Originally Posted by OldGuy
I like that perspective.
Let me tell you about a (real life) couple that I know of. They've been married for just under 40 years now. One aspect of their relationship is that they are free to have sexual/romantic relationships with other people as long as they are completely honest and open about it with each other.
Now, in the 44 or so years that they have known each other, neither of them have had sex with other people, or had poly relationships with other people (admittedly, they could've been lying to me. I don't know why they would though).
So, what does this mean?
Are they naturally poly, but have never met anyone that they have had a serious interest in? Are they naturally poly, but don't want to deal with the complications that come with acting out their desires? Are they naturally poly, but have no interest in acting out on their desires due to (ingrained) learned behaviour? Or (this is what I think) are they pathologically incabable of anything but monogamy? These are all rhetoricals btw.
The problem for us here as commentators, is that all we know about them is that they've got a non-monogamous arrangement. We don't know whether they were looking or not, and we don't know how much they wanted it or not. As an example, I'm with someone at the moment, we've both had other short-term relationships, but at the moment, neither of us is seeing anyone else. That doesn't make us monogamous though, no more than being single makes you celibate.
The fact is poly works in different ways for all sorts of people, because it's literally every relationship system that's NOT monogamy, if they've not promised to be sexually and romantically exclusive then they're not monogamous.