Humans logo

Polyamory Is Not for Most. Is It For You?

Are you the one to make it work?

By Mona LazarPublished 6 months ago 5 min read
Polyamory Is Not for Most. Is It For You?
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

From blamed to revered, but especially misunderstood!

Polyamory is the subject of heated debate between those who live the poly life, those who want to give it a try, and the ones who hate the very idea of what seems to be a group of people where everyone is doing everyone else.

Polyamory is defined as:

“the practice of engaging in multiple romantic (and typically sexual) relationships, with the consent of all the people involved”.

I know, it sounds promiscuous. But is it? And as long as there is consent, does it matter?

First, let’s decide what polyamory is not:

It’s not a space where everybody has sex with everybody else. Not Caligula’s palace. Not an orgy or swinger’s club.

It’s not a space where it’s ok to sleep with others without consent from your other partners. So not a land of free fornicating. You will need the consent of the kings and queens of your household.

It’s not for commitment-phobes. You need to commit to a whole array of people.

Then, let’s see why most of the time it doesn’t work:

1. It’s used as a front for something else.

Let’s face it, the concept of polyamory is highly used and abused. There are a lot of people out there who use it as nothing more than a label that says ‘I’m this cool modern guy who wants to sleep with everybody around and if you’re not ok with that, you’re not cool.”

If you hear something of the sort, it’s time to run. This is somebody trying to low-key coerce you into something that’s just not for you by shaming you for your beliefs.

Polyamory is not cool per se. And if you’re monogamous doesn’t mean you’re uncool.

Here’s what is uncool: pretending you’re the cool girl or the cool wife who is ok with any sort of sexual activity just to please your partner.

The cool girl is the female equivalent of the nice guy: they both do things they don’t believe in to please someone else and end up hurt and alone.

2. It’s not for introverts.

The problem is in the name. Poly=several/ many/ much, multi.

As an introvert, you hardly have enough mental space and energy for one more, let alone 7. Or 27.

Poly comes with a lot of common meetings, a lot of schedules, and a lot of things to do together with the whole extended family. Various people keep coming and going, there are strangers you keep meeting and friends who leave. Or they don’t leave, they stay adjacent to the polycule, without being romantically or sexually involved with anyone anymore.

The bottom line, the group gets bigger and bigger.

Life is one huge party without music and dancing. There is dancing, but only around people’s feelings.

Which is no big deal for an extrovert. They have an inborn ability to do that without stressing too much. For introverts, it takes a huge toll on their ability to enjoy life.

3. Unless it’s double-sided, it can be abusive.

It doesn’t happen in every case, but it does happen. A lot.

There are some one-sided poly relationships out there. This means that one side of the couple is poly and the other is monogamous and they’re both ok with that.

More often than not, however, you have the monogamous side who fell hard for the poly and is accepting him for who he is but doesn’t have their own needs met.

A monogamous usually wants to partner with another monogamous. Yes, sometimes they can accept a poly, but most often than not… they accept it so they wouldn’t lose him.

Also, things get more severe and downright abusive when the poly partner actively pushes polyamory as a way to coerce the other party into various religious or cult-like situations.

Yes, it happens. And while that’s not real polyamory, it is something to look out for and an area where you should proceed with care.

4. It’s a lot more work than anybody imagines.

If you don’t want extra work when you come back from work, poly is just not for you.

Relationships are difficult even one-to-one. Of course, it gets multiplied if there are several people, with several needs, wants, and schedules.

The relationship becomes work. Polycules have schedules and everybody needs to make sure everybody else is satisfied with the amount of attention they get, with how they are treated, and if they have their needs met.

Life gets so chaotic that you can’t handle the extra stress of a huge family on top of your work, your main relationship, and your actual family.

It works much better if you have huge amounts of energy and time at your disposal. When you’re young and free, don’t have a family, or a job and you can come and go as you please.

Flexibility is key in this lifestyle and you need to wonder how much of it you’ve got.

5. Some poly concepts are not psychologically correct.

For example, the concept of egalitarian polyamory (not having a main partner, but all partners being equal) is humanly unattainable.

The brain doesn’t work that way.

The mind plays favorites, whether it is between partners, your parents, or your children. You might not show it (or think you don’t), but you feel it — you prefer one of them. And it’s only natural.

The only problem is that your partners will feel that you like one better than the other. And that’s when all hell breaks lose and it’s damaging to yourself and to the people who feel they don’t get enough.

You have to be ok with the idea that polyamory is not a wonderland of free love and purple butterflies.

It’s also not a big happy family. It’s a family and all families come with a lot of work to make them functional and happy.


Can it work out for some? Absolutely.

One of my poly friends is part of a polycule that takes pride in mutual respect, common values, and a belief that love shouldn’t be limited by anything else but consent.

They make it work, but she agrees it takes a lot of work.

For her, it’s worth it because she just couldn’t imagine life any other way. She is poly down to her bones.

Can it work for everyone who takes a whack at it? Absolutely not. It works for very few. Because it’s logistically and psychologically difficult even when you are poly down to your bones.

But if you feel that’s where you belong, don’t let difficulty stop you from the life you dream of. Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s unattainable. And if it fails, there’s always a place for you with most.

Interested in love and money? Subscribe!


About the Creator

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.