One of the best pieces of advice this writer has ever heard has been this: meet people with the assumption that they have knowledge about something you don’t.
This advice is amazing for two reasons 1) it forces you to avoid passing initial judgment on people despite any differences they might have from you 2) if you really keep this open-minded outlook, you’ll learn things you might never have
Where am I getting at with all of this?
Monogamous people, listen up. There’s a lot you can learn from polyamorous relationships! While it might seem counterintuitive, especially for those who are cemented in their beliefs of monogamy, there really are a lot of tips you can pick up to make your own relationship work (sans the extra partners).
1. Express your expectations
For people in poly relationships, it can get tricky when a partner has expectations for another. There’s really no such thing as defined roles for a girlfriend or boyfriend, and no on is a mind reader so be clear about what it is you are hoping to get from the relationship and from your partner.
2. Don’t assume that one person can meet all of your needs
For people who choose to enter poly relationships, they do so because they feel that a single person can’t meet all of their sexual/emotional needs. But, this is actually true for all people. It’s really impossible (and unfair) for you to look to your partner to meet every single need you have.
A few examples include:
- Going to a friend for advice about work instead of your partner because they don’t know what advice to give
- Watching certain movies with someone else because your partner hates them
- Enjoying hobbies with other people or alone if you know your partner isn’t into it
- Likewise, encouraging your partner to do things with other people (not sexually) if you’re not into them because they’ll have more fun
Remember that while you’re in a relationship, you’re two people in a relationship. So, it’s ok to not be able to fulfill every single need they have or do everything together. Embrace the fact that you’re two people with separate identities.
3. When jealousy rears its ugly head, look at where it’s stemming from
Obviously for people in a poly relationship, jealousy issues can crop up – just as they can in any monogamous relationship. It can be a confusing and infuriating emotion that can ruin a relationship. When poly people get jealous about their partner’s partner, the advice the community gives is to look deeper at the root of the jealousy.
- Does the other partner have a trait I’m jealous of?
- Am I jealous of another person or of the time my partner spends with them?
- Do you actually feel like your relationship is being threatened or could the feelings be insecurity on your part?
Looking deeper at jealousy problems is a great way to not only strengthen your relationship, but it can help strengthen your own personal development as well.
4. Space isn’t always a bad thing
In line with number 2, get comfortable with the fact that you are a separate person from your partner. Never stop discovering more about yourself and don’t lose yourself in the relationship. Members of poly relationships find that this is a really big reason they like to date multiple people, because it doesn’t force them to wrap themselves up in one other person.
5. Don’t ever expect someone to change for you
Some people in poly relationships really feel strongly about this one because they’ll find a partner who thinks they can change them into a person who would prefer a monogamous relationship instead. This is wrong for so many reasons. But the main one is that these people confuse growth for change. Helping your partner grow in a positive way is great, but hoping to shake their beliefs or ideals and transform them into something that suits you and your own needs is selfish. So communicate. Be honest. And love your partner for who she is without any strings attached.
1. Which tips do you find works best for both poly and monogamous relationships?
2. What do you think are the benefits of going into a monogamous relationship with this advice?