Challenges in the Polyamory Lifestyle

Blurred Lines: Expand Yourself But Contain Yourself, Too

You have to know when you have crossed your own lines. Because if someone else has to tell you, then you probably went too far! Ask Robin Thicke! Ha, I digress.

Polyamory is some evolved, mature, grown and sexy business. When we are teenagers, many of us are technically polyamorous, and may be fooling around and/or having sex with multiple people at once (ah, those high school days were so free and fun!) but if you’re not being honest with every single one of them about your situation, then you’re not being polyamorous, you are just cheating (which was interestingly brought up in the article “Don’t Conflate Cheating With Open Relationships, Please” in Bitch Magazine.

But, we are not cheaters. I have NOT cheated or lied to a woman about my multiple partners in YEARS upon years. I genuinely do NOT spend time trying to convince ANY woman that isn’t ready to be okay with the fact that I have more than one partner, and that I’m SO cool with her having the same thing for herself. If she’s the monogamous type, her and I probably won’t have much internal emotional territory in common, to be honest… not anymore these days. My generous and open heart is the central aspect of my personality and creates the guiding principles that shape the vast majority of my friendships and ALL of my relationships, for sure. But I know that those are my boundaries, and I don’t try to have them affect anyone else who isn’t ready for my level of love.

Do others? Self awareness is the best way to know.

I ask, because I’m curious: have you ever been with someone who you have a great connection with, but who also has a great connection with something else? Not even someone else, but some THING else? And that something else begins to intrude on your boundaries inside the relationship?

It’s a very troubling scenario to discover! Polyamorous relationships are open and nebulous enough as is! Trusting the promises for quality time connections being maintained is already one challenging thing to deal with… having to circumnavigate the hidden complexities and dark peculiarities of your partners as you discover them in the unfolding moments you share with them is another. Polyamory is often the opposite of monogamy, in the fact that it’s not usually a pseudo-singular examination of a potential partner, where one focuses on their partner’s details and info until they feel the person has passed the analysis test of intimacy opportunity. Polyamory often displays a more intuitive amount of trust and faith, and even hope that believing in a similar version of sexual freedom might be the seeds for a dream come true between you two (or three or more!)

Say you discover your new partner has a personality trait you are uncomfortable with? Something you didn’t see in the first three months with them? What if, all of a sudden, one day they begin showing you their dark & angry side on a level that you never had an inkling existed? Perhaps they were hiding a bad habit from you? Perchance you did not see them often enough to realize they had passive-aggressive tendencies that seem extra pronounced at a time you least expected it? There could be a whole number of things you just didn’t see coming when you start spending month three, four and five together with someone you don’t see that often, but often enough that you have a real treasured connection to them.

And the question is: how do you bring someone back inside the boundaries of your comfort when the comfort zone of polyamory is so much different than usual?

This is something I really don’t have much experience with! I would love to hear your answers and suggestions, people. I don’t ask for much reader interaction, but it would be amazing to read someone else’s thoughts on the subject.

When someone shows you a dark, controlling, pessimistic, manipulative, depressing, an unhealthy or even dysfunctional side of their character you did not expect or were not prepared to deal with in your polyamorous relationship, and they have crossed the proverbial line between “confident and cocky”, what do you do next?

Let us know!

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