Ask Page: Why Don’t You Write for Poly People?

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Hi Page,

I’ve been reading your site. It’s pretty good, but I thought you could benefit from an opposing viewpoint. I feel like you are not really writing for polyamorous people on this website. Your whole editorial slant revolves around with the idea that being in nonexclusive relationships does not come naturally to a lot of people and requires work from them. Your view assumes that people often start with a monogamous relationship and then they “open up,” and it requires adjustment.

Most of the polyamorous people I know never had a monogamous relationship to begin with and it came naturally to them and they simply didn’t agree to exclusivity before they knew the word “polyamory.” Personally I never needed to describe myself as “poly” in order to be that way. People in my world usually say “closed relationships are selfish and restrictive” or things like that more than anything. I was saying stuff like that when I was younger and people would tell me that when I got older and got more “serious” with someone that then my beliefs would change. They haven’t. Although I haven’t ever gotten what most folks would call “serious” with someone else. 

It’s a good blog, but why don’t you write it for poly people? It’s called POLY Land.

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First off, thank you for reading the blog. I’m glad you reached out, and I’m impressed that you’re reading even if some of what I’m writing isn’t your cup of tea.

Your friends group notwithstanding, there are a significant number of people who don’t fall into nonmonogamy as a default relationship pattern and instead discover it later in life through chance, circumstance, seeking, learning, and growing. There’s no shame in this. It doesn’t make someone “less poly.” In fact, I have kind of been in both camps you describe, and had done both casual non-mono and mono before a formal stint of polyamory (ethical non-monogamy open to romantic entanglement). I am not naturally poly. Instead, I am proudly, unnaturally poly — in two senses:

  1. I have put a lot of intent and purposeful work into being as secure and as good a manager of multiple simultaneous relationships as I can possibly be —  i.e., I’m not at my factory default settings.
  2. Oh good lord am I ever poly, unnaturally so. A ghoulishly poly glow arises from my eyes.

If I had to take a hard honest look at the poly people I have known, I would say they are about half and half “naturally poly” and “poly converts.” Going by the same informal census, both groups seem to do about equally well at it. There are jackasses and wizards in both groups, and most folks fall somewhere in between.

So I would argue, I am in fact writing for poly people — just maybe (and it’s a big maybe) focusing more on a subset of folks that fundamentally differ from you and your friends. And it would make sense for me to focus a bit more on people who might be having a bit of a rough adjustment and are actively struggling because, frankly, they need more help.

However, you do mention that you haven’t had a “serious” relationship. I do wonder if that’s more of a culprit in your not feeling as addressed by some of the material, even more so than an overemphasis on “poly converts.”

In general, I aim to give relationship advice, and that’s not even necessarily limited to poly people, as one monogamous reader recently wrote.

P.S. I would disagree with a global statement like “closed relationships are selfish and restrictive.” While toxic monogamous relationships exist and are reinforced by Rom-Com/Sit-Com archetypes, there are definitely monogamous relationships that are healthy and supportive that I can totally get behind. And some poly people are just as selfish and restrictive.

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Have a question about a post? Maybe need some advice about a relationship or situation? Write me. I love getting messages from you.

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Books by Page Turner:

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory 

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