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Misconceptions Poly Daters Make about Poly Relationships

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I had a first, and last, date with a guy recently. He was attractive, funny, and as a bonus, perhaps rich too, but he said something that turned me off and I couldn’t see myself with him at all after that.

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We were talking about our experiences as poly people. I said honestly that sex and sexual variety is important to me, and then mentioned that relationships also help me grow as a person and learn more about the needs and desires of others.

Off the cuff, he scoffed, “Oh, I don’t worry too much about any of that. If I mess up, well, that’s what all the backup relationships are for.” He was trying to make light, but made himself sound like an asshole.

Perhaps I should have taken Ted out again, and explained to him all of this, but hey, time is precious. Here’s what I should have told him.

Poly relationships are not “backup plans” or insurance for you, so that you don’t have to worry about messing up as a lover or partner.

People are not interchangeable. Losing the chance for a positive connection, whether long-term or brief, friendly or sexual, is a unique loss. The whole reason I date many men and women is because they are NOT all the same.

Poly is not a free-for-all buffet of sex with minimal time investment in character and personality.

Poly relationships take more time, because we need to fit more partners into our life in a meaningful way. This can be challenging. It’s not about guys lining up for a series of afternoon quickies (although that sounds like fun!) It’s about scheduling our lives in ways that our partners can have real impact on us as humans, and vice versa.

Being poly doesn’t mean we are less choosy.

Poly people can be MORE choosy, because we already have our dance cards full. We aren’t desperate for variety because we’re allowed that aspect instead of denied.

Being poly doesn’t mean we don’t notice your personality defects.

If you’re assuming that more relationships means each of them are less intimate and hence, easier for you to hide your flaws, think again.

Poly people are quite adept at noticing how a person might act towards their other partners and not only do we take note, but word gets around.

When a partner we share as lovers or have in common as a friend says, “He’s always looking out for me, and he’s so respectful in front of other women or other partners,” this goes a long way. When she says, “He never makes time for me and treats my kids like crap,” we also notice right away.

Being poly doesn’t mean never having to say you’re sorry.

If like Ted, you fancy relationship fails without consequence, maybe you should rethink what that means about your character and examine how you treat people in generally. Personally, I want to be the kind of person who brings my best to the table.

In the short run, when we are young, we make mistakes, are nonchalant about them, and sometimes we are lucky and there isn’t much collateral damage. But there are only so many times that someone like Ted can spring back. If we don’t learn how to say we’re sorry and repair the things we do wrong, we won’t get far in life, never mind love.

If you think I won’t notice and you won’t care because you have so many backups, think again. You might have Jennifer, Janet, Julia, and Jade, but not Jamie!

To quote Madonna, “She’s not me.” Who’s sorry now, buster?

Tell us what you think!

Tell us what you think!

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