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    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."

    Relationships come in all shapes and forms, so we asked the poly side of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what it's actually like to have more than one partner at a time. Here are some of their fascinating insights:

    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..."

    UKTV / Via media.giphy.com

    "...It takes a lot of work and open communication. We all feel as though we’ve grown individually and in every relationship dynamic within our quad. Feelings of jealousy still pop up but it leads to open discussions about why we felt jealous and what we are missing in our relationship in order to help.

    The relationship dynamic has forced me to look within myself, dissect my insecurities, and to tell my husband what I need very specifically. It’s allowed me to explore new things emotionally, romantically, and sexually. It hasn’t always been easy, but I truly love where all of my relationships are at this point."

    — Anonymous

    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."

    Fox / Via media.giphy.com

    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..."

    Syfy / Via media.giphy.com

    "...And while we do have our own unique form of sexual intimacy we both seek outside partners from time to time to satisfy sexual needs. Our relationship is mostly a romantic one and we live as a family with our young daughter. My partner always wanted to have a 'traditional' mother/father family for his own personal reasons and hey...it works for us."

    — Anonymous

    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..."

    STARZ / Via media.giphy.com

    "...After a lot of talking, we decided that maybe monogamy wasn't right for me. In our triad, it can be hard not to get jealous and it's even harder to juggle three schedules and lifestyles, but I've never felt happier. And having three people makes chores a breeze! My relationships are more secure than ever, but 'coming out' as polyamorous still makes me nervous, even more than coming out as bi!

    People are often confused or even disgusted. They usually assume one partner doesn't know about they other, or that we're all really kinky and into threesomes. I know it's unconventional, but I wish more people were accepting of poly relationships. The hardest part for me is knowing that no matter how much I love my partners, I won't be able to marry both of them, and that only one could be legally recognized as the parent of any children we have. I'd never be able to choose between them."

    — Anonymous

    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."

    Netflix / Via media.giphy.com

    — Anonymous

    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..."

    Soul Pancake / Via media.giphy.com

    "...If we decide to have children, we will talk about whether to remain polyamorous. It's been wonderful and a joy to see my husband blossom into himself from dating and experiencing more sexually — and he says the same about me."

    — Anonymous

    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..."

    Paramount / Via media.giphy.com

    "...My advice to others is to always discuss polyamory/consensual non-monogamy at the start of the relationship if that's what you want. It's a deal-breaker for many people, and not something you can spring on someone down the line. It also will never fix any pre-existing problems you have in your relationship."

    jonsharky

    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..."

    NBC / Via media.giphy.com

    "...The worst ending was a couple I knew that invited a friend who was a couple's therapist to stay with them to help them to work through the male partner getting cold after the female partner gave birth. She came downstairs one night to the therapist friend giving her partner a blowjob. He said it was okay because they were open.

    Do not recommend."

    — Anonymous

    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!"

    FXX / Via media.giphy.com

    — Anonymous

    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..."

    Netflix / Via media.giphy.com

    "...But what we do have is more love, more caring, more people to get advice from, and more help with all the children. Poly life is amazing, and I don’t think I could ever go back."

    — Anonymous

    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."

    Warner Bros. Pictures / Via media.giphy.com

    — Anonymous

    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."

    NBC / Via media.giphy.com

    — Anonymous

    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."

    NBC / Via media.giphy.com

    — Anonymous

    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."

    WE TV / Via media.giphy.com

    — Anonymous

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.

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