Tips for Maintaining Communication in Poly Relationships

Many of us enter into our poly relationships with the intention of being open and honest about our feelings at ALL TIMES, only to discover that it’s really difficult to be so disciplined. Sometimes life gets busy and there’s not a lot of time to actually sit down and talk things out. Sometimes insecurities surface and we may find ourselves feeling disconnected and wondering if the relationship is working out as planned. There are many ways in which communication can suffer. If your poly dynamic is open and encourages contact between everyone involved, here are a few things that can help:

Plan to Do Things Together
Just as spending quality time with your partner is important for maintaining communication in your individual relationship(s), spending time with your partner’s partner (your metamour) is also a good idea. It helps you to develop a bond with one another, which is a crucial part of feeling comfortable enough to talk about your feelings. Try having your partner and your metamour over for dinner or drinks. If that feels weird, plan to go out together to a show or event. Shared experiences are a good way to begin the bonding process. They’re fun and can offer a pressure-free way to get to know each other.

Schedule “Check-in” Times
Have a regular time during which everyone can sit down together and talk about how things are going. Try to make this a standing appointment on a day that everyone can agree to. This will help to ensure that any issues that do arise can be addressed fairly early on and thus prevent the kind of emotional “festering” that can really harm your relationship(s). It’s best to plan this time separately from your other shared experiences. That’s not to say that things can’t be discussed outside of your designated “check-in” time, but you don’t want ALL the time you spend with your partner and/or your metamour to be taken up with relationship issues.

Stay in Contact
Obviously you will want to be involved with your partner on a regular basis, but also be sure to have your metamour’s contact info so that the two of you can stay in touch with each other. If you do feel concerned about an issue, especially if it isn’t directly related to your partner, it’s best to go straight to the source rather than make your partner a go-between. Even when everything is going smoothly it doesn’t hurt to stay in contact, if only to show that you’re being sensitive to your metamour’s place in the relationship. It does’t hurt to offer support if you know it might be needed, or to simply share in a positive life event. The more connected you feel to everyone in the relationship, the easier it will be to maintain healthy communication.

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