I’m in a pickle. My bf and I decided we were both poly months ago and have been exploring other relationships. This week he has decided it was a mistake and has asked for us to close our relationship. He’s asking me to give up the relationship I’ve started with another man who I think I’m in love with. I don’t want to lose either but it seems I have no choice because he’s giving me ultimatums.
My very first poly partner gave me this advice: If someone is forcing you to choose between them and someone else, always go with the person who’s not asking you to choose. Kimchi Cuddles recently also did a comic about this issue.
This is one reason many singles are skeptical of getting involved with people who are already part of an established couple that decided to “open up” the relationship. Due to something called “couples privilege,” it’s often the already established couple that gets prioritized in any conflict. But it doesn’t have to be like that - just because your boyfriend has been with you longer doesn’t mean he’s automatically the person you owe allegiance to.
If you love this new partner, and he’s shown himself to be someone capable of giving you a healthy, fulfilling, polyamorous relationship - if he has his house more in order, so to speak, and what he offers is potential for growth and openness - keep that in mind. If it’s more important to you to keep exploring this potential, both with this man and with polyamory in general, it’s okay to leave your boyfriend who’s demanding that you give something up and go for this new opportunity. If it’s more important to stay with your boyfriend, it’s okay to call off this experiment in polyamory. Only you can make that call.