When asked what matters the most in a relationship, most people respond with communication, passion, compromise, and every once in a while, someone will say jealousy, which makes one question what really makes a relationship work.

Buddy McPherson, a 26-year-old former SF State electrical engineering student, is in a polyamorous relationship with Allyson Bojorques a 25-year-old a former theater major from Gartnell community college and Jack Delacruz a 26-year-old SF state alumnus from the English Literature program.  

When asked how a polyamorous relationship works if people tend to consider jealousy a proof of love, McPherson said, “It’s about understanding that there really isn’t a kind of jealousy between the person that you’re with or the person that you can be with together.”

In a monogamous relationship, which has long been the western way for romantic partnerships, people seek complete loyalty from one another. In recent years, the game has changed with open relationships, friends with benefits and polyamorous relationships.

Bojorques, McPherson’s partner for 10 years, said her relationship has not affected how people view her. “I feel comfortable being in a relationship like this in SF State,” she said. “Living in an open-minded community like San Francisco makes me feel less like an outcast or different from others.”

At first, Delacruz was reluctant about the idea, over the years Bojorques said he had become more cautious about relationships and even though he wanted to be with her, he did not think this idea would work, however; “McPherson, my sister and I all sat down with Delacruz and convinced him how us going poly would be the best idea for all of us,” said Bojorques. “He and I would be able to explore our relationship as a couple while Buddy and I are still together.”

“I knew that Allie and Jack loved each other ever since I was in my second year with Allie, and when it came by six, seven years later, and she was really feeling that urge to be with him. I really knew what I had to do,” McPherson said. “I was allowing our relationship to expand because she is there and he’s there for her. He has also been there for me, especially being an adult in San Francisco.”

“I don’t think there is a clear right or wrong way to go about relationships,” said Collen Hoff, a clinical psychologist and sexuality professor at SF State. “I think students should trust their instincts about who they want to be with and what capacity they have to be with someone.”

Even though McPherson and Delacruz share a partner, Bojorques is still giving both her undivided attention.

Hoff said a person’s preferred type of relationship is very individual and may change over time.

Being in a relationship is hard overall, but the gratification of being with someone that can understand you at a deep level and can support you as a person can leave someone at awe.

McPherson elaborated on how being in a polyamorous relationship gives him enough space to figure out who he wants to be and what he needs to do to get there without worrying whether he’s giving enough attention to his partner. “I know that Ally will be OK because Jack has her back,” he said. “It’s the reassurance that if I’m not there, someone will be there for her.”

When it comes to breaking away from conservative types of relationships without feeling that something is wrong with you or feeling pressure of what other people think, Bojorques assured, “To anyone who was in the same situation as me, where you truly love more than one person and wish you could be with them both, nothing’s wrong with you. You might just be poly.”

Jack Delacruz, 26, (left), Allyson Bojorques, 25,(center), and Buddy McPherson, 26, (right), have been in a polyamorous relationship for a year and talk about the dynamic of their relationship on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. Bojorques who has been in a relationship with McPherson for 10 years, shares how they decided to incorporate Delacruz into the picture. (Brian Vu/Golden Gate Xpress)