1 min

POLY 101

Communicate. That means not just talking well about yourself but listening well to your lover(s)

Know yourself. Know your triggers and vulnerabilities so that you can recognize them yourself and communicate them to your partner(s)

Get therapy. A therapist is a good guide to getting to know yourself (see above). Be careful to find a therapist who supports your polyamory

Take responsibility. Own your triggers and vulnerabilities and work to take responsibility for them

Breathe. Many rash decisions are made on the basis of lust. If it’s that good it will probably wait until you’ve negotiated what you need to

Forgive. Many rash decisions… (see above). Allow room for mistakes

Honour forgiveness. Don’t mistake forgiveness for a licence to make more mistakes

Trust. Some poly people feel secure because they know their partner is there because they want to be, not because they have to. Trust that your partner(s) want to be with you, even when they’re with someone else

Make a contract. Whether you frame it in the front hall or put it in your sock drawer making a contract helps clarify desires and limits. It avoids assuming anybody knows what’s okay and what’s not

Be flexible. Sometimes you can’t know how you feel about something until it happens. Be open to renegotiations

Renegotiate. Relationships and people change. What worked last week or last year might be different now. Relationships can also flow from poly to monogamous and back again, depending whats needed

Go slowly. If you’re new to multiple relationships, don’t do everything at once. It’s also better to negotiate what it would look like before you’re undoing your pants

Join a group. Poly groups exist, online and in person, and can be a helpful source of support

Meet your lovers’ lovers. Meeting someone helps make them human and less threatening. It also helps to establish trust between you

Practice safer sex. When playing with multiple partners safer sex is a must. At risk is more than yourself and you may be playing with more people than you realize

Have fun. New desire has a way of spreading itself around. Bring your happy hormones back to your existing relationship(s).