Am I a Serial Polyamorist?

The question popped into my head recently: I am a “Serial Polyamorist?” Hmmm. We all know what a serial monogamist is…

What Does “Serial Monogamy” Mean?- Serial monogamy is a relationship style that involves having a series of monogamous (often long-term) relationships, rather than taking solo breaks or casually dating in between. Serial monogamists feel more comfortable in exclusive, committed relationships than on casual dates or hook-ups.

So if you apply this to Polyamory, to being a Serial Polyamorist, I think you could say a serial polyamorist is someone who does something similar. When one relationship ends, they rather quickly get into another one- regardless of the number of current relationships they are in.

Some people have an ideal number of partners and like to keep that number going. Some people don’t have many relationships (or maybe just one), and they feel to be truly polyamorous, they have to have a certain number (or at least two.) I can imagine there would be many reasons someone would go from one relationship to another.

The thing that strikes me, though, at least for me, is the rest of the definition or the idea of a serial monogamist is that they jump from one relationship to the next without thinking too much about what happened in the last relationship.

Many dislike being single and enter new relationships shortly after their previous relationship has ended. Potential signs of serial monogamy can include:

struggling to stay single

difficulties with self-esteem, boredom, or loneliness when single

inability to leave a relationship without a new potential partner lined up

feeling easily bored or restless in relationships

looking for a new relationship as soon as your current one ends (or just before a breakup)

relationships quickly becoming very serious or intense


A lot is going on there. So as I looked at the pattern, I wondered if I was doing something similar. Now that I live in the US, I have not quite achieved the poly perfection I had in Berlin. Three partners with varying degrees of time commitment and energy exchange are ideal for me. Not living with any of them nor building towards that- (I am solo poly.) But being open to growing deeper in love relationships and commitment is important to me. (Often, people confuse my solo poly with a lack of desire for commitment. But I think that’s a separate blog post!)

Since moving here, I have had one committed partnership at a time. From the outside, these relationships appear pretty monogamous. My comet partner is in Berlin, so he doesn’t factor into the local view of my life. One man was monogamous, Dex- I’ve written about our relationship a few times. We’re still good friends. So anyone who knows him and saw us together assumed we were monogamous unless he told them differently. One man was married and polyamorous. But you don’t go around introducing your boyfriend to people by mentioning his wife (at least not at first and not to people who aren’t already good friends.) I just met J (a little over a month since Louis and I broke up), and this relationship already has potential.

I met Louis while I was dating Dex. There was not any time in between them. But that happens in polyamory. You meet new people while you are dating other people. That’s not the same issue it would be when you’re monogamous. In fact, polyamory wouldn’t work if that wasn’t the case. To have concurrent relationships, you must meet someone while dating someone else.

I feel like the big difference is, do I, or anyone else who is polyam and meets new people rather quickly, think about and evaluate to discover what we need to learn from each relationship? As a poly person, I need to understand what works well in my relationships and what doesn’t. I need to look back and reflect on past relationships to figure out what I can do better. What boundaries do I maybe need to instate? What do I need to have to feel safe in a relationship? What behaviors don’t serve me, and which do?

My break-up with Louis was interesting. It left me with a lot of feelings, many unresolved. I recently decided that I would not pursue staying friends with him. I realized it would not be good for me. Not for my mental health or upcoming relationships because these feelings wouldn’t clear until I am clear of him. But at the same time, I find myself trying to slow down the progression of this current potential relationship. I need time to be sure I don’t make the same mistakes. I want to ask the right questions and take the time to evaluate the responses. And I want to be able to ask for what I need from the very beginning. (I am getting better and better, but asking for what I need is never easy.)

I also find it very easy to meet good people. Not meeting people- THAT is never that easy. I mean, we all know what a pain dating apps are. But I am pretty good at figuring out if someone is a decent human being or not. So when I meet them in person, I generally meet rather nice people from the beginning. That also tends to facilitate getting into another relationship maybe quicker than some people do or are even comfortable with. I went for a walk with a friend today, and she commented on how it seems I always meet nice men, so it stands to reason I might get into relationships rather quickly after the last one ended. It was kind of nice to have a bit of validation in that area.

In the end, do I think I am a serial polyamorist? Maybe. But I don’t think that has the same connotation in MY polyamory as when we’re talking about monogamy. What do you think? Is it possible to be a serial polyamorist? Do you think it is there same or different than serial monogamy?


If you like to read about polyamory and non-monogamy, here are a few posts you might like:


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