The Quad Q&A: Date Aftercare for Primary

polyamoryI have a date tonight! I’m excited, lots of new relationship energy, and it’s with someone that seems compatible with my interests and way of life. I’ve been “out” as poly for about a year, and have a primary partner that identifies as mono/monogamish. We had a rocky start, as I tried to date and see others a little too quickly and without much communication. We took a step back, worked on our relationship, and my partner is supportive and even encouraging.

However, I haven’t dated much. While previous dates went fine, they were not with people I found very interesting or promising. This one I’m excited for, and seems promising. I can tell, though theoretically she’s fine with my dating, the prospect of this date is making my partner a bit nervous.

I was wondering if you guys have tips on someone approaching and talking to their primary partner after/before a date that makes them a bit nervous/jealous? What are good after-care practices? Any other advice or things I should be thinking about?

I really want to make sure my partner knows she’s loved and important!

Lexxi’s response:
It is important to make sure that your partner, especially your primary partner(s) are aware and understand how important they are to you.

I find that I am most at ease the moment the new potential partner has been made aware of my presence in my primary partners’ (and yes, I have used this in the plural sense as, to me, everyone in my quad is my primary) lives. Without that being put out to our dating worlds, I feel less than important to my partners and then my insecurities set in.

I feel even more at ease when that new potential partner reaches out to talk with me. This, to me, makes me feel acknowledged and puts me even more at ease. It means, to me, that this person is showing that they understand how important I am in their lives. They are showing me that they care enough about my loves to take the time to get to know me as well, which in turn reassures me that they will be careful with this treasure of a person.

I highly recommend that you both discuss what is needed before and after a date. You may not be able to think of all the potential things that will make things go smoother until the first, or even second, date has past, and that is OK. It is just important to note the things that would make things better the next time. The caveat here though, don’t take it personal. Take it as a learning experience. Think of it as, “next time, I would need this to make me feel more comfortable”. And just because you or your partner were not comfortable with something the first time, or that you need to tweek the before and aftercare, does not mean that the date and/or experience can’t repeat itself. It just means that there may need some changes in the before and aftercare.

I hope this helps, and enjoy your date…

Lexxi

Krys’s response:
There are various ways you can do to help my primary partner know they’re loved and appreciated.  It ranges from doing little things for them (get them a drink, help with something around the house), telling them they’re loved, and making sure that we get some quality reconnect time after a date.

One thing that’s always helped me when my partner starts to see someone new, is talking to or texting with that person.  I don’t expect to become close friends with them or anything, but it’s helped to ease my mind (and a lot of times, the other person’s mind as well) when I can let them know I’m real and in full knowledge and support of my partner spending time with them.  I’ve been lucky in becoming pretty good friends with a few of my metamours (the term for your partner’s partner).  At my birthday party last year people in attendance included the quad, my boyfriend and his wife, and a few of my husband’s FWB’s, along with some “vanilla” friends who know and accept us for who we are. It was amazing 🙂

A lot of what you and your partner might need will change and evolve over time, especially since this is a new situation for you both.  Make sure you keep the communication open.  Quality time is probably the most important thing, but there may also be little things that they’d appreciate.

Gunnar’s response:
I am not going to repeat what has already been stated above.  Krystalla and myself went through a lot of adjustments with this.  It was a learning curve and took a little bit of time to understand it for ourselves.  Aftercare is something that not every couple thinks about.  With the emotions and feelings running high sometimes it can be overwhelming.  It is important that you understand that this is normal.  Reconnecting is important, and as time goes on this too will evolve.  

For Krystalla and myself when we first opened up we fucked like rabbits after each date.  Actually we fucked like rabbits for some time after we opened up.  The thoughts, feelings, and wandering mind contributed with this.  It also is how we reconnected. We didn’t know it at the time and realized it after.

Cuddling, talking, sex or any other means of showing your partner that they are still important in your life is key.  The one thing that we noticed if we didn’t reconnect that we felt like we were left behind.  So after each date we found something that we did together.  The bond got stronger and as time went on we noticed the reconnect was a lot of smaller things as well.

Every relationship will evolve.  It is one thing that is never constant.  Much like exploring your poly side, your relationship will also expand and grow.  Never forget your partner and make sure that they know why they are so important to you.  The one constant you do have is your partner and they are the ones we lean on for support.  Talk through everything and you will find that your relationship will grow and with that you will become closer as well.

Bob’s response:
Aftercare and communication are the key…  I would start by finding out what your primary wants and needs to feel safe in your relationship…  to me this has two facets ..

The first is how much your primary wants to know.  This could be a tricky since as IMO this is where most of the communication misunderstanding can occur.  Too much or too little information can be as stressful, oh and this can change based on the relationship so renegotiation of this can vary based on the partner or the time..  To give and example,  I’m a voyeur and love to hear all the details when Lexxi and Krys go on dates (especially if there is kink involved ;))   but I grow quite bored when it comes to repetitive romance or activities that happen over multiple dates .. those I don’t care as much for, so a lot of time it gets glossed over. For others it may be different. Finding out what is the ideal amount of info, especially if the primary is mono is something that has to be scary… it can actually be a fun exercise and help understand each other better… but do know that you will probably screw up at least a few times… both partners need to understand that, and learn from it

The second is reconnection… what to do after a date especially if sex is involved ..  I’ll be a broken record and mention the same thing .. find out, and I mean talk about, what works for you. It could be a simple snuggle or a full on hot passionate fuck afterward (I’m a big fan of this one). Actually I would say establish 2 or 3 of these, so that you’re not stressing about not being able to perform what was agreed upon.

Have fun exploring and remember you are partners on this adventure. You may not always be traveling each road together, but it’s the journey that counts.

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