Even though polyamory is still a small subculture, it is on the rise, and you are probably going to, at some point in your life, end up being close to or in a polyamorous relationship.
Polyamory (poly) is defined as consensual non-monogamy, and it is estimated by 4-5% of the population in North America are currently in an open or poly relationship.
Not only that but 20% of adults have tried some form of an open relationship. This means one in five people are or have been in multiple relationships!
There’s definitely a generational stance to this, millennials being more open to consensual nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships.
Either way, if you are in multiple relationships, read on for 8 tips from other polyamorous couples that could help you have more harmony in all your relationships.
Without Honesty With All Your Partners, You Are Just Cheating
Honest, clear, and constant communication is an absolute must in multiple relationships. Open or poly relationships will not work without complete honesty.
Be honest and upfront with all your partners that you are in a relationship with. Tell them that you are poly and ensure that they understand what that entails.
It isn’t enough that you let them know that you are sexually active with other people, but if you are in love with other people, or if you have babies with them, this all needs to be clearly outlined.
Some people have contracts written and drawn up for all their relationships. You can do that if you wish, but it’s not a necessity.
Do Not Use Your Multiple Relationships to Boost Your Primary One
This is quite a common scenario with some people in poly relationships. Do not do this! If you feel like you are in trouble with your primary relationship or if your primary relationship needs some extra TLC, getting another partner will not help.
Fix your primary relationship first, before getting more people on board. If the ship leaks already, adding more people on board, will not help fix the situation.
If you would like to give peace and solace to your primary partner, exchanging band rings is a great way to do that.
Use a Condom and Get Tested Regularly for STIs
This should be tattooed on every polyamorous (and monogamous) person’s forehead. If you are sleeping with multiple partners, you need to wear condoms and/or use some other form of protection that protects you from sexually transmitted diseases.
Besides, make sure that you and all your partners get tested for STIs regularly. Multiple relationships mean that not only are you in a relationship with many others but also that all your partners are in several relationships as well.
You might be sure that you and your partners are safe, but what about their partners, and their partner’s partners??? That’s speculation better avoided.
Put Work Into All Your Relationships, Not Just Your Primary One
You might have one partner whom you are married to, or who is your ‘primary’ partner. That’s quite common. But that doesn’t mean that it gives you a free license to ignore or mistreat all the other partners you have.
Multiple relationships mean just that. You are in a relationship with each person you are with – take care of all of them as equally as possible.
Even though one or two of your partners might need more loving care than others, ensure you give your all to all your partners.
Have Emotional Support Networks Outside Your Multiple Relationships
Do not make the mistake of ignoring all your friends or relatives while you are in multiple relationships. You might be busy and working way too hard to ensure your relationships are going well.
Even so, do not ignore your emotional support networks, because you will need to rely upon them from time to time. It’s easier to keep progressing in a poly relationship if you have someone objective on the outside to talk to occasionally.
Keep your social engagements with your friends and family intact, even if you are in demanding multiple relationships.
Communicate When Jealousy and Other Such Emotions Come up
Jealousy is a common emotion that comes up when you are in a poly relationship. It’s hard not to worry if your partner is falling in love with someone else, or is going to leave you for them.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. That’s the only thing that will save you and your relationships from a complete disaster.
Have Open Communication About Your Desires and Fantasies
Many relationships fail because the people in it aren’t completely honest about their desires and fantasies with their partner. Tell all to your partner and invite them to tell you all to you.
Don’t worry about disgusting your partner – you have seen it all, as have they. It’s important to stay open about your desires, otherwise, you will tend to seek that solace outside of the relationship. That will make you more inclined to cheat.
Satisfy your desires and fantasies within the multiple relationships you are in. That’s why you are in them, right?
Without Vulnerability, Your Relationship Will Not Progress Forward
Vulnerability has become a sort of dirty word in the world right now. Everyone speaks about it, but when it comes time to display it, everyone balks.
Reveal your fragile heart to the people you are poly with, and again, invite them to do the same with you. Being vulnerable with each other is the only way to progress further in a poly relationship.
Multiple relationships without vulnerability won’t last long or will be superficial and fragile at most. Go deep into your heart, and share that with your partners. Think of it as a gift you are presenting to them.
Poly Relationships Are Extremely Fulfilling When Done Right
The great thing about multiple relationships is that they can fulfill your diverse needs if done right. The main tenet behind polyamory is that one person can’t possibly fulfill all your needs and desires, which is quite true.
With multiple partners, all your partners together can give you everything that you might desire from your relationships.
Stay honest, vulnerable, and open. If you liked this article and would like more relationship advice, please check out our other articles.