When it comes to romantic or intimate relationships, the default structure is monogamy. We’re not here to get into a debate over which relationship structure is better. Whether you prefer monogamy or polyamory or something in between is up to you.
But, is it possible that even if you’re strictly monogamous you could learn something from polyamorous couples? Probably. At worst, you could definitely use their laundry tips.
After all, most things in life aren’t black and white. They’re shades of grey. And that’s not just because we’re really really color blind. So, here are three relationship skills you could learn from polyamory to improve your own romantic relationship. Or, relationships.
Polyamory Relationship Skills to Incorporate Into Your Own Partnership
1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
If there is one thing healthy polyamorous couples do well, it’s communicate. (And, make darn good souffles. But that is a topic for another time.) About everything. Needs. Wants. Desires. Boundaries. Crushes. What they want to eat for dinner. Just kidding. No one ever knows that last one.
In romantic partnerships, we often assume our partner should just know our needs. Because, we chose them, so they must understand us completely, right? Do you understand yourself completely? Is that really you talking in that tone or did you just not eat for six hours? Exactly.
Your partner is not a mindreader. If you want to have a healthy relationship, you have to communicate. You still might not get your needs met and you can decide what you want to do with that information, but if you don’t communicate, your likelihood of getting them met is much lower.
Communicating deeply and vulnerably with your partner on a regular basis also helps prevent issues from getting swept under the rug and them turning into resentments.
2. Yes… And.
Yes and is a concept that you might know from improv, but it lies at the heart of polyamory. Poly folks don’t choose between partners. They choose both. Depending on the partnership, a new love interest is not necessarily a threat because it doesn’t have to be either or. It can be both and.
This doesn’t mean that polyamorous people don’t get worried or experience deep emotions or freak out when something triggers them. But, overall, polyamory is rooted in the concept of abundance. And, time management.
Even if you’re in a strictly monogamous relationship and have no interest in being romantically or sexually connected to another person, the yes and or both and framework can help you find solutions to problems that are a win-win for both you and your partner. Whether that problem revolves around jealousy or something more mundane.
Because, it’s not you versus your partner. It’s you and your partner versus the problem. Unless we’re playing Mario Kart, in which case, you are going down.
3. Be Open Minded.
It’s an easy tendency to assume you already know everything there is about your partner and your connection. But very few things in life are fixed. Leaning into life with a curious. growth-oriented mindset not only can help you navigate challenging moments by asking yourself “what can I learn from this,” but also it also encourages you to keep learning about yourself, your world, and the people within it.
In addition, this approach could help you build a deeper connection with your partner. Instead of bristling when they tell you something hard to hear, consider leaning in and see what you could take from their words.
None of the above applies to toxic, abusive, or otherwise unhealthy relationships.
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