Here’s something we don’t often hear about: the dangers of going to polyamory from swinging, addressing the very real issue for swingers of falling in love with playmates and forming long-term romantic attachments.
Truly, though, this can happen to anyone. Love and relationships are very sneaky–they can come and go on schedules that don’t match ours and thumb their noses at our carefully-defined lifestyles and rules. In truth, I think what this article nails right on the head is the old broken-record motto of poly:
It all comes down to communication. It’s critical to ask your partner how they feel and to share your feelings. The absolute worst thing that you can do is to hold your feelings inside – what you really want – because you’re afraid your partner may not understand. You have to talk about what you both want from the relationship and what boundaries you’re comfortable with. And in some circumstances, you may find out that you want different things. If this is the case, you’ll have to decide if you are willing to compromise or go your separate ways.
It doesn’t matter if you’re single, coupled, monogamous, married for 30 years, swingers or poly–at some point, you’ll probably find yourself falling for someone that you didn’t intend or expect to. It’s happened to me when I was single. It’s happened to me when I was in a monogamous relationship. It’s happened to me when I was in a poly relationship. And really, the only wrong action in any of these cases was to pretend that I didn’t feel that way. In every case, I told someone important. When I was single, I told a girlfriend. When I was monogamous, I told my boyfriend (with shame, but fortunately he understood). When I was poly, I told that boyfriend the second I recognized the strong feelings.
So please, whatever your relationship structure, recognize that this will be a possibility. Acknowledge it when it happens. Then communicate and figure it out.