So, you want to practice Polyamory…

You’re not alone. Research shows that more and more people are interested in ethically exploring multiple romantic and/or sexual relationships. In fact, a recent Dutch research concluded that 1 in 8 (!) young adults would be open to polyamory and as many as 1 in 4 would consider some type of an open relationship. That’s a lot.

Don't wait with discussing your needs and expectations.
But, polyamory is not just unlimited cuddling and shared joy. We asked an online polyamory community about the things they would have loved to know before engaging in a polyamorous relationship, and here are some answers we got: dealing with conflicting wishes and expectations, coming out about your lifestyle/relationships to others, managing your available time, knowing and sharing your own needs, dealing with jealousy, contact with metamours (your partner’s other partners). Those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Since most of these challenges are no issue at all in monogamy, we don’t consider them upfront. Some even think: “We’ll deal with whatever comes our way when we get there!” And for some, these works. Many others find that by the time the conversation becomes a necessity, too many emotions are involved, and there is no solution that works for everyone.

That’s why it’s so important to discuss your needs and boundaries upfront, and make agreements with your partner(s) and metamour(s).

Conversations that matter

Here are 10 topics worth discussing before you engage in a polyamorous relationship:

  1. How much time do you and your partners have available for your relationships?
  2. Are there any things that are off limits for any of your (or your partners’) relationships?
  3. How will you and your partner(s) deal with conflicting needs from your (or their) partners?
  4. What will you do if you or one of your partners gets jealous, how will you deal with the jealousy?
  5. How open are you about your relationships to the outside world and is that important to you?
  6. What practical or even legal arrangements are possible in your relationships? Such as living together, getting married, sharing finances, etc.?
  7. What agreements do you want about safe sex, both for yourself and your partners?
  8. How much information do you share about your other relationship(s)?
  9. Do you want to your partners to know each other? Do you want to know your partners’ other partners?
  10. If you’re living with a partner: are your other partners welcome in your shared space?

Want to go deeper?

We’re soon launching a Kickstarter for polyamory conversation cards. Leave your email address and we’ll let you know when we launch (so you can get your hands on one of the early bird decks). You’ll also get our free guide to rules, agreements and boundaries in Polyamory!

Cover of 'Your Guide to rules, agreements and boundaries in polyamory'.