Archives for posts with tag: communication skills

 

They do not love that do not show their love.  ~ Shakespeare 

Some people think that polyamory is just another word for sex addiction but no one would go through being  the maid of honor of the couple they are dating just for sex.  I participated in the wedding a few weeks ago and the whole experience was extremely awkward and difficult.  One thing that did help in the weeks leading up to it was meeting other people that have also been part of their triad’s wedding.  After talking with them, I do know that there are some relationships that can withstand and even become stronger after being part of a wedding, but our relationship did not.  I ended up breaking up with them after the wedding because I came to realize I was being used and not really loved.  

I want to give some tips to people in poly weddings-please take my advice and treat each other right. (These tips are directed towards triads, like ours was, but they can apply to other types too.)

1.Text/Call your third during your honeymoon.  Yes, I know this is your special time, but be considerate of what your third is going through.  No matter how much they love you and are understanding, they are also struggling with insecurity.  Let them know how much you still love and care for them and show concern for their wellbeing.  BTW, this should be common sense.  

2.Have a wedding party table, not a sweetheart table.  It is more fun to have the whole bridal party together than to separate the wedding couple to a table by themselves.  It is more considerate also.  The third should not be left alone at her own table; she may not know many people and being separated from her partners will cause undo loneliness and awkwardness.  For those already struggling with the hierarchical system, a sweetheart table can be painful and isolating.

3.Give your third a wedding gift, especially if they are part of the bridal party. It is common courtesy to give each member of the bridal party a gift for giving up their time and money to be in the wedding.  Even if your third is not a part of the bridal party, still give them something.  This is a potentially isolating time and a thoughtful gift of appreciation will help the other feel valued.

4.Plan a special event for the three of you together for after the honeymoon-you just celebrated the wonderfulness of two people, now celebrate the wonderfulness of three!

5.Above all, communicate and hold true to whatever the three of you discuss.  The keys to a good polyamorous relationship are honest, direct, open communication, tempered with kindness, compassion, and respect.  Check in with each other periodically throughout the whole wedding process to see how everyone is really doing and how to meet the needs of all, as much as possible.  Validate, empathize, and support each other-getting through a wedding is probably the ultimate testing grounds for a poly relationship and if there is not good communication and everyone does not feel valued, heard, honored, respected, and loved throughout the process, then it will fail. No relationship is perfect, but without considerate communication, the third will just end up feeling used, partners may grow distant, and jealousy, hurt, and resentment will win.

Fortunately, I can say that I am doing well.  I was hurt for a while but the moment I left the key to their house inside and walked away, I experienced closure and immense relief.  The relationship started out wonderfully but our dynamic changed a long time ago and unfortunately, it was unsalvageable.  I am still glad that I came out to my dad because I did not have to hide the break-up.  Being able to talk about my polyamorous relationship like normal with my family was incredibly validating and wonderful.  I feel so blessed to have a family, especially in the Deep South, that is accepting of my sexual orientation and lifestyle choices.  My family has shown me what true love and support are and I finally realized that I need my romantic partners to show me the same kind of validation.  I am actually excited to see what the future brings and I am enjoying having a little more free time. I do not regret my first polyamorous relationship-I learned a lot and had many wonderful moments.  I learned that I do want to be in a committed relationship and that I need to put more care in selecting compatible people: when I walked into their house the first time, I knew they were too messy for me to live with, but I didn’t stop dating them because I thought that was petty.  Now I know that I need to listen to my gut, stay true to my goals, and honor my needs.  Still, I am endlessly  grateful for what I once had and I cannot wait to see what happens next.  I will continue to write here about my awkward sexual adventures!

 
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We must not heed those who advise us to think as human beings since we are human and to think mortal things since we are mortal, but we must be like immortals insofar as possible and do everything toward living in accordance with the best thing in us.  (62, Mark Vernon, Plato’s Podcasts)

 

I am in the most awkward of awkward sexual situations, which is why I started this blog.  You know how LGBT activists will sometimes point out that straight people do not have to keep their romantic relationships hidden out of fear of rejection or worse in order to gain more understanding? I do, because I do!  

Funnily enough, I have recently discovered that sometimes even a heterosexual relationship has to remain hidden.  Mine is.

“My Dad met my girlfriend first.  Now I have to hide my boyfriend.  It’s surreal to be hiding my straight relationship. #PolyProblems” 

When I think about it, I laugh.

Let me explain it a little more thoroughly.  I am in the best relationship I have ever been in but polyamory is still pretty new to me.  I am in a triad, which is where there are three people who are in a committed relationship together.  To me, the saying is true that being poly just means that there are more people to love.

 We’re really a very normal couple.  Well, okay, our sex life is a bit different but in most ways we are like every other couple.  We eat dinner together and watch TV.  We meet for coffee.  We support and love each other.  If there is anything exceptional about us, it is how well we communicate.  Of course, we are not perfect and misunderstandings do happen but we are also able to address the issue and resolve it usually fairly quickly.  This makes me so happy – I don’t think a poly relationship could survive without decent communication skills.

 Here is where my situation gets really weird – the poly relationship I’m in involves two females and a guy.  My dad is cool with my sexuality and doesn’t know about my lifestyle yet.  He was at a farmer’s market and my girlfriend happened to be there and so without thinking about the possible ramifications, I introduced her to him as my girlfriend.  He was so nice and accepting about it but I then was left with a dilemma – come out as poly, so I can also introduce him as my boyfriend or keep the straight part of my relationship in the closet for a while.  Of course, I have decided to take the cowardly road.

But not for long.  We talked about it and neither one of us likes feeling fake, so we are both going to start coming out of the poly closet soon.  It’s also about showing the other respect.  To be out about one aspect of a relationship but not the other unintentionally makes that person feel less important and like a less valid part of the relationship.  In order for us to feel as comfortable as we would like in this world, we need to be out among our families.

Having a heterosexual relationship be in the closet is sexually awkward.  Having a relationship that appears to be homosexual but really is not is also incredibly awkward sexually and socially.  And so that is the purpose of this blog – to support those who feel weird about their sexual lifestyle and to make light of some incredibly awkward situations.  Besides talking about my current relationship, I am also going to tell some hilariously sexually awkward stories from my past.  I really do believe that sex and sexuality is awkward much more often than the picture that Hollywood tries to paint.

 

 I cannot wait to share my awkward stories and insights with you!