Steve Pavlina On Polyamory

Steve Pavlina’s interest in polyamory is one of the main subjects that he has become widely known for. Polyamory refers to having intimate relationships with different people who are aware of it and consent to it. Steve’s interest in it is driven by his desire to enjoy close emotional connections with other people. While some mistake it for simply having several sex partners, Steve lives by a different, more meaningful concept of it.

Polyamory is, in fact, not only about sex. Despite the common misconceptions, many people embrace polyamory for several reasons, and sex is usually not a priority and is just one small piece of the puzzle. According to Steve and other advocates of polyamory, friendship is at its core. Friendship begins the relationships, maintains its strength, and deepens it enough to invite emotional intimacy. Without friendship, polyamory is impossible.

This friendship is, in turn, impossible without compatibility and shared values, which are also key ingredients in every polyamory setup.

The Importance of Being Emotionally Connected

Steve Pavlina polyamory

Steve Pavlina and polyamory symbol.

For Steve, polyamory is an opportunity to become emotionally connected to other people. It refers to a deep and soulful connection between two people, something which sounds so simple but is usually very hard to achieve.

Steve’s study and experiment on polyamory was fueled by the fact that he, as well as most other people, find it difficult to let other people in. Before meeting Erin, Steve felt that there was a very strong shield around his heart that kept him from being close to other people. He found himself deflecting anyone who wanted to be close to him. He admitted that in most cases, he was not aware of what he was doing.

This emotional distance that many people, not only Steve, involuntarily creates between them and others is very common. In the long run, the lack of a deep emotional relationship also leads to less compassion. It is the reason why many people today care so little about others, and why most of them live only for themselves.

Through his own experience in forming a deep emotional connection with his former wife Erin, Steve was able to witness how being in an emotionally intimate relationship can change a person. Soon after becoming close to Erin, he began to care genuinely about other people and even animals.

Steve thus delved into polyamory to explore whether this could play a role in helping other people be more accustomed to getting close to others and in helping invite more compassion into the world.

Being married, Steve knew that it was possible to find and be contented with a deep emotional connection with just one person. But as his relationship with his wife Erin Pavlina grew more mature and as they continued to change as individuals, he also observed the changes in their emotional connection. This is where his interest in polyamory came in.

Issues Surrounding Polyamory


It would be impossible to discuss polyamory without considering its sexual side. Although sex is not a priority and certainly not the objective in polyamory, it is undeniably a natural extension of emotional polyamory. When two people have sex, there is a huge tendency for them to become emotionally invested in one another.


A lot of people want to pursue polyamory but is hindered by the fear of getting hurt. If monogamous relationships hurt a lot, polyamory ones can cause even more pain, especially since more hearts are involved. But according to Steve, the fear of getting hurt is caused by negative experiences in the past, experiences that people should let go of. Steve believes that living while trying to minimize potential hurt will lead to a very dull and cowardly existence. The goal, therefore, is to overcome the past hurts and to respond with love, which can manifest itself through healthy polyamory relationships.

Values in Polyamory

According to Steve, polyamory is aligned with 7 universal growth principles he has discussed in his personal development book. Thus, he considers it as a major positive growth experience. These principles include:

  • Truth – It is important that polyamory be practiced with complete openness and honesty. There should be no deception in the relationship.
  • Love – Creating authentic and loving connections is the objective of polyamory. In fact, the term itself means ‘many loves’.
  • Power – Polyamory encourages you to develop your ability to communicate, your self-discipline, and other traits, which is why it can be an empowering and enriching growth experience.
  • Oneness (Love + Truth) – Polyamory is an inclusive kind of love. It does not block any kind of connection. In this way, it is truly aligned with oneness.
  • Authority (Truth + Power) – Polyamory allows you to consciously create new relationships, thus expanding your authority and control over your experiences.
  • Courage (Love + Power) – Going polyamorous itself takes a lot of courage.
  • Intelligence (Truth + Love + Power) – If the path to polyamory is followed truthfully and lovely, it can produce positive growth, which is why it is the intelligent thing to do.

By practicing polyamory, Steve believes that the experience will help people become more aligned with these seven growth principles.

Steve Pavlina polyamory – the end

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