One of the best things about being in a Polyamorous dynamic is that it can be created to fit your needs and situation. I have noticed that every couple or person seeks something unique and different. What works for me and my dynamic may not work best for you or someone else. I can say that when open communication is involved successful bonds can be created. Being Poly has opened the lines of communication significantly with my husband Matt and I. While communicating I have learned a lot about what I crave, desire, and hope to avoid when making new bonds with people. Sometimes it can be more physical or more emotional and it can always change as people go through different phases in their lives. Having children can be a cause for changing a dynamic or priorities in multiple relationships.
For us, it was great to incorporate Mark into our lives for many reasons. A few of the main reasons are that it is nice to have someone else to care about and who truly cares about me as well as someone to do certain activities with that Matt doesn’t really have as much interest in such as mountain biking, kayaking, and traveling long distances to name a few. Of course, all three of us do these things together at times, but Mark and I tend to do them a good bit more often than Matt would want to. We always invite him and he is never left out but he can choose to do his own thing sometimes which makes him happy. It is nice to have a close emotional and intimate connection with a person you trust in addition to a secure and loving primary partner. Mark has a different perspective on many things so it’s nice to talk to him about what is on my mind or how I feel. Sometimes Matt can get overwhelmed with issues going on in my life and it helps that Matt can discuss things with Mark also. I am a person that can be skeptical of men due to my father being a bad person to put it simply, and a few others who influenced me as a young woman. Having a connection with a secondary partner is vulnerable yet rewarding. It takes time to develop just as with any close relationship. The time and effort is worth it when we are able to work through issues and grow together as individuals.
Not having respect for everyone involved is a problem I see with many couples in the Poly lifestyle. It is very important to respect each person’s feelings, boundaries, and desires. I would never want to hurt Matt in any way but cannot deny my desires to connect with Mark or another person down the line if it comes to that. I don’t want to give up on what makes me happy in hopes of preventing uncomfortable emotions in someone else. This is where I believe respect and compromise come in. Matt and I communicate what we feel and respect each other. The outcome is that we evolve together in the poly lifestyle and live more fulfilled lives. I guess you can say that a person will not miss what they never had but now that we have successfully been a part of a polyamorous dynamic and feel so much joy from it I would hate to go back to a monogamous life. This is in no way saying that Matt is deficient, not enough, or bad in any way. It is a statement of feeling more fulfilled in life through a connection with another person that I can trust and love.
As I mentioned, things can change. What I desire now may be different in ten years. I hope to make connections with other people in the future and each of them will have unique qualities that I will desire and some I may not even know about. For example, If I meet someone that I can establish a connection with and he is all about long distance road bike riding I may be drawn to a new and challenging hobby that I can enjoy with him. Matt may meet a female down the road that he can connect with that makes him feel more fulfilled. I am not nearly as technical as he is or into video games and he may find a girl that fills that role with him. I would hate for him to miss opportunities to be happy and enjoy experiences with another person just because society doesn’t understand it. I encourage him to make new connections but also don’t push him to either. I respect that he is more of a “homebody” and likes doing his thing on his own. He was an only child growing up and learned how to enjoy his alone time which he still does today. Therefore, it’s about respecting each other’s desires and supporting one another.
Nourishing your primary relationship is very important as well. Without a strong home base, it would be difficult to build other healthy connections with people. That is why Matt and I discussed opening our marriage for a few years before we actually did it. I wanted to be clear of what I desired, how we both felt, and to discuss potential issues we could have with other people that we needed to be prepared to handle on our own. This was very important in my opinion. I can honestly say that each year that Matt and I have been together has grown stronger and more connected. Of course, our relationship is not perfect but what we do have issues with seem to be very minor because ultimately we respect and love each other. Matt and I try to make it a point to communicate a love to each other every day. We do this through snuggling each day either in the morning or before bed, texting sweet notes or just letting the other know we are thinking of them or miss them, we also do things for each other in hopes to make our lives easier when the opportunity arises. Matt is good about taking the laundry downstairs for me and I try to make sure all his clothes and sheets are always clean and put away for him. These are simple things but they add up and show each other that we care.
I think that many times we complain that this thing or that is wrong and we want a change. We may get upset or fuss about it. Sometimes we get our way or come to a compromise. Often times we forget the effort that was made and changes that happened. For example, I complained to Matt that he would park his car in the driveway in a manner that would not leave any room to walk on the driveway to get to the house from my parking spot. This would cause me to have to walk through the yard and on a muddy day would track mud into the house causing me extra sweeping and mopping work. We compromised to have him park to the side a little more and I was able to walk in without a problem. I had quickly got used to it and forgot all about it until one day after a particularly rainy day I noticed the floors in the living room were not muddy. He had made a change which turned into a habit that made it easier for me. Once I realized this I communicated to him that I really appreciated him listening to my concern, coming to a conclusion and then taking an action that lasted. Again, this is a simple thing but can really make a person’s life easier and it is very much appreciated. My point is that he would never know the level of my appreciation if I did not communicate it to him.
We make spending time together a priority. Matt desires much less time together than Mark seemed to crave which is just fine. Again, Matt is used to his personal time and I respect that. Mark feels better when he can see me almost every day. I make it a priority to see Mark often but also make it a priority to spend quality time with Matt, even if it is brief. Last Sunday Matt and I had a lazy day at home and literally played cards almost all day. We had the best time teasing, laughing, and spending time together. I had missed how fun it was to do that with him and we both agreed to try and do that more often. Life can get so busy sometimes so it is necessary to make spending time together a priority.
Ultimately I have created a situation with meaningful connection with people in my life that compliment my character, challenge my mind, and help me grow as a person. This is what fuels my desire to create a loving poly dynamic as well as surround myself with people that are meaningful to me. People that bring me down or suck away my energy are only taking away my attention and time from the people I truly want to be around and live life with. I know that can be a harsh thing to do with people we are obligated to spend time with but I try to keep it at a minimum when that situation occurs. We all have that co-worker that wants to tell you their life story and waste your time when you can be doing a thousand more productive things. I am polite for a little while and then communicate to them that I have work to get done and have to focus. People ask me all the time how I can manage multiple relationships. It’s easy when you have your priorities right and can manage your time. This has taken practice and compromise on everyone’s part. I make effort to see Mark every day but do expect him to understand that I need to focus on training before a big race or focus on school work. Usually, it is not a problem but I have had to say no to coffee with my Mom or an evening visit with Mark if I need to get something done. Again, it’s about making things work for you and your dynamic. Communicate what you want and expect. No one can read your mind so speak up and be respectful about it. If I have to miss seeing Mark I tell him that I really would like to see him and try to make a plan to see him the following day or plan a phone call to communicate how our day is going. Make it work for you and enjoy the joy it brings to your life 🙂