Ask Wendy

Are All Guys Polyamorous?

Reprinted from November 11, 2016
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I live in L.A. and I keep bumping into guys who are polyamorous. If I like them, I’ll date them for a while but it never works out. I’m dating a really good guy now, but I think I see the writing on the wall. Is there anyone out there who still believes in monogamy?

Hi there, L.A.!

Guys who are polyamorous (poly) will most often state their case up front; they’re likely to put it on their online dating profile. If you meet him at the club and he asks you out, simply ask, “Hey, are you poly?” If he is, he won’t be offended, and this makes for quick sorting.

Hot tip: If you are looking for monogamy (which it sounds like you are), then don’t. Date. The. Poly. Guys.

It takes courage and conviction to come out as poly or otherwise non-monogamous. Trying to flip him might just be like trying to flip a dude at the gay bar (possible, but supremely unlikely).

I’m sure you’re excellent in bed, L.A., and you might think all that variety you bring to those Egyptian cotton sheets will make him not need anyone else in no time. But it’s not you, love—it’s him. It might work for a hot minute, but it’s a setup for failure in the long run.

The term “polyamory” has only been around since the 90’s so it seems like a new idea, and new things can feel frustrating. But I want you to think of this as good news for your romantic life. Want to know why?

People’s sexual needs haven’t changed all that much over the last several hundred years. Some love monogamy and what it provides. Others are willing to be monogamous at varying degrees of ease or struggle. And then there are those who know that they will most likely fail at monogamy and/or those who just plain prefer polyamory. This isn’t new.

Before polyamory was a hot topic, do you know what the people who needed more than one partner were up to more often than not? Cheating. Probably cheating on someone who needed or preferred monogamy, too. They’d take a lover, have a goomah, keep a mistress, hire a sex worker, or if they were more up front about it, they’d honor a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy in a marriage or partnership. The growing social acceptance of polyamory has allowed a subset of people to own what they need sexually and to have true-to-the-soul integrity.

So, it sounds like this is the situation you’re facing: To be true to yourself, you require monogamy. To be true to his self, he requires polyamory. This means as good as you two might be together, fundamentally, you’re not a fit. But with that bad news comes even more good news; the answer to your question is yes, there are still guys out there who want and expect monogamy. Definitely. I’ve met them, I’ve dated them—now you get out there and date them, too.

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