Polyamory wasn't a 'choice' for me, it was my truth
Disclaimer: I can only speak for myself and relay how my partners feel. Some people do choose to be polyamorous. Some people want to have casual sex with or date multiple people at one time. Some people keep it laid back while others implement many rules.
Personally, I feel that I was born polyamorous. I remember being twelve years old, reading Harry Potter, and I was rooting for Harry and Hermione. As the books went on, I found that I also wanted her to be with Ron as well. At one point, I remember asking my mother, why can't she just talk to them both of them and be with them both. They both apparently have reciprocated feelings for her, and it's not right to make her choose. After all, it would be stupid to make someone make a choice between two friends, two pets, or any other set of individuals that one would love. I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that society deems it appropriate to have many loves in all areas of your life, except in the romantic sense.
When I asked my mother why Hermione couldn't be with Ron and Harry, she replied that it was gross and unrealistic. So, I repressed how I felt and never brought it up again. A year later I had a crush on my best friend who lived an entire state away. We talked every night, and our feelings were mutual, but neither one of us wanted to try the long distance thing. When I was fourteen, I started "dating," but was still talking to my best friend every night. I hid my relationship with my friend from my partners and felt horrible about the whole thing. When I would bring it up, I was shunned. I almost completely stopped talking to my friend and pursued monogamous relationships.
When I got married, I had heard from my friend twice a year, and he still had feelings for me. It took a year of marriage before bringing up my feelings on monogamy to my husband. He expressed that he felt the same way about monogamy and has always had a sense of not feeling "right" in monogamous relationships. We discussed how opening our marriage would affect our relationship, how we felt about rules, rules we thought made sense, and other things we thought of during this two-year span.
Opening up my marriage
When we finally opened our marriage and I had my first date, I felt relieved. I no longer had to hide who I am! I no longer had to lurk about in the shadows and pretend I didn't feel "gross and disgusting," as my mother so elegantly put it all those years ago. Sadly, I was still "in the closet" to my friends and family. Coming out to them was the biggest obstacle my husband and I had to overcome. We spent endless amounts of energy keeping our life under wraps, trying to figure out how to explain my absence when I was on a date, hiding partners that I had feelings for! It was horrible. Not only was I lying to friends and family, but I was also hiding people I cared about for my comfort.
When my husband and I did come out we were met with a solid mix of "ew that's gross," "yay, I support you," "what's that," and "you're going to ruin your marriage with your lack of commitment." Sadly, even those who did support us thought this was a decision. Many didn't understand that despite being raised in a monogamous society, my mind, heart, and soul was and is polyamorous. Five years later some people still don't get it. Not everyone decides to live a life different from what society says is normal, some of us are just born different - and that is okay.
I do not choose to be judged for loving more than one person at a time. I do not choose to be disrespected, hated, and have assumptions thrown at me because I was born to love more than one person at a time. Why would anyone choose to live a life that brings on hate, judgment, and threats - even if it is what makes them happy? It is hard to go against the grain of society, but I do it because it is easier than hiding who I am. I do it because others need to know they are not alone. I do it because it makes me happy.