I often get questions from people who are monogamous and trying to handle their partner being or coming out as polyamorous.
If you really don’t want this:
If you’re in a situation where you are swallowing feelings of abandonment, shame, jealousy, loneliness, anger, betrayal, or something else while your partner dates other people, consider leaving or changing the terms of the relationship. You do not have to be, and should not be, in a relationship that makes you feel unhappy. There is a time and a place to compromise or sacrifice for someone you love, but never compromise or sacrifice your own mental health.
It is okay to tell your partner that you don’t want to be in a polyamorous relationship. If they are not willing to be in a monogamous relationship, then you two are at an impasse. It sucks, but relationships break up every day because partners realize that they are incompatible or simply want different things out of the relationship. That’s the point of dating - to learn what you want, what you don’t want, and how to find it!
If you’re unsure or uncomfortable, but willing to try it:
If you feel that you could be satisfied in a polyamorous relationship once a certain situation was resolved, or you are trying to work through a specific issue, concern, or fear that is holding you back from being happy, healthy, and fulfilled in a non-monogamous relationship, think about steps you can take to meet that need. That could be life coaching or therapy (individually or with your partner), taking concrete steps to get introduced to the poly world, setting a schedule of dates and check-ins with your partner, etc. Take the time to identify what you need to be okay with this change, then communicate that need to your partner.
If you feel ignored or pressured, or like your partner refuses to work with you after you identify your own needs, it may not be a healthy relationship to stay in. Remember that being poly is not an obligation you have to your partner. It is not a better way to be, or a more “enlightened” state you could definitely reach if you just listened to the right arguments and did enough self-work. It is okay to have a hard time, and it is okay to decide that polyamory isn’t right for you.
Previous questions on this topic:
- My boyfriend is poly, and I’m not - and his feelings for other people are destroying him
- I’m mono dating someone poly and not sure what to do
- I’m dating a man in an iffy marriage, and I only want to be with him
- I don’t want a poly relationship, and don’t like how my partner is handling this
- Dating polyamorously is the only way to be with him, but I only want to be with him
- I’m mono dating someone poly and I’ve done my best to be okay with it, but it still isn’t working for me
- My boyfriend is poly, I’m not, and it’s making me miserable
- I’m mono and my husband of 20 years just came out as poly
- I’m new to poly and need help communicating about how I feel when my partner texts his boyfriend all the time
- I’m mono and dating someone polyamorous is killing me
- My husband and I are taking early steps into polyamory, and I need help setting and communicating boundaries about how fast things are moving
- I’m in love with my friend, but dating him means dating someone else too, who I’m not into
- I’m dating someone as his secondary, but I only want to be with him
- Poly/Mono Relationships section at More Than Two
- Can Mono/Poly Relationships Work?
- A Mono Girl’s Guide To Dating Poly People
- Mono/Poly Relationship Blog
- 5 Things Mono People Should Know Before Dating Poly People
- How To Love A Polyamorist
- Mono Chooses Poly Blog
- You Don’t Have To Do It
- When Your Partner Wants Non-Monogamy And You Don’t
- Dr. Nerdlove column: My boyfriend is poly; I’m not
- Clopen Relationships: Advice From A Polyamorous Monogamist