Polyamorous dating – pursuing more than one romantic connection at the same time – allows you to embrace diversity and satisfy different personal preferences and desires.
Proponents of polyamorous dating argue that this results in transferable life skills that can help you develop stronger and more fulfilling liaisons.
But open relationships among open-minded people can be a minefield for newbies.
The intense emotional experience of multiple romantic connections makes poly dating far more complex that a monogamous relationship, where only two people are involved.
Simultaneous multiple relationships require clear communication about needs, concerns and insecurities, and boundaries. And there’s always the potential for jealous feelings to arise, particularly if you have a primary relationship in your dating world.
So what are the polyamorous rules for beginners you need to know? Let’s find out.
1: Understand the different types of polyamorous dating
Be aware that polyamory means different things to different people.
Fundamentally, it’s a relationship with more than one individual at a time, with all involved consenting to the other liaisons.
These relationships can be platonic, romantic or purely sexual – or any combination of the three.
Common examples of polyamory include:
- A triade – three people dating one another.
- Open relationships.
- Multiple committed romantic partners.
This means there’s no single right way to do polyamory dating. But to remain healthy, it definitely requires consistently honest and open communication between all those concerned.
It’s possible to practise a different type of polyamory with different partners, so it’s important to talk to them about your needs and boundaries – polyamory dating means a constant conversation.
2: Be clear about what you want
Before experimenting with polyamory, you need to be clear about what you want from the experience and how much you’re willing to give. According to statistics, keep in mind that increasing the number of individuals in a poly dating setup demands more emotional energy and open communication.
Whether you have a primary partner or multiple partners, make sure you’re able to depend on them for emotional support.
Successful polyamorous relationships require open communication and honesty about your wants and needs. This includes listening to the wants and needs of the others involved.
If you’re currently dating one individual but decide you want to give polyamorous dating a try, it won’t work if they’re not flexible about the idea of monogamy. Neither of you should have to compromise your needs to make the other happy.
3: Respect dissimilar preferences
If one of your polyamorous dates is fine with you having other relationships but doesn’t want to do likewise, respect their viewpoint.
If the situation is reversed and you’ve consented to polyamory to make your date happy, don’t feel you have to pursue multiple romantic interests yourself. Most of the time, a situation like this has nothing to do with you, but your partner’s lifestyle choices, so don’t take it personally if your partner doesn’t not believe in monogamy.
4: Establish clear boundaries
Dating multiple individuals can give rise to jealousy. To help prevent this, establish clear boundaries on how much information you and your dates are willing to share.
Don’t share too much information. If you’re in a polyamorous relationship where you have one primary partner, be clear about the boundaries on how much detail you want to share with each other about other partners.
This will help to avoid unnecessary feelings of insecurity creeping into your main relationship.
5: Don’t be judgemental
Curiosity about other people your date may be seeing is natural. But you should refrain from judging them. Taking responsibility for these consequences can be unpleasant. But doing so will help you shape your life in the way you want, while still taking into account the feelings of the people around you.
6: Give your dates their space
Maintaining a certain amount of distance among those involved is crucial for a polyamory dating setup to work. Don’t compromise your happiness. A polyamorous relationship or poly dating on DatingRing – including throuple dating between three people – should serve the needs of all involved, including yourself. You can’t make another individual happy by making yourself miserable.
The way you behave in a poly relationship affects not only your partners but also the people with a connection to your partner.
Sometimes your actions and decisions may have consequences you didn’t intend or anticipate.
7: If you become uncomfortable, say so
If at any point you become uncomfortable with a polyamorous relationship, you need to make it clear how you feel through open and honest communication. Don’t criticise your partner’s partners. If you’re hostile towards your partner’s partners, you’ll soon be experiencing feelings of resentment and self-doubt.
Remember that we all have our own flaws and quirks, and everyone in a poly relationship deserves to be treated with respect. This way, everyone – including you – will be much happier.
8: Always use protection
If you’re having sex with more than one partner, there’s always a risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or an unplanned pregnancy. So using protection is an absolute must. Don’t make assumptions about your partner’s new relationships. If your partner becomes involved with someone new, you may assume the relationship will go in a certain direction.
However, this conjecture may be way off the mark and make you feel jealous for no good reason. Instead of making assumptions about your partner’s new relationship, bring any concerns you have about it out into the open before they become problematic.
Keeping polyamory dating healthy
There’s nothing new about polyamory. Non-monogamous relationships have been the norm among Mormon communities for hundreds of years, for instance.
If you’re dubious about the concept of monogamy, you may come to realize you need multiple partners to be happy in life.
Polyamory dating is not for everyone, though, and the rulebook varies according to different circumstances.
If you’re ready to dip your toe into the poly dating experience, our polyamorous relationship rules will help you maintain honesty and transparency in a healthy, happy, and ethical polyamorous environment.
This in turn will avoid feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and distrust – key factors in souring a relationship.