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The complete beginner’s guide to polyamorous relationships (part 2)

The complete beginner’s guide to polyamorous relationships (part 2)

If this is your first time reading this guide, please read the first part before continuing.

We receive a lot of queries from visitors. The most common one is how to begin. In this part of the guide we’ll guide you step by step.

Are you ready?

Check with yourself if you’re able to love more than one person without guilt, envy or any other negative emotion. Try to look at your current relationship or remind yourself of an earlier one where the other person left you in favor of someone new. Would you be willing to come back to them as a secondary relationship while they continue to sleep with their existing partner? Or are you looking for sexual exclusivity?

Ask yourself honestly if your interest in a non-monogamous relationship isn’t founded on fear of intimacy. Polyamory isn’t some magical answer to your romantic issues. Additionally, choosing a polyamorous way of life will undoubtedly get you criticized by friends and family.

If you’re still curious, you may start a polyamorous relationship as a secondary or primary partner and at the same time seek out additional relationships. The right way to do it is with a like-minded partner who is also interested in experimenting with a polyamorous relationship. You start out as a couple and build a set of values based on trust and open communication.

The couples track

Warning: this process is slow and gradual, especially for married couples. It is important for you to be aware that while exploring the non-monogamous and polyamorous world you may fall in love with another person or act in a way deemed unacceptable by your current partner, which may irreversibly damage your relationship, possibly even leading to separation. Don’t trust only your partner’s verbal agreement to enter a polyamorous relationship; check if they are also mentally ready for it.

Phase 1 – Make rules

You will make the rules together (and not only the dominant party between you). The objective is that both of you feel comfortable during the process and that neither of you keep things to yourselves. If there are issues that are troubling you, talk about them; however, never get drawn into personal abuse.

You can decide on a red line, for example: that whatever happens you will never have sexual relations or you will never have sexual relations without protection with new partners. And you can set a red line for each of the phases.

Issues that are important to talk about:

  • Managing expectations
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (use of protection)

After each phase have a mature, honest conversation and decide whether to continue. The objective is not necessarily to become polyamorous but rather to become happier. And if a monogamous relationship makes you happier, that is absolutely fine.

Phase 2 – Just talk

Talk to each other about people you like and find sexually attractive. You might want to watch an erotic movie together and talk about it. The objective at this stage is to examine how you contend with disclosures of interest and your partner’s attraction to a stranger.

Talk about what you liked in your exes quietly, without insults, and about what is missing in your current partner.

Did you feel comfortable? Move on to the next phase. Otherwise, stop here!

Phase 3 – Meet new people together

On reaching this phase, you have overcome the issues the majority of monogamous people would not dare to discuss, sharing with your partner sexual fantasies you would like to fulfill with others. In the monogamous world, these are sacrilegious thoughts which would be sufficient to cause a relationship crisis; however, in your case, this discussion has helped you to understand and love your partner better, and you should feel closer and safer in your relationship. If this is the case, continue. If not, stop here.

This is why I say that a polyamorous relationship is stronger than a monogamous relationship, because your love is mature and deep, so distractions will not make you panic as you are sure of your worth.

The third phase will examine your feelings when your partner, whom you love, starts flirting in front of you with strangers. What should you do? Go to the pub, to speed dating or to any singles event together, however without declaring that you are a couple/married. (At this stage people are not supposed to know that you want to experiment with a polyamourous relationship).

The objective of this phase is not to get to know new partners (unless you have agreed to this in advance), but rather to test the durability of your relationship when it is theoretically “threatened” by strangers.

The exposure process should be carried out gradually and carefully, in particular with married couples. Otherwise, if you are too hasty, you could lose the trust of your partner. Remember the saying: it is easy to destroy but difficult to build.

Phase 4 – Declare yourselves polyamorous partners

At this phase each of you have the freedom to get to know a new partner. Inform your partner before you go on a date and also after it. Do not avoid the issue. Have an adult conversation about the date when it is over. In polyamory, you do not hide your love, but rather express it and gain support. When my partners told me about a new date, I encouraged them, and they received the car, the apartment and the security that I supported them in any event. I am not afraid my partners will leave me. I know what I am worth, and in certain situations I have no substitute.

As polyamory is based on trust and honesty, you must tell all your dates that you have a partner (unless you are only looking for sex) and that you are polyamorous, otherwise you would be deceiving them.

This has two advantages: first, you aim for polyamorous people who accept with understanding that you have a partner (primary or secondary). Second, you are perceived to be reliable in the eyes of the new partner, for if he succeeds in overcoming the idea that you have a partner, there is a higher probability that he will agree to give a polyamorous relationship a try.

I am not suggesting that you carry out a three-way meeting with the current partner. Give the new partner time to get to know you both, and only when the relationship between you is sufficiently stable, introduce the new partner to the current partner. However, throughout the process, both of them must be aware that you have two lovers!

In the event that there is chemistry between the three of you, you can be triple, otherwise you are V.

During the acquaintance process you could fall in love with the new partner, and your level of interest in the former partner will decrease. He, on his part, could be hurt that you are spending less time together. This is a common situation and to cope with it I suggest you read the article “Help! My partner fell in love with another. What should I do?”.


The singles track

As a single, you can chose a polyamorous partner from the outset which has an advantage over monogamous couples that want to break out of the monogamous ghetto.

Phase 1 – Introspection

Ask yourself what you are looking for in your love-life and why relationships that are not monogamous and in particular polyamory attract you. Has your monogamous experience included feelings of jealousy and possessiveness? If so, why do you think that a polyamorous relationship will be different? Do you feel comfortable when your lover has sexual relations with strangers? Or do you demand sexual exclusivity?

Contrary to monogamous couples who could put their relationship at risk by going on a kind of polyamorous adventure, you are not risking much, apart from perhaps your reputation if you are living in a small community. Moreover, you will learn about yourself, and if you choose to remain monogamous, at least you know that you have tried and that it is not for you. (For some monogamous couples, the polyamorous experience, even if unsuccessful, will strengthen their relationship. This depends on maturity, self-confidence and the depth of your relationship).

Phase 2 – Meet new people

Participate in polyamory events in your area of residence. You will be able to find them on the Meetup website (see list), join polyamory groups on Facebook (see list) or of course get to know new friends on our free dating website.

Polyamorous people are usually more patient on first dates, knowing that it takes time to get to know another person. Many monogamous partners get to know each other during their studies, work or other social events, and if they had gone on dates, they would have rejected each other immediately. However, the time they had to spend together within that framework led them to overcome their initial lack of interest, fall in love and at the end of the day get married.

We do not come with a long and tiresome list (especially women) of requirements from the other party, no-one expects to meet their knight in shining armor or Princess Jasmine from Aladdin on the first date. We give a chance to get to know the other person more deeply.

And with all due respect to polyamory, we are still a minority in the community (although we are growing every day), and it is reasonable to assume that we will go on dates with people who define themselves to others as strictly monogamous. Contrary to the recommendation for couples in the previous section, I suggest not to share with your date that you are polyamorous or poly-curious for the reasons stated in the article “Should I tell people that I am polyamorous on the first date?”.

Only after a certain period of time (though not too long), in which you have not slept with others, share with your partner that you are polyamorous, and in the event there is a positive response from the other party, move on to the third phase.

Phase 3 – Dedicate time to develop your relationship

In a short time you will fall in love. Fall in love and develop your relationship gradually.

With time you will discover whether your partner is a primary or secondary partner, and after you both feel ready, move on to the fourth phase.

At this stage you are a polyamorist in a monogamous relationship! 🙂

Phase 4 – Transfer to the couples track

When one or both of you feel the need to get to know a new partner, transfer to the couples track in accordance with your needs.

Conclusion:

Polyamory in essence is love for people. Go with your heart, do things that you love and which make you feel happy. Don’t hold your anger inside. If you feel uncomfortable by what your partner is doing, talk about it! You can always make a joint decision to retreat from a polyamorous relationship and return to monogamy. You are responsible for your happiness.

So where can you look for new partners?
This is what we are here for.

Good luck 😉

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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).

5 Comments on "The complete beginner’s guide to polyamorous relationships (part 2)"

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Jim Polylover
Member
Regular
(continued from previous comment) Singles Track: Phase 3, Besides the possibility of the new partner being a primary or a secondary, they could also be a non-hierarchical partner. Singles Track: Phase 4, Folks need to be aware that the hierarchical Couples Track is not the only possibility. Non-hierarchical style relationships are also available. Conclusion Yes, by all means communicate if you are not comfortable with something your partner is doing, but also communicate about things that you are comfortable with. The poly mantra is communicate, communicate, communicate, so communicate about everything! I want to emphasize that if you decided together… Read more »
Jim Polylover
Member
Regular
( continued from previous comment) Singles Track: Phase 1, Some people who are comfortable with their partner having other sexual relationships, would feel very threatened if they were to become emotionally involved with another person. Since we are talking about polyamory here, we need to ask the question: Would you feel comfortable with your partner being emotionally involved with another person? Singles Track: Phase 2, Good job on providing website lists. I think that Polyglamorous is actually in Brentwood, rather than Santa Monica, but they are pretty close together. I’d also like to add The Southern California Polyamory Meetup Group.… Read more »
Jim Polylover
Member
Regular
(continued from previous comment) Couples Track: Phase 3 I can understand the benefits of going someplace not as a couple, but why not let others know you are wanting to experiment with poly? Maybe it is just that I am such an open and honest person, but I see no need to ever be secretive about anything, except perhaps a gift or other surprise. Couples Track: Phase 4 I do suggest that you set up a three-way meeting sooner rather than later. Do you really want to wait until your new relationship is stable to introduce your loves, only to… Read more »
Jim Polylover
Member
Regular
(continued from previous comment) Couples Track: Phase 1, Setting agreements and expectations, or rules as you put it, is very important, and should be written down for future reference. If your communication skills aren’t that great, you should probably consult with someone knowledgeable about poly before setting anything in stone. Ideally this would be done in person, so the consultant has a better feel for who you are. If you are in the LA area, I’d be willing to do this for a fee. Couples Track: Phase 2, Yes, talking to each other about people you find sexually attractive is… Read more »
Jim Polylover
Member
Regular
Since there is a character limit on comments, I am pretty sure I will need to make more than one comment in order to say everything I need to say. I disagree with you that there is a particular ‘right way’ to do poly. Even when people are intellectually ready for polyamory, they can still get slammed up against an emotional wall. That is what happened with both my wife and myself. We had good communication skills and got through it, but it hit us so unexpectedly, and it is something I think all newbies should be aware of the… Read more »
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