How to be an Ally to Your Poly Partner: A Short Guide
If your partner just came out to you as poly, it can sometimes be a bit of a shock, but do not worry, this post is here to help!
First, poly does not mean cheating! Poly is a consenting relationship between more than two folks!
- Remember that it may have taken a lot of courage to come out to you. Respect this. Offer them support and encouragement.
- Research poly relationships on your own. Read a book about it, some articles, blogs run by poly folks, youtube videos, and statistics about it.
- Remember that it is about consent, and if you feel uncomfortable being poly or having multi partner sex [or opening your relationship, or being in a relationship with someone who’s seeing other people, or even being in a relationship with someone who’d like to be in a relationship with multiple people], you are NOT obligated to do so. If you explore and discover that you are monogamous, that is ok! You can still support your poly partner, though.
- Reassure them that you still love them, and want what makes them happy.
- Set boundaries. [For example, if you are going to open the relationship and they will be seeing/dating/having sex with others:] Do you need to meet the other partner(s)? Do you need to make sure everyone is STD free every few months? Do you want to be there when they have sexual encounters? Discuss what will make everyone comfortable.
- Do not out them against their will. Ever. Do. Not. Do. It.
- If you have negative feelings when they first come out, excuse yourself to cool down. Don’t project those negative feelings on your partner. Once you are calm, return to talk about it more.
- Be respectful.
If anyone has anything else to add, or any coming out stories about being poly, feel free to share!
uh. Was pretty uncomfortable with a few of the things listed there [and made additions in bold and between brackets, like so] - it seemed to imply that if Mona is monoamory-inclined and her partner Polly wants to see other people as well, Mona HAS to agree that it’s fine for Polly to [date/see/fuck] other people. And… no. It’s completely reasonable for Mona to have that as a sticking point.
Now, Polly might say it’s completely reasonable to have that as a sticking point too, but it does get tricky. What if Mona’s financially dependent on her? Or vice-versa? What if they have kids together? One situation’s ‘this just doesn’t work, they should break up’ is another’s abuse by [economic/social/emotional/etc] coercion.
I mean, ideally, yeah, there’d be precedent - agreeing when the relationship started about it being poly/mono and open/closed, and defaulting to that - but in practice monoamory is assumed and ‘when the relationship starts’ is hard to pin down and people don’t talk about this stuff often, so.
So… bluh. idk. rambling. I think it’s important to talk about this stuff too when poly stuff is discussed?
[sorry for all the whiteness…]
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