I’ve written plenty over the years about the importance of strengthening each of your romantic poly bonds, but what about all the other connections that come along with them? If you’re involved in a kitchen-table dynamic, it might be expected that you at least try to strike up friendships with your partners’ partners, their partners’ partners, and so on.
It can feel a little overwhelming, and you are probably wondering where to start. Here are a few suggestions for how to deepen those all-important peripheral poly connections.
4 Ways to Deepen Your Poly Connections
1. Spend Time One on One
Nurture your burgeoning poly friendships as you would any other—spend quality, uninterrupted time together. Set aside a day each month to connect. Grab a coffee, or go for a walk, whatever you like. Focus on shared experiences, and try not to spend all your time talking about your relationships or other heavy emotional things.
Make an effort to have fun and bond on a genuine level. If this doesn’t come naturally, don’t force it. Not every poly connection is destined to turn into friendship.
2. Engage in Group Activities
You don’t need an elaborate set up, nor do you need to shell out a ton of money to spend quality time together as a group. Allow everyone an opportunity to suggest activities, and don’t be afraid to try new things.
If one member of your polycule is really into role playing and wants to explore that, go with it! If someone wants to have an orgy, or hang out at the sex club and you’re not feeling it, that’s totally different. Be ready to expand your comfort zone, but don’t hesitate to bow out if something really isn’t for you.
3. Honor the Schedule
Show that you’re a team player and that you care about the happiness of others in your poly group by sticking to the date-night schedule. If you need to make a change, do so with lots of notice (if possible) and be flexible when rearranging your personal calendar to accommodate others.
Poly schedules are the result of much planning and discussion. They are finely balanced and—if they’re well established—resistant to change. Obviously, life isn’t predictable and conflicts arise, just try to strike a balance between your needs and those of the group.
4. Acknowledge Significant Events
Make a point of wishing everyone in your polycule a happy birthday. Keep track of anniversaries and other important dates, so that you can offer your congratulations or if needed support. You don’t have to go over the top with gifts—a simple text message is fine. If you want to plan something more involved, be sure to include other members of the group. Give everyone the chance to contribute, but don’t guilt trip or otherwise pressure anyone into it.
Healthy polycules take everyone’s needs into account, but not at the expense of any one person’s happiness. It can be a complex dance, but one that is worth learning.