Poly life offers so much. It allows for greater freedom within our relationships and teaches us a lot about sexual and emotional complexities.
Polyamory can also feel a little scary and overwhelming, especially in the beginning. If you and your partner are just starting to explore the lifestyle and aren’t sure how to prepare for the eventuality of sharing yourselves with others, this post is for you.
How to Smooth the Transition between Monogamy and Polyamory
Look for a New Partner Together
Go online and search through profiles together. Talk about what each of you want in a new partner. Some couples want to find a third to join them between the sheets. Other poly arrangements are more closed off, with each couple having their own private relationships.
Figure out what you want and seek out other people who want the same. Have fun choosing for one another, but respect each other’s final say in the matter.
Agree to Check in Regularly
Set aside time to touch base. It works best to schedule this ahead of time, as life tends to get busy. Depending on your needs, I would suggest checking in once a week. As things progress, you might be able to change it to once a month.
In the beginning, you really want to work on maintaining your connection to one another. Some couples go to a therapist during this transition, for help with discussing feelings. Just be sure to seek out a poly supportive therapist.
Don’t assume that your partner will automatically know what to share and what to keep private with regards to a new relationship. You might not even know beforehand what you’ll be cool with.
The boundaries will probably shift over time, but it’s still important to think about it and express your comfort level right out of the gate. Use the check-in time I mentioned previously to talk about things like this. Don’t be afraid to assert your emotional needs.
Accept that Feelings Happen
The first time your partner steps out the door for a date with someone else, you might feel horrible. You might feel insecure or jealous and wonder if you made a terrible mistake. These feelings are normal. You’re doing something new and perhaps far outside your comfort zone.
You might ultimately decide that polyamory isn’t for you. You might also discover, though, that once you’ve acknowledged the feelings and see that your relationship is as strong as ever, things start to feel better.
Plan Something Special for Yourself
If you’re worried about how it will feel to spend that first night at home by yourself, plan to do something that you’ll enjoy on your own. A big part of being poly is learning how to honor that side of yourself that exists separately from your partners.
Is there a movie you’re dying to see that your partner could care less about? Have you been neglecting your social life? Plan to get together with friends, or go out on a date of your own (with your partner’s consent of course!) With a bit of preplanning, sharing your partner for the first time can be a great experience.