Being poly means different things to different people. For some, it’s synonymous with being unrestrained in life and love. How many people can I fuck? As many as I want! Aa-ha-ha-ha! For others, it’s more about emotional intimacy and building various kinds of relationships without fear of restriction.
Here are basic tips that can help any kind of poly relationship run more smoothly.
Reveal Your Poly Status Immediately
Don’t try to work in the news that you’re poly on the third or fourth date. Tell your date right away. If you’re on a dating site that doesn’t cater specifically to poly people, be sure to state your relationship preference as non-monogamous. If that option doesn’t exist, out yourself near the beginning of your profile.
You might worry that identifying your poly status will limit your options, but it’s much harder to ask for what you want after the fact. If you’re worried that prospective dates will make assumptions based on their understanding of polyamory, include a small summary in your profile that explains the kind of non-monogamous dynamic you’re seeking.
Talk about Jealous Feelings
Those of you who have never been in a poly relationship might wonder how you would handle things if you got jealous. Poly people aren’t immune to feelings of jealousy, but we don’t let these feelings get in our way as often.
One way to manage, and eventually quell jealousy, is to talk about it. Tell your partners that you’re having a hard time. Maybe you can make changes to the schedule that will offer you more support, or maybe you need to fill your life with more excitement outside of your relationships. Either way, talking things out with your polycule can help.
Stop People Pleasing
Just because there are more people to consider now that you’re in a poly relationship, it doesn’t mean that that your needs should get pushed to the bottom. Be mindful of people’s requests, but try to weigh them against what you want and need for yourself.
People pleasing doesn’t really serve anyone. It’s exhausting and devaluing, and it could be a source of resentment down the road which could ultimately damage your relationships. If your partners care about you, they’ll want you to do things because you want to do them, not because you feel obligated or powerless.
Speak Up when You Need To
Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard. Even if you’re new to the relationship, even if your partner and metamour have been married for years, speak up if something is bothering you. Poly relationships work best when people are honest about what they want and need. It can feel overwhelming and scary to make yourself so vulnerable, but in the end, it will make the relationship stronger.
Get used to checking in regularly and of talking about difficult things. The challenge is so worth it when the dust clears, and you find yourself living your dream of an awesome and liberating poly lifestyle.