Polyamory in Barcelona

“I have always felt different. When I was growing up, I would always give a lot of freedom to my boyfriends. And I could not be with just one person. The world is so big and wonderful, and you're supposed to meet different people along the way, so why not engage them?”

At first glance, Violeta is a normal 23 year old. She lives in Barcelona with her parents and has a passion for dancing. She enjoys long walks on the beach, feeling the sand beneath her feet, hanging out with her friends and meeting new people. She has a yearning for new cultures and opportunities. She enjoys all the things young women her age do. However, the way she experiences love is radically different from how her friends do. She is polyamorous and mantains several emocional relationships with different men and women. But living this way, loving different people at a time, is a challenge. You have to overcome jealousy ,insecurities and fear of abandonment. Many polyamorous people have a hard time telling their friends and family for fear of misunderstanding. Violeta has been living this way for well over a year and still hasn't told her parents. “It's a difficult topic. My parents are very conservative and I have no idea on how to tell them”.

Two years ago, when she met Guido at a philosophy school, they clicked because of their similar views on love. At first they didn't care for each other, because of their age difference. But on a school field trip, they discovered that despite their 16 years apart, they shared a lot of ideals and notions on what a healthy love life should look like. Together they started discovering alternatives to tradicional monogamic relationships, and came across poliamory on the internet. From then on, they met different people and discovered a strong community, that helped them discover this way of life. But their relationship is changing rapidly. From living together and being extremely close, they grew apart, and problems started to arise. They are slowly letting go of each other and now spend much more time with other people.

On the bright green grass at Parc de la Ciutadella, in Barcelona, sit Jorge, Cris and Violeta. They all met at OpenCon, a polyamorous festival in Madrid, which Jorge helps organize. He is a 36 year old man that splits his time between being a professional fire fighter and being a polyamory advocate. He has come to visit his two romantic partners, Violeta and Cris, a 34 year old freelance graphic designer, that just recently, after breaking up with her wife, started living a “poly” lifestyle, something she has yearned for for many years. They spend the afternoon talking, as the sun dwindles in the sky, filling their faces with yellowish warmness. Its Mardi Gras, there's a buzz of excitement all around, in both the children and adults, but also in the birds and trees. At least that is how they perceive it. They are all in love with each other, and recently they have all broken up with their long term partners. As the afternoon fades away, they share stories and hugs. “When you build your life around one person, and they are no longer in it, its very hard to get back on your feet. But when you have the love and support of a network of partners, it all becomes easier.”, says Violeta.