I Suck at Polyamory—Oh, & Monogamy, Too.

Via Krystal Baugher
on Feb 21, 2014
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I don’t know how many years it’s been since I made the “switch,” three or more? It really is irrelevant considering.

People ask me all the time, “how’s the whole polyamory thing working out?”

Well people, it’s working out for me about as good as a fishing pole without any bait, about as good as being coffee beans without a pot, about as good a garlic press with no garlic, etc.

It’s like people who are not poly have the impression that every poly person automatically comes with two boyfriends and a girlfriend (or some similar combo). Like once you decide on that label and that lifestyle everything automatically starts working that way.

It doesn’t.

So, yeah, my current romantic life could be used for a stand-up routine. The only thing I have going for me right now is a non-boyfriend/ non-friend-with-benefits /non-exclusive guy who, for some strange reason, likes being around me and doesn’t care that I chose those non-labels.

Am I so post-modern that I am completely over labels?

I wish.

No, I think I suck at both polyamory and monogamy not because I’m afraid of labels but I’m afraid of vulnerability.

Maybe labels and vulnerability go hand in hand, like Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes.

By naming something it becomes more concrete and once something is concrete it’s harder to change.

People have been calling me Krystal for years, because like in 1985 that’s what my parents started calling me and no one has ever really questioned it.

What if I wanted to start going as Madame SilkSheets or Fun With Wings. I could. But it would be a difficult switch for everyone who already knows me.

Most people already know monogamy.

It’s the default relationship structure.

It’s the go-to.

It’s the one with the most easy-to-follow script.

So I wrestle with it. And I wrestle with polyamory. We put on singlets and we roll around on the floor together, each one trying to pin down the other one. No one ever wins. Some times polyamory will get a good hold but then it will do something weird like lick my face and get called for a penalty.

Basically what I’m saying is that regardless of whether or not I want to be monogamous or polyamorous I sort of suck at doing the whole relationship thing at this moment in time and so it doesn’t really matter which one I “am” because I am “neither.”

Theoretically I totally dig the “loving more” mentality. Realistically, I’ve been working like 70 hours a week and barely have time to love myself, let alone the two boyfriends and girlfriend that showed up at my door the other day and told me it was “time.” I gave them a good dose of bitch face and they quickly made an exit.

What am I going to do? How am I going to proceed? Will I manage to overcome the label issue? Will the non-boyfriend, non-friend-with-benefits, non-exclusive dude get a simpler word to describe himself in relation to me? Will I give up on love entirely? Or will I open myself up, become more vulnerable and let all the love in the world settle right in my big fat heart?

I don’t know.

As soon as I do know, I’ll be sure to write an update. For now though, I will say, that whatever people pick to do in regards to their own relationship structures, good for you and your ability to make a decision and to both find love and open up to it.

Applause—you’re already way ahead of me.



Monogamy vs. Polyamory: Different Formulas for Different Folks. 

Intimacy, Monogamy & Polyamory. 


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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Flickr


About Krystal Baugher

Krystal Baugher lives in Denver. She earned her MA in Writing and Publishing and her MA in Women and Gender Studies from DePaul University/Chicago. She is the creator of Mile High Mating, a website dedicated to helping people "do it" in Denver and beyond. You can find her on facebook and twitter (as long as you aren’t a stalker).


7 Responses to “I Suck at Polyamory—Oh, & Monogamy, Too.”

  1. Kymberlie says:

    Interesting read. I too found multiple partners challenging and now I am in a monogamous relationship I also find that challenging. What I have come to learn is that love is challenging if you do not first find peace and love within yourself. When I fully love myself and am at peace my heart is open and I am able to be vulnerable. When I am not intune with myself my heart closes and I withdraw, unable to give or accept love. This has everything to do with me, and nothing to do with my partner or people I date. I am a work in progress, everyone is and once I/you overcome this there will be another opportunity for growth. As a side note I have found the work of Sheryl Paul really wonderful in naming this exact experience, you might too.

  2. kimberlylowriter says:

    Very well-written. I love your honesty.

  3. Renee says:

    Hah, I'm so there. Right there with you. I get it. Really great article!

  4. Swati says:

    It is harder for ppl who are different from the norm…, you get labeled easily!
    I had 2 boy friends in the past and no-one, wanted to label me 'hetrosexual' but now that I'm involved with a girl…everyone wants to call me gay…quite honestly i don't have a problem with being gay…just have a problem with being labeled that!

  5. Ry says:

    Ha! Join the club. I SO get this post…

    Wish you the very best no matter what….


  6. Amber says:

    Its that vulnerability that "wins the prize", but oh, the agony! You happen to be in a great area for connecting with a certain type of folk that are into cultivating that, so yay you! But yeah. I am resonating with you! I'm too chicken to do that poly bit, myself, but it has its appeal. Again, success depends on the big V anyway, so no matter. Just gotta "follow the beam" to quote a friend of mine! Best to you and I applaud your "coming out"!

  7. WIboulderjen says:

    Thank you! Truly, for this. It was wonderful to read that I am not alone in the "maybe im broken" when it comes to monogamy vs polyamory