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The Arc of LoveHow Our Romantic Lives Change over Time$
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Aaron Ben-Ze'ev

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226633909

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226634067.001.0001

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Greater Diversity and Flexibility

Greater Diversity and Flexibility

Chapter:
(p.201) 12 Greater Diversity and Flexibility
Source:
The Arc of Love
Author(s):

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226634067.003.0013

Today’s romantic abundance risks the feasibility of being happy with our romantic lot. Most singles seek both serious relationships as well as romantic and sexual diversity. Important questions are emerging about romantic exclusivity. In polyamory, nonexclusive love is embraced, and compersion, rather than jealousy, is encouraged. Open sexual marriages are similar to polyamory in being a consensual nonmonogamous relation. However, while open marriages focus on additional sexual experiences, polyamorous people seek an additional intimate, loving relation (which also includes sexual experiences). Hence, polyamory is both more complex and more profound than open marriages. This does not imply that its impact upon the primary relation is more beneficial than that of open sexual marriage; often it is not. Compersion, which refers to the joy felt in your partner's romantic or sexual intimacy with someone else, is not a new emotion, but rather a type of the happy-for emotion. Its presence indicates the greater acceptance these days of polyamory. However, polyamory requires a lot of work. Although we need to invest effort to maintain our relationship, working on our relationships is often a dubious task. If love seems like work, you are clearly not in the right workplace.

Keywords:   compersion, consensual nonmonogamy, effort, open marriages, polyamory, sex, work

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