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The complete beginner’s guide to polyamorous relationships (Part 1)

The complete beginner’s guide to polyamorous relationships (Part 1)

The basis of polyamory is the love of human beings.
Polyamory
is love between people, which usually includes intimate relations.

Introduction

First and foremost, polyamory is a worldview: the realization that you’re allowed to feel: to love yourself and others, to fall in love, to woo, to be let down and share your feelings with others. You must understand and accept that others share the same feelings and that they may fall in love and love other people according to their needs – and that’s fine. When these feelings are natural and positive, there is no reason to limit them to just one person.

Polyamory is a free lifestyle that allows confident adults to have open, honest and supportive relationships with several partners at the same time. These relationships are usually free of envy. We understand that neither we nor our partners are perfect. We cannot provide our loving partners with everything they need at all times. On the other hand, we are quite sure that the value we do provide is what they need.

Unlike many myths regarding polyamory, you will find that these relationships are based on trust, maturity and honesty, since without such qualities, these relationships may fall apart. Don’t be surprised, then, that the level of trust among polyamorous individuals is higher than among the more common monogamists.

Is polyamory right for me?

A polyamorous relationship is right for those who have tried monogamous relationships and have found they aren’t right for them or just not enough. Polyamory is also for persons that aren’t captives of the monogamist ideology, as you can’t apply polyamorous principles to monogamous-minded individuals. It just doesn’t work.

For that reason, polyamory isn’t for everyone. Can you see your loving partner going out with someone else? Will you accept your spouse sleeping with anyone but you? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then polyamory is not for you, and it will only result in pain and suffering. But if you are truly free from such restrictions, you may want to keep on reading.

So where do I start?

As a polyamorist you may want, like many of us, to find a primary partner with whom you will have your main relationship. Simultaneously, you will have secondary love interests with 1 to 3 other people. These relationships may include full or partial sexual relations; however, everyone must know, including your primary partner, that you have other partners. It is likely your partner will know some of them and it is also possible that some or all will know their secondary partners as well. Of course, your partner has the option of having relations with other people. Usually we’re talking about 2-4 relationships at the same time.

Sex vs. Time

While the vast majority of monogamous couples obsess over their partner’s sexual loyalty, polyamorists focus on time spent together.

On a daily basis, the relationship between the primary partners is not unlike that of a monogamous couple: they may share accommodation, shop together and of course spend most of their time together. They could also raise children together.

Your primary partner is probably also your best friend.
It is the partner you would have chosen to marry, if you were monogamous!

The bottom line is that you spend most of your free time together.

When do you cross the line? Is it possible to cheat with polyamory?

You set your own rules with your partners. You may agree that unprotected sex will only take place between you and your primary partner, while protection must be used when having sex with secondary partners. You may also agree to have a BDSM relationship with the secondary partner when the primary isn’t interested in one, or even decide to swap partners or have an orgy. As long as everyone is informed and consenting, it’s ok, but if a single step violates trust, it’s cheating.

You decide when a line has been crossed, but it appears that time management is of the essence for many polyamorists. The choice with whom to live and spend the majority of your time is a testament of your love and passion. Spending more time with your secondary partner may hurt your primary partner’s feelings.

Is it possible for a secondary partner to become the primary one?

That may be the case, and therein lies the power of polyamory. You don’t have to divorce your primary partner with all the mess this entails. On the contrary, you keep in touch with someone you’ve loved for years and only decrease the amount of time you spend together. I sometimes wonder how couples who used to be so close so abruptly disengage and suppress their common history.

That is not to say that a change of status is pain-free. Your primary partner may still be hurt that you spend less time with them; it may be that they are still interested in you as a main partner, but you have not cut them off since you still love them. In that case, a monogamous relationship would have resulted in less hurt.

There are ups and downs in any healthy relationship, and it is much the same with polyamory. Arguments, disappointments and anger happen with all partners. Polyamory won’t untangle your love life, but it may enrich and complete your basic need for sex, romance and attachment.

Learn how to make your first steps in polyamory (Part 2)

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Tany
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Pleased to meet you! I created this site in order to encourage people to try polyamorous relationships and bring them together. My articles are written with an experience of over twenty years in various polyamorous relationships. I share with you my experience and insight through the numerous relationships I’ve had in the hope you’ll find answers to your questions from someone living a free life. (read more).

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1 Comment on "The complete beginner’s guide to polyamorous relationships (Part 1)"

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Jim Polylover
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Yes, a newbie may very well want to establish a primary relationship, on the other hand, they may not. No two poly relationships are necessarily alike, and one of the great things about poly is that you can establish whatever agreements work best for you. A hierarchical type of relationship, usually seen with a primary partner doesn’t work well for everyone. You should never try the agreements used by others as your own, unless there is a reasonable expectation that they will work for you as well. One of the types of poly that appeals to me a lot, even… Read more »
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