Solo Poly. How do you do it?

DreadedRose

New member
So, I've hunted through the tags and searched around some and I haven't really seen much up to date regarding this topic.

I am new to the solo poly life after disconnecting from multiple codependent and toxic relationships. I have found that my life is far more enriching and fulfilling when I live in solitude with my animals and stick with shorter interactions.

It's also allowed me to be more real and free about my interactions with others. I see my relationships with others like colors. Each one is a different shade and combined with my color, creates a different aura. Some deep with love and not sexual, some great vibing lovely friends that are sexual, and it spans the board there in between.

In my past relationships, even in my poly marriage, it held a lot of jealousy, both unspoken and vaguely manipulative as well as outwardly controlling. I found myself turning down the volume a great deal on important connections to me, or even severing the connection to avoid the conflict.

Now, at the very least, with no nesting partners, I don't have to worry about much of that conflict, if any.

I just want to know who is still here, or new here, that is solo poly (or has been). How did you function? In what ways did it benefit you? What was/is the hardest part? Are you a relationship anarchist or do you acknowledge specific relationships (if so, how)?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi DreadedRose,

There are many ways to do solo poly, no one way is the only right way, you just do it the way that works best for you. I suggest you do an inventory now and then, check and see if any of your relationships are codependent, toxic, jealous, or manipulative. If none are, if all have a pleasing aura, then you are good to go. Sticking with shorter interactions is also a good practice that works for you. We have a few other solo polyamorists who are active right now, hopefully one or more will chime in. Good luck!

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Valynn

Member
I consider myself solo poly after some dramatic implosions of my last 2 poly relationships. I feel that I now have good boundaries in place that will serve me into the future. JR & I have good communication and will make a good foundation for our relationship. I would love having a KTP (kitchen table poly) type situation. But at this time I want JR to have his own apartment, so he can heal on his own time.


Also my current living situation is not ideal for JR to move in with me. I live primarily with my mom. But there are others living in age order in our 4 bedroom house:
Elaine 50
Hanna 33
DJ 29
Amanda 25
Dexus 22 (Occasionally)
Nephew 1 (15)
Nephew 2 (13 in April)
 
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DreadedRose

New member
I consider myself solo poly after some dramatic implosions of my last 2 poly relationships. I feel that I now have good boundaries in place that will serve me into the future. JR & I have good communication and will make a good foundation for our relationship. I would love having a KTP (kitchen table poly) type situation. But at this time I want JR to have his own apartment, so he can heal on his own time.

Definitely a great move, IMO. I enjoyed the KTP situations for what they were the bit that I felt that it was implemented in a healthy way, but being on one's own for a bit makes a world of difference to the healing process.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
I've been solo poly for about 10 years. I think it's pretty awesome. I have a partner of 8 years who lives apart from me.

He has a lot of other relationships because he is much more extroverted and sexual than me. I haven't met anyone else that interested me in a long while.

The hardest thing about being solo poly was trying to explain it, and to explain what I was looking for, when I was actively dating. I got SO MANY people who thought I just meant friends with benefits and not a "relationship." To add to the complexity, I do like FWB relationships and consider them valuable and sustainable...so it was confusing to explain that I am also open to falling in love.

Mostly, I got lucky with meeting my partner 8 years ago.
 

Wishfuldreamer

New member
I'm pretty new to poly relationships, but i think i would broadly identify myself, and both what i'm in and what i would like in the future, as solo. I have two partners, one (Matt) which is a little more casual than the other (Rob). Matt has a primary relationship, and would see himself as more 'open' than poly. Rob would also broadly consider himself solo, as would Yasmin, his other partner. I live in the same city as Matt, but about an hour away from Rob. We see each other frequently, it's 'serious' as far as we are concerned (serious emotions have been discussed and exchanged) but neither of us have any desire to 'escalate' it. We both have full and independent lives, and I love, love, love spending time with him (and often don't want to leave at the moment I do), but I also love coming home, to my nice empty flat, and being free and able to make plans on my own, without really having to consult anyone else.

After a monogamous relationship of over a decade that had a lot of problems and which I ultimately just found very stifling, this is perfect for me. Maybe not forever, but I can't see myself changing in the next few years at least. I've never felt more at peace with myself, and happier, in my life.
 

hedgehog

New member
... I just want to know who is still here, or new here, that is solo poly (or has been). How did you function? In what ways did it benefit you? What was/is the hardest part? Are you a relationship anarchist or do you acknowledge specific relationships (if so, how)?

The aperture through which poly people are ideally accepting of love and relationships is much wider than mono, so we see how the potential in the world is constrained, and by extension how we are denied opportunities that would otherwise be considered perfectly natural. Sometimes that hurts. I long for a world with fewer emotional walls and borders, where we can all feel the universal love. Is it really there, trapped by convention, social politics, fear, and all the other problems? Or is that just the the wishful thinking of an idealistic imagination? Am I making any sense or just ranting?
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
No, you're making sense. Open/poly must reach a point of critical mass, before the vast majority can doff the effects of programmed mononormativity, which effects are currently censoring the love that might otherwise exist between many consenting adults. One need not go further than OKC to test the effects of putting poly in one's profile, much less the more mainstream dating sites such as eharmony which do not allow poly in any way shape or form. So you can be open to more kinds of love, yet again denied as you come up against social brainwashing in the general masses. Read Sex at Dawn; love is meant to be shared. The fact that (romantic) love is hoarded is an unnecessary hobble on the legs of would-be polyamorists who have never heard of poly (control of information), let alone realized that it was an option; monogamy is the only option in the current set of affairs.
 

hedgehog

New member
No, you're making sense. Open/poly must reach a point of critical mass, before the vast majority can doff the effects of programmed mononormativity, which effects are currently censoring the love that might otherwise exist between many consenting adults. One need not go further than OKC to test the effects of putting poly in one's profile, much less the more mainstream dating sites such as eharmony which do not allow poly in any way shape or form. So you can be open to more kinds of love, yet again denied as you come up against social brainwashing in the general masses. Read Sex at Dawn; love is meant to be shared. The fact that (romantic) love is hoarded is an unnecessary hobble on the legs of would-be polyamorists who have never heard of poly (control of information), let alone realized that it was an option; monogamy is the only option in the current set of affairs.

Rumor has it that in Portland Oregon there are several poly relationships at any given time within a stones throw of wherever you happen to be. But I guess not everyone can just pack up and move to Oregon. I saw Professor Marston & The Wonder Women recently on Netflix. It's about time that cinema start breaking rather than reinforcing all the stereotypes.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Seattle is another city that is known for it's "poly-friendliness," it is considered tied with Portland. Actually I have a whole thread on poly-friendly cities, it can be found at http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?p=295157

Cinema has been serving the "monogamous machine" since its inception. It is hopeful that that will change, but it might not change during our lifetime. I am very hopeful about the fact that Brokeback Mountain came out in 2005, it is not poly per se, but it breaks the barrier on a long-treasured taboo. If a gay relationship can become such a major motion picture, then maybe a poly relationship can do the same. Someday. Professor Marston is the most hopeful sign we have so far of the distant future.
 

Failing2Pisces

New member
I just want to know who is still here, or new here, that is solo poly (or has been). How did you function? In what ways did it benefit you? What was/is the hardest part? Are you a relationship anarchist or do you acknowledge specific relationships (if so, how)?

Hi DreadedRose, I identify as Solo Poly and I am new on here (and to the poly community). Current challenges for me right now include articulating what I am looking for in non-traditional relationship language, as well as coming up against the hurdles inherent in trying to date poly, but never having been in a poly relationship. I recently posted an intro and summary, but basically, I have been mostly single, but have had mono/hetero relationships. I am very independent and definitely off the escalator. I own my own home (it's my first home, moved in last September!), and can't imagine merging households and getting married. My own space is extremely important to me. I am an extroverted introvert.
The hardest thing about being solo poly was trying to explain it, and to explain what I was looking for, when I was actively dating. I got SO MANY people who thought I just meant friends with benefits and not a "relationship." To add to the complexity, I do like FWB relationships and consider them valuable and sustainable...so it was confusing to explain that I am also open to falling in love.

MeeraReed, YESSSS!! A huge part of my frustration in dating in monogamy world is that I have to choose from being someone's hook up, a FWB, or immediately sized up and thrown on an escalator. I feel like when I try to explain to someone what I want, they think, "oohhhh, so you want something casual, you don't want to be in a relationship", which is NOT the case. I would love to have a deep connection of substance that could potentially last for years. I recently shut down all my dating activity, and one of the reasons is that I plan to apply for a visa to work abroad this year. This plan essentially makes me un-datable in the monogamy world, (if I want a relationship of substance, that is) because I feel that the sentiment is, "If it can't potentially last forever, then there is no merit in it."
One need not go further than OKC to test the effects of putting poly in one's profile
Yup, been there. Although, I really do appreciate how progressive and adaptable OKC has been with profile options and filters. It has been the most helpful dating app that I have experienced so far.
Seattle is another city that is known for it's "poly-friendliness," it is considered tied with Portland. Actually I have a whole thread on poly-friendly cities, it can be found at http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?p=295157
I actually live in Vancouver, WA, which is basically a neighborhood of PDX.

Parting thought: I can foresee that an additional challenge to being solo poly, above and beyond identifying as poly, is demonstrating to people that one can be invested in, and committed to, a relationship, in whatever form it takes, especially since merging/co-housing can often be used as a measure of investment and commitment. Lack of proximity and assistance with daily routines could be misconstrued as disinterest, and perhaps misinterpreted as evidence that the solo person is using a partner for convenience. Of course, my head is buzzing with all the assumptions, prejudices, and arguments that I have read and heard against polyamory in general because I am making my initial forays.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi F2P,

Poly is quite a challenge to attempt in this day and age, as monogamy remains for the most part the only acceptable relationship model. I don't know how much progress we'll see in that area in this lifetime. Add to that solo poly, and you have a double challenge on your hands. I suppose patience is the secret ingredient here, one must endure the many misconceptions before finding someone who will really listen, and hear. In the meantime you just learn as much about poly, and solo poly, as you can.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
Ten years ago, I was starting to identify as solo poly but struggling with the same issues you're having: most people dismissed me as just looking for something casual (or were EAGER to meet me because I "only wanted sex"). And, as I said earlier on this thread, it was confusing because I was at a point where I WAS looking for something fairly casual--but the way that guys on OKC were reacting to me was VERY off-putting.

I wish I had better advice for you, but I simply got lucky: I met a guy who was, like me, exploring non-monogamy and trying to figure out how to define what he wanted. And the thing I liked best--he VALUED casual or friends-with-benefits relationships. He seemed to be genuine friends with his other casual partners and ex-partners. He was excited about me and we could talk for hours (also have sex for hours, LOL) while being clear we didn't want to be anything more than friends who were having sex.

Well, then we both surprised each other and ourselves by falling in love (like, a year or more after we starting having sex). After many discussions about what that meant, exactly, we figured out that it didn't change much--we still liked living separately and being "off the relationship escalator." We still wanted the freedom to date others, have sex with others, fall in love with others, etc. But we have become life partners who are there for each other, talk every day, and expect to remain in each other's lives without merging finances or households.

So, Eli is now my partner of almost 10 years. He doesn't identify as solo poly because he doesn't like living alone or solitude in general. He is a major extrovert (the complete opposite of me). He now has a platonic nesting partner who lives with him.

The only thing that doesn't work for me, and that has and continues to frustrate me, is that I haven't actually clicked with anyone else for dating in the last 10 years. But, I also haven't had that much interest in looking for people to date, so I guess it's fine. I no longer struggle to define what I want, but possibly it's not that appealing to very many other people.
 
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