How to Introduce Your Poly Partners to Each Other

Introducing your partners in polyamory can be awkward, nerve-wracking, and emotional, even if you’re experienced in polyamory.

New poly people will find that introducing metamours can be stressful, but there’s a first time for everything. However, introducing polyamory partners to each other might continue to feel unsettling because of how much we invest in our lovers and our concerns for their feelings and opinions.

That said, with a bit of reflection, consideration, and practice, introducing metamours can be exciting and meaningful instead of difficult. Develop ways that work for you to introduce your poly partners to each other and you’ll do it with confidence every time.

Read: How Many Partners Do Polyamorists Have?

10 Tips for Introducing Poly Partners

1. Understand that Introducing Partners Is Part of Polyamory

Introducing your metamours may feel strange initially when you first cross over from monogamy. There’s a stigma about multiple lovers in monogamy, and having one usually meant someone was cheating.

It’s natural that these new experiences feel strange if you’re coming from a monogamous lifestyle to a polyamorous one. It can be helpful to remember and to understand that introducing partners and meeting your metamours is a standard practice in polyamory and a necessary one.

Read: 6 Alternatives to Monogamy that Don’t Involve Cheating 

2. Don’t Wait too Long

If you wait a long time before introducing your poly partners, you might end up “making a mountain out of a molehill.” Your new partner may assume that you have something to hide, or that you are embarrassed about them for some reason.

Read: How to Let Go of Polyamory Perfection

3. Choose a Place that is Comfortable for Everybody

Don’t bring your new lover to the lair of your primary partner. Don’t expect your lovers to meet up at midnight in a nightclub when some of you have to work in the morning. Don’t expect a student to feel grounded at a high end restaurant where your other husband ends up paying.

Go with neutral and comfortable ground such as a nice coffee shop or a local pub that everyone likes. Skip the dives and the luxury spas and pick a place where introducing your partners feels comfortable for everyone.

Read: Polyamory Mishaps and How to Recover

4. Check in with Your Partners

The time to talk about introducing your partners in polyamory is every time you develop a relationship, in the beginning of that relationship. “Since we are obviously moving towards a deeper connection, let’s talk about how we want to handle other relationships and introduce our partners when the time comes.”

Read: Tips for Embarking on New Poly Relationships

You can probably tell a lot about what your partner feels, wants, and expects when it comes to introducing metamours, without saying anything. Some people are naturally warm and gregarious. You might have a partner who is motherly and nurturing and wants to start cooking for your other partners immediately.

You might have introverted partners who only want to socialize when it is absolutely necessary. Some of your lovers don’t want to make a big deal about things like introducing partners. And some of them want to throw parties to celebrate every milestone for every metamour.

Read: Introverts and Polyamory: Dating & Relationship Truths

Knowing these things in advance can really make arranging the personalities easier when the time comes to introduce partners in polyamorous relationships.

5. Set Clear Boundaries and Practices

Are you and your nesting partner hoping that one of your lovers will join you in a throuple, in bed or in life? Are you and your partners okay with swapping lovers or getting altogether?

When introducing partners in polyamory, you want to know these kinds of things in advance. Some poly people have very strong boundaries about metamours and some like to go with the flow of chemistry. It’s a good idea to understand where you and your various partners stand on these issues.

Read: 6 Tips for Nesting Partners in Polyamorous Relationships

6. Respect Your Primary Partner’s Rules and Feelings

If you are in non-hierarchical polyamory, this won’t apply, though of course you always want to be considerate of all your partners. But a primary partnership means your primary relationship comes first, and introducing partners in polyamory always means prioritizing that partner’s needs and wishes.

Read: Primary Partner Politics in Non-Monogamy

7. Don’t Use New Lovers as a Weapon

Sometimes introducing partners in polyamory is political. It might be tempting to manipulate, retaliate, impress, or invite jealousy or insecurity when you’re fighting with a particular partner. Introducing metamours when you’re using the new lover as a weapon is never cool. It punishes both of your lovers.

Read: Toxic Polyamory: 10 Toxic Behaviors in Poly Relationships

8. Confront Your Fears

If you’re really nervous or upset about introducing partners in polyamory, it might help to analyze and realize what it is, exactly, that you find so upsetting.

The time for introducing metamours can be very revealing, and introducing partners in polyamory can be an occasion to confront your fears.

Maybe you’re worried that you or a lover is still programmed by monogamy. Maybe you’re worried your lovers will love each other more than they love you. Maybe you fear that your lover will see an irrational side because your new lover is older, or lives a different lifestyle. Maybe you fear introducing your metamours because you don’t know how the new one feels about her lover having a male partner, or a trans partner, or a partner from another culture or religion.

Whatever the cause of your trepidation, introducing metamours is a good time to reflect on what worries you and take steps to fixing it if it needs to be fixed. Maybe you want to prioritize dating tolerant people, or come to terms with your own biases or preferences.

Read: 4 Lessons Polyamory Has Taught Me about Life and Love

9. Assume and Desire Compersion

Even though there are a lot of what ifs when it comes to introducing partners, assume and want compersion for everyone. Compersion is the opposite of jealousy—it is the word poly people use to describe feeling happiness when a lover has other lovers.

Read: 4 Ways to Practice Compersion

10. Accept the Outcome

What if they don’t like each other? Introducing partners in polyamory always involves the risk that they won’t like each other. Sometimes this is old fashioned jealousy, and sometimes it’s just a clash of personalities.

Read: Metamour Issues? How to Speak Up

Reflect carefully before taking sides or taking action. Dislike of metamours can be common in early stages of introduction. It takes some partners a while to warm up to each other. It can be hard for some partners to trust you to live your own life and make your own mistakes, and they may be overprotective.

Sometimes it is simply a fact, too, that the person who knows and loves you sees something you don’t see.

How did you introduce your poly partners? How did it go? Please share!

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