A lot of people get judgemental and a bit pompous when I say that I’m in a polyamorous relationship. They’re in monogamous relationships, and the idea of sharing their partner, or allowing themselves to be shared frightens them. The idea that monogamy is somehow better is false, though. Maybe it’s true if your best friend is the Bible, but even in the Bible people were hooking up with multiple lovers all the time.
A lot of people in monogamous relationships are miserable. Divorce rates are very high, and there is cheating across the map. Many people used to have rich sexual lives, and now their partner looks at them like they’re perverts when they even mention sex. There are many reasons why allowing an imbalance in desire to be corrected by an extra lover makes sense. The point is getting past the fear of losing your partner. This fear is actually a problem with your own self-confidence.
Polyamorous relationships are not utopia, though. They still break up, and people still cheat, and hearts still get broken. Every human relationship is like that, no matter how you build it.
Now wait a second, I hear you saying. How do you cheat in a poly relationship? How do you cheat when you’re already sleeping around with other people? The point in an open relationship (aka a polyamorous relationship) is to have conversations with your partner about everything. If you have desires, or feelings, or interest in going to bed with someone else… even if you just have fantasies about someone else, talk it over with your partner.
Honesty is the key. If the other person knows where you’re at, and knows you still love them, they’ll feel more secure. The first time can be hard, but the payoff is that a little outside help can make sex way hotter back at home. It’s only cheating when you lie about what you’re doing, or you do things in secret. This is disrespectful, and can ruin a good thing. If your partner isn’t 100% comfortable with you doing what you’re doing, then you need to decide if you’re going to respect them or if you’re going to look for something new. People staying together when they have unequal desires is a pathway to deep unhappiness.
At the same time, polyamory is not for everybody. There are many many couples who are just into each other, and that’s all they want and need. I wish them the best. Everybody should have the love and the lust they desire, without being judged. Life is too short… so you worry about your happiness, and I’ll worry about mine!