Mono, Poly, or ?? Does it even matter?

PinkPig

Well-known member
I'm PinkPig (40s F), in a relationship with Blue (40s M.) We met when my monogamous marriage of 25 years was falling apart. We've been dating a year (divorced the same.) Blue is poly. During our relationship, he dated a couple other women. I have always practiced monogamy... until he introduced me to his girlfriend, Snow. That relationship evolved into a beautiful, functional, closed triad. That was my first such relationship with another woman (fooled around with my roommates a bit in college before marrying my ex, but it was just about boredom and sex.) I loved the relationship with Snow...both our individual relationship and our relationship as a three. That said, my feelings for her were very different from my feelings for Blue or my ex. As much as I love her, I could never imagine being only with her... unlike with Blue. I have no doubt I can be happy with just him.

Our relationship ended very recently when Snow suddenly moved across country. Due to a contentious custody battle and the distance, she chose to end the romantic relationship (we do still communicate.) Blue has been on a few dates since. I have not. Honestly, I have no desire to date anyone else. I would love to have another relationship like the one Blue, Snow, & I shared but I really have no desire for a relationship apart from Blue. Does this mean I'm mono in relationship style? Does it even matter?

Because my dating experience is quite limited... married at 21, only dated a few men before my ex... Blue is encouraging me to try dating. His rationale is that I'm on a journey of self awareness and dating could help me in this journey. Honestly, I have no desire to date...but I am open to trying it... I just don't want to be dishonest? Anyone been in a similar situation? If so, what did you do? Thoughts and suggestions from all are appreciated.
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello PinkPig,

It's really up to you whether you consider yourself poly or mono, and you can use either of two criteria to decide: Criterion #1 = "Poly is an orientation." Criterion #2 = "Poly is what you're actually doing in your life right now."

You certainly seem to be open to the idea of poly. Perhaps you could call yourself "poly-friendly?"

It's up to you.
Regards,
Kevin T.
 

nycindie

Active member
I would say that, regarding your situation, trying to live behind a label of poly or mono won't really do you any good.

Just because you are open to possibilities does not mean you always have to be chasing after them. The act of practicing poly or declaring oneself poly does not mean there should never be any period during which you've got "only" one partner. You can have the desire and openness to having multiple partners without a need to collect relationships in order to prove your "polyness" to yourself, nor to anyone else (not saying that proving anything would've been your goal, I'm just making a point ).

Tell Blue to chill.

Some partners feel guilty or that they are being unfair if they have another relationship when one of their partners does not. You wouldn't want to embark on a relationship with someone solely so they should serve as a symbol of accomplishment, an experiment in poly, or therapy for you. And if you prefer things to happen organically and are content with the way things are right now, what's his problem? It's up to YOU what path your personal journey of self-discovery takes, and his assessment of what you need sounds like it's a bit of projection on his part. Even if he knows you very well, his ideas may be far from what feels right to you. Don't date if you don't want to, but let him know you don't want to be pressured into doing anything before you're ready. TRUST YOUR INTUITION.
 
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JaneQSmythe

Active member
Welcome PinkPig!

In my vocabulary I would say that you are "poly-flexible" - willing to be in a poly relationship with the right people and under the right circumstances (like with Blue and Snow), but also perfectly happy being in a mono-relationship with a poly person.

In this you are very like my husband, MrS. He was content when it was just me but is open to possibilities as they present themselves (such as with Lotus), although he would never go seeking them out. He likes the fact that he has always had that freedom, even if he has never pursued anyone on his own. I am pretty much like this myself, except that I have always had FWBs-type relationships in addition, although I never "looked for" them (and sometimes they grow into something "more".)

I agree with nycindie, tell Blue to chill - it is YOUR "journey of self-awareness" not his (hence the "SELF" part). If you don't feel like dating - don't. If you randomly meet someone and change your mind, then you have the option to follow that path.:)

Jane("my-life-is-my-own-to-live")Q
 

PinkPig

Well-known member
Thank you all for your responses.

Hello PinkPig,

It's really up to you whether you consider yourself poly or mono, and you can use either of two criteria to decide: Criterion #1 = "Poly is an orientation." Criterion #2 = "Poly is what you're actually doing in your life right now."

I think of it as an orientation. But, just as sexual orientations exist on a continuum, I suppose the same could be said of poly? I consider myself straight with some same sex leanings. So, I guess I could say I'm mostly monogamous with some poly leanings? I also like JaneQSmythe's term "poly-flexible." It's not that a label matters for me, persay. I'm fine with who I am... I just think a label is easier if/when I start dating again. But, even then, I guess I just say that I'm in a serious relationship with Blue, but that we're both open to other relationships? I should have been more clear. That's where my confusion comes in...what to tell other people if/when I date?

Tell Blue to chill.

Some partners feel guilty or that they are being unfair if they have another relationship when one of their partners does not. You wouldn't want to embark on a relationship with someone solely so they should serve as a symbol of accomplishment, an experiment in poly, or therapy for you. And if you prefer things to happen organically and are content with the way things are right now, what's his problem? It's up to YOU what path your personal journey of self-discovery takes, and his assessment of what you need sounds like it's a bit of projection on his part. TRUST YOUR INTUITION.

Yes, I think he's feeling a little guilty that he's dating and I'm not. We also had a few rough patches early on with insecurity on my part. He may be afraid that a new relationship on his part may resurrect some of these feelings, especially if I'm not dating anyone else. But, between work and my children, I'm busier than him and would rather just have a little down time right now. I also don't want to go into a dating situation if I'm not sure I even feel like dating. It's not fair to the other partner.

We talked a little bit about it yesterday and he's agreed to trust me to choose if/when I want to date.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re:
"I just think a label is easier if/when I start dating again. But, even then, I guess I just say that I'm in a serious relationship with Blue, but that we're both open to other relationships? I should have been more clear. That's where my confusion comes in ... what to tell other people if/when I date?"

"I'm in a serious relationship with Blue, but we're both open to other relationships" sounds good to me. ;)
 

thirteenth

New member
In my vocabulary I would say that you are "poly-flexible" - willing to be in a poly relationship with the right people and under the right circumstances (like with Blue and Snow), but also perfectly happy being in a mono-relationship with a poly person.

I was thinking about this term (which I really like, don't get me wrong) and wondering if it should be mono-flexible to align with the logic of hetero-flexible. Meaning that hetero people who are hetero-flexible are willing to engage in homosexual acts under certain circumstances, so if you're talking about a mono person who is willing to be in a poly relationship under certain circumstances, maybe it should be mono-flexible. (It doesn't sound as good, and not everything has to be logical - I just like words so I thought I'd mention it. Sorry for the hijack; carry on!)
 

zigzag

New member
I no longer have any idea what label I should give myself as it dawned on me it doesn't really matter. It does help when you explain yourself to other people but beyond that don't let labels define who you are.
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
In my vocabulary I would say that you are "poly-flexible" - willing to be in a poly relationship with the right people and under the right circumstances (like with Blue and Snow), but also perfectly happy being in a mono-relationship with a poly person.

I was thinking about this term (which I really like, don't get me wrong) and wondering if it should be mono-flexible to align with the logic of hetero-flexible. Meaning that hetero people who are hetero-flexible are willing to engage in homosexual acts under certain circumstances, so if you're talking about a mono person who is willing to be in a poly relationship under certain circumstances, maybe it should be mono-flexible. (It doesn't sound as good, and not everything has to be logical - I just like words so I thought I'd mention it. Sorry for the hijack; carry on!)

Maybe (since we are defining made-up words anyway :rolleyes:): You are "poly-flexible" if, under the right circumstances, you are willing/able to be poly yourself; whereas, you are "mono-flexible" if, under the right circumstances, you are willing/able to be in a relationship with a poly person, while remaining mono yourself? (Which, in my vocabulary, I would call "poly-friendly":p.)
 
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