I don’t usually rant at monogamous people. Polyamorous people in general provide more than enough rant fodder and idiocy to be going on with. But a couple of incidents have bubbled across my brain in the last few months that I just don’t wanna keep quiet.
My monogamous bretheren… If you wind up on a date with someone and they say up front, “I’m polyamorous.” do yourself a favor:
Believe what you’ve been told
Believe it if the person has a boy or girlfriend, wife, husband, or SO. But believe it just as strongly if that person isn’t presently dating anyone else. ‘Cause I’ll bet you ten dollars to a doughnut that person will want to be seeing other people than you sometime down the road.
Getting pregnant isn’t going to change this (no, really. Babies don’t make partners act the way you wish they would. Often the insanity of early infancy means quite the opposite).
Falling in love isn’t going to change it. No, not even if s/he falls in love with you. Being madly in love won’t change whether or not you’re poly. Poly people can be madly in love with more than one person. It’s… well, kinda the point when you think about it.
Polyamory isn’t playing the field until you find the right person. If you’re looking for a monogamous relationship only, do yourself a favor and walk away if someone says s/he’s poly.
That said, if you’re cool with dating a poly person (and the ramifications that they’re not only going to be seeing you) then go for it. Poly/mono pairings can work, but they usually do when both parties are realistic. I know people who are utterly realstic about this and they have fulfilling, happy relationships.
That straight? Good.
Now, I’d like all my little poly chillun to gather ’round, ’cause Mama Java’s got something to say to all of you:
You be clear right away that you’re poly!
Don’t imply it’s negotiable1 just because the mono person you’re dating is smoking hot. That obnoxious. Even if you’ve been dating a monogamous person for a long time, and haven’t really been looking elsewhere, it’d be a good idea to just bring up the subject from time to time. (Hey, George? I know we’ve been dating three years. Remember when we first started dating, I told you I was poly? Still hasn’t changed, even though I’ve not met someone lately). Don’t let things slide. Unspoken assumptions in this area will bite you.
Oh… and just for the record, announcing you’re poly after you’ve been dating someone awhile with no discussion is really over the edge. Don’t do that, either. Communication is one thing. Dropping bombs isn’t really communication. It’s just mean.
1Unless it really is. It’s sure as hell not for me, and more often than not, it’s not for most poly people.
4 thoughts on “Wishful Thinking Doesn’t Work”
Applause. I really needed this reminder, and I think a lot of other more or less monogamous people do too. My partner’s been honest with me from the beginning and while I initially really thought I’d be okay with him not wanting to be with me ONLY… it’s turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. Of course, things have changed a lot within our relationship(s) and I’ve managed to adjust my mindset as well.
But really, knowing when to back off means you have to KNOW you’re not ready (now or ever) for a polyamorous relationship. I didn’t know back then, and I’m still kind of thinking, though for this person I’m willing to give it a try, and then another, and then some.
Amen. Let me just add that going into a relationship thinking “I’ll tell them now it’s okay they are poly and I accept it – because I know they will love me so much I can CHANGE THEM to suit myself later.” In fact, any relationship where you think you are going to change someone around to suit yourself later is doomed to failure.
This is my life. Well, barring current primary/secondary anyway.
Even my last mostly serious boyfriend who is poly and who had been in an active triad for several years before we met had the ridiculous mentality of “I can replace her primary and be her very most favorite and she will be mine for the rest of forever”. It is just not a realistic way to live, especially since I practically give anyone I date a pamphlet and lecture course on the fact that I am poly, I WILL be dating and playing with others, no it does not take away from my emotions for you, no I will not change a core tenet of my way of life because I fall in love, etc.
…this has been a sticking point in multiple relationships for me. Forgive the ranting.