In my time I’ve had the pleasure to meet a good few people who were either in a polyamorous relationship or wanted to try it. I often wondered in a relationship with 3 or 4 members how does one come to terms with the array of strong emotions involved.
All relationships, straight, bisexual or gay come with issues from trust to jealousy. It’s not all about sex as everyone would envision. It’s about finding mutual compatibility of likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests. Never the less with more than 2 people the emotions and issues grow exponentially.
Which is why I came up with a few rules that should help keep your relationship on the path to contentment and happiness.
1. Don’t try to pigeon hole your relations.
Everyone is an individual and they will have their ideas of the relationship dynamic and their desires. Trying to get everyone to conform to your idea will cause friction and could damage the relationships in the poly.
Trying to say, “you can have me this time, this time and this day” It rarely works that way, and you have to listen to what the relationship itself is dictating.
2. Don’t keep a tally.
When you have multiple relations or people you are sleeping with, it’s often an easy mistake to keep a score.
“You slept with him 3 nights in a row, now you need to let me sleep with him 3 nights now” A fair deal for everyone is a lofty goal to aim for. But, anyone who’s had a child knows sometimes you don’t always get what you want to happen. Fairness isn’t about individual’s it operates across the whole relationship and with everyone involved.
There may be times when for one reason or another, one partner is going to need more attention and support. If they are going through a tough time or had some bad news for instance.
3. Your needs don’t come into it with your partners other partner.
This one is either going to get you agreeing or completely disagreeing. It’s about taking the time to ask “Are you getting what you need” in reference to the other party. Rather than “Am I getting what I need.”
Not everyone needs the same thing in a relationship, and happiness comes from getting what both people need rather than one sided. Everyone should feel fulfilled and content.
“You need to stop giving him head” is not your right to say. Instead try “I need (whatever) from you” Consider what you need in the relationship, rather than what your partner is doing with the other person. It isn’t a competition and shouldn’t be made to seem like it.
“I’d like you to take me out to a movie more” is a better way than, “You went to a meal twice with him/her last week”.
4. Air problems straight away.
When it comes to underlying issues with any relationship, it’s really tough to broach the subject comfortably. Approach the individuals who is having the issue or you are having the issue with. Pull them to one side, no one likes getting the 4th degree while people watch. If you leave the small issues bigger ones will come along.
In any relationship, it’s easy to hold on to negativity. However when there is more than two people this negativity can fester and snowball out of control. Get to a point where everyone is open about problems. Where everyone can speak out.
Sexual issues is normally the hardest to broach. I remember once a while ago I happened to kiss a girl, and there was the distinct smell and taste of semen on her breath. In a poly relationship where there is more than one male you could tactfully mention.
“After you’ve given him/her oral could you please rinse your mouth as it bothers me” is far better than “I don’t want to kiss you after he/she’s got off in your mouth”.
5. Don’t ever take sides.
There is always going to be a time when partners have a disagreement. Often they will look for people to corroborate or share their view. Sometimes people need to work out their own disagreements without you. You can’t always fix other peoples problems. Irregardless of how much you might or might not be able to help, it’s imperative not to take sides.
If people feel ganged up on it is more destructive and detrimental than not getting involved in the first place. It doesn’t mean you cant offer an opinion. HOWEVER only if asked for it!
6. Be flexible.
Whether you are gay, bi, straight or trans, being flexible works in any relationship poly or otherwise. But, poly relationships are more complex than mono relationships. Even if only for the fact more people are involved in it!
Most problems in poly relationships stem from poor people management. A man or woman who has more than one partner can still not be in two places at once when your lover calls. It’s most important that all parties are flexible. If someone was (booked in) for some alone time with you, but something comes up reschedule it.
A typical scenario.
Man A) has two female partners who both want to sleep with him every night of the week. Man A) realizes that he can’t sleep with them at the same time. So breaks up the week into 3 days each, with a day to himself.
In the above scenario the days would have to be discussed with both partners and something agreed. However flexibility is required as things can happen and days may need to be shuffled around for one reason or another.
7. Relate with your partners other partner.
Love is a fiery ring. As Johnny Cash said. It’s easy when you see your partner with her or his partner to feel jealous or resentment to the other individual. It is especially difficult when you don’t really relate or get on with the other person. If for instance he/she likes different things to you.
It’s important to realize, you aren’t in a relationship necessarily with that other person and so your views aren’t in consideration. That other person is in your partners life, and therefore by a process of extended family, is in your life also.
Be aware of that fact. If you and your partner’s relationship is separate from your partner and his/her partner’s relationship.
Now, it doesn’t mean that they are in your life so you have to be best of friends or even lovers too. It does mean they are in your life and having a relationship with your partner.
Hopefully those rules will help start you off on the right foot so to speak. For this post it has mainly been about poly relationships where either you or your partner are with someone else. However this still hold’s true if all of you are in a sexual relationship with each other too.