Could Polyamory Be for You?

Matija Marohnić

Besides hearing many arguments against polyamory, I’ve also witnessed quite a few against monogamy. Ideally we should accept both, and often we say that we do, but sooner or later our honest opinions surface.

When I started learning about non-monogamy, my initial opinion was that nobody was really monogamous and that everybody would rather have multiple partners if they were allowed to. That was probably the worst assumption I ever made, fortunately my friends patiently waited for it to be over. When I came to my senses I realized that, while some people would probably be happier in a polyamorous relationship, others truly are monogamous, and that one isn’t better than the other.

So, how to know whether someone would benefit from polyamory? It’s tempting to think that people who (want to) cheat are failing at monogamy and should give it up. However, people cheat for various reasons, one of them is dissatisfaction with their current relationship, in which case the solution isn’t polyamory, but rather finding a more fulfilling monogamous relationship. If the affair had nothing to do with the current relationship, that would’ve been a different story.

I came up with four questions to help you determine whether polyamory might be better for you (they work best while looking at yourself in the mirror):

Am I satisfied with my current monogamous relationship?

Do you think that your partner is an amazing, wonderful and awesome person? This question might be a bit intimidating, but it’s important that the answer isn’t “meh”, or worse, “no”.

If you’re not currently in a relationship, picture instead a fairly successful past relationship (yes, there are successful relationships which are over), otherwise skip this question.

Would I have more partners if I was allowed to?

If yes, do you have specific people in mind? Note that there are two very different types of liking someone else:

  1. “this person is pleasing to the eye”
  2. “this person is wonderful and really attractive”

In this question I’m referring to the 2nd type.

Do I feel unhappy because I can’t have more partners?

Deciding what “unhappy” means is not that straightforward, but it’s just like any boundary—you’ll know when you’ve reached it. Sometimes it’s really scary to admit to yourself that you aren’t happy. But hopefully you’re doing just fine. 👍

Could I ever be ok with my partner having more partners as well?

This is the key. Some people who are totally into the idea of having multiple partners “forget” to mention that they aren’t at all into that idea applying to their partner too. You don’t have to be at that place right now, but would you be willing to work on it?

If the answer to all of these questions is “yes”, try polyamory, otherwise monogamy is probably for you. It’s important to nail this down, otherwise it can be an eternal rock in the shoe of your relationships, or worse, your marriage.

No pressure, though. 😉