When Metamours collide.

Being polyamorous can be hard enough at times when everyone is getting along well.  Now imagine that the metamours of a relationship don’t get along at all. Or better yet, have zero interaction and limited conversation with one another.  It can get real uncomfortable.

So what happens if they don’t get along?  How do you manage to ‘keep the peace’ and keep things moving smoothly, especially at group functions.  I have found that the best way is to encourage friendly social activities in times when there are shared interest. Not to push, but to encourage.  It is hard to do .  No one wants to make anyone uncomfortable or on edge but we want peace.

Sometimes they just cant.  For what ever reason one of the people maybe just cant be in the same area, room, county, or state as the other and it really makes them uncomfortable to hear stories about your oSo, or join in group activities.  Well in this case there really is nothing you can do but be supportive and try to be there when they need you.  They may ask for a lot of time during this period as will your other.  Try your best to give them the time they each need. individually, and reassure them that you’re not going to disappear with the other.

These situations are also good times to assert your individuality and do things on your own. Yep not involving anyone else, just you.  It can be very rewarding.  and everyone does their own thing then comes back and shares experiences.  This is most likely to be the situation at a con or music festival or other event with multiple things going on.  Sometimes at community events, dinners with large groups etc this is also possible.

So all that may work for the interactions but how about for the non interactions. The thoughts and feelings that come up when one starts feeling a way about another?  I will listen to what they have to say and TRY MY BEST not to defend the other I say simply and firmly… ” I am sorry that you feel that way and I can see how it may look like that.  I suggest you talk to them about it the way you just talked to me…. calmly, respectfully, and then you all can come up with a solution that may work for you.  ”  Or at least I try to say that. The point is to not be the middle person, the net between the players.  Its ok to mediate, just dont be the messenger.


In summary, what do you do?  Reassure, take care of needs, encourage group time, encourage  individual time and encourage them to discuss their differences with each other.  This wont always be easy, nor will it always be the fix but my experience says it can help.  and a little relief is sometimes the best.



One thought on “When Metamours collide.

  1. This is something that Ginny and I have been thinking about recently as well. I currently have a metamour who I don’t talk to much, and with whom I’ve had a couple of tense situations arise, but generally we are good with each other. I have invited him to do activities with me, but he’s very busy and does not have time. I feel like reaching out, even if it will have to be declined, helps.

    But what has been a problem for me in the past is when cohabitating with a metamour turns bad. In one case, I lived with a metamour who was pretty awful to me (and to Ginny). Trying to live day to day with a person who makes you feel insignificant, unimportant, and who treats you badly is a recipe for feeling bullied, insecure, anxious, and ultimately effects one’s mental health.

    We grew to really dislike each other, and it contributed to the cohabitation becoming a very unhealthy space for me, and subsequently the relationship with our shared partner to become unhealthy and to end. I tried (insufficiently, I’ll add) to find common interests, activities, etc but in the end I just felt like I was not welcome in what was supposed to be home. In the end, the only thing to do was to leave. There is more I could have done, I know, but I felt like I was climbing uphill, against the wind, in an avalanche. I felt like any openness was met with scorn, teasing, and borderline abusive behavior.

    Care, openness, and some level of willingness to be emotionally vulnerable needs to be employed between metamours as much as possible. To succeed, we all need to be aware of our own flaws, how those flaws affect others, and to do what we can to make sure that we create safe, loving, and respectful spaces for metamours–especially when you live wit them!

    What do we do? We attempt to minimize our biases, avoid tribalistic tendencies which can emerge as issues turn into rifts, and we try and remember that people are complicated, often insecure messes who make mistakes. Being in the middle of metamours not getting along is hard, but being on either end is also hard. We need to give a little of ourselves in order to understand as much as we can, and try to see what our loved one sees in them might be helpful as well.

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