I think I’m poly, but my girlfriend doesn’t seem open to the idea and neither does the other girl I’m interested in; it might seem ridiculous that I’m even asking, but what do I do?

I think it’s important to remember that when it comes to practicing polyamory, what you’re working with is other people. You can be great at it - you can read all the books, do tons of soul searching, learn every positive communication strategy, and still not be able to get or do what you want, because there’s no way we can ever control another person’s feelings or choices, and we shouldn’t try to. It’s not like learning to draw, where you’re only limited by the time and effort you put in, and the tools you’re working with are inanimate objects you can totally control.

I get a lot of questions along these lines - I want to try polyamory, but the person I want to try it with isn’t on board. There’s no magical cure for this. Not everyone will be willing to do this with you. If you want to take up swing dancing, but your girlfriend hates dancing, you either drop the idea of learning swing dancing or you find a different partner to learn with. If it’s desperately important to you that you learn swing dancing with your girlfriend and no one else, you may find yourself in a situation where you can’t get everything you want. Those suck, but they’re a common reality when it comes to relationships.

Situations like this call for a choice. You can either decide that this relationship you’re in is more important, and commit to practicing monogamy with your girlfriend. Or, you can decide that investigating polyamory is what you need to do, and you graciously leave that relationship to start the self-work and later the dating it takes to find yourself in a healthy poly relationship. It’s a tough choice to make, and either way, you need to make a sacrifice. But whatever choice you make, commit with your whole self and don’t look back.