Poly Means Many: There are many aspects of polyamory. Each month, the PMM bloggers will write about their views on one of them. Links to all posts will be found at www.polymeansmany.com . This month, our topic is “The Small Things”.
When people think about polyamory, they probably imagine the big things. Things like dealing with jealous, sorting sleeping arrangements and relationships with metamours are all pretty big, but once they are sorted, what affects you most? Day to day life and love is all about the small things, the details, and trying to take joy in what you can.
Some of the small things are about the logistics and practicality of loving more than one. It’s not just more bedding and towels that you’ll be needing, you’ll need to buy for more in your weekly shop. Beyond just adding more people to your dinner table, you’ll try and accommodate everyone’s likes and dislikes. One partner may be vegan, so you buy lots of special vegan produce for them, but another partner may prefer meat. Two partners love coffee, but one is a devotee of the Italian hob method, the other likes good old Nescafe. Of course, because you love these people, you try and make sure you have something for everyone.
There are other practical things that are small but can make a big difference, particularly for a partner you don’t live with. Whether it’s making a drawer available in your house just for their stuff so they don’t need to bring everything with them each time, having logins on your PS3/laptop/Spotify accounts for each of your loves, to having a cup that only they use, these small gestures make people feel valued and included in your household. There are small things you can do to try and make partners feel involved in your life, such as sharing Google Calendar, which for me instantly gives partner-privilege, or making sure you keep in contact some way to let people know that although you’re apart, they’re always in your heart.
When people have done little things for me, I’ve really noticed and valued it. Things like the partner who always had loose leaf tea and milk in to satisfy my insatiable tea habit, or the metamour who welcomed me to their family in the early days of me dating our mutual sweetie. Some of these thoughtful things I’ve adopted myself, trying to make my loves and metamours feel valued and wanted in turn.
The reality of loving more than one is full of moments of small joys. The first time you hear a partner refer to you as a partner, and feel that warm glow. The walking on air feeling when you fall in love again. Knowing you’re loved by more than one person. There are lots of little things that can act as reminders of that; a text from a love that you don’t live with or haven’t seen for a few days or weeks, a photo of your polyfamily, making plans for doing something fun when you’re next together.
You may have dates primarily involving just you and your honey, but I also try and have polyfamily time too, so all my loves and friends can hang out and know each other. It can be hard to try and make everyone feel included and equal there, but its down to the small things – taking time to introduce people, making sure you give everyone some affection, group snuggles in front of a film. One of my happiest poly moments (and most treasured photographs) is my husband, our girlfriend and me at our wedding. It’s the little things like that that remind me how blessed I am to live like this.