Hey (sorry, english is not my first language, I’m from Brazil)

After much talk and many opinions being exposed in a clear and sincere way, my boyfriend and I finally agreed about start a non monogamy relationship. But contrary to what I imagined, right now I’m feeling terrified.

Because now I have to face not only a new stage of our relationship (for this part I’m very excited and willing), but things like me and my insecure about myself… Ok, let me explain it more clearly.

I’ve never been a good person to flirt, with the exception of the times when I’m at that stage “drunk and happy”. And although I know we will have to communicate more often as a couple, this fact does not worry me as much as the fear of being judged by some future crush to which I have to talk about it.

I said “future crush” but, right now, there’s this guy from my college… But he’s already seen me with my boyfriend, so he knows, as far as he can understand, that “I’m in a relationship” (with all monogamous weight).

And even though I’ve felt 10% interest from him before he knew that fact, I guess after that he’s been avoiding me a bit (at least that’s what it seems to me). And I’ve been pretty sad about it ☹ We didn’t have anything and he even know that I fell something for him, but even so…

Well, now I’m kind of afraid of try something with everyone and I’m feeling a little guilty for feeling that little desire to try to hide as much as I can that I’m in a non monogamy, at least in the beginning of some future involvement…

What I supposed to do?

It sounds like what you’re asking is at what point you should disclose to people you meet that you’re non-monogamous. If you meet people online, you can easily put this in your profile and I would always recommend telling people as early as possible, mostly to avoid wasting your own time and energy.

I know it feels awkward, but the mistake here you’re making is that you assume you can control how other people will react to you being non-monogamous. While there are ways of telling people that will make them less defensive or less antagonistic, ultimately, there really is no way for you to control how people are going to react or whether or not they’re going to be interested in being with someone who is non-monogamous.

With cases like these, I would just be blunt and honest with the guy. Tell him that you are interested in him and that you’re non-monogamous with your current partner. If your partner is fine with speaking to people you’re interested in, offer that as reassurance in case he doesn’t believe you. Although, I would say that him not believing you doesn’t always bode well in a relationship. Still, sometimes people don’t know what non-monogamy or polyamory is, so they might not believe it’s a thing because they’re so used to cheating.

Find some beginner articles that you particularly like and keep them to send to people new to the concept. You can also send them to the Polyamory Wikipedia page just as an idea. Another good thing for you to do is figure out with your current partner what style of polyamory you want. How do new relationships fit in with your current relationship with your partner? Think about this in terms of tangible things. How much time are you going to spend with new partners vs. current partners? What do you want out of polyamory and why have you decided to be polyamorous?

These are really good grounding things for people new to polyamory and for introducing people to the concept. If they have an understanding of what it means for them to be in a relationship with you, they have all of the information they need to know if they want to try polyamory or not. And it’s okay if you don’t have the answers. Maybe you need to experiment more to see what you want out of polyamory. But if you have a bit of an idea, it can help guide both you and other new people.

My last bit of advice on this is to go easy on yourself. One of the worst things you can do is expect yourself to be happy all of the time — this is true for life in general. No one is happy all of the time. Relationships are difficult and they take work. Trying a new relationship style, even if it’s meant to make things better in general, will cause you stress. That’s okay. If you expect yourself to be perfect, you’re always going to fail because we rarely are perfect. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Sometimes, that is the only way we learn.

I hope this helps and good luck!

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