Maintaining healthy and positive relationships was the topic on Feb. 17 as Word on the Street held a virtual event on YouTube called The City Imagines: Loving Relationship Anarchy.
Several writers and experts took apart in the event and talked about the ups and downs of relationships, mainly focusing on how they go bad. They also discussed non-monogamous or polyamory relationships, which are open relationships with the consent of all parties, and how society is now opening up to the possibilities it offers.
“Trying to get a need met that the other person or people can not fulfil” is why relationships go sour, author Kai Cheng Thom said.
That may cause friction between parties, when one person is trying to get something out and the other is deflecting that specific need, causing a toxic relationship, she said.
“It all comes down to incompatible traumas,” author Natalie Zina Walschots said.
Agreeing with Thom’s comments, she said if one person wants a specific thing done or not done one way, and the other person wants it done a different way, the ideology differences could be the start of the relationship not working out.
Author S. Bear Bergman shared the same thoughts, with all three getting very vocal on how communication is arguably the biggest factor in keeping a relationship running in a positive way.
Polyamory relationships was once a big red flag but now society is being more open towards it, they said.
“Society has evolved into an expectation that there is one magical person that can attend to all of your needs,” said Bergman. “It just feels exhausting.”
All three writers were open on how consensual polyamory relationships may keep a relationship fresh, as long as there are rules, boundaries and communication in place.
Not all people taking part online were convinced.
“That is not something I can see myself in,” said Scarborough resident Krystal Shah. If all parties were aware and consent to it, then there may be no harm but it is not something she saw for herself, she said.
Shah was also concerned an open relationship could be a reason that a relationship may end up not working out as it could get too complicated.