Why and how did you get into poly?

What type of poly origin did you have?

  • I've always had poly tendencies and never really took to monogamy

    Votes: 44 12.7%
  • I've always had poly tendencies and tried to be monogamous before

    Votes: 125 36.1%
  • I fell in love with a poly person and have adapted to the lifestyle

    Votes: 51 14.7%
  • I read or heard about someone else's poly experiences and thought it could work for me

    Votes: 44 12.7%
  • Other

    Votes: 82 23.7%

  • Total voters
    346
Why Poly? Why would you choose this?

This is kind of a weird question, but having finally come to accept that I'm polyamorous (it came at me unexpectedly and almost accidentally)... and as a practicing poly person who is just this week celebrating two years in a quad relationship (we are two married, heterosexual couples who "fell for" each other kind of by accident), I sometimes wonder why anyone would actively seek this lifestyle out.

Don't misunderstand. I completely love my husband of 20+ years. I also love my husband's girlfriend (in a sisterly type of way) and yes, my boyfriend too. The four of us have so much fun and so many adventures together and I get so much joy from our relationship that sometimes I feel like I will burst with happiness. And at this point I would no sooner give up my boyfriend or our quad relationship than I would willing give up a limb.

But on the other hand, it is SO complex to manage a quad relationship and all of the individual relationships within that quad. Sometimes, I struggle really hard with issues of jealousy and insecurity--emotions that I had never really felt before our quad...or at least not this intensely. And sometimes I still get really sad about being in the closet, and frustrated that none of us will ever really be able to be open about what we mean to each other. Sometimes I even get terrified that I have risked what was an incredibly strong marriage when we started out (and still is), but could be somehow hurt by opening it up like this to other relationships.

We are in the middle of moving closer to each other...just a few miles away. Maybe I'm just getting cold feet and am feeling anxious due to that.

But, I can't help wondering. Why poly? I didn't choose poly. Poly chose me. And if our quad relationship ended tomorrow (which would be horrible!!), I don't know that I would seek a relationship like this again. I guess I'm saying that even though I might be poly, I would choose not to practice poly. Maybe.

I'm just wondering why so many of you--knowing how hard and complex poly relationships can be--choose to be "practicing" poly people?

Please convince me again that this is all incredible, and rewarding, and fulfilling, and all worth it. lol
 
I've seen "incredibly strong" monogamous partnerships fall apart. Not all, obviously, I'm not anti-monogamy. But polyamory forces you to work on your issues, to face jealousy and insecurity, to get better at communication and time management and acceptance than you were before... if it's going to work, that is. It's sometimes semi-jokingly called Relationships 201. I figure, if you're forced to work harder on your relationships skills, maybe you'll get better. Maybe you'll actually deal better when a storm comes your way than you would if you'd never challenged yourself.

That's not why I'm poly, precisely. I'm poly because it feels right and natural to me. *shrug* I find that I get different things from different partners. I learn more about myself. And, hey, more people to help out if I need to move or hide a body. :D I'm out, so the closet isn't a problem for me. Why do you feel like you guys couldn't possibly be out?
 
Oh, that's rough. :/ Sorry to hear it.
 
But on the other hand, it is SO complex to manage a quad relationship and all of the individual relationships within that quad

I was talking with a swinger couple I'm acquainted with recently about poly vs swinging. The male of the couple said that it just sounded like way too much work; keeping up with all of the relationships. All of the rules, managing time, etc. I responded "Yah, that sounds awful, I would also bail on that".

He was pretty confused by my response.

The cause of his confusion is basically the same as the cause for most of the horror stories I've seen posted on these boards. People who are prone to trying to control the actions of their loved ones, people who cannot stand to be alone with themselves, and who hand off responsibility for their feelings to their lovers are destined to have gruesome and dramatic relationships. This personality type trying to have a poly relationship is going to sink like the Titanic - everyone dying and trying to blame it on someone else.

This is not a poly issue, this is a general interpersonal issue.

Sometimes, I struggle really hard with issues of jealousy and insecurity--emotions that I had never really felt before our quad...or at least not this intensely.

Dealing with emotions as an adult are tough. I know I didn't get a lot of practice growing up since I was raised to be a whiny and entitled American just like everyone else around me was. Learning to deal with my own emotions continues to be a struggle at times.

I'm just wondering why so many of you--knowing how hard and complex poly relationships can be--choose to be "practicing" poly people?

Please convince me again that this is all incredible, and rewarding, and fulfilling, and all worth it. lol

Odds are very good that it is difficult because you are making it difficult. Start living your life as a fully functional and independent adult while allowing everyone (everyone) around you the same courtesy and you might find that the world runs itself just fine without your input.

If I decide that my life is difficult and just one complex and unpleasant puzzle to solve after another I'm going to STOP DOING IT. I'm not trying to be ugly to you, just reminding you that it is your life even though you are merely 1 of 4.
 
Thanks Marcus. Generally I agree with you, though you'll just have to trust me on this, I am anything but whiny and entitled and surely didn't grow up that way. I also do believe I am living as a fully functional and independent adult. Just one who has found herself in circumstances she never could have fathomed even a few years ago, and is working hard to find the healthiest way to live in them...and trying to be honest with myself along the way and deal with it responsibly and maturely when I feel something like jealousy or insecurity.

But you are correct. If its difficult it is partly because I am making it that way. But that's why I am here and that's why I'm asking questions like these: so I can learn to just let the complexity go, live in the moment, and let it just be what it is.
 
I'm just wondering why so many of you--knowing how hard and complex poly relationships can be--choose to be "practicing" poly people?

It chose me. I wouldn't have chosen this. In fact, growing up, I didn't want to partner up at all, no marriage, no kids etc. Because watching my parents "monogamous" disaster was enough to convince me that it would be best to just stick to friendships and forego the "undependable" romantic relationships available.

Then hormones started to rage and I was off and running in the disaster we call romance.

At any rate, I love my partners. But-life WAS much easier single.
 
This matter of choice ... do you really feel that this applies here? You yourself said, that poly chose you. For me, it sounds like asking "Why do you chose to love?" or "Why do you chose to have a realtionship with other human beings?" I personally believe that I can not choose what I feel; it simply is. I can choose if I want to react accordingly or if I try to stuff that feelings away. I tried to do that in the case of love for some years. Did not work well and made me suffer. If I want to see a choice here, it would be the one between doing the "relationship work" or being unhappy.

I can say that poly kind of chose me back then or, put another way, that my feelings finally showed. After I accepted my feelings and stopped restricting myself, all came naturally. I can say, that I suffered a lot more before I embarged on the poly journey. I love my life right now and if I would happen to be single again, I do not think that I would actively seek more than one partner again, but as before, if it happens it happens. I have never actively sought out relationships. They just come into your life with the people you meet.
 
I discovered polyamory through someone I know who had a blog about it. After my husband and I separated, I started reading her blog and other poly sites, and thought the idea of polyamory made sense. I was always someone who loves easily and, since I was embarking on dating for the first time in over a decade, knew I didn't want something exclusive again.

For me, poly is a practice, not an identity - it's just one possible structure or approach to relationships. I could be happy in a monogamous relationship again, with the right open-minded kind of person, because I'm not so arrogant nor deluded to believe that poly is the only relationship structure in which a person's freedom and autonomy can be preserved and respected. My happiness is an inside job, and is not dependent upon how many people I can have sex with! I have observed many wonderful, beautiful, loving, and cooperative monogamous relationships in my lifetime. However, I don't see myself getting into one anytime soon, at least not in the next five or so years, if it does.

For now I am certain that I want to have multiple relationships, but I am not about to pursue people just for the sake of having declared myself a polyamorist. I'm not into "collecting partners." Rather, I am open to possibilities. I want somewhat more casual or loose arrangements, which means I do not want any of them to be entwined partnerships, nor do I wish to live with anyone again.
 
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Simple answer: I would never do mono.

Monogamy sounds like an artificial, arbitrary limitation that I don't agree with and do not understand. I prefer both my own autonomy and independence, as well as that of my partner(s), free from such limitations.

Plus, more practically: If a partner desires genital sex, a mono ship with me would mean involuntary celibacy on them, as there's no way they'll be getting that sex from me; and imposing in-cel on someone sounds a cruel and loveless thing to do. Thus, poly and/or open agreements are the key to making me "partner-compatible" with a whole lot more of people in the first place, whose sexual desires would simply take us off each other's list of potential mates otherwise.
 
ok poly forever lol

Ok so We are in a quad as well. Went from swinging to falling in love. The quad is now coming up to our 5th anniversary.

BTW I do have a totally loving quad. I am active with all 3 of my partners in the Quad as is the other 3 with each other.

This has been a fantastic week in our quad. I have made love to my ladies a number of times this week, sometimes together and sometimes apart.

My BF and i went on a date to a club, where you can rents rooms or use the hot tub or the group room etc, this was a lot of fun. He now talks about us going on a date, that is a first.

Last night we ended up with a sleepover, this is relatively new for us, as my bf doesn't like sleepovers so much on a weeknight.. What i showed him this morning is that just because i have to go to work doesn't mean the other 3 have to get up.

we live 900 meters apart. we also moved closer together so we could be.

Again would i ever give up poly, absolutely not, sure its work but the rewards pay far more than the work. It cannot be more beautiful that i am loved by my wife, my gf, and my bf.

And if we ever split up it would be extremely hard.
 
I am polyamorous and have always been so, but didn't have a term for it until about 1999. I was born in 1955, so do the math.

I lived mono for approx 30 years, as one is supposed to do. I was more or less miserable, romance-wise, all those years, tho the h was a great guy in many ways. (We tried poly in 1999-2000 but gave it up, it was too hard given our former dynamics.)

I always had a roving eye, always got crushes on friends, neighbors, even celebrities. And h was always jealous. Even of the celebrities!

Once we finally separated, I damn well went looking for lovers! I didn't and don't have time to just let them find me, wasn't very likely in my circle of mono, married, hetero friends. I went looking on ok cupid, found a gf, kept dating, had lots of fun, tons of laughs and romance and sex with lots of not quite right people, finally found a real bf over a year ago and have not regretted a thing.

The 3 of us are in a V, me as hinge. We do not struggle with jealousy or time management in more than a fleeting way. Things are usually settled with an hour's conversation, if even that. Mostly we just live and love and get on with our lives. (We're all pretty good at stating our needs and desires and being honest and forthright and using I statements, and we aren't needy clingy, we all like alone time.)

And I am super happy! Took me long enough to become the authentic Magdlyn.
 
Dealing with emotions as an adult are tough. I know I didn't get a lot of practice growing up since I was raised to be a whiny and entitled American just like everyone else around me was. Learning to deal with my own emotions continues to be a struggle at times.

The fact that you can observe yourself dispassionately bodes well for your chances of creating a successful strategy for this. I have met very few 'whiny and entitled Americans' who have even the remotest clue that that is how they behave.

I take my hat off to you!
 
It's not a choice I meant to make, that's for sure.

I was happily monogamous with my husband for 13 years before I met my girlfriend. Truly happy. And truly monogamous. I met her and things went a bit nuts for me. We were inseparable in an instant. I figured I had a new best friend. But it felt like more. I wanted to spend all my time with her. Wanted to go out of my way to make her happy. I wanted to hold her hand. To touch her.

My husband was the one who told me I was in love with her. Maybe I was in some heavy denial or maybe I was scared of being disloyal to my husband but I didn't notice it. I cried. I was terrified. But I couldn't stop. I was compleatly in love. He was the one who said it was ok, and told me to see if she and I could make something work.

So I'm poly. :)

Would I do it again? Only with them. The loves of my life. Will there be more? I really hope not. I've got my hands full with these two.
 
I did choose polyamory on a theoretical level first, it just made more sense to me than monogamy. My initial thought was that I would not want to deny my partners any possible sexual encounters that they might run into, and not so much of me having several partners myself.

My first ever relationship was open for outside sex or relationships but they really never occurred. After that I have been more actively looking for other partners even after finding one. At the moment am not looking for more, my two loves are enough - though am open for "metamour with benefits" -arrangement if my husband finds someone special and that is what everyone wants.

Would I change it? No, absolutely not. This is the happiest I have ever been, and to me the work keeping up all the relationships is not that difficult. Of course there is work to be done, and I have had to learn to listen better to my partners when they state their needs and emotions, but all of that is manageable. For me the extra work with the relationships is a challenge that makes life so much more fulfilling - when the problems get solved, that is. And they tend to get solved in our lives.
 
I am poly because I believe there is no one person in the world who can fulfill all of your needs. I have enough love to give, and just want to see my partner happy. I also understand that I cannot be everything to any one person either.

It has been really hard sometimes. However, I feel when you love someone, you don't impinge on their happiness because of your insecurities. I believe a strong group can bring a lot of happiness and support to one another and help each other grow as people.

Yes you can have friends to fill some of these roles. It simply isn't the same as one who knows you inside and out and still wants to be with you. Still wants to spend their time with you and go to bed with you at night and smiles waking up with you the next day. I don't feel that love is a finite resource and that it shouldn't be withheld when it occurs naturally.
 
I'm just wondering why so many of you--knowing how hard and complex poly relationships can be--choose to be "practicing" poly people?

Curious why you, knowing you yourself didn't choose, think anyone else "chooses" to be poly?

It's just something we are. Trust me, there are times I wish I wasn't poly, too. But most of the time, I love being myself. I love that I have the capacity to love many people, to be loved by many, and to feel joyful, not jealous, in their love for others.

There is nothing sweeter for me than seeing my love kiss a woman who we both feel affection towards....And hoping that, just maybe, she learns to love both of us the way we love each other. And that we learn to love her in return.
 
Curious why you, knowing you yourself didn't choose, think anyone else "chooses" to be poly?

It's just something we are.

Speak for yourself.

There are plenty of peeps here who do not view polyamory as something we are, but just a way we choose to live. To us, it's a practice, an approach, a structure, not an identity or "wiring" (stupid term). The fact that you feel it is what you are only reflects how YOU feel about it, but you cannot speak for all.

In addition, even if one is the type who feels it is an identity and the way one is, doesn't automatically catapult one into multiple relationships. You can see yourself as a poly person and still live monogamously or have no relationships at all. There is a point where one chooses to enter into more than one relationship, or not, and everyone's path to that choice is different. I believe that is what the OP is asking about, not whether you see yourself as "wired" that way.
 
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In addition, even if one is the type who feels it is an identity and the way one is, doesn't automatically catapult one into multiple relationships. You can see yourself as a poly person and still live monogamously or have no relationships at all. There is a point where one chooses to enter into more than one relationship, or not, and everyone's path to that choice is different. I believe that is what the OP is asking about, not whether you see yourself as "wired" that way.

This is a good point.

I arrived at polyamory because of my worldview shifting toward a stance of absolute independence. I rejected the concept of monogamy as a traditionalist social trapping which had ceased to apply to me. I decided that free sexual expression (or lack of expression) was preferable and that slut shaming and sex negativity were not for me. I learned that applying a scarcity model to emotional love was broken, and that there were no limits to emotional intimacy but merely logistical constraints like time and energy.

With all of these ideals in play I pretty much defaulted to polyamory. I was with my monogamous wife at the time I came to this discovery. I didn't have any other lovers on the line and wasn't looking for any - it was a philosophical distinction, not a desire to have multiple romantic partners. Granted, the ability to have multiple romantic partners greatly appeals to me, but I am a person who requires a great deal of alone time and thus do not put much effort into building very many of these kinds of relationships. Add to that, these days I'm not interested in any relationships which are not basically effortless - and most people are dramatic, needy, controlling, disaster pieces... so there's that hindrance.
 
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