"“A world where it is safe to love is a world where it is safe to live”"
Hierarchy- Personally, I don’t believe that my relationships exist on a value scale. I don’t label the people I love according to the amount of time I have been with them, and I try not to allot time based on merit. I believe that you can love people in different ways, not necessarily love one person more than another. However, I have seen hierarchies work, this is best when all partners are knowledgeable about the process and are aware and even enjoy the concept that they are less or more beholden to their partners. For example, a primary may appreciate having one primary partner and one secondary lover. This might work well for the lover if he or she isn’t interested in being part of a primary relationship. I think the only rule here is: communication.
Time- It may seem difficult to compartmentalize your life, perhaps you feel as though you already don’t have much time for spare activities. I completely understand, sometimes having more than one partner can be really stress inducing and can leave you feeling as though your “me time” has been stolen. I think it’s less about the quantity of time, than the quality. If you spend time with your partners, doing amazing things, and then a night to yourself, catering to your own needs, you won’t be nearly as stressed. It’s important to value yourself in any relationship, if you forget yourself, things will begin to crumple in your love life.
Money- One of the important things to remember about relationships is that they are... expensive. It’s difficult to remember, and buy presents for, one anniversary let alone two or three. It’s difficult to go out to restaurants all time time, and although you might want to make date nights special for your partners, it might be best to stay in and cook. Make homemade presents for each other, and communicate instead of constantly entertain. It is sometimes best to keep a community journal, or at least a photo board, where you all can house your many memories.
Meeting a new partner- It’s bound to be awkward introducing someone new into your already existing relationship(s). I have never had much trouble meeting new people, but I suggest using a few routes that I have tried. Joining your local polyamory meeting group (if you have one) may seem daunting, but it may be well-worth your time. I suggest looking to your Fetlife.com account, a website like Facebook that connects kinky people, to see if your community has a poly group. This method might be best if you, or your partner(s) if you have any, are a little shy.
I don’t suggest presenting yourself as single to a prospective partner. I know it may seem scary and you don’t want to intimidate that special someone, but lying about your relationship status is no way to begin a new relationship. if your prospective is new to polyamory give them a little time to adjust, it’s difficult getting to know one person let alone two.
Jealousy- I have experienced jealousy in a relationship before, and I’m sure almost everyone who has been in a relationship has as well. The most important thing to realize about jealousy is - it’s not a chiefly negative emotion. Many people will tell you to swallow your jealousy, or to ignore it. But it’s really not healthy to ignore feelings, I suggest that you learn why your feeling these things. Do you feel that you aren’t receiving enough time/love/physical attention? Sometimes it is best to take a break and spend a day to yourself, this can help you remember how you can be fine living independently and how you don’t chiefly need your partner(s) but how you want them.
Once you have your emotions lined up, talk to your partner(s) in a respectful manner. Use “I” statements. I feel... The purpose of this conversation is to let your lover(s) know how you have been feeling, if they want to modify their actions that is up to them.
Internal or Cross Relationships- I believe that my relationships are fairly unique, two of my partners exist in a triad with me and know each other fairly well. I thrive on separation between my partners, I hate having to share the bed with two or three people every night. I need my partners a little spaced out, we generally spend about seventy-five percent of our time together. It’s important to communicate with your partners about how much time you need with each and every lover.
This is, in no way, a complete evaluation on polyamory. My experience does not parallel others’,
but I hope that if you are interested in a poly relationship these concepts can give you a little food for thought. Being with multiple partners is not as frightening as many people suspect, and giving out more love probably means you will receive more love in turn.