Mr Non-Monogamous, Part 11 – Judgement

If you’ve been following this story for a while you’ll know that Lucy’s somehow managed to end up, quite by accident, in a sort-of relationship with a polyamorous man named Charlie.

If you haven’t, here are links to the very beginning and what happened last week.

In many ways this is just like a real relationship. Charlie and Lucy text each other regularly to talk about how their days went or to share interesting things they’ve found online. They meet up weekly for dinner dates, cuddles and sex. Lucy relies on Charlie as a sounding board for all her personal and work dilemmas. He knows everything there is to know about her – the good, the bad, and the downright infuriating – and yet, astonishingly, he hasn’t run away screaming. He’s become the closest thing she’s had to a proper boyfriend in a really fucking long time.

And yet. In so many other ways it’s not a proper relationship. She’s never been to his house. He’s never stayed the night with her. They’ve never been away together. She’s never met any of his friends. And apart from the one time they accidentally bumped into Lucy’s friend in the street, he’s never met any of hers.

Of course, there’s absolutely nothing stopping her introducing him to her friends. She’s single, they’re dating, so what’s the problem?

I’ll tell you what the problem is: she’s ashamed. Not of Charlie, but of his lifestyle, and what people will think of it. Of the judgement she gets from people who can’t understand why she would accept this deal. The people who think she’s being manipulated, knowingly allowing a narcissist to walk all over her. The people who think she’s pathetic – poor, sad Lucy, who can’t even get a man of her own, so has to settle for sharing someone else’s. That’s why she can’t introduce him to her friends, not because she’s ashamed of him. If he was single she’d be singing his praises from the rooftops like a candidate on The Voice and wearing him on her arm with pride like an expensive watch.

But he’s not, and with a few more open-minded exceptions, most of her traditional, smug-married friends would find the whole idea more distasteful than an entire wardrobe full of velour tracksuits and double denim.

People like her friend Dan.


Dan’s one of the few people Lucy has told. They’ve been mates since university, and Dan recently got divorced. So she’s been helping him get back on the dating horse and sharing her experiences along the way. And she didn’t think he was remotely judgy about her unconventional relationship status until the day she and Charlie had yet another fight about him posting loved-up photos on his Instagram, and she vented to Dan.

‘Vulnerable woman with low self esteem?’ Is this what he really thinks of her?! Lucy’s shocked. There they were having a normal conversation, and suddenly this! Maybe Dan is drunk – though it seems unlikely: it’s the middle of the afternoon!

Lucy’s trying not to be annoyed. She knows this is coming from a place of concern for her wellbeing because Dan cares about her, but even so. It’s hardly helpful.

Ahh, the age-old ‘you don’t value yourself’ line. Lucy’s trying not to get annoyed with Dan – she’s sure he means well. But how fucking dare he. Of course she values herself. But she’s also a woman with needs and desires, and she’s been on her own for far too long. People like fucking Dan, a successful white man married for over 10 years, have no bastard clue what it’s like to be an eternally single woman on the wrong side of 40. So don’t you try to tell me I don’t value myself, Dan. I fucking value myself enough to know I deserve to enjoy some great sex with a guy who thinks I’m brilliant more than I deserve to sit at home on my tod getting RSI from texting dickheads and dullards who’ll only end up ghosting me. 

And Dan also seems determined to convince Lucy that Charlie doesn’t actually care about her at all, but is just an evil manipulator callously exploiting her loneliness to get sex.

Lucy wonders if she should tell Dan that all his typos are making him come across as more deranged than the worst of Donald Trump’s tweets.

Dan may not admit it, but Lucy’s willing to bet there’s at least a small part of him that’s jealous of Charlie. There he is, married to the same woman for years, probably hasn’t slept with that many, probably didn’t get any sex at all for the last part of their marriage, probably not getting laid all that much now… surely no one could look at Charlie with his life so apparently perfect – a loving bird in one hand and another two or three in the bush – and not be at least a bit envious?

The thing is, Dan isn’t actually saying anything Lucy hasn’t already thought herself, many times. She has the same doubts all the time! Is Charlie manipulating her? Is he using her? Will she get hurt? She’s thought all of this through over and over and over again, and decided to take her chances anyway.

The problem is, as much as Lucy will defend Charlie to the death against criticism from friends like Dan, deep down she wonders if he’s right. It’s like when people slag off your friends or family – everyone knows you’re allowed to bitch about your own loved ones as much as you like, but woe betide anyone else who does the same.

But while she’ll fight back against any criticism of her relationship in public, behind closed doors Lucy has her doubts. She’s not really sure that Charlie actually cares about her as anything more than a decent fuck. She’s not sure she hasn’t been cleverly manipulated into sacrificing many of her most deeply-held values by a cheeky smile, a confident manner, and a skilled tongue. And now, even though she finds herself regularly hurt and upset by the knowledge of Charlie’s multiple partners, she can’t quite bring herself to walk away. What the fuck is wrong with her?

Lucy knows that Dan cares, and so do her other friends. And although few of them will be as upfront about their judgement as Dan, behind closed doors Lucy knows full well that they’ll all be having similar conversations with their husbands and partners. Why would they not? They’re only harbouring the same thoughts and doubts that Lucy’s had herself, but without the benefit of having (a) been single for so long you can’t even remember what it’s like to wake up next to someone and (b) met Charlie.

So on that basis, perhaps she should introduce him to some of her friends.

And the opportunity arises sooner than she expected.


On Tuesday Lucy and Charlie have a date planned. But then, out of the blue, her friend Anna from Kenya messages to say she’s in London for a few days, and is Lucy free for dinner – also on Tuesday? Bollocks. 

Obviously Lucy doesn’t want to miss this rare opportunity to see Anna. Mates before dates, right? But Charlie isn’t free any other day, and Lucy also doesn’t want to miss her one chance of the week to spend time with him and maybe get – if not laid – then at least a snog and a cheeky grope outside a tube station.

So in a moment of oh-fuck-it-ness she invites Charlie to join her and Anna for dinner. It’ll be OK, she figures. She’s already told Anna all about Charlie, and Anna’s an open-minded single woman so she understands Lucy’s predicament. There’ll be no judgment here. It might even be fun – finally a chance to show off her sexy new guy to someone.

They meet for dinner at a restaurant in Kew owned by Anthony Worrall Thompson. Whatever happened to him after he was caught putting extra items in the bagging area in Tesco? Lucy wonders.

Charlie’s running late, so Lucy and Anna get a chance to catch up first.
“How’s it all going?” Anna asks. “Tell me all the gossip.”

Lucy fills her in on all the latest headfuckery, and Anna gives her the usual concerned words of advice. “Look, I understand why you’re involved with him, but please look after yourself. You’ll fall for him, and then you’ll end up getting hurt.”

When Charlie shows up, they greet each other politely, but Lucy’s watching them suspiciously. Anna’s an attractive single woman, and Charlie’s a very red-blooded male who likes women a lot and has somehow managed to engineer himself into a position of being able to shag whoever he chooses. So even though he’s promised Lucy he won’t try it on with any of her friends, she’s still wary. Can she trust him?

She’s relieved to see no sign of interest from Anna’s side. If anything, Lucy thinks she detects a flicker of surprise that Charlie’s so normal-looking, and not some sort of ripped superhunk-type, given how much Lucy bangs on about him, and how he’s managed to persuade her to date him in spite of the fact that he sleeps with other women. Surely the sort of bloke who can have multiple women eating out of the palm of his hand must be a Hollywood hearthrob, no?

But for Lucy that’s really not what it’s about with Charlie. That’s not to say she doesn’t think he’s handsome – because she really does – but his attractiveness comes just as much from his confidence, his charm, and his intelligence. It’s something Lucy likes about their relationship – and it was the same with the Ex too – the fact that she really fucking fancies him but that other people don’t necessarily get it makes her more confident. It proves their relationship is built on more than just physical attraction and it reassures her that not every other woman will be trying to steal him away from her.

Not that he’s hers to steal. And even if he were, she’d have to put up with him being stolen.

Dinner seems to go well.  Anna and Charlie get on brilliantly – as you might expect from two bright, articulate people who have the same taste in friends. Anna, who’s still in touch with Brad, updates Lucy on what he’s up to. Apparently he’s grown a giant beard and is dating a woman ten years younger than him. So far, so clichéd. Apparently his new relationship is ‘just as mad and intense’ as it was with Lucy.

Lucy wonders what Charlie thinks of this. Would it make him jealous, hearing about her with another man? Would it turn him on? Maybe it’d make her seem more desirable, by dint of being desired, but who knows? Most likely he’s just completely unbothered either way.


At the end of the evening they say their farewells outside the restaurant. Anna’s going to catch the train from Kew Bridge, and Lucy is going in the opposite direction to Kew Gardens station to get the District Line. She’s hoping that Charlie will do the gentlemanly thing and walk with her back to the tube, and then do the ungentlemanly thing and finger her deliciously in a dark side street, but it’s not to be. It’s more convenient for him to get the train, he says, so he’s going with Anna.


Lucy’s crushed. Does he not care about her? Is saving 15 minutes on his journey really more important to him than the chance to put his tongue in her mouth and his hand in her knickers? Does he fancy Anna, after all, and is he going to take this opportunity to get to know her a bit better? It’s not that she doesn’t believe him when he says he won’t try it on with any of her friends, but even so… something doesn’t sit right. Attractive, single Anna, and charming, sexy Charlie, heading off in the dark together. It’d make even the most secure of girlfriends slightly anxious – and Lucy’s neither secure, nor a proper girlfriend.

As she walks back to the tube station, alone, Lucy’s furious and anxious. It’s dark, late and the streets are empty. Surely Charlie should have offered to accompany her, even if it might have made him a bit later getting home? Is it too much to ask that he might actually have wanted to walk back with her, to enjoy a few more precious moments of her company before they part for another week? Is it too much to hope for a bit of chivalry – or is chivalry now dead in the age of feminism? Is it anti-feminist and contradictory of Lucy to want a man who will not only respect her as an equal – but who will also buy her flowers and walk her back to the station in the dark?

But maybe these are proper girlfriend privileges, and Lucy’s an independent woman who doesn’t need protecting (though it’d be lovely if someone would offer), so perhaps she doesn’t qualify.

She arrives back at the tube station unharmed, and her phone pings with a message from Charlie.

She knows he’s only teasing, but even so. Making light of her anxiety is hardly amusing.


How long can she realistically carry on with this? she wonders. Is Anna right: will she end up falling for him and getting hurt?

But then she wonders: is it even possible to fall for someone who already hurts you?

Because it’s true: every time she sees Charlie, it hurts her. Sometimes, after sex, she cries. Every time he goes back to The Girlfriend, it makes her heart ache. Every time she sees loved-up photos of them on Instagram, she feels like she’s been punched in the stomach. And can you really ever fall for someone when those are your overarching emotions? Lucy doesn’t think so. For her, love is associated with happiness, and without happiness, how can there be love?

And as much as she adores the rare and fleeting time she gets to spend with him, and the sex is some of the best she’s ever had, and it’s fucking brilliant to have someone in her life to talk to about her day and bounce ideas off and rant to about Brexit and TfL and the twat who sits next to her at work, still she wonders if it’s really worth it. Is it worth the heartache and the jealousy and the tears, just to have someone to make you feel a little less alone? Is the heartbreak of having someone who hurts you greater or less than the bottomless ache of having no one at all?

Lucy wonders if she ought to call the whole thing off.

Next Time: Lucy goes back on the apps in another attempt to find a replacement for Charlie.

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  1. Adam
    27th April 2019 / 10:18 am

    Oh crikey. I know that feeling of jealousy way too well. You suddenly doubt the most reliable of friends from the lifestyle of the one you are seeing and it’s not a great headspace to be in and that’s not down to you, that’s down to Charlie putting you there. Alarm bells.

    As for Dan, yes he’s exposing your doubts and yes he has a very valid point but I don’t think it’s fair of you to say he’s jealous of Charlie. I think he has your concern and you saying that implies that he wants to be living the life that Charlie lives when that won’t be the case.

    Could he have feelings for you?

    • Lucy
      27th April 2019 / 6:12 pm

      Thanks Adam. No I don’t think Dan fancies me, and I’m sure his concern comes from a good place so maybe I was a bit harsh. But that was only after he accused my partner of being a sexual predator and me of being a vulnerable idiot being hoodwinked, so I think my response was fair. As for jealous? Maybe, maybe not. In many ways *I’m* jealous of Charlie: he found his person *and* he gets to live his life the way he wants, with lots of love and sex it in. He really does have it all sorted. Who wouldn’t be jealous of that?

      • Rach
        28th April 2019 / 10:25 am

        Lucy, I was upset to read the things you ended up saying to and about Dan. I get it, it’s never nice to feel you are being criticized or judged, but so often people end up asking “why didn’t anybody tell me what they thought about my partner?!” and this is why – because too often it leads to them feeling defensive and lashing out. Dan was coming from a place of concern (as you acknowledged), and if he’s just reentering the dating pool himself so is probably feeling a bit vulnerable as it is. That doesnt mean he’s jealous, but it does mean that you taking a swipe at him and implying he doesn’t have his life sorted is pretty unkind. I really hope that Dan gets an apology.

        • Anonymous
          29th April 2019 / 6:29 pm

          ‘Feeling vulnerable’ as Dan might be doesn’t excuse the over-bearing opinion sharing and slating of other people’s choices, though.

          • Rach
            29th April 2019 / 11:46 pm

            My point about that was more that it made Lucy’s comment to him particularly below the belt. I agree his own situation doesn’t justify “slating” but I don’t seem to be the only commenter who thinks that’s not what Dan was doing – and that Lucy’s comments about Charlie in earlier columns were arguably more critical and judgemental than what Dan said.

            • Lucy
              1st May 2019 / 10:29 pm

              That may be true, but surely everyone knows that it’s not cool to slag off your friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend to their face?! No matter how much you may dislike them, your duty as a friend is to support their choices and then, if and when it goes wrong, support them through that too. I would never tell a friend I didn’t like their choice of partner! Especially since Dan hasn’t even met Charlie!

  2. 27th April 2019 / 11:02 am

    Ooh. Surely he wouldn’t do anything with a friend?!
    I would’ve felt similar though – wanting some time alone together before he left.

    I find it strange when people say he’s a fuckboy or manipulating you. Whatever your views on polyamory (and I don’t think I’d be able to do it – too jealous) the great thing about it is the honesty. Some monogamous people might want to be with other people and lie and cheat, but polyamorous people are being completely upfront and honest. Which is why I think (having met neither of you!) if you’ve agreed he wouldn’t do something with a friend, he wouldn’t break that! On a practical level, he’d need balls of steel to try anything with Anna, knowing full well she’ll tell you.

    However, I didn’t like that text exchange! I think he was a bit jealous of hearing about Brad! I can’t help wondering if he got the train and then sent the jokes about blow jobs on purpose.

    • Lucy
      27th April 2019 / 6:16 pm

      I really don’t think Charlie does jealousy, and certainly not of guys who are well in the past. No need to be jealous there! And you’re right, he’s always been about openness and honesty, which can be tough when I have to hear about his GF or see photos online, but at least means I know where I stand. So I don’t really think he would try it on with a friend when he said he wouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean he might not be thinking about it, and that doesn’t mean I’m not paranoid about it anyway. Of course anyone can cheat, but it’s certainly easier to do when you have the green light to sleep with other people…

  3. Waverly
    27th April 2019 / 11:45 am

    I agree with Adam, I think it was unfair for you to say your friend was jealous of Charlie; it doesn’t look that way from an outsider perspective, I think Adam is genuinely concerned and knows this is going to end poorly. You became defensive when he pointed it out.

    Excited for the next instalment!

    • Lucy
      27th April 2019 / 6:18 pm

      Thanks for your comment. As I said to Adam in my reply above, it’s one thing to be concerned and quite another to accuse someone’s partner of being a sexual predator! So while I agree his concern is genuine, there was no need to attack me like that.

      • jullie110
        28th April 2019 / 11:41 am

        Lucy, I love reading your thoughts, but as for this particular post I have to say it was unfair and immature of you to accuse Dan of feeling jealousy just because you didn’t agree with what he said about you and Charlie. I invite you to reread your first part of Mr Non-Monogamous – this is what you said about Charlie when you hardly know him: “What the actual fuck is it with all these guys wanting to be in ‘Open Relationships’? Pretending to be all enlightened, all shary and sex-positive and forward-thinking, when really it’s just them wanting to stick their dicks into as many women as possible. It’s total, shameless, greedy fuckboyery, is what it is.”, and “Charlie might seem like a great guy, but in reality he’s bound to be a total cunt.” Dan hardly knows Charlie like you back then, so what you consider him “attacking” Charlie *by calling him a “sexual predator”) was what you did in the beginning, albeit using harsher words. Was it okay for you to do that, but when Dan did he was being a cunt?

        • Barbara Iwowo
          29th April 2019 / 5:30 pm

          Well said Julie I totally agree with your comment .

        • Lucy
          1st May 2019 / 10:41 pm

          Actually, yes, it was. Because I didn’t know Charlie then and I wasn’t in a relationship with him. Whereas now I am. It’s not cool at all to slag off your friend’s choice of partner to their face. It’s the same with family. I can bitch about members of my family being annoying, but it’s totally uncool for someone else to do that.

          • Anonymous
            2nd May 2019 / 4:54 am

            So according to your logic, if you are NOT in a relationship or a family member of the person you are criticising, your criticism is automatically invalid? Wow double standard is cool! Trumpian is cool too!

  4. Deirdre Mooney
    27th April 2019 / 11:46 am

    Well Lucy I feel that if you read your blog with objective eyes you will see that Lucy has already decided to stop playing with Charlie. Charlie has all the cards and I believe has a bit of a cruel streak too (the joke re your friend & blow jobs was so NOT NICE)

    Yes – you need to apologise to Dan … he said nothing you have not said to yourself and handled being called jealous very maturely.

    Just as a matter of interest if you have not harbored sexy thoughts about the now-free Dan – why not??
    Would making an advance ruin your friendship?

    • Lucy
      27th April 2019 / 6:22 pm

      I don’t think he has a cruel streak, I think that was just a thoughtless comment. He didn’t realise it would upset me because for him sex is just a fun thing you do with whoever you fancy, whereas for me it means a whole lot more than that. For him a BJ is no more meaningful than going to the cinema with a friend, but for me it obviously is.
      As for Dan, that is definitely not nor ever will be a thing, sorry to disappoint! Just because he’s single and male does not mean he and I are meant to be!

  5. Shelly
    27th April 2019 / 12:04 pm

    I just can not believe you would treat your friend ‘Dan’ like that. Every single thing he said to you is true and he is the one who actually cares at all about you. And I’m sure someone who you’d be needing to talk to when things do end with ‘Charlie’. It’s just so naive….. and you were so in the wrong with things you said to him- it was awful to read actually. You are not in a relationship with Charlie. You are his once a week bit on the side. He is marrying someone else, the love of his life. It’s frankly embarrassing. For someone who seems intelligent this is certainly the behaviour of a desperate and unintelligent person on your behalf. I’d say you’re better than this- but having read about the way you treat your friends and that you sleep with somebody else’s fiancé it’s no wonder that you are in the mess you are.

    • Lucy
      27th April 2019 / 6:27 pm

      Thanks for you feedback, Shelly, though I think you misunderstand. There are many different types of relationships and just because we are not going to get married does not mean we are not in one. Non-monogamy allows for multiple partners, after all.
      As for Dan, he attacked me, called my partner a sexual predator and me a vulnerable idiot who is being manipulated – which is really offensive. Yes it comes from a good place, he obviously cares, but there was no need to attack me like that.
      As for the rest of it, while I welcome all thoughts and opinions if they are respectfully held, there is absolutely no need to accuse me of being ‘desperate and unintelligent’ so from now on I’ll kindly ask you to keep your opinions to yourself.

  6. Hollie
    27th April 2019 / 3:22 pm

    I’m going to disagree with all the people saying Lucy was unfair and mean to Dan as though that were one sided. If he’d pointed out his views as a friendly lookout just the once and moved on, that would be one thing. But he continually laid into her, making judgements about her life and saying things like she doesn’t value herself. To me, that comes off as a hurtful comment to get a rise from someone, and so of course sometimes that rise will come in the form of an equally hurtful retort.

    • Lucy
      27th April 2019 / 6:31 pm

      Thanks Hollie! I’m glad you agree. Dan means well but there was no need to attack me like that. Particularly accusing Charlie of being a sexual predator and saying I’m vulnerable, have low self-esteem and don’t value myself. He has absolutely no idea what it’s like to be in my shoes and therefore he has no right at all to judge me.

    • Justin
      28th April 2019 / 3:02 pm

      He did try to move on ( and I’m aware we the reader might not have the full context of the conversation) but Dan said that he’d said his piece, and Lucy threw the “you’re jealous” bit back at him.
      Both of them as “friends ” equally cunty in my books.

  7. Justin
    27th April 2019 / 6:45 pm

    Not knowing your relationship with Dan, I must say I was rather shocked how that conversation went. His sexual predator comment might have rubbed you up the wrong way, but I’m guessing he’s saying Charlie will do whatever it takes to get a shag… His choice of phrase might have been excessive but your reaction seems to have triggered you, maybe highlighting something you actually know to be true. My female friends and I don’t always agree but we are sure as hell more respectful of each other… both ways.

    I think Charlie’s failure to walk you to your station, and his message says more than you’re willing to acknowledge.

    • Lucy
      28th April 2019 / 11:44 pm

      Someone said something to me on Twitter that bears repeating here. Everyone who’s objecting to Charlie and our relationship – including Dan – seems to see sex as something that is ‘done’ to women by men. Charlie is ‘only out for a shag’. Charlie is ‘using me’. Why is it so hard for people to understand that I might be happy that Charlie wants to fuck me? I want to fuck him back! It’s all good! So there’s no need to attack him or me for any of it. We are both consenting adults here.

      • Lisa
        1st May 2019 / 2:07 pm

        I think this contradicts many of your previous posts on Charlie as you have clearly said its not just about the sex and you have clearly developed feelings. Seems to me that Dan was just being a concerned friend and he has clearly hit a nerve to get that reaction out of you. Frankly if any of my friends spoke to me like that they wouldn’t be a friend. I’ve been reading your blog for a while and never commented but felt compelled to comment today. Don’t think Charlie is bringing out the best in you..

  8. Kylie
    27th April 2019 / 8:55 pm

    Dear Lucy,

    I was googling for dating advice and somehow ended up on your blog. Your blog is godsend. I am going through the same situation as you and it is so hard because I have been feeling so alone in this.

    One by one, all my friends got married and I felt so unlucky and cursed. Therefore, I had to (sigh!) join the world of online dating.

    And, online dating is so exhausting and painful. It seems to be filled with emotionally unavailable men. I feel that men have developed a “perhaps the grass is greener when I next swipe” mentally. As a result, no one is entering into a committed relationship. Unless you’re really lucky.

    One day, I met B. I thought B was the answer to my prayers and that my time has finally come. Unfortunately, B is married. Like Charlie, B and his wife do not believe in monogamy and have an open relationship. My heart sunk when I found out. But……. I still went ahead with B. I thought that I was giving my heart a break with B. (I mean, dating is hard work! All the ghosting, zombie-ing, breadcrumbing, unsolicited dick pics, annoying booty calls, rejection… how much can a girl’s heart take? All I want is to be loved and give love back.)

    I’ve learnt that the fleeting happiness of B is not worth the pain that comes after. I asked B if there is love in the marriage, why is there need to have sex and companion outside?
    His answered made me realised that he did not care for me and I was simply a tool he used to strengthen his marriage.

    This is what he said. “Traditionally, man marries woman and they close themselves off to the world. Marriage becomes boring after a while. Imagine 10,20,30 years of the same. In an open relationship, we allow each other to continue to explore the world. This keeps things exciting. We might both learn new things (sexual and non sexual) from our partners and that enhances our own life. In an open relationship, the chances of us taking each other for granted is slimmer than traditional marriages. My wife is sleeping with some other dude! The chase is always on for me. And she, in turn, has to constantly wow me too. In fact, our therapist recommended this lifestyle and it worked really well. We could never be more in love.”

    It is so hard, Lucy. But I walked away.

    I want to thank you for sharing your dating experiences with everyone. Your blog made me felt less alone and gave me the courage do press on and do what I needed to do.

    I wish you all the joy, laughter and happiness in the world.


    • Lucy
      28th April 2019 / 11:52 pm

      Hi Kylie, thank you SO much for your thoughtful comment and for sharing your story. I do find it so interesting that quite a few other people have had similar experiences – and feel sad in a way that so many women who are looking for love, for just one person, are feeling that they have no choice but to accept a less-than-perfect deal to avoid the even-worse deal of being entirely alone. Obviously I understand why we do it, but it does make me sad.
      I’m sorry it turned out badly with this guy. I’m sure his reasons for polyamory are why many people open up their relationships. The question is whether you can be OK with that, whether you are getting enough from your side of the deal. To me, I’m not sure the motivation makes all that much difference – at the end of the day you’re still going to be the secondary person if they already have a primary partner as Charlie does. Though I actually don’t think making his relationship stronger is Charlie’s motivation, he was non-mono before he met his GF, so this has been a lifestyle would embrace with or without her.
      But thank you for your kind words, and I wish you all the best too. L x

  9. Nikki
    27th April 2019 / 10:19 pm

    Hello Lucy. I very much enjoy your blog. I have to tell you that I am part of an open marriage as well and look outside for friendships and sex. I wouldn’t have ever thought this type of relationship, but it works for us. Yes jealousy is an issue at tkmwa, but open communication is the key. Express your feelings and yes it is ok to feel emotions towards Charlie. As long as he and his girlfriend have open communication, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

    • Lucy
      28th April 2019 / 11:54 pm

      Hi Nikki, thanks for taking the time to comment and for your support. It means a lot. Thanks also for sharing your experiences. It’s interesting that you say that jealousy is still an issue for you; I feel that by entering into non-monogamy you really do open yourself up to far more risk of jealousy and I have to say I’m impressed that you can make it work, as for me I think it would just be too toxic long term. But I wish you every happiness. L x

      • Nikki
        3rd May 2019 / 4:15 am

        Yes it is difficult at times. Especially when I work full time and have children. Finding time with my children and my husband is hard enough on different shifts, let alone time for others. Open communication is the key though. Without that and honest with yourself there is no way an open relationship would work.

        I really enjoy your blog. 🙂

  10. 27th April 2019 / 11:57 pm

    I have finally caught up, after reading through from your very first post. There is one thing I am not getting about this thing with Charley. If he is truly living the polyamorous life, how come he only has one proper girlfriend, only one he lives with,shares his life with, is willing to go public with via Instagram? Let’s say you do fall for him and can get through your own reservations about his way of living: is there a future in which you would get equal billing?

    • Lucy
      28th April 2019 / 11:57 pm

      Hi Barry. That may be my fault. Being new to this I probably used the wrong word. I tent to use polyamory and non-monogamy interchangeably when in fact they are different. And what they mean also depends on how the individuals involved define them.
      But no, there will be no equal billing. He’s marrying his GF, they live together, so she will always be his primary person.

  11. 28th April 2019 / 6:25 pm

    I wish people can actually at least try to understand where you come from.When you are ready to leave Charlie,you will Can you be allowed happiness.Is it too much to ask…

    • Lucy
      28th April 2019 / 11:58 pm

      Thanks Lu for your kind words. I think most people are just concerned because obviously there’s lots about this that doesn’t make me happy. But that they are forgetting is that there are lots of good bits too, and all added together I have decided that, for now, the good outweighs the bad. Many will not agree with that assessment of the situation, but it’s my decision and I have made it in full knowledge of the facts.

      • 3rd May 2019 / 6:05 pm

        or they find it resonating with something in their own lives and rather than reflecting on that – they try to fix you.

        One thing I am curious about – have you ever said fuck it and told Charlie unabashedly how you feel? I see you have hinted and implied how you feel, but never really asked to be more of a part of his life. Have you asked for a weekend away or for him to stay the night with you? It is coming across to me there is a whole lot of things that are unspoken rules for you that deny you getting your needs fully met within this relationship – and maybe that is because we the reader aren’t privy to it because you havent shared that with us yet. I do hope you have had this convos.. and that it is your choice not to pursue more of a “proper relationship” as you put it. 🙂

  12. June
    28th April 2019 / 9:13 pm

    I’m going to have to side with Dan. As he hasn’t introduced you to his fiancée, I’m still not 100% convinced that Charlie is truly ‘poly’ and that the fiancée is down with this.

    The term seems to have exploded all over Tinder within the last two years or so. The guys I know who use it are simply spinning plates without fearing judgement.

    I worry that Charlie is going to fling the term ‘poly’ back at you to absolve himself in his mind of any wrongdoing. It’ll be “But I told you I was Poly! Why can’t you accept me as I am?” if he does something truly awful in the future. Then you’re painted as the ‘bad guy’, not him.

    Please don’t give up. It’s a cesspool out there, but I want so much more for you than Charlie.

    • Lucy
      29th April 2019 / 12:01 am

      Hi June, thanks for your concern. Actually as you might have seen in last week’s post, Charlie did offer to introduce me to her, and I declined. So it’s OK, I’m absolutely 100% sure she knows and is OK with it. And for now I’ve decided the good bits outweigh the bad, and the having him in my life is better than having no one. It won’t be for ever, but it’s OK for now.
      Thanks for your kind words.

  13. ckav86
    29th April 2019 / 12:01 am

    Some of these comments are horrendous. Nobody here knows the dynamic between you & your mate Dan. I agree he lit the blue touch paper a bit by getting so personal with his feedback on his perception of your situation, but for all we know, he regularly makes pointed comments to you and you just reacted.

    Also, Charlie leaving you to walk back alone shows yet one more time that in this whole situation, Charlie cares about only one person. Charlie.

    • Lucy
      1st May 2019 / 10:46 pm

      Hey, thanks for taking the time to comment and for your support! Dan and I do have a very honest friendship, but I do think he really crossed the line then, and refused to back down once he’d said his piece.

      • ckav86
        1st May 2019 / 11:34 pm

        If somebody called me vulnerable and needy, or whatever it was, I would be very upset indeed. I’m with you on this.

  14. Seamie
    29th April 2019 / 5:34 pm

    I think I am a bit like Dan…..protective but a bit jealous at the same time. Dan has been in a ten year marriage, he probably doesnt know that relationships and dating has evolved a bit.

  15. N
    30th April 2019 / 4:23 pm

    Finally caught up! Read from your first post in less than a week 😎

    I’ll just say this because of all the nasty comments of all the do-gooders out there. Dan’s intention counts, so of course you should not tell him to fuck off and severe your friendship.
    That said… I can’t help but feel that those type of comments are more about being right that about helping your friend. If you truly believe your friend is indeed not and idiot – then you know they thought about it and are either not ready to accept it or have different priorities (and should be respected). If a friend called me an idiot like Dan did , I would not smile and be thankful.

    I sincerely doubt Lucy will be calling Dan if something goes wrong with Charlie now, so how on Earth is that being a good friend?? You can express concern, ask questions and then get on board while you hope you are wrong and they don’t crash and burn; making sure you are available if they do.

    As far as Charlie goes… Great sex is important. It stops you from getting into an unworthy monogamous relationship just for the lack of it and the inevitable lowering of standards that follow bad dates.

    The question I ask myself is always the same: does he/she makes me happy more time than he/she makes me sad? When the answer is no – it’s time to be grateful for what you’ve shared and call it off.

    Best of luck!! Can’t wait to see what’s next

    • Lucy
      1st May 2019 / 10:50 pm

      Wow, that’s a lot of reading! Read from the first post of the story or the first post of the entire blog?!
      I have to agree with you. I’m not going to sever my friendship and Dan and I are fine again now. But at the time yes I was angry. He should not have judged my choices like that or suggested all those negative things about me. And you are right, a friend’s job is to be there, not judge.
      Thanks for your support!

  16. Luis
    8th July 2019 / 9:31 pm

    Omg, I can’t believe Dan was so incredibly rude to you. And how so many people are defending his appalling behaviour. He was rude and judgemental, not a good friend at all. Yeah, maybe you were lashing out when you said he was just jealous, but he deserved it. Seriously. Terrible behaviour for a friend.

  17. Alex
    14th April 2020 / 1:55 am

    Thank you for the series I followed it through today after being guided to one of your other posts that had caught someone’s eyes on a FB Group I belong to. It has been a fascinating read. I am solo poly and have a life partner – non-hierarchical so different to Charlie’s situation but have dated monogamous people (was a serial monogamist for many years myself and have been married). For me the best way to look at this is that folks are different and have different needs, appetites and outlooks. From my couple of years in poly and in several v formations (where you are dating two people at the same time) my biggest learning has come around the scarcity of time and the absolute need for honest and open communication …. all the time. As well as doing a lot of work on oneself to deal with jealousy, doubt, self confidence and all the things threatened to a greater or lesser degree by this approach to (and to be honest any other) form of intimate relationship. Part of the challenge is that, for a lot of us, non-monogamy is not something one wakes up one morning and decides to put on like a new fashion look, it is something one can come to over time. Hence there is a period where people can move from monogamy towards non-monogamy and in some cases due to circumstance or explicit desire non-monogamous folks can move back towards monogamy with a particular partner, either because neither party has found another partner(s) or does not want to. Each non-monogamous relationship is different and set by the people involved. Its not better or worse, its just different. And polyamory is most definitely not primarily about sex, an in-joke in the broader community is that polyamorous people seem to spend more time talking about the relationship and how they are feeling and thinking than actually having intercourse and its true. Now I have seen some folks suggesting some reading material that you might find helpful and your corresponding wariness around engaging with those suggestions. I would suggest the Ethical Slut – written by women and in many respects a singular text on the subject of Ethical non-monogamy. Not because I am trying to convert you – as you have no doubt discovered non-monogamy and the feelings and thoughts it conjures up are far too complex for that. I am suggesting it only so that you might better understand the outlook and motivations and philosophy implicitly or explicitly adhered to by Charlie around how he possibly views and conducts relationships. There are a lot of questions raised in your writings that you may discuss ‘off camera’, but if not, the book might fill in some of the blanks or provide a platform for further conversations with him that could foster deeper understanding and perhaps even some reassurance for you. Because I will be honest the way of thinking in non-monogamy is very different and, for me at least, it has meant abandoning alot of the societal conventions and conditioning we experience from a very young age onward. There is so much we just presume to be the ‘natural order’ or how things have always been done, and well the truth is more complex, more grey and it is so much better to make one’s mind up about things when one’s preconceptions and expectations have been thoroughly examined and either validated or revised. Having made the transition I can say from my perspective that non-monogamy has a lot to teach people about themselves and relationships and has guidance relevant even in monogamous situations. And something else to ponder on perhaps controversially – no one ever really questions a parent as to whether they are able to love more than one child. Many people adopting non-monogamy feel the same about experiencing a spectrum of deep emotions and commitment to more than one person. Throw relationship anarchy into the mix and things broaden again in terms of possibility. I look forward to hearing how you fare, hopefully making the best decisions you can for everyone involved and very happy to talk if you have any queries

    • Lucy
      20th April 2020 / 12:31 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story and for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and detailed comment.

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