Hi Page, Have loved the site forever. Joined the Discord a while back and have really enjoyed lurking there. Have a quick question for you. Is selecting partners to be monogamous the same process as choosing them when you know you’re going to be polyamorous? If it’s different, how so? Thanks.
To be honest, my process for partner selection stays pretty much the same regardless of whether I’m planning to be polyamorous or monogamous with someone.
Really, there’s only one crucial difference: When you’re planning to be monogamous, it doesn’t matter how good this other person will be at selecting new partners. Because the plan going in is that they’re going to select exactly one partner. Me. A known quantity. And while I can doubt their wisdom of selecting me as a partner (my normal instinct, as someone who struggles with self-confidence), that’s basically the only way that partner selection comes into play.
Conversely, in a polyamorous relationship system, if they have a habit of choosing partners that are abusive to them or cause a lot of secondary disruptions that the rest of the web has to deal with… well, that’s another matter altogether.
How would this manifest? Well, my normal approach would be to try to ascertain whether this potential partner has good judgment in general. This would be as important as interpersonal chemistry (if not more so, depending). To be fair, this is a good quality to have in any partner, even if you’re going to be monogamous with them. But I don’t think I understood or took it to heart quite the same way until I experienced complicated webs with multiple folks who struggled with partner selection.
From that experience, I’ve learned there’s no connection worth suffering like that. Particularly since it can ripple through so quickly… as metamours (your partners’ other partners) have their own connections that can further complicate things. Because of this, it’s important to have people you trust completely at the level that you can control. And for me, that’s part of trusting that partners will have good instincts about whom to trust.
Anyway, one neat thing about focusing on whether the people I’m newly dating have good judgment now that I’ve been polyamorous is that it has helped me with my confidence issues a bit.
Because they have good judgment, and they decided to be with me.
Aha! Take that, brain weasels.