Polyamorous Relationship – What You Need to Know Before Starting
The rise of polyamorous relationship
No one knows how long polyamory as a type of relationship has existed. One may just assume the first polyamorous families to be much older than media-culture that could tell about them. Most probably it was due to unwillingness to scandalize the general public that polyamorists were for a long while keeping silent about their relationships. But starting from the 18-19 centuries the number of reliable evidences on polyamory has tended to grow: for instance, carnal relations of Admiral Nelson involved three persons, whereas Friedrich Engels and other well-known figures made no bones of it as well.
It was the loyalty of the XX century that later on vested great many people with various rights, while dissemination of information was fostered by the Internet so that polyamorous families started emerging out of the mist of secrecy being now able not only to live openly under their own rules but go public as well. A notion not existing within a media space yet 50 years ago has today become a trend or a status that some people dream about.
Does polyamory suit me?
Trying on a new type of relationship is just as tricky as fitting a suit you want to buy in an online store – you’ll have to order the delivery. However – just like in the situation with the said store – someone else’s experience in polyamory may also help or at least come in useful: those who have tried before you do may leave their reviews. Probably once there was the first polyamorous family that was started pursuant to desire to live together and in absence of information about other communities consisting of more than two partners. But you can make use of their experience in order to avoid certain troubles and discomfort.
One may verify one’s capabilities of establishing new type of relationship by giving sincere answers to the questions that experienced polyamorists propose to ask in order to understand whether you are ready to switch to this new level of relationship.
Have I had a relationship?
Existing families grounded on the ideas of polyamory (at least those that speak openly about themselves) were emerging either out of monogamous relations or after termination of a long-term monogamy. The probability of turning one’s first relations polyamorous is just the same low as the chance of doing something great and genius on the first try. Establishing strong ties in due consideration of several persons’ interests is much more difficult than building strong bonds with one partner. That’s why experienced polyamorists suggest that you start with one person before having more people involved in your family.
And in case your experience sounds like “I have happened to be in a long-term relationship in that we managed to find mutual understanding, respect common interests and got along well without falling outs, tension and lies for many month in a row” it means you already have the first block named “the skill of pair living” to lay the groundwork of future polyamorous family.
What do I think about rules?
Polyamory is not anarchy. And in case you have any difficulties with obeying the rules becoming a successful polyamorist shall not be easy. It is not just creating an environment in that they shall feel comfortable that polyamorists are concerned about - they care about this space to be comfortable for every partner involved in the relationship. This process is similar to continuous search for compromises and laying down the rules that shall help avoid traumas. So many polyamorous families, so many schemes. Every single unit of polyamory society has its own rules based on the interests of its members. Therefore merely copy-pasting of someone else’s successful model and its design without customization, adjustment and transformation is an idea that seems to be fabulous and unreal.
That is why in order to reinforce the foundation of polyamorous relationship with a block named “rules” your answer to the foregoing question would better sound close to “Yes, I understand what rules are for, and I am ready and willing to create new rules together with other members of our relationship”.
How much resource does polyamory need?
This is the trickiest question. Your resources, the contribution that a polyamorous family might want shall be the space, time and money as a minimum. If this is not obvious, I shall explain. For young people who have ceased residing with their parents the question of personal housing may become a problem, not to speak of the situation when there are more than two involved. Several people need a large kitchen, a place for couples’ and trios’ privacy and some room for dating. The space can be “outsourced” by arranging certain meetings on “external territories” but in this case another resource – time – shall be affected. Each participant of polyamorous relationship wants attention and hours meant for him or her.
The description of your eventual polyamorous family needs implies an answer that sounds like “I understand the number of people that I have time for. I know how my space can be shared with others and I know what my tomorrow meal shall be”, and this is the next block of yours referred to as “resources”.
What is the state of my relationship?
Polyamory would hardly become an efficacious treatment for healing problematic relationship, and in case you are not satisfied with your current partner a more complicated solution would scarcely help change the things for the better. The advice from polyamory experts tells that building a new family using an old and unstable groundwork might not work – it is a hazardous venture with too many perils.
On the other hand the answer that sounds like “My partner wants to be in polyamorous relationship the same very way as I do” would come as a block named “consent” that most polyamorists consider to be the core one.
What is my list of bans?
How do you feel about non-traditional forms of relationship and kinky-practices? What does you list of bans for your partner look like? If you rule your partner with a rod of iron and if it’s been a long time since the last new practice crossed the threshold of your bedroom what’s the good of talking about polyamory? It shall be highly infeasible – extending the limits in one aspect while remaining restrained in many others.
“I do have bans, but their list is much shorter if compared to the list of things I want to try” – this is the block called “experiments”, the most pleasant for a would-be polyamorous family foundation.
Do I have friends?
Do you think one person’s playing “the whole world” for another one is possible? Having given the “nay” answer, fancy extrapolation of this idea on the whole of the polyamorous family. In case some misunderstanding or relationship break-up occurs – is there anybody you can turn to discuss the things and have impartial assessment of the situation? Absence of support beyond the family makes your dependent on its members. And it is this very dependence that may impede your objectivity and consistency on the way to creating something that complies with your own and true desires.
“I have friends for discussing ‘tricky” issues that may occur in a polyamorous family” – this is another block of the polyamory housing that can be referred to as “support”.
Where do you navigate your relationship?
Just like in case of any new project the chance of creating something at the very beginning of the road is just an assumption that can be either confirmed or refuted in the process of learning details and collecting real facts. As soon as we learn more about the dream and the desired object the picture of this shall become more clear and definite. The described “stock-taking” of your capabilities shall provide you with certainty and confidence about whether your experience, skills and resources shall suffice for fulfilling the idea of polyamory, and about where your relationship is heading to.
More about polyamory and alternative relationships in articles "From A To V: Alternative Relationships Glossary", "Into The Big World – Debunking Myths About Polyamorous Relationships".