In the face of the pandemic, polyamorous people face struggles that monogamous people aren’t.
The pandemic has asked more of us than anyone could have ever imagined, challenging our personal relationships, our work and the ways in which we go out and have fun. It’s a problem that has had a wide reaching effect, the widest effects in recent memory on a global scale.
Dating, something that has always been complex, is now an even more thorny topic. Whether you’re meeting someone new or having a discussion with your long term partner, their safety habits and thoughts regarding the virus come with a set of logistics that must be addressed. When talking about polyamorous relationships, there’s a whole subset of issues that monogamous people don’t have to contend with.
Polyamorous relationships are different from one another, much like monogamous relationships. Each relationship has its own set of rules and ways of functioning. One thing that studies have shown is that people involved in polyamorous relationships tend to be more communicative and open with their partners, eliminating some of the insecurities and hang ups that people involved in monogamous relationships struggle with.
Self Magazine interviewed different people involved in polyamorous relationships and how the pandemic has challenged their lifestyle. Here are 4 of the most common situations that they’re are facing:
Polybubbles are like the quarantine pods people are making with their loved ones in order to see each other, hang out and try to make the most out of the pandemic. Polybubbles can refer to sexual and romantic partners visiting or living with one another. Polybubbles ensure that everyone involved in the group is staying safe and that they’re all taking a risk level that’s agreed upon.
Challenges when supporting multiple partners
Maintaining relationships during the pandemic is challenging. Our mental health is struggling, which means that being an understanding partner is more difficult than it used to be when we were able to go to our jobs and then hang out at the movies. For polyamorous people, juggling different relationships with different levels of intimacy can be a big challenge. “For someone who already plays a compassionate role, there’s a lot of compassion fatigue,” 34-year old New Yorker Alex V. told Self.
Asking new questions when cohabitating
COVID-19 affects people in different ways, particularly if they’re over a certain age or if they have some underlying condition. Then there’s also the fact that every person handles their pandemic differently, with some people being willing to take bigger risks than others. These changes in lifestyles have made some relationships incompatible, making people opt out from seeing some of their partners, at least until the pandemic has passed.
Communication is still key
While many people who are monogamous struggle to understand those who are polyamorous, one thing that most agree on is that polyamorous people tend to be more communicative with their partners, ensuring that everyone involved is happy and informed of whatever it is that they’re doing. Thanks to the pandemic, these habits are becoming even more necessary, giving people security and certainty during a moment in time that feels anything but stable.