Thanks for posting! You really sparked some serious thought for me today. Everyone who has responded has actually....
A question for you, though: could you be happy to be his primary partner if he were seeing others? Could you take him at his word if he said he loved you and another person? You can't change that you're monogamous; what you can do is trust him. Or not, if that's a hard limit for you. You don't have to say "Sure, go be poly". You can say "You said we were going to be monogamous together. If you want to be poly, you can do it without me". This is where boundaries come in. You two sit down and discuss what you each need, want, and would like. You find ways to accommodate both of your needs, and then the wants, and then the likes--and then you stick to it or renegotiate together.
That's sort of what I'm trying to figure out. Right now - no - I can't trust him enough to feel this would work. I don't think he's forthright enough - not that he's not honest, but if not directly asked, he will withhold info on any number of topics rather than in the interest of full transparency so nothing can be misunderstood or taken personally and it causes problems already and we haven't even ventured into the poly realm yet.
I truly don't know if I'm one of those hardcore mono people - I've never really believed in marriage and never particularly wanted it because I have no need to do anything like that for god or government and to me commitment is commitment. I like the idea of a commitment ceremony or something - just to declare committed love for one another - but only for that reason. I feel it strengthens commitment to declare it and make it a public thing.
I grew up in a really open hippy style way on the east coast by my single mom without the influence of a successful monogomous relationship to model after - in the middle of the village in NYC and have been exposed to all shapes, walks, arrangements, kinks and quirks since I was zero, so it feels like I am one of those people who doesn't have a preconceived notion of what it should really look like. I've felt that marriage can be incredibly stifling and sometimes people hide within it because their partner is "stuck". They let themselves go and get "comfortable" (which i see as half dead) and don't engage with the world the way they would if they were single or challenged by their partner(s) in someway. Again - not to offend anyone - this is not true of everyone - just in some cases.
So to that extent, I feel like a likely poly candidate but only under certain circumstances because also due to the way I grew up, the need for stability (emotional) and consistency is vital. Which doesn't seem unlikely in a poly relationship - maybe even MORE likely if the communication and honesty and trust is there as everyone says it should be.
I definitely have abandonment issues which I'm actively dealing with which would play heavily in a poly relationship unless it's approached with care. I think that's my major personality glitch in terms of not being a perfect candidate for poly. But i also don't think its limited to being a glitch only in relation to poly - it affects mono relationships too - which is why I am very much actively dealing with it.
So - sadly - I think though we've known each other for 10 years, been good friends for 6, and have now been dating for a year or so - because he's hidden things and not been completely honest, already has individuals he'd want to get involved with that i'm not friends with and i wouldn't be a part of their relationship, and is also weird about giving information i think would help me feel more comfortable in all of it and tells me it's none of my business - I feel like it might be doomed no matter how open minded I am. It would be totally ironic - and not really out of the realm of possible - if through all this exploration I decide poly actually IS for me and end up in a poly relationship with folks that doesn't include him.
A really sad thought because I truly do love him. I really wasn't sure I could love someone like this again after the breakup of my last relationship of many years (really heartbreaking), but I am deeply in love with him.