Trying To Design The Perfect Poly Relationship Is Hard

Deciding to pursue multiple romantic relationships is a lot different than fantasizing about having multiple romantic relationships. It's not necessary to have multiple romantic relationships to identify as a bisexual female, but I was always concerned how I would fulfill both parts of my identity and desires through monogamy.

Many bisexual individuals can and have done it. They don't worry about if they're really bisexual, nor do they miss the romantic and/or sexual connection to other genders. The fact that I have always worried about these issues ever since I came out to myself makes me realize that perhaps I was never made out to be monogamous.

What's truly scary about actually taking the leap to pursue more than one relationship at a time is being stuck as a unicorn. A unicorn is a bisexual individual who wants to have sex with couples. They exist, but are rare and therefore almost impossible to find. Yet there are millions of couples that are relentlessly looking for one. They approach any bisexual individual in hopes that they will agree.

Within the polyamourous community, I've found that people value relationships that form organically. And though I see the wisdom in that approach, I also feel the need to not be at the mercy of those who pay me romantic/sexual attention — since those who pay me attention like that are couples and those already in relationships that are open or want someone on the side.

This still doesn't include the other general incapabilities I run into like age, location, and general interests.

So since I desire to consciously form multiple romantic relationships, instead of letting them form organically, I'm at a disadvantage to entering the relationships I want. There's no guidebook to help me through effective and ineffective processes. Every book on polyamory and every polyamory class, seminar, and conference all encourage organic relationships. Searching consciously for what one wants is equated to monogamy and unicorn hunting.

The biggest challenge I face with seeking multiple romantic relationships is that I still heavily identify with monogamy.

I still believe in finding one's true love. To be completed by someone's belief that I'm worthy of them. I still believe in marriage. I just also believe that for me those dreams exist two-fold. I believe there's a woman out there that is my true love. Once I find her, I'm marrying her. I also believe there's a man out there that is my true love. And when I find him, we'll get married. If I can find both of them, my love life will be complete.

The secondary obstacle I have is the notion of a poly family. A lot of polyamorous people that start off with two or three romantic partners eventually start adding members organically forming unique polycules.

Say for example that I get my husband and wife. Then she starts dating a few other people. Then my husband starts dating other people as well. Now our three has expanded to six or eight, or ten people — even though all of us are not involved. They're all still included because we're connected by shared partners. I can't do that.

I want him to myself and I want her to myself. So ideally I'd like to find a monogamous guy and a monogamous female for my polycule. It wouldn't be fair I suppose, but I can't help the way I feel.

I just wish I knew if I was monogamous or polyamorous or something else. Having a definitive label would maybe help me to find others who want or have found romantic relationship polycules like I want. Then we can trade stories and lift up the ones who haven't found it and give advice to those having trouble in theirs.

That's my dream anyway.

I keep a poly blog where I review poly articles, books on polyamory, poly conferences, and journals about my personal struggles. Find it here at

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