When I first became interested in polyamory as a more suitable relationship model for myself, I felt a little lost. Most of my friends are married, single, or don’t understand what polyamory is. It was difficult to know where to begin to educate myself and where to search for answers and support.
Surprise, surprise. I went online for support. I learned a lot through various types of websites – blogs, forums, and advice columns that cater to the specific needs polys have. There are a lot of sites and some are better than others. Instead of recommending specific sites (because needs are individual), here are questions and thoughts you’ll want to consider before spending hours surfing or engaging with others online.
Anyone can write a blog. You don’t have to be an expert on a subject to spout off like you know it all. Look for blogs that are written by polys with experience. A detailed bio should include all the questions you have about who is writing the blog and why. What is the content? Is it journalistic or personal? Is it written well and easily understood? Are there topics you can relate to? Questions you want answered? Spend ten minutes scouting and skimming someone’s blog to see if it’s something you would check out regularly. How often do they post? Good bloggers post regulary, at least once a week. Do readers leave thoughtful comments that add to the information you’re looking for? Check the members list. The more followers, the more popular the content and reputation.
Blogs have a more personal touch and feel more intimate than forums, but this also might indicate that the content is too specific, related to one writer’s personal experience. This is where online forums can come in handy. Again, anyone can leave a remark, comment, or question so you often get a mishmash of information that isn’t always helpful. A good forum is moderated so that unwanted, hateful material is not published or is promptly deleted. Finding useful information is possible, it may just take more time in forums. A good forum groups like comments into very specific subjects that make it easier for a reader to find what they’re looking for.
I haven’t found a lot of columns as they seem to either be part of a larger website or included in a blog. What’s great is that there are experienced polys out there that offer advice and take it seriously. The longer someone has been living poly, the more detailed knowledge they are likely to share. New polys can offer a unique perspective as well, and if you’re new too you may enjoy connecting with someone experiencing the same things. Read through the Q & As and monitor your reactions – does the writer seem genuinely interested in helping the reader, has he or she put effort into their response? Do the answers seem realistic? You want to find polys that write about their mistakes because, hey, we all make them, and it’s how we learn and can ultimately help others.
These questions and considerations should help you when looking for online support for your poly lifestyle. This support should work as an adjunct to the in-person/partner support that you already have, not as a replacement.
What blogs, forums, or advice columns can you recommend for polyamory support?