Not all those who identify as polyamorous know their limits or value honesty like you do.
10 Poly People to Avoid when Dating
1. Poly-Curious Only
This person is curious about the polyamorous lifestyle, thinks that non-monogamy sounds good, but often has misconceptions about what it means to be poly. They will be extra curious if a person they are extremely attracted to is polyamorous but will have little intention of exploring polyamory themselves beyond having sex with the object of their affection.
Sometimes lust wins the day and that’s okay if a one night stand is all you’re after, but beyond that you are likely looking for someone who isn’t just kicking the tires of polyamory.
2. Uneducated Poly Person
There are so many different types of relationships under the poly umbrella, that exploring and learning about them is often par for the course to those practicing. Sometimes people want into the “poly club,” but they have little desire to educate themselves about the nuances of non-monogamous relationships.
You shouldn’t have to teach those you are dating what’s what when it comes to poly terms and lingo. If they are truly interested, they’ll make the time to explore and learn.
3. Polysaturated Partner
While polyamory isn’t only about having your cake and eating it too, as some outsiders would have you believe, there are times when a poly person can overdo it, become a tad gluttonous with one or two or three too many partners.
This behavior is more forgivable in poly newbies who are learning who many partners is too many, but as a way of life, it’s not cool. Having enough quality time with partners, new and existing, is too important to allow polysaturation.
4. One-Way Poly Person
This person wants to date others, but doesn’t want you to, which is completely uncool. Some couples do end up in a one-sided poly arrangement, often after years of being together, and it can work with clear boundaries set. But if you are poly and expect an egalitarian rulebook, then you’ll want to pass on this person.
One poly misconception is that cheating doesn’t happen in polyamory because it’s always okay to have another lover. But cheating still happens because in most arrangements there is honesty around who is sleeping with who, and other rules about how many partners a partner can have.
Cheating can also happen when a monogamous person is cheating with you on their partner, but tells you they are poly and in a polyamorous relationship. Unfortunately, this happens more than you think. If you ever cross paths with their partner, think twice.
6. Narcissistic Polys
Selfish, self-centered people are everywhere. They put themselves first in all facets of their life, including dating and relationships. If you feel used, or that a person you are dating has no interest in getting to know what makes you tick, your inner desires, they aren’t really worth being around.
Narcissism isn’t about confidence, it’s about vulnerability and a fear of deep connection. Narcissists struggle with envy and will have trouble rooting for you if they feel it takes away from them.
7. Polyamory Cowboys
When you’re poly, you’re going to meet a lot of monogamous people who you are attracted to and who you wish were poly. Occasionally you might meet someone who is at that right time in their life to make the leap into polyamory, but most often it’s not the case and the results of diving into a mono-poly relationship is murky at best.
The polyamory cowboy or cowgirl will think they can convert you back to monogamy. And you may be tempted if you are falling in love, but the problem here is that they are going to lie and hide their intentions until you are hooked.
8. Egalitarian in Name Only
Lying may be the number one character trait to avoid when dating. What poly people you want to avoid are lying about may be different, but it all ends in the same breakup bin. Ethical non-monogamy is about honesty and often non-hierarchical relationships with multiple partners.
This person will say that you are as important as their other partners, that you are all equals, but their behaviors will say something different. Know what you want and don’t settle for less.
9. Line Crossers
Another type of poly person to avoid when dating is someone who crosses your boundaries or who makes you feel uncomfortable by pushing limits. It’s very important in polyamory to be as clear as possible regarding the kind of relationship you are looking for, expectations around what is shared and what isn’t, safe sex practices, and so much more.
Sometimes a person may not know they have a boundary until it is crosses, and that’s different. But when a lover intentionally disrespects a rule or boundary that you have shared, that is unacceptable.
10. Unsafe Sexers
There are polyamorous people who don’t use protection while having sex. Sometimes you will find and date fluid-bonded primary partners (sometimes married), but most polycules, throuples, threesomes, and moresomes, practice safe sex to prevent pregnancy and the transmission of STIs.
If you’re with someone who refuses to practice safe sex or who tries to convince you to when that’s not how you roll, it’s probably a good idea to move on.
What type of poly people do you avoid when dating and looking for a partner?