Operating in a Monogamously Minded World

As I move and live and socialize in this monogamously minded world, I am constantly made aware of how monogamously minded I am myself, having grown up in it.

I catch myself expecting other people to be monogamous. I catch myself communicating in such a way that would be non-threatening to a monogamous person, even to people who have stated that they are comfortable with my non-monogamy. I’ll feel completely comfortable, even proud, if a romantic interest texts me and I can reply that I’m “just hanging with the girls,” but if they happen to text me while I’m talking with another interest, I find myself hesitant to admit it, and I’ll often reply, “hanging with a friend.”

I catch myself worrying when someone I’m interested in becomes interested in someone else; I worry they’ll lose interest in me, as if they aren’t capable of what I do. I don’t give them enough credit. I catch myself being surprised when those same people continue to show interest in me, even in plain view of those others they are canoodling with. It’s funny how quickly my worry is assuaged, and rather nice, and I just kind of wish the worry wasn’t there at all. I wonder if that’ll ever happen.

I’m hesitant to make new interests aware of the existence of other new interests. Old lovers are easy; I simply introduce myself as someone who already has some ties, and if the person is still interested in me, I know they’ve made a decision to continue with that knowledge. When a friendship is still forming though, and another one begins, too, I find myself conflicted about just how much and how to divulge that information.

I’ll figure it out; I always do. But I’m sure I’m not the only one experiencing these things, and I felt it was worth sharing.

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4 Comments

  1. NormalDeviations

     /  April 2, 2012

    I’ve had many of the same fears and worries, and that huge sense of relief when the fear is soothed or becomes a non-issue. Over the last decade of aligning myself as poly, internally, I’ve found it increasingly more difficult for me to confide that in others–and assuming that most/all are monogamously-minded.

    At first it was easy; I’d talk about my poly mindset with many folks. Now, I’m perhaps overly cautious and I wish I knew why.

    Reply
    • Strange; I had hoped that perhaps with time, I could overcome the assumption. It’s all a matter of experiences, I guess. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who react positively to my identity – it sounds like you were, too, so I’m surprised.

      Reply
      • NormalDeviations

         /  April 9, 2012

        I like to call it “The Shotgun Effect.” When I first started talking to people about it, I talked to a lot of people I felt comfortable talking to at that level. Receiving mostly positive or neutral feedback took the sting out of the minority who reacted negatively. Now, after talking to most close people previously, it’s more rare I find someone I feel comfortable talking about things on that personal of a level (especially about things that society, as a whole, doesn’t have a positive viewpoint). That increases the chance of a negative reaction without it being mitigated, for me, by positive reactions.

        Thus, I’m more wary. I’d rather have an idea of how the person is going to react *before* I bring up the topic.

  2. That’s one of the things I like about nonmonogamy. I feel like because I’m nonmonogamous, I’ve had more chances to express my interest in people, and as a result of that, I’ve had more chances to realize that other people were interested in me, and to see that interest stick around. It’s a nice way to quiet a lot of the insecurities.

    “Look at that, Insecurity 6B! You’re demonstrably wrong!”

    Reply

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