Happy Polyamorous Valentine’s Day. Some of you may want to know what the heck that means. Others may want to know how to have a successful Valentine’s Day as they are in a polyamorous or polysexual relationship. Valentine’s Day is stressful enough for single people and people in monogamous relationships. When you are poly it can be even more challenging.
As a Marriage Counselor, I work with couples who stretch the limits and boundaries of what traditional relationships have looked like from our various upbringings. I believe every couple is different with their own set of circumstances and desires. How they want their relationship to function is their business and have the right to live it the way they choose. With that, when commercialized holidays such as Valentine’s Day comes around here are some guidelines to help facilitate that day if you choose to play with it.
- Don’t automatically make plans with your primary partner or nesting partner before having a dialogue with all your partners. Effective and open communication eliminates other partners from feeling unimportant and gives everyone a chance to share thoughts and feelings. Not everyone’s expectations and wants fall in line with hierarchy. A primary partner might not even place that much importance on Valentine’s Day where it might with a secondary or tertiary.
- Have a discussion about what Valentine’s Day means to them and what their expectation is about the day. Be explicit about gift giving, dinner, flowers, cards, and other Valentine’s Day rituals to prevent hurt feelings and unmet expectations. Knowing who wants what helps with scheduling and meeting needs. I remember when I was a young wife in my mid-twenties. I had an expectation to receive a dozen red roses from my husband. I told him how embarrassing it was to receive flowers in the past as a stupid comment and the next year he didn’t send any. I was furious and hurt. When I asked him he didn’t send them he answered because I said what I said about being embarrassed. As a result, I am straightforward and assertive in asking for it is I want.
- If all your partners are really up for Valentine’s Day no need to choose. You can have a group get together (polycule or cuddle party) if everyone is up for that (after all polyamory is the practice of or desire for intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the knowledge of all partners). Or you can split up the day where one has lunch with you and the other dinner or drinks.
And finally, enjoy this Valentine’s Day with people you care about whether romantic or platonic. Allowing for open communication can help you figure out what plans are best and what changes need to be made if necessary. Bare in mind jealousy is normal but needn’t be “acted out.” Talking things through and managing emotions appropriately demonstrates maturity whether you’re in a polyamorous, polysexual or monogamous relationship. For more information please contact me at (858) 735-1139. Or email me at Sarah@CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com