Poly Relationships

How to Be a Supportive Poly Partner

Romantic Date at Bar

Keeping Your Heart’s Head Up: When Lovers Break Down

You ever had a moment where you thought everything was going to be absolutely super awesome and perfect… but then it just ALL completely fell the hell apart? Like, you had a date (I like to call them ‘a rendezvous’) prepared, you were patiently waiting all week to enjoy, you arranged some surprises to share, you had some extra time and money to offer to the experience, and you were maybe a little drunk in anticipation for this beautiful opportunity… and then it just exploded in a mushroom cloud of “not gonna happen anymore?” Yeah, it happens to the best of us. Sometimes, shit happens that stinks so harsh, you can’t flush away the stench. You just have to wait for it to dissipate. Because, in life: there are problems, there are deep-seeded issues, and then… there are disaster catastrophes!

A good partner is there for anyone suffering through any level of these dilemmas.

And sometimes, you may not be the perfect person to help a poly partner survive a personal disaster catastrophe, but showing the desire to be present is a start. To be there until it’s finished is the way to prove that your polyamory is more than just the sex you share, and/or the meals you eat together. You show and prove that it’s also about the emotional stability you can provide your lover when they need it most, as opposed to them thinking they might only have one monogamous partner to escape into the arms of…

That’s another real benefit of polyamory. We’ve said it here before, and it’s worth bringing up again:

We should all have more than one place to get a hug!

When a lover is having a personal issue attack their consciousness deeply enough to cause dates together to be cancelled, or moments together to suddenly become too harsh to feel comfortable opening up in to explore and communicate the underlying dysfunction, or some other manner of breakdown, then it becomes crucial for you to communicate the amount of care and concern you are capable of creating and consistently (or inconsistently) delivering.

All truth is valid to express. It’s fair to say “I can’t deal with you when you are crying” (even though it’s incredibly insensitive… if you really can’t handle it, then you should say it to someone that might expect your comforting arms to hold them when they require human reassurance. If you get nauseous from the idea of your lover’s tears, then you should let them know… and then maybe work on being a bit more empathetic to the inevitable experiences of the citizens of our humanity. Just a suggestion!) but it’s also fair to say “I can be here for you in this way, babe…” and then give whatever support you can.

Verbal, physical, emotional, intellectual, sexual, or with some mix of these levels of connection, it’s worth far more than the cost of time and energy sacrificed to give yourself to your lover in a moment of crisis. It just is. I’ve never regretted reducing or delaying an anticipated experience with someone for the sake of guaranteeing their emotional stability. It would take a truly selfish person to put their sexual desires above the internal integrity of their partner, and this is something I can never condone in polyamory. That’s one of the reasons we do it in the first place: to have a network of lovers, friends, teachers, comrades-in-arms-and-legs, and mentors to help heal us, love us, kiss us, hold us, spank us, scold us, and mold us as required by life circumstances… AND that if one person is holding us in one moment, hopefully another person can be properly scolding us in the next moment, if such an emotional requirement is necessary!

This is the beauty of polyamory: when any one of us is broken, there are many people holding the pieces of the love puzzle, so we can all do whatever is possible as we all share the sacred task of helping put one of our lovers/friends back together!

Keep your head up, and keep your heart on. Keep on truckin’, and keep hope alive.

This too shall pass, and you two shall last longer than the pain in which you think you’re trapped. As long as you don’t give up on your dream of healing…

Read: Feeling Secure in Polyamory Relationships

In bliss and love,
Addi Stewart

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