Poly Relationships

How to Cope When You Need to Feel Extra Special

Couple in Intimate Embrace

I recently wrote a post about the need to feel extra special in your poly relationships. I listed some behaviors that could indicate you have this particular need, and discussed how it might create drama in your polycule.

Now I’m going to offer some suggestions for how you can keep your need to feel special in check and feel less at the mercy of your partners’ validation.

Ways to Cope When You Need to Feel Special All the Time

Remember that Disappointment Does Not Equal Rejection

Partners let us down sometimes. No one’s perfect, and things don’t always go as planned. Rather than assume that your partner’s failure to deliver is a direct reflection of their feelings for you, try to think of it as just an unfortunate by-product of adulthood.

Is your disappointment the result of outright neglect, or your partner’s busy life? If it’s the later, try to have some understanding. Maybe your partner is having a crazy week, and their having to cancel has absolutely nothing to do with you.

Know that It Doesn’t Have to Be All or Nothing

So your partner cancelled a date, or didn’t call exactly when they said they would? That’s no reason to re-evaluate your entire relationship. Think of how often they have come through for you versus the number of times they haven’t. Even though you feel angry and disrespected in the moment, consider your partner’s overall intentions.

Were they a half hour late calling because they got caught up in a work meeting, or in a heavy emotional conversation with your metamour? In the polyverse, neither can be avoided at times. Think of the big picture.

Don’t Blame Others for Failing to Meet Your Expectations

Where did your expectations originate? Did they result from a thoughtful dialogue in which you and your partner(s) agreed upon certain steadfast rules, or were they born of your own unspoken understanding of what love should look like? Everyone expresses love differently.

For some, punctuality is the epitome of a loving act, while for others, running late so they can offer a supportive ear to someone else is. Why? Because it’s implied that you will be given the same treatment if ever you need it. Learn each of your partner’s love languages and form your expectations accordingly.

Be Kind to Yourself

As hard as you are on others, I bet you’re even harder on yourself. I know it sounds cheesy, but one reason you might rely so much on your partner(s) to make you feel special is that you’re not in the habit of doing it for yourself.

Perhaps you feel unlovable to your core and need constant reminders of your value in the form of special treatment? Or maybe someone made you feel extra special as a kid, and you’ve been chasing that feeling ever since? Whatever the case, healing starts with you. Remember that you’re just like everyone else and, you’re trying your best. You don’t have to be special to be loved.

Because I’m not a trained professional, I’ve taken much of my inspiration from an article by Edward A. Dreyfus PhD. For more information, please visit his website.

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