A Polyamory Practical Guide
What are the most common questions and issues that arise from living a polyamory lifestyle, this section will attempt to answer a few of the common practical questions.
I am considering opening my monogamous relationship, how should I go about it?
The opening of an existing relationship to other partners is best achieved together. This may sound obvious, but one partner not involving the other is the most common mistake many couples make when trying out polyamory. The process of finding another member of a relationship can be fun and bonding if done in the right way with all members involved and expressing clearly their needs and goals for the relationship.
How can I meet polyamory people?
The internet is a key way for polyamorous people to meet, there are new sites appearing all the time specifically for polyamorous people. There are also many dating and social networking sites that are friendly to polyamorous people, try doing a search on a site like OkCupid and see who comes up in your area. There are also Meetup groups held regularly in many major cities, this can be another great way of finding a sense of community. Beyond the internet there are events like New Love held once a month in Brighton. You will also find that if you have an interest in alternative ideas there are often polyamorous people at pagan events and festivals throughout the country. Once you are open about your lifestyle you will find that you come across more and more people who share your views. There is also a large polyamorous community within the BDSM scene, which can be accessed via the internet, clubs, munches and fetish festivals.
How do I deal with issues that may arise such as jealousy?
Within a polyamorous relationship communication is the most powerful tool. Learning to express our needs effectively is not an easy task, but can be tranformative to a relationship. Techniques such as ‘Non-Violent Communication’ developed by Marshall Rosenberg are highly effective and recommended to anyone trying to resolve conflict in whatever form. You may also discover that once you understand the nature of your jealousy and the fears that are causing it, you may begin to see ways of coming to terms with these feelings. This can even lead to a sense of pleasure or even joy experienced by seeing your partner happy with another partner. This is called ‘compersion’ and is one of the emotional rewards of a successful polyamorous relationship. For more see our article on working positively with jealousy.
How do I tell my family about polyamory?
This is a tricky area, and for many being open with family is the most difficult issue to navigate. Very few of us are blessed with parents or other family members who are familiar with a lifestyle like polyamory, let alone the day-to-day practicalities of having polyamorous members of the family. If you do decide to explain your choice to family members this is best done with as much support as possible from your partners and also with a good degree of information to help the family member understand what polyamory is and is not. You may find it useful to bring up the subject at an earlier opportunity, before fully ‘coming out’, to gage their reaction, this will also give you the chance to explain the key issues around family, children, commitment and living arrangements. When you do choose to come out to your family their informed position will help you to reduce any negative preconceptions they may have held