If you’re in a poly relationship, chances are you know all about checking in. For those of you who are new to the concept, poly check-ins are regularly scheduled communications over video platforms, text or phone, and they are crucial to keeping the love alive in long distance, non-monogamous relationships.
It seems simple enough, to reach out to your partners on a consistent basis, but like everything in life, things don’t always go as planned. Here are some suggestions for how to keep your poly check-in game strong and on track.
4 Tips for Check-ins with Your Poly Partners
1. Decide What a Check-in Entails
Every relationship is different, so it stands to reason that your definition of the term “check-in” will vary depending on the partner you’re dealing with. For some, check-ins are a daily event, characterized by long, intimate phone or video calls. For others, they’re a single text exchange once every few days.
Talk with your partner(s) about what they need, and what you’re willing to provide before you head off on your trip or enter into a period of extended separation.
2. Set Reasonable Expectations
When hashing out the details of your check-in schedule, consider all the things that could potentially derail it. Many of us set lofty communication goals that in the end prove to be unrealistic. We vow to call every day at 6pm, but then a work meeting runs late, or another partner has an emotional crisis that can’t be ignored. Before we know it, our check-in plans have gone to shit, and drama ensues.
Agree to be gentle with one another and expect for there to be some complications when it comes to keeping in touch.
3. Honor Your Commitments
Though you can’t predict how life will interfere with your intentions to connect, you can try your best to make it happen. You can prioritize and honor your commitment to the plan. If something comes up that prevents you from reaching out when expected, send a quick text to explain and—if time allows—reschedule right then and there.
Don’t get lazy, or soon you will be skipping days or weeks’ worth of calls. If you’ve chosen to text each other, don’t fire off a quick one-word message then put your phone down. Wait for your partner to respond and have a real conversation.
4. Respect Your Partner’s Need to Check-in with Others
A big part of being poly is making way for other relationships to flourish. If you know that your partner and metamour have a standing video date, don’t hijack it, or go out of your way to draw your partner’s attention elsewhere. If you’re away together on vacation and you both have other partners to check in with, do it at the same time. Text with your love in the hotel lobby while your partner Skypes in the hotel room.
It’s not enough to honor your own commitment to check-in, it’s also important to support your partner in their effort to do the same.
How do you check in with your poly partner(s)? Please share in the comments!