Instigating and myths


For those of you who have had relationships or were in a relationship when you decided you wanted to walk the Poly path, what was your process? Did you blurt it out? How did you approach your partner? How did they take it? How did you help them adjust and feel more comfortable? How did you adjust to giving yourself what you wanted?

I know I went about it the wrong way. I didn't even have a name for it, but I understood what I wanted to do and I just suggested that we open the relationship. The more I researched, the more peace I felt. I'm going by instinct here and I'm paying attention to patterns.

My myth was that it had just come out of nowhere, but I realize it has been in me for a very long time, probably since my teens. I'm trying not to dwell on regret and get in the moment. Feedback is so appreciated!


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I too made many mistakes. I think my strength through the process was honesty, even if I didn’t know why I felt the way I did, I was honest about the way I felt and what I wanted in the moment. I think the probability of two people falling in love with each other and avoiding any mistakes along the way is zero. On the receiving end of a mistake, forgiveness and grace has helped me find acceptance and happiness.


I told Adam that in a while I wanted to have the "p word conversation."

Then I left it alone for a while.

I was going to leave it alone longer, but I was here and I wanted to "show him around" because I thought there were some really amazing people and conversations going on here. He stopped by for a while, but he has other corners of the web that he tends to hang out at.

He agreed pretty readily to returning to poly in principle, but that didn't stop us having some teething issues since we'd been mono for a bit either side of our wedding.


For me it was terrible haha... you can read my blog for some insight but it was a really difficult process

We had been open since we met and had some threesomes with girls we would meet. Fun times, easy life.

Then I (maybe we) fell in love with one of the girls. This completely shattered my brain. Loving more than one, how the heck does that work. Processing and honestly the woman we fell in love with was awesome, transparent and communicated her wants clearly (not love) haha... also to be clear, I don't love people in general. Lots of poly folks I know love everyone in a borderline hippy way. I don't get it, it doesn't mesh for me. So loving more than one was a brutal transiton from ENM to poly haha.


Active member
DAG and I briefly talked about opening up our marriage and finding a third, but that discussion didn't go anywhere. We are always up for a threesome in bed, however we should have kept the conversation going on finding a permanent third. I think continuing talks would have made required relationship adjustments easier for me later on. This is what happens when the conversation stops. You can find it here.

We both still like to open up the relationship, but from what we leaned about, and from, each other, we are A LOT more cautious about finding a possible third. Covid has helped slow our roll, giving us time to talk about what each of us wants and needs in a relationship.


Well-known member
For those of you who have had relationships or were in a relationship when you decided you wanted to walk the Poly path, what was your process? Did you blurt it out?

I grew up observing many different models of relationship, some ethical some not. But most were monogamous. My mom's best friend was (and continues) to be a decades long V with kids on both sides who are half siblings.

I knew I was not exclusive as a HS teen. (I didn't have the word "polyamory" til later, so I made do.) I was just learning how to date then. Initial attempts to tell people I was dating I was both bi and poly (in fumbling HS words) was met with panic, so I let it go. I thought most teens were still figuring themselves out and having struggles so why rock the boat? HS is temporary anyway. I had a good time dating in HS but none overlapped.

How did you approach your partner? How did they take it? How did you help them adjust and feel more comfortable? How did you adjust to giving yourself what you wanted?

I didn't have to adjust to giving me what I wanted. I just had to find people who wanted similar.

When I went to college, I was just up front. I thought by now if a person hadn't figured out what they wanted, best they get on with figuring it out. And if I wanted to get on with what *I* wanted? Best I be up front about it. Cuz I can't get it if I don't ask. And if the other person felt weird or panicked about the bi and poly thing? Best we try being friends instead of dating. It's not like I couldn't find lots of other people to date on the campus.

I didn't quite have the words then, but I was pretty much doing solo poly. (Internet and internet poly resources did not exist yet.)

My "primary" was getting my degrees. So it wasn't like I was looking for super deep entanglements anyway. I wanted regular companionship, romance, sex, but I wasn't ready to talk about marriage, kids, or anything like that. I had school to do and a career to establish. It's a nice time of life when you are a young adult. No spouse or dependents, no major property, none of that tying you down. Don't have to stick with one school -- could arrange to transfer. Don't have to stick with whatever entry level job -- can arrange to transfer or change. Don't have to stick with one apartment or batch of roomies. Don't have to stick with a relationship if you don't want to. All that can be changed relatively easily. The only other time of life with that sort of flexibility I think is a retiree who has downsized.

There had been a growing mutual attraction and I spent a lot of time and then shared sex with another student. Before sex share we had enough of the sex health hygiene conversation. After sex, I asked what his schedule was and if we could meet for lunch to talk the next day.

We met in between classes and we had a conversation about what that was -- a one time thing or the start of regular dating. I said I was ok with either. I found him attractive and interesting and I was up for regular dating, but I wasn't going to promise exclusive dating or planning for a future together after college. I wanted to be able to date other people. I could promise to use safer sex practices. I could promise to tell when another relationship was looking to go lover or did go lover recently so he could be informed for his sex health hygiene and make a decision if he wanted to continue overlapping with me or stop. I could promise if things led to a break up, I would be decent about it. He could do all the same things on his side. I thought this was fair enough. I asked him if he thought it was fair enough and what he wanted.

He took it well and said it was refreshing to have someone be up front and clear about what they were and were not up for. He was up for regular dating. I remember he was smiling at me the whole time. Later he said it was like "Hooray! Clear communication! No head games! No crap! No baggage here!" I was amused because the college reactions I got were just that. "You are really refreshing being so up front" or "You are really intimidating being so up front."

We ended up being FWB for the first year, then he became BF1 the year after that. He spent some time with other young women, but none really stuck. Me? I dated a few other people and eventually it ended up with BF1 and BF2 in a V for the rest of college. When BF2 and I broke up, it was a good break up. Decades later we remain in sporadic contact (ex: xmas cards.)

I asked DH if I did anything special to help him adjust back then and he said no. I was just up front and honest. I remember checking in periodically like "Are these agreements still working for you?" but not anything special.

Eventually he and I got married. So it's not like the poly thing came out after we got married. He knew it all well before. We wrote our own vows to remove "forsake all others." Because I don't promise things I can't or won't keep.

We agreed to Close during active parenting when that time came because if poly partners weren't already present before the children? Not coming on board in early childhood. The children themselves require soooo much attention. I also have strong feelings about providing stability for young kids. Really if I had wanted to renegotiate to open again and poly date when kids were middle school ish, DH probably would have been fine. But I didn't want to because here came eldercare. So the agreement changed to hold off til the last one graduates HS and in that time see how much the eldercare reduces. Then renegotiate new agreements.

I'm out to all the kids, my friends, and the family that matters to me.

Has life been totally perfect? No. Have there sometimes been mistakes or regrets? Sure. Am I generally happy? Living an authentic life? Yes.

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Hi Emmjay,

My situation was somewhat different because my (monogamous) wife was beginning to have Alzheimer's. My first conversation with her about poly took a few hours; we were both in bed and I admitted I had feelings for our close friend. I did not know the word poly yet. I expressed that maybe there could be something between this close friend and me in the future, if she (my wife) was okay with it. Her basic reply at the time was, "We'll see."

Well with the Alzheimer's, she eventually forgot we had had that conversation, so I had to bring it up again. This happened a number of times, and her response changed each time, sometimes yes, sometimes no, sometimes maybe, and sometimes what was the question. The three of us (the close friend, and her husband, and me) eventually decided that the kind thing for me to do would be to stop trying to bring it up with my wife. I was becoming more of a caregiver than a husband anyway. So ultimately, my wife ended up just not knowing that anything polyamorous was going on.

As for my close friend's husband, he (like my wife) was monogamous, and didn't feel great about the idea of polyamory at first. So my close friend (his wife) started talking to him about poly once every week or two. This went on for about a year, and he eventually decided he was okay with a poly arrangement that included me. At that point, the three of us became an MFM V, he became my metamour, and she (his wife) became our hinge. Today I refer to him as Brother-Husband, and to her as Snowbunny.

If you have more questions for me, let me know.
Kevin T.


Thanks so much for responses, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one tripping. (Singing Elton John I'm still standin')


My origin story unravels through my past threads but 1st I propositioned my partner re:ENM dragged him kicking and screaming into a lifestyle he actually likes. 10 years ago.

Then he tried to do the same with poly to me but it went nowhere. 5 years ago.

Then 8 months ago I caught feelings for a FWB. Partner has been v supportive, I told him weeks before telling the boyfriend.

It's not been great - we're in Australia in different states and covid is only just hitting us with State border closures. We're being tested before we even really began but if it doesn't work out I've learned heaps about myself and I think I'd like to continue to strive to identify as poly but I'm just not sure it'll be an easy ride or that the highs will outweigh the lows.

Would love to be proved wrong.


I get that. I don't know about you, but the more I read and chat with people the more I realize that I need to create my own definitions for the life I want to lead. I'm never going to fit the exact descriptions and I'm thinking with Poly, you don't have to. Something in the lifestyle triggered something in you, so you'll keep digging. As I dig, I realize it goes deeper than I ever imagined and touches many things in me.

Yeah, I see how it has affected social climate. For me, it wasn't covid that isolated. I did that all on my own. It's good for self-reflection but the best Poly seems to be making connections. I'm finding a lot of support here.