Polyamorous Elders: Aging in Open Relationships

Kathy Labriola

Polyamorous Elders: Aging in Open Relationships
Rowman & Littlefield
United States
15 December 2022

Polyamorous Elders: Aging in Open Relationships

Kathy Labriola

This book explores the unique group of elders, age 55 and older, who practice some form of consensual non-monogamy. It covers both the joys and challenges of multiple relationships for elders. Poly elders have the complexities of juggling multiple relationships, as well as managing all the issues of aging: managing medical conditions and disabilities (their own and/or their partners’), caregiving responsibilities for aging relatives, grieving the deaths of parents, siblings, and partners, retiring from careers and starting new lives, and/or moving into some form of senior living.

Elders appear to be the fastest-growing segment of the polyamorous community. About one-fifth of Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship at some point, and around 5% currently are practicing it. Many elders have practiced polyamory for over 40 years, and are currently in stable, very long-term relationships.

The book provides anecdotes from poly elders’ lives, including the constellation of relationships surrounding each individual, couple, or triad. It explores how their relationships develop and evolve. Many of the issues that face older poly folks are issues directly related to aging, but they usually have a uniquely poly spin to them that can make them more complex and challenging.

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