Being Poly and Misunderstood

After 20 years together, 10 of those in a monogamous marriage, my husband and I have opened our marriage. It’s new for both of us and we are adjusting little by little.

For the most part, it’s a happier and more peaceful existence. The time we spend together is time we want to spend together, not what we’re forced to do. He has his life apart from me, and I have my independent interests and pursuits.

We’re good about it.

That said, dating has been challenging for me. Most men hear that I’m poly and just want to hook up. Those moments always unsettle me! Often they treat me as if I’m not even human.

And what’s with the barrage of dick pics? I love a sexy pic don’t get me wrong, but hold a little back — tease me!

I’ve also dated men who want to change me or “save me.” This is frustrating as well. I’m happy with the structure of my life and marriage. I’m dating in hopes to find someone else(s) to share life moments, common interests, and romance.

But there’s such a misperception of polyamory out here. I certainly understand how different it is from what most people are used to, but I feel like I’m always on guard waiting for a misunderstanding.

I have a friend who’s also poly and married. She’s been a great sounding board and she’s had similar experiences. She’s found that a lot of the men who want to date her are just curious to have a poly experience, but inherently they are monogamous.

Today, I’m feeling very insecure about my life and my choices. I’m not feeling like I’ll ever meet someone who gets me or even wants to — someone who understands what a loyal and devoted friend I am. Yes, I may date someone else, but I’ve never left a friend behind and I wouldn’t. I always answer my phone and I’m always there when they need me.

Now, I’m also not sure how to square this all with my recent D/s interests. Though I have a feeling that the BDSM community is more understanding of the poly lifestyle… maybe!

I could just go back to being monogamous and unhappy or maybe I should get divorced, then I wouldn’t be such a pariah. I just really don’t want either of those things, so I’ll continue to have hope that I’ll find an understanding community of friends to help me through the tough bits.

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