There are countless reasons people choose polyamory, ranging from the feeling that poly is their orientation to situational life experiences introducing them to the lifestyle. Some reasons are better than others.
Reasons NOT to Be Poly
Your parents/best friends/ex-girlfriend/fave celebrity were terrible role models for monogamy.
Most poly people can list off a litany of monogamous infractions in the lives of their loved ones or most admired. So what? Polyamory doesn’t make people saints or immune from lying and cheating or hurting each other.
If monogamy is what you want but think no one achieves it, remember that people are human. Just as poly people aren’t cured of their weaknesses by making a one-on-one commitment, monogamous people aren’t cured by becoming poly.
Humans are flawed. It can be disillusioning to face that, but it can also give perspective and forgiveness for sex and relationship scars. Pursue your truth rather than turning your back on something someone else did wrong.
You are sick of jealousy—yours or someone else’s ruining relationships.
You can’t outrun jealousy, and you can’t get away from jealous people just by hooking up with people who are open to many.
It’s true that polyamorous people in general are interested in overcoming jealousy or living in harmony with their own jealousy rather than giving in to it, but if you’re expecting your poly partners not to be jealous by default, you will be sorely disappointed again.
Humans are jealous. We aren’t cured just by “letting” our partners sleep around or knowing they do, and we don’t cure our partners’ jealousy just by having more than one on the go.
The only way to win over jealousy is to recognize it, accept it, confront it, and work around it. We can use jealousy as a way of tuning into our fears, and we can decide to live with negative feelings without giving into them, but there is no swinger’s paradise with disco balls and magically non-jealous lovers!
Learn to manage your uncomfortable possessiveness or insecurity rather than hide from it, and acknowledge that other people have unreasonable emotions too. There’s no carte blanche in poly to just walk all over someone’s emotions and then blame their jealousy rather than your conduct.
Bad breaks and revenge.
I tried monogamy with a person I really loved for awhile, and I failed. I really hurt him and the breakup was hard on me. Instead of acknowledging that I had made a commitment and didn’t honor it, I lashed out at him for not “letting” me fulfill my “sexual needs.”
I thought he’d be sorry for not letting me have my cake and eat it too if he saw me back out in the polysphere getting it on from every which way. None of my hot hookups and new arrangements could help assuage the broken heart I was hiding, however, and Jorge saw me not as being wild and free and desirable but as being troubled—and trouble.
If polyamory is something you decide you use like a weapon to get back at someone or fuck the pain away, this robs polyamory of its beauty while damaging you even more than whoever you’re trying to hurt.
Heal first, and then experiment with or return to polyamory, but don’t use it to get over someone or to get even.