One of the wonderful things about polyamory is that there are many ways to practice it—it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
You can be into polyfidelity or relationship anarchy. You can have two partners or 200. But did you know that you can also be a solo poly person in the polyverse, free of romantic bonds and obligations?
I recently sat down with a friend of mine who lives the solo poly lifestyle to ask him some questions about what it’s like. It’s always interesting to know how other poly people live their lives.
Solo Poly Questions and Answers
Q: What exactly is solo polyamory?
A: I don’t know what the formal definition is, but for me it’s a way to structure my life so that labels and traditional relationship roles don’t apply.
I believe that love is abundant and that relationships can take many forms, but I don’t feel the need to join a polycule or engage in long-term romances. Solo polyamory for me means that I am my own primary partner.
Q: What are some advantages of your solo poly lifestyle?
A: First and foremost, I get to be my own biggest priority. I’m a people pleaser and tend to put my needs last in relationships. I was in a throuple some years ago that ended badly, partly because I always felt the need to bend to my partners’ wishes. Now, I keep things light and on my own terms. I also like that I can choose to have as many partners as I want, be they sexual or platonic.
Q: Are there any disadvantages?
A: I guess it can feel lonely sometimes, especially when I’m going through something, and need someone to be there for me longer than a night or two. That said, I’ve felt lonely in both monogamous and other polyamorous relationships, and I’m wise enough to know that nothing’s perfect. When it comes down to it, I’d rather be lonely but free to do my own thing.
Q: What’s the difference between solo poly and casual dating?
A: The biggest and maybe only difference is that solo polyamory adheres to poly principles, like abundance and transparency, while casual dating is more of a monogamy-based thing.
When I think casual dating, I think of someone who’s maybe not looking to commit, but still believes that dating is a gateway to relationship exclusivity. I don’t want to be exclusive, and I don’t feel the need to say that I’m “dating” anyone.
Q: Do you tell people that you’re a solo polyamorist?
A: I don’t like labels, so I don’t tell people that I’m anything, really. When I meet someone and we click, I might talk about polyamory and what it means to me, but I don’t plan my connections around preconceived expectations. I’m a private person, so I don’t tell random people anything about my life. (This is okay because it’s anonymous.) A few close friends know what I’m about but that’s it.
Do you identify as a solo poly person? Share your thoughts in the comments!