I once had a friend state that he could never be a kitchen-table polyamorist. I was about to take him at his word until he said that it’s because he only has a breakfast nook.
After rolling my eyes and trying not to laugh, I thought about the term “kitchen table polyamory” and how oddly specific it is. My relationship fits the definition, though we rarely sit around the house together.
What kitchen table polyamory really refers to is a non-monogamous relationship in which everyone knows one another and is comfortable talking and spending time together. Here are some tips for how to make this complex relationship dynamic work.
4 Tips for Kitchen Table Polyamory
1. Leave Your Preconceptions at the Door
We all have rosy, preconceived notions of what kitchen table polyamory will entail: boundless love and support, an endless supply of sexy stories to fire us up between the sheets. It’s healthy to fantasize about your perfect poly life. What isn’t healthy is measuring the imperfections of your kitchen table dynamic against the flawless dreamscape you’ve created in your mind.
No relationship is perfect and—and by extension, no polycule is either. No matter what’s served to you in the poly kitchen, try to meet it with courage and curiosity.
Read: 3 Must-Haves for Healthy Polyamory Relationships
2. Don’t Force Connections
Speaking of rose-colored fantasies, who hasn’t longed to pull their chair up to the kichen table only find a whole new collection of friends? It’s a wonderful thought, but don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen right away. Have patience and understand that being in a close-knit poly circle doesn’t mean that you’re destined to become besties.
You might discover that friendship looks and feels a bit different in the polysphere. For some, it revolves more around respect and a commitment to a common goal than it does full-on compatibility, but that’s okay. Focus on treating each other well and the rest will fall into place over time.
Read: 4 Expressions of Commitment in Poly Relationships
3. Honor Each Others’ Boundaries
One of the best ways to show respect to your poly tablemates is to honor their boundaries. Whether they pertain to date nights, transparency or being out and proud, do your best to keep track of and consider everyone’s needs. A simple way to do this is to check in, especially when you’re not sure if what you’re about to do or say might cross a line.
Be prepared to talk a lot at the polyamory kitchen table, and don’t forget to stand up for your own needs when necessary!
Read: 4 Rules for Transparent Poly Relationships
4. Encourage Direct Lines of Communication
Perhaps the most important secret to success in kitchen table polyamory is a willingness to communicate directly. Don’t secretly complain to your partner that your metamour hijacked your last night out together—speak to them directly!
Get comfortable with confrontation and honest conversations, otherwise your relationships will become awkward and strained. Share contact info with everyone at the table early on, and use it often! Acknowledge birthdays, anniversaries and other important events. Also, use your phones to keep one another abreast of changes to the routine. Communication keeps the love flowing in poly land.
Are you part of a kitchen table polyamory group? What tips would you add?
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