Posts Tagged ‘poly’

Note to the polyamorous: Stop dating the monogamous

October 18, 2007

A recent experience has reminded me of something I really already knew.

When polys date monos, generally what happens is, the poly gets his/her heart broken.

Monogamists by definition always seek a monogamous relationship. But monogamous relationships often start with people they don’t know all that well, with whom not much depth or seriousness is possible at first. Frequently these relationships start out non-exclusively. Most of us call that “dating”. It has nothing to do with polyamory, and tells us nothing about how the person feels about polyamory.

Monogamists often enter non-monogamous relationships, always with the expectation – stated or unstated, conscious or unconscious – that if/when the relationship gets serious it will somehow automatically transform into a monogamous one. When it doesn’t, the mono often reacts by lashing out at the poly, sometimes seeking out another person to start a new relationship with while dumping the poly or, worse, doing so as a way of trying to manipulate the poly with jealousy. (which of course, since polys by nature tend to be not very jealous about the physical but place an extremely high value on honesty, often has the opposite of the intended effect).

This is often accompanied by a lot of emotional abuse triggered by your failure to magically -and without any previous discussion- transform into something you’re not. To add to the fun, since polys not only do not make up the majority, but are not even an established, well-understood minority with clear boundaries and support structures, this is often accompanied by vociferous disapproval and finger-waggling from most any bystanders, family members, etc – even people you would have thought knew better..

This sudden-dumping-often-with-hate-speech-and-sometimes-a-witch-hunt usually happens right at or soon after the time at which the mono and poly are forming serious bonds with each other, so, by definition, it happens at the time when the poly is most emotionally vulnerable. Good times..

I have watched this pattern repeat so many times, in my own life and in that of many people close to me, that I have come to see it as pretty much the inevitable end result of polys dating monos.

Tired of banging your head – and heart – against a brick wall? The answer is not easy, but it is simple:

Stop dating the monogamous.

This is very similar to the lesson that most mature folks in the gay community have learned: Leave those closet-cases alone. They’re nothing but heartache. This is one reason that gays have their own bars and hangouts. Not because they hate everyone else, but because they want to have a place to go where they have some idea that people they meet are playing by roughly the same rules.

Its a pretty good reason.

Polys need their own centers of community. and not just online..