Ask Kara

Hey Kara,

I am a lifelong monogamous dater, but in the last year my partner and I have experimented with opening up our relationship. We had a few flings with other people but otherwise kept up our monogamous status. Recently we both admitted to having feelings for other people and have agreed to stay together while meanwhile each having another partner. I tried to confide in my friend that I am attempting a polyamorous relationship and they called me a slut. I am happy with my relationship but I can’t share it with anyone, help?

-Anonymous (24)

Hi there,

Your relationship is no one’s business but your own; your happiness is what is important. If your friends can’t be happy for you, then they’re not very good friends. When coming out as poly, feel free to take it as slowly as you like and make sure you can trust whom you’re telling. If they’re in a committed relationship, try feeling them out [fn1] by asking things like, “have you ever thought of being with someone else?”

Being polyamorous can mean many things, and unfortunately a lot of people don’t get it. I personally see the idea of monogamy as a social construct. Humans don’t intuitively break into couples; it’s a learnt concept. I also think love is really awesome, and that if you have good communication in your relationship you can fulfill the needs of everyone involved.

I’ve had friends who are poly that never commit to one person, but still date and build a strong bond. I’ve also seen it in your situation, where a committed relationship exists between more than two people.

If your friend is important to you, explain to them that being poly doesn’t always equal sleeping around — and even if it did, it is your happiness in question: slut it up! Explain to them that a relationship is up to you and your partner(s) to define, and that it doesn’t have to meet society’s standards of a “good” relationship.

Meanwhile, good luck with your new relationship and keep up your great communication!

-Kara P

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