Some points on today's comic:
1) It may just be confirmation bias, but I do think there's been more and more representation of nontraditional relationships and sexualities in media lately, and I approve. One of my favourite movies actually has a poly relationship in it, but I'm not going to mention which one because it sort of spoils the ending.
2) A lot of people - possibly even Carol's own significant others - would probably be horrified (or at least disappointed) by Carol's attitude towards romantic permanence, here. Aren't romantic relationships meant to last forever, literally forever? I personally think that everyone changes over time, and if the two people who fell in love in their twenties aren't the same people in their forties, who's to say those two forty-year-olds should stay together?
Of course, in theory, as two people in a long-term romantic relationship grow and change, they grow and change to become more compatible over time. I know that's certainly the case between my wife and myself. We're different people now than when we first got married, but constantly being with each other only serves to bring us closer together. But then, we're weird.
3) You will note that Carol at no point says that all of those five relationships are identical, or that they should be identical. Obviously, Trent's relationship with Carol is different from his relationship with Max or his relationship with Simon. I haven't had any of my poly characters use the term "primary" yet - neither they nor I are fans of the connotations - but it should be obvious that Carol and Trent are each others' primaries, and Simon and Wallace are each others' primaries. They're certainly set up that way in terms of cohabitation.
4) I'm gonna go ahead and throw a shout-out to my favourite math-loving poly-oriented teacher here - you inspire me! You know who you are.
0636------------------------------------- (Tuesday afternoon, INT: ChA's apartment) ChA: So were you really waiting until polyamory became socially accepted before telling me about your other relationships? CA: We have been making some progress lately, largely following in the footsteps of gay rights. There's even been some representation in popular media, though it tends to focus less on the emotional reality and more on group sex. ChA: Mm. -------------- CA: And also, y'know, who knows what sort of relationship I'll be in a year from now. ChA: Mm? Trouble in five-person paradise? CA: Oh, no, just the opposite. But I try to be realistic about the lifespan of things, I think everyone should. -------------- CA (drawing a little five-way diagram in the air): You have to remember, I don't just have four relationships: between five people, there are ten different relationships. If we assume the odds of a given relationship eventually breaking up is fifty-fifty, that means the chance of us all staying together as-is in the long term is one in one thousand twenty-four. ChA: That's some pretty advanced math for a first grade teacher. -------------- CA: I think maybe the idea of loving someone "forever" is more a statement about an emotional reality, rather than a prediction of the future. As the limit t approaches infinity... ChA: We get it, you took some AP courses in high school, everyone's impressed.