In Romantic Relationships, You’re Either a Spark-Chaser or a Long Burner.
Sara Lynn Michener

This is a great article but it glosses over one other big reason people don’t go poly. It comes down to the saying ‘don’t give it if you can’t take it’. If you’re spark chasing, changing partners often and making no commitment to anyone that she is your No.1 then you need to be ok with not being No.1 to anyone. You need to be able to hear someone you just had great sex with, whom you feel great love for say “You fill an important space for me but there’s this other guy who I enjoy spending time with more, who turns me on more, because having gotten to know both of you well, he impresses me more, I care about him more and if forced I would choose him.”

Just because she is unlikely to be so cruel to say that aloud, you can’t base your life plan on ‘la la la I’m not listening!’. If you know you couldn’t take it being said aloud then knowing it deep down and trying to self-deceive will be even more corrosive to your wellbeing.

You may be secretly saying to yourself “I couldn’t take being that sap, but I’m awesome, I’ll be No.1 most of the time”, you may well be right, but now your dishonesty is causing the pain to others. Some may not mind and even like that elitist self-belief but you’d have to own it, not thinly veil it in talk of equality and unbroken brotherhood between partners. This is so your partners can self-select for those who *really* don’t mind being your No2, 3, 4.

In all, it looks like an unstable system for nearly all people and would map a future of crises and heartbreaks. Polyamory with a stable, long-term, mutual No1 could work well but that would be being a spark-chaser *and* a long-burner. Possible but contradicting the simple dichotomy of this article.

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