Here's my big question of the day: is it a good idea for a poly couple to try to be monogamous for a while when they're just starting to date?
I've read in a few places that this is recommended (including from my bf in an old blog post, written before he met me). The idea is to get to know each other really well and build up a strong bond before introducing the potential stress of other relationships. When I started dating my bf (he'd been poly for years, I never had before) I was dismissive of the idea for several reasons:
1) One of the points of being poly, it seems to me, is not restricting the potential of different people that could come into our lives. If we had this "rule" in place about being monogamous for a while, then one of us met somebody really great, should we really have to dismiss that potential?
2) The pressure of monogamy, for a seriously poly-inclined person, isn't necessarily any less than the pressure of polyamory. Why should I inflict that on him?
3) Since I've never been in any kind of open relationship before, I wanted to make sure I was really and practically comfortable with it, not just theoretically comfortable. And I wanted to make sure of that before we got so emotionally invested in each other that walking away would be difficult.
4) He and his last gf (who broke up with him right around the time we met) were trying that "monogamous for a while to strengthen our relationship" thing. Clearly it didn't go so well for them.
So for the six months we've been dating, we've both been open to seeing other people. He's been in one short-lived relationship and one almost-relationship. From these, I feel pretty confident that poly is going to work for me (at least on his side; I haven't tried dating anyone else yet, nor do I particularly want to right now).
These relationships have generally brought us closer together rather than pushing us apart, but I'm also starting to feel the need for a little more focus on me. Particularly since his last near-miss relationship (with Athena, for those who have been following my other posts) took up a LOT of his energy and attention, and losing her has left him pretty depressed. I feel like he's been emotionally distracted from me for the better part of a month, and while I can deal with it for now, I don't know how I'll cope if he starts something with another girl within a couple of months.
So, short-term monogamy agreements: a good idea in some cases or not? A good idea in my case or not? I'm going to talk with him about my worries regardless, but I'd like to hear some input.