Polyamory, or the practice of having multiple consensual and ethical romantic or sexual relationships at the same time, is becoming more visible and accepted in today’s society. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone’s relationship needs and desires. Some people may find polyamory fulfilling and rewarding, while others may prefer monogamy or other forms of non-monogamy. How can you tell if polyamory is right for you or not? Here are some questions to ask yourself and your partner(s) before you embark on this journey.
How jealous are you?
Jealousy is a natural and common emotion that can arise in any relationship, but especially in polyamorous ones. Jealousy can stem from various sources, such as insecurity, fear of loss, envy, or comparison. While some people may experience little or no jealousy in polyamorous relationships, others may struggle with it more often or intensely. Jealousy is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you can identify it, communicate it, and manage it in healthy ways. However, if you are prone to extreme or chronic jealousy that interferes with your happiness and well-being, or that leads you to act in harmful or controlling ways towards yourself or others, then polyamory may not be the best option for you.
Is this something you both want?
Polyamory requires the consent and agreement of all the parties involved. If you are in a monogamous relationship and want to open it up to polyamory, you need to have an honest and respectful conversation with your partner about your reasons, expectations, and boundaries. You also need to listen to your partner’s feelings, concerns, and needs. Do not pressure or coerce your partner into agreeing to polyamory if they are not comfortable or interested in it. Likewise, do not agree to polyamory if you are not comfortable or interested in it either. Polyamory should be a mutual decision that enhances your relationship, not a compromise that damages it.
What is your (and your partner’s) motivation?
There are many reasons why people may choose polyamory, such as curiosity, variety, compatibility, growth, love, or freedom. However, there are also some reasons that may indicate that polyamory is not a good idea for you or your relationship, such as boredom, dissatisfaction, escape, avoidance, or revenge. If you are considering polyamory because you are unhappy with your current relationship, or because you want to fix something that is broken, then you may be setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. Polyamory is not a magic solution that will solve your problems or make you happier. In fact, it may create more challenges and complications that will require more work and commitment from you and your partner(s). Polyamory should be an addition to your relationship, not a substitution for it.
How secure do you feel in your current relationship?
Polyamory can test the strength and stability of your relationship with your partner(s). It can expose any existing issues or conflicts that you may have been ignoring or avoiding. It can also create new opportunities for misunderstanding, miscommunication, or mismatched expectations. Therefore, before you venture into polyamory, you need to make sure that your relationship with your partner(s) is solid and secure. You need to have a strong foundation of trust, honesty, intimacy, and respect. You need to have clear and consistent communication about your feelings, needs, and boundaries. You need to have a shared vision and values for your relationship and your polyamory. You need to have a supportive and collaborative attitude towards each other’s happiness and well-being.
What ground rules do you want to establish?
Polyamory does not have a fixed set of rules or norms that everyone follows. Rather, each polyamorous relationship can create its own rules and agreements that suit its specific needs and preferences. Some common topics that polyamorous couples may discuss and negotiate include:
- Who can they date or have sex with? How often? Where? When?
- How much information do they want to share or know about each other’s partners? How much privacy do they want to maintain?
- How do they balance their time and energy between multiple partners? How do they prioritize their commitments and responsibilities?
- How do they handle safer sex practices and testing? What are their expectations and boundaries regarding sexual health and safety?
- How do they deal with potential conflicts or problems that may arise? How do they resolve them?
- How do they express their love and affection for each other? How do they cope with feelings of insecurity or jealousy?
- How do they celebrate their milestones and achievements? How do they support each other’s goals and dreams?
These are just some examples of questions that polyamorous couples may ask themselves and each other when creating their rules and agreements. However, there are many more possibilities and variations. The key is to be honest, respectful, and flexible when discussing and deciding on your rules and agreements. You also need to be willing to revisit and revise them as your relationship evolves and changes.
How will trying polyamory affect your future together?
Polyamory can have a significant impact on your future plans and aspirations with your partner(s). For instance, if you are married or cohabiting, you may need to consider how polyamory will affect your legal, financial, or parental status. If you are planning to have children or already have them, you may need to consider how polyamory will affect your parenting style, responsibilities, and expectations. If you are planning to move or travel together, you may need to consider how polyamory will affect your logistics, budget, or preferences. Polyamory can also affect your social and professional life, as you may need to deal with the reactions and opinions of your family, friends, colleagues, or community. Polyamory can open up new possibilities and opportunities for your future, but it can also pose some challenges and risks. Therefore, before you try polyamory, you need to have a realistic and honest assessment of how it will fit into your life and goals.
Polyamory is a complex and diverse phenomenon that cannot be reduced to a simple yes or no answer. Polyamory can be a wonderful and rewarding way of experiencing love and intimacy, but it can also be a difficult and demanding way of managing relationships. Polyamory is not for everyone, but it may be for you. The only way to find out is to explore it for yourself and with your partner(s), with an open mind and heart.