If there is one truism in polyamory, it is that there may only be three values that all successful polyamorists share: communication, communication, communication. Particularly when starting out with polyamory, it may be tempting to use what we call the “relationships-in-a-vacuum model” – each relationship stands isolated from all others, which avoids a bunch of issues.
For instance: if I were to have an argument with one girlfriend, she can rest assured that I won’t be discussing that argument with others. Obviously, this avoids a whole bunch of drama. We don’t believe such a model can work, however, for reasons we will discuss elsewhere.
One way to avoid the pitfall of the vacuum model is to ensure communication between as many of those intimately involved by organizing a weekly check–in moment. Check-in moments are a staple among many polyamorists (also a future post topic), but different flavours exist: a) One-on-one check in moments (“how are you doing? Is anything about my other relationships bothering you? How are you doing, emotionally?”), but also b) group check-in moments.
We have decided to institutionalize group check-in moments by organizing a Tribe Summit every Sunday. It’s a simple meeting that we do, because of logistics, via Skype. While we have yet to figure out the exact rules, there are a few things we have figured out that may help other poly groups and configurations. Its format generally opens with a quick hello, followed by some informal chatter. Then, each, in turn, updates everyone on how they’ve been the previous week.
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