Trust me, I’ve done it.
So why did I end up ditching polyamory for monogamy?
Well, for all the good stuff, there are some pretty hefty downsides to an open relationship, namely that when you involve more people in something you make it a lot more complicated. Everyone has their wants and needs, and when the relationship is bigger those wants and needs increase. That can mean that sometimes you don’t get your needs met.
Then there’s the issue of priority. Who are you supposed to put first? My ex was married, so it was pretty clear cut. His wife was equally committed to an open relationship (and had a boyfriend of her own) but she came first, because they’d committed their lives to each other. The pay-off for having my own life and university and being able to sleep with whoever I wanted, was that I couldn’t demand my boyfriend’s time or attention. It had to be scheduled in, and unless it was an emergency, I had to fit in around everyone else. For some people, particularly people who have multiple partners or a demanding career, the ‘part time’ nature of open dating can be advantageous, but if you’re someone who (like me) values constant communication and contact, it’s really hard. So when it came to settling down with my other half, we felt that we would rather focus exclusively on each other.