Originally Posted by YGirl
A lot of people go into relationships thinking they can "change" the other person. This happens quite a bit when it comes to having children - one partner wants them and the other partner doesn't, and each thinks the other will eventually change their mind.
One thing you can do is not to ask questions, but simply TELL the other person that this is the way you are and you do not see yourself changing. Do this at the beginning and have a conversation about it every now and then when you're both in a good mood. Keep up the conversations about poly and ask how the other partner feels about it at whatever stage of the relationship you are in... ask if they have met anyone else they find interesting, etc. Make this a regular thing so it's not like a heavy, "let's sit down and discuss our relationship" type of thing. And make sure you do this all the time, not ONLY when there is a problem or when one of you has met someone else.
I think the key to good communication is to communicate pro-actively and not to wait until there is a crisis. Get yourself used to communicating effectively when there is not an issue to resolve. Check in with each other and find out what's going on in each others' minds and lives.
Having said all that, you can only control what you do, not what others do. If you are with a partner who is delusional, they will tell you what you want to hear and still do whatever is on their agenda.
I am a new "convert" to poly... never even considered it until meeting my boyfriend six months ago. I attribute our continued success to pretty much taking the above approach: having continual conversations, making sure polyamory was always a fact of our relationship, not something I could conveniently forget about.
That said, he now has a potential girlfriend that he could be really serious about, for the first time in our relationship, and I'm having some struggles -- more than I'd expected. I'm not about to give up on polyamory or on him, but the thought has crossed my mind a couple of times this week... I've had to wonder if I'm really cut out for this. I'm pretty sure we'll get through it and I'll be glad to be in this relationship again, but I can imagine a lot of monogamous-until-they-met-a-poly-partner folks bailing at similar times.
The only promise I made to my boyfriend was that I would never ask him to be monogamous. If at any point I decide I want monogamy, I know that means breaking up with him. If you start dating other mono people, make it clear to them that that's the case for you as well. I wouldn't throw stones at people who start a relationship thinking they can be poly and then discover they're not happy with the reality of it -- it's hard to know how you'll feel about situations you've never been in. But both of you need to be aware of this possibility, proceed carefully, and do lots and lots of talking.