“So you’re poly. I guess that means you have problems with intimacy. I know you’re seeing them both, but who is your real partner? I don’t know how you do it. I can hardly maintain one relationship!”
We get it. Poly blows the minds of monogamous people on a regular basis, and probably for good reason. It’s goddamn challenging! Here are some tips for handling one of the more complex aspects of poly life; maintaining meaningful connections with each of your partners.
Establish and Maintain Traditions
Find and honor things that are only about the two of you. That could be anything from eating at a certain restaurant together once a month to travelling to a special destination for your anniversary. It could even be something sexy like the enjoyment of a special toy that is never shared with anyone else.
The most important point is that you’re dedicated to keeping your traditions alive. Show that they are a priority to you and that you value the special time they afford you as a couple.
Spend Uninterrupted Time Together
Speaking of valuing time together, set aside a regular day or regular hours within the day or week to connect with each of your partners. Turn off your phone and focus as much as you can on each other.
Figure out the schedule with everybody’s input so that no one feels disrespected or out of the loop. Having everyone on the same page will also cut down on awkward interruptions or misunderstandings. Try to divide time as equally as possible, or as is individually needed. Some partners might feel they need less of your time based on the emotional or work-related complexities in their lives. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
Let Intimacy In
I’ve been seeing my partner for over two years now. At first, I didn’t expect us to reach the milestones of intimacy that I had experienced in my previous mono relationships. It’s not because I didn’t love him or think that we had a future together, but rather that I was still holding on to the old myth that true intimacy can only exist between two people.
If you haven’t yet freed your mind of that assumption, do it now! Once you let go of that piece of monogamous conditioning, you might be surprised at how deep your relationships can go. I even achieved an intimate connection with my metamour! Intimacy is much more than a physical connection, it’s a willingness to be 100% yourself.
Defend Each of Your Relationships Equally
In poly life, it’s hard not to become a people pleaser, fighting what ever fire just happens to be the largest at any given time. This tendency can lead to inconsistencies and hurt feelings, especially if some partners are more vocal and demanding than others.
Try to maintain a more balanced approach that honours all of your connections, no matter what crazy thing is going down. It takes a lot of thoughtful communication to do this, usually over the course of several conversations but it will get easier every time, especially once everyone in your polycule realizes that they are all being given equal consideration.