Polyamory is a beautiful thing; it touches on the endless depths of our hearts for love. It can be a lot of fun too! The less enticing reality of being poly is it is a lot of work. While having many loves can bring many good times, with love comes intimacy which requires being present with each of your partners. It means getting to know them, making time for them, and creating space for each of your relationships to take their natural form.
Whether you’re in a monogamous relationship and thinking about becoming poly, are already poly and in multiple relationships, or just curious; we have some tips to help you get the most out of your poly relationships.
It’s important to know your boundaries and what you’re looking for. Having poly relationships is all about communication, consent, and respect for boundaries, which means you need to know how to communicate your’s. So, take some time figuring out what you’re available for and what you’re uncomfortable with—it might not be the same with every person.
If you’re transforming your previously monogamous relationship into a poly relationship check with yourself and your partner on why you’re making this decision. Realizing that your love for one person doesn’t diminish your love for another is incredible but don’t think that it’s going to save a relationship in trouble. The reality is if you think your current relationship is hard, it’s only going to get harder by adding additional partners. Partners who, I might add, aren’t going to fit in a box you create for them–they’ll need their own space as well.
Getting To Know Them
Polyamory is deeply rooted in the importance of consent. That means that regardless of the depth of relationship you have with each partner it is important to take the time to get to know them. Find out their likes their dislikes, their hard no’s, their interests, and take note of any medical information they give you. You don’t want to find out about an allergy in the middle of your dinner date, or worst yet after you’ve both gone to bed.
If you don’t know where to start with finding out this type of intimate information try out the STARSsex talk. It walks you through everything from STDs to relationship intentions, in an easy to remember step by step system. Whatever system you use, make sure you’re having these crucial conversations and taking note about each of your partners! To ensure you don’t get their information mixed up, save it to their contact information.
Checking Any Insecurities
The reality is in every relationship insecurities and jealousy comes up. They aren’t always about sex or other people, sometimes it’s about money or time. Whatever it is, being poly doesn’t magically evolve you beyond jealousy. Which is too bad, I know!
The first thing to remember is that your partner’s other partner has different needs. There’s no reason to be jealous because your partner isn’t giving the both (or however many) of you the same things. In fact, you probably wouldn’t be happy if your partner treated all of their partners the same.
If reminding yourself of that doesn’t touch on the root of your feelings there may be some other needs of yours that aren’t being fulfilled. If that is the case go back to our first tip about getting to know yourself and take some time to find out why you these feelings are coming up. You may need more time with your partner, you may need more intimacy, more fun, whatever it is you won’t know till you take the time to ask yourself.
Speaking of the things you need that you may not be getting, it is essential to discuss schedules with each of your partners. You need to know how much time they want to commit to the relationship as well as how much time they have to offer. If someone is looking for more time than you can give them you have to be upfront about that so there’s no misunderstanding. Chances are it can all be worked out, but if you don’t discuss your schedules, you’ll never know.
Communication is Key
Which leads to the most important thing to remember about your polyamorous relationships—communication is key. No matter what the problem, complication, or situation is, your relationships will always be better off with communication. You don’t have to talk all the time, in fact understanding the communication methods of your partners is important. Your introverted girlfriend may not talk as much as your extroverted boyfriend.
Whatever their communication style is, it is important that you both create a space that allows for free-flowing, judgment free communication. That way whenever something comes up your partner or you will be comfortable saying something. Which leads me to the most important tip—say something. Don’t let things fester, don’t let them sit—when something comes up just say it.