Tips For Introducing Polyamory Into Your Life And Starting A Relationship

With interest in non-monogamy on the rise, more and more people aren't just thinking about it, but trying it. Although there's more than one way to practice non-monogamy, one of the options we hear about quite a lot is polyamory. Polyamory is an umbrella term for even more types of poly relationships — including hierarchal, non-hierarchal, polyfidelity, vee relationships, mono-poly, solo-poly, and polycules. Basically, if you're thinking non-monogamy is for you and polyamory sounds like a viable option, then you have even more choices to choose from than you may have realized — there's no one way to poly.


But as much as you might want to introduce polyamory into your life, it's not something you should dive into. Because most of us have been raised in cultures in which monogamy is all we've known, there are steps to take to get into the polyamorous world. Educating yourself on the topic and talking to those in the poly community are good places to start, but they're certainly not the only routes to take if you want to begin having poly relationships.

Ask yourself why you want to be polyamorous

There's no one explanation for why someone might want to be polyamorous, nor is there a right or wrong reason for it either. But before you actually make the move into polyamory, you still want to be able to answer "why" you're interested. Do you feel you have a lot of love to give and the best way to fulfill that is with more than one romantic partner? Is your current partner not able to meet your emotional or physical needs? Do you like the idea of exploring sex and intimacy with new and different people? Have you simply realized that you're not fundamentally a monogamous person?


No matter your reason or what sparked the interest, you want to know why you're feeling this way so when you bring it up with your partner — if you're currently in a relationship — you can be clear and pragmatic about it. If you don't know why you want to try polyamory and you can't formulate the words, then you can't expect your partner to be even remotely into it. Answering questions with "because" never got anyone anywhere.

Do some research

Polyamory is one of those things that sounds good in theory, but when implemented takes a lot of work. If you think having a relationship with one person is hard, imagine having multiple relationships that you need to nourish and foster. In other words, it's not just about having sex with as many people as you want while getting to maintain a primary relationship on the home front.


Relationships are complicated and polyamory is no different in that regard. You need to be able to communicate well, know how you'll handle any jealous feelings should they pop up, and manage your time for all your partners so no one feels alienated. All of this requires deep research, which should include talking to polyamorous people; and, if you don't know anyone who practices polyamory, then pick up some books on the topic. You want to really understand what you're getting yourself into and what it involves. Don't let your perceptions of polyamory guide you because perceptions tend to be wrong. 

Tell your partner what you've been thinking

If you're in a relationship and you want to explore polyamory, you absolutely need to talk to your partner about what you've been thinking and why. Polyamory isn't polyamory if you're having relationships with other people and your partner doesn't know — that's actually cheating. Don't go the route of infidelity when you can just talk to your partner about opening up the relationship in a polyamorous way.


If you and your partner have never discussed polyamory — even in passing — then a good place to begin, in addition to explaining your interest in it, is by giving your partner an article or book on the topic to start the conversation. At no point should you bully them, try to coerce them, or show them statistics as a means to prove how common polyamorous relationships have become in recent years. It doesn't matter if the whole world is polyamorous, if your partner isn't interested, then they're not interested. But this also doesn't mean that they won't ever be interested. Relationships change and our ideas about love and sex shift.

Ease your way into it

Whether you have a primary partner who's on board with polyamory or you're single and looking to get into polyamorous relationships, you want to ease your way into it, taking it step by step. Jumping in and suddenly taking on half a dozen lovers, just because you can, shouldn't be the goal. Instead, you want to cultivate relationships, create connections and get to know people; then, see where it takes you.


While there are those who are polyamorous because they want to have sex with people who aren't their primary partners and are fine with keeping all their relationships casual, you don't want to assume this is everyone's thinking. So you don't hurt or offend anyone when you meet someone new, talk to them about what you're looking for and your intentions with them and with the other people in your life. You want to make sure that you're on the same page with every partner, even if those relationships are all different. You want to avoid there being any surprises for everyone involved.

Know you'll make mistakes

It doesn't matter how much you read up on polyamory or how many polyamorous people you talk to; when you put it into action, you can't expect it to be perfect. No relationship is perfect and making mistakes is just part of the ride. 


What's also part of that ride is really understanding the poly community and how it works from all angles — your placement in a polycule, the rules you have with what partner, and the communal understanding you're all in this together, even if partners don't overlap or never meet each other. As a whole, you've all decided to share your heart and body with more than one person and that requires communication, honesty, and taking accountability when necessary. 

This isn't to say your transition into polyamory is going to be difficult, but it will have a few minimal bumps that you'll need to navigate along the way so your relationships can be as successful and happy as possible.