Shannon Ashley
Jun 5 · 3 min read

Whenever I hear my friends talk about polyamory versus monogamy, most of them speak as if it's a sexual orientation. You're either poly or mono, cut out for loving multiple people or... not.

To be perfectly honest, I have never felt particularly oriented to polyamory or monogamy. Whether I date one person or many has always felt like a choice, or maybe a choice born from a preference. But nothing that must or cannot be.

Lately, I feel like the circumstances of my current life go much further in determining who or how I might love.

As a working single mom, my time is limited. Anyone who wants the full girlfriend experience with me must also deal with that reality. And they likely have to take on more responsibility than if I was child-free.

Solo poly makes sense for a lot of single moms.

We run our own households and don't necessarily need or want to combine forces with anyone else at home... unless it ticks an awful lot of perfect little boxes for all parties.

Even so, single moms still need love, companionship, fun, and sex. Polyamory offers unique benefits that monogamy lacks. Instead of looking to one person to meet all of your needs in a partner (which may be very particular for single moms), you can enjoy each relationship for exactly what it is.

I think it's hard for people who have only known monogamy to fully grasp those benefits until they actually experience this for themselves. For many poly couples I know, it's not about sex. It's all about freedom and honesty.

For a solo poly person like myself, it just means that I'm not looking for a single partner. And it's not necessarily that I don't want a nesting or primary partner. But I don't really need one.

If I'm honest with myself, I am probably not in the right place in my life for any of that. And I don't think there's anything to be ashamed of in admitting that either.

Is polyamory a choice or disposition?

Realistically, I think that's a question for individuals to ask themselves. I can't help but wonder, however, just how many people would choose polyamory if they were more honest with themselves and their partners.

Or, if they even knew it was an option. Virtually everyone in America has grown up believing that monogamy is the only responsible choice, and folks choose it because our society is set up to see monogamy and marriage as the end goal.

Some people try to choose monogamy, and then wonder why it never feels right.

Truthfully, I have no qualms in saying that some folks might be more wired for polyamory than others and that for others like me, it may be more of a choice.

At the same time, I won't be surprised if more people begin to choose polyamory rather than trying to make their relationships fit into a certain monogamous mold.

I'm still figuring out who I am and what I want.

And I'm not ashamed to say that I'm not sure where I stand. Will I be polyamorous forever? I can't say.

I know I'm demisexual. I typically crave sex and connection, friendship and affection. I have always fallen for men, but I can imagine some fluidity there too.

I guess you could say that I'm open to a variety of possibilities when it comes to love, and I don't want to get bogged down in any expectations of what I think love is supposed to be.

Though in recent years, there's been more talk about people "coming out" as poly. Or, why they can't come out for fear of losing their jobs or social standing. I suppose that as a solo poly woman without many strings in my life (beyond my child), I'm lucky.

I'm still just dating around and building the life I want.

Which means I have the luxury to fly under the radar as little or much as I can.

So here we are.

I'm perfectly happy to chalk up my current life as a solo poly person to my circumstances and experiences. My body, my choice. My love life, my reasons.

And I'd say that's more than good enough.

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Polyamory Today

Exploring polyamory and ethical non-monogamy in modern times.

Shannon Ashley

Written by

Single mama, fulltime writer, exvangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Top Writer.

Polyamory Today

Exploring polyamory and ethical non-monogamy in modern times.

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