Polyamory Mishaps and How to Recover

No relationship is perfect. You and your partners might love each other tremendously. Maybe you’re convinced that you’re killing the whole poly thing, as the oh-so evolved people that you are, and then somebody goes and does something cringe-worthy. Don’t worry. It can happen to the best of us. Sometimes things get awkward in the poly-sphere but there are ways to overcome the damage and return to your happy place. It really just takes a bit of thoughtful communication and understanding. Here are some particularly awkward examples to illustrate my point.

Awkward Moments in Polyamory Relationships

Leftover Traces of Intimacy
As a poly person, you are probably not adverse to the idea that your partner has other partners. Chances are you have other partners too, and you enjoy a fully intimate relationship with each of them. Sometimes (as we all know) sex is messy and can leave marks. For some people, finding traces on a partner’s body of the time spent with someone else is incredibly hot. It can be a big part of what makes the poly lifestyle so appealing. For other people, though, it can be a bit of a turn off. Have you ever noticed lube in your partner’s pubic hair that you know wasn’t there the last time you were down there? Yeah… The best way to avoid something like this is to talk about it openly and agree on some boundaries. Try not to embarrass your partner by showing disgust… just be calmly up front about it and offer some suggestions on how to avoid the problem in the future.

Divided Focus
We all know it can be difficult to switch gears between relationships, especially if there’s something big going on in the life of one specific partner. Maybe you’ve found yourself in the middle of that, where you’re just about to have sex when your partner starts talking about your metamour? When that happens to me, it kind of kills the mood. Don’t get me wrong,  I think my metamour is a wonderful person and I fully support the love that she and my partner share, I just don’t want to feel that she’s in bed with me when I’m about to get it on. One way to avoid this is to talk to your partner first about the things that are on his or her mind. Encourage your partner to vent or share important things before jumping into bed. It also might be worth offering the suggestion to forego sex if there are lots of distractions that make it hard to focus. Sometimes there’s a great deal of pressure in poly relationships to perform well for everyone at all times. Feeling overly distracted might be a sign that you need to make room for some temporary down time.

Failure to Stay in the Moment
This is a similar issue to finding that your partner is overly distracted. Sometimes it’s hard to stay in the moment and to devote your attention to the partner before you. In poly relationships this can be especially annoying, given that the time you share with each of your loves may be limited or tightly scheduled. One way to handle this is to limit the chances of being distracted in the first place. Put away your phones, or at the very least, switch them to silent. Make a pact with your partner to set aside all other concerns for the sake of your relationship, at least for a short period of time in the course of the evening. You want to make an effort to show each other that you consider your time together to be a priority and something special to look forward to.

In closing, it’s pretty much a given that awkward moments are going to occur in poly relationships. With a bit of planning and communication, however, they can be handled in a graceful and loving way.

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