Does monogamy sound like the perfect fit for me? I’m not 100% sure anymore, now that I’m happily divorced and rocking the Casual Sex lifestyle.
After taking a closer look at my dating history, I see that most of my relationships and the stipulations involved in them were dictated by fear. I love relationships and I wanted relationship security very badly. I felt that the security in a relationship meant that I was loved, valuable, and worthy of receiving love. But internally I’ve had my doubts about whether or not I deserve these things. Then again, when I date outside of the normal monogamous relationship, I do feel worthy of those feelings.
Not too long ago, I decided to try polyamorous dating to see if I was a good fit for the lifestyle. Now that I’m experimenting, I do not necessarily know where I fit as far as labels are concerned. I don’t even know how to behave and I lack the words to say on dates from time to time.
Are there certain rules that need to be followed? Are there certain boundaries that I cannot cross? After speaking with some amazing non-monogamous folks that live the polyamory lifestyle, they provided some exciting answers that I think you’ll benefit from.
7 Relationship Rules That Poly People Live By
- Be Open and Honest about Being Poly
No matter what, when engaging with a new sexual partner you should always let them know upfront that you are poly. Why? It gives them a chance to back out in case they aren’t familiar with or comfortable with your lifestyle.
Or they may want to end up with an exclusive monogamous relationship in the future and since you’re poly that isn’t going to happen. You’ll also be able to better gauge how a person handles their relationship to exclusivity, sex, and where a potential relationship might go.
Giving consent means agreeing to a certain behavior of a sexual nature, and not agreeing to this behavior in context. Poly people have a much more informed and broader type of consent; as well you should expect it. This is good because polyamorous people are open and upfront about the people they are sleeping with. Other supposed “monogamous” people often lie and say they are single, only for you to find out that they are in a relationship later on.
- Always Tell Your Partners the Truth
Total honesty is the one rule that you should keep with your main partner if you prefer polyamory. While you do not necessarily need to check in with them immediately after experiencing a sexual encounter, you should share with them about the experience at some point.
Letting your partner know the truth about these encounters and trusting that your partner is doing the same is amazing. You won’t lose sleep at night wondering whether or not your partner is seeing somebody else. You don’t have to worry about her or him when they are out on dates. You can create and develop a lasting friendship with your partner as well as a romantic relationship.
Some thoughts to keep to yourself: finding another person attractive, lack of closure from a previous partner, and anything that could potentially hurt them.
- Put in Hard Work on Your Primary Relationship and Your Other Relationships Equally As Well
Everyone benefits when you’re present and focused on your secondary relationships. These relationships take work and you need to check in with your partner regularly. This stuff might not seem sexy, but it’s important because this is much more than just a casual relationship. Your secondary partners need to feel completely comfortable within this relationship structure.
Some people believe that if they have a primary partner, they aren’t required to be accountable or compassionate with the others. This is not even close to the truth as many poly people will tell you. This community focuses on creating intentional relationships with multiple partners and everyone is important.
- Adding a New Partner Won’t Resolve Your Primary Relationship Issues
Polyamorous relationships are meant to be exploratory. They aren’t supposed to be therapeutic. They aren’t designed to fix the issues in your primary relationship. Some couples believe that adding more partners will help repair a broken relationship, but this is far from the truth. In fact, it can often create even more damage to the primary relationship since you may lean on one of your new partners for emotional stimulation and sexual release.
If your relationship isn’t thriving, adding new partners will not fill the gaps. You should understand this if you are new to polyamorous relationships. Adding new partners is about creating a new and different connection with another person. You add partners in an effort to enrich your life and the life of your new partner, not attempt to fix a broken primary relationship.
- Do Not Be Afraid to Share Your Feelings
Self-awareness is important when you are in a polyamorous relationship. You only have so much time, and you need to allocate it in a way that works for everyone, but especially a primary partner. If it seems like you are being left out, do not hesitate to speak up about it.
You’ll feel incredibly empowered when you have the ability to speak up and share your feelings about the things that you are aware of taking place. Some people might believe that you are even leaving yourself open to abuse and neglect. While it may feel this way at times, speaking up and letting your partner know that you’re feeling neglected will solve the problem.
- Make Sure You Have Clear Boundaries Established
Having clear boundaries is very important in a polyamorous relationship. As an example, you may decide to only spend intimate time with your primary partner in the master bedroom. This area is off-limits to other secondary partners at all times if you feel that this is necessary. Or you may have other boundaries that you decide to set.
If you don’t have or currently live with a partner, this may not be an issue for you at this time. But at the same time, you’re definitely going to want your own personal space, so this is important to consider when you finally do change your living situation.
- Regular STI Testing Is Important
Because of the additional partners that you and your main partner have sexual interactions with, it’s important to regularly get tested for STIs to protect everyone involved. Make sure you get them at least once a month or more if you think it’s necessary.
Most people think that having multiple partners is dirty and unkind. Regular monthly testing makes the situation a lot safer and you’ll feel a lot better knowing that everyone is free of STIs. Plus, you should care about your health and the health of all the partners in the polyamorous relationship. It’s the best way to make sure everyone remains healthy, safe, and loved.