My ex-gf helped me discover that I’m poly, like her. We’re in a romantic friendship now, because things just feel right that way instead of a friendship or serious relationship. I also have another fromance going on, and a primary boyfriend. We communicate EVERYTHING, it’s my first relationship where my partner is as open and honest as I try to be. He’s poly as well and I’m his primary too. Things seem to be working out on the first try with all this =D
My question though is if I should say that I won’t have any more partners. I really don’t wanna make statements that I don’t know will hold true and possibly end up hurting my primary, because I could very well fall for someone else. I’m just beginning here, accepting within myself that I’m poly and finally allowing certain feelings to show, but I’m also not trying to get with anyone who even mildly strikes my fancy. So…what’s my best course of action?
You’re quite correct in saying that making declarations that may or may not wind up being true is a bad idea. Setting expectations is best done with some eye to accuracy!
In your case, why do you want to make a declaration of any sort? Have you been asked for one? If you haven’t and are just guessing, may I offer some advice?
Don’t guess. Ask your partners what they want.
I totally get that being new to polyamory can be like being let loose in a candy store and being told that it’s all free. You might want to start sampling everything that’s available until you make yourself sick. However, when you’re poly, keep in mind you’re not a child. You’re an adult who can make choices and having principles drive those choices is never a bad idea.
Just because you’re attracted to someone who might be attracted back doesn’t make it imperative that you follow up on it, even if you’re poly. I know that goes utterly contrary to the whole idea that love and relationships are these finite commodities that we have to scoop up or they’ll be gone and we’ll miss out. That’s nonsense. Love really is infinite.
Granted, time isn’t; and that’s likely the rub.
So, how do you choose how to handle that?
You prioritize. What do you want? What’s important to do? The way you report spending your time does say that spending it on relationships is important to you. Know what? That’s really cool.
But what other things do you prioritize? Do you need to make a living? Do you have Life Goals that aren’t about relationships? Any partner of mine does, and frankly anyone who I find interesting enough to talk to has interests beside their relationships. Are you earning a degree, writing a book, training for a training for a triathlon, running a business, involved in a career, rearing children, learning how to knit, building a dungeon, making a movie, participating in a historical reenactment society, raising money for medical research, or trying to find a cure for aging?*
Anything you’re into takes time, and yes, deciding how much time to devote to it is a real issue, and yes it’ll drive how much time you have for relationships.
This will rely on a number of factors. How much time do you want to spend on personal projects? How much time do your partners want? I had a partner recently comment that he wanted us to see each other more often than we had been, and (thankfully) specified a specific interval that he felt was reasonable given both of our busy schedules. I agreed, and have been more careful to bump time with him higher up my decision-making process so that we can get together more often. Does this mean some other things have to be bumped out a little? Well, yes, some. But I was cool with it in this instance because I agreed with his assessment. Does this leave me less time for hunting up new partners? Well, subject to some other constraints about my own commitments and goals, it does a little. In my case? I’m middle-aged, have been poly since before I graduated from high school, and am not really by taste and nature all that inclined to spend an inordinate amount of time on The Hunt, anyway.
I am presuming you have a full and busy life. It may be that between temperament and taste, you prefer to spend a vast majority of your time on romantic partners. It’s a valid choice, but making sure that you and your partners are mutually happy is important. It’s utterly impossible for a stranger to guess what those needs/desires might be, though. So ask them!
Without that information, it’s impossible to know what to do, after all.
* I know real, live polyamorous people who are doing or have done everything on that list.