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Polyamory for Monogamists

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Whether you're the one excited about trying poly or the partner who's been approached to open up the relationship, you don't have to just guess and hope about the outcome of this venture. There are things to think about, scenarios to talk about, and tools to use to figure out whether your monogamous relationship has a good chance of withstanding the switch to polyamory.


Contributor: HoneyBadger

I just ended a 18-month polyamorous relationship (my first) in which I was a secondary partner to a married lady even as I dated other people. It was an emotional roller-coaster ride but a valuable learning experience. I found that my biggest mistake was not getting to know my partner's husband better and not asking more questions about their relationship in the beginning. I might have learned much earlier that their marriage wasn't as healthy as she claimed and that he was really a monogamist in poly garb. They clearly didn't have all their issues with poly worked out, and "the rules" morphed over time into a structure which didn't meet my needs and that I couldn't tolerate. It also didn't help that she and I fell in love. Apparently, neither of them ever considered the possibility of falling in love with an outside partner and how that might affect their relationship. Now she's trying to salvage her marriage, and I'm nursing a broken heart. Poly is great in theory but a lot more complicated in practice.

Contributor: Airen Wolf

Good grief polyamory literally means many LOVES...why wouldn't you consider the possibility of real love happening in this situation? I am so sorry this happened to you, and you are right it is both easier in practice and harder...depends on the true motives and openness of the people involved.
The experience is so much richer if the people involved make an effort to get to know each other even if they won't be having intimate relations with each other. For most of us getting to know our partner's partners is an amazing bond that allows us to glow in the "OMG isn't he/she SO amazing???" vibe. I am truly sorry you never got to experience that with your former partner's husband.

Contributor: I<3SexCreativeEy?

Kal Cobalt, thank you so much for writing about this subject. Just the idea in general seems to be something incredibly shunned by the majority of society (at least that I've dealt with). I met a few people very recently that were polyamorous, and being able to see their lives up close and personal helped satiate some of the curiosities I've held about it. I am pretty sure that I myself am monogamous, but I've always been curious and wanting to know more about how polyamory works and what it is. It's so nice to hear it being talked about in detail. I wish it was more widely discussed. Thank you for your contribution to knocking down walls of ignorance and educating people about other lifestyles and ways of loving.