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Independence is important

In polyamory in general, independence and autonomy are important. If you’re in a couple that is trying to open up to polyamory for the first time, there is some self-check in that needs to happen, with each of you, alone. Once you’ve done that work alone, you need to come together and then together you need to come to a consensus.

The point of that self check in is to find your own you. Your own independent self. Sometimes, we have been “Larry and Mary” for so long that we have not been able to represent ourselves alone, without our partners’ hobbies shaping ours, and without the edges of us turned into them, that the first relationship we try to be in is a mess. It’s a LarMar dates person weirdly and can’t figure out how to be themself yet, and the same thing is happening to MarLar and MarLar is in therapy and their therapist says “you know, maybe you guys need to sign up for a different activity one night a week each, on top of taking a night for date nights. Have four Mary/Larry nights; one therapy night or activity night, one date night, the other therapy or activity night. Maybe that would help.” And a few months in… that worked. It’s harder when you have young kids. Kids aren’t a hobby. You can’t REALLY hand them off that much. But any other situation? Find your you.

It doesn’t have to be that extreme. You don’t need to not spend half the time apart. You need to spend some time looking at yourself and thinking about what’s you, and what’s your interest versus one you picked up for your partner. So do they. One partner doing this and the other not tends to lead to resentment when one does better at dating when one walks into dates with great passion about their hobbies and suggestions and thoughts and the other with “well we can do whatever you want, I guess,” because that’s what they’ve been doing for 1-5 or 10 years. It might work out OK if the person saying that reads as femme but it isn’t really OK because it’ll breed resentment later. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Take a couple days to journal and find your hobbies you had when you got together. If it turns out you had a lot that you aren’t doing anymore, maybe organize doing them more so you can honestly not just talk about them with passion but still do them well.

Talk about it together just to make sure you haven’t turned it into only doing things together, and if you have, pre build in a night you do something apart so that when you start dating you’re used to being apart. Get used to coping with FOMO. It’s better to deal with FOMO than to learn to love a hobby you don’t like that much in the first place just because you love someone, whether that hobby is a card game or a person they’re dating. You can go to the finals (or your meta’s round number birthday).

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