Q&A: Managing Your Polyamory Relationships

Interview with a Busy Poly Professional

I recently sat down with a poly friend of mine to ask him some questions about how he manages his relationships, especially given that he has three partners and a demanding job as a research professor. Here are some highlights from our conversation.

Q: I imagine it must be tricky to balance your time between partners and the demands of your profession. Do you have any suggestions for managing that?

A: We like to plan things well in advance. My partners and I share a calendar so we can all see what’s happening from one day to the next. No surprises. Of course things do come up sometimes, but we talk about it and find ways to make it work in the long run.

Q: Do you have any specific advice for what to do to make sure everyone feels valued and supported in your relationships? What do you do, for example, if someone feels cast aside in the event that something “came up” on your date night?

A: The first thing we do is talk about it. If someone feels neglected in the relationship it’s a good idea for everyone to be aware of that. One of the most important things is have a back-up plan, and stick to it. If I have to cancel a date with one of my partners I always try to reschedule right away, and then really make sure to honor that commitment.

Q: Do you sometimes find it difficult to really be in the moment with each of your partners? Do you ever find yourself thinking of someone else, and how do you deal with that?

A: Yes. Sometimes I do find myself thinking of another partner, especially if there is something going on with us that needs attention or if she has something big going on in her life. It helps if I can create a separate kind of environment with everyone. Each of my partners and I make an effort to develop our own traditions. One of my partners shares my love of sushi so we make a point of going to this place close to her house and ordering one of each item on the menu. It’s a small thing, but it’s something we only do together. It makes us feel closer to one another and helps maintain the relationship.

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