Polyamory Advice

How to Handle Poly Relationship Burnout

Couple Walking and Talking

Have you been feeling burnt out lately, exhausted and run ragged by all that is expected from your polyamorous relationships?

Do you wish you could take some time out, away from all of your partners to relax and reconnect with yourself? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone.

Polyamory burnout is very real and something that we should normalize talking about. Too often we avoid the subject out of shame or fear of not being enough, but it’s okay to admit that you’re tired and that you need some time and space to take care of yourself.

Here are four tips for how to cope when the pressures of polyamory and your relationships become too much.

4 Tips for Polyamory RelationshiAll Postsp Burnout

1. Communicate Your Needs

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your poly life, say something. I know it can feel risky to admit that you need some downtime—away from all those carefully scheduled date nights and emotional obligations—but saying nothing will most certainly backfire when your exhaustion leads to resentment and total burnout.

Be direct but sensitive when you state your needs, allowing for questions and concerns. In a perfect world, all of our partners would understand the concept of poly fatigue and not take things personally, but we all know that’s not the case.

Read: How to Share Uncomfortable Feelings

2. Do What You Need to Recharge

What would make you feel more balanced in your poly relationships? What have you been setting aside time and time again, to meet the needs of others?

Once you have figured out what you need to do to relax and refresh, make it happen. Take a solo trip or a weekend course. Spend some time in nature, or simply do nothing on your own terms. Schedule time for yourself on the poly calendar, so that everyone knows that you’ll be unreachable for that particular block of time.

Read: How to Put Your Needs First in Your Polycule

3. Commit to Self-Care

I feel like I’ve said this before, but I can’t stress it enough: self-care is super important for everyone, but especially for those of us in the polysphere. Packed calendars and people-pleasing behaviors can lead to over-commitment and an unhealthy focus on the needs of others.

Make a point of putting yourself first sometimes. Let everyone know that you’re serious about your “me time” by honoring it consistently. Self-care looks different for everyone and can range from structured activities like an exercise class, to shifts in routine, like eating well or getting more sleep. Do whatever feels right for you.

Read: How to Carve Out “Me Time”

4. Be Proactive

Don’t wait until you’re at the end of your rope before declaring your need for time and space. Notice when you’re starting to get stretched too thin, then put your restorative plans in place. Better yet, keep a standing appointment with yourself.

Figure out what triggers your relationship burnout, then schedule your time accordingly. If the trigger can be avoided, that’s great, but sometimes poly life is tiring just by virtue of what it is: a wonderful, complex dance of needs and emotions that can be incredibly fulfilling, if not intense.

Read: How to Manage Time in Poly Relationships

Have you ever experienced polyamory burnout? How did you cope with it? Share your thoughts!

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