I'm trying to figure out my romantic relationship orientation. And if you want to, I'd love your thoughts/help c: . I think I'd be comfortable with polyamory (especially romantic open relationships). It makes a lot of sense to me and I like the idea. But I think I'm also comfortable with monogamous relationships. But I've never been in a romantic relationship before (17 w/dreaded social anxiety). Should I try out both before I make the decision? Can I identify as both polyamorous & monogamous?
I hate to sound cliche here, but you just have to go with what feels right! If you start a relationship by saying, “Well, this is monogamy crossed off my list, next is polyamory!” it could potentially cause some problems. I always liked the idea of, rather than finding a distinct label for yourself, viewing yourself on the spectrum with 1 being “Strictly Monogamous” and 100 being “Strictly Polyamorous”. You don’t have to find an exact number, but it’s nice to know that you don’t have to be one OR the other. When you find yourself in your first romantic relationship, make sure you build the communication and honesty strongly. Tell them that you think about open relationships. Ask them what they think and if they would ever consider the idea. If they won’t, you get to decide whether or not to stay with them in that relationship dynamic or if you want to move on and find another one. I understand that that might trigger anxiety and I can relate. But, the one thing I have learned is that the anxiety of being honest is a lot easier to handle than the anxiety of hiding yourself from someone you care for.
I have been happy in monogamous relationships. Mind you, I felt unfulfilled and I didn’t know why. When I found polyamory, I was excited. But, I have had bad experiences that made me question it all. I got scared and almost went back to being unhappy for the safety. But, on the other hand, I also have had friends who have tried polyamory and realized that monogamy was what fit them better. I have had friends who are happy in their monogamish relationships. My point is, that you have to do what’s right for you.
It’s your life. You can identify as whatever you want. You can still be a poly person even if you are in a committed monogamous relationship. You can be monogamous and date a polyamorous person. You can identify as polyamorous and realize that you aren’t anymore and visa versa. Identities can be fluid and some aren’t permanent. Just because they may change does not invalidate how you feel and who you are. Only you can decide what is right for you. Be open minded, be honest, and be open, and see where life, and new relationships, take you!