I started practicing poly a few years ago with my husband, because it was important to him. I learned not only to accept it, but also to enjoy it. I've been involved in a loving but "secondary" relationship for about two years now, and separated from my husband for about 18 months. The two things are mostly unrelated to one another.
I have just started feeling capable of dating again, along with a genuine desire to be in a full-time partnership again at some point in the future. I hadn't really considered whether polyamory was important to me all the while I wasn't ready for new relationships. Last week, I bumped into someone I may really like, and we've arranged to have a date next weekend.
I'm experiencing quite a few conflicting feelings. I'm excited. I'm encouraged that I'm excited, because I haven't felt that way about a date in some time. I'm nervous, and all of the other things that come with possible NRE. I'm also sad, because I see a couple of ways things could go, and I don't care for the transition that could come with them, should I genuinely come to like this man, or some other in the future.
I could mention that I've been living a polyamorous lifestyle and would like to include him in it. I fear he'd run away. I fear he'd need more support than I can give. I fear he'd agree and I wouldn't be able to cope with it when he takes another lover.
I could mention that I've been living a polyamourous lifestyle and would be willing to return to monogamy for the right person. Eventually, someone would ask me to do so. And if I do agree, I'd have to break it off with my current lover. I have spoken about this with my current lover, and he would understand and continue to be my friend, but I think the transition would be very difficult for me. I'm awfully attached not just to him, but his girlfriend and her lover as well.
I could break it off with my current lover before anything gets serious with another, but this seems very backwards to me, and likely to many of you. But I'm not convinced that there's a big enough pond to find another poly-practicing man that would suit me out there to form a partnership with.
I think my main trouble lies in not really knowing what I want, or how to go about looking. I do know a few things, though. My current lover is not "enough", and because of other concerns, that relationship is extremely unlikely to develop into anything more "serious". (Which, by the way is not unexpected and doesn't hurt my feelings.) I am unlikely to be willing and able to be completely monogamous again. I will need the freedom to appreciate the beauty of others and flirt and cuddle with my friends at the very least.
In a sense, there is no going back to who I was before I encountered polyamoury. I don't regret opening my heart to the possibility of multiple loves, but I certainly do wonder about the practicality of it all a lot.