Dear Dr. Darcy, I’ve been dating one woman exclusively for the past 8 months and as much as I wish this weren’t the case, my eyes are beginning to wander and I’m realizing that I’m just not meant to be monogamous. I’ve been living a polyamorous lifestyle for my entire adult life knowing that I’m just not hardwired to be any other way. My girl thinks that anything short of being monogamous isn’t a relationship and I think she’s narrow-minded. Is it unfair for me to impose my lifestyle on her?
It’s no more unfair for you to impose your lifestyle on her than it is for her to impose hers on you. She did not, however, impose her lifestyle on you because you agreed to be monogamous, unless you agreed to it under duress which is an entirely different issue.
In a country where the divorce rate hinges at or just above 50% depending on the day of the week, who can be blamed for trying out alternative models for relationships? While every relationship is different, the general understanding of polyamory is a relationship in which two people consent to taking additional partners. It’s fine when everyone’s on the same page, but if you’re a would-be polyamorist who finds herself with a monogamist you can feel like someone’s makeover project insomuch as she’s determined to be the one to change you (yawn). Attention Ladies: What you see is what you get.
With support from the political right, monogamists can sometimes feel self-righteous in the demand for an exclusive commitment, hurling insults and invalidations at those who embark upon a lifestyle which includes other independent variables. Here’s a newsflash: The political right hates us equally because we’re lesbians.
I credit you for your honesty and seeming unwillingness to lie as so many of our hetero-counterparts do. The unfortunate reality of our society is that people tend to be more accepting of deceit than of counter-cultures.
Nonetheless, polyamory is not a lifestyle for everyone and if your partner intuitively knows this, she’s sparing you both heartaches. Stick to your convictions, keep it honest, and if you’re meant to be together, you’ll find each other when you’re homo-gamous.