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15 Things People In Open Relationships Are Sick And Tired Of Hearing

"Love is not a finite resource — it's not pie!"

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community in polyamorous or open relationships to share the misconceptions about non-monogamy that they would love to never hear again. So, please take notes:

1. "You're clearly afraid of commitment."

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"It takes a lot of time and effort to keep up more than one relationship! I have three people I send a 'good morning!' text message to every morning and maintain three conversations throughout the day. It's the definition of effort and commitment! I do it because I care deeply about those people, I have interesting conversations with them and I enjoy having them at my side figuratively and literally, so its worth it. But goddamn, is it a lot of commitment!"

—28/F/Straight

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2. "That's just not a healthy way to have a relationship."

Bravo

"There is a fine, fine line between caring for and wanting to be with someone, and being possessive. Monogamous relationships tend to blur that line a lot. And I think there's much more of an emphasis on communication in an open relationship than a monogamous one. Nothing can move forward in a healthy way without communication."

—29/F/Pansexual

"I now understand so many different human emotions more intimately and deeply, like love, jealousy, intimacy, and values."

—27/Non-binary/Pansexual

3. "It's just cheating."

"It's not if everyone is in acknowledgment and consenting — that's the point."

—21/non-binary/queer

4. "I guess you don't believe in real, long-lasting love, then?"

Nickelodean

"Our open relationship came into being because we both communicated that we aren't interested in being physical with one person for the rest of our life, but do believe in long-lasting romantic love. We are also both quite in tune with our sexualities and the appetite that comes with that. We both recognize that we can't offer each other everything, and we recognize that as human beings it's important to experience as much as possible. My partner and I want that for each other."

—26/F/Bisexual

5. "You're all just slutty or sex-crazed."

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"People seem to assume that I'm obviously sex-crazed if monogamy isn't my thing. Even close friends seem to be skeptical that I can happily be deeply involved with more than one person at a time; they think it's all about sex. And maybe that's true for some poly relationships, but for me, it's all about not limiting myself in terms of potential loving partners. One of my best relationships ever has been a tri-relationship between me, an asexual person, and a girl who was also seeing others besides us. It never got dramatic or complicated because we all were free to be exactly who we were and pursue exactly what we wanted within and outside of the relationship. It made our connections to each other deeper and more meaningful."

—28/genderqueer/Bisexual

"I have seven romantic partners and I only have sex with two of them. Sex is not always what it's about."

—27/Queer

"I mean, I suppose it can be all about sex, if that's what you're looking for. For us, it's mostly a lot of big dinners and board games."

— 35/F/Pansexual

6. "OK, but you can't be in love more than one person."

"You can love more than one person without anyone losing anything. Happiness never decreases by being shared."

—30/F/pansexual

"Love is not a finite resource — it's not pie! Sharing it does not in any way diminish its strength or value with others. Giving your love to two or more is not in any way less significant than pledging your love to one person."

—Shannon Anna Mathew, Facebook

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7. "You're clearly compensating for something."

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"I would be rich if I had a dollar for every person who said, 'That's nice for you, but most people don't need multiple partners to feel fulfilled.' My non-monogamy is not filling some void in me. It's not that my partners aren't enough for me on an individual basis. They're all different people, and they fulfill me in different ways with their individuality.

My main partner is not deficient in some way, we've simply agreed that we have space in our lives for more people and different experiences. Fulfillment is not dependent on another person, it's on ourselves."

—28/F/Pansexual

9. "Sounds like your relationship is in trouble if you need to open it up — why not just split?"

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"Non-monogamy is wonderful for many reasons. It is not always a stepping stone towards separation — oftentimes it brings couples closer."

— 20/F/Lesbian

10. "Wouldn't you always be feeling insecure or jealous!?"

"A lot of monogamy feeds into fears we have about not satisfying our partner. Being in poly or open relationships has helped me embrace the fact that I am enough and that there is no reason to be distrustful of my partners also finding happiness elsewhere. It has taught me to be more confident and generous, as well as helped understand that everyone truly understands intimacy differently."

—20/non-binary/queer

"Nah. That's not a healthy open relationship. A healthy relationship has trust in all things — and communication to back that trust up."

—27/F/pansexual

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12. "Well, there is no way that's going to last — it's just a phase."

NBC

"There's the assumption that it's a phase, or that I'll eventually pick one of my partners over the other. It's not a competition where I'm picking one winner."

—24/F/queer

"I want people to know that I am not replacing my spouse. He is my other half. I am in other relationships so that I can allow him to be himself and still get what I need. He does the same for me. We have a lot of love to go around, so we want to share."

—Rosey Posey, Facebook

13. Guess you're never getting married, huh?

"I had a long, fulfilling marriage (that ended for other reasons) that was an open marriage. We both agreed after discussing it that we could have sex with other people as long as the other marriage partner knew about it ahead of time and had the right of first refusal. Neither of us exercised that option over 11 years together, mainly because the option was there. Having the option meant that extramarital activities didn't have the added 'forbidden fruit' temptation and excitement, and thus most of the opportunities that arose weren't worth the effort of going through with it."

—Mike Bullian, Facebook

"We've been happily married ten years. My monogamous sister is on her third marriage, and my monogamous brother is on his second."

—33/F/Pansexual

14. "So, you can just sleep around and there's no cheating?"

WEtv

"You can still cheat, even if you're open or poly. And it feels worse, at least to me, than getting cheated on in a monogamous relationship because if you know you can just talk to your partner about what you want — why wouldn't you?"

—24/F/queer

"Non-monogamy is not a blank check to act however you want without regard to your partners' thoughts and feelings."

—27/AFAB/Heteroflexible

15. "Can I join in?"

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"Don't immediately hit on me when you learn that I'm in an open relationship. I don't sleep with every single person I meet. I'm not an insatiable sex robot."

—28/F/Bisexual

"Just because you have more than one love does not mean you go boffing anyone that offers. I am in a stable triad relationship and we are not looking to add anyone, we are perfectly happy!"

—44/F/Pansexual

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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