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-   -   downsides to polyamory (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2506)

ladyjools 04-14-2010 07:23 PM

downsides to polyamory
What do you think they are, i think i often go on about how great it is, and it is great for me but everything has some bad points,

my issue mainly

Time, (not having enough of it) and how compliated it can get to manage it.


Ariakas 04-14-2010 09:04 PM

I have to say I am looking forward to this if it evolves. As a newb to poly I am interested to hear the downsides, right now I only see potential positives (excluding timing issues...)

LovingRadiance 04-14-2010 09:33 PM


Solving issues and the effort it requires:
By default-we all as people have issues we need to improve on, when we are single with no children we can pretty much focus on those as we see fit. When we add a partner we now have twice as many issues to deal with. When you add additional partners you have exponentially more because-for example in a couple you have a relationship but in a group of 3 you have 4 relationships and all of the relationship issues for each + all of the 3 individual people's issues.

The ability (and commonly abused one at that) for partners to blame each other for their own problems instead of actively dealing with their shit (if you are alone its harder to blame someone else for your kitchen being dirty for a simple example).

More need to use a calendar to keep it all straight.

Less alone time.

CCretarolo 04-15-2010 04:19 AM

Time management seems to be the big one. I only have 2 partners but there are some definite issues with making the time to see them.

In between me looking for work, going to school, volunteering, and making time for my good friends... it's tough to make sure I have enough face to face time with my partners. Then add in that my romantic partner is even busier then I am and is in 2 other relationships... And then my FWB is almost always working, with his kids, or with one of his other sweeties...

I get to see my romantic partner maybe twice a week at the VERY most. I get to see my FWB once a week but sometimes I go 2 weeks without seeing him.

booklady78 04-15-2010 05:05 AM

Yeah, the time issue can be difficult, although the benefits of having so much love in your life far outweighs that in my own experience.
The downside, for me anyway, is the way other people view my choice to be poly. Most have been supportive, or at least not openly judgmental. However, it's been heartbreaking to lose relationships with family over it. People can be so threatened by things that are 'different' that they aren't willing to even try to understand. That kind of intolerance is hurtful and very hard to come to terms with.

SchrodingersCat 04-15-2010 08:13 AM


Originally Posted by LovingRadiance (Post 26537)
When we add a partner we now have twice as many issues to deal with.

I would say adding a partner more than doubles the issues. You still have your own issues as an individual, plus their issues as an individual, plus your mutual issues as a couple.

Theorem: the number of issues for n people in a poly arrangement is multiplied by 2^n - 1

So for 3 people, you have 3 people's individuals (3x) + the couple-wise issues (3x) + the issues as a 3-some (1x) = 7x

4 people, you have 15x the issues as a single person. And so on.
(4x individual + 6x pairs + 4x triples + 1x quad = 15x)

Hey, maybe there's a joint-math/psych thesis in here... lol yeah ok, I think it's bedtime, brain's getting silly...

Besides time, I would say another disadvantage to poly is having to put up with criticism from mainstream people, and having to keep the arrangement secret in some cases, depending on work / legal / social situations... and the difficulty in finding people to date who are either poly or at least open to the idea.

ladyjools 04-15-2010 01:16 PM

I agree that other peoples attatudes is a downside. I try not to care what people think but there are times when someone has said something really hurtful,
iv been called a whore lots since coming out, and greedy and iv had people not respect my relationships and see them as casual when infact we are very commited to each other,

if you are open and out you get the downside of nasty attatudes
if you keep it to yourself then you have to live a secret life
that is def a downside.

so so far on the list i have

Other peoples issues
and extra issues in relationships because there are more people with more issues :)


Quath 04-15-2010 01:35 PM

I think most of them have been listed already, but here is my list:
1. Time and time management.
2. What society thinks of us.
3. Extra drama (each relationship adds extra complexity).
4. Having to contemplate your feelings more and work extra hard at communications (some people may see this as a positive though).
5. With more relationships, there will probably be more breakups you have to deal with. (Sort of goes with drama.)

LovingRadiance 04-15-2010 06:18 PM

Schroed-yes that was my point-but I don't "get" math well and while I KNOW that it's MORE then exactly 2 times-I couldn't come up with a way to describe it.


I know that II on here can and has somewhere done the whole mathematical schematic on this-and God knows it must be easier to retype what you've already figured out-than figure it out in the first place.

saudade 04-16-2010 02:50 AM

Issues we're hitting up against
Echoing the group: not having enough time is rough. Scheduling is rough. Jealousy is rough. :eek:

Here's a few "new" ones...

~ Twig and I are bumping against the question of whether or not we will ever "close" our relationship and become polyfidelitous rather than our current incarnation of poly (which is pretty open, doesn't even preclude swinging amongst friends if we talk about it). He feels frustrated that our constellation of loves and friends is so changeable, and that he can't ever just say "this is it, this is how things look" the way you would in a monogamous marriage. In contrast, I freak a bit at the thought of polyfi-- what if I met someone new? :confused:

~ Having to talk about every damn thing. 90% of the time, it's great. We're so up front and clear with each other, and I love it. Once in awhile, though, it feels like we're expliciting things to death (not a word, I know...).

~ Balancing between getting individuals' needs met and being 'fair'. One of my partners leans toward clingy, and one leans toward independent (it's like dating a dog and a cat), and it feels like ping-pong trying to live with them sometimes... :rolleyes:

~ Starting to feel like my circle of friends is getting pretty incestuous. Right now I love it, but I know if there's a breakup we could explode like a firecracker (and most of us are co-housing together!):eek:

How about you?

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