Some hard earned advice for those considering polyamory
As someone who has recently had a mono-turned-poly relationship fall apart, I thought I'd give some advice to those people on, or just joining, the forum who are thinking about introducing polyamory to their existing relationship.
Don't lie to yourself
If there are already problems in the relationship, polyamory is either going to temporarily distract from them or make them worse, but it won't fix them. If you think it will, you're lying to yourself. If you think your relationship will be the exception to that, you're lying to yourself even more.
Don't lie to your partner
Tell your partner exactly what you're feeling and exactly what to expect. If you have different roles in mind for each partner, be honest. Lying by omission is still lying, and in this case one of the worst forms.
Don't use emotional blackmail
“I don't want to cheat on you, but I'm worried if I can't date other people I will” is not something you should ever say. By saying that you're attempting to force your partner to accept something they might not want for fear of losing you, and it will hurt the relationship and their ability to trust you.
Your partner's fears are legitimate
This is the one I cannot stress enough. Even if the fears seems outlandish and paranoid to you, they are legitimate because that is what your partner is going to be watching for as the signs that something is wrong. Your partner might never lose them fully, so you'll have to be prepared to do whatever you can to calm them, very likely for the duration of the relationship.
Always remember that this is something your partner didn't want
If you are introducing polyamory to an existing relationship, keep in mind that you're changing the relationship right in the middle of it, and drastically so. You're asking your partner to accept something huge that they will have to justify to friends and family, and potentially alienate or lose them over. Someone willing to do that for you clearly loves you very deeply and you should always try and show your appreciation for it Being the mono in a poly relationship is not easy, it's frequently very lonely and painful, and poly people need to show that they are thankful for their partner accepting that, even before a second relationship begins.
After you find your second relationship
Remember that NRE is like a drug, so treat it like one
In the glow of a new relationship, it will be all too easy not to see the problems that are cropping up with your older one. Your judgement will be clouded and off, so you need to keep in mind that you might not be thinking clearly and things might not be as rosy with your older relationship as you think they are. Find ways to give yourself the occasional reality check.
Give both relationships 110%
It will be all too easy and tempting to focus more on your new relationship, and you won't always know that you're doing it. You might not be able to give both relationships equal time and attention, but both partners need to feel loved and appreciated. Try your hardest to make that happen, and watch for even the most subtle clues that someone is feeling neglected. If you think they might be feeling that, they probably are.
Your partner bending over backwards to accommodate is a very bad sign
Your partner might show signs of feeling neglected by trying extra hard to make you happy, giving up on previously established rules and such to what you wanted. This might seems like a good sign, that they're opening up to the poly lifestyle, but more likely than not they're trying to make you happy in hopes of getting some of your attention. They might not even know that they're doing it, either.
Never give you partner cause to compare your relationships
If your partner notices you'll do things with one partner and not with them, this is a very bad sign. That could be a sign that one of your partners is becoming a secondary, and if that person is your older partner that will be a very painful experience, especially if they are mono. If both partners show an interest in some activity, take time to do it with both, and separately.
Don't push your mono partner to find another relationship
If you do this, someone, and possibly more than one person, it going to get hurt. That's just the way it is.
Don't cut off your partner
If all the sex you're having is with one partner, you're hurting the neglected partner very deeply and harming the relationship. This cannot be stressed enough.
Last edited by Ragabash; 03-03-2011 at 03:06 PM.