The Dark Side of Polyamory: Jealousy, Judgement & More

Did you know there is a dark side to polyamory? I try to focus on positive things on the blog, so it’s not something I’ve touched on yet. However, I think it is an extremely important part of living that poly life that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough.

So I’m gonna talk about it today! Now, I’m not doing this to discourage from living a poly lifestyle. Instead, I want to provide you with the full picture of what a polyamorous relationship is… in real life, for real people. You know, like me and John!

We’ve been a part of the swinging lifestyle before we even got together romantically. In fact, that’s how we met! So, it goes without saying that we are 100% advocates for the lifestyle. But, at the same time, we want any newbies to be more informed than we were.

You know… warn ’em about the dark side of polyamory that they might not have even considered. Before I get started though, I wanted to remind you that there are many different types of polyamory. Maybe on another post I’ll do a deep dive of these different types! What do you think?

However, today, I’m gonna keep things general, as a primer to those trying to dip a toe into the polyamory pool. 😉

Here’s the Dark Side of Polyamory

  1. Jealousy: Of course this is first, because this is the dark side that rears its ugly head most often and most loudly. There are no two ways around this. If you and your current partner decide to take this journey together, this will be jealousy to deal with. Remember how difficult sharing was when you were younger? Well, now you’re sharing one of your favorite humans on the planet. Jealous feelings *will* come up. Do not ignore these feelings. That is the worst thing you can do. Instead, talk about them with your partner. Work through the feelings together. You’ll both come out stronger on the other end.
  2. Judgement: Steel yourself (and your partners) for this. It will happen. New ideas are scary, especially when they go against everything they’d been taught their entire lives. Monogamy is a cornerstone of our society and people don’t know how to handle relationships that look different than traditional marriage. Many expect those living the lifestyle to be embarrassed and hide it away in shame. Now, I don’t mean for you to give the person judging you a full lecture about the awesome parts of polyamory. Just plant enough seeds to get ’em thinking. Let them see how it’s working for you, and show the love you and your partners share together. If they are still judgemental after watching it work for you, remind yourself that it is a problem they have within their ownselves, and has little to do with you.
  3. Discrimination: Did you know you can be evicted for being in a poly relationship? Yup, it happens. There have also been cases of custody removal or job loss. Unlike those in the LGBTQIA+ community, there are no legal protections for those who practice polyamory. That means there is no recourse for job loss, housing loss or other forms of discrimination. This isn’t as pervasive now as it has been in the past, but it is still something many polycules have to keep in the back of their minds. “Is it safe to tell this person?” “Can I tell ____ about my poly relationship or will they report me?” That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with people who truly love and support you.

Those are the big three that we’ve run into or heard about most often. Our goal is to educate as many people about poly relationships as possible to hopefully take away some of the stigma.

The stigma shouldn’t exist at all. We just wanna love.

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