Poly Mono Pairing

Breaking The Rules

Generally speaking, mono poly pairing is seen as unwise on both sides of the equation, but if the love poly people feel in their relationship is of fundamental importance, rules that prevent people who love each other from having a relationship don't seem to make sense. So in my personal version of polyamory, I have chosen not to allow polyamory itself to become a barrier to any truly loving relationship.

Besides that, when two purely mono partners stumble blindly into polyamory, they are accepted and encouraged by the poly community, so if a mono person is at least open minded enough to try a relationship with a poly person, and the poly community is all about love and acceptance, then I say let's not be hypocrites and at least give them a fair chance. I can attest that my situation has been less of a challenge than other relationships I've been in, and I regret absolutely nothing about it. It has been one of the most amazing relationships I could hope for.

The Challenges

It seems that the typical mono sentiment is that a mono-poly relationship is more beneficial for the poly person because they can have their cake and eat it too while the mono person is faced with inevitable rejection. But in reality it's the other way around. It's the poly person who has entered into a more risky relationship.

This seems counterintuitive to mono people because they tend to forget that when additional partners become involved in a poly relationship, their existing relationships are maintained instead of dissolved. However when a poly person enters into a relationship with a mono person the poly person is immediately facing the possibility of loss over a rules that would otherwise not exist.

But it doesn't end there. The social network of most mono people tends to be biased in favor of a mono perspective and therefore it's more difficult for poly people to mesh with their mono partner's family and friends. Plus, if the relationship ends, loyalties become divided. So in addition to losing their partner, the poly person is at a higher risk of losing friends and family on the mono side of the equation as well.

In my own relationship I've had to face the challenges above and it's not very comfortable. However the benefits have still outweighed the heartaches, and at the time this page was last updated, our relationship has lasted about two years with a short breakup initiated by my partner about half way through over her discomfort with me embracing my poly nature, even though no other partner was in the picture at the time.

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The Upside

It was particularly rewarding in our early stages to see how my partner reacted to the experience of being in a relationship with a poly person for the first time. Never before would she have been able to continue responding to suitors on the dating site we had met on without having a jealous insecure boyfriend act out over it.

Instead, we would sit and discuss her coffee dates over dinner in the spirit of complete openness that truly poly people practice, and this experience alone was one of the most satisfying ones we've both ever experienced in a relationship.

There's simply no way for people in a purely mono or poly paradigm to experience these sort of transformative moments with each other because for mono people it's taboo and not discussed, and with poly people it's already taken for granted.

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Best Case Scenario

The best case scenario for a poly-mono pairing is where both partners fully understand and accept each other's nature and choice without imposing unwanted aspects of each other's lifestyle onto the other.

In other words it's fine for the mono partner to be as monogamous as they want to be so long as they don't demand the same of their poly partner. And it's fine for the poly partner not to choose monogamy so long as they don't expect their mono partner to take part in any unwanted relationships.

At first this might sound like two mutually exclusive situations. However that's not the case. One way it can work is where both partners fully realize what being poly is about, but one chooses a mono lifestyle for themself only, restricting their involvement to their poly partner only.

This sort of situation is perfectly workable provided that both partners realize that these relationships can never be completely insulated from each other. There will be some crosstalk and it needs to be accepted in a positive way on both sides of the equation. If not, the depth of both relationships will suffer.