How do people feel about polyamorous relationships?

Affection and affection

Especially at the beginning of their common journey to a polyamorous form of relationship, many partners lose sight of each other and give each other too little attention and affection. The experiences with the new or the new are understandably more exciting than the usual. However, your partner must feel safe in the relationship and feel the affection that makes your relationship special, so that he or she can give you the freedom for new experiences.

Active appreciation

Therefore, tell your partner more often than usual that you love them and how important they are in your life. Give him loving attentions and seek everyday contact. This active appreciation and affection is an important reassurance that your relationship is not compromised and that they are continuously connected. If the lack of attention complaint is one of your relationship issues, then you should be extra vigilant on this point.

loyalty

The term loyalty takes on a new meaning in open and polyamorous forms of relationships. Here loyalty means that the agreements made are binding. All partners can be sure that common rules will not be broken. That sounds easier than it is. Perhaps you have certain rituals or similarities with your primary partner that you do not want to share with anyone because this is where your intimacy arises. Now, if your secondary partner demands the exact same thing, you run the risk of breaking agreements. This often happens faster than you'd like. This endangers loyalty to your partner. In polyamorous relationships, loyalty means being able to trust that rules and agreements will be kept so that no one feels rejected or hurt. Everyone in the relationship is responsible for the well-being of others.

Set limits and pay attention to the speed of development

You always have the right to say stop, even if other agreements have been made. It may be that in certain phases you notice that your personal limits have been exceeded and you can no longer bear situations. Then say stop. This is the first step. Only when you respect your limits can others hear you. Boundaries can relate to the design of the relationship, e.g. B. the number and change of partners or the frequency of encounters. Can you spend the night away from home or go on vacation?

However, the limits can also relate to your personal experience. How do you deal with the first time your partner has sex with someone else? How does it feel when your desire for third-party sex is not granted? For a polyamorous relationship to succeed, it is essential to ensure that it can develop at a speed at which everyone involved feels comfortable. Slowness and mindfulness are essential so that the idea does not fail because of one's own ideals.

Be truthful and tell the truth

Telling the truth in this case means being true to yourself and your own feelings. We see in this truthfulness an essential part for the success of a polyamorous relationship. Fear of loss, jealousy, self-doubt and anger can occur unexpectedly at any time. If you remain silent in these moments, then you are not helping anyone. Talk about the ambivalent feelings and honestly show how you are doing in the moment. This honesty helps the other understand you.

show emotional hurt

Everyone in your relationship will feel sad or hurt at some point. If you show that emotions can be challenging over and over again, encourage everyone involved to open up. Difficult feelings are bad the moment you experience them. However, there is enormous development potential here for the maturation of relationships. When you approach each other with kindness and understanding, you will dive deeper into connection and learn to understand each other better.

Promote openness and development

Polyamorous experts and practitioners agree that a polyamorous relationship can only work if everyone involved is open to one another. That doesn't mean you have to go over every single detail with your partner. Nevertheless, you should be aware of each other with whom the partner has friendships, with whom he shares intimacy and what is important to him in the respective relationship. Precisely in this openness lies the difference to people who cheat on their partner or who do not communicate at all out of self-protection and to protect the other. Even if the latter can work for a while, it has nothing to do with polyamory.

Be lenient with yourself and others

When people enter into an intimate relationship with one another, strong feelings always arise. Very often you think that you know yourself. And yet things can happen that completely surprise you and that you have not yet experienced. In polyamorous relationships, couples are more likely to reach their limits and behave incorrectly. When you experience this, the first thing you are asked to do is be lenient with yourself. Instead of putting yourself under pressure to do everything right, invest time and attention in opportunities to speak openly with one another and work together on solutions. Every problem and mistake is an opportunity for your relationships to grow and become stable.

Plan, but stay flexible

Most people live in a tight timeline of work, hobbies and friends. Time is therefore an important factor that also expresses value that you want to give someone. Joint planning and arrangements are important so that everyone feels valued. For a functioning common structure, however, it is also important to remain flexible. If someone is going through a difficult phase, you should be able to mutually respond and adapt agreements, i.e. support the partner in a targeted manner. Polyamore relationships are not companies where everything should be pulled through, no matter how the parties feel. Support one another and show consideration for your partner. You too will need the warmth and empathy of the other one day.

Communication and integrity

The component that holds all the points described so far together is called communication. What do we mean by that? Learn to listen: A conversation often fails because you are not listening to the other person. Open your mind and heart with the determination to understand as much of the other as possible. How can this be done?

Here are two effective tips:

1) Agree on a certain speaking time during which the other person is not interrupted. This gives the speaker the space to speak about himself without haste and resistance. Before you answer, ask questions. This gives you clarity and a differentiated picture.

2) When you answer, talk about what you've heard and what makes you feel it. This creates a dialogue that is not characterized by speculative accusations and pre-fabricated opinions, but rather deals with the statements of the other person.

Communication is a difficult and shallow area. However, you can practice and learn the basis for successful communication. We recommend two methods here: the controlled dialogue and the model of non-violent communication. In our consultations we see that people who have mastered these forms of communication are better able to address problems in their relationships and to change them.

integrity

In order for your polyamorous relationship to work in the long term and for everyone involved to be happy, a high level of integrity is required. Keep your word and keep your promises. It's not just about little things in everyday life, but also about big promises you made to each other. If you've told your partner that you want to be with them for the rest of your life, stick with them. That's not to say that you can't fall in love all over the years. Enjoy the excitement and the butterflies in your stomach, but don't forget your primary partner over all the endorphins. Let the new happiness flow into your existing partnerships so that all parties involved can participate in the breath of fresh air.

How polyamory can succeed:

  • Be honest with everyone involved
    If you want to have a long-lasting polyamorous relationship, all the people involved need to communicate honestly with each other. Deal with the people your partner has sex with or has intimate friendships with.
  • Make decisions together
    You should always involve your primary partner in making important decisions. This is the only way to create a trusting relationship in which you can rely on each other and not offend each other. Instead of presenting the partner with a fait accompli, talk about what you are up to beforehand.
  • Support the partner
    A polyamorous relationship offers plenty of room for growth. It is quite normal for feelings like jealousy or fear of loss to arise. Show understanding and don't judge your partner for it. It is important that as a couple you care for and support one another.
  • Make clear agreements
    This does not mean rigid rules that restrict or limit the partner out of fear of loss. But especially at the beginning of an opening, it is important to be clear about what your needs are. Perhaps, at this early stage, there are still boundaries that you don't want to cross. The more clearly you formulate what you need and want, the more satisfied you will be in your relationship.
  • Also talk about difficult feelings
    Do not devour jealousy, envy or fear of loss, but tell your partner what is going on in you. It is important to speak from a clear first-person perspective and not blame your partner. Take responsibility for your feelings, but share yourself. You will see that this opening creates a great closeness and connection.
  • Set limits and stick to them
    Be aware of your own limits and communicate them. Do not sacrifice yourself for your partnership just to make the other person feel good. Boundaries help you to be free in your decisions. Rules, on the other hand, exert power over the partner's decisions.
  • Be of integrity
    This includes keeping things that you have promised to do. You can only trust each other if you can rely on each other.
  • Don't open up to everyone
    Before embarking on a secondary relationship, you should discuss with your partner which values ​​are important to you. Everyone involved needs to know exactly what role they are in the relationship. It is important that potential secondary partners have a polyamorous background so that no problems arise. For example, it would not have integrity if a partner chooses someone who is in a monogamous relationship and cheats on his or her partner.
  • Show solidarity
    Whenever possible, you should seek contact with the other people in your partner's life. It is better to get to know the person with all their strengths and weaknesses than to worry about what kind of a great person - and thus what threat - they might be. You might even like the person. With a solidary behavior you also relieve your partner and contribute a big step to the fact that your mutual love grows and the polyamorous relationship works.

Conclusion

For a polyamorous relationship to work, it is important that everyone involved knows about the other partner or partners. Of course, consensus is also crucial. This means that everyone has voluntarily entered into this special form of relationship. Last but not least, there has to be a certain perspective, that is, all people who are involved are allowed to grow and develop further. If a polyamorous relationship is to succeed, it requires a high willingness to communicate and the ability to resolve conflicts. You have to be ready to work continuously on your partnership and to reflect on yourself again and again. If you have the courage to open up your relationship, you will move forward to a great extent.

Read on to open relationships and polyamory:
Part 1: definition and specifics
Part 2: How can you open a relationship?
Part 3: jealousy

In our book we also write about polyamory and non-monogamous forms of expression.
"SEXPOSITIVE - intimacy and relationship renegotiated"(2021)
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