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After cheating on me just weeks after we’d lost our virginity to each other, he apologized with tears and gifts and proclamations of true love. I learned how to let things slide, for myself and my partners. Polyamory is the practice of having “many loves.” defines it as a “nonpossessive, honest, responsible and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously.” Honest, ethical — these things sounded good.

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It was our responsibility to take care of ourselves first. She was experiencing intense anxiety over the state of their relationship and needed to talk. I realized that polyamory wasn’t what I was looking for.“If it’s not a ‘Hell yes’, it’s a NO.” This mantra was repeated again and again. I wasn’t sure if I could ever be a “Hell yes” to the idea of having multiple relationships in my life. People shared so much of themselves and expected honesty from me, too. He apologized before closing the door to my bedroom to speak with her in private, while I found myself sulking outside. I told John that I couldn’t handle this kind of open relationship, and he thanked me for putting myself first.There was a woman in her early 20s and some couples in their 60s.But each person in this wide spectrum listened and discussed their polyamorous lifestyle in similar terms. This new style of relationship was exhilarating at first.The majority of survey respondents live in British Columbia (35.6%), Ontario (28.7%) and Alberta (17.6%), see Figure 1, and are between 25 and 44 years old (74.4%), see Figure 2.

Respondents tend to be younger than the Canadian population as a whole, see Figure 2.1 (Canadian population data from Statistics Canada 2011 Census, catalogue no. Most respondents had completed some form of post-secondary education, most commonly undergraduate degrees (26.3%), followed by post-graduate or professional degrees (19.2%) and college diplomas (16.3%), see Figure 3.Almost two-fifths of the respondents who said that they are not currently in a polyamorous relationship (39.9%) said that they had been in such a relationship within the last five years.Most of respondents’ polyamorous relationships involved three adults (50.4%), see Figure 6, but only a fifth of respondents said that the members of their relationship lived in a single household (19.7%).The information gathered thus far, from the 547 people who answered our survey, paints a fascinating picture of polyamorous individuals and their family arrangements, and has important implications for the future of family law in Canada.The polyamorous families we are looking at are those created by three or more freely consenting adults, in distinction to faith-based, and usually patriarchal, forms of polygamy that exist in much of Africa, the Middle East and North America, the latter of which have been popularized in shows like .About 15 people sat in our circle — some came alone, others with partners.