There are also multiple forms of Poly... I can definitely see a "Poly Family" situation looking very different than an "I live with my Primary and date my Secondary" situation from a Mono POV.
What are other "commitment" steps a Mono relationship goes through besides sexual exclusivity? (Or, what do I, as a Mono, see as the stages of commitment?)
- Introduction to Friends/Family
- Building a life/home together (in a Mono relationship, "Moving in")
- Marriage/Commitment ceremony
Going in reverse order cuz I'm weird that way:
You can't marry more than one person, so if you're married, it's going to be a hard sell to many folks that you're equally committed to the person you're not married to. And in reality, as committed as you might be, there are other privileges and legalities that apply to one that don't apply to the other, and this may sway opinion as well.
As for building a life/home together, if you're living together (again, the Poly Family situation), this is easy to see. If it's a part-time living arrangement (my partner lives with me half time and his OSO half time), it *can* look "less committed" to outsiders. Heck, that's one of my issues in my own Mono/Poly relationship - I see we're building a life together, but I can't emotionally grok how he can leave and do it elsewhere as well. Doesn't compute. I accept it as truth, but I just can't truly understand the why/how behind it.
Introductions to family/friends... it makes the relationship seem more "real" - more "formal" when it's acknowledged. Like they're important too. "This is my GF/BF, and I'm introducing them to the other important people in my life." Being closeted would make this extremely tough (not saying that's what's happenning here).
Just a few of the "commitment steps" that nobody really thinks about. There may be others, but those are the ones that popped into my head while avoiding tedious planning work.