If you’re thinking of opening your relationship up to a third partner, or joining an existing relationship yourself, you probably have a few questions about what it feels like to be the new member of a polycule.
I recently sat down with a friend of mine to ask her about her experiences with meeting her partner and adjusting to life in an egalitarian poly relationship.
Q: First of all, how did you find a couple who was open to adding a third?
A: I went online. I think that’s the best way to do it. I know a few people who tried poly speed dating and found it frustrating. There are a ton of men compared to women, and there isn’t enough time to make a real connection. I mentioned in my profile that I was poly curious and open to non-monogamy, and it didn’t take long before my partner messaged me. He said that his wife had actually been searching the site and thought I’d be a good fit for him.
Q: Does your relationship feel balanced? Being the new partner, do you feel equal?
A: For the most part, yes. It took me some time at the very beginning to realize the uselessness of comparison in poly relationships. I feel that my partner values our relationship as much as he values the one he shares with his wife and that he’s equally committed to making things work. Do I feel that I have just as much say in the everyday aspects of his life? Not really. We don’t live together and we haven’t been married for twenty-five years, so it would be ridiculous to expect equality in that regard.
Q: Do you ever feel jealous of your metamour?
A: Sometimes. I think it’s totally normal to feel jealous. The key is to work through it and not see it as a dealbreaker. I sometimes feel jealous of the history my partner and metamour share but it goes both ways. My metamour has expressed jealousy over the new relationship energy that I get to experience with her husband. We don’t keep our feelings inside. We talk about it so it I doesn’t take over our relationship. It comes and goes depending on the day.
Q: Do you feel satisfied with the amount of time and attention you receive?
A: Yes! I chose this kind of relationship because I wanted to maintain my independence and have lots of time to do my own thing. Sometimes I feel lonely, but I find ways to deal with it, and I talk to my partner if I feel in need of some extra time.
Because we’re poly, I don’t expect my partner to fulfill every aspect of my emotional life. I have some friendships that are loving but not sexual and they give me a lot of what I need. Poly allows for this kind of wide-cast interpersonal depth that is sometimes seen as threatening in mono relationships.
Q: Is there room for growth in your relationship?
A: Of course. Things shift and change over time in poly relationships just as they do in mono ones. The difference is that a poly relationship doesn’t follow the normal path of dating and marriage. It follows whatever path you and your polycule want it to.
One big difference between mono and poly relationships is that poly requires a consideration for everybody’s needs and wishes. Because of this, things can move at a slower pace than you might be accustomed to if you’ve had serious mono relationships in the past. I personally like the extra time it takes for things to develop. I has allowed me to dive deeper into my feelings and really savour the experience.
Do you have a story to share about entering into an existing relationship? Why not share it in the comments?