Mistakes to Avoid in Polyamorous Relationships
1. Making Assumptions
It’s easy to assume a partner is on the same page as you especially if communication is not their strong suit. Ongoing dialogue regarding expectations is a must with multiple partners because it’s better to find out there is a difference of opinions before a line is crossed.
2. Not Taking Responsibility
Actions have consequences and one must face them or risk damaging relationships. It’s easy in the short-term to sweep things under the rug, but things have a way of catching up to us. Think about the possible results of decisions before and after you make them.
3. Managing a Partner
Polys are responsible for monitoring and sharing their feelings as things arise but should not try to manage a partner’ feelings towards others. This can happen when there is a threat of loss, or jealousy involved. Accept that when there is physical intimacy, there is emotional intimacy as well.
4. Expectations of Shared Feelings
This happens when a third enters with a primary couple and one of the primaries expects them to have a particular relationship with each, whether shared or separate. This is trying to control another’s emotions – a definite no-no that leads to resentment and frustration.
5. Preventing Jealousy
This is pretty much impossible, and jealousy isn’t a “bad” emotion if it is discussed and worked out between mature individuals. Sometimes a couple will think dating the same person is a way to keep jealousy at bay, but insecurities are not always rational and are often linked to fear and loss.
6. New Relationship Energy Overload
Monos do this too. It’s hard not to get excited about a new person and forget about the family and friends around us. It’s important not to forget our priorities. All your partners want and deserve to feel loved, needed, and secure.
7. Expanding Prematurely
If you and your partner are having problems in your primary relationship, it’s wise to hold off on adding a third person to the mix. Sometimes, you think this is the cure that will solve your current situation, but it’s not fair to your relationship and the work it warrants or to a new person looking to join a stable loving environment.
8. Joining Problematic Primaries
This is the opposite of the last mistake and can be a little trickier as you won’t necessarily be aware of issues that may be deep-rooted in a couple’s history. You don’t want to join a twosome and then be used as a scapegoat for problems that existed prior to your arrival.
9. Uninformed Experimentation
One should understand polyamory before engaging with others in this type of lifestyle. Most couples want to be with someone who is serious before dating them either separately or together. And if you’re already in a relationship and have thoughts of expanding, expect to have long conversations with your lover before bringing home a surprise third.
10. Expect Two People to Make a Whole
We can’t expect two partners to necessarily fit together and meet our needs perfectly. You may be with one partner who meets your intellectual needs and think another more sensitive type would fill your emotional needs, thus creating a whole fulfilling relationship. It’s not like that. People’s personalities are not that neat and tidy or divided; there is always a lot of overlap in what members of a poly triad can and cannot offer to one another. Be realistic.