Simply put, a polyamorous relationship is a romantic relationship that involves more than two people. Monogamous relationships have typically been the norm, but today, polyamory is becoming much more common! Readout below for 15 tips for polyamorous relationships.
There are different types of polyamorous relationships: open relationships (when couples bring in other partners) relationships that start off polyamorous, or throuples (where three people are involved). No matter which one you’re in, all partners in a polyamorous relationship should be totally comfortable and on the same page.
Whether you are a single person considering polyamory, or in a couple where both partners are open to the idea, there are some things that you should know before entering a relationship with more than one person:
1. Do Research Into Polyamory
Try not to enter into polyamory blindly! It’s a good idea to look into the different types to learn which one might suit you best. There are plenty of forums online where people openly discuss their polyamorous relationships, and it can help you determine whether or not you want to explore it further.
2. Do Ask Yourself If You Can Handle Polyamory
Jealousy definitely doesn’t work in a polyamorous relationship. If you consider yourself overly jealous, it’s not likely to work out! Sharing partners requires an open mind and feeling secure with yourself. If the idea of multiple partners makes you cringe, then monogamy is probably the better choice.
3. Do Discuss Polyamory With Your Partner (if You Are in a Relationship)
If you’re already in a relationship but want to explore polyamory, it’s absolutely necessary to discuss it with your partner. Everyone needs to be on board—otherwise, you’re essentially just cheating!
4. Do Ask for What You Need
Polyamorous relationships can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time. Whether you have a primary partner or multiple partners, it’s important to maintain good communication. You’ll need to listen to each other and be open and honest about your wants and needs in the relationship.
5. Do Know Your Boundaries and Limits
As with any healthy relationship, respecting boundaries is so important. In a polyamorous relationship, some people are open to knowing who their primary partner’s other partners are, while others maintain a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Decide what works best for your situation and how open you will be with each other.
6. Don’t Consider Polyamory for the Wrong Reasons
Polyamory is excellent for people that are attracted to multiple different sexual identities or feel unfulfilled in monogamous relationships. On the other hand, it is not a way to avoid being faithful to a partner. Even in relationships with multiple partners, you still need to respect and stay faithful to them. If you’re interested in polyamory, it’s important to determine that you’re considering it for the right reasons.
7. Don’t Assume That Polyamory Will Fix Existing Problems in Your Relationship
Some people are under the impression that introducing polyamory will fix a failing relationship (it won’t). Bringing more people into it will just cause more problems and trust issues. Again, it’s important to choose polyamory for the right reasons, and fixing a broken relationship definitely isn’t one of them.
8. Don’t Forget to Check In With Your Partner(s)
Polyamorous relationships usually entail a lot of different emotions, so be sure to check in with each other to make sure everyone is still on the same page, happy, and invested in the relationship!
9. Don’t Seek Validation From Your Relationship
Self-esteem and self-worth should originate from within, not from your relationship.
Whether your relationship is monogamous or polyamorous, make sure you aren’t using it as a source of validation.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Change the Terms of Your Relationship
Just like monogamous relationships, polyamorous ones can evolve and change over time. If things aren’t going well or your needs have shifted, don’t be afraid to suggest changes. (Just make sure everyone is on board!)
11. Know That You Will Need to Establish Ground Rules for the Relationship
Ground rules can be related to types of partnerships, types of intimacy, boundaries, or anything else that’s important when establishing a new relationship. These are especially important in polyamorous relationships since there are multiple people and emotions involved.
12. Know That Polyamorous Relationships Require a Lot of Communication
Navigating polyamorous relationships requires a lot of open communication. You need to be able to talk to each other! If you don’t, you’re not likely to be on the same page about boundaries and expectations. You should always be trying to improve your communication skills and feel comfortable enough to be honest about your needs.
13. Know That Not Everyone Is Open to a Polyamorous Relationship
You shouldn’t try to convince your partner to take part in polyamory if they don’t want to! A polyamorous relationship is either for you or it’s not, and forcing someone into it will never work. Some people are willing to give it a try, but if they’re completely against it, they will never feel comfortable. If you currently have a partner, it’s important to respect their decision if they’re not open to it.
14. Know That Polyamory Is Often Oversexualized
While polyamory is becoming more mainstream, there is still a lot of misinformation about it. Many people believe the stereotype that polyamorous people are hypersexualized. While polyamory is related to sex, it is also related to intimacy, sexual identity, and sexual expression. If you are considering polyamory, prepare yourself to come across people that don’t fully understand it.
15. Know That It’s Okay to Experiment With Polyamory
If you believe a polyamorous relationship is right for you, then feel free to experiment with it! There are ways to test the waters either as a single person or as a couple (if you’re both okay with it). Just remember to remain respectful, open, and honest about boundaries and needs from everyone involved.
If you’re interested in a polyamorous relationship, try not to worry about any stigma that still surrounds it. If it’s something you want to pursue, then go for it — do whatever makes you happy!