Polyamory has its advantages. Depending on your relationship dynamic, you might enjoy many meaningful connections, have lots of sex, and gain friendship and support from the other members of your polycule. Like any relationship model, however, it is far from perfect.
Sometimes it’s lonely and fraught with jealousy. At other times, it’s all-consuming. If you have multiple partners or lots of other obligations that place relentless demands on your time, finding a moment for yourself can be a challenge. Here are some tips for striking a balance in your poly life by reconnecting with yourself.
4 Tips to Find Time for Yourself
1. Acknowledge that It’s Important
Unless you make it a priority, “me time” will get pushed aside for any number of reasons, from last-minute plans to changes in the poly schedule.
Being a people pleaser makes it even worse, as the time you set aside for yourself often gets labelled as flex time, or an opportunity for one or more of your partners to jump in and request things. It’s not that they’re being intentionally disrespectful, it’s just that they’ve learned over the years that “me time” means nothing. If you don’t defend your right to spend some time on your own terms, your partners won’t either.
2. Give Your Partners Lots of Notice
Failing to set aside time for yourself can lead to polyamory burnout, and this can manifest itself in lots of ways. Maybe you’ll grow irritable, or start flaking out on important things. Or maybe you’ll start cancelling dates at the last minute, which can lead to resentment.
Your partner was really looking forward to the plans you made, and now you’re bailing in favor of a solo camping trip?! If you had planned your trip well in advance, your partner probably would have been totally cool with it. It’s the last-minute push for me time that can make it so potentially contentious.
3. Put It in the Shared Calendar
Logging your plans for alone time in the poly calendar will give them more weight. Aside from providing the advance notice I just mentioned, it will send the message that you are not available on a particular day at a particular time.
Even if most of the days you spend on your own terms turn into nothing more than jammie and Netflix days, they are an important part of maintaining your mental health. Think of them as standing appointments, with yourself. If you’re not super routine oriented, set floating dates—four days a month completely to yourself, determined a week in advance.
4. Make Official Plans for Yourself
Buy yourself concert tickets, or book a vacation that you can’t easily cancel at the last minute. Make it harder—for yourself and others—to forsake your time alone. If plane tickets and big concerts feel a bit too bourgeois, commit to curling up and watching your favorite show once a week, or participating in a community workshop.
Me time doesn’t necessarily have to equal alone time. What’s important is that you decide how that time will be spent. It’s a way to remain connected to yourself in the midst of your sometimes emotionally demanding poly life. You deserve it!
How do you find time for you in your poly universe?