A friend recently asked me when had I realized that I was polyamorous. I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I’ve probably been poly my entire life. Even as a child I remember looking at my parents and thinking, is this what I want for myself?
Then, when their marriage dissolved as a result of infidelity, I was sure that monogamy was bullshit. I don’t think my parents’ misery made me polyamorous, but I think it made me think differently about relationships and possessiveness. In retrospect, there were other signs.
5 Signs You Might Be Poly
1. You Feel Restricted in Monogamous Relationships
By restricted I don’t mean that you wish your girlfriend would do that thing in bed that you want her to do, or that you lament the fact that you have to visit her parents for the holidays. I’m talking about a soul-crushing sense of suffocation and a longing for sexual and emotional freedom.
Before I realized that I was poly, I found myself in several ill-fated mono relationships, and while they weren’t all horrible all the time, I felt an ever-present tension in my heart between what was expected of me as a partner and what I wanted to explore with regards to other intimate ties. It wasn’t about not loving the person I was with, but rather a feeling that I was trapped, like a domesticated animal.
2. You Feel that Your Heart Can Hold more than One Love
A big part of being poly is the belief that love is abundant. If you suspect that adding new partners to the mix wouldn’t diminish the love you feel for your existing partner, you might very well be poly! I used to wonder why I had to reserve all my love for just one person when I had so much love to give.
Monogamy is based on the premise that there is only so much “true” love to go around, so you better save it all for your better half. But what if you have more to give than one half’s worth?
3. You Resent Being Made to Feel Guilty for Loving more than One Person
Every romantic movie ever made has taught us that being in love with two people at the same time is torture, that in the end we must choose. If you’re poly you might wonder why it has to be so dramatic. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if love could be shared freely?
Do you still love someone from your past and suffer longing and secret heartache all for the sake of maintaining the boundaries of your monogamous relationship? Do you resent this cross you’re expected to bear? If so, you might be poly.
4. Weddings Don’t Make Sense to You
Have you ever sat through a wedding and thought to yourself, why all this talk of obedience and ‘till death do us part? Shouldn’t people stay together of their own accord?
Marriage contracts were originally intended to secure property rights and wealth. It had nothing to do with love. If weddings and all their associated rituals make you scratch your head, you could be poly, or just anti-marriage, which is a different thing altogether.
5. You Have No Interest in Claiming Ownership of Your Partner’s Body
Monogamy is built on the notion of ownership, and cemented in place by possessiveness and a fear of jealousy. If you feel that sharing your partner is something you’d be open to or that your partner’s success in seeking out new sexual and emotional ties would make you happy rather than jealous, I would say it’s pretty clear that you’re someone of the non-monogamous variety.
Welcome to the polyverse!