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We-She-Him-They-Us: Navigating a Polyamorous Life

Polyamorous relationships, like any other type of relationship, can be successful when certain factors are considered. Let me clear coming out the gate. I have no real stake in the choices that others make. This is strictly based on my interactions with coaching people that have made this journey decision.

The goal is to provide some observational feedback for the purposes of allowing those that are in a polyamorous relationship or those that are considering it, some things to ponder as they take that next step.

I repeat; this is observational only! I am not endorsing nor condemning the lifestyle so with that said, allow me to start.

As a Coach, I find that many people are intrigued by the thought of a “whole relationship” (i.e. Polyamory) and at the same time, lack the foresight, self-reflection, emotional intelligence, the confidence, the needed healing from previous hurts, or the wherewithal to choose wisely.

As it is said that curiosity killed that cat, so it can also be when you are saying yes to this lifestyle and not be fully aware of what you are saying yes to. The absence of clarity at that moment is the beginning of just how it can go off the rails and cause irreparable damage to your primary relationship or worse, see you now in a poly relationship as the third wheel, which if you’re not careful, can slowly evolve and find you being solo in the trio.

Here are some poly-life considerations broken out into three parts:

- Creating a Successful Start

- Red Flags to Watch For

- Consideration Before You Agree to Have One

Creating a Successful Start.

1. Communication: Open and honest communication is vital in polyamorous relationships. All partners involved should be able to express their feelings, desires, and boundaries freely. Regular check-ins and discussions about relationship dynamics are essential.

2. Trust and Jealousy Management: Trust plays a crucial role in polyamorous relationships. It's important to build trust among all partners involved and address any jealousy or insecurities that may arise. Developing effective strategies for jealousy management, such as open dialogue and reassurance, can help maintain a healthy dynamic.

3. Boundaries and Agreements: Establishing clear boundaries and agreements is crucial. Each partner should have a say in defining their own boundaries and understanding the boundaries of others. These agreements may include rules regarding safe sex practices, disclosure of new partners, or time management.

4. Self-awareness and Emotional Maturity: Entering into a polyamorous relationship requires a high level of self-awareness and emotional maturity. It's important to understand one's own needs, desires, and limitations, as well as being able to empathize and respect the needs of others involved.

5. Time Management: Polyamorous relationships often require effective time management skills. Balancing multiple relationships, personal commitments, and individual self-care can be challenging. It's important to find a balance that works for all partners involved and to regularly reassess and adjust as needed.

Red Flags to Watch Out for in Polyamorous Relationships:

1. Lack of Communication: If there is a significant lack of open and honest communication between partners, it can lead to misunderstandings, unmet needs, and resentment. Transparency is key, even if it may hurt the other person. If at any point, secrets are created and found out, trust in this situation will be shaky.

2. Disregard for Boundaries: Ignoring or disrespecting the established boundaries and agreements of partners can be a significant red flag. It indicates a lack of respect and consideration for each other's needs and can harm the relationship.

3. Power Imbalances: Pay attention to power dynamics within the relationship. If there is a significant power imbalance, where one partner consistently holds more control or decision-making power, it can lead to an unhealthy and unequal dynamic.

4. Unresolved Jealousy and Insecurity: If jealousy and insecurity issues are consistently left unresolved or ignored, it can create a toxic environment within the relationship. It's important to address and work through these emotions constructively.

Considerations before you agree to a polyamorous lifestyle:

1. Personal Reflection: Take the time to reflect on your own motivations, desires, and emotional capacity for engaging in multiple relationships. Ensure that you are entering the lifestyle for the right reasons and not solely due to external pressure or societal expectations.

2. Self-Work: Engage in personal growth and self-development to strengthen your emotional resilience, self-awareness, and communication skills. This can help you navigate the complexities of polyamorous relationships more effectively.

3. Research and Education: Educate yourself about polyamory, its various forms, and the potential challenges and rewards associated with it. Understand different relationship structures, communication strategies, and ethical frameworks that can guide your journey.

4. Open and Honest Communication: Assess your ability to engage in open and honest communication with your partners. Consider your comfort level in expressing emotions, discussing boundaries, and addressing potential conflicts that may arise.

5. Relationship Expectations: Reflect on your expectations for relationships. Consider whether you are seeking multiple casual connections, committed partnerships, or a mix of both. Clarify what you are looking for and communicate these expectations clearly with potential partners.

6. Emotional Capacity: Evaluate your emotional capacity to handle multiple intimate connections simultaneously. Understand your ability to manage jealousy, communicate effectively, and provide emotional support to multiple partners.

7. Time and Energy Management: Consider the practical aspects of managing time and energy across multiple relationships. Assess your availability and commitments to ensure you can allocate sufficient time and attention to each partner.

8. Ethical Non-Monogamy: Understand the ethical framework and values that guide polyamorous relationships. This includes principles such as consent, honesty, respect, and negotiation. Ensure that you align with these principles and are willing to uphold them in your relationships.

9. Social and Community Support: Consider the social and community support available to you. Engaging with polyamorous communities, attending workshops or support groups, and connecting with others who share similar relationship structures can provide valuable guidance and validation.

10. Self-Care and Boundaries: Prioritize self-care and establish personal boundaries. Remember to nurture your own well-being, set limits on your emotional and physical energy, and advocate for your needs within relationships.

Keep in mind that these thoughts are based on my coaching observations and interactions with others who are actively involved in polyamorous lifestyles in one way or another so it's important to note that these considerations are not exhaustive, and everyone’s journey into polyamory will be unique.

Seeking guidance from experienced polyamorous individuals, therapists, or relationship coaches can provide valuable insights and support as you navigate this lifestyle.

The short note is this: Know what you are saying yes to and feel comfortable saying no if that is where you are leaning or actually wanting. With this decision, there is no in-between.

I would love to hear your questions or feedback. I am here for it. Email me at with what your feedback, comments or questions might be.

Be well!

Coach K


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