Monogomus with a poly partner??


New member
Can I make myself be poly? I have been with my boyfriend for about a year and we have been mostly monogamous for the whole time... well three days ago he comes to me and tells me he needs a poly relationship... I don't want to lose him and I want to try... he says I'll be his main or whatever but I wanted a real life with the man I love...can I make myself happy with a poly relationship?


Well-known member
I wanted a real life with the man I love

Do you know what that looks like? Understanding what it is exactly that you value out of your relationship with him, and what your clear expectations are, will be necessary in order for you to decide if this is something you can do or not.

he says I'll be his main or whatever

I recommend against brushing past this; this is at the very heart of the matter.

The two of you should discuss very clearly what you wan (as I mentioned above), and what he wants. I know it can be jarring to have frank conversations about this sort of thing. Since monogamy is just the default for so many people, it is normal for everyone to just make broad sweeping assumptions about what the other person wants. Now that there is a non-traditional element in your relationship, you guys will need to work on having clear and frank conversations about your expectations.

can I make myself happy with a poly relationship

That'll depend on where your two sets of expectations and desires line up. If what he wants is way out of whack with what you want, then probably not.

However, you may find that what you actually want out of a "real life with the man I love" doesn't preclude his having romantic relationships with other people. That'll be for you to decide, and only if you guys can get into some adult communication.
I recently was in a relationship with a married woman who was poly. It ended unfortunately.

She approached me about starting a relationship with her. Her Husband was 'okay' with it. I wrestled with it for awhile. And eventually I went through with it. I guess I would never know how it would go unless I tried.

At the beginning, it was strange. But then it became great. Unfortunately it ended badly.

I don't regret my decision for being involved in a relationship with her. I had great experiences with her and learned a lot about myself.

I accept that it did end. But all I can do is learn from it.


Official Greeter
Staff member
Greetings MzHatter,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

Mono/poly relationships are possible, they are not easy but they are possible. Is this something your boyfriend could accept? or does he insist that you be poly with him?

Some people can be poly, and some people can't. I am not sure whether this is something you can do. At this moment, you seem to be unhappy with the turn of events (him wanting to go poly), but you want to try. Is this just because you don't want him to break up with you, or are you genuinely interested in poly itself?

I hope you are able to be poly.
Kevin T., "official greeter"


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Well-known member
I'm sorry you struggle. I mean all this kindly, ok?

I think some of these are things only you can answer. But maybe it helps to think about additional perspectives?

Can I make myself be poly?

Why MAKE yourself be poly if you are not?

Some people are monoamorous (desire or capacity to love 1 sweetie) and "relationship shape flexible." They are ok participating in either monogamous relationship models that have just those 2 people, or being like the end point in a poly V or similar. So if they do either monogamy or the mono-poly thing? They still have their one sweetie. They are fine.

But people who are monoamorous and strictly monogamous (only want 1:1 relationship models) would NOT do well in a mono-poly situation. Because a mono-poly situation is NOT the model they really want -- monogamy. It can spare people a lot of mental grief and possible damage to themselves and others if they hold this up as a value from the beginning rather than ignoring it or bending themselves into pretzels.
Nobody want to be like "collateral damage" to a couple who opened up for wonky reasons and then realized they were underprepared, took on more than they could handle, or maybe should have just broken up instead.

So maybe you could reflect on where you land on that. What are your "toggles" and what are his? I think same toggle or neighbor toggles could do ok. But totally opposite toggles like one wants monogamy and the other wants polyamory? Nope.

  • Monoamorous + wants monogamy shaped relationships only
  • Monoamorous + relationship shape flexible.
  • Polyamorous + relationship shape flexible.
  • Polyamorous + wants poly shaped relationships only
This BF has only been around a year. This is still getting to know you time... and not everyone who is initially compatible will be deeply compatible. The NRE might be wearing off.

Rather than bend into pretzels if this has gone as far as it can go and is coming to the end? Might be ok to let it end with grace, and enjoy it for what it was.

On the other hand, if this is something you both want to do from a joyful place? Could learn about it first. And talk about how it might end before jumping into poly dating.

Because maybe...

  • You try and it all pans out after some initial growing pains. Change over to practicing poly.
  • You try, and surprise. He wanted it, but it's you that thrives in it and now he wants to close back up.
  • You try, and surprise. Not for you after all.
  • You try and surprise. You both want poly, but practice it different. So have to part and find other poly people who are more compatible with how you practice it.
  • You consider, but decide not to try because it's not really your thing and rather end it now that go the long way around.
  • Something else I can't think of right now.
I have been with my boyfriend for about a year and we have been mostly monogamous for the whole time... well three days ago he comes to me and tells me he needs a poly relationship... I don't want to lose him and I want to try...

Did he know he was poly all along? Why not tell you sooner then?

Did he just discover this about himself?

Be careful this part in bold isn't you doing one of the stages of grief -- like bargaining stage. Or trying to do things just to avoid a break up. I give this tool to my kids. I think any age person could use it.

he says I'll be his main or whatever...

Sometimes a primary-secondary model works out. Sometimes it gets outgrown and people want to change to co-primary. Are you prepared to deal with that?

Or is this him doing his own grief bargaining stage -- trying to move on to doing poly without having to break up?

but I wanted a real life with the man I love...

Ok. What would "a real life" include? Are you able to articulate that? Or what it is you seek from life? From a partner?

Are there things on that list that doing this poly experiment would not include that you really want in your romantic relationships?

Any values you hold dear that you'd have to give up?

Would doing this poly experiment make it so you are no longer living true to your highest values?

Any dealbreaker things?

If so... maybe it's best to let this one go.

can I make myself happy with a poly relationship?

Only you can answer if participating in a poly relationship with him would make you feel happy.

But before you get all into that, it starts with YOU and what YOU value. Like if this BF wasn't even in the picture... would you be seeking poly for yourself anyway? Or do you actually prefer something else?

Some places to start reading. It's not unusual for people to take a year or more to prepare rather than just jumping in.

Here are some reading links. Not comprehensive but a start.

These are the worksheets from the "Opening Up" book.

Wayback Machine
Creating Authentic Relationships

Wayback Machine
Open Relationship Checklist

Wayback Machine
Reflecting on Change

Wayback Machine
Self Evaluation

The Most Skipped Step When Opening a Relationship

Practical Polyamory Articles

I encourage you to do some reading, your soul searching, and then have the honest conversations you need to have with your partner.

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