If you are in a polyamorous relationship, it is very likely that you will have a metamorphosis. Who is this person and what is their relationship to their metamorphosis?

On February 28, the Day of your Metamor is celebrated, by proposal of the NCSF and polyamorous collectives . Metamor is another of the many words created in the non-monogamous environment to name experiences that until now had no name: police, polyfidelity, unicorn, relational anarchy, new relationship energy

Who is your metamorphosis?

If you have a relationship polyamorous or anarchic relationship, the metamorphosis would be the love of your love, the other relationship of the person you are in relationship with. And you, in turn, would be the metamorphosis of your partner’s other relationship. In other words, if Ana had two partners, Bea and Carlos, (who wouldn’t have any kind of love relationship with each other), Bea would be Carlos’ shapeshifters and Carlos Bea’s shapeshifters.

Metamor is not a modernized version of “the darling of life”, it has nothing to do with having lovers, or as in the old saying , “To be the chapel in front of the cathedral.” We are talking about simultaneous relationships that are not the result of deception, resignation or imposition, but of consensus.

Metamorphosis is the love of your love, the other relationship of the person you are in relationship with

Metamor (shapeshifter , in English) is a term constructed with the prefix meta- to mean “beyond”, as in the words metaphysics, metadata or metastasis. It’s a shame that in the translation the play on words is lost with a word that already existed before and which it seems that they were inspired, lover, which is an archaic term to refer to lovers, especially for those who were married, without their spouse knowing.

Although it feels so good (I met) LOVE, that doesn’t mean the relationship with your metamorphosis is going to be all love, nor necessarily good. Metamores sometimes don’t like each other, as is often the case with a family member with whom we interact as diplomatically as possible. They can also ignore or compete with each other. As in all human relationships, the relationship can be good, bad, regular, or go through different phases. The outcome in such a rare situation is unpredictable.

But sometimes something happens between metamores that doesn’t happen in other relationships: the experience of polyaffectiveness, if we literally translate the concept polyfective , coined by Elisabeth Sheff in 2006, researcher of polyamorous relationships since the nineties.

Metamores and polyaffectiveness

As it may seem, polyametivity does not refer to what we commonly know as affect, but to a specific experience for which no better word has been found. As defined by those who experience it, it does not feel like a friendship, but something deeper, but also not a relationship. Very succinctly, Sheff defined it in 2006 as “relationships emotionally intimate and non-sexual between polyamorous people ”(1)

Later, he expanded the definition by referring to a “polyffective triad”, defining it as “a group of three people who did not have sexual relations with each other, but who maintained a relationship at an emotionally intimate level and who considered themselves family members. “(two).

Polyaffectiveness is not experienced as friendship, but something deeper, also without being a couple relationship.

Recently, on her blog, Sheff stated: “Many polyamorous people maintain emotional continuity when they change relationship settings with less emphasis on sexuality. Instead, they often prioritize polyaffective relationships, in which polyloving people define their family by choosing who is part of it among the relevant people in their life, but do not have sex with them, either because they never had a sexual connection or because their sexual connection ended (momentarily or permanently) and they continue to maintain an emotional intimacy”(3).

Polyametivity is not a higher level, a polyamory nirvana, a state that must be achieved in non-monogamy, but something that sometimes happens and sometimes doesn’t. It’s something that happens based on the relationship and circumstances of these people, but it’s very curious when it’s lived. It’s rare to feel something so deep, proof of illness and bad times, with people who don’t fit into the two very narrow categories we tend to classify relationships into: friendship or partner.

They are ways of creating family networks that, as Sheff says, can be useful to understand relationships differently after a divorce or separation, but where a common education is maintained, or for those who depend on the same source of income and end up forming a family, or for those who decide for a thousand reasons, as it is already possible in some cities in the USA for a few months .

REFERENCES

  1. Poly-hegemonic Masculinities
  2. “Polyaffective triad” (…) “a group of three people who were not all sexually involved, but who related on an emotionally intimate level and considered themselves another family” and exhibit a “much higher degree of emotional intimacy between the non-sexual partners “
    Source: Resistant Utopias: Gender Difference and Radical Queer Subjectivity in Post-Gay American Drama (Sarah Crockarell, 2013)
  3. Results of the resilient family through polyametivity

Photograph: Guillermo A. Passache

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