Curious about what it takes to achieve a successful, long-term poly relationship?
It’s hard to believe that March of 2021 marked six years of poly bliss for me, my partner, and metamour. It’s all gone by so fast, and yet I’m acutely aware of just how much has changed for each of us in that time. We’ve had our challenges, but mostly it’s been smooth sailing, which got me thinking about some of the ways in which we function as a polycule.
Here are my suggestions for how to keep your poly connections strong and healthy for years to come.
4 Keys to Long-Term Poly Relationship Success
1. Ongoing Communication
Keep talking, even if it feels like the last thing you want to do.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, that communication is the lifeblood of relationships. Well, never is that truer than in the polyverse. Needs change over time, as do goals and emotions. If you want your poly bonds to last, you need to adapt to the changing tides and have the courage to express yourself clearly and honestly.
Set aside time for regular check-ins or commit to discussing issues as they arise. Write letters or talk deep into the night, whatever works for you.
Long-term poly relationships come with so many complex perspectives. Having the ability to understand a partner’s feelings, or a metamour’s, is invaluable in moments when emotions are running high and there are a lot of competing needs.
That’s not to say that you should put your feelings last. Acknowledge and honor them, but recognize that they’re not the only way to interpret things.
“Feeling” things from another person’s perspective can be challenging, but it is so crucial to poly happiness. Empathy is a skill that can be nurtured. Check out this article at Very Well Mind for some suggestions on how to develop empathy in your your long-term poly relationships.
To keep your poly relationships running smoothly for years to come, you must speak up for yourself.
You might think that keeping the peace in your polycule means putting everyone else first, but that’s not the case. Unless you’re willing to push for what you need, you’ll grow resentful, and your relationships will suffer.
It’s a balancing act. You want to be empathetic and understand where others are coming from, but you also want to love yourself enough to fight for your own needs. Unlike in monogamous relationships, where you are your partner’s singular romantic focus, you must fight to be heard sometimes.
Like in any relationship, the longer you’re together the more you’ll have to fight about. Practice forgiveness and work in self-care rituals that will help you to move past feelings of anger and frustration.
In some cases, forgiveness isn’t the solution. If a partner is abusive, or toxic in other ways, breaking things off is the best choice. When it comes to those annoying little things that once seemed cute but now make you want to pull your hair out, however, be patient.
For more tips on keeping your long-term relationship healthy, read How to Recharge a Long Term Relationship.
What’s your secret to long-term polyamory relationship success? Share your advice in a comment!