the mono

I’m poly and my bf is mono. I recently caught feelings for a coworker and my bf is not happy about it. We’ve been together for 6 years and I don’t want to ruin that. Can I change to be mono? Maybe therapy? It’s killing me and I don’t know what to do.

There is no poly-to-mono conversion therapy, nor should there be. If you have an inherent ability and desire to love multiple people at once, well, that’s who you are.

You can’t really change your feelings, but what you can focus on is how you choose to act on those feelings. A lot of relationships - heck, a lot of adult life - requires you to not pursue every single fun, good-feeling thing.

While this isn’t exactly a core aspect of my identity, I frequently have feelings that make me want to skip work and lounge in the pool instead. But I choose not to act on those desires, because even though I want something, it doesn’t mean I want it badly enough to risk something very important to me, like my job and my ability to provide for myself and my family.

Sometimes I encounter a Very Rude Person and want to tell them to fuck right off, but if they are a guest of a friend of mine, I choose instead to be politely avoidant. My point is, it’s possible to have impulses and not act on them, or desires and not pursue them. In my experience, that’s a lot easier than simply trying to shut down the impulses and desires at the root.

I’m afraid it’s not going to end well if you just try to thinkify or therapize yourself out of being polyamorous - but you can manage and work the those feelings for your coworker in a way that prevents them from impacting this relationship that you cherish. You could choose to spend less time talking to said coworker, or try to ‘close the door’ to the part of your mind that sees him as a potential sexual/romantic option. It is okay to let yourself think “I want this, but not bad enough to pay what it costs.”

(Of course, if this becomes impossible and untenable, and not being able to express or live into your polyamorous self leads to misery and resentment, then you need to think about whether suppressing those desires long-term is healthy for you and your relationship or whether you need to make a different set of choices. But that’s not really what you asked.)

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