These polyamorous couples are fighting the stigmas against non-monogamy: 'A way to be less isolated'

Uncommon Ground is a deep dive into society's fringe groups, both well-known and unknown.

Not everyone in Andre's life understands how — or why — he's more than one person at once. 

"My family just thinks that I'm just like, doing this thing — and eventually I'll find 'the one,'" he told In The Know. 

But Andre, who's in a relationship with four women, says he isn't looking for "the one." Instead, he finds love, support and happiness in polyamory – the practice of engaging in an intimate, romantic relationship with more than one partner at a time. 

And he's far from the only one. According to a 2016 study, more than one in five Americans report having participated in some sort of non-monogamous relationship during their lifetime. 

In the latest edition of In The Know: Uncommon Ground, we spoke with some of those individuals about how non-monogamy has given them committed, highly fulfilling relationships. 

"Polyamory is a relationship that includes emotional attachment and love, and a commitment to each one of my partners," Jari, who is also polyamorous, told In the Know. "No relationship can be assumed about the structure and what it's going to look like."

Martisha, who is in a relationship with both Andre and Jari, says polyamory has given her a large, powerful support system that she might not find in a monogamous situation. 

"There are a lot of additional people in my life that I can call on. And it's very freeing and liberating to know that just because there are other people, that does not mean the validity of my relationship is not still there."

For some polyamorous relationships, the presence of other partners can actually add to that validation — not take subtract from it.

"There's something that's really just great about seeing someone else interact with your partner in a way that's similar and also different," Elizabeth, who is partnered with both Andre and another man, Ray, told In the Know. 

Because they're both involved with Elizabeth, Andre and Ray are metamours, a term for those who share a partner despite not being directly romantically involved. While bonds among metamours may not be romantic, they can still often be incredibly special to those involved. 

"The people that you're dating have a type," Andre told In The Know. "So if you're with a person long enough and you get to know a metamour, you realize all of the ways you are similar to that person."

"I think Andre and I have a lot in common," Jari told In The Know. "And I think that we would have met and been friends even if it wasn't through Martisha. So I think that makes it even cooler and easier when we're all hanging out."

Watch the full episode of In The Know: Uncommon Ground above. 

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