A Reader Asks:
My boyfriend told me that he was polyamorous two years ago, and I really liked him and I also liked the idea. I was the first to ask him if I could see another person, but he said that he didn’t feel comfortable about it and I understood. But then he had sex with one of our friends and told me after it happened. He actually asked me if we could include her in our relationship the day after they had sex and I was excited because I like her a lot and still do, but I asked him if they could not have sex just yet. I wanted to get to know her better. But then it came out that they had already done this. My question is:
What should I do to make sure he is being honest with me?
Do you have any reason to believe he’d lied to you? From what you’ve said, honesty isn’t a problem here. Not only that, volunteering information isn’t the problem, either. You report that he told you when he had sex with someone. That’s honest in my book.
If you’re not familiar with the Simple Guide to Relationships, I’m going to strongly encourage you to take a look at it. A lot of it revolves around two things – being honest yourself, and believing your partner. Taking one’s partner at his or her word is a great way to train them to be straight with you, if that’s a problem. It doesn’t seem to be in your case. Going around trying to hunt down lies in a relationship is treating your partner as an adversary, and I think that’s an unproductive way to approach relationships. The theory is you love each other, yes?
I do want to address something, though. He seems to be okay with having other relationships, but is not okay with you doing it. Are you okay with that? If so, everything’s all good. But think about that one. The One Penis Policy of Polyamory has never really struck me as equitable or particularly respectful of women. I’ve always twitched at any relationship where only one partner had to face insecurities or do any self-exploration. Polyamorous relationships often have lots of people, and all of ‘em need to be pulling their own weight on that score, in my very strong opinion.
 Don’t worry. It’s not too long, and it’s a good read.