have lost their jobs? When you have multiple partners to share the financial load, one partner losing a job is not nearly as devastating as in a monogamous couple. Also, any person has a pool of connections and friends. When you’re in a monogamous couple, you have access to your partner’s friends, but imagine having access to multiple partners’ connections. One of them is bound to know a  lawyer, a doctor, a plumber, a mechanic, or an air conditioner repairman. All of these connections make common household problems an easy fix.

And what about emotional help? What if a partner in a monogamous relationship has some tragedy happen while the other partner is at work or otherwise detained? A polyamorous person would have the option to turn to another partner for help and comfort, if just temporarily. What if a partner must attend a work conference in another state for a couple weeks? Polyamorous people have others to turn to, which in turn means the partner who is gone and distracted by work is secure that his partners miss him, but are well taken care of. There is a net of security both financial and emotional that polyamorous relationships provide by their very nature.

2. Meeting everyone’s needs: The expectations of a monogamous couple have always made me nervous. How could I be everything to one person? How could I possibly ever meet all my partner’s needs? Do I want to endure that kind of pressure? To me, it’s too much responsibility for one person to take on. With polyamory, I don’t have to worry about these things. My partners have other partners to meet the needs that I can’t. If I’m away for a while, I know they will be taken care of. If my partners enjoy an activity that I don’t like, then I don’t have to worry about insulting them by making them go alone; they can take each other. If I don’t enjoy a particular sexual activity, my partners don’t have to go without something they might like from time to time. Everyone’s needs are met fully, and the responsibility is spread out among every partner, leaving no one wanting and no one overwhelmed.

Monogamous people do this with platonic friendships, and yes, that’s a valid option. But aren’t some of those friendships very close? Wouldn’t it be even more fulfilling to not have to stop them from becoming more than just friendships as might be an inevitable result depending on what needs are being met? With polyamory, this is just part of the fun and fulfillment of having more than one relationship.

3. Expanding relationship options: Because there are more people around to meet your needs, it creates opportunities for relationship paradigms that monogamy just couldn’t make work or would at least make difficult. What if one partner was offered a job that would require a move? Polyamory means that long distance relationships won’t be as disruptive. Every party involved has other partners to meet needs the missing partner can’t meet any longer, yet they can still keep a relationship going at the same time. What if two people really care about each other, but just can’t live together without getting irritated? To work around this problem, each partner can live with another partner, while still keeping the original relationship strong. I am not saying that monogamous relationships can’t make it through such issues; polyamory just provides another option, especially for a long term problem, and it allows for each relationship to be whatever it is without forcing it into a “normal” construct.

4. Loving diversity and bisexuality: I like diversity. I always have. I’m not sure all my best friends would even get along with each other if forced into the same room. They are all very different and are joined merely by their friendship to  me (and perhaps by the characteristics of acceptance and tolerance). They each meet a need and help me explore a different aspect of my personality. I’m sure whatever polyamorous partners I have would do the same thing for me.

I am also bisexual and have often wondered how I would be able to go my whole life without expressing my desire for both sexes. This is not to say that bisexual people can’t be faithful; it’s just an issue I’ve decided to skip by finding polyamory. It is a great relief to me that I can date both sexes freely and won’t have to miss out on either type of relationship. My feelings for a man and for a woman are very different, and I don’t know that I would feel complete without feeling them both. Polyamory allows me that freedom without resorting to cheating or feeling unfulfilled.

This is just the first of two posts about this topic. The next post will discuss more spiritual- and emotional-oriented reasons.