I left my boyfriend because he cheated on me. He's now twisting the story such that I'm the bad guy for being bigoted against poly people.

I walked in on my boyfriend with another woman and I then and there broke up with him for cheating, something I told him at the beginning of our relationship told him was a straight red card for me. I moved out of our shared apartment and have tried to cut off contact, at least for the time being to get past my hurt. He claims now that he is poly and I am being intolerant and that was wrong to break up with him because of it and especially to label it as infidelity. He’s even gotten some of our mutual friends on board with his defense, telling me if he’s poly what he did was not cheating and I need to get over it and apologize for calling him a cheater. I do try to be tolerant. I have no issues with people who want to be in polyamorous relationships, but I know they aren’t for me. Him being poly was never something he communicated to me in the 6 years we were together, I wouldn’t not have entered into a relationship with him if he had. Is what he did cheating? Or am I being ignorant?

Wow. The cojones on that guy. This nonsense would be funny if it wasn’t so maddening. I don’t want to make this about me instead of you, but fuck do people like this give polyamory a bad name and make me want to explode with baffled rage.

You are not ignorant. You did everything right. You knew your boundaries and stuck to them. He is 100% in the wrong. There is no grey area or wiggle room in the situation you described.

This guy is an absolute disaster. Of course what he did was cheating. Do not second guess yourself on this. Do not look back. Cut ties with all those “mutual friends.” Find new friends. All I want for you is joy and fun. Do everything that makes you happy. Be self indulgent. I’d send you on a cruise if I had the money.

I’m being so blunt here because I think, from your letter, that you know how absurd his argument is, and just wanted a sanity check because you’re being massively gaslit right now. If you want me to actually dive into why he’s wrong, why “tolerance” does not obligate you to accept horrible behavior from people, why this counts as cheating - send me a follow up.

I'm a writer looking for polyamorous people to consult

Hello there! Sorry to bother but I am a writer and some of my characters (not the main ones but still important) are a triad and I want to write them as respectfully as possible, so I was wondering if I could ask you some questions or if you knew of some blogs that would be okay with me asking them questions.

Here’s a good place to start - a post where I answer a nearly identical question. If you want to interview some people with specific questions, check the reblogs on the tumblr version, or the comments on the main site, to find volunteers. To readers: if you want to help this person out, let them know in reblogs or main site comments!

I'm part of a triad, but people only ever invite 2/3 of us to their weddings

This summer our girlfriend moved in with us. We were last minute invited to the wedding of a girl my husband and I have known for 20 years, and when I enquired about a third seat I was told no. My husband still attended while I refused to. But I eventually just put it down to the fact that she didn't have a lot of time to prepare, we were last minute additions as it was, even "she doesn't get it." I'm not usually bothered by people not understanding because almost everyone I know DOES. So my cousin got engaged and I reached out to him once we learned the wedding is across the country, eight months from now. I explained the situation and was floored when I got the response that they "weren't giving +1's", because she is not inherently less important than my husband. I held back a dozen sarcastic, petty responses - I won't clog up the ask with those - and I think I'll pin our refusal on financial reasons, but I still wish I had better coping skills for this, I guess.

I’m confused - if your cousin isn’t giving +1s, does that mean your husband isn’t invited either? Or that your husband and you were explicitly invited, and neither of you gets a +1, and the assumption is that even single people were asked not to bring anyone not explicitly invited?

The thing about weddings is that they tend to make people go bonkerspants. You don’t know if your cousin’s wife has an Aunt Margarine who will lose her mind if she sees a hint of anything Untraditional, and that they’re worn down and currently unable to pick that fight with her. You don’t know if their budget is super strained to the point that they really just can’t afford any guests besides the people they specifically invited.

I personally wouldn’t pick this fight, or take this too personally. People’s choices around their weddings are usually about them, and the whirlwind of family drama and expectations and nonsense that they’re caught up in, and very rarely a statement on anyone else’s lives. Polyamory is not very well understood by the general populace, and people who are emotionally and financially stretched thin don’t have the ability to parse through the deeply held identities and feelings behind every guest’s extra request.

Your cousin is very likely not intending to say that your girlfriend is “less important” than your husband - he’s trying to set personal and financial boundaries around his own wedding, and in such an emotionally charged situation, it’s easiest to hold to common, if arbitrary, standards around +1s and invitations. I understand that it’s really hurtful to get that message, but not all “messages received” are “messages sent,” so try to give your cousin the benefit of the doubt. It’s okay to decline the invitation, but it’s also okay to talk to your girlfriend about whether she’d be OK having a weekend to herself while you and your husband go catch up with family.

My boyfriend follows sexy instagram models, and I don't like it

My bf (22 m) & I (20 f) have been together for 8 months and we love each other, but he used follow sexy girls on ig private & public pages... I confronted him, and I told him it makes me uncomfortable! I ask him why he does it and he never says the answer only that he stopped following. He did this 3 times until I told him that I wanted space. We talked and we still together but my trust for him is not the same. Did I overreact?

There's a lot going on here. Your question is "did I overreact," and I'd say that's a tricky question to answer on a lot of levels.

Did you overreact to him following sexy girls on instagram? From my perspective, sort of. It's not like he's doing anything besides looking at them. Just about everyone likes looking at sexy people, and that doesn't usually threaten their current relationships. Unless he's comparing them to you, pressuring you to lose weight and contour your butt or whatever sexy instagram ladies are doing these days, it's not super impactful to you.

That said, that's my perspective. You said that it makes you uncomfortable, and you have the right to feel your feelings. You could try to rationalize yourself out of that discomfort, but you're not obligated to, and you might not be able to. You did the right thing by letting your boyfriend know it made you uncomfortable, and clearly outlining what you wanted him to do.

It sounds like he wasn't willing to do what you asked - which is his right! - but he did the wrong thing by promising to stop, then not stopping. If he isn't willing to stop, he should say "I hear that it makes you uncomfortable, but it's not something I'm willing to quit, so we need to talk about whether that's a dealbreaker for this relationship and move forward based on what we figure out."

Instead, it sounds like he kept following them, but told you he didn't. That's dishonesty, and it's going to feel like a betrayal even if it's about a behavior that, itself, isn't super consequential. I don't think it's "overreacting" to be upset when your partner conceals something from you.

But you've chosen to stay with someone who you know is willing to continue doing something you've asked him not to, and is going to lie about it. You say your trust in him is not the same - why are you still dating him? You don't deserve to be dating someone you can't trust; that's a painful place to be in and not a compromise you have to make. 

Ask yourself: 
1.) Am I willing to stay in a relationship with someone who follows sexy instagram models? If not, leave the relationship. If yes, then you need to figure out what your next steps will be to manage these feelings, and address the discomfort. You have to take active steps; don't just passively keep doing something that makes you uncomfortable.

2.) Am I willing to stay in a relationship with someone who lied to me? If not, leave the relationship. If yes, then you need to figure out how to start repairing that trust. Again, you need to actively commit to this choice, not just passively stay in a relationship with this background radiation.

There's also the issue of you wanting him to tell you "why" he follows them, and him being unable to. Maybe he can't articulate why ("I like looking at pretty ladies" might just be the whole story), or maybe he doesn't feel like talking to you about it would be emotionally safe. Think about how you come to the conversation and what you two can do to make it easier and safer to be honest with each other.

I've looked into polyamory, and I really don't think it's for me

i’ve been talking to a guy who is poly and it’s new to me i’ve done research about healthy poly relationships but i still feel like i would never be satisfied in that sort of arrangement. i know a lot of it stems from my own insecurities, jealousy, and traumas, but even past all of that i don’t think i could be happy knowing my partner has other relationships just as intimate as ours. i want to feel special to him like he’s special to me. am i ignorant for wanting to be monogamous?

Nope, you are not ignorant! If sounds like you've done your research and concluded that non-monogamy just would not be healthy for you. That's totally okay! It's important to know yourself, your needs, your limits, your boundaries, your desires - and then to act on that information! That’s actually the opposite of ignorance.

Not every relationship style suits every person. As long as you recognize that this is just how you are, and not how everyone is - that your perception of non-monogamy making things feel less "special" is just how you feel, and not a fact of the universe - you're fine. Don't let anyone make you feel pressured, ignorant, or less-than because of how you prefer to date.

Be honest with the guy you've been talking to, maybe take distance from that new friendship if you need to, and keep looking for someone who shares your monogamous preferences!

One of my metamours treats me, and our mutual partner, terribly

my partner and i are both poly, in non-hierarchal relationships (i have one other partner they have two, and even though we’re not primaries, we’re the more serious relationship) but i Hate one of their parters. he treats me really poorly when we’re all together and i don’t like how he treats them either, but i don’t know how to bring it up without upsetting them cause even though they’re aware of how poorly he treats them and me, they feel like it’s worth it to stay with him and idk what to do.

You can't control your partner's choices or thoughts - but you can control your own behavior. If someone treats you poorly, you can choose not to be around them. Tell your partner "I don't appreciate how Klavfin treats me and makes me feel, so I'm not going to be around him anymore." That's not you setting an ultimatum, or making a demand. You're not saying "stop seeing Klavfin," or "never invite Klavfin to a hangout" - you're just stating what boundaries you're going to hold. 

Your partner might feel frustrated by this, since it's difficult to accommodate around partners who don't like each other, but that's their response to choose. You're giving them information: that you don't want to be around this person. They can respond to that information however they choose.

People may accuse you of "starting drama," but that's not your problem. You get to decide how you want to be treated and who you want to spend time around. If that means you decline an invitation to a dinner, or make yourself scarce when he's around, that's fine! Don't try to get people to pick sides, or start a whisper campaign to oust this guy from your poly network - those usually backfire.

It's frustrating and painful to see your partner stay with someone who, from your perspective, is an ass. And there's a time and place to point out specific behaviors you have an issue with, and remind your partner that they don't deserve to be treated that way. But beyond that, remember that your partner is going to make their own choices, and all you can do is make the best calls for yourself.

I want to date another boy, but my boyfriend isn't okay with it

I entered this relationship monogamously and I fell deeply in love with him before realizing I was poly. we've talked extensively about this and usually it's always along the lines of staying monogamous unless I meet a girl (lmao straight boys) But the thing is im also in love with this other boy. I've been trying to find a way to bring up opening our relationship because i feel like this is borderline cheating but I know he won't go for it. Any advice?

If you "know" he won't go for it, then there's not much advice I can give you. If you're pretty confident that your partner wouldn't be okay with you dating another boy, then there are no magic words you can say, no perfect way to "bring it up" that will change his mind.

Stop worrying about how to influence his choices - the only thing you can control is you. You can act on the information you have. This guy has made it very clear that he wouldn't be okay in a relationship where you are seeing another boy. That doesn't sound like a reality you can change - only something you can respond to.

Do you want to stay with this person? Then it sounds like you'll need to let go of your plans to date this other boy. It is possible to want something and not get it, and in fact a lot of people in monogamous relationships have to actively choose not to act on certain desires. Do you want the freedom to date polyamorously? Then it sounds like you might need to leave your current relationship, because "convince the guy you're seeing to be okay with it" is, by your own admission, not something that will work out. 

(It is true that there are plenty of good arguments, explanations, etc. about why your boyfriend's perspective is perhaps not the most accurate or healthy. But I'm not going to harp on about "one penis policies" and the like, because if he's made it clear to you how he feels, your role now is to make your choices based on that information, not try to wheedle and cajole and argue him out of it.)

My daughter is in a polyamorous relationship, and I'm being a huge jerk about it

Please help - I don't know who to ask! My daughter (27) just told me she's seeing a married man (the same age), and he's "poly", and she's met his wife, who knows all about it and is okay with it! Clearly this man doesn't respect either of them, and I'm upset that she's settling for being someone's bit on the side - I want her to be someone's special person, their everything. I'm so ashamed of her and embarrassed that she thinks this is okay. I don't understand where I've gone so wrong in parenting her, that she's ended up with no moral compass and not understanding the meaning of marriage. But I love her and don't want to lose contact with her.

I've got no-one to talk to - I don't know anyone who lives like this, and I'm worried my friends would judge me and think I've failed as a mother. Obviously we'll never be able to invite this man to family events, and I hate having to lie to my parents, friends etc. I've looked online, but parents in my position just get shouted down, by people who say 'if your kid's happy, what's the problem?', and accuse them of being terrible people for not understanding this "lifestyle". But you look nice so I'm hoping you can give me some advice without just shouting at me!

I'm baffled as to how you think I'll be able to be "nice" and not "just shout" at you when you speak to me like this. You are being rude, judgmental, and cruel. You use very strong language - that you've "gone wrong" in parenting her, that you're "so ashamed of her," that she has "no moral compass." Do you understand that the person you're saying this to is polyamorous? Do you not care how you sound?

If anyone's parents should be ashamed and embarrassed about their child's upbringing and moral compass, it's yours. How do you think it's okay to say such nasty, hurtful things to someone - to me? To come tell me that my life is shameful, immoral, and a failure - and then ask me to do you a favor and to be nice to you? You went into other polyamorous communities and said this stuff, and you're surprised that people reacted negatively!? If you don't want to be shouted at, don't antagonize people.

It's amazing to me that you think this is about what is "moral" or "okay" when you're the one in this situation violating basic human decency. No one is shouting at you for simply being uncomfortable or confused. What we're responding to is you coming into our spaces and communities just to be hateful. Learn how to say "that's different" or "I don't understand" without saying "that's bad, wrong, shameful, and I shouldn't be expected to respond in any way besides vitriolic judgment."

Your daughter is not hurting anyone. She is in a healthy, happy, consensual relationship. You should be honored that she trusted you enough to share this part of her life with you. Instead, you are punishing her honesty and pretty much guaranteeing that your relationship with your daughter will become strained. If your daughter wrote to me and described this situation, I would advise her to take a huge step back from her relationship with you until you can be less hurtful.

You can disagree with something without being so extreme as to say that it's immoral and shameful. It doesn't sound like you've put any effort into trying to expand your understanding of love and marriage, you're just horrified that your daughter doesn't share yours. I have no idea what kind of "advice" you want from me, since the advice I'd give you - take a deep breath, realize she's not hurting anyone, try to understand - you've flat-out said you consider "shouting" and will refuse to consider.

What do you want from me? A pat on the back for being so "morally upstanding" that you're going to reject your daughter for simply doing something you wouldn't do yourself? Do you want me to tell you it's okay to be hateful and nasty to your daughter and the people she loves? Do you want me to grovel and plead and try to convince you that polyamorous people are not actually immoral subhumans, and do rhetorical acrobatics to prove to you that we're okay? I don't engage in arguments about my own humanity. And you shouldn't demand them.

You need to think long and hard about whether you feel so strongly about this that you're willing to torch your relationship with your daughter to the ground. Because you're the one doing the torching - she hasn't done anything to you, except invite you to understand and share her life. You can choose to respond with judgment, hate, hurt, selfishness, and ignorance. That's your choice. And the consequences of your choice are on you, not her.

If you're willing to try and see things from her perspective, check out the resources on my FAQ page and read about the reality of polyamory (and how it differs from your warped conception of what it means). It's okay to have questions, to admit that this is new for you, difficult to understand, etc. But dial it back on the hate - or be prepared for the people you're being hateful to to reject you and everything you're saying. (What else would you expect us to do?)

I've been hoping my girlfriend and I will 'graduate' up to monogamy

When I met my girlfriend she was "experimenting with non-monogamy" (her words) I held onto hope that the experiment would end someday. I started as one of her 3 partners, now I'm her boyfriend, and they aren't. We do more than have sex; we've met each other's friends and family. But she still sees them occasionally. They are poly as well, so I know that I am the only 1 truly committed to her. Going from partner to boyfriend is clearly progress in the right direction. Will I ever be enough?

No, no, nope. I am sorry, letter-writer, but you're going about this in a way that's wrong-headed and will ultimately cause you a lot of pain.

You went into the relationship from a place of denial, hoping that your partner wasn't serious when she told you something about herself. You latched onto the word "experiment" and told yourself that it would end. But that's not what she meant, it seems. Sometimes "experiment" means temporary - sometimes it means "checking out a hypothesis." If her hypothesis was "I'll be happy in a non-monogamous relationship," and the experiment showed her hypothesis to be true, then maybe the experimental phase is over, and she's now in "acting on the information gathered during the experiment - living my life as a person who knows she's into non-monogamy." Your first assumption was that the non-monogamy was a temporary phase, and this assumption was wrong - you're acting on an incorrect assumption, and that won't end well. 

You also have this idea that them being polyamorous means that they are not "truly committed to her," and that means that your feelings for her are somehow deeper or different. That is not true, it is not how polyamory works. Your second assumption is that these other relationships she has are lesser, less committed, less threatening, less real. That is also an incorrect assumption that you're working on. You're also assuming that you are "not enough" for your girlfriend, and are interpreting all of her choices through a lens of projected monogamy that is warping how you understand what's going on.

You also have a sense that your relationship is going in "a direction" toward monogamy, which is "the right" direction. That is also not how these things work. You do not grit your teeth through the 9 stages of non-monogamy, then present your stamp-card for Level 10, Monogamous Boyfriend. Your girlfriend probably doesn't see it this way - you two need to have a serious talk about this. Assuming that this is just a natural, inherent progression in your relationship is a dangerously incorrect assumption, and people will get hurt if you continue on this path. 

It sounds like this is not a healthy relationship for you to be in. It's build on assumptions, denial, and expectations that show no indication of being fulfilled. Your first step is to have a serious talk with your girlfriend about her perspective - and to really listen and understand what she's saying, not filter, interpret, argue, or push her into concessions. ("Could you maybe see yourself with just me, someday?" - If she says yes, she might be thinking, I guess I can't predict the future, there's always 'a chance' of whatever but you might be hearing more of a promise.) After that conversation happens, you'll have a better picture of whether this is a relationship you should stay in, or whether your hopes for the future are just not on the table. 

My friend says they're polyamorous, but is not doing it right

I’m gonna sound hateful or like an anti but please hear me out. My friend has vented to me before that they have issues with commitment and are scared of being in a relationship because it means they’re "trapped", now they’re apparently poly but I feel like they actually aren’t and are just making things worse for themself by dating a bunch of people and keeping it secret from all of them (so each partner thinks they’re the only one) What do I do

You could do nothing, because this isn't your circus or your monkeys. Your friend being wrong and making bad choices is not your problem or responsibility. Maybe they're polyamorous, maybe they're not; it's not your call to make, and being skeptical of someone else's self-stated identity is rarely a good look. 

The bigger issue is their behavior, which is decidedly not polyamorous, but is cheating. Seeing multiple partners who all think they're the only one is immoral and cruel. But, again, there is nothing you're obligated to "do" about this - you did not make this choice and you cannot do anything to change or mitigate it.

You could tell your friend that what they are doing is wrong, and try to convince them to stop. You could take a step back from this friendship, not because you disagree with what they say about themselves, but because their behavior makes you question whether you want to be friends with someone of that character. 

You could get more involved and tell their partners what is going on. Some people feel a moral imperative to tell victims of cheating about the situation. Some people feel strongly that it is not their place or business. Some people just have to decide on a case-by-case basis how much they want to get involved.

You have to figure out whether you want to take a huge step back from this whole mess, or get more deeply entwined by reaching out to the people your friend is cheating on. That would likely torpedo your friendship and establish you as an active participant, emotional baggage handler, mediator, etc. for all the people whose hurt you'll be bringing to the surface. That's your call.

Do you advocate polyadvocy?

Do you advocate polyadvocy?

I have genuinely no idea what that means. It returns zero Google results.

If you mean "polyamory advocacy" in the sense of fighting for laws and other policy changes regarding healthcare, finances, insurance, child custody, adoption, hospital visitation, employment, etc. that serve the needs of polyamorous people and families, absolutely.

If you mean evangelizing polyamory as a relationship style that everyone should adopt, or trying to convince or cajole people into polyamory, absolutely not. There's a time and a place for "hey, there's this thing, it might resonate with you, here's some info about it!" - people deserve access to information that might help them understand themselves and be intentional and healthy about their relationships - but that's where it should end. 

If you mean something else, then I can't answer your question, because I don't understand it.

I'm in a monogamous relationship, but there's someone else in my life I have strong feelings for

I'm in a committed relationship with someone and I know he has plans to marry me. There's another guy I've been friends with for a while and he split my last relationship up (not intentionally - I realized I had really strong feelings for him and we ended up having a little bit of a thing going on, which my ex found out about.) I still love him and always have the urge to kiss him. How do I tell my now partner. Am I poly?

I can't tell you whether you're poly; that's up to you to figure out! I have an FAQ page about that here.

Some people in monogamous relationships do have feelings/urges for other people, and consider it part of their commitment to their partner that they choose not to act on those feelings. Only you can decide for yourself whether having feelings for another person means you should try to change the terms of your existing relationship, or whether you need to take some space from that other person and accept that monogamy often requires work and sacrifice, just like polyamory.

Or, you can decide that these feelings are not something you can, or are willing to, ignore. In that case, it's worth bringing up with your partner. However, be prepared for the possibility that your partner is unwilling to be in a non-monogamous relationship with you. In that case, you'll need to decide how to act on that information from him. If it's a dealbreaker, you'll need to leave the relationship - it'll suck, but at least you learned about this incompatibility issue before you got married.

If you want to say "okay, now I know where you stand, I'm glad I checked," and continue with monogamy, be prepared for your partner to wrestle with some insecurity or jealousy, since this is being brought on by your strong feelings for someone that you've already shown a willingness to cheat with, or leave another partner for. This is a pretty fraught situation, and you'll need to really clarify for yourself whether this is about you realizing that you have the ability to love more than one person and want to be able to pursue that; or you realizing that you just really, really want to be with this one specific person.

It's entirely possible that your friend wouldn't want to be your second partner; or if you leave your current partner for him, that things wouldn't work out with him anyway. Try to maintain clear lines between "I want to try non-monogamy" and "I really want to date this particular guy" and know what you are, and are not, willing to sacrifice to pursue one or the other.

I was dumped by a polygroup a few months ago, and it still hurts

My polygroup dumped me - like they're all dating and I'm just out of the picture. It was at least a couple months ago and I don't even see them in person like at all anymore but I'm still hurting. I want to be over it, but for some reason I find myself still getting sad and angry when I see reminders of them.

Friend, this is entirely normal! Getting dumped by one person is miserable enough - getting dumped by an entire group is going to hurt like nobody's business. You have my deepest sympathies.

This is not really a problem with a solution besides "wait it out." You're already doing the right things by not seeing them in person and trying not to wallow in the sadness, but a few months is NOT much time to get over such a painful breakup!

Be patient and gentle with yourself. Give yourself grace and tenderness when you're sad and angry. Nothing is wrong with you for feeling this way. It's not that you're sad and angry "for some reason" - you're sad and angry because a really sad, maddening thing happened to you! It's okay, and you're okay.

Find distractions - whether it's rearranging your hamster's cage or getting back into playing The Sims or hitting a local concert or foraging for mushrooms. Reach out to friends who are not connected to that group of people. Indulge in some comforts. Consider talking to a therapist or an informal support/venting chat or forum. And know that you will get through this. 

Is my friend's proposal for an open relationship a good idea?

I have a friend and he is 23. He has not had much experience dating girls, but has had a serious relationship with a person whom is 32. Anyways he was caught cheating on her, they sort of broke up but are now they are looking into polyamory. Question is, he had asked her about it and she said to bring someone home to see if she is ok with it? He really thinks it would help them and she is long distance, while she only wants to be with him, even if this makes him depressed. Is this such a good idea?

1.) He was not "caught cheating on her," he cheated on her. Beware of using passive voice to let yourself or others off the hook for their own actions.

2.) It is never okay to "bring someone home to see" if polyamory works out. That person is another human being, with feelings and experiences. They are not an experiment. It is cruel to use them to test out your relationship. Dragging a third person into this is not appropriate. If there's a hill you choose to die on when talking to your friend, it should be this one.

3.) If "she only wants to be with him," then they shouldn't be polyamorous. If the terms of the relationship make him depressed, he shouldn't be in this relationship. Polyamory does not help solve problems with existing relationships and will not fix the issues with cheating, long-distance, or depression. 

This is not a good idea, but:

4.) None of this matters, because you're not the one making the call. Your friend is going to make his own choices, and it's very rare that someone listens to their friends when they tell them a certain relationship is a bad idea. You can advise and support your friend, but you can't control how and who he dates. Writing to a third-party advice columnist about a choice someone else is making will accomplish nothing but making you feel righteously frustrated. Try to disinvest yourself from this situation, don't take it personally when he ignores your advice, and get out of the drama splash zone.

What's an alternative phrase for "don't ask, don't tell"?

I have in the past communicated to my partners that i don't navigate polyamory that is "don't ask, don't tell." it's a useful phrase that gives everyone a baseline for understanding. however i personally think it's a despicable phrase and want to stop using it. is there another succinct way to describe polyam where partners don't openly share information?

I've never heard one - DADT seems to be the primary way people describe this type of arrangement - but here are some I just made up:

Omission Without Lies (OWL) - essentially this acknowledges that it's okay, or even desired, to omit details about other relationships, and that "lies of omission" are not considered lies. But active lies are not okay. So I might say "I can't hang out Saturday, I have plans" instead of "I have a date" - but if you ask me explicitly what I'm doing on Saturday, I won't say "meeting my Nana for bridge."

Need To Know Basis (NTKB) - acknowledges that there are some things that your partners just might need to know, like that you're busy Saturday, or that you're too sore for kinky sex this weekend after a scene with someone else. But nothing is shared without a need or reason to be shared.

Firewall Polyamory - refers to a "firewall" between all your relationships, where they don't affect or influence or have anything to do with each other. 

I'm in a triad and no longer want to date one of the people, but want to stay with the other one

I'm in a triad with a male Dom and female Dom, with me being the sub. They were a couple first. I tend to value independence in my Dominants, but the male Dom is almost 30 and still expects his mom to do his laundry, drive him, shopping, provide housing, cook, etc. There's no disability related reason preventing him from caring for himself, he simply chose to prioritize other things over his independence. He's finally moving out (not by choice) and ranted at both of us about how his mom packed for him as well as other things she "did wrong". This ranting is a pattern and usually sounds entitled and misogynistic.

Both of us got sick of it and separately told him he should stop expecting her to do things. He withheld emotional love from the other female and twisted what I said; as well as denied saying things I have proof in text he said previously. Honestly, after all this, I lost the spark I had for him completely; I don't find him attractive and worry he's being emotionally abusive in private to the other woman. I still care about the woman and am completely lost what to do. Address my concerns he's emotionally abusive with her privately? Break up with both of them? Propose staying with her and cutting him out? 

It sounds like you should end this relationship with him, period. You don't want to, and should not, continue dating him. It's up to your other partner whether she wants to continue dating you outside of the triad. You can ask her how she feels about that, and see what her concerns and hopes are.

You should not try and convince or cajole her into breaking up with him. Never give an ultimatum like "break up with him, or I'll break up with you." You can explain your concerns, give examples of his behavior that you find troubling, and be clear about why you no longer want to be in a relationship that includes him. She can then make her own choices. 

Obviously, the triad is over, but if you continue dating her, you'll need to be clear with her and with yourself about how comfortable you are with having him as a metamour (partner-of-partner) and how involved you're willing to be in any sex, conversations, hangouts, etc. where he's around. You may also need to draw clear boundaries around discussing him with her, especially in terms of his rants, drama, and manipulative behavior. 

It may simply not be possible to make a new relationship work with her, and that's frustrating and disappointing, but it happens. It is absolutely not worth continuing to put up with this guy just to stay with this woman, especially if staying with her means you continue to be emotionally or sexually wrapped up in his nonsense.

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My partner isn't affectionate to me when his other partner is around

I’ve been dating this guy casually for a year or so, and he has a partner that he’s been with for almost 10 years. They’re a wonderful couple and we speak openly about our relationships together, but when she’s around he doesn’t flirt with me at all. I know I’m not the main girl, but it sucks being treated differently just in front of her. Do I ask for more attention or should I just look for attention else where? How do I not offend anyone and address this in a formal manner?

Healthy polyamory, and healthy relationships of all types, are about communication! This is totally something that's valid to bring up. Be specific and focus on what's observable. "Hey, whenever we're around Esmeretta, you never call me 'babe'/kiss me/hold my hand/etc. and that's starting to bother me. Is that something specific you two have negotiated, or is this something we can talk about and work on?"

It's possible that he's doing it subconsciously or just assuming that it would be more comfortable for everyone if he acted in this way. A little more intentionality and awareness is never a bad thing! 

Don't just assume that because you've been dating him for less time that you're "not the main girl." Polyamorous relationships don't need to be ranked - you can both be on a 'level' where you have his flirty and affectionate attention. Don't relegate yourself to a place where you don't get to ask for what you want because you think that's how things are set up. 

If he comes right out and tells you that it's intentional - that he, or she, or both of them are uncomfortable with him being flirty while she's around - then you have to decide whether you want to be in an arrangement where, after dating someone for a year, you still don't get the type of attention you want because of another person's preferences. 

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A documentary said all polygamy is abusive, but isn't most polyamory healthy and consensual?

Hello my grandmother is watching this show called "Escaping Polygamy" with me now about a giant polygamist cult that has camps all over the us and it absolutely horrible what is happening to these women. Abuse, rape, incest, marriage to minors, etc. This show makes it seem that all of polygamy is abusive which is not true at all most relationships are understanding, healthy, and consensual. How do I explain this when I don't fully understand myself?

Polygamy as practiced by these dangerous cults is NOT the same as polyamory as practiced by consenting adults. I discuss the differences here. A lot of people find it easier to see the difference in things when there are different words for them. "Polygamy" is not the same as "polyamory," so you can start there. Polygamy carries connotations of cults, forced marriage, abuse, misogyny, etc. and polyamorous people do not use that word.

What you and your grandma saw in that show is real, and it's horrible. It is the truth of polygamous cults. Child marriage, patriarchal oppression of women, and sexual abuse are wrong in every way, and we should advocate against them. The show is correct that "all of polygamy is abusive" if we give over the term "polygamy" to those oppressive cults, which we've generally decided to do. Polyamorous people do not believe the same things, do the same things, or defend any of what the polygamous cults do. 

Polyamory means "many loves," and it involves freely consenting adults living in love, joy, community, and freedom. It has nothing to do with religious or cult-based polygamy, and is in many ways the polar opposite! 

It's sort of like saying "violence against your partner is always abuse and never okay" and also saying "consensual impact play in BDSM is healthy and fine." Both statements are true; they don't overlap, one does not need to yield or make excuses for the other. They are two completely different things, and it's important to be able to recognize the differences. We can honor the pain and reality of the victims of polygamous cults, and honor the freedom and health of consenting polyamorous adults, without having to hedge, make excuses, or compromise.

I'd encourage you to read through some of the introductory resources on my FAQ page, so you can have more examples, terms, and arguments for healthy polyamory next time it comes up. But don't feel like you have to equivocate or defend the disgusting practices of polygamous cults; it's not relevant in this case. 

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I don't want to be polyamorous, and my partner is guilting me about it

My partner is making me feel bad that I’d like to stay monogamous with them and have our romantic relationship be that one. They talk about having to use daydreaming to cope and read fanfiction as well and will do it with me there when I want to try and do stuff with them like hanging out and relaxing together. It just makes me uncomfortable that they have to do it to cope as they put it and we have discussions but it more and more seems to be a “you have to accept this” situation.

If someone asks you for something, and then won't take "no" for an answer, they weren't really asking in the first place.

It's one thing for a partner to ask for a compromise, like that you be okay with them indulging in polyamorous fantasies and fanfiction. But spacing out, ignoring you, or getting lost in any media while they're hanging out with you isn't cool. Ask them if they could put the phone down or try to be more present to you during your time. If they can't or won't, then that's information you have about what being in a relationship with them is like.

I've said before that I really dislike the phrase "cope with" as it relates to a partner's needs or behaviors. If your partner is treating you like something they have to find ways to "cope with," that's an unfair and unhealthy framing. Performing how miserable they are in the terms of your relationship is manipulative, and no one should be guilt-tripped into polyamory. I'm of the opinion that living in resentment is never good, and if you make a decision, you should make it wholeheartedly, and commit.

One of my partners is terribly allergic to cats, so I can't get a cat. If I did, he wouldn't be able to come over to my house, ever, or even cuddle with me without me showering and changing first. This bums me out, because I like cats - but I've decided that it's worth it to stay with him. So I live with that decision, and don't wallow in the "what-if"s. I don't show him photos of cute kittens and say "see, that's what I could have if it wasn't for your issues." I don't bemoan my cat-less life. If having a cat was that important to me, I could leave the relationship. I decided not to - that was my decision, and I need to own and live in that decision. I can be privately bummed out that the stars didn't align for me to have this relationship AND a kitty, but I made my choice, and it's best to move on and live in the world that exists. 

So, you're within your rights to ask your partner to drop this issue, to stop guilting you and making it seem like your relationship is this terrible psychic burden they must cope with. If they can't or won't, you should probably leave the relationship. It's not fair to either of you to stay in this situation, and you don't deserve to feel like a problem to be dealt with.

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My boyfriend wants me to be comfortable trying polyamory, but I am not

My boyfriend wants to have a poly relationship and I've expressed how uncomfortable it would make me. He says he wants me to be comfortable and trusting enough to do it. I'm afraid that if we end up trying it, that I won't like it and he'll continue and I'll be uncomfortable.

When you say that he wants you to be comfortable enough to do it, I'm not sure if you mean he's said "I want to do this, but only if you're comfortable with it" or "I want you to become comfortable with this."

The first one is fine; he's told you what he wants, but seems to understand that you don't want that. If you're not able or willing to try polyamory, that's totally your right. He can decide to stay in a mono relationship with you, or decide he has to leave the relationship because being able to pursue polyamory is a dealbreaker for him.

The second one is less fine. You don't get to just ask someone to have a feeling; we don't have little knobs inside our brain we can fiddle with and get ourselves to the settings that someone wants us to have. If he is trying to pressure or guilt you into "being comfortable" with something you simply aren't comfortable with, that's not okay. Tell him to drop the issue, and if he won't, leave him.

Your last sentence also concerns me. You're dating someone who, somehow, through his actions or words, has made you worry that he'd continue doing something even if you're uncomfortable with it. It has nothing to do with polyamory - if my boyfriend invited me to try rock climbing with him, but I was worried that if I tried it and didn't like it, he'd continue to pressure me into doing it, not accept my expression that I didn't want to anymore, and try to hold me permanently to my initial willingness to try it out, that would be a major red flag that he just isn't healthy to date.

It's completely fine to try something in good faith, then realize, based on what you learned while trying it, that you don't like it. If someone won't accept that, or bulldozes over your feelings, they are not someone you should be dating. Do not be with someone who makes you worry that they won't listen to or respect how you feel.