We are all unique beings looking for other polyamorous people for a vast array of relationships, but are there specific traits that make a difference?
For polyamory to work, you have to sincerely “talk the talk” AND “walk the walk.” There can be no, or very little, hypocrisy between your words and your actions.
Because what is the point of setting up a relationship scenario where both people can be with others if there are gaps in communication, honesty, respect, and other traits of polyamorous partners that make beautiful poly relationships flow.
How long do you think relationships would last? Even when a relationship lasts months or years longer than it should, it hurts those who are not receiving the goodness they give.
This is a short, incomplete, but solid starter list of traits to look for in a polyamorous partner.
Qualities of a Good Poly Partner
1. They are Good at Communication
All characteristics work together, but few of them will even come to light without BASIC communication. You gotta spill your guts, to the degree that feels natural and comfortable. This trait will save you from failing with so many other things you might have in poly, such as jealousy.
If you just talk openly about your feelings and desires, you can clear the air and solve issues, like functional polyamorous couples must do to continue being together! Communicate your joy, express your emotions, speak your struggles, talk about big things and little things. Share feelings.
2. They are Open-Minded
It takes an open mind to accept that you might have to wipe your mental slate clean when it comes to accepting the possibilities of who your partner might bring home for you to meet and share life with!
Being open minded helps cushion any shock from difficult surprises. Also, being open minded helps you keep things fresh and honeymoonish, because you two will be not just going through the motions on your two-year anniversary. Have faith!
3. They Value Honesty
We can expect honesty but we also want to meet someone who values honesty, as in they celebrate it, encourage it, endorse it, and honor it when it is given in a relationship.
Some people value secrecy because it lets them continue their irresponsible behavior, and that’s something I simply cannot condone. I value communication taken to the next level, which sounds like raw honesty, even when it hurts. Because honesty in poly is never as painful as being lied to.
4. They Respect Your Boundaries
There WILL come a day when you are living your polyamorous dreams, and you want to know and feel that your partner fully respects your boundaries, and stays behind them, willing to reconnect with you when the time is appropriate.
You may be with your family who may or may not know about you being poly, but if you have ANY reason that you need your privacy, a good poly partner will not cross the boundaries you have established. And you will not cross theirs, either.
Boundaries can be made around just about every facet of poly life—partners, living arrangements, privacy, sexual practices—and must be respected by all involved.
5. They Respect Your Metamours
No single relationship can or should be expected to meet ALL of a person’s emotional, social, physical, spiritual, or intellectual needs—they just can’t. So when it comes to lovers, it’s best to seek someone who understands that expansion of support.
If you are practicing polyamory with other relationships and partners in the mix, then you will want to be with someone who respects the alternate lovers you choose. Trust that you will want to be with someone who is okay with it.
6. They Ask for What They Need
This is the first level of advanced polyamory, and it’s something that requires practice. But you know what they say: practice makes perfect! You gotta ask for your secret dreams for them to even have a chance of becoming reality and then permanent memories.
You are in a relationship that is built to absorb your requests for fantasies and desires, so don’t be shy in telling your personal truth and asking for the things you need sexually, emotionally, mentally, and socially.
7. They Accept Criticism and Feedback
This obviously has to be done with tact, grace and respect, but… it has to be done. Every relationship needs a safe space to discuss issues, respond to disappointments, and share opinions and feelings that come up when there are challenges to overcome.
Shit happens, but it’s no problem as long as you can clean it up together! Be gentle, but straight up about the issues you have with your partner, and don’t blame them for anything. Ask them how you can work together to change and improve the relationship.
8. They are Positive when Dealing with Jealousy
Jealousy can happen much more deeply in poly relationships than it can in a monogamy, but don’t worry about it too much. You can work through it. Jealous feelings subside when you make sure your partner has ALL the sexual, emotional, and mental support they need.
Once a partner feels secure with you, they should be ready to let others do their thing as well, and jealousy won’t really have any space to exist. Of course, issues from the past may come up, but if you can identify that it’s from the past, you don’t have to project them onto your present situation.
Read: Jealousy vs Compersion
9. They Can Handle Conflict with Maturity
Knowing how to argue and then keep loving someone is vital.
Facing and dealing with conflict like an adult and being kind afterwards is crucial, and I hope you want to be this kind of person. It takes maturity! But there is no way you can deal with all the changes, shifts, and adjustments in poly without having conflict resolution skills that are healthy. Practice using them!
I hope you find a polyamorous partner who possesses many of the same qualities you aim to have yourself.
What traits would you add to this list? What are you working on to be a better poly partner?