Splitting up can be particularly complicated when you’re in a polyamorous relationship. Here are some tips for making the break as painless as possible.
Breakups are tough regardless of the circumstances, but when you’re polyamorous, they can be especially tricky to navigate. While multiple partners often translate to multiple avenues of support, they can also complicate an already challenging transition. Here are some things to consider if you find yourself on either side of a non-monogamous split.
Validation is important. The world is still overwhelmingly mono-centric, so if you break up with a “secondary” partner, your monogamous friends and family might not understand what the big deal is—if they even knew about the relationship to begin with. At its core polyamory is about the capacity for many loves, and losing one of those loves—even if your other relationship or relationships remain strong—can be heartbreaking. Make sure to give yourself the space you need to grieve, and to surround yourself with folks who can respect and relate to your experience.
At its core polyamory is about the capacity for many loves, and losing one of those loves—even if your other relationship or relationships remain strong—can be heartbreaking.
It’s also important to remember that the number of partners you have is not what makes you polyamorous. Sometimes the result of a breakup is that you have just one partner now (or no current partners). Again, polyamory is about capacity and desire, not present configuration. Similar to how a bisexual woman is still bisexual in a monogamous relationship with a man, a polyamorous person is still polyamorous if they are single or have one partner.