Poly Relationships

10 Ways to Survive a Polyamory Breakup

Jealous Woman

Juggling Love/Fumbling Trust

A lovely lady I am friends with, who was raised in a religious household with patriarchal conservative values, has been talking to me and learning new ways of connecting to people that are not based on the limiting sexual standards and narrow emotional confines of a hyper-traditional monogamous relationship. She has been asking questions about poly life to me, one of which was: “what happens to those who get dumped in a polyamorous relationship?”

I thought of a few things that happen to me when I, for lack of a better term, “get dumped or dump someone” in a poly situation.

1) You think of what other polyamorous partners can immediately soothe your achy breaky heart and scarred soul.

2) You hope for your former partner’s happiness and wish them well in the future, regardless if you’re right there with them or not.

3) You analyze the relationship even more excruciatingly, wondering what you could have done different to change things, and wonder what more traditional (or less traditional) steps might have brought you two (or three or more) to a different conclusion.

4) You establish how you’re going purify your new time and space, and you make a mental note to not go crazy obsessing over the past, or at least TRY to.

5) You let go of expectations as much as you can.

6) You worry a little bit about if they are going to try and get back into your life, and what you will do if they try to violate the boundaries you have tried to set up to protect your soul and sanity.

7) At some point, whether a week, a month, or 3 months later, you reach out once (with a text message or a quick phone call if possible) just to see how they are doing.

8) If possible, try to re-establish a respectable friendship with your former flame so you can continue growing your polyamory family tree, and not have to break branches off every time something doesn’t work out.

9) Try to heal any pain, shock, disappointment and regret completely so you are not bringing any bad thoughts or unresolved feelings into your next relationship, so you don’t have to deal with any lingering doubt, drama or delusion that is sure to destroy the post-relationship partnership aka the REAL friend zone dimension.

10) Activate the Trust Switch. The “trust switch” is a term that I’ve come up with to describe the shift in consciousness and emotion that is necessary for a polyamorous relationship to continue growing, changing, negotiating, and navigating the changes in connection. It’s specifically called the trust switch because for ANY relationship to continue after someone was dumped, you have to literally switch your trust mechanism, and activate the concern circuit. With electric energy and emotion’s action, not vague intention and ever-descending desire. You have to trust switch and see if you want to REALLY be friends with your former love partner, and if so, then trust yourself and trust her to REALLY make the effort to do these things, and continue the connection.

Then nobody’s really dumped, and nobody’s really broken up with! Maybe new feelings are negotiated, and new realities are accepted, but nothing is destroyed. Only adjusted, fine tuned, and best of all: TRULY EVOLVED.

Getting dumped doesn’t have to be bad at all! Maybe you’re just dumping the garbage emotions that don’t serve any one of you two anymore… and you’re just keeping the feelings you both simultaneously feel!

Break-up? That secretly sounds like a blessing in disguise.

In love,
Addi Stewart

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