How to experiment with polyamory with no regrets

Posted on 5 April 2023 by Natalia
How to experiment with polyamory with no regrets
Polyamory is a sincere commitment between several partners who are willing to invest in a relationship based on sharing, freedom and respect for each other. For a polyamorous dynamic to be successful, it is essential to respect certain rules that guarantee a harmonious and respectful love life for everyone.

If you're tempted by the idea of polyamory, this article will give you some tips to help you discover a new, gentle and harmonious way of life.

What is polyamory?

Polyamory is a kind of romantic lifestyle in which several people decide, freely and with full consent, to have a loving relationship with each other. Polyamory requires communication, transparency and respect, with no hierarchical relationship between its members.
Let's distinguish polyamory from other sexual practices, with which it is often confused: 

  • Libertarianism: The pursuit of erotic pleasure by meeting different sexual partners with whom there is no romantic relationship. 

  • Swinging: The temporary exchange of one's partner with that of another couple. Swinging is usually carried out at specially organised parties. Participants have no emotional attachment to each other.

  • Polygamy: a form of marriage in which one of the spouses (usually the man) is married to several partners at the same time. Polygamy implies hierarchical relationships between the different members, whereas polyamory is based on the freedom and equality of the partners.

Polyamory presupposes real emotional ties and sexual relations between each of the people involved. It is based on trust, negotiation and love, and involves a sincere commitment to the relationship to ensure that it remains balanced from day to day.

Establish some ground rules and set limits

Establishing a strict framework with simple but essential rules will allow all of the polyamorous partners to live in complete harmony, without ambiguity or frustration. Once these boundaries have been set, everyone involved can be sure that their choices will be respected. Here are some examples of rules that should be included at the beginning of any polyamorous relationship:
  • Focus on communication! Regular, open discussions in which all partners express their expectations and feelings are essential for the success of a polyamorous relationship. Everyone should feel free to express their desires and disappointments without fear of being judged by others.
  • Define your expectations and communicate with each other so that everyone feels heard. How much time will you spend together? What will be your respective levels of commitment? What activities will you do together? By drawing up a written plan for living together, you'll be able to find your peace of mind in the relationship.
  • Of course, everyone's consent is the basis of polyamory. If one of the partners objects to a new element in the dynamic (for example to a change in the rules or to the arrival of a new partner), the objection must be respected.
  • Jealousy, whatever the context, is natural and difficult to control. Show understanding and empathy, discuss together how to overcome the difficulties encountered by one of the members of the group. Solidarity is key. Review any rules you have agreed upon and adjust your principles to ensure a balanced relationship.
  • Be clear about what each of you can and cannot reveal about your relationship. Should your arrangement remain confidential? Are you planning on sharing information about your lifestyle with those around you? Respecting each other's privacy is, of course, essential to the survival of your relationship.

Don't neglect your current relationship

The initial relationship between you and your "first" partner must remain a priority, because it is around this first link that other partners will be able to gather. The emotional balance of your dynamic will depend on this first relationship.

  • Spend some quality time with your first partner on a regular basis: the bond between you will remain as strong as ever, and you’ll continue to enjoy a strong intimate bond.
  • Continue to show your love for your partner. The arrival of other people in your relationship should not affect the special bond that unites you.
  • Share your time and commitment between your first partner and the newcomers. No one should feel shortchanged or neglected. The most important thing is to focus on your current relationship and to keep up the same level of trust between you as before.

Be honest with your friends and loved ones

To live out your polyamorous relationship with peace of mind, you need to talk about it with those around you. By taking responsibility for your choices and communicating openly, you will gain the trust and support of those around you. Here's how to tell your loved ones about your new life:

  • Announcing your polyamorous lifestyle may come as a shock to some people. Choose a time to talk about it when everyone seems relaxed, in a safe environment.
  • Don't hesitate to explain to your loved ones exactly what polyamory is. It's not the same as “swinging” and there's nothing immoral about it. Emphasise the values needed to make this type of relationship work: respect, love and commitment.
  • To ensure that your loved ones accept your lifestyle choice, answer their questions openly. Just ask them to respect your privacy.
  • Expect to be met with a certain amount of confusion, sometimes even aggressiveness. Accept it. Respond calmly to their arguments and show empathy. The respect you show them will force others to consider your choices with a little more understanding.
  • If you're having a lot of trouble, or if you feel rejected by those close to you, try to find support from people who are more open-minded or in a similar situation. Look on the Internet for discussion groups or associations that will allow you to express yourself without shame or judgement.