In many relationships, people keep “score,” whether intentional or unintentional. In a monogamous relationship this might look something like “We went to your family’s for Christmas last year, so next year we’ll go to mine.” Or “I did the dishes yesterday, so now it’s your turn.” In a non-monogamous relationship, keeping score, especially about you and your partner’s other relationships can turn toxic.
In polyamory, keeping score might look something like “You just spent three nights away from home with other partners, so now you have to spend three nights at home with me.” Or “We’ve gone to the movies twice, but you took your other partner to the movies six times in the past month!” Calculations and tracking like this only serve to increase tensions and jealousy and to make things seem unfair.
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The needs and desires of your lovers’ and partners’ other partners are unrelated to your own, so there might be a time when it’s hard for you to understand how your partner could spend more time doing something with someone else, especially if they’re your primary partner.
Instead of keeping score, make your needs clear. Instead of saying “I don’t want you to go to the movies with X more than 3 times a month,” you could say “I want us to go to the movies together more because we always have a great time.” Or, if a partner is spending more time away from you, let them know how you feel. Instead of saying “I want you to spend X number of nights here with me,” you could say “I’m missing you and am wondering how we can spend more time together.”
It’s about being assertive and taking control of your needs and desires and making. Hopefully this will help you in your current and future polyamorous relationships.
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