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-   -   What's the right thing to do? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=606)

idego 08-06-2009 01:11 PM

What's the right thing to do?
Hey folks! I'm so glad I found this forum when I did, I could do with some advice from you lovely people!

I've just started a new monogamous relationship with a wonderful guy. However I consider myself to be polyamorous.

I'm 20 and previously I've had two 18 month relationships. In both cases I found myself attracted to other people whilst still being madly in love with my boyfriend. In the first one, I unwittingly tried to form a polyamorous relationship before I'd even heard of polyamory. Both me and my boyfriend had feelings for other people so I suggested we both pursued the respective relationships. However, he preferred the idea of him playing the field while I stayed faithful. Mmm, glad I got out of that one. In the second one, my boyfriend was monogamous through and through, so while he was quite understanding about how I felt on an intellectual level, there's no way he'd have been able to go through with it in practice. Ultimately there were other factors leading to both break ups but my polyamorous streak certainly contributed.

So what am I doing now starting another monogamous relationship? I guess I'd convinced myself right at the beginning that maybe this time it will be different. Maybe my new partner will fulfil my every desire and monogamous bliss will finally be mine. But deep down I know this is probably not the case.

So now, the question I am pondering. What is the moral thing to do? I reeeally like this guy and would love to have one of these traditional relationships but I'm not convinced it's possible for me. Right now, there isn't even remotely anyone else on the horizon, and I'm still worrying about falling for someone else and feeling all of the terrible guilt and frustration again, and ultimately hurting this lovely guy. It's still very early in the relationship and we've barely discussed anything "deep" so talking about this might be a little too full on already. It also doesn't help that I'm still quite young and he is verrry inexperienced when it comes to relationships, so I suspect that even if he might be suited to polyamory, he wouldn't necessarily be aware of it yet.

But yes, any opinions/past experiences would be greatly appreciated!

Sophie x

Quath 08-06-2009 01:25 PM

I think you should tell him your feelings. If you deny something that feels to be part of your nature, you may build resentment or end up revealing your nature down the road. So I think it is better to let him know how you are feeling.

Maybe you could try a limited monogamy. Tell him you will try it for a year with him and see if he agrees. During that time, he may come to accept polyamory or you will find out you could be monogamous.

I think ethically, if you are having doubts, you need to let him know. Let him make an informed decision to be with you. I think that will help long term nomatter what you choose.

MonoVCPHG 08-06-2009 02:11 PM

This is almost a plea more than an opinion.

This is coming from my own thoughts as a monogamous person.

Tell him.

He may be open to the idea and he may decide to end what you have right now. I would suggest having him look at this forum to get an idea of polyamorous relationships and make sure you are clear on how you define your own poly nature.

Don't let him commit more of his heart to this without knowing your heart. It may cost you an intimate relationship but it may promote growth in it. Either way, being honest should leave you with a healthy friendship if this is not the path for him.

Take care

idego 08-06-2009 02:34 PM

Thank you both for your replies.

I think you are right, I really ought to tell him. I think it's all the more daunting in that by telling him, I am finally going to be admitting to myself that I am definitely poly. No more kidding myself that I could do monogamy and live the happily-ever-after fairy tale that I've had ingrained in me.

I think the chances are that he's going to want to break up, but I guess I'll have to wait and see. Maybe he'll surprise me.

River 08-06-2009 02:57 PM

As the others said, it would be best to tell him, of course, and early on. He has a right to know what he's getting into. But if you really like this guy a lot and really don't want to lose him over this, let him know that as well.

Also, if you really, really do like him a lot, you could promise him that you'd be exclusive with him for a given period of time -- a year, say. If he'd like that, or if it would help him to cope with your polyamrous inclinations.

Oftentimes councelors and relationship advisors say that people can transition happily into poly- down the road, after having established a good strong bond and worked out how to communicate well with one another, etc.--, but that trying to do it too early in a committed relationship can interfere with the building of trust and bonding. I suspect that this can be true for some people, and that it could be true of the guy you're seeing. Of course, when two already experienced or capable poly folk form a relationship, things are different and they may not have any inclination or need to wait, or may already have other partner/s.

Again, if you really like this guy and don't want to lose him over your polyamory, LET HIM KNOW THIS. He may take a while to comprehend the situation and decide if he can deal with it. Or he may already be up to speed; you never know.

MonoVCPHG 08-06-2009 02:59 PM

I'm as mono as they come and I would never want to leave Redpepper. My situation is different though. I knew what I was getting into essentially.

I 'm also not a big advocate of mono/poly relationships unless the depth of love is staggering.

I love your maturity and concern for him in this. Being brave enough to do something for the better even though you may lose something you value is a great strenght. Never forget that:)

Take care

River 08-06-2009 03:06 PM


I just noticed that you've contributed 430 posts to this forum since you started here with us. That's well over the number I've contributed, which I thought was quite a lot. So it's interesting that you identify as monogamous and yet find yourself so deeply involved with polyamory and the polyamory "community".

[Hoping not to distract long from the topic at hand with this tangent.]

idego 08-06-2009 03:16 PM

Thank you JRiverMartin and thank you once again MonoVCPHG.

I'll make sure to communicate just how much I don't want to lose him over this. I am definitely more than willing to be monogamous for say, a year, and see how things are then if he would feel OK with that.

On a side note, I'm so grateful to this forum, without it I would have still been thoroughly confused!

MonoVCPHG 08-06-2009 03:34 PM


Originally Posted by JRiverMartin (Post 4295)

I just noticed that you've contributed 430 posts to this forum since you started here with us. That's well over the number I've contributed, which I thought was quite a lot. So it's interesting that you identify as monogamous and yet find yourself so deeply involved with polyamory and the polyamory "community".

[Hoping not to distract long from the topic at hand with this tangent.]

What I truly find myself deeply involved with is the ridiculously immense love I have for Redpepper LOL! If it wasn't for her I know I would probably fade from the community and the forums. I would still be very active in her life and family but would probably drift back into my mono relationship and social world for the most part.

I have learned so much about people and myself since meeting her and this forum has been a healthy and safe way to share my experience and continue learning.

This is a great place to be and I fully intend to be around and in the community for a very, very long time:)

XYZ123 08-06-2009 06:27 PM

I have a 19 year old cousin who was talking to me about something similar the other day going on her life. I will give you the same advice I gave her, as it seemed to help.

First, you are still a very young woman. This isn't berating you or saying you don't have depth of emotions, as you obviously do seeing how much you care for this guy. However, you are young to limit your options so much by committing to one monogamous partner when you feel that you are truly a polyamorous person. But you need to be honest. Just as you wouldn't want or may come to resent your love life being limited by having one mono partner, you wouldn't want this partner whom you care for to resent you for dishonesty or the cheating that could occur down the road. Be clear in what it means to you though, as many people take it to mean "I want to have multiple sex partners" and nothing more. You may find that you don't meet anyone else you're interested in for months or years. You may even find that even though poly is in your nature, you are happily living monogamously with this man for a long time to come should the right other not come along. But he should know the possibilities.

I think you've gotten good advice from the other posters. Congratulations for not waiting until you're married, have a child, and end up cheating before coming to accept yourself and wishing to share with your love. :o Good luck. I hope it turns out well for everyone involved.

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