hey, so I’m in love with this guy he’s really amazing and sweet, but I’m also crushing on someone else? I don’t want to cheat or anything and I don’t want to leave him for the other guy, like I’d be so happy if we could all just be together and make each other happy but I know he’d get too jealous, what should I do?

First off, I feel obligated to mention that it’s not usually a good idea to make big actions and choices based on what you “know” another person would feel - it’s usually best to check in with them! You never know!

But if you’ve concluded based on all the evidence and all the conversation that this relationship is monogamous, that your partner is monogamous, that you don’t want to cheat or leave your current partner, you might be in a position very familiar to monogamous people: you like someone else; in a perfect magical wish-granting world you’d be able to be with both of them, but it’s not on the table.

We all want things we can’t have - I want a huge house near my friends that costs less in rent than a Netflix subscription; I also want a new president and a kitten, but none of those are going to happen for a variety of frustrating but very real reasons. Sometimes, you have feelings of desire bubble up that you can’t indulge, and part of growing up and having healthy relationships, polyamorous or monogamous, is learning how to set those desires aside and resist acting on them.

Many monogamous people feel desire for people they’re not with; that doesn’t always mean they can or should be polyamorous. It sounds like you’ve made a clear choice: you’d never cheat, and you don’t want to leave your current partner. If you feel that opening the relationship is off the table, then the natural consequences of those choices is that you have to set this desire aside somehow. Maybe that means seeing your crush less; maybe it means identifying what’s drawing you to the crush and using that awareness to re-invigorate something about your current relationship.

If, after working through these choices and their consequences, you realize that you really do want to be in a polyamorous relationship, then you’ll have to talk to your current partner and work that out. If he absolutely doesn’t want that, then you’ll have to decide whether to stay with him monogamously or leave to pursue polyamory.