Poly Single: Tips for Being the Secondary Partner

As a single polyamorous man exploring the world of polyamory, I’ve had problems getting accustomed to being the secondary partner to couple after couple (ya, I know what you’re thinking, but I don’t exaggerate. I have always done well )

It’s tough being a secondary partner sometimes. You’re the odd man or woman out. You don’t get to cuddle and fall asleep after some amazing sex – depending on the relationship, of course – but in most cases we’re politely shown the door. Some people are a-ok with that and don’t attach any emotion to the situation. That’s great, but let’s face it, most of us do feel, and for a lot of us maybe a little too much. I know I did when I was younger and less experienced.

Here’s some tips on how to become comfortable with being a secondary partner, and questions you may want to ask yourself before you decide to do so.

What Do You Want From Them?

Do you have needs from the couple you’re getting involved with? Specific emotional needs? You should be very careful in choosing your partners then. Some couples are one hundred percent not interested in any emotional attachment. Are you prepared to deal with that? If not then choose wisely, young grasshopper.

Power Couple

It’s very important to determine if one half of the couple you’re involved with makes most of the decisions and holds court over their polyamorous relationships. Trust me as I’ve been there – it’s not nice to have a split decision in regards to you being booted out of the relationship. Kinda sour. It’s really tough to lose two friends because of having a poor relationship with only one of them. I find the healthiest poly relationships I’ve had are with couples who make decisions together rather than rule over one another.

Rules Are Not Just Rules

It’s crucial to not only know what the rules are in your relationship, but also why they are there. You may even be a part of designing the rules in a new relationship. If you understand why you’re only allowed to get as close as you have been, you’ll be able to accept the reality of the situation. It’s a lot better than being told to just suck it up and don’t ask questions. No one wants to feel used.

How Are You Viewed?

In my earlier days I was somewhat naive in thinking I was lovingly adored by every  couple – I was dead wrong.  It’s important to gauge exactly how you’re perceived by the primary partners and to do so honestly. Are you seen as competition by one of them? Are you really becoming like family or are you someone who will always be on the outside? It’s important to figure these things out and also how you feel about them.

I hope I’ve been of some help. Feel free to share your stories and feelings of being a secondary partner.

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