What is polyamory? It is most certainly not about the number of people you’re seeing…When most people see the word polyamory they immediately link it with polygamy which is not at all the case. What most people fail to understand is that polygamy involves one person married to multiple people; polyamory can involve a marriage, but it’s in no way a required formula.
Polyamory can mean different things to a lot of different people. However we can look at its literal definition – ‘poly’ meaning ‘many’ and ‘amory’ meaning ‘loves’. A polyamorous person who has or is open to having more than one romantic relationship at a time, with the knowledge and consent of all their partners.
Which brings up questions of infidelity. That’s not the case as a polyamorous relationship is like any other relationship with a set of rules but all relationships have bumps but everyone involved in a polyamorous relationship knows what is acceptable and what is not. Lying to your partner about being polyamorous is not acceptable and just by being with multiple partners doesn’t make you a cheater, but lying to your other partners about your choice definitely is.
Here are the do’s and dont’s for happy polyamorous relationships.
Do understand that your needs have nothing directly to do with your partner’s or other partner’s
It boils down to are you getting what you need from the relationship instead of asking if you’re receiving the same thing as your partner’s partner. Remember being happy is not a competition and if you feel your needs are not being met then voice out. Instead of keeping score and saying you took her out for movie night twice in one week and did not take me…say this- I’d like it if you could take me out for movie night.
Which leads to …
Do ask for what you need
What may seem obvious to you may not be obvious to the next person. If you have a need that is not being met by your partner then say so. Don’t wait for your partner to infer your needs. Your needs are important, and even if you believe they are unjustifiable, they are still a legitimate part of who you are. Then again don’t automatically assume that all of your needs will be met by everyone all the time, but it most certainly easier for your partner to be able to meet your need if he knows what that need is.
Do pay attention to the state of a prospective partner’s existing relationships
If and when considering joining someone who is already in a relationship, make sure to take a good look at that relationship. Is that relationship in a good shape? Do that couple have good problem solving skills? Are they communicating well with one another? If they are having relationship problems how will they affect you?
Bear in mind all relationships involve emotional risk. But if you partner can’t handle problems in his or her existing relationship, your partner may not be able to manage any problems in yours. Last thing you want is his or her relationship problems springing into yours and neither do you want to be used as an escapism for their relationship problems.
Do strive to be flexible
Be as flexible as possible that way it is easier to solve problems. Doesn’t matter if you’re in a polyamorous or a monogamous relationship. Many relationship problems in a polyamorous relationship stem from resource management- a person with two lovers can only be in one place at a time, and there’ll be a time where a person’s attention may be divided. Hence why flexibility and creativity go hand in hand. Example being one partner wants to sleep with him/her five nights a week, a flexible solution would be to sleep with both of them for three nights out of the week.
Do pay attention to the way you relate to your partner’s partner
Love can be rather funny and chaotic at times, your partner may love someone who you yourself would not really associate with. If that’s the case, remember you are in a relationship with that person, even though you relationship may be indirect- that person is part of your lover’s life and therefore, by extension, part of yours.
Be aware of the fact that even your relationship with your partner’s partner is inconclusive, its still a relationship. However you don’t need to go the extra mile and be best friends or anything like that with your lover’s partner.
Do take responsibility for your actions
Your actions do and will always have consequences, even if they were not what you intended; your life is shaped by the decisions you make and the things you do. These decision may affect your partner and partner’s partner. Taking responsibility for the consequences- even the unintended ones is sometimes irksome.. but this is what shapes you and helps you grow.
Do know your limits, your needs and the things that brings you happiness
*drumroll* know thyself as only you are able to know what can make you happy and what you can do in order to achieve that happiness. If you do not know where your boundaries are at and how much you can withstand chances are you’ll have to experience your buttons being pushed in order to know how much you can take and that may end up making you unhappy for a bit.
If you don’t ask for what you need, you can’t expect to get the things you need; and if you don’t know what you need, you can’t ask for the things you need. You can more or less be happy if you understand what you need and know where your limits are at.
So be honest with yourself and answer these questions carefully, polyamory relies on honesty and this requires self-honesty. Things like what are you expecting from this relationship? Are they realistic? How are you going to get them?
Do know what place you have to offer someone
Bringing a new person into an existing relationship may be intimidating for your new partner especially if this relationship has a long history behind it. By knowing what you will be able to offer your new partner, a safe and secure space so to say for that relationship to grow.
Now that we’ve gone through the do’s, let us go through the dont’s. Swipe next for more..