You Can’t Even Get ONE Relationship Right! (Poly Is Not, Part XXII)

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


Someone said in response to one of my writings about polyamory:

But if you have trouble maintaining one relationship well, is the good idea to involve more people in that?

While polyamory is an exponential issue, it is not a direct extension of every problematic relationship you’ve ever had.

After all, it depends on WHY you are having trouble with one relationship, doesn’t it?

First, is it you? Or could it be your partner?

I’m a BIG fan of taking personal responsibility in relationships. Thing is, sometimes people are just assholes.

It is, however, my fault for choosing an asshole. But they, in that case, would be the primary issue.

Choosing someone else, maybe not an asshole, might lead to a better chance of relationship success—whatever that looks like for you.

Second, are you really suited to monogamy?

This matters.

Those who are not, but have never actually tried any of the ethical non-monogamy relationship types, may find themselves engaging in behaviors that kill their relationships over and over.

  • Cheating.
  • Starting fights to break up when things get too suffocating.
  • Avoiding deep intimacy at all, because they aren’t ready for “just one forever.”

Third, are you choosing relationships that SHOULD last, versus those that are hot and should be let go, or moved into friendship?

For some, poly and ethical non-monogamy give them the freedom to enjoy relationships without feeling like they need to be on [The Relationship Escalator][https://offescalator.com/what-escalator/].

Of course, you can choose not to ride the escalator if you are monogamous as well. The thing about monogamy is that because it’s a ‘default’ for many, it’s not often examined or questioned, and the escalator or progression seems inevitable, unless there is a break up.

Bottom Line:

There are a lot of reasons that a relationship (or series of relationships) might not work.

Polyamory or any sort of ethical non-monogamy are not the answer, nor are they right for everyone.

They are also not as simply “wrong” as many make them out to be, because they are done by humans, and we are complex creatures with a multitude of motivations and desires.

What are your thoughts?

If you are poly or ethically non-monogamous, did you experience multiple relationships that did not work before you found what did? How have your relationships changed since making that switch? Are things working or not working now in different ways than they did before?

And for the monogamous, what are the reasons your relationships have failed in the past that might have nothing to do with monogamy? What about poly or ethical non-monogamy do you think would be an issue in a relationship, were you to try it (or if you have tried it)?

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