A Guide to Care for Poly Relationships: Before, During & After

You’re in a position where you’re looking for relationships, in one or just getting out of one, and looking for guidance. There are a few things that you might want to do to take care of yourself in those times. Looking out for others in the relationship is an excellent way of doing things too, but if you can’t take care of yourself, you cannot take care of anyone else properly.

Before Getting into a Relationship

Before you get into a relationship, there are a few things you should do, and that’s working on yourself or your current relationship if you’re looking to add someone to it. Making sure that you’re going into one for the right reasons is always essential and working on yourself is a fantastic way to ensure that you’re ready when that relationship comes to fruition.

  1. Communication–make sure that your communication is something that you’re comfortable with and able to have openly with not only yourself but your partner(s) as this will be key in making sure that everyone agrees.
  2. Face your insecurities–this is important for more than one reason. Having insecurities can cause issues, and a poly relationship might make those rear their head unless you face them head-on and recognize what they are and how to cope with them.
  3. Sexual needs–knowing what your sexual needs are when you go into a relationship is essential. Not all poly relationships are about sex, but if that’s important to you, then you need to make sure you address that head-on with your expectations.
  4. Emotional needs–the same goes for knowing your personal needs. If you have requirements that aren’t met in any other form outside of a relationship, then you need to be honest with your partner(s) on what you need so that there’s no misunderstandings or hurt feelings.
  5. Your reasons for going into a relationship–you should sit down and go over what your reasons are before going into an open relationship and be honest with yourself. This will not only be something that you’ll thank yourself for, but your current and future partners will too.

During a Polyamorous Relationship

While you’re in a relationship, there’s a high at the beginning where you’re entirely new to it, and everything is great. This is the point where you need to make sure you’re talking about rules, boundaries, and anything else that needs to be addressed while you’re in that state, and everyone is open to listening.

  1. Making certain rules and boundaries are set–ensuring that these are not only in place but known to all partners is essential in a happy and functional relationship. Without these, there’s no basis for respect with one another, which raises concerns that will need to be addressed later.
  2. Respect–having respect for not only yourself but your partners is vital. To have a healthy relationship, you must make sure you’re respecting not only the rules and boundaries that are set in place by your partners, but that you appreciate their space and time.
  3. Equality–some people like to think being fair means being equal, which’s not entirely true. Taking care to make sure you’re spending time with those around you in a manner equal to their needs, not so much in the time spent, is vital to making sure that not only you, but they feel their needs are taken care of.
  4. Realize that negative feelings are normal–this is something we feel isn’t normal half the time and shouldn’t do. Jealousy will rear its head at some point or another, or negative feelings will crop up. Talk about it, don’t let it fester, and figure out what your triggers are.
  5. Use protection–this goes without saying as you’re dating multiple people. This helps to ensure that not only are you safe, but those around you you’re involved with are safe.
  6. Have a safe word–there should be a safe word that you have between yourself and your partner(s) so that if a boundary or rule is overstepped to where you feel it’s unacceptable or uncomfortable, you should be able to say it, and they realize that you feel that way. This doesn’t give you the okay not to talk about it, but it gives you a way to come out about it quickly without agonizing about how to say you’re uncomfortable or feel it’s unacceptable.

After a Polyamorous Relationship

Hopefully, when you’ve ended a relationship, it’s on good terms, though that’s not always the case, and we have some tough ones that end up not ending so well. Taking care of yourself during this time is vital to your physical and mental health and seeking someone to talk to might not be a bad way of helping you cope.

  1. Seeking a professional to talk to–this seems like a straightforward decision, but some people might not think about this. Seeking a professional to talk to can be a wonderful thing to do, as they will have better tools to help you cope with the situation than your best friend does. Not saying that talking to your best friend isn’t a good idea!
  2. Exercise–make sure you’re taking care of your physical wellbeing is essential as that will help you feel better, cope better, and mentally cope with things better. Taking a walk every day, doing yoga, or whatever form of exercise you enjoy is a terrific way to do this.
  3. Meditation–there are apps that you can use to help you with this. Not everyone is a pro at meditating at first, and sometimes it takes a bit, one minute at a time, to get into it. That peace of mind and being self-aware to work on your mental health will, however, help you as a coping mechanism and calm your mind.
  4. Eating healthy–this goes hand in hand with exercising as eating healthy and making sure that you’re getting vital nutrients will not only help you feel better physically but give you more energy and feel better mentally.
  5. Don’t isolate yourself–go out and do things with friends and family. It’s depressing to end a relationship, but isolating yourself is only going to make things worse in the long run. Be social and go out, even if it’s by yourself, to dinner, to a movie, get out of the house. You’ll feel better than just sitting at home chilling with Netflix.

No matter what stage of a relationship you’re in, there are always ways to help yourself feel great during the process. Some suggestions may be easier done than others, but working on yourself and making sure that you’re respecting your body, mind, and soul are essential to having a happier you, and thus a more cozy relationship with those around you.

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