Most people that participate in polyamorous relationships will come face-to-face with some relationship anxiety eventually. Most of what people tend to call jealousy has its roots in anxiety. Once you figure out what that source is, you can start moving…
The beginning of a new relationship is a great time. High on NRE, or New Relationship Energy, you feel like everything is perfect, and the other person is perfect for you. Usually little to no conflict, and the sex is amazing. What could possibly go wrong?
A lot, it turns out.
NRE is the phase in which hormones are raging and making you feel like you’re in love and in lust with this person. On average, it lasts around six months, but it can last anywhere from a couple months up to a couple of years, depending on the people involved, the type of relationship, and how often they see each other. In this time, you’re often feeling the thrill of a new romantic and sexual connection, and usually have great chemistry besides that. The majority of long-term relationships go through an NRE phase, and it’s not in and of itself a bad thing. The problem arises when some very common mistakes are made that can end up costing you the new relationship, or more.
Couple privilege is the advantage that an established couple has, which is especially pronounced when a new person is added to a relationship, whether the new person is dating one or both of them. This is most obvious when the established couple has been together for a long time, especially if they live together, or are married. There is no way out of couple privilege – it’s just there, giving silent advantages that people consider normal. It is mainly brought up as a problem with “unicorn hunters” or those that enforce a primary/secondary prescriptive hierarchy, but it can come up in any scenario where two people are dating before another person comes into the picture. Even if you’re an egalitarian Relationship Anarchist, couple privilege can sneak up on you when you’re not looking.
(There are some people that completely dismiss the idea of “privilege” as a thing in any scenario, which is a completely different problem, but it definitely still exists. If you’d prefer to call it something else, you could call it “couple advantage,” but it boils down to the same thing.)
In many cases, the way in which couple privilege is most visible is when a new partner starts a relationship with one or both people in an established relationship, and the people in the existing relationship give the new partner a list of rules in a take-it-or-leave-it manner. The couple often gives the reason that if the third person doesn’t like the rules, they are free to leave. This is only one of the more obvious ways, however; there are many smaller ways that are less obvious and sometimes more insidious.
This isn’t to say that couple privilege is necessarily a bad thing on its own, it’s just a thing that is there. Having privilege doesn’t make you a bad person, as it’s just something that happens. It’s what you do with that privilege that matters.
In identifying as a relationship anarchist, my most commonly asked question is how I can even try to identify as a relationship anarchist if I'm married. First things first, I’m not perfect in practicing relationship anarchy. In fact I don’t…
When people think of the word "cheating", they instantly assume that a person is having sex with someone that is not their partner. In fact, many people assume that polyamory is just a nice name for cheating. This couldn't be…
I refused to put "'Til death do us part" in my wedding vows. I recognized that I can't promise forever, even though I plan on being in a relationship with my husband until the end. Most people seem to think…
The argument over hierarchy is one of the most contentious ones in the polyamorous community. Many people find it important to label their relationships Primary, Secondary, and sometimes even Tertiary. Others are militant in stating that terms like that are unfair to those labeled Secondary or Tertiary. Some have used terms that attempt to remove the hierarchy, such as nesting partner or anchor partner, sometimes in place of the term Primary. The argument has been made that a nesting (cohabiting) relationship or a marriage automatically enforces a hierarchy, and those in nesting relationships are unable to be non-hierarchical.
This argument is rehashed constantly, probably second only to the argument over unicorn hunters. Something I’ve realized, however, is that often those that argue will end up agreeing on everything except what the term “hierarchy” even means.
There is a solution to this argument, and it lies in the concept of prescriptive hierarchies versus descriptive hierarchies.
When you first tell someone that you're polyamorous, there's one question that almost everyone will be asked: "But don't you get jealous?" The answer to that, for many experienced poly people, is a look of confusion followed by "Of course!" Polyamorous…
A lot of people don’t seem to get it.
It hurts that they don’t accept my family. Just because I chose to build my family this way, it doesn’t make us any less of a real family. There are many families like mine around, some are more obvious than others. You can’t always tell by looking at a family whether they have made the same choices that we have.
There’s four of us living together, I’m married to one of them. But we all love each other, nonetheless. Just because I’ve known my husband for many more years than I have the other two, doesn’t mean they’re less important to me in any way.
Hello, fellow bisexual woman! You may be brand new to the idea of a relationship with multiple people, or you may have been polyamorous for years now. Either way, I’m guessing that you’re here because you are interested in dating a couple. Maybe one particular couple has approached you, or you might have your eye on a couple yourself. Or maybe you just like the idea of a triad in the first place. Congratulations, in any case! Triads can be happy, healthy, caring relationships. However, there are a lot of pitfalls to watch out for on your way to making a happy, healthy triad. You’ve heard of Unicorns, now you’ll find out what dangers to avoid in order to not become prey.