Why Polyamory Doesn’t Work




Why don't polyamorous relationships don't work

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Polyamory has become increasingly popular in bringing multiple people into a loving relationship. But is it a viable option for all couples? This blog post takes an in-depth look at why polyamory may not work for everyone and examines some potential pitfalls that are important to consider before embarking on the journey of polyamorous relationships.

We’ll consider if jealousy can be managed, how relational dynamics can change when additional partners are added, and how difficult it can be to keep the connection alive amongst multiple individuals. By exploring these questions, this article aims to equip readers with the understanding they need to make informed decisions about their romantic life.

why polyamory doesn't work

What is Polyamory 

Polyamory is a relationship approach that allows more than two people to connect. It embraces the idea of genuine love, communication and commitment to multiple partners, simultaneously or at different times. Polyamory advocates for trusting, honest and respectful relationships that are not bound by traditional views of monogamy.

Instead, it creates new possibilities and paradigms of romantic unions outside the concept of singular pairs. Allowing individuals involved to explore their identity and self-discovery on a deeper level without fear of judgement from society.

Why Polyamory Doesn’t Work


Jealousy has been and will always be a difficult emotion; however, in polyamorous relationships, these feelings can become highly complicated and eventually take its toll on those involved. While the partners may try their best to come to terms with their unique arrangement, jealousy can still arise due to the natural human fear of losing something that they have or wanting something someone else has.

As a result, people in polyamorous relationships often experience the same emotional turmoil as those in monogamous relationships, likely leading them to seek security in exchange for giving up the freedom and emotional autonomy that can accompany having multiple romantic partners.

Power Struggles

Power struggles within a polyamorous relationship can severely hinder the relationship’s progress. When some members feel that their partners have more authority or power than them, it can lead to resentment and mistrust.

Problems of consistency in decision-making, who is allowed to do what, and unequal status between partners are common issues arising out of power struggles which can ultimately cause poly relationships to fail. It is essential for all involved in a polyamorous relationship to be aware of this battle for power – if left unaddressed, it can quickly become problematic and end the relationship.

Time Management

Managing multiple disparate relationships can be challenging and often proves too much for participants in polyamory. The amount of scheduling required to manage multiple relationships effectively means that many polyamorous individuals have to juggle various commitments, from emotional support to intimacy.

The need for adequate time management is further magnified if one of the partners has prior familial or social obligations. Inevitably, something will get neglected if more than one person is vying for the same time, attention, and energy, which can lead to resentment or frustration among all involved. Effective time management is necessary for any successful relationship, especially with multiple partners.

Communication Issues

Communication issues have long been known to be one of the central reasons why polyamory can be a challenge. Pragmatic communication is critical when dealing with multiple partners at once–something that can quickly become overwhelming and unnecessarily complicated.

Everyone needs to be on the same page with their relationships’ expectations, boundaries and rules. However, discussing such matters with multiple partners makes it exponentially more difficult than when only two people are involved. Polyamorous relationships can work out if all parties are on board, but communication issues prove too much to overcome for many couples.

Expectations Not Being Met

One of the main reasons polyamory does not work is because expectations are not met. When three or more people are involved in a relationship, there are bound to be differences in opinion and expectation. This can lead to disagreements and, ultimately, the relationship breakdown.

Baggage From Past Relationships 

Many polyamorous relationships fail due to issues stemming from baggage from the participants’ past relationships. Despite polyamory being used by some as a tool to heal emotional scars, the effects of past wounds can greatly complicate any current or future relationship. If someone has difficulty trusting someone who has never hurt them, it may be harder for them to trust multiple people and intimately rely on them.

Despite attempts to build healthier connections, many find that their old beliefs regarding love and romance affect the new relationships they are forming, making it difficult to move forward in love.

Lack of Commitment 

In polyamorous relationships, commitment is essential for a successful union. All partners must be equally invested in the relationship to ensure success. Without this commitment, problems can arise quickly. Unbalanced power dynamics can cause jealousy or resentment among individuals involved, particularly when one partner is not meeting their obligations or taking the relationship seriously.

For polyamory to be successful, everyone needs to stay devoted and open with each other. Otherwise, it often leads to chaos and confusion. Therefore, a lack of commitment is one of the primary reasons why polyamorous arrangements do not work out in the long run.


Infidelity is often cited as the downfall of many polyamorous relationships. Egalitarian values and open communication are touted as essential components for the success of a polyamorous arrangement. Yet, infidelity can be a significant obstacle to achieving this level of trust and shared understanding.

One partner’s decision to become involved with other individuals outside of the primary relationship can lead to deep-seated resentment and hurt that, if not effectively addressed and worked through, can cause irreparable damage to the bond between all parties involved. Because open, intimate relationships still carry stigmas in our society, such situations can also be met with acute social judgment or even scorn, further complicating matters.

Competing Priorities and Values

Polyamory is challenging to pull off, and competing priorities and values can significantly hinder its success. Every individual can have different sets of priorities and values they prioritize in relationships; while two people – or even more – may be able to get along, their diverging goals can lead to tension and discontent.

As such, it’s essential for those involved to consider each other’s priorities when forming a polyamorous relationship or risk falling into an impossible situation. To make it work without constant disagreement or disappointment requires being genuine with each other about your expectations and respecting the needs of all parties involved. 

Lack of Intimacy or Connection 

Polyamory has become increasingly popular for people seeking to expand their relationships. However, many practitioners have found that multiple-partner relationships fail to deliver the genuine connection necessary for relationship success.

To truly support and foster strong relationships, intimacy and a genuine connection between the individual partners are essential – something that polyamorous partnerships may struggle to provide consistently. If honestly explored, many polyamorists will find that without an element of intimacy at the deepest level of trust, even our most ardent attempts at sustaining these types of unions can quickly dissipate into failed dreams.

Financial Stressors 

Financial stressors can be a significant roadblock in maintaining a successful polyamorous arrangement. Money affects relationships no matter the dynamics involved. In polyamory, however, financial issues can prove even more complex and challenging to manage.

For example, having to pay for multiple dates in one night or considering how partners who bring drastically different income levels into the relationship will contribute can be massive sources of tension and disagreement. Ultimately, financially supporting multiple partners can be too demanding for some; for such individuals, polyamory may not work without compromising their financial security.

Why don't polyamorous relationships don't work

Pressure to Perform 

Pressure to perform is a major underlying issue that can undermine the success of polyamorous relationships. Trying to fulfill your partner’s needs while meeting your own can quickly become overwhelming and lead to resentment or inadequacy.

On top of this, when friends and family don’t understand or support the arrangement, it further complicates matters. To make things work, it is essential for all parties involved to maintain an attitude of open communication and respect for each other’s boundaries and needs. Otherwise, the pressure can quickly fester until it becomes unmanageable and negatively affects the happiness and satisfaction within the relationship.


Polyamory is not for everyone and can prove to be a difficult thing to pull off. Many possible issues can arise, such as competing priorities and values, lack of intimacy or connection, financial stressors, and pressure to perform. By honestly exploring these potential problems before embarking on the journey of polyamory, individuals can save themselves a great deal of stress and disappointment. Ultimately, it’s essential to consider the risks, be honest with your expectations, and maintain open communication and respect for each other’s boundaries to make any relationship – polyamorous or not – successful.

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