So me and my girlfriend were polyamorous from the beginning, and she was the one who had taken a romantic interest in me. I agreed because I wanted to see how things go, initially I was toying with the idea of polyamory because I have trust issues? and I suppose it was an excuse for me to just have company and not be abandoned.

As I continued my relationship with my girlfriend, I had to keep pushing past my trust issues and our shared differences in communication, and unfortunate similarities in love styles (we’re both switches, but she’s naturally submissive and doms if she feels unsafe, and I like being submissive). This usually leads to communication and trust issues which lead to me overthinking and complaining to her causing her to overthink things.

My metamour is dominant and we are friends, but we don’t entirely get along so well. He has expressed romantic interest in me as well, but I’m unsure of that. The reason I stay so much is more so from what I can gather, I do in fact want an exclusive partner who in this case, I connect with emotionally and sexually? That’s always been an ideal for me and I feel like my inability to authentically open up is a problem and well I also have Relationship based OCD and high functioning anxiety.

Because of this I decided on a mono-poly arrangement. But I’m starting to feel it’s unfair, because I am investing more of my time and energy into this relationship than she is? and its starting to really upset and hurt me. Is there anything you can think of that can help me? Bare in mind, we’re long distance (all of us) and I’m the only one from a different culture so values and habits are in the way, though not too much.

Firstly, a mono-polyamorous arrangement is an arrangement of someone who is happy to be monogamous to a polyamorous person, for whatever reasons. This really doesn’t seem to apply to you right now. You want a monogamous relationship and you’re with people who will never give you that, so it makes sense that you are starting to feel frustrated. It makes sense that you’re investing more of your time and energy into the relationship than she is and that it’s starting to upset and hurt you. Because you’re in a relationship that you don’t want to be in.

There are a lot of underlying issues here you may need help with, but a relationship style isn’t going to fix that for you. Choosing polyamory because you think it might solve trust issues you have seems like you’re deciding that you need to exercise and then forcing yourself to run 5k with no training. Not to mention, you’re with someone who you’re incompatible with. So essentially you not only have some underlying issues, but you are trying to force a relationship that doesn’t work and then blaming the reason it doesn’t work on your “trust issues” when maybe the reason the relationship isn’t working is because you’re both not compatible with each other and you don’t want polyamory.

I think, with all due respect, you hit the nail on the head with deciding to be in this relationship to have company and not be abandoned. You’re staying because you believe that being alone will be worse than staying in a relationship that doesn’t serve you. And in some ways, especially if you struggle to cope with loneliness and you’re not actually trying to address your problems on your own, this might be true. And some people, like myself, thrive when in relationships and enjoy them more than being alone. To a certain extent, it makes sense and is fine to like being in a relationship more than being single. Despite what at least my culture believes on the importance of being independent, we are a relational species and we are meant to have connections with one another. It makes sense to want that.

But right now you’re hurting because you’re basically in a relationship you don’t want. You can only ignore your own feelings so much. You can’t make them go away. And you are treating yourself with disrespect when you choose a situation that isn’t what you want. You want an exclusive partner you connect with. If you struggle to open up and you have some anxiety, then you need to connect with a therapist who can help you with that. The solution is not to be in a relationship that will only continue to make you sad. Just because you struggle with mental health issues does not mean you deserve this.

You deserve what it is that you want and you should pursue that. Stop forcing yourself to be in a relationship you don’t want and find the relationship that you do want. Be with someone who is going to give you the energy you want. Choose yourself instead and seek out mental health help if you feel there are things you need to improve. Attempting to fix relationship issues while in a relationship you don’t want is like trying to learn how to ride a bike in a blizzard. And you deserve to have what you want.

I hope this helps and good luck!

Get the book

If you’re looking to start exploring polyamory or you’ve been non-monogamous for awhile and struggle with anxiety, The Anxious Person’s Guide to Non-Monogamy may be for you. Even if you aren’t exactly struggling with anxiety, it could be a great book for beginners.