There’s no such thing as a perfect polyamorous relationship. But that doesn’t stop some from trying.
The more partners one has, the harder it is to fit it all in. Many of us have busy work, or family lives. Add to that the responsibility of maintaining multiple relationships, and there’s bound to be pressure: pressure to be the perfect parent, employee, partner, and to make each moment count in our poly relationships.
While some obligations cannot be avoided, I’m here to argue that we can all chill the fuck out when it comes to fitting an entire month’s worth of romance into a single evening.
Here are some suggestions for how to keep your date-night expectations in check and avoid the trap of poly perfection.
Manage Perfectionism in Poly Relationships
Keep an Open Mind
We’ve all had dates that don’t go as planned—the car gets a flat, the restaurant is closed, your partner’s other love has an emergency that derails date night altogether. Try to stay flexible and relax your definition of what quality time together really means.
Sure, you were looking forward to that weekend road trip or night out at the club but staying home together and watching a movie can be fun, too!
Focus on building memories, without judgement.
Stay in the Present
The first step to taking things as they come is keeping your mind in the present moment. Don’t lament how the evening could have been, focus instead on how it is and on what makes it special.
Some of my favorite moments with my partner happened on the fly. They were unexpected and, in some cases, better than anything we could have planned. Of course, there have been times when things didn’t turn out so well, but that’s okay.
No relationship is perfect and expecting it to be is a recipe for disappointment.
Plan for the Future
Keeping your head in the moment does not mean that you shouldn’t make plans. Having other things to look forward to is a great way to ease the pressures of date-night perfectionism. It’s a balancing act—live in the present but look to the future to ease your concerns about not having enough time to devote to one another.
You might not have done everything you wanted to on your last trip together, but it’s not the only trip you’ll take, so why worry about it?
Go Easy on Yourselves
Try not to cast blame if things don’t turn out as perfectly as you would have liked. Remember that life is unpredictable and that maintaining impossible standards of perfection is a surefire way to make everybody miserable. That said, don’t hesitate to confront any member of your polycule who likes to create date-night chaos by disrespecting boundaries or messing with the schedule.
There are always going to be people in the polyverse who consciously or subconsciously can’t help but reject the status quo, but that’s for another post.
Do you feel the pressure to make each moment count in your poly relationships? How do you deal with polyamory perfectionism?