An outside perspective on Poly motivations


New member
This post is based on my observations at a monthly poly meeting I attend. It does not apply to everyone and is not an attempt to explain anything but my own personal perspective on the motivation for some to have poly relationships. It is an observation, not an argument, debate or attack. If it offends anyone I apologize but I think sharing this is interesting and worthwhile.

Last night at our monthly poly meeting I heard something that struck me as very odd and interesting.

People were talking about being uncomfortable with a single partner meeting too many of there needs. Not that their partner expected them to meet more needs than they could fulfill but concern that their partner met too many of their needs. They were concerned about putting two many of their eggs into one basket so to speak. In their minds if that person was suddenly gone they would be left with a large void to fill in many areas. They therefore wanted to pull back from that and share those needs with other people so they would essentially lose less from each individual.

This gave me a very interesting look into how they approached relationships. In affect if they found one person who did meet all there needs they would be afraid of losing that because it would be all encompassing and more devastating. Their desire to have multiple people was more fuelled by a need to create relationship redundancies and safeties it seams rather than out of a need to love more.

I've heard it said that if someone meets too many of your needs you become codependant. This is not the case if the relationship is mutually healthy. Codependance is defined by Wikipedia as:

"a pattern of detrimental, behavioral interactions within a dysfunctional relationship which is regarded as an emotional disorder, and by some as a psychological disease.[1] In the relationship, the codependent person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition, such as drug addiction.[2] The codependent's life gets more and more out of hand and at the end, they might become as sick as the one they are codependent on.[3] In general, the codependent is understood to be a person who perpetuates the addiction or pathological condition of someone close to them in a way that hampers recovery. This can be done through direct control over the dependent, by making excuses for their dysfunctional behavior or relieving them of the consequences of the dependence. This is called enabling, which can have negative social and health consequences for both parties. A codependent may feel shame about, or try to change, their most private thoughts and feelings if they conflict with those of another person."

From my perspective they were approaching poly as a way to reduce the severity of losing any one individual in their life. They therefore gave the impression that they do not believe in lifelong sustainability of one relationship.

Clearly, I do not think this is how every person approaches relationships nor is it the reason all people practice polyamory. But it did explain why some of them did.

I continue to learn and grow in my own poly relationship and marvel at the discoveries I have made about myself and people in general.
This is yet another blessing Redpepper has brought to my life as I would probably not travelled down certain paths in my life without her.

I am an immensely in-love and honored person to have such a wonderful Life Love, friend and, at times, mentor in my life.
This will be interesting. As with many things, the motivations behind each individual's choices will vary; that one would never have occured to me but makes a lot of sense - for some, lol.

Me - well, I fall in "real" love rarely and very quickly, and out of such a love with difficulty - if ever. I often joke that if my 4 most serious exes of the last 14 years were of a different mindset, I would still have them all in my life and live happily if they could and would. Vi and Anne would be #'s 5 and 6 respectively, lol. And that's not including the "could have beens" that I missed out on because I've never been with someone as like minded and willing to work at a relationship as Violet until now. Strictly coincidentally - all of the aforementioned exes are bi, LOL. Funny, never thought about that before. Anyway...

Some people are wired for monogomy, some are wired for Polyamory, and some are wired for something else completely - or not at all. The trick is to find the person or people who are compatible with your wiring, and make it all it can be.


New member
My husband and I meet way too many of eachothers needs. We have been married for 13 years and we are quite scatter brained when we have to perform some function that the other person usually takes care of. And we miss eachother so much if we spend alot of time apart. However each of us lived on our own for some time before we met and I know if something suddenly happened we would adjust. It is just nice to be there in every way for someone you love and care about. I think it only becomes unhealthy if you feel like you won't be able to function if the other person is gone and at that point I think you need to look within yourself to become more enabled rather than to gather other partners to become dependent on. I always believe you should love someone out of desire and not need.


Active member
Some people are wired for monogomy, some are wired for Polyamory, and some are wired for something else completely - or not at all. The trick is to find the person or people who are compatible with your wiring, and make it all it can be.

My house is wired for television, radio, and lighting.

It is plumbed for showers and for washing dishes. :p


New member
i think for me even though i am happy and in love with my partner i still enjoy meeting, getting to know and falling in love with other people, because each new love is a new experience and brings something diffrent and fresh into my life.

at the moment practically speaking C is the one who meets all my needs, i have some need for a carer in my life when my health is not so good and he is the person who is my carer when i need one, so i already know that without him i would not be able to live independablty i rely on him for that 100 percent, so i am not afraid that to rely on him because in a way i already do, i trust that he will be there in the same way i am for him

but i just also want the chance to love others like i love him

gosh this is hard to explain lol



New member
That's a strange and interesting perspective. I guess in my younger days I could identify with that. I never really had what you'd call "functional" relationships and I often found myself falling for others. But I didn't go poly-I cheated.

Now though, N pretty much meets my needs (but I prefer to think of them as wants since I don't like the idea of being with someone out of need) in a relationship. What he can't provide I have friends and family to turn to. The one thing he can't do is provide me with female companionship and sexuality. And I have stopped thinking of that in terms of a need and come to accept it as more of an intense desire. But if it never happens again (as I am very picky when it comes to women) I will live with that and still be happy with my husband and children. I feel no drive to search for that female companionship but I do stay open to it.


New member
For me personally, I consider that a benefit of polyamory more so than a motivation for polyamory. At the height of my relationship I drew great comfort and security that H had other loved in the event that anything ever happened to me or our relationship. And I felt like I had a source of strength for myself in B being there for me if something ever happened to H.

Also, while I would stress highly that communication always works best when it is between the involved parties, there was a great benefit to having someone else to sound off or "prediscuss" ideas with involving the other relationships. And a big benefit to having multiple approaches to probelm solving. A problem comes up and you get to pick a) This is the kind of problem I would like to hear H's advice/perspective on or b) This is the kind of problem I would like to hear B's advice/perspective on or c) both.


New member
Ok, I'm coming for a strictly monogamous relationship to falling into polyamory.

Never knew it existed or that it could be anything other than cheating.

Gator did and still does meet almost all of my needs (I have some) and wants. Through our journey, I've discovered that it doesn't have to be that way. I feel fortunate to have two men in my life that a alike in so many ways that they are the best of friends. But also different in enough ways that I can get some needs and wants met elsewhere (though some of them overlap). I like the variety I get in the men I love (as much or more than the variety I got while swinging).

I could be happy in a monogamous relationship with Gator again if need be. I will never again believe that is the only path.

I can't imagine not wanting the closeness and bond that 25 years of marriage with Gator has given us. But I also do not want to give up what I have found with Tech.

The truth is...I do not let people in easily enough to be sorry of the needs that those I do let in meet. I'm lucky to have found two men to love and who love me.



New member
Here's irony for you. Before poly, my husband was not meeting my needs. Now, thanks to the blessing of the need for better communication, we're doing better than we have previously in our entire marriage.

I didn't really mean to become poly, but my motivation was not to prevent myself from needing my husband too much. I love my other partners. They add to my life. But if I wanted/needed to become monogamous again, I would not regret allowing my husband to be my only relationship. I would be just as devastated to lose him now as I would have been when we were monogamous.

I will add an observation--even though I haven't had time recently to post much, I've done a lot of watching. I've observed a lot of conscientious, ethical poly-folk online, and only a few that display the tendency that you've observed to try to avoid real emotional entanglement.


New member

People were talking about being uncomfortable with a single partner meeting too many of there needs.

Doesn't surprise me in the least. People share many common activities for a whole host of different reasons. I don't find the idea that a single partner could meet most of my needs uncomfortable, I find it highly unlikely. Obviously, there are those who do find it uncomfortable and pursue more relationships to avoid catastrophic loss.

Heh. I just read a review of a book titled "Why Women Have Sex" and the author, drawing on interviews with many women, covers 237 reasons women have sex. I figure the number of reasons somebody would want additional relationships to be some similar number, in that it's far larger than traditional notions of such things would allow for.