I always say that polyamory solves a range of relationship and sex problems. It’s more aligned with natural human bonding and attraction, and you don’t have to make artificial decisions about sex and love based on socially constructed constraints.
But that doesn’t mean there are never any downsides or problems to be resolved.
5 Polyamory Problems
1. Time Management
There are only so many hours in a day. It can be tricky to find time for one relationship, never mind juggling many. Trying to honor multiple commitments can be complicated. Invariably, one lover might get more attention than another, or maybe you’re the one feeling neglected because you aren’t getting the TLC you need from a certain someone.
On top of spending quality time with different partners, and enjoying sex and intimacy with various lovers, there are mundane issues like supporting partners through illness, driving extra sets of kids to dental appointments and soccer practice, holiday expectations from double or triple or more in-laws, and more.
It can be tough to keep up.
Ideally, polyamory is more about compersion. But just because our rules about possession and freedom are different, it doesn’t magically make toxic emotions disappear.
We work hard to overcome this negative trait that feels artificial and socially constructed by values we don’t agree with or adhere to. Still, it can be a part of our nature that we wrestle with in an ongoing drama, or arise in some situations by surprise. You can go years without feeling more than the initial twinge, and then one particular lover, bam, you are consumed day in and day out by jealousy.
Jealousy has its own origins and doesn’t abide by our rational rules—t makes up its own.
It can be tough to conquer public opinion or dominant social mores. Polyamory often involves strong alternative community ties, or absolute discretion with no one knowing your business.
Things can get difficult when someone at work finds out you have several lovers or a wife and boyfriend on the side. You can also face disdain from family members like parents who think you’re a player or want you to settle down.
4. Dating Issues
For the most part, polyamorous people seek out other poly people. You meet through friends or online dating, where you clearly mark your profile as poly seeking poly.
But there’s always the occasion where you meet someone on a bus or at a baseball game. She thinks you’re cute, and you have to break it to her on your first date or in messaging conversations beforehand that you’re not monogamous. And that’s why niche dating sites like PolyamoryDate.com are recommended for meeting other poly singles and couples.
5. Sexual Health Care
Safe sex in polyamory isn’t foolproof, but serial monogamy isn’t risk free either. Risk of sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, or human papilloma virus can be drastically reduced by using condoms, but not entirely. HPV in particular, with thousands of strains, is extremely common and difficult to outwit—most of us have or have had a HPV infection whether or not we were aware of it.
There are other health care implications as well. It can be hard to talk frankly with doctors or mental health counsellors about your sex life or relationships. And it can be difficult to communicate with teachers and doctors of kids or partners in your life, possibly impacting their care.
No one is free of problems in their relationships, and there are solutions or safeguards to help alleviate or manage every problem. Tell us how you overcome these or other polyamory problems!