How Long Can You Take a Poly Break

I swear, polyamory is the best relationship system on earth. The way I do it, I see few flaws or problems—seriously! We make love when we can, we share life, sleepovers, meals, concerts, family events, and more when we feel comfortable and trusting enough to do so.

Polyamorous folk grow a variety of relationships with the number of people they feel safe and sound with exploring situations with, as adults who question and answer their inner boundaries and capabilities for connection and intimacy in new chapters of life.

But life wouldn’t be LIFE if shit didn’t get thrown in its face from time to time. That happens in life, and there is no avoiding it. But when it gets too shitty, what happens? Do you need a break from everything—maybe everyone? Or possibly just someone? I know I do, sometimes.

When I need a break from someone, I know that it means just that: a temporary separation to heal the situation. In monogamy, I think that when people say “I need a break” and then just give up, it means they don’t have the emotional vocabulary to say it’s over, so they pretend a real end is a false one. It doesn’t always happen, but it does enough.

In polyamory, I know when I say I need a timeout, I have done exactly just that, and taken the time to myself that I need. I have been with a lover for three years, and we have both taken breaks from each other. We often take a month apart, but never consider ourselves completely broken up. We take breaks often because she is in a complicated situation that she has honestly explained to me.

I accept separation as a part of my connection destiny! If a few weeks or months apart is what it takes to carry on a relationship with a lover for many years, I’m okay with that. I’m not possessive or controlling to the point that I think if they’re not with me all the time, they are not worthy to be with me at all.

Some people are not able to trust the space and time apart suggested by a break, and that fear is almost a catch-22 paradox, as it reinforces the trouble that erodes the relationship in the first place. My approach: I fix things by taking breaks!

Dive into the unknown if you need,
Addi Stewart

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