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Polyamory Isn't For Us – Right Now

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

When I first met my partner, the both of us were in relationships that could be defined as polyamorous; I was committed to a failing marriage with my husband, and he was dating and living with two other men. When we introduced ourselves for the first time, it was at a house party that my ex-husband had thrown for all of his pup friends. Neither of us felt like we were truly included at the party, but it was there we felt the spark that drew us that much closer together in the long run.

At the end of last year, by the time we were finally living together, we had both come to the realization that polyamory just wasn't for us at the time; we made the commitment to be exclusive with one another and build both ourselves and our relationship with one another.

To clarify, neither of us are turned off by the concept of polyamory — in truth, we were harmed by our own preconceptions of it, and learned that polyamory is far more complex and multifaceted than we initially believed it to be. It isn't for everybody, and following a polyamorous lifestyle or relationship requires extensive self-reflection and a long, serious talk with any and all of your partners before that decision ever gets made. Both my partner and I explored it for the wrong reasons, and we learned some pretty solid lessons from it.

My exploration into polyamory started when my ex-husband began talking about having other needs, such as his interest in BDSM. At the time, I was pretty vanilla with my tastes and, unfamiliar with the concepts behind BDSM, I allowed our relationship to become an open one; we permitted each other to have sexual partners outside of just ourselves.

Over time, however, I found myself lacking an interest in pursuing indulgent sex with other people, because I felt that it was more necessary for me to experience a close emotional and social bond with who I involved myself with. My ex-husband had also claimed a similar reason; further conversations about our own sexual identities eventually resulted in a discussion about polyamorous lifestyles. Having barely received any kind of positive attention from him, at the time, I figured this was the correct path to pursue if it meant saving our marriage; I had hoped to eliminate the threat of cheating from the equation altogether. It was the worst mistake I had ever made, and I came to realize it when I met my partner in April of last year. He was also new to the concept of polyamory, yet his reasons for pursuing the lifestyle didn't align with what he wanted from the relationships he had been trying to maintain.

All of this came to a head about last week, and when the both of us finally sat down and talked about our feelings with one another, we came to the conclusion that polyamory wasn't for us – at least, not right now. We needed to take a step back and learn more about each other, and ourselves, while putting focus on achieving the same kind of goals.

I suppose the point of this here is, for those of you thinking about entering a polyamorous relationship, please don't take it lightly. It's not a decision that you can make overnight. Don't be afraid to ask the questions that crop up in your mind, or talk to other polyamorous couples for their perspectives on the subject. Most importantly, talk with your partner/s.

It takes an enormous amount of compassion, empathy, and communication to make polyamory work for everyone – and the truth of it is, it's not for everyone. And that's okay.

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