People In Poly Relationships Are Sharing What It's Like, And It's Not As Complicated As You Think
"There are three children between the four of us, and things have been going wonderfully so far."
1. "I’ve been in a four-way polyamorous relationship for going on two years now. It started with my husband and I, then we decided to open up because I’m bisexual and had a crush on one of my friends. Now me, her, my husband, and her husband all consider ourselves in a relationship. There are three children between the four of us, and things have been going wonderfully so far..."
2. "I guess you could say that my husband and I are 'poly curious.' My husband does not pursue other relationships because he's not interested. But he and I are very happy together and he is completely understanding of me pursuing another relationship. Our main rules are no secrets and no lying."
3. "I'm a straight woman and in what I guess you could call a polyamorous relationship with a gay man...hear me out. In high school, we jokingly said if neither of us were married by 25 we'd just marry each other. Well 25 came and went, and then right before we turned 30...we just kinda fell in love and ended up starting a family together..."
4. "I've been dating my girlfriend for six years and my boyfriend for two. I was dating her first, and although I felt really happy, I always felt something (or someone) was missing. I repressed it for years and felt ashamed for wanting more. I thought my only option was cheating, or that it was greedy to love more than one person..."
5. "I have been in a polyamorous committed triad in which I am the hinge for about 16 years, with an occasional additional partner. For me, it is fulfilling because it means we all have more support emotionally. And unlike polygamy, polyamory is full of unique relationship structures that are particular to each group. Every polyam relationship has its own system, and I love that the relationship format is designed by the participants, not by what other people think our love should look like."
6. "I knew I wanted a level of openness in my long-term relationships after I experienced emotional abuse and manipulation in previous ones. But even as a kid I didn't understand exactly why adults had to be monogamous. After my last breakup before meeting my husband, I read The Ethical Slut and it gave me the language to describe what I wanted in my life..."
7. "Polyamory is not for me in the sense that I can't love more than one person at a time, but I have been in consensual non-monogamous relationships before now. My ex and I both agreed we'd like to sleep with other people outside of the relationship, whilst only loving each other. We didn't live together and had differing sex drives, so we instigated a 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' rule, where we'd each have discrete friends-with-benefits outside of the relationship..."
8. "My ex and I were together for eight years and we decided in our last year together to open our relationship and date other people. I realized how abusive my relationship with him was. Then I got married to my husband and I have remained polyamorous. We both fully support opening our boundaries and learning about ourselves and each other."
9. "I’ve been in a couple of polyamorous relationships. My own relationships were full of hurt and attempts to ignore it, and then feeling ashamed for being hurt. I didn’t have or see a single good relationship that was open. All of them ended in cheating or boundaries being crossed, and people being hurt for years..."
10. "My nesting partner (the partner I live with) and I date separately. We've been polyamorous our entire relationship. We do occasionally share partners but mostly maintain separate relationships. We're deeply in love and committed to each other, but also love many others. I prefer to have mostly casual relationships and one-night stands. He prefers more long-term intense relationships. But we both stay busy, stay safe, and almost never get jealous!"
11. "My wife and I are in a poly relationship with my best friend and her husband. We have been together now for almost two years, and it’s been a long learning experience. We didn’t plan this relationship at all, it just kind of happened. It has not been perfect by any means. We fight, we have jealousy, and normal tiffs like any other relationship..."
12. "I’m currently married, but I have another partner as well. My other partner and I are long-distance, but I go see him almost monthly. My husband and I have always had an open relationship and but my husband does not have a relationship outside of our marriage, not because of our rules, but because he chooses not to."
13. "My boyfriend and I have been non-monogamous since we started dating, and we’ve been living together since the start of the pandemic. It’s something we both thrive in, especially because we’re very present in the kink scene in our area. We keep our relationships relatively separate (been burned in the past) but always have total transparency and communication if we’re talking to or dating someone. If anything, we just wish we had a bigger apartment."
14. "I am a woman in my late twenties and I have always felt polyamorous even if I didn't always have a name for it. I asked my partner of seven years if we could open our relationship and he agreed, although he was not as keen on the idea as I was. In the end, my partner decided he preferred to be monogamous, although he didn't mind that I preferred polyamory."
15. "For me it's profoundly fulfilling. I get different levels and types of emotional fulfillment from different people, different types of activities and interactions. I can only speak personally, but I don't believe I can have one full, single relationship that fulfills every need I have as a person, a lover or a partner. That's too much pressure to put on one person to be someone's literal everything."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.