Those of you who have recently started down the path to poly bliss, I bet your hearts are full of promises—promises to communicate fully and honestly, and promises to choose partners who will enhance your lives and who want the same things.
You’ve probably taken so many new vows that monogamy seems simple in comparison. But what about those poly promises that seem healthy and beneficial on the surface but are actually unrealistic and potentially harmful?
Here are four polyamory promises that no partner should ever commit to.
4 Polyamory Promises to Avoid
“I won’t fall in love.”
Lots of people make this polyamory promise, especially when they’re just starting out on their journey into non-monogamy. “It will just be about sex. I’ll still love only you.”
I think this is an attempt to ease into things, to keep some familiar boundaries in place as they explore new ways. It sounds innocent enough, and maybe even like a smart idea, except for one thing:
Love doesn’t work like that. You can’t decide to close your heart to it because it’s inconvenient or because it doesn’t fit into your plans.
“I will always want the same level of transparency.”
Transparency might feel like a set it and forget it rule in poly relationships, but it isn’t. Comfort levels shift over time, rising and falling in accordance with an ever-changing constellation of emotions and experiences.
You might think you want to hear about your partners dalliances with others, until some detail is shared that makes your heart drop into your stomach. Or maybe the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy you put in place at the very beginning feels restrictive, and you want to share those spicy stories! Keep an open mind, always.
“I won’t get jealous.”
Oh, yes you will. Being poly does not make us immune to jealousy. If anything, it offers up a master class in how to handle it!
Lots of people, especially those who are entering the poly-verse straight out of a monogamous relationship, think of jealousy as a terrifying deal breaker, designed to kill their poly dreams. While some might find their occasionally jealous mindset too much to bear, others will simply feel it, express it, find ways to make it better, then move on.
If there’s one piece of advice I would give to poly newbies, it’s to never place conditions on your emotions.
Read: How to Conquer Jealousy
“I will never ask to change things up.”
Further to my above point, don’t make long-term polyamory promises that might one day require you to forsake your own needs, emotional or otherwise.
You might be perfectly happy in your current poly dynamic for years to come, or you might not. Maybe you’ll discover that polyamory isn’t for you, or that you want to embrace it in a new way, with fewer partners, or more.
No one knows what the future holds. Healthy polycules welcome discussions about changing needs. Honest communication is so important to poly happiness, so don’t censor yourself before you even begin!
What advice would you give from your own experiences with polyamory promises?