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Once I start addressing my own fears, I find that I can focus on feeling happy for my partner(s) instead of bad about myself.

While it’s fair to say that poly people tend to be more open-minded about things like gender fluidity, kinks, and group play, it’s still not fair to make assumptions.

What really happens in a poly relationship is that each individual knows their own desires and boundaries.

Each couple, throuple, or group discusses where those desires and boundaries overlap and which ones require compromise.

For example, you might feel compersion that your partner is going on vacation with their other partner, instead of jealous or envious or resentful.

I tend to react to my own feelings of jealousy by asking myself what’s behind that emotion: It’s usually something like fear of inadequacy, or yearning to be special.

Jealousy doesn’t just disapear when you open up your relationship!

Rather, you commit to addressing those strong emotions and working through them with your partner(s).

Sadly, I have seen this double standard in action, especially in the straight swinging scene (in which couples “swap” partners): Women are encouraged to explore sex with women (while their male partners watch), but men are not encouraged to indulge the same curiosity.But just because you have that person in common doesn’t necessarily mean you like one another, and that’s O. Learning to be civil and kind is a good practice, and if you have a metamour, you shouldn’t feel pressure for your relationship to be more than cordial.After all, one of the benefits of poly is for each partner to have separate interests; if you’re too close to your metamour, your partner’s relationship with them may not feel like a separate space anymore.Sure, being non-monogamous means you’re living your life outside the box, but poly people come in as many shapes and sizes as monogamous people do.I know poly people who get together for LARPing in the park, poly people who are obsessed with fermenting vegetables, poly people who go to PTA meetings and football games.

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