So one of my guilty pleasures (oh who am I kidding, I’m not even secretive about this) is advice columns, mostly down to my fascination about other people’s lives. I’ve started browsing the relationships subreddit to get my fix, and so much of it (understandably) is people looking for the objectively ‘right’ answer, which I find fascinating.
It would be so reassuring if there really was an objective right answer about some of this stuff (I can see how a religious code of morality could be very reassuring), but unless your question is something like “is it wrong for me to beat up my boyfriend when I disagree with him?” or “is it wrong for me to deceive my partner in x ways?” then you’re pretty much on your own. In fact, even violence and deception come with caveats – BDSM is in part mutually-agreed and consenting violence; some couples take a don’t-ask-don’t-tell attitude to non-monogamy, which makes me uncomfortable but obviously does work well for some; there can be sad and complicated situations in which a little deception might be the lesser of two evils – and we all practice a little deception every day by not saying every thought that floats across our brains.
You make your own right answers, collaboratively. Sorry, that’s the harder option, but it’s true. It’s not wrong to want your boyfriend never to dance with other women, and it’s also not wrong to feel like that’s an utterly unreasonable limitation. It’s not wrong to want more date nights with your girlfriend, and it’s also not wrong to not want to take time away from your existing commitments in favour of a relationship. It’s not wrong to mind that your girlfriend won’t introduce you to her family, and it’s also not wrong to want to discreetly shield your boyfriend from rude and disapproving parents.
None of these wants are wrong. Almost no wants are wrong. It’s what you do with your feelings that counts. Rule 1: talk about it. Rule 2: be kind. The rest is up to you to make up as you go along, poly or not.