February 28th is Metamour Day
Our friends at National Coalition for Sexual Freedom have declared that February 28th is Metamour Day. This is a day where we have an opportunity to recognize, honor and celebrate our metamour(s). In poly-amorous relationships, a metamour is the partner of one’s partner where there is no shared romantic experience. Metamours play an important role within the relationship structure. Often this person serves as an extension of the relationship and may fill the role of friend, confidant, co-parent, or another significantly role. This role can also be complicated by feelings surrounding the relationship itself. In most cases your partner chooses their partner, your metamour. This choice can result in a wide range of feelings from pleasure and joy to jealousy and confusion. Often, these feelings can be related to use of the resources available in the relationship structure, time, money, or emotional capacity and availability. Other times the feelings can be attributed to complimentary or conflicting values or communication styles. Sometimes we experience compersion, sometimes pain, sometimes both occur simultaneously. With hard work, open communication, balance and honesty the relationship structure can thrive, working on clear roles and boundaries for all members of the relationship, partners and metamours alike.
Here are some tips for how to care for your metamour:
Support your partner’s other relationship(s)
Communicate and maintain clear boundaries
Express yourself honestly
Allow space for values and opinions that may differ from yours
Communicate your emotions and needs
Be open to the communication and needs of others in the relationship structure
Work from a place of empathy and compassion, treating people with kindness often results in more desirable outcomes
Have clear agreements that are living and breathing documents open to review and renegotiation as relationships develop
When your agreements allow for it, spend quality time with your metamour without your partner
Celebrate successes within all areas of the relationship structure
Recognize your metamour with tokens of appreciation (cards. flowers, gifts, etc)
While it may not always be easy to share the person you love with another person, taking the time to recognize and celebrate the joy that person brings your partner can enhance your relationship and promote intimacy.
Are you and your partner(s) struggling to develop relationship agreements that work for you? Consider attending Relationship Agreements: an Overview or our intensive series with interactive activities and homework Developing your Relationship Agreements: Intensive Series.
Are you a clinician who needs more information on consensual non-monogamy, including polyamory? Consider signing up for continuing education covering this topic area: Consensual Non-monogamy for Clinicians.