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Posted November 23, Reviewed by Devon Frye. Often they just do not feel like it, some because they are monogamous by orientation and simply do not desire multiple partners, and others because of specific life circumstances. This is not the same as a polyamorous couple in which both people are open to or have already had polyamorous relationships but currently appear to be monogamous because they are only dating or married to one person at the moment.
Much like a lesbian is still a lesbian even if she is not currently dating anyone, these folks are still poly even if they are not currently seeing others. Generally, this builds with discussion, negotiation, honesty, and trustworthy behavior over a period of time. Starting out with a lie undermines the trust that is fundamental to functional polyamorous relationships. Another thing that will destroy a polyamorous relationship is consent negotiated under duress.
If the monogamous person has agreed to polyamory under duress, then disaster will most likely eventually ensue. Duress can take a range of forms—financial, emotional, physical, explicit, implied, or even unconscious. A common duress negotiation would go something like this: Chris prefers monogamy but agrees to Kacey's request for access to extra-marital sexuality because Kacey implicitly or explicitly threatens to leave if Chris demands monogamy.
Polyamorous relationships can be complex and have an uncanny knack of stressing already inflamed points. If and when the inevitable complexities of emotions and time management begin to disturb the network of relationships, Chris will likely have a meltdown and reveal that the relationship structure is not now—and in fact, never was—actually acceptable at all. For more on the tensions between monogamy and polyamory, see how it generally does not work to add people to a relationship already in crisis , ways that some couples might help set the stage for successful polyamory , and reasons why polyamory will never work for some people , especially if they are monogamous as a relationship or sexual orientation.
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