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Ask Me Anything: I am polyamorous watch

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    I am female, in my twenties and polyamorous.

    Please feel free to ask me anything within reason, while following the forum rules.

    I realise this may elicit a lot of 'troll' responses, however I welcome genuine questions. This is not a lifestyle choice, it is part of who I am and being in a minority, especially one that is so taboo in Western culture is not always easy. Polyamory is seen in the modern world in other cultures, and quite frequently in World history.

    I'll add in a short definition (how I define these terms) to get started.

    Monogamy is being with one person, or one person at a time until you have settled down, for the rest of your life and remaining faithful to that person.

    Polyamory literally means 'multiple love'. It is not casual sex, it is not promiscuity. It is not swinging and for most people, is not even about sex. It is not cheating. It is not being married to more than one person (that is called polygamy [one husband multiple wives] or polyandry[one wife, multiple husbands])

    It is about dating, and forming relationships with more than one person at a time while making sure that everyone involved is aware of the situation and happy. Without solid communication, openness, and honesty it just can't work.

    Why am I opening myself up to questions? Well, why not. I am happy with my life and the only thing I regret is how taboo polyamory is when multiple divorces are seen as more acceptable in today's society. I always welcome the chance to learn new things about new people, so maybe someone will find this interesting. Maybe someone might find this enlightening and maybe, one person out there is thinking 'I feel this way too, thanks for making me realise it's ok'.
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    I strongly disbelieve this could ever work, unless the others you are in relationships with, also consider themselves to be partners together. Is this what you actually mean, or..?
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    (Original post by FireGarden)
    I strongly disbelieve this could ever work, unless the others you are in relationships with, also consider themselves to be partners together. Is this what you actually mean, or..?
    Do you mean, for instance, there is one male/female couple and they are partnered with another male/female couple? Some people do decide to do that. Others decide to keep their partners separate. Others just kind of go with the flow a bit more. Just like all monogamous couples aren't the same, not all polyamorous couples are the same.

    Your opinion that it couldn't work is a valid, and common one. What makes you think that?
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    You have made a point of defining it separate to polygamy etc. My question is: do you consider it highly different? Assuming it was legal, would this be a route you'd be interested in, would you go monogamous for commitment at that level or would you simply not go there?

    Not a troll question and not meant to sound judgemental if it is. It isn't something I'd fancy doing but if the people you're doing it with are fine with it I cannot see a logical reason what is wrong with it.
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    I meant more along the lines of supposing a girl had two boyfriends, then the boys considered eachother boyfriends too; mutual pairwise relationships.

    If not, esp. with separate partners, then you get all sorts of problems from favouritism and jealousy to familial issues if you want kids (where of course, kids may have their own unique parents!), legal problems (the law is written for couples), and ultimately (for my own views on things) seems to lack commitment, as well, by definition, "keeping options open" with lots of partners is!
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    (Original post by DJMayes)
    You have made a point of defining it separate to polygamy etc. My question is: do you consider it highly different? Assuming it was legal, would this be a route you'd be interested in, would you go monogamous for commitment at that level or would you simply not go there?

    Not a troll question and not meant to sound judgemental if it is. It isn't something I'd fancy doing but if the people you're doing it with are fine with it I cannot see a logical reason what is wrong with it.
    Good question

    Polygamy has some very negative connotations in the Western world. Mostly due to the Mormon extremists in the Western USA. It's something that most people try to distance themselves far away from.

    If polygamy and polyandry were legal would I consider it?....right now I don't think so, but I can't tell how I would feel in 20/30/40 years.

    I am in relationship with someone now, and have been for years. They are my 'primary' relationship which means they come first. So even though I am poly, I am committed to that primary partner just in a non-traditional way. They come first, their opinion comes first, we set out rules together, etc. If I see someone outside the relationship, it is with their full knowledge. If my primary partner was to suddenly not be ok with something, then we may decide to go back to monogamy for a period of weeks, months or years to strengthen our relationship.

    Would I want to commit to two or more people at once? That's a hard one, because on one hand, I can see myself living with more than one person but because I don't see commitment in the traditional, monogamous sense it doesn't makes sense to me to get married to multiple people when I already am committed to them. Kind of like those couples who never get married as it's 'just a piece of paper'. In terms of committing to someone for life though, yes I am capable of making that commitment.
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    Did you always know that you were polyamorous from the moment you were a child? If not, when did you come to realise it? Did you ever attempt to have polyamorous relationships with monogomous men? Do you find the idea of monogomy restricting? Is it technically possible to cheat on your partners if you're polyamorous?

    ...That is all.
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    (Original post by FireGarden)
    I meant more along the lines of supposing a girl had two boyfriends, then the boys considered eachother boyfriends too; mutual pairwise relationships.

    If not, esp. with separate partners, then you get all sorts of problems from favouritism and jealousy to familial issues if you want kids (where of course, kids may have their own unique parents!), legal problems (the law is written for couples), and ultimately (for my own views on things) seems to lack commitment, as well, by definition, "keeping options open" with lots of partners is!
    Ok, so if you had one girl and two guys and they were all together then the term for that is a Triad. Where everyone sleeps and has a relationship with everyone else. It's no more or less common than other types of poly relationships.

    You're right that couple can come across jealousy and favouritism issues. However, in order to be in a working open relationship people in it have to be a lot more honest than they might ever be. So rather than one person sitting, feeling jealous and just lashing out they would probably have a sit down talk with their partner and say 'hey this is how I'm feeling and I think this is what would make me feel better about it'. It's the person who is causing the inadvertent jealously job to make sure the other partner feels secure and happy, otherwise what's the point? Poly is about loving more than one person, not a free pass to cheat and make other people feel bad.

    One way to make sure that jealously is kept to a minimum is to have ground rules that everyone follows and everyone is upfront about. By having ground rules, people know where they stand, the boundaries and hurt feelings are kept at a minimum.

    It's a common misconception that poly people lack commitment. It's actually the opposite. People who can't commit to one person, can never make a lasting commitment to two! People who are poly don't tend to discard their primary partner, for instance like someone in a monogamous relationship who cheats might.
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    (Original post by Another)
    Did you always know that you were polyamorous from the moment you were a child? If not, when did you come to realise it? Did you ever attempt to have polyamorous relationships with monogomous men? Do you find the idea of monogomy restricting? Is it technically possible to cheat on your partners if you're polyamorous?

    ...That is all.
    I have known I was poly since I started being in relationships, so from about the age of 17. It wasn't that I felt like there was something lacking with someone that I was with, it just felt really comfortable, almost suffocating to be monogamous. I am an incredibly honest person, almost to a fault (sometimes people wish I would tell white lies). So if I was seeing someone monogamously, and I went out to a bar and someone flirted with me I would feel incredibly uncomfortable because I knew, if my partner was there then I wouldn't want him to see me being flirted with, therefore it was wrong. I have never cheated on anyone.

    I have had a couple of monogamous relationships and although I haven't felt happy I have stayed with the person and respected their feelings. I am thankfully at a point i my life where I have a supportive partner and I don't have to live a 'lie' anymore. It was incredibly stressful and in telling my partner I cried for days. There is a lot of societal shame about anything that isn't vanilla and normal.

    Cheating, to a polyamorous person is just really....abhorrent. If a poly person were to post online on a forum saying they'd broken the rules and cheating they would be flamed just as much as a monogamous person. It goes against everything poly is, because cheating is doing something behind your partners back without them knowing. It's disregarding their feelings, it's lying, and it's disrespectful.
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    Does your partner see other people?

    What are your ground rules?

    If you met someone in a bar could you kiss them/ sleep with them?
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    Surely, fundamentally polyamory is just cheating with permission from your partner?!
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    (Original post by GR3YFOXXX)
    Does your partner see other people?

    What are your ground rules?

    If you met someone in a bar could you kiss them/ sleep with them?
    If I met someone in a bar and kissed/slept with them, then that's more moving onto one night stand territory, which isn't ok for some polyamorous people as it's considered risky behaviour.

    My partner is currently not seeing anyone. I am technically not seeing anyone right now, but I have been talking to someone in the area and potentially have a first date with them this weekend. (coffee, in the afternoon, for a couple of hours) All poly relationships are different, but most first dates go something like that. No pressure, just meet for a chat. My partner will have my dates name, phone number, name of coffee shop where we are and time I will be home. This means he feels secure that I'm being honest and he knows when to expect me home.

    We have quite a few ground rules, and rules can change and evolve over time, but some of them are....

    *Primary partner ALWAYS comes first and has veto over anything they find uncomfortable.

    *No taking time away from the primary for someone else. ie I wouldn't cancel a date with my primary partner to see someone else. It's disrespectful.

    *Always tell the truth, don't hold back on feelings, always communicate.

    *No casual sex, always safe sex and partners tested.
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    (Original post by LavenderBlueSky88)
    Surely, fundamentally polyamory is just cheating with permission from your partner?!
    No. Cheating is breaking the rules, being dishonest, disregarding your partners feelings, etc. If you aren't breaking the rules of your relationship, you are not cheating, by definition.
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    If you spend increasingly more time with another parter than your primary one (whom he knows of - without his permission/knowledge), would that count as cheating? Or another level of rule-breaking which is just as bad?
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    If you meet someone new, how do you break it to them ?
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    (Original post by Another)
    If you spend increasingly more time with another parter than your primary one (whom he knows of - without his permission/knowledge), would that count as cheating? Or another level of rule-breaking which is just as bad?
    It depends on the individual relationship and rules.

    For instance if my partner was feeling neglected that I was spending too much time with someone I am dating...is that wrong? Yes.

    Is it cheating if I hide the fact I am seeing my date so much, being dishonest, deceptive, lying, sneaking around, etc? Yes, in my mind it is. It is certainly taking advantage of people.

    If my partner knew I was seeing my date each time, then said they were uncomfortable, it's my job to back off and make my primary partner feel secure again. If I'm not ok doing that, I am not emotionally mature enough to be in a polyamorous relationship in the first place.
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    (Original post by Ladders)
    If you meet someone new, how do you break it to them ?
    Now this is hard. Dating as a polyamorous person is pretty difficult. There seems to be a few types...

    I personally bring it up straight away. This probably scared more people off this way, but I don't want there to be any doubt about my intentions or availability. If, for instance, I was being chatted up in a bar I would say "just so you're aware, I'm married and in an open marriage". I can judge from there whether they are ok with it, interested in finding out more or think I'm an easy shot for a one night stand.

    The issue with being a polyamorous woman is that 80% of the guys who talk to me want casual sex and like the idea of me cheating on my husband. I am very polite but firm in turning them down. You can't even entertain things like that even a little bit.

    There are some people, thankfully few and far between, who will pretend to be interested in polyamoroy just to get you to consent to extra-marital sex. These people are fairly easy to spot though.

    Most polyamorous people don't meet potential dates in public places like bars. I mean...it's hard enough being monogamous and finding someone with relationship potential in a bar, let alone being poly. In some cities there will be discussion groups that meet up, usually hosted in a local community centre or LGBT centre. Some dating websites are poly friendly, surprisingly.
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    Bisexuals are often poly? Or are you completely straight?
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    (Original post by und3niable_)
    Bisexuals are often poly? Or are you completely straight?
    Statistically there's no proof that bisexuals are more polyamorous than straight people. I am yet to meet a bisexual or gay poly person, but I am aware that there are people who are gay or bisexual who are also polyamorous. I'm just yet to meet them.

    I am straight, yes.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Statistically there's no proof that bisexuals are more polyamorous than straight people. I am yet to meet a bisexual or gay poly person, but I am aware that there are people who are gay or bisexual who are also polyamorous. I'm just yet to meet them.

    I am straight, yes.
    Ahh right, I see. I've known a queer and bi poly individuals..
 
 
 
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