You’re Poly but She Isn’t: What Non-Polys Want to Know

Are you polyamorous but the person you’re dating isn’t? Here’s what non-polyamorous partners want to know.

Ten years ago, I’d never heard of polyamory. But then I became friends with a woman who opened my eyes to this brand new world.

We are still close friends, bonding on our dating and sexual experiences and willingness to talk and write about them. My history was mostly short-term monogamous (but cheated on often!) relationships with men. Hers were several long-term, some bisexual, some polyamorous. I remember always saying to her in the early days of our friendship, “You are so evolved!”

I couldn’t understand how anyone could date more than one individual at a time, let alone be in more than one relationship. I have to share that relationships have always been challenging, hence most of mine being short. And being single almost feels more natural, but I do love sex so I find myself continually trying out longer-term arrangements.

I’m not sure if I’m “evolved” enough to ever go full-on poly, but I have explored and dipped my toes in various kinds of non-monogamy relationships, such as group sex and friends with benefits. The most recent style I’ve read about is relationship anarchy which has lots of appeal.

My friend is on the other end of the poly spectrum, now in a nine-year committed relationship with a married man, whose wife also has a partner. She refers to this group of four as a polycule and the arrangement as kitchen table polyamory. They don’t participate in any kind of group sex, but they will spend time as a group and occasionally travel together.

For our poly readers who meet non-poly people who you are interested in dating or want a relationship with, there are certain things that the poly curious want, and sometimes need to know, before becoming involved.

What to Share with Non-Polyamorous Dates

Your Definition of Polyamory

Sure, the word means loving “more than one,” but how you as an individual define poly can be quite different than the next poly man or woman. As poly explodes in popularity and becomes more mainstream than ever, different definitions and relationship arrangements are being named.

You may be non-monogamous, but not call yourself poly for all kinds of reasons. What your connection to polyamory and its community may be of interest to potential partners.

Your Poly Truth Today

Some people know that they are polyamorous quite early on in their lives, or at the very least that monogamy is not the path for them, that it feels restrictive and uncomfortable. But even those of you who have been around the poly block probably look back in wonder at your own growth within the evolution of polyamory itself.

Your poly identity may look extremely different than it did five, ten, twenty years ago. Honesty and ethical non-monogamy are more attractive to poly outsiders than something that isn’t clear.

Read: How to Practice Ethical Non-Monogamy

Your Experience with Non-Monogamy

Of course, someone you meet today will want to know where you are, but they will also be interested in how you got there.

Did you find yourself cheating time after time before realizing you were not cut out for monogamous relationships? Have you tried open relationships with a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy but that wasn’t open enough for you? Do you have a limit when it comes to partners? Are you into swinging or hotwifing? Sometimes it’s these more specific relationship arrangements that draw non-polys in.

Your Desires and Dreams

The heart wants what the heart wants is an expression that makes sense sometimes. You may use niche poly dating sites, attend poly meetups or poly community events to avoid the hassle of having to explain yourself and your lifestyle to someone who doesn’t understand. But it’s almost impossible to never find yourself attracted to someone who isn’t poly. And that’s when anything can happen.

When you share your desires and dreams, your values and goals, you might find that you’re falling for or in love with someone who has always identified as monogamous. It’s not to say they won’t explore poly and come on over, but maybe they don’t have to. One-sided polyamory is possible with the right two people.

Read: How to Make a Mono-Poly Relationship Work

What happens when you find yourself attracted to someone who isn’t poly? Please share!

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