Good Poly Practices

Poly relationships work for some people. In an idealist way, they make perfect sense. It’s the ability to love freely.

The problem lies in execution, primarily with poly relationships in the trans community, and in particular the relationships between women who have been coercively assigned male at birth (camab).

Being a camab/trans woman, we typically come from a romantic background that is very confusing and harmful. Just from my own experience, I have had to contend with partner after partner who did not truly understand me and tried their best to stifle any woman-like qualities I exhibited within our relationships. I continually found myself in abusive situations where my only way of coping was to emotionally cheat while waiting for the relationships to finally mercifully end. I would not be surprised if most girls like us have had very similar experiences.

Once we realise our true selves and begin to associate with the community, we slowly build up our self confidence and pride in our womanhood at a pretty consistent rate as the other girls around us. We open ourselves up sexually and want to love very freely to overcompensate for the lack of love we may have felt prior to transition.

The real issue here is that very few of us actually take the time and even the interest in learning how to healthily practice these relationships. Being poly takes a massive amount of work, and there has to be established trust levels and a constant flow of smart, dedicated open communication between everyone involved. The vast majority of camab girls tend to be poly as a default, and it’s asking a lot to have to jump into such a complex commitment immediately, especially when it most cases declining to be poly will lead to being alone for a long time.

The result? Toxic situations that are exacerbated by the fact that many of us are going through our second puberty and a form of arrested development. Communication is either hardly there or non-existent, girls will find themselves feeling replaced within their own relationships, and jealousy is not dealt with in a healthy manner. Poly relationships require far more work than monogamous pairings once the honeymoon period is over, but that point is repeatedly forgotten amongst a culture of everyone being poly by default without considering how to do it well or even taking into account that many of us are simply not built for such a relationship.

To be clear, poly relationships are absolutely valid and worth pursuing, but we need to put far more thought and care into whether it is right for us. For a community filled with women with trust issues and bad experiences, we need to do better by ourselves and learn to protect our hearts when we can, even if that means being alone.

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