If you happen to be one of the (lucky) few that can call themselves “polyamorous”, then I’m sure you understand just how important your time can be. We all have obligations that have to be met. Being poly means that the time management skills get kicked up into over drive.
I’ve never had a problem balancing the different demands on my schedule because I happen to be organized. Very organized, actually; to the point of prioritizing my to-do lists and then giving them deadlines and blocking off specific times to accomplish the task. Yes, I know, I’m weird.
You would think that my immense mastery in the game of time juggling would make balancing my life and a new boyfriend easy. I mean the transition of bringing him into my life was very smooth, so setting aside nights just for each other should be too. But it isn’t.
My partner travels quite a bit for work. His schedule takes him away from home, out of town, or even out of the country- every few weeks and the trips are never less than a week. It means that the time I get with him is precious because there isn’t a whole lot of it. When I started dating the boyfriend, my partner was willing to give up some of “his” nights while the romance developed. Now that things are more stable, it is different.
The solution seems simple: when the partner is gone, spend time with the boyfriend. Except after a while, that starts to feel like one is replacing the other.
Finding the answer to this problem came when the three of us sat down together and talked it out. We each had to lay out our expectations and needs. I like my privacy and there are times when I don’t want to spend time with anyone. I like retreating into my shell to focus on work or school and it can be days before I resurface. The guys seemed much easier to please.
We all agree that spending consecutive nights together was okay but that the boyfriend needed spend most of his time at his apartment. Then it was about the partner wanting me to visit if he was close by for work or talk on the phone without restraint. My partner also said that he didn’t mind giving up some of his nights home so that I could go out.
The revelation came when the two of them admitted that they liked it when the three of us hung out together more than anything. Those nights that we go out together, the three of us, with friends were also preferred. We came to an understanding regarding sleeping arrangements that meant that everyone gets a fair amount of time and my partner stays my primary relationship. Dates are scheduled in advance too.
Managing this poly life used to mean a constant Tug-Of-War for time; now it means updating the shared calendar app on our phones.