Originally Posted by london
That's kind of how I've been, but I have been thinking about what would change this. As in, how long would we have this casual, cool relationship where they seemingly are fine with me being poly before I let those barriers down?
Part of "accepting" a casual relationship means that you don't have the intention of building it to something serious. It is what it is, and you value it for that, not for what you want it to become.
That said, things can also grow organically. But I don't think you can put a definite time limit on it. Rather than "how long?" I would be asking "what signs am I looking for?"
So the signs I would look for is that they were reading everything they can about polyamory, educating themselves on how to cope with jealousy and communication, asking questions, setting up a support network outside the relationship, getting their needs met despite not being in a monogamous relationship, etc. In other words, they would have to show me that they value our relationship and are willing to invest enough energy that they won't throw it away over greener pastures.
On the flip side, there's something to be said for loving and losing. People come into your lives for a reason, you learn what you need to from them, and then they leave. It doesn't have to be permanent to be valuable. Afterwards, overcoming the pain of their loss is an opportunity for growth. So putting up barriers for non-poly people isn't a hard and fast rule that I live by. It's more that I put up barriers for people whom I sense aren't really that serious. But I would rather love someone passionately for 6 months and then lose them, than kinda sorta like them for 10 years.