5 Things Your New Poly Partner Might Be Hiding

If you get the feeling your new love interest is hiding something, you might be paranoid, or a control freak, or a jealous jerk. Or you might be right.

If you have a sneaking suspicion there is something she’s not telling you, here are five things it could be.

1. A sexually transmitted disease.

Some people care a lot, but are embarrassed and ashamed of STIs, and some don’t give a crap about you. Either way, they might not mention the fact that they have a sexually transmitted infection.

Here’s the thing: with such high rates of STDs, it’s best to just assume everyone has one.

Don’t blame someone for not telling you. Some folks have no idea because they don’t have symptoms. Some don’t want to say anything so soon. I’m all for full disclosure, but your health is ultimately your own responsibility, so insist on safe practices.

2. A mental illness diagnosis.

If your new love interest is acting kind of strange, or you can’t quite figure her out, you might want her to spill all. But if she’s struggling with a mental illness, she might hold back until she knows you better.

Depression, eating disorders, and addictions can range from mild to extreme. Lots of people are open about their emotional struggles, while others don’t want to talk about it on the first date. Let her set the pace for disclosure.

3. Uncertainty about polyamory.

If you can’t quite pin down her thoughts on poly, it’s possible she’s not clear where she stands.

Some people are new to polyamory, and just adjusting to their feelings and new experiences of relating and sex. Let her find her feet.

Others have no doubt about their polyamory at all, but still have questions and negative experiences to process.

If someone is wildly opposed to all things poly, it’s legitimate to question what they’re doing dating you. But all people have uncertainties about their choices. Monogamous married people question whether they want divorce, all the time. Childless people wonder if they should switch gears. Happily married women think about whether they should have been lesbians.

When you get closer, you’ll know more about her feelings. Until then, it’s not your business to police her certainties and doubts.

4. Her past.

Everyone has a past.

For some, the past isn’t really a secret—she was an administrative assistant, now she’s a small business owner. She was married, now she’s not. She lived in India, now she lives in Idaho.

For others, the past is dangerous, embarrassing, and upsetting.

Maybe she was in jail, had an addiction, or put twins up for adoption when she was a teenager. Maybe she was super religious, or worked as a dominatrix.

Her past might be relevant, or it might not be. The best way to tell is by looking around at her present. What is she like now?

5. Another partner.

Whether it’s about a long-time married partner or a new date, one thing we all tend to hide is who else we’re fucking.

That reality is one of the reasons people are poly—we don’t want to hide from our natural needs as humans to express ourselves in love and sex with more than one relationship.

Even so, poly people sometimes do hide relationships or sexual partners from other partners or potential lovers.

There are all kinds of reasons why they do so, even if it doesn’t make any sense. I like to think most poly people play by the rules they make, but not everyone does.

No need to be jealous or suspicious—does it matter? It might, but if it doesn’t, consider that her reasons for discretion may have nothing to do with you.

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