Tips & Advice

Why Polyamory Doesn’t Work for You

Woman Breaks Up with Man

There are many reasons why I love polyamory and why I will be polyamorous for the foreseeable future. But I know that polyamory is what works FOR ME.

I know some people are just not built that way, not born that way, and not bred to be poly. Polyamory doesn’t work for them. This does nothing to make me respect them any less, especially if they aren’t lying to themselves or anyone else about it.

The most important thing in the world is being part of relationships that are healthy for you, with friends, lovers, and family. We all don’t have the same friends, lovers, and family, so just keep it real and do what your values tell you.

Poly people get so much attention here (which is cool, cause we are usually forgotten) but today, we’re going to discuss those who can’t do poly, and why.

Why Polyamory Isn’t Working for You

1. You Can’t Share Partners

Not everyone has the ability to be sexually connected to more than one person. Maybe you’re demisexual, maybe you’re semi-asexual. Maybe you’re in a place where you don’t want to bond with other human beings except just one. Maybe you’ve dreamed your whole life of just being with your high-school sweetheart, and nothing else matters.

There are a variety of reasons why people may not be ready, willing, or able to be in a relationship with more than one person. It could be emotional, it could be sexual, it could be spiritual. But not everyone is okay with being with more than one person. And that’s fine, as long as you are honest with the person you DO choose to be with.

2. You Can’t Be Honest

If you can’t do THIS, you can’t truly do healthy, happy, mature and meaningful poly, period. If you can’t be honest with your partners in polyamory, you’re just being a player, a cheater, a philanderer, a sneaky person. And there’s no sneaky hidden agendas in pure poly.

There are so many necessary Moments of Truth that come with real poly, and if you can’t or won’t show up with your actual self and actual situations in hand and mouth to share with your partner(s), then you aren’t being polyamorous, and there’s no way to justify the lies. Honesty might be the cornerstone of polyamory practice in life. Polyamory doesn’t work if you can’t be honest.

Read: Reasons Polyamory Might Not Be for You

3. You Can’t Control Jealousy

This is the mutated monster version of the first reason. If you can’t share partners or fathom the idea of your partner being with someone else without flying into a rage, yeah, polyamory probably isn’t for you. Jealousy is defined in one dictionary as “an unhappy or angry feeling caused by the belief that someone you love (such as your husband or wife) likes or is liked by someone else.”

If you can’t sleep well at night knowing that your partner might be out with someone else having fun, or that they will come home to you after having consensual fun, then you aren’t the poly type. The idea of NOT owning your partner has to be comfortable and acceptable for you or polyamory doesn’t work.

It’s not like jealousy can’t happen in polyamory, but if it’s the NORM and the basic scenario of a relationship, then it’s really not meant to be poly. Jealousy should be rare and/or controlled. If you can’t do that, then you probably shouldn’t try polyamory. Jealousy is polyamory kryptonite!

4. You Can’t Break Old Traditions

This one is the kicker for many. Maybe it’s just that you can’t imagine sharing partners when all you’ve ever seen and known in life is monogamy and matrimony, and that’s all you can imagine for yourself as well. Nobody says that’s wrong, it’s just not… always necessary. You don’t have to do what your parents did and grandparents did if you don’t want to. But if you want to carry on family tradition, you can do that too.

Anyone judging you or forcing you to do what your heart doesn’t want to do is ruining your life, both socially and sexually. Society isn’t really set up to support and share the desire to spread love in a poly way, so if you’re not compelled by any internal or external forces to try it out, then you probably won’t even attempt it… unless you cheat and lie, which is NOT polyamory! Just because you’re with two people at once doesn’t make it poly.

Read: You’re Not Polyamorous, You’re Just Non-Monogamous

You have to have an open discussion with everyone involved and make some connected choices to make it a true poly affair. But some people are very conservative in their sexuality while being liberal in their identity. So, if you’re not the type to be able to imagine a new world of intimacy and expression for yourself and you’re comfortable with the meat and potatoes of monogamy… then bon appétit to you!

If polyamory doesn’t work in your case, just do what feels right to you.

Sincerely,
Addi Stewart

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