4 Relationship Lessons to Learn From Polyamorous Couples

Polyamorous Couples

What the Polyamorous Can Teach the Monogamous

Polyamorous couples (multiple intimate partners) have many of the same problems as monogamous couples. It is not that they are any better at navigating their relationships, but they do have to capitalize on certain strengths to make it work—strengths that monogamous couples may sometimes take for granted because of the exclusive nature of their relationships. With that in mind, these are four lessons monogamous couples can learn from successful polyamorous couples.

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Boost Shared Emotions

Not all polyamorous partners jumped into a relationship with the idea that they would be sharing their partner with someone else. It is something that begins with a question and ends with compromise. It is the compromise part that we are most interested in, as polyamorous couples need to be very good at sharing their emotions so that their partner knows where they are in the relationship. The author, Dan Ariely, often talks about “illusions of stability.” This is when a committed couple considers their relationship a forever thing and don’t consider all the work necessary to keep it going. Polyamorous relationships take a lot of work to keep everyone’s emotions in check, and this is something that we could all use a little more of, in whatever kind of relationship we are in.

Get More Adventurous

Within our illusion of stability in relationships, we also grow complacent to try new things. But we all crave variety in our lives, and when you run out of ideas you can always reinvent your relationship. Now maybe your thing is not exactly another warm body in the bedroom, but it could be a new outlook. Polyamorous couples talk about how each partner fulfills a different need in their life. Those of us with one lifetime partner can’t expect them to be everything, so we help to fill in any blanks by engaging with friends, trying new hobbies or having a fresh bedroom fantasy. It is good to seek out new adventure.

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Avoid Jealousy

The word “compersion” is the anti-hero for almost every romance novel in history. Instead of upholding the “I’m yours, you’re mine and we’re in this together” philosophy, it is about finding joy and happiness through watching your partner love someone else. Have you ever been jealous of your partner for getting a promotion at work or owning a pet that prefers them the most? Have you ever been suspicious when your partner takes a work trip or are you jealous of  their coworker who is better looking than you? Without proof, these are all signs of jealousy and mistrust—none of which are good for your relationship. Almost every study on happiness finds that a person is happiest who gives things to other people. The same goes for giving your partner the gift of freedom to do what makes them happy. Then you receive joy in return because you have given a gift to your partner. There is never room for jealousy in any healthy relationship.

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Develop a Set of Ground Rules

Behind most every polyamorous relationship lies a very specific set of rules. These rules are designed to uphold respect, communication and honesty in the relationship to minimize the chance of anyone getting hurt. One study suggested that people are more likely to cheat on their partner when they have never been asked to create a plan of what they’d do if that opportunity ever arose. For most couples, it is a topic that they just don’t want to touch upon. However, it is important that both partners understand how each other feels. Researchers speculate that a portion of cheating occurs when one partner is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, because that way it can be used as an excuse later on. Polyamorous couples make very clear rules on their expectations of conduct, leaving less of a gray area for one partner to play in. Do you know how your partner feels about certain topics? Is chatting with someone on the Internet a form of cheating? Some people say yes, others say no, but the only way you are going to know is to bring this difficult topic to the surface.

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Communication is the foundation of every relationship, whether it’s monogamous or polyamorous. What’s good for the gaggle is also good for the goose!

7 thoughts on “4 Relationship Lessons to Learn From Polyamorous Couples

  1. Darren ext. 6458

    I feel there are certain personality types (Myers-Briggs) that are better able to be
    polyamorous, and certain personality types that simply would not want to do this.
    The Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceptionist (ENFP) and also the Extroverted, Sensing,
    Feeling, Perceptionist (ESFP) personality types would have an easier and more enjoyable time
    at being in a polyamorous multiple relationship experience. I state this not in a dogmatic manner but in what I have experienced with those type of personalities that I have personally known (both men and women) and know they would be more open to it and able to deal with all of it in a more emotionally healthy manner. The ENFP woman I knew and dated – she really did love and truly cared about everyone and was so very secure emotionally and secure with her sexuality. She was the ideal polyamorous person, but we had a monogamous relationship.
    Also, regarding jealousy, I believe there is rational jealousy and irrational jealousy.
    Rational jealousy deals with a legitimate direct threat on the relationship with someone. Irrational jealousy can be seen as not being a real direct threat. If a wife is merely talking with a handsome man at a party and her husband gets jealous – that may be irrational, especially if they are talking about their kids going into soccer camp. If a wife is talking to a handsome man and the man takes her into his arms and begins passionately kissing her then
    that can be viewed as legitimate and rational jealousy by her jealous (and angry) husband.
    If you have any questions about jealousy and want to ask more about them – please connect with me Darren at ext. 6458

    Reply
  2. GEMINI6

    Hi! Sebastain, thank you for your article. But, I tend to agree with Marc from UK.
    Yes, as he says, how many can do this in reality? In my opinion, I was dating 3 guys to
    see which one was a good match. But, I talked to all and all they wanted was friends with
    benefits. This lasted for a couple of months, and one was for a bit longer but, I got
    tired and just let them go. It was emotional and fustrating with all the lies and games.
    I am interested in one man only (no marriage), but it is very difficult these days with them just looking for a meal ticket and not being honest and faithful.

    Reply
  3. Amanda

    Seems like this is the author’s fantasy, that which I call a “stud horse mentality”. Truth be told it is difficult enough for 2 people to stay together let alone complicate things with adding more people to the mix. Sorry not into the extra added work thing when one partner is handful enough. Dedicating yourself to one another monogamously is the ultimate dedication to love. Besides, it’s literally unnatural to go against nature & feelings of jealousy are perfectly natural & not just exclusive to human beings. You just can’t let those natural feelings run amok & cause you to jump to conclusions & act like a fool. My husband of 10 years has admitted to me that he thinks feelings of jealousy actually shows you care. Having a non-nonchalant, I don’t care where you go or what you do attitude is not loving or caring. You wouldn’t have an I don’t care where you go or what you do attitude doesn’t work with raising a child & therefore won’t work with any kind of relationship. It is true that when I fell out of love with someone, that’s when I stopped caring where they went, what they did who it was with.

    Reply
  4. pop

    Having only one partner is only as old as christianity, before we came under the influence of “celibate” people who put their own twist on the translations, we had multiple partners and that was the norm. Having lived in a polyamorous relationship for 40+ years I can safely say it’s not for everyone and “You can love more than one,” You just have to be open minded to the concept, and follow the ground rules.

    Reply
  5. Christine

    Nothing says I love you like needing to date and sleep with multiple people. That may be love of self, but it certainly is not love for your partner. When you truly love someone, they consume every fiber of your being and you are content and at peace…

    Reply
  6. Marc from the UK

    looks great on paper, but how many people can do this in reality? So many people I know suffer heartbreak and damage long term so to think this can be done easily for or with someone you love so much and vice versa?

    I could not, but hey happiness to those who can.

    Reply

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