When it comes to polyamory, there are many poly rules that must be considered so that everyone stays on the same page within a relationship. Everyone’s non-monogamy rules are different and it is good practice to ask another potential partner their poly rules early in a relationship to ensure everyone’s needs can be met and no boundaries are crossed. Nothing sucks more than finding a good match then several months down the road you cannot have your needs met because their poly rule set doesn’t allow for it.
1) Open Communication
This is key to any polyamory relationship because without open communication between everyone involved you may never even pass the first hurdles of date scheduling, jealousy issues or setting rules in and of itself!
Polyamory requires honesty between everyone involved in the relationship because lying or 99% truth can lead to huge jealousy issues, massive distrust between partners or a complete separation of everyone involved very quickly. Don’t delete text messages, don’t hide small details, don’t hide anything! Put everything on the table, no matter what. If you make a mistake, own up to it immediately. If you had sex with another lover your partner was jealous of, tell your partner no matter how much it will hurt them. It will hurt them much worse if you were to not tell them and they were to find out at a later date. Lies become spiderwebs of deceit quickly where the truth always comes out. So always, always be honest. I cannot stress this enough.
In a polyamorous relationship, you may have sex with other partners other than your primary. Typically these other partners have more partners, and those partners even more. So having sex with one person is opening yourself up to a huge amount of risk when it comes to STD’s. Using Condoms is a must, especially when outside of a closed group. Getting tested every few months is a great step as well. Planned Parenthood offers affordable sliding-scale pricing to its visitors, so there is no reason not to get tested every now and then just to be sure. I’m sure you would feel terrible if you brought in an STD to your pool of lovers because of one night of passion!
Write down, on paper, what your rules are with your partner (or partners) before starting any polyamory relationship. Writing polyamory rules down on paper and discussing them keeps everyone on the same page, without any miscommunication errors. It would really suck if you had sex on a first date when your partner was under the understanding that there is no sex on the first date, no matter what.
Many couples have polyamory rules such as no sex on the first date, no cumming inside other partners, always meeting in public places on the first date, or no group sex. The list goes on. When first making a rule list with your partner, talk about everything that makes you uncomfortable. Put those on a rule set – no negotiation. Rules can always be talked about and changed as you and your partner get more comfortable with the polyamory lifestyle.
We started with a very long list of polyamorous rules, spanning pages upon pages. Now, we have only 3 poly rules – always use protection, always tell the 100% truth, and always have open communication with each other. When first driving a car, you don’t immediately floor the gas and get on the highway. Take it slow, get comfortable with the rules of the road and make sure everyone is comfortable before going a bit faster!
One thing we came across that we really liked was a polyamory rules contract. This contract started with each primary partner, then over time they had their other lovers read the contract and sign it. This was to help ensure everyone was on the same page, about everything, no matter what. This kept jealousy at bay and everyone knew what the poly rules were. This is a great way to show your partner you are not being sketchy and your lovers know and respect your rules as well.
This also gives your partner a chance to meet your lovers which can help reduce jealousy!