- Polyamory, or having multiple romantic relationships at once, is becoming more visible and accepted.
- Figuring out whether you’re polyamorous or not can be challenging because society normalizes monogamy.
- If you’ve felt trapped in monogamous relationships or had feelings for multiple people at once, you might be polyam.
Polyamory, or openly dating and loving multiple people at once, has gotten attention in recent years as celebrities, like Willow Smith, have opened up about their own experiences.
A 2019 study presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality found that 89% of people have at least considered a non-monogamous relationship, but that doesn’t mean they act on the desire.
New York City-based therapist Rachel Wright, who identifies as queer and polyamorous, previously told Insider’s Julia Naftulin that because monogamous relationships are more normalized, polyamorous people may discover they prefer ethical non-monogamy later in life.
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not trying polyamory is right for you, here are five subtle signs it could be.
You’ve been told you have commitment issues
People who are polyamorous often feel trapped in monogamous relationships, so the idea of committing to one person can seem daunting.
Before people realize they are polyamorous, they may have trouble having serious relationships out of fear of losing their freedom to also date other people. This fear can come off to others as having commitment issues or even being a “f— boy.”
You feel trapped in monogamous relationships
Another sign you might be polyamorous is feeling unable to be in monogamous relationships.
“Our society leans towards compulsory monogamy,” Wright told Insider’s Julia Naftulin. “Often, it doesn’t seem like there’s a decision to make because we’re not frankly granted other options, so we take that as, ‘Well, it’s monogamy or no relationship.'”
As a result, people who don’t realize they are polyamorous may try to be in monogamous dynamics and develop resentment towards their partner or cheat on them.
You have multiple crushes or romantic interests at any given point
If you’ve had crushes on multiple people since you were young and have trouble choosing between them (think Devi in “Never Have I Ever”), you might be polyamorous.
Many polyamorous people feel they have an infinite amount of love to give others, so it’s normal to feel like you can love mutiple people at once.
“[Polyamorous people] believe you can love multiple people,” Renee Divine, a Minneapolis-based sex and relationships therapist, told Women’s Health. “They’re open to additional people in that way, and they want that emotional attachment. Plural love is the main focus.”
You feel ok with the idea of your partner being with other people
If the idea of your partner dating another person doesn’t feel like a deal breaker or betrayal, it might be a sign.
This isn’t to say feeling jealous means you aren’t polyamorous, as jealousy is a natural part of any relationship, but often polyamorous people say they feel like you can work through those feelings by communicating with their partner.
“In the vast majority of polyamorous relationships, jealousy does come up at some point,” Stephanie M. Sullivan, a licensed social worker in Massachusetts, wrote for Affirmative Couch. “However, jealousy can be broken down to determine what your real concerns are.”
Regardless of whether or not these signs describe you, if you feel like you could be polyamorous but don’t know where to start, you should consider speaking to a dating expert who specializes in non-monogamy.