24 karmaJoined Feb 2017


I'm not Jeff, but this example made me think you were calling for avoiding all but the most serious / "the one"-type relationships:

Bob is polyamorous with multiple people, including Alice, AND Alice is not his primary

Avoiding this would prevent a lot of really good (and serious!) relationships in this community. Many secondary relationships are serious and strong and long-lasting, and some primary relationships start out as secondary relationships. Conflating "secondary relationships" with "sleeping around" seems really mistaken to me.

I still mostly agree with this sentiment, but after having been poly for 8 years, I agree with it a lot less than I used to. I think poly can be very easy, and also that there a lot of pitfalls that I didn't predict until I found myself in them. I've made significant mistakes as recently as a year ago that changed my mind about how to best approach things like jealousy and commitment.

Some specific ways I've changed in the last couple years: I've become more willing to change or limit my own behavior in response to my partners' insecurity (while still dispreferring "rules"), err towards proactively having explicit conversations with all my partners as my feelings change or develop over time, have a higher bar of interest for starting relationships than I used to, and lean more towards breaking up over "de-escalating" with ex-primaries (but not in all situations). I wish I'd had some of these models earlier -- I could have avoided hurting some people I cared about -- but I do think they were hard to learn without experience.

I'm sure I'd have had a different set of relationship lessons to learn if I'd been monogamous for 8 years; I don't think monogamy is simple either! But I also think some of the complex situations where I was most likely to hurt others were specific to polyamory (for example, wanting to "switch primaries" while still dating my previous primary).

ETA: still largely agree with you that it's very possible to get to the point of "this seems as simple as any other relationship structure", especially if you're in a pretty stable relationship configuration, or if you and your partners are all pretty chill / ok with fluidity of time and commitment