Keeping Secrets from Your Poly Partners


“You’re only as sick as your secrets” is a timelessly wise saying I heard on a TV show once, and I’ll never forget it. Those words are tattooed on reality!

And as best as I can behave around here, I do my utmost duty to not judge or preconceive any notions about the motions in anyone’s polyamorous ocean.

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I don’t know what brought you here, what’s keeping you here, or what might make you leave here… and that secret is your right to hold in your sacred heart, word to Scrubs.

I do my very best to not have any secrets from anyone, but I’ll be damned if one of my favorite Maroon 5 songs doesn’t exist as the soundtrack to the overarching truth that every innocent-spirited person must get slapped with in their sweet cheeks one fine day in puberty.

What song do I speak of? She’s called “Nothing Lasts Forever” and it’s a gem of a soul sparkler. And that’s the truth about so many things in this love life of yours and mine. For me, it was the hope to never have secrets from my lovers. But that was something that didn’t last forever, and one day I had to have the moment of education’s revelation, where I had to let one lover know the iron-clad boundaries of information that I was unwilling to violate.

She was essentially batting her eyelashes and shaking her tail feathers when she said, “Well, if I wanted to know this or that about her or him, you’d tell me, right? I’m special, right?” And I was like “You are special… yes… you are… but, would I tell you certain secret truths about some of my other poly lovers? NOPE!”

And she got pissed! But I can’t care. Those are my rules and regulations, and I’m pretty sure she either avoided reading them when she signed up for a relationship with me, or she pretended I was pretending too. Sorry, girl! I was not. I don’t love like the U.S. Government, and demand your iPhone secrets be turned over for my awareness and to make my case against you, or someone else.

I don’t like secrets, but I RESPECT secrets, and therefore I do my best to minimize the amount of secrets I have with others in my life, and how many secrets I have to keep from my lovers.

Polyamory may be a system of open relationships with pseudo-limitless boundaries, but I am not a person that practices poly-duplicity for the sake of keeping Sharon away from knowing you’re also laying down with Karen. Some couples have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” poly policy, some couples play separately sometimes and together other times, while some poly folks have limited boundaries and veto rules that define their dalliances. And there’s some shit I can’t even describe, because some new poly combo is keeping themselves a secret!

There is no way to write a definitive article on secrets, and I don’t want to judge or shame any poly couple who is in an open relationship while keeping secrets from others or certain partners in certain circumstances. I just want you to think about how many secrets you have in your current relationships, and how many secrets you have kept from others lovers… as well as what those hidden (or discovered!) secrets did to those past relationships.

Can you even talk about it, or is it another secret you are keeping?

Addi Stewart

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