Poly relationships are a lot of work. There’s the challenge of keeping a schedule, the pressure to meet different emotional needs and the expectation that it will all be pulled off in a fair and consistent way.
It’s no surprise that with all these moving parts, the word “compromise” gets thrown around a lot in the polysphere. So, what exactly is compromise, and how can you tell if the one you have agreed to is legit?
4 Signs of Fake Polyamory Compromise
1. It’s One Sided
Think of all the times when you’ve been asked to meet a partner halfway on something. Did you really meet halfway, or did you simply give into their demands? Compromise takes two. Both parties are supposed to concede to the other in such a way that no one loses out (or both lose out equally).
Sometimes what’s promised in the moment doesn’t get delivered. People pleasers are especially vulnerable to one-sided compromises, so think in terms of balance and your partner’s track record for following through before agreeing to any changes to your poly plans.
2. You Resent Agreeing to It
Another way in which people pleasers get shafted on the compromise front is by agreeing to things without really thinking them through. Ask yourself: Is what I’m being asked to do fair? and Is this really in my best interest? If the answer to either question is no, don’t do it.
Agreeing to terms that don’t benefit you at all just to make your partner(s) happy, will lead to resentment and could even end in shame, with you not holding up your end of the bargain. You could be the maker of fake compromises if you’re not being honest with yourself.
3. It’s Taken for Granted
True compromise should elicit mutual appreciation. It’s a sacrifice on all sides for the greater good. If it’s just assumed that you’ll go along with whatever is asked of you, that you won’t speak up for yourself and that your needs don’t matter, you’re probably being taken advantage of.
The last time you rescheduled a date to accommodate your metamour, were they grateful? When you asked them for the same favor, did they reciprocate? Were they willing to change their plans for you? If not, then no real compromise has taken place.
4. It Feels Wrong
Ultimately, poly compromise should make you feel good, and that your present day inconvenience is worth it because it will lead to the most balanced outcome for all.
If something you’re being asked to do feels wrong, speak up. It can be tricky in the moment to know if what you’re signing off on is a legitimate compromise. You won’t really know until the time comes for your partner to deliver on their end of the deal.
Be mindful of long-term trends and don’t be afraid to point out broken promises if/when they happen.
How do compromise in your poly relationships? Please share your tips!