Thanks for looping me in to this conversation Vienna. My take on this is that Shani, you can feel however you feel about this, but also that part of the issue is in trying to superimpose monogomy paradigms overtop of those of ethical non-monogomy (ENM). As I understand it, you want to have exclusivity (or at least a large chunk of time/engagement) with the guy you are dating, and there’s not a thing at all wrong with that. ENM forces people to be better communicators and more honest about their actual needs and desires because you probably will have to do some negotiation about splitting time and attention. But if what he’s honestly and openly offering doesn’t work for you, then you really aren’t a good fit. Simple as that. Neither person is wrong; you just aren’t a good match for each other.

There are a lot of different kinds of relationships in ENM, including co-habitating pairs, emotional partners, sexual partners or some combination of the above. Part of the upside of ENM is that no one person has to tick all of your boxes. This is oversimplified for clarity, but here goes -You might have a great emotional connection with one of your partners but not the kind of sex you want to be having with that person, so instead of sublimating that desire or breaking up, you can keep the great emotional connection and get the sexual needs met by someone else. I realize this is completely antithetical to monogamy mindset, but that’s how we do relationship in the ENM world.

I think your problem is easily solved by either not dating people who are non-monogamous or by having a really clear conversation once you know you want to keep seeing each other about what you’d like out of the relationship and seeing if it fits with what he wants and can provide.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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