I have a somewhat new relationship (a few months) and we just “officially” became boyfriends. We’re both poly and don’t have primary partners. It’s very open. However, we were just talking about jealously and insecurity and it came up that I feel, at times, unmanageably jealous, insecure, and sad about my bf’s other partners (potential or current) when I’m going through a bout of depression. I’m going through one now. Should I suggest a more closed relationship until I get back on my feet?
Here’s the thing about any relationship practice: it’s never in a vacuum. It intersects with everything else in your life, including your family background, your career, and your mental health needs. There are as many ways to be poly as there are poly people, and that’s partly because each one of us has unique needs and perspectives to take into account.
Part of a healthy poly practice is knowing your own needs, and another part is reaching out to get those needs met in a healthy way. It sounds like you have a solid sense of self-awareness about your needs, which is awesome. If you haven’t already, talk these over with the new boyfriend. Explain that this is something you know about yourself, and do your best to help him understand.
The next step is figuring out how to get those needs met. You asked whether you should close the relationship until this bout passes, which sounds like a good idea especially considering the newness of this relationship - but if this is something that happens to you with some amount of frequency, it’s worth developing a long term plan. If he starts seeing someone else while you’re in an on-your-feet period, but then you enter a bout of depression, would you want him to put a pause on that relationship? If that doesn’t sound fair or realistic to you two, you need to work on a more consistent practice to keep things healthy and fulfilling for you as the whole person that you are, which includes your experience of depression.
Also, if you can, consider talking to a poly-friendly therapist - not just about poly practices but about managing the depression in general.