Polyamory Questions & Answers: To better understand the road ahead of you, it’s best to understand the feelings, emotions, coping with relationship changes and moving forward together with your partner. Polyamory is a truly amazing lifestyle and with it comes it’s own set of challenges that are unfamiliar to those who were not raised in the setting. Learning from couples that have already gone through the challenges of polyamory can make your life much simpler and move through many difficult challenges much easier.
Jealousy is the most difficult hurdle early on in any polyamory lifestyle. To better get past this emotion, we must first discuss what jealousy is, then finding what exactly is causing this emotion. Only then can can jealousy be truly conquered.
Jealousy, in short, is a wide variety of emotions. When jealousy is felt, you may feel angry, hurt, frustrated, and possibly violent. Jealousy is typically felt when you feel backed into a corner and you feel there is no way out. You may feel your relationship is in jeopardy, you may feel like your partner is doing something they shouldn’t, or perhaps you are feeling left out. My wife and I found we experienced jealousy when we were dating separately, however, when we dated other couples at the same time, there was no jealousy.
From here we must find out what is causing this emotion to bubble up. Close your eyes, think of your partner going on a date with their partner. Imagine them from the beginning calling up their partner and scheduling a date, meeting each other in public, holding hands, a kiss perhaps, then going back to the date’s house and having dinner. Maybe they have sex. Think about this and at what point do you feel jealousy arise? Is it the intimate connection with another person? Is it your partner being sexually involved with another? Maybe its even the fact they are finding another person attractive other than you.
Now that we understand what jealousy is, and why poit’s there, we can better know how to get through it. Some couples enjoy having dates on the same day, some would rather power through on their own, at home. Doing something that occupies your mind is a great place to start – what’s your favorite thing to do that focuses your attention? Do that. Perhaps its reading a book, talking to a friend, playing a video game, exercising or even hanging out at a local coffee shop with some friends. The first few times jealousy arises, it will be difficult. It will be very difficult, but trust me, it does get easier. Jealousy is an unhealthy emotion that can be conquered, and the emotions that fill where jealousy used to be will allow you to fully experience polyamory for everything that it is!
Polyamory Date Scheduling & Time Management
Polyamory has many different challenges than a typical monogamous relationship, one is date scheduling. If you and your partner work 9-5 Monday through Friday, and your weekends are typically filled with grocery shopping, working on the car, cleaning the house, doing laundry, and generally catching up with all those fun “life” things, when is there time for dating another partner? When is there time for you to date 2 other people and your primary to date 2 other people? Lets say each person has one night per week they hang out with each of the people in their life. That’s 6 nights per week that’s filled up. That’s not including all those other things that must be done after work as well!
Have no fear, there are ways around this issue. Maybe it’s as simple as only allowing 2 set days per week you and your partner can date other people. Maybe you can have dates set on the same night, at the same time? Or – if relationships have evolved enough, you may be able to go on double dates, or even form a quad relationship. There are many ways to make yourself have plenty of time for work, life, family and friends as well as all those responsibilities.
Polyamory and Money Management
Polyamory can get expensive quickly in our experience; if you and your primary go out on 2 dates every week and purchase a light dinner along with something fun to do after, you could find yourself spending about $80 per date. Multiply this by 2 per week, and 4 weeks per month, then by 2 partners, you can easily see that we are already over an additional $500 per month. This doesn’t include travel expenses or hotel rooms even!
There are ways to keep this in check by having a rule setting a budget per primary partner or having partners trade off expenses with other lovers.
Every polyamory relationship in the beginning, no matter how much talked about, is unsure of where exactly they are going. They are unsure of the feelings involved or what they want out of polyamory. Maybe it’s sexual desire or wanting to experience something one partner is unable to provide to another. Maybe the goal is to find another couple to live with. It’s good to sit down with your primary partner every week and talk openly about what your feelings are and where you are heading with polyamory. If your partner wants to eventually be in a Quad, yet you are only involved with polyamory for the sex, how does this affect your relationship? Are you able to come to an understanding of the needs of each primary partner?
On the other side of the coin, it is good to talk about goals with new lovers brought into the primary relationship. Goals can be interpreted as understanding needs as well. Maybe your new lover needs to have you for several days per week, and they are expecting this, but the rule with your primary partner is that you only see other lovers once or twice per week. This can cause turmoil with your primary relationship and cause easily avoided relationship drama with your lovers if talked about early. Covering basic rules with lovers early on after meeting new lovers is a must!
Breaking the news to friends & family
Breaking the news to family and friends can be difficult for some people and quite simple for others. Everything depends on how close you are with your family and friends, or how open minded they are. In my specific circumstance, my family is extremely conservative, in which I didn’t even know what a lesbian was until my 20s! My father is a Methodist Preacher and my Mother grew up Catholic. My wife’s family is similar as her Mother is deep rooted in the Catholicism.
Having a sit down dinner with your family in a peaceful setting, and bringing up the news about your new lifestyle is a great way to approach breaking the news. Perhaps you and your primary partner should bring another partner with you two to the dinner may help as well. Typically this is much better received than your family or friends finding out through an angered lover splurging something on Facebook.
Basic Polyamory Rules
There are few primary rules that every polyamory relationship must have.
1) Open Communication
This is key to any Polyamory relationship because without open communication between everyone involved you may never even pass the first hurdles of date scheduling, jealousy issues or setting rules in and of itself!
Polyamory requires honesty between everyone involved in the relationship because lying or 99% truth can lead to huge jealousy issues, massive distrust between partners or a complete separation of everyone involved very quickly. Don’t delete text messages, don’t hide small details, don’t hide anything! Put everything on the table, no matter what. If you make a mistake, own up to it immediately. If you had sex with another lover your partner was jealous of, tell your partner no matter how much it will hurt them. It will hurt them much worse if you were to not tell them and they were to find out at a later date. Lies become spiderwebs of deceit quickly where the truth always comes out. So always, always be honest. I cannot stress this enough.
In a oolyamorous relationship, you may have sex with other partners other than your primary. Typically these other partners have more partners, and those partners even more. So having sex with one person is opening yourself up to a huge amount of risk when it comes to STD’s. Using Condoms is a must, especially when outside of a closed group. Getting tested every few months is a great step as well. Planned Parenthood offers affordable sliding-scale pricing to its visitors, so there is no reason not to get tested every now and then just to be sure. I’m sure you would feel terrible if you brought in an STD to your pool of lovers because of one night of passion!
Write down, on paper, what your rules are with your primary partner before starting any polyamory relationship. Writing polyamory rules down on paper and discussing them keeps everyone on the same page, without any miscommunication errors. It would really suck if you had sex on a first date when your partner was under the understanding that there is no sex on the first date, no matter what.
Polyamory is not as wide spread as Monogamy. Finding potential partners can be very simple if looked in the right places! Websites such as OKCupid, or Kupple are a great starting point. Simply create a profile, and look for those that are non-monogamous. Another great way to find potential polyamory partners is to go to a polyamory meetup group near you. These can be found on the Meetups.com website!