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Jul 1, 2019

A listener asks if her new boyfriend is emotionally unavailable, will poly help?

0:00 Introduction and host chat

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2:10 Poly in the news

7:50 Is poly a solution for emotionally unavailable partners?

A listener writes in to ask if polyamory is possible when her partner seems to be currently emotionally unavailable. Our listener  met a guy five months ago, when she was a newly-single mom not looking for commitment. They never talked about what their relationship was, but our listener knew she wanted something casual and honest. Then he planned an all-day romantic date, felt relationshippy, which followed up by not reading her text messages, which led her to feel insecure and question her own behavior. They talked, and he mentioned he didn’t want to replicate a previous codependent relationship, and things were fin for a while. Then polyamory came up in a dinner with friends, and he mentioned it might work if she was his primary, but he wasn’t involved with any others.

  • Good for you for realizing both you and he have boundaries and needs that need to be considered
  • Short answer is no, a relationship can't be healthy if both you and he are more concerned about enforcing boundaries than letting the relationship develop organically
  • This falls into the "relationship broken; add more people" paradigm, which typically does not work out well
  • This is a great opportunity for both of you to negotiate the relationship you each need. Ask for what you want (not to negatively affect your daughter but to still feel appreciated) and listen to what he wants (to have good quality time and lots of space). 
  • Both of you should ask for specific behaviors--what specific things can he do make you feel appreciated? what specific things can you do to make sure he has "space"? 
  • And one last thing--relationship conversations are best in person. Avoid having these discussions over text if at all possible.

15:30 Feedback

Laura from episode 588 When to give up on polyamory wrote in to give us a happy update, a year later!

19:30 Happy poly moment

  • Laura ends up her feedback by sharing a generous happy poly moment on the part of her husband
  • A poly newbie in Germany shares a happy poly moment about her partner and metamour providing a bathroom shelf and toothbrush for her!

24:00 How to make this podcast better

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email and attach an audio comment or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. If you want us to teach a class at your event, want us to coach you, or want to appear on the podcast, email

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