The popularity of non-monogamy—the practice of engaging in many intimate relationships—is on the rise, but is it the right path for your relationship? If you’ve found yourself in this situation, the most important piece of the puzzle is getting clear about what you want.
It’s important to understand what a polyamorous relationship entails. Firstly, it is a relationship built on consent. So, if you or your partner engages in another relationship without the consent of the primary partner, that’s not polyamory, that’s cheating. Also, polyamory is not exclusively about having multiple partners – if that were the case, you’d be describing an open relationship.
Sound a little complicated? Well, I’d agree with you. I’ve seen the invitation for multiple partners complicate functional relationships for years. To be fair, the relationships were on shaky ground before the discussion of additional partners was on the table, but each time the conversation about additional partners came up, someone was left feeling disappointed.
I believe the best decisions come from a place of honesty. Before you decide if polyamory is for you, consider the following:
- What led you to this decision?
If your partner surprised you with the proposition, it’s already looking like an unnatural evolution of your relationship. However, if you did some deep soul searching and believe that multiple partners will help you become the best version of yourself, I think you should listen to that voice.
- Are you doing this to please someone?
Compromising your picture of the relationship to paint someone else’s will only backfire. Instead of ensuring closeness, you’re building a strong case for resentment and contempt. In addition, it is common for jealously to flood the brain.
Ask yourself: Will my partner’s feelings towards me change based on my response?
- Are you doing this to fix something “broken”?
Compromising your needs in an attempt to “get the relationship back on track” or “try a new experience together” are just falsehoods to help us cope with the knowledge that the relationship is flawed on a fundamental level.
Ask yourself: How, specifically, will my partner’s new relationship with someone else strengthen our relationship?
- Are you able to speak openly about jealousy, sexual health, and feeling insecure?
Are your lines of communication open enough to discuss some of the harsher realities of polyamory? Some common drawbacks include feeling jealous, insecure, and secondary. Will you be able to talk about the physical implications of more than one sexual partner? Are you able to talk about feelings of insecurity at the risk of sounding needy? If any of this gives you pause, consider how much stress the polyamorous relationship could put on the level of communication with your partner.
- Are you able to set boundaries? Are you prepared to leave if they are crossed?
This point echoes the sentiment above; are you able to communicate openly about your needs in the relationship? If you are entertaining a polyamorous relationship, are there certain people off limits to your partner? If you are not able to voice these concerns for fear of upsetting your partner, you will sabotage your emotional well being.
If your partner is constantly seeking attention, validation, or admiration while keeping your needs secondary, you could be dating a narcissist. The narcissism diagnosis gets tossed around frequently, so it can be difficult to differentiate between a true narcissist and someone who just loves attention. To know if you’re dating a narcissist, look out for the following signs:
Grandiose Personality—Your partner believes that he or she is the reason other people are leading better lives. Because they believe they are more important than everyone else, it’s challenging for them to fathom how other people could survive without their contributions.
What this could look like: When your partner discusses a work project, he takes credit for the final product without any acknowledgement of colleagues. He tries to tell you that despite everyone pushing back or “getting in his way”, he single-handedly found the answer.
Grand displays of affection (initially)—If your partner laid it on thick in the beginning—i.e. flowers, gifts, or saying “I love you” soon after meeting—you experienced what psychologists call “love bombing”. This technique is used to move the relationship forward quickly, but on a false pretense—one that is self-serving as opposed to genuine.
What this could look like: You were swept off your feet, but that narrative quickly changed when you communicated needs of your own. The exchange of gifts comes easily, but the exchange of real communication has barriers.
Your partner is living in a fantasy—Since reality doesn’t back up that grandiose personality, your partner will create a narrative that does. You might hear your partner tell stories that speak to unlimited power, brilliance, or importance. These stories are protective mechanisms to help offset shame or a lack of self worth.
What this could look like: Your partner tells a story about that time she got a scholarship to an ivy league school, but she doesn’t end up going. When you ask why she took out loans to attend a state school instead, she becomes furious and combative. Your innocent question is met with rage and anger, as it potentially challenges her fantasy.
You partner turns the conversation on you—Whenever you discuss a problem with your partner or have some constructive criticism, the conversation seems to be redirected at you. A narcissistic person will try to make you feel guilty, overly sensitive, or just plain wrong about the issues you’re experiencing. Gaslighting is the formal term that describes this kind of emotional devaluation technique.
What this could look like: You tell your partner that you are upset when she shows up late for plans. Instead of apologizing or offering up a reason, she flips the conversation on you. She might say something like, “Why are you so controlling?” or “Would be really great if you could loosen up”. Gaslighters know that if you question your own feelings, you will continue to doubt yourself and the poor treatment you are receiving.
Your partner is a bully—To affirm those feelings of superiority, narcissists will frequently demean others. Your partner harbors a fragile self esteem so tearing people down—especially publically—is a way to preserve his sense of self.
What this could look like: The waiter delivers the wrong meal to your table. Instead of asking for a replacement, your partner escalates the situation from mistake to confrontation. After embarrassing the waiter and asserting dominance, your partner will not feel any shame or remorse for making a scene.
“I am writing to tell you that (name omitted) and I are in a committed, exclusive relationship! She is the love of my life! I am as smitten today as I was on our first date in January. Only now I know that much more about her and have fallen in love with this spectacular woman! She is adding so much to my life!
I have met her children and am off to a good start with them. We just returned from a fabulous one-week vacation and enjoyed every minute of our time together! She has invited me to join her later this month, with her family and friends, at her treasured vacation home. And we have a long list of things to share into the future.
We have agreed that we are perfect for each other – always comfortable together, discussing everything openly (including the hard stuff) and supporting each other during these times of change.
She is such a caring person, empathetic, listens so well, is flexible and accommodating. Yet she is also strong and voices her feelings and opinions to me. She is a hard worker devoted to her family, career development and charitable interests. So fun to be around such a motivated, interesting woman!
I want to thank you again for introducing me to her. You certainly saved your best client for me! Amy, thanks again for your very caring and professional support on this journey! I am very grateful to have her in my life!”
She might be interested, but is she willing to commit? To know for sure is a time-consuming process. Standing by until she’s ready or doing every little thing to change her mind will challenge your patience and sanity. Those loving feelings you have now can snowball into frustration and resentment if your partner’s intentions stay ambiguous. To avoid pursuing a woman who isn’t ready to commit, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is she emotionally available?
Intimacy begins with trust, and wounds of the past can make trusting someone new very difficult. If your partner struggles to communicate her feelings, she might be protecting herself from another heartbreak or letdown. If your partner constantly rehashes stories about her ex, she’s not ready to commit emotionally. As long as she fixates on the demons of her past, she’s still living among them. Over time, she’s more likely to let go of the anger or sadness, but as long as she’s processing, give her time. Your efforts to be her knight in shining armor are impressive, but they won’t be fully appreciated until she’s moved on from the past. Keep in mind that this one is all about degree – though you don’t want write someone off too quickly, you should also move on if the wounds seem too fresh.
- Does she want you to be the best version of yourself?
Everyone has blind spots; does your partner take time to help you discover and improve the ones that are problematic? If so, she’s showing a willingness to invest in your well-being.
Maybe you’ve slipped back into workaholic tendencies. Maybe you’re struggling with aging parents. Whatever it is, it’s a problem you can solve together. You’ll notice her feedback doesn’t feel like criticism. Instead, she spends time figuring out the root cause of the problem in a calm, non-judgmental way. If she’s looking for the best long-term fit, she will want her partner at his best—even if it involves tough conversations.
- Does she make an effort with your family?
Everyone has a couple challenging relatives but, no matter how much we may wish otherwise, they’re still family. A woman who’s interested in a long-term relationship will take them as they are. She’ll let your overly political father vent, she will let your perpetually unemployed brother crash at your apartment, and she won’t hold it against you.
If the relationship is casual, she’ll avoid intertwining herself in your life. She might meet your friends, but family requires a different type of effort.
A woman who is ready to commit will do her best to make a solid impression. She will help your mom figure out FaceTime. She will spend 45 minutes talking to your dad about his fishing trip. She might have 100 more interesting ways to spend her time, but she wants to cultivate relationships with the people who’ve known you the longest. Because your family is an extension of you, she will make them a part of her life.
- Does she allude to a future?
If commitment is on her mind, she’ll start gauging your interest in future plans. Testing the waters about kids or marriage can be too forward, so listen for softer cues. She might want your thoughts on pet ownership or ask about your lease. If vacation days are numbered, she might ask about holiday plans well in advance.
If she’s trying to make long-term plans, she sees you in her future.
- Does she introduce you to friends?
Meeting the friend group is another way she will integrate you in her life. If you’re playing a bigger role in her life, she’ll want her leading ladies to know you. Watch for invites to group outings or impromptu meet ups where she’s already with a close friend. If she’s inviting you to high exposure events like company outings, family gatherings, weddings, she’s also publicly acknowledging that your relationship has legs.
- Does she want to impress your friends?
Just like family, your friends are an extension of you. Because these people are important to you, they are important to her. If she believes that you are the best long-term partner, she’ll want your friends to see her as your best match. Their opinion of her is not something she’ll take lightly. To make a good impression, she might make an extra effort to befriend a colleague’s wife or take initiative to plan a couples’ trip.
- Does she demonstrate willingness to compromise?
When the relationship shifts from an “I” to a “we”, your partner will make decisions differently. Because she’s focused on what’s best for the relationship, her needs are best met when both of you can come to an agreement, even if the outcome is not exactly what she had in mind. If she’s only looking for casual fun, there’s no reason for her compromise. Without a future, there’s no need to make sacrifices.
” Let’s all admit it, online dating is broken, at least if you’re looking for love! The paradox of choice (swiping until your thumb gives out), ephemeral attention spans, and asynchronous communication have led to a disconnect between the need for companionship and the ability to find it.
The solution? Linx Dating! Think of Amy as your great aunt who introduces you to people, except Amy is young and has a better understanding of what you may want. Of course, Linx has been featured in national and international media. This doesn’t mean Amy is inaccessible. Quite the contrary. She’s accessible, warm, thoughtful, and compassionate.
Amy has a number of memberships and non-membership options for her exclusive matchmaking service. Nobody likes to admit they are single, but here I am, single. A friend recommended I reach out to Amy to have me in her database for eligible bachelors. Amy asked me thoughtful questions and vetted me. This is important with her clientele who are educated (either formally or informally), successful, and looking for a serious relationship.
Don’t expect a list of 50 people in the next day. Remember the jam study! (Briefly, people went to the grocery store and saw 30 different kinds of jam or 5 different kinds of jam. Guess who was more likely to buy jam and LIKE the jam they brought. The ones who saw only 5 kinds of jam!).
I’ve been introduced to three of Amy’s clients. While i haven’t found the love of my life yet, I think I’m most likely to get there through the personalized and well thought out introductions by Linx Dating.”
“I have had the opportunity to work with Amy for over a year. She has been amazing. I initially came to her after months of frustrating experiences on dating apps and meeting men through friends of friends. I had no trouble finding dates, but time and time again, I found that the men I met were simply not serious about being in a long term relationship. This would not have bothered me as much in my 20s, but now into my 30s this was becoming painful.
From the very first time I met Amy, she was supportive and genuinely wanted to get to know me in order to find someone I could truly connect with. It was clear from the very beginning that she was interested in much more than just helping me create a “profile” of my accomplishments in the way that dating apps encourage. She spent time reflecting with me about the patterns of my previous relationships in order to help clarify what worked and what didn’t.
Shortly after we met, Amy began setting me up with men she had carefully matched. At every step of the process, she would check in with me about how things were going.
When I eventually met someone, Amy was full of encouragement and we eventually parted ways since I was initially very happy with the person I was dating.
Unfortunately, the relationship I got into began to unravel 6 months later. When it ended, I took some time for myself to recover. The break up was painful, but when I eventually recovered Amy was my first call. She responded right away and we reconnected shortly thereafter. She helped me process my experience and think carefully about how this changed my feelings about finding another partner. Once we reassessed, Amy again began to pair me with men she thought would be good matches.
I am still just getting back on my feet again with meeting new people, but thanks to Amy’s help things are off to a promising start. I am so deeply grateful for her guidance. I recommend her to the highest!”
“I’ve been a Linx client for the past year and a half — and I have nothing but positive things to say about Amy & the team. This review is based on my actual experience as a (paying) client.
There are a few key things that you should know:
* BOTH men and women pay to be a part of Amy’s network, so there’s a level of commitment on both sides that just doesn’t exist with other services. When Amy connects you with someone, you take them seriously.
* Amy’s screening process is extremely thorough. She really dives into what you’re looking for, really gets to know you, and really puts thought into the folks she connects you with. She asks questions that cover both the superficial and deeper down (say what you will, but both matter in dating!). For example – one of the getting-to-know-you tasks is to assemble both a scrapbook of photos of people (anyone) you find attractive AS WELL AS photos of people you’ve dated. Amy wants to see the spread between what you imagine you want and what you’ve actually shown attraction to — that’s key and clever.
* Everyone uses her! Critical mass / network effect is so important with a matchmaker — you can be confident that you really are getting into a pool of like-minded people. I signed up after independently asking 3 different friends (guys and girls) how they met their significant others, and all said “Oh, this awesome matchmaker named Amy Andersen.” So the network is great.
* The Linx process saves a ton of time. The social proof begins right at the start — Amy tells you that you’re going to like this person. Amy tells the other person that they’re going to like you. Neither of you are going to flake (or face the wrath of Amy). You know the other person is vetted. They know you’re vetted. This literally saves weeks in the traditional dating process of un-returned texts/calls, cancellations, changed-minds, etc. You can be assured that at least the first date is going to be a good one. And if there’s no chemistry, well, so be it, but that’s up to you 🙂
Anyway – that’s it. It’s worth the $$, it’s worth the time.
(PS – I ended up dating the FIRST person Amy set me up with for a year. So there ya go.)”
“I have known Amy — the heart and soul of Linx — for almost 20 years now. I have worked with her on and off throughout the years, and while I have never used her dating services (I am happily married), I feel that I know her well and I highly recommend working with her.
Amy is tireless. Of all the people I know, both professionally and personally, Amy is the most enthusiastic about her career. She loves what she does and it shows in the quality of her work and the volume of her successes, including an impressive number of marriages for her clients and their matches.
Amy has integrity. When she gives her word, she keeps it. If she makes an error — a rarity, I have found — she owns up to it and makes it right.
And Amy is connected. Amy’s been helping Bay Area and even international professionals find love for 15 years so her list of contacts is a mile long. So while I’m not “in the biz”, if you have very specific criteria for whom you’re looking for, Amy probably knows the perfect person for you.”
“I attended a mixer hosted by Amy with Linx Dating and she was the perfect host. The atmosphere was pleasant and everyone who attended was very friendly. If you are on the dating scene and looking to meet the perfect match, Amy is definitely the person you need to “Linx” up with.”
“I never actually became a client at Linx because the incredibly thoughtful CEO of the company encouraged me to pursue a local company in my hometown. Remarkably, even though she had no incentive (financial anyhow) to help me, she helped me pursue the other local service. She provided guidance, direction, and support along the way; and I eventually did sign with a similarly-minded local company. We exchanged a number of emails over a number of months. I found Amy to be incredibly professional, warm, and kind–and surprisingly accessible given her position in the company. I am entirely happy with the referral she gave me for a local matchmaking service she’s collaborated with before.
Amy was like a matchmaking fairy godmother to me as I contemplated taking the financial and emotional plunge of signing on with a service. She had no other incentive to do it other than wanting me to be happy and to get what I want. I never would have taken the plunge without her thoughtful, individualized guidance. For that reason, I would highly recommend Linx to anyone truly looking for a meaningful partnership. The woman in charge emanates warmth, caring, know how, and savvy. I’m sure it characterizes the rest of the company, too.”
“I know there’s someone wonderful out there for me. I thought I would try Linx by seeking a professional to help me find the love of my life. Needless to say I’m not disappointed and I cannot say enough good things about Linx Dating. As far as the quality of Linx and the caliber of their clients as well as my interactions with the matchmaker herself Amy. 🙂
I found the website user friendly, easy to navigate, and extremely easy to submit information and pictures of myself. I was quickly matched to a wonderful man that I enjoyed spending time with. I cannot say enough wonderful things about him and what a great guy he is.
The caliber of the clientele compared to online dating has far exceeded my expectations. Amy has already done all the tedious, pre screening, love matching work. You will not be disappointed.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Amy. She has an amazing talent in matching souls and putting love together. Amy is quick to respond. She thoroughly interviews, face times, all while making you feel comfortable, as if you were two friends having a conversation. She knows how to handle busy professionals allowing flexibility and alternative forms of live face to face conversations, text, and email. Amy asks little to nothing in return and only wants to assist us in finding love and happiness.
I highly recommend Amy and Linx dating. You won’t be disappointed and you will never return to regular online dating websites.”