9 warning signs you’re dating a serial polyamorist

Romance is a game of hearts. But what happens when the person you’re dating seems to be playing with more hearts than just yours?

You may be dating a serial polyamorist.

Polyamory is all about being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time. It’s not about cheating or deceit, but about having multiple consensual relationships.

However, if you find yourself unknowingly in such a scenario, it could feel like a whirlwind of emotions. And let me tell you, there are certain signs that can signal you’re dating a serial polyamorist.

So let’s dive into these 9 warning signs that could indicate your date might be spreading their love a little too generously.

1) They’re overly secretive

In the world of dating, everyone has their share of secrets. But when you’re dating someone who seems to be a little more secretive than usual, it might be a sign you’re dealing with a serial polyamorist.

We’re not talking about the occasional surprise or little white lie here. We’re talking about big secrets – like disappearing for hours without any explanation, or being evasive about who they’re texting so late at night.

Being in a relationship with someone means opening up to them, sharing your lives together. If your partner is consistently secretive and elusive about their actions, it could be because they have other romantic ventures they’re trying to keep under wraps.

Remember, polyamory is about transparency and consent. If someone is hiding their other relationships from you, it’s not ethical polyamory – it’s deception. 

2) They seem to always be “busy”

I’ll never forget one of my past relationships that had me scratching my head more often than not.

He was a great guy, charming and charismatic, but he always seemed to be “unavailable.” It was like he had an endless to-do list that kept us from spending quality time together. His constant busyness started to feel like a red flag.

I recall one weekend, I had planned a surprise date for us, only for him to cancel last minute because something “urgent” had come up. It wasn’t a one-time thing either; it became a pattern.

It wasn’t until later that I found out he was dating other people at the same time. His constant busyness wasn’t due to work or personal projects; it was because he was juggling multiple relationships.

If your partner is frequently too busy for you without any convincing reasons, it could be a sign that they’re spreading their time and affection across multiple romantic interests.

3) They avoid introducing you to their friends and family

When you’re dating someone, it’s natural to want to meet their friends and family.

After all, these are the people who have shaped them into who they are today. But if your partner is always “pocketing” you, it might be a sign that something’s up.

This is usually to prevent any awkward situations or potential slip-ups that could reveal their other relationships.

The bottom line is: if your partner is always making excuses to prevent you from meeting their friends or family, it could be an indication that they’re dating multiple people at the same time.

4) They’re vague about their future plans

When you’re in a relationship with someone, it’s normal to discuss the future.

Whether it’s planning a vacation six months down the line or discussing where you both see the relationship heading, these conversations are crucial for building a strong connection.

However, if your partner is always vague or non-committal about future plans, it may be a sign they’re not envisioning a singular future with just you.

Serial polyamorists may have difficulty committing to long-term plans because they’re balancing the expectations and demands of multiple partners.

If they consistently avoid discussions about the future or respond with vague answers, it’s worth questioning their level of commitment to this relationship. 

5) Their phone is off-limits

people who are addicted to their phones struggle with these things in relationships 9 warning signs you're dating a serial polyamorist

In a relationship, trust is paramount. And while no one should feel entitled to invade their partner’s privacy by snooping through their phone, a total lockdown of their device can be a red flag.

If your partner is overly protective of their phone, often hiding the screen from you or never leaving it unattended, it could be because they’re juggling multiple romantic relationships and don’t want you to stumble upon any incriminating evidence.

This doesn’t mean you should start spying on them. But if their behavior around their phone seems suspicious and makes you uncomfortable, it’s worth having a conversation about trust and openness in your relationship.

6) You often feel like you’re not getting their full attention

There’s no feeling quite like being genuinely seen and heard by someone you care about. It’s the kind of connection that makes you feel special, valued, and loved.

But if you often feel like your partner’s mind is elsewhere when they’re with you, it can be incredibly disheartening.

If they’re always distracted, not fully engaged in your conversations, or seem to be mentally absent even when they’re physically present, it could be a sign they’re splitting their emotional energy between multiple people.

Keep in mind that you deserve a partner who cherishes your time together and gives you their undivided attention. 

7) They don’t seem to fully understand or respect your feelings

There was a time when I felt unheard and misunderstood in my relationship. My partner would often dismiss my feelings, saying I was overreacting or being too sensitive. It took me a while to realize that this was not okay.

When you express your feelings, your partner should make an effort to understand and respect them, even if they don’t fully agree.

On the other hand, if your partner often dismisses or invalidates your emotions, it could be a sign that they’re not fully invested in the relationship.

In a healthy relationship, both parties should feel emotionally safe and valued.

If you feel like your emotions are constantly being overlooked or belittled, it might be an indication that your partner is juggling their emotional investment between multiple partners.

8) They’re hot and cold with their affection

In a relationship, consistency is key.

But if your partner swings between being extremely affectionate one day and distant the next, it could be a sign they’re a serial polyamorist. Why is that? 

Juggling multiple romantic relationships often involves dividing time, attention, and affection. This could result in periods where they seem completely smitten with you, followed by times when they seem uninterested or distant.

If your partner’s affection feels like a rollercoaster ride, it might be because they’re trying to balance their feelings between you and their other romantic interests. 

9) Your intuition tells you something isn’t right

Guess what? Your gut feeling is not just quick but also pretty darn accurate!

In a behaviorial experiment, Professor Marius Usher from Tel Aviv University’s School of Psychological Sciences and his fellow researchers discovered that our instincts were not only speedy but also spot-on.  

Therefore, if something feels off in your relationship, don’t ignore it.  Trust your inner compass and dig deeper. It’s often the first indicator that something isn’t as it should be.

After all, you know yourself and what feels right for you better than anyone else does.

Endnote: Don’t settle for what doesn’t feel right

If your love life feels like a revolving door of emotions and you’re collecting more relationship drama than stamps, it might be time to hit the pause button.

Love should be an exhilarating rollercoaster, not a confusing game of romantic musical chairs. Unless you’re into polyamory yourself, don’t settle for someone who treats love like a buffet rather than a feast.

Take these signs not as red flags but as guideposts, steering you toward the clarity necessary for a relationship that honors both partners’ expectations and commitments.

Maybe it’s time to close the chapter on the serial polyamorist saga and open the door to a love story that’s less about quantity and more about quality – because, darling, you deserve a love that’s epic, not episodic.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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