“You’ll need courage because polyamorous relationships are scary. Loving other people without a script is scary. Allowing the people you love to make their own choices without controlling them is scary.”- Words by Franklin Veaux & Eve Rickert, Author of Book “More Than Two.”
Can you fall in love with more than one person? Polyamorous relationships prove it!
Love has never followed societal norms or constructs and nor has polyamory. For those who are new to polyamory, polyamorous relationships are a type of non-monogamous relationship in which you can have a romantic relationship with more than one person. The mechanism of polyamory varies from person to person. Polyamorous relationship types may vary; you can have one main partner and treat the other relationships as secondary or be equally committed to all your partners. The common factor in all polyamorous relationships is the feeling of love and intimacy that you share.
However, polyamorous relationships aren’t a new-age fad. Non-monogamy, polyamorous marriages have been going on since ancient history. The word polyamorous is believed to have first appeared in an article titled “A Bouquet of Lovers,” written by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart in 1992. The rejection of monogamous marriage was also witnessed in the Oneidia Community in the 1800s through its system of “complex marriages.”
Polyamorous Relationships vs. Open Relationships
People often mistake polyamorous relationships for open relationships. Though both of them may seem the same, polyamorous relationship rules are way different from open relationship rules. Sexual desires drive open relationships. You may be committed to one partner and be sleeping with other partners for sexual gratification. Polyamorous relationships are driven by more intimate feelings, such as love and emotional connections. You may be equally committed to your partners and love them all the same.
8 Do’s and Don’ts of a Polyamorous Relationship
Polyamorous relationships require a lot of effort and commitment as all the relationships aren’t just flings or one-night stands. Polyamorous relationships come with many strings attached, and hence the partners need to maintain boundaries of honesty and open communication for it to work. If you seek polyamorous relationship advice, here are eight do’s and don’ts of a polyamorous relationship.
1. Do- Establish Ground Rules
There are no definite rules when it comes to polyamorous relationships. You and your partners make the rules as long as all of you all consent. If you don’t agree with some of the rules, express them and come up with new rules that you all agree to. You could be a romantic couple or individually branch out and maintain individual relationships; it’s on you. The rules of the relationship apply to all partners. If you break any rules, it could be considered cheating.
2. Don’t- Use Your New Relationship to Fix Your Old One
If you think that a new relationship will bring in some fresh air and perspective on your old relationship, you’re wrong. Polyamorous relationships are not meant for rebounds or fixing relationships. People indulge in them because of love and respect rather than for ulterior motives. Indulging into a polyamorous relationship without fixing your old one will only leave you and your partners open to more hurt and resentment. Doing otherwise is just going to open a can of worms in the future.
3. Do- Respect Your Partner’s Choice
The whole idea of polyamory is based on allowing yourself and your partner to indulge in multiple romantic relationships. You may not always like your partner’s partner, but that doesn’t mean that your partner should find someone to your liking. It is about giving control to your partner and allowing him/her to make their own choice. If you don’t like your partner’s partner, you can keep your conversation short and casual. As long as your partner is happy with them, you need to respect their choice.
4. Don’t- Try to Compete
When your partner went on a beach date with his/her other partner, did it make you want to book a more romantic date to be ahead in the game?
Seeing your partner happy with someone else could make you feel insecure, and try to come up with ways to win him/her back. Remember, this is not a game, and nor is your partner a prize to win. Don’t let your jealousy and insecurity hamper something beautiful that the two of you have. Don’t think of yourself as being the third in a polyamorous relationship; treat your relationship as a unique one. What your partner does with his/her other partner should not matter to you.
5. Do- Maintain Open Communication
The only way to make sure that you don’t complicate a polyamorous relationship is by openly communicating with your partner. You need to be honest and share your feelings with them. Tell them about your desires and expectations from them. Ask them the same. To understand polyamorous relationships, you and your partner should understand each other first. This will help you and your partners in building a strong foundation.
6. Don’t- Discuss Your Other Relationships With Your Partner
If you have problems in one of your relationships, don’t seek advice from your other partners or crib about your relationship. By doing this, you indirectly involve your other partners in your relationship and making things more complicated. Your other partners may even try to use your problems to break up your relationship. You must maintain boundaries and resolve your issues with your partner on your own. Have a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” with all your partners.
7. Do- Remember That Consent Is A Thing
A polyamorous relationship cannot work without the consent of all your partners. If you go behind your partner’s back and get into another relationship, it is plain cheating. Just because you are allowed to have other relationships doesn’t mean that you don’t need to tell your partners about it. The thing about polyamory is that all your partners should know whom you are dating. If you are in a relationship with three people and don’t tell your partners about your fourth partner, it is still cheating!
8. Don’t- Do It Just Because Your Partner Wants It
Many times, people are afraid that they will lose their partner forever and consent to polyamorous relationships. Some people even agree to it to buy time and win their partner back. This is not a rom-com, but your real-life playing in front of you. Remember, someday or the other, you won’t be able to take it anymore, and you will end up getting even more hurt. It’s better to rip the bandage off when you can.
The keys to a successful polyamorous relationship are respecting each other’s boundaries and maintaining a healthy relationship.
Negative feelings such as jealousy and insecurity are just going to fester into resentment until a point where it becomes unbearable. If your partner spent 4 hours with you but the whole night with his/her other partner, it shouldn’t bother you.
Treat your relationship separately from the others and enjoy the beautiful moments you spend with your partner. People love in different ways, which is what makes polyamory so beautiful.