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#042: I’m poly. They’re mono. WTF do I do?

One of you is polyamorous. The other is monogamous. Everyone is telling you that you’re incompatible, and selfish to boot.

That’s bullshit.

Even though NO ONE talks about it, there are plenty of other folks in the same boat.

This week’s episode features audio from a recent Facebook Live where we told you why what you’ve been told is dead wrong, and how BOTH partners in a poly/mono couple can be empowered and fulfilled.

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Through working with folks in person, through emails, and online, we see that the topic of poly/mono relationships is an issue that comes up quite a bit.  Something that has surprised us is how many poly/mono couples we see on a daily basis. 

There are a couple of reasons you might find yourself in a poly/mono relationship:

  • The fact that you’re non-monogamous is a new discovery that hits you like a freight train and opens your eyes to the fact that you can no longer be in a monogamous relationship.
  • You’ve always known you’re non-monogamous but you’ve never acted on it. Now you are recognizing a big part of your life and identity is missing.
  • You knew you were poly and maybe even have been poly prior to being in the relationship, but you thought that you could be monogamous for your partner. Then you discovered you weren’t happy in a monogamous relationship. This can cause your partner to feel hurt and betrayed.

Not many folks are talking about this issue, so there is little guidance to navigate when situations arise. Common problems we that we see when working with folks are: 

  • Constant fighting and unresolved arguments about the future and their relationship.
  • Both partners feel resentful and unfulfilled. The poly partner can’t be their true self, and the mono partner feels lied to, uncared for, and like they’re “not enough” for their partner.

We have tons of breakthrough calls each week, and this seems to be the #1 reason couples are ready to call it quits. Why?

  • They don’t know if this is something that is even workable, or if the differences in perspectives are too much to continue.
  • When seeking help they are told its impossible, leading them to believe the myth that there’s no way for couples to have a relationship with such a dividing view.

And it gets worse, the myth that this dynamic is unworkable comes from both the vanilla and poly worlds. 

But that’s not true. A quarter of the people that come through our Mastering Open Relationships program are poly/mono couples.

(Yeah, it surprised us too).

Here’s the thing: The idea that relationships have to be completely equal and look exactly the same will always lead people to disappointment and unmet expectations. But if both partners are getting what they need and having their desires fulfilled, this is a relationship that can work.

Want to find out how? Book a free call with our team.


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TOF Founders Cassie and Josh Fuller are professional relationship coaches. Over the last twelve years, they’ve helped polyamorous clients all over the world overcome their struggles and create thriving relationships. We’re here to answer one question: “How can you build the relationship(s) of your dreams, even if nothing has ever worked before?” If you want to know the answer, subscribe to our podcast and we’ll see you there.

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