Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

March 11, 2016

Advice column: Lying mono gal upset at honest poly guy

"Love Letters" is an advice column in the Boston Globe by Meredith Goldstein. She posts questions and her answers online in advance, invites readers to comment, and includes some of their comments in the print edition a few days later.

This one, just up this morning, cries out for informative replies from the poly community. Here's an opportunity for public education.

In its entirety:

He doesn’t want ‘traditional monogamy’

Q: Back in October I met a man at a social function. We exchanged numbers and have been dating ever since. He told me in the beginning that he came from a "poly background," and at first I didn't see anything wrong with that because we had just started dating and I wasn't sure this was serious or not.

Since then, we have become more and more serious. Recently, while at his house, I noticed a few things that seemed out of place and even brought it to his attention. He didn't address it at the time but decided to tell me the next day while I was at work that he is not "monogamous" and would like to know my feelings on that. It took me a few days to regain my composure and explain my feelings about the situation. While I informed him that I would like to be monogamous, he simply stated that he is not compatible with traditional monogamy. It was either I accept him as polyamorous or nothing at all. Thinking that the age difference (he's 11 years younger) was at play here and that all he wanted was to "have his cake and eat it too," I pressed on, calling his bluff and saying that I would be willing to accept this polyamorous situation.

We talked quite a bit about the situation and I thought we were moving forward and making plans for Valentine's Day, when he texted me out of the blue saying he was having anxiety about my not being "mature" enough to accept his need to be poly. This entire situation has given me great anxiety and is causing me to lose sleep. I have made great concessions for this relationship and do not feel like he is making any on his end. At what point do I stop making concessions and give up the relationship?

– AnxietyStricken

A: "At what point do I stop making concessions and give up the relationship?"

Now. You give up the relationship now.

Why do you end the relationship now? Because you don't want to date a guy who's polyamorous.

You want to be in a committed, monogamous relationship, which means you're with the wrong person. This man has been quite clear about his boundaries (or lack thereof), but instead of trusting him and paying attention, you're trying to "call his bluff." Why would he bluff?

It's time to believe everything he says and then make decisions accordingly. There's no reason to lose sleep when he's given you all the information you need.

– Meredith

Readers? Is this about having cake and eating it? Should she stick around?

Here's the original (March 11, 2016), with the link at its bottom to comment to the Boston Globe. Comments you post here on my site will not be seen by the newspaper.


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Blogger Unknown said...

He told you he's not monogamous. If you feel the need to change him into something he's not, you are not a good match. Polyamory is a way of life. It's not about waiting to grow up, having your cake, or avoiding responsibility. Polyamory is about celebrating love in it's various forms with the people you care about the most. It's ok that you are monogamous. I would suggest finding a monogamous partner.

March 11, 2016 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If she were open to allowing him to be poly then there would be no reason that they couldn't have a healthy mono-poly relationship. It seems odd but there are plenty of "couples" where one is mono and the other is poly. However it does not seem like she is going to be OK with him being poly and he is noticing, while i don't think his choice of words in saying she is not mature enough to accept poly is the right way to say it, the over all tone that they need to head separate directions is what i agree with. She is mono, that is awesome, find a mono partner.

March 11, 2016 9:46 AM  
Blogger gadfly said...

We was honest. He told you that he was not monogamous. Trying to either change that in him or change your own feelings about it will not work for either of you. Although there are couples where one is monogamous and the other is poly and it works for them, I think there is a fundamental mismatch between the 2 of you and going further will not be positive for either of you. It is time to leave him and find someone with whom you can build a monogamous relationship.

March 11, 2016 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many ways to be polyamorous. I am the currently the mono half of a mono-poly relationship. And like all relationships it has been an adventure. It has not always been easy but no relationship is.
The examples that you have given in your letter give me the impression that he his not considering how you feel! Or maybe you were not properly expressing your anxiety about your mono-poly relationship (because that is what this is!).
COMMUNICATION is the key to all relationships!
Waiting until you are at work the next day is not a productive way to communicate with a partner. If he wanted to have a reasonable discussion and talk this through there are many things he could have done. For example he could have waited until the next time the two of you were together.
On the other hand you should have expressed your concerns with poly sooner. Sweeping this under the rug like it was just going to go way was not fair to him either.
Communication goes both ways!
Bottom line: I would not continue a relationship with some one who I can't communicate with in a way that satisfies my emotional needs. It sounds to me like the two of you are just not compatible. Remove the relationship style from this equation and ask your self if you are happy! If you decide to stay work on the communication!

March 11, 2016 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is as he is, and you are as you are. You *might* be able to make this work, but you would have to be willing to accept him as he is - he's not asking you to be anything but what you are. It does sound like you both need to work on your communication skills, however.

Polyamory isn't for everyone, anymore than marriage or parenting is.

March 11, 2016 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Susann said...

If she gave it a serious try, she would have informed herself about poly life and values. Perhaps then she would have found out the positive aspects before judging someone and his lifestyle without knowing anything about it.

March 11, 2016 12:07 PM  
Blogger dave miller said...

There is this notion of "dating your species" coming into play. As I read this he is from a polyamorous background, she is monogamous. She is upset and maybe willing to continue dating with him being polyamorous, he is afraid she is not truly accepting his way of life.

This seems like a cut and dry case of dating the wrong species. For this to be resolved either or both of them would need to both desire a way of life that would be mutually enjoyable and acceptable. Since this is not happening I fear that any attempts to continue the relationship are going to be fraught with continued upset, stress and eventually lead to mistrust and resentment.

Doesn't sound like they both are looking for the same thing, so why bother banging their heads against a wall? Accept you are not looking for the same thing and part ways amicably.

March 11, 2016 1:55 PM  
Anonymous SiegeFX said...

I think the headline is a little harsh against the writer. I don't think she was really lying to anyone; she is just reacting in a way that she has been programmed to react. As women we are encouraged to "test" the fidelity of the men we date. If they fail the test then we should move on to test the next guy. I agree that if she is determined to live a monogamous lifestyle then this is not the guy for her. He sounds like he's been upfront about what he wants from the relationship (even if he hasn't conveyed it in the best ways) but if she feels that being with him in anything but a monogamous fashion won't work for her, she should let herself move on and find someone she doesn't have to change to be happy.

March 11, 2016 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Polyamory /ethical non monogamy is about honesty consent and communication. The man this article speaks of was honest, communicated his lifestyle /Lovestyle choices and asked this woman what she wanted. Meredith you state he has a lack of boundaries yet clearly he expressed a boundary," when he told her accept that I am Polyamorous and stoop trying to change me." As others have already stated this woman would benefit from dating someone who is looking for a monogamous relationship. Trying to change this man because she doesn't accept his relational style is co dependent.

March 11, 2016 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Ivo said...

Maybe people should be commenting on the original article, not here. The link is included.

March 11, 2016 4:30 PM  
Blogger Poly Wanna Answer? said...

Perhaps the writer (and others) should familiarize themselves with the Polyamory TED Talk.

March 11, 2016 9:54 PM  

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