How to be Polyamorous in a Monogamous World

The challenges of being polyamorous in a world designed around monogamy are very real.

If you have even 1% of a non-monogamous spirit, you will wonder if you are doing the right thing if and when you think about becoming poly, and until you take the plunge and dive into the reality of having more than one partner, you will struggle with another challenge.

You will be lying to yourself every single night you lay down, and you will be wanting to be with more than one person, even though you feel like you have to settle down or follow the status quo and get married and have kids, or some other destiny that is not yours.

Read: Why People Choose Monogamy

I’ve been polyamorous for TWENTY years and even though I consciously chose one year to try monogamy again (because I wanted to leave the social circle of folks I was around and start a new chapter of relationship intimacy, not because I wanted to do what my mother told me), I have ALWAYS been happy with my choice to be polyamorous.

There is certainly an aspect of life that we ALL struggle with to some degree, and that is wondering if “the grass is greener on the other side.”

Polyamorous people might deal with the occasional bout of instability where they think, “Should I be monogamous just to have someone consistently in my life?” And monogamous people might think, “Should I become polyamorous and start living the sex life I have secretly always dreamed of?”

Read: Why Monogamy is Better than Polyamory (and Vice Versa)

Both polyamory and monogamy both have benefits and challenges. Whatever you truly, really, actually want—you have to make it happen for yourself.

Couples Privilege

It’s a real thing that the majority rule of humanity will weigh in on social situations and the thoughts and behaviors of others, and you might want to be a part of the “in crowd” at times.

There may be gatherings where it’s a bunch of married folks playing married games and having married folks conversations while you’re having a drink at the bar, looking for someone to chat with. But maybe next Friday, they’ll be home because they couldn’t find a babysitter, and you’re free to go out and dance at a spot with dozens of available chatters!

Couples have privileges from the government, the health system, and other parts of life, but just because you’re single or solo poly doesn’t mean you won’t find happiness or partnership. It just will come in waves, or look different.

Read: What Is Solo Polyamory and Is It for You?

Facing Judgment

Your friends may be into taxidermy, stamp collecting, capoeira, cosplay, karaoke, or something else that expresses their individuality. They should not face judgment for their activity if they’re not hurting anyone, and you shouldn’t either because of your lifestyle choices.

I have family members with traditional families including awesome children, and I’m the happy, childless, polyamorous, untraditional uncle to nieces and nephews who don’t judge me. So I don’t give a damn about adults who don’t understand poly, or sex work, or porn or pro-nudity or any other aspect of my identity.

I’m a lover, not a fighter… but I’ll fight for the things I love.

Don’t judge others for their monogamy, and then sleep well not giving a fuck what they think about your polyamory!

Read: Coming Out as Poly: Is It the Right Time?

How to Make Poly Life Easier

Start Slow and Don’t Be Greedy

When you begin your poly journey, it will be tempted to have your cake and eat it too, but don’t eat ALL the cake! Figure out your schedule alignment with your poly partner. Get used to your poly partner’s friends and lovers, and work on your internal security so that you neutralize jealousy before it manifests.

Read books on polyamory, listen to podcasts, watch polycentric movies and TV shows, visit polyamorous blogs that celebrate non-monogamy. It will help, trust me.

Polyamory will always have challenges and obstacles for you and your partners to overcome, but that’s some of the fun of being with multiple partners!

Read: Polyamory Is Hard: Truths About Polyamorous Living

Be Open and Honest

Without honesty, the rest of polyamory falls apart, and is a façade that will be shattered one day when you drop the mask you’re holding onto. Being open and honest is the way to live whether you’re having trouble or having fun.

Monogamous people aren’t as honest as they could be. In polyamory, with boundaries established and rules negotiated, you can hopefully say things like, “I want to fuck all my lovers this weekend!” or “I have a crush on the barista at Starbucks and want to give them oral sex while they’re on break!”

Being honest will prevent resentments from building, communication from being blocked, and sex from being ruined. Speak your truth frequently and be open to hearing others just as often.

Read: Honesty in Polyamorous Relationships: Why It’s So Important

Be Proud to Be Poly

Being out with your poly lifestyle requires maturity, confidence, and self-awareness which comes with time and experience. But as you survive and navigate the ups and downs of polyamory relationships, you will feel the benefits from being a courageous journeyer down the path of polyamory.

You will lose some, and then you will dust yourself off and try again, and then win some. You will see that this works better for you than monogamy if you’re meant to live this lifestyle. Be proud to be poly, be proud to live the life that feels most authentic to you, and be proud to be different!

Read: Advice on Coming Out as Poly

Find Your Tribe

You will gravitate to people who think like you, who are part of the polyamory curious crowd or the experienced poly community. There have always been outside-the-box thinkers in the world. Welcome to the party!

I have been blessed enough to have spent the last THREE DAYS sexing it up, first at a private sex party, second at another sex party for my sex-worker collective, and then at my local sex club for a birthday party… and I’m not even tired!

Read: Sex Clubs: What Happens and How to Find Them  

I have had rampant, wild, passionate threesomes, orgies, bi-sexual bliss, kissing strangers and best friends, and all kinds of wonderful lovemaking this week, and I have experienced it with my newest tribe. It’s a great time in my life, and yes, it has taken many many years to find my tribe, but it’s been worth the journey.

Keep looking, be friendly, chat online, attend poly events, go to sex clubs, join polyamorous dating sites, and above all keep an open mind and heart. You will find us. And we will celebrate!

That’s the start of things on this up and down poly roller coaster. Everything you do will help to normalize polyamory in our monogamous world that we live in.

Good luck taking your baby steps into polyamory… the water is wonderfully warm. Dive in!

Addi “Malcolm Lovejoy” Stewart

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