Monogamy is hard

Helen van Soest
3 min readAug 13, 2023
Photo by Caleb Ekeroth on Unsplash

I have been in a serious relationship for almost 4 years. My longest and best relationship. And as much as I love my partner, it is still a difficult concept for me to grasp that he can be my only partner and I cannot date anyone else.

Our society is very monogamy-centred. Although polyamory is slightly more acceptable these days, it is still not seen as the norm and I think most people in my life would balk at the thought of me dating other people besides my boyfriend.

I only have one friend that I can trust to share my true feelings on this subject. Although I have never tried polyamory, it seems to make sense to me and I think if I was single, I would try it.

As fun as it could be (dating several people at once), I would have to accept my partner or other partners dating other people and not get jealous. I am also worried how complicated life could get, managing all these relationships and having the time, money and resources to do so.

The thing is I seem to develop crushes on people quite easily. There is a cute guy at work I like. And there was a sweet guy I met at a bar recently. The rebellious side of me wants to pursue these relationships and see what happens. But right now I cannot as I am committed to my partner who only wants to be monogamous.

So I try to shut these feelings down but it’s hard. And right now I don’t have the courage to pursue the poly life. Perhaps my life is simpler in a monogamous relationship — less people to deal with, not having to worry about jealousy and experiencing other uncomfortable feelings. Perhaps life is less exciting but at least it is less complex and unlikely to increase my already quite high levels of anxiety.

I once dated a poly guy. He had a wife and two kids and their arrangement was to each have another partner. His wife had a boyfriend, so he was looking for a girlfriend.

He was interested in me becoming that girlfriend but there was a condition I wasn’t quite comfortable with — his wife would always be number one. Which would make me a distant number two after his kids. I worried about being vulnerable, emotionally and physically, so backed out of this potential arrangement. Which was a shame as he really was a lovely guy.

He was the one who opened my eyes to the poly life and showed me how it could work — ethical non-monogamy in which everyone was open about things so there was no lying and cheating.

He did admit that hardly anyone in his life knew about he and his wife’s arrangement, which just confirmed to me that society does not yet accept polyamory and even in today’s times, it may take a while for the world to see it as a valid relationship status or way of life.

So I have decided to stick with monogamy for now because I love my boyfriend and can’t imagine life without him but will enjoy my secret fantasies about others in my mind.



Helen van Soest

I love reading articles, books and blogs and try to write when I can.