What is Solo Polyamory?
Solo polyamory is when someone has, or is open to having, more than one or many lovers, but chooses to live an independent lifestyle.
In other words, he or she or they may date various partners casually or longer term, but do not have primary partners, or live together, or share a commitment, or share finances. They may not have the desire for or choose to reject the kinds of milestones many polyamorous and monogamous lovers have.
Some solo polyamorists go as far as to say they are “married to themselves” or their commitment is to themselves first.
What do relationships look like in solo polyamory?
Solo polyamory means independence. While they may have one or many relationships, along with casual hookups, as well as periods of celibacy, all naturally dependent on time, interest, libido, and connection, they do not identify as part of a couple, throuple, polycule, poly pod, or any other relationship configuration.
Solo polyamory means a person may date casually or have several secondary partners, or a combination of these.
The relationships a solo polyamorist has may be casual, sexual, deep, intimate, meaningful, long-term, short-term, or any other variable.
A solo polyamorist’s primary allegiance is to themselves. The most important thing to a solo polyamorist is freedom and independence, not creating a life with someone or many.
Why choose solo polyamory?
There are many reasons why people choose solo polyamory.
Being single or independent—not being involved in a committed relationship shouldn’t mean being celibate, am I right? That’s the reason for many solo polyamorists. People may choose to be single without choosing to be celibate—two different things.
For others, relationships have been destructive or unsatisfying. Instead of choosing to keep looking for one that works, they choose not to.
Some people have grown used to independence and cherish it. They don’t want to give it up for anything.
For some people, it just evolved that way. A girlfriend of mine was dating a married (poly) man for many years and had partners on the side, but didn’t want to trade him in for a traditional relationship when growing closer to others. She made a conscious decision to date widely, but only people who didn’t expect her to give up her independence or other relationships. The original relationship was long lasting, but when the variables changed, she realized she preferred independent, open relationships.
Some people find themselves naturally independent, and enjoy their own company the most, even though they are sexual and social beings.
Many solo polyamorists value their own time over anything else, and want to choose to spend their time the way they see fit, not have social and romantic commitments that can infringe on that freedom.
Is solo polyamory right for you?
While we are not really wired for monogamy, most of us are wired for social and romantic intimacy and find relationships deeply fulfilling. Friendships and lovers are so important that psychologists and other health experts stress that family, sex, and friendship are essential and that isolation can be a health risk!
While we all define intimacy, friendship, and sexual fulfillment differently, and have diverse needs, most people do not choose to be single, celibate or otherwise. However, some do.
Are you likely to find solo polyamory the most fulfilling lifestyle choice?
Do you love living alone and feel energized, inspired, and comfortable spending time solo? If you prefer living alone and don’t feel lonely or wish you had company most of the time, you might not welcome live-in relationships the way other folks do.
If you have never had the desire to get married or live with someone and don’t dream about it, if you are truly happy by yourself, if you have a rich and vibrant work and recreational life, if you enjoy the occasional “sleepover” but can’t wait to be by yourself again, there may be no need to change your lifestyle.
How does solo polyamory differ from celibacy, incels, fuck buddies, or players?
Solo polyamory is part of the ethical non-monogamy umbrella. Choosing to live independently on one’s own terms is not the same as being single and “in between” love connections. It is not the same as being celibate, by choice or involuntarily, although solo polyamorists can be celibate at different times of their life like anyone else.
Solo polyamory is not about being single because you can’t find a date or can’t get laid. Though this happens to most of us at times along our journey, solo polyamory does not imply being undesirable—in fact, many solo polyamorists have many long-term fulfilling and meaningful relationships. They just happen to look different than other relationships, or from the expectations we may have of relationships.
Solo polyamory might look like someone who can’t “settle down” or like fuck buddies or even like serial monogamy or casual hookups. (It might also look like someone involved over a long time span with several lovers, but we’ve already covered that.)
A solo poly person may have a series of monogamous relationships because they aren’t dating anyone else, by chance or choice, at the time of the relationship. They might enjoy a series of casual hookups and affairs, and then a long period of celibacy. They might enjoy casual hookups while they are dating a long-term lover. However, we are not players, because we are not out to use and hurt and deceive and cheat.
Ethical non-monogamy implies honesty, good communication, and sensitivity to the feelings and needs of others.
So, are you a solo polyamorist?
If you are the kind of person who does not require validation from others AND you love spending time alone and living alone, solo polyamory may be right for you!
Would you describe yourself as a solo polyamorist? Please share your experience?