The Growing Acceptance of Polyamorous Relationships in Belgium

by John Santana

It’s true what they say: it’s a different world we live in now. Many things we’ve done before in the past are now outdated. And what we’re doing in modern times would have been unacceptable decades ago. A perfect example of this would be relationships. 

Before, romantic relationships meant an exclusive commitment between two people. It was the most known kind of relationship, although many other forms existed in ancient times. But in the time of modernity, the meaning of dating and relationships has evolved and been redefined around the world. This includes being in non-monogamous relationships such as polyamory, where people can have multiple relationships at a time. 

Social acceptance and visibility

Belgium is one of the most liberal countries in the world. It was the second country in 2003 to approve same-sex marriage and the second country in the European Union to protect LGBT rights. Statutory cohabitation is legal for both heterosexual and homosexual couples living in Belgium. The country’s progressive stances can also mean that Belgians are becoming aware and open to other forms of relationships including polyamorous ones too. There are even polyamory groups in the country formed for polyamorous people too. 

Even when there are existing polyamorous relationships in Belgium, some people aren’t comfortable talking about their relationships openly. Most resort to anonymous personas online such as on Reddit. On one Reddit thread about Belgians being open to polyamorous relationships, a user narrated how she knows a happily married couple in polyamorous relationships for eight years now. Some couples have also been doing it for two decades already. Others have also expressed their opinions on polyamorous relationships, saying that it’s very liberating compared to monogamous relationships. But of course, there are some people who think polyamory is a disaster waiting to happen. The good thing is, people are talking about it. 

On television shows and in movies, polyamory is a recurring theme. Some films such as Tomasz Winski’s Borders of Love and Marion Hill’s Ma Belle, My Beauty both have non-monogamous relationships in their plots. There’s also a reality show called Polyamory: Married & Dating that revolves around two polyamorous families in the US. Decades ago, movies with polyamorous relationships were met with controversies. But now, the concept of polyamory is carving out a space in new media, becoming a little more mainstream than usual. 

Even in the world of Hollywood, polyamorous relationships exist. One example is A-listers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, who have recently admitted that they engaged in polyamory in the course of their marriage. Another polyamorous personality is American actress Bella Thorne, previously in a relationship with rapper Mod Sun and content creator Tana Mongeau. Though they get embroiled in controversies, these celebrities who admitted to being polyamorous can help level up the polyamory discourse in society. It’s a step towards the acceptance of polyamorous relationships across the world.

Benefits and challenges of polyamory

Unlike other relationships, polyamory can be more complicated because it involves a lot of understanding to navigate a relationship that involves three or more people. But it’s not like monogamous relationships are perfect either. Here, we weigh the pros and cons of being in a polyamorous relationship.

Stronger support system

Being in multiple relationships means that there are more people to confide with when problems arise. In monogamous relationships, you may feel that your partner doesn’t understand you. But in polyamorous relationships, you have more people to receive the love and support you need.

Discovering your true self

You’ll eventually face different situations in polyamory. In the course of your relationships, you’ll discover your likes and dislikes. You’ll discover your sexual identity and the qualities you’re looking for in a partner. Polyamory is a way for you to create authentic relationships with other people.

Legal issues 

In Belgium, the law doesn’t recognize polyamorous relationships yet. This means that marriage isn’t for you. Belgians engaging in polyamory without the consent of their primary partner may even be charged with adultery. 

Relationships are not taken seriously

Polyamorous relationships are becoming socially acceptable in Belgium. But people see it as something that’s not going to last. There will also be times when people will invalidate your feelings because they see polyamory as “just a phase.”

Polyamory in Belgium: Are We There Yet? 

With polyamory’s presence in mainstream media, online exchanges, and even a dedicated organization for polyamorous individuals in Belgium, it can be safely deduced that there is growing acceptance for Belgians to be open to polyamorous relationships. With continuous support for polyamorous individuals, by creating a safe space for them in the communities, and by empowering them to freely talk about this type of relationship, Belgium can go a long way in exploring polyamory being the progressive country that it has always been.

John Santana

Similar Posts