Love may be infinite, but time is not.
You’re busy, I’m busy, everyone is busy. I have a kid, a career, I write books and travel, and now a new reality TV show. Inquiring minds want to know: how do I find time to date multiple lovers? Following are my top 10 time management tips for polyamorous people:
1. Use a calendar. While there are no specific applications for polyamory (yet) it is important to plan, schedule and share your dates with multiple lovers. In fact I even find it valuable to plan when I am going to plan. My husband and I coordinate calendars every Monday. My other sweeties and I usually touch base around the beginning of the month and schedule all our upcoming events for the month.
2. Big Rocks. Decide what is the most important thing for you to devote your time to, and schedule that FIRST, otherwise all the pebbles, sand and water will fill up your life. Time management experts know that unless you put the big boulders in first, you won’t fit everything in. In other words: Plan specific time-slots to work on your goals before anything else, or the inevitable busy work or spontaneous time will fill up your days and you won’t fit the important tasks in. Big Rocks are any tasks that is important to you such as: writing a book, working out, meditating, date night, quality time with your kids or any other tasks that you achieve your goals. Because LOVE is my highest value, and poly is so important to me, dating and making love are my biggest rocks. I schedule most dates in advance and am firm and protective when life tries to seduce me into me to doing other things.
3. Special Time. It’s important to schedule dyad time to be alone with your multiple lovers and sometimes even agree not to talk about work, kids or other lovers. For example I have a weekly sacred sex ritual with my husband on Wednesdays and a bi-weekly daytime date with Jennifer (depending on where we are with our cycles and how we’re feeling we often decide ahead of time if it’s going to be lunch or sex.) Tahl and I schedule our dates when Jennifer is out with her boyfriend Jesse. And for the last year, Fridays have been reserved for sexy play time with my girlfriend Roxanne.
4. Do double dates and group gatherings. Having lovers that all know about each other and even love each other, allows you to double up on dates. Triads, quads, and pod gatherings, can help leverage your time with your loved ones. Our household has a regular Sunday night sit down dinner with the family. I also have standing threesome dates with Tahl and Michael on two Saturdays a month and once a month with Roxanne’s boyfriend Daniel. This month I’m excited to have my first 3-way date with Jen and her boyfriend Jesse. The most powerful group practice we have in place is that once a month we get ALL our lovers together for a gathering we call the “Super Pod” meeting where we catch up, share our feelings and have a big snuggle party afterwards.
5. Schedule emotional process. Emotions are unpredictable. And loving multiple partners is going to stir them up. If every time you got together with a lover you had to process your feelings about their other lovers you might not have time left over to play and make love. So I have found that if I have a regularly scheduled time to vent and unwind all our feelings, we are more emotionally available to spend quality time without always needing to process. My husband and I get together on Monday afternoons and work on the relationship. The rest of the week, these issues do not run us. And if something emotional arises on Wednesday night when we are planning to make love, I try to put it on the shelf to discuss on Monday. (Usually after sex, the problems rarely seem as big.) I have also found that if I have limited time to spend with a lover, I would prefer to process over the phone and then spend my in person time making love!
6. Just Say No. People pleasing is like an addictive drug. There are many things that people do out of obligation, but I have found that in order to be fully expressed in love and life, I only say yes to something when I am a HELL YES! (Including my relationship with my blood relatives.) If it doesn’t nurture you, learn to say ‘No’, politely, and constructively, giving people reasons to justify your position, eg., “I understand this is urgent for you, but I’m committed to taking care of my relationships (or myself) right now.”
7. Lighten up. If you are serious about loving more, you must cut back on the things in your life that don’t enhance your relationships. Can you resist silly emails and text messages, reading irrelevant materials, unnecessary google searching, passive TV watching, aimless shopping or workaholism? These activities are habitual comforters which are counter productive, (unless they are things that you do with your lovers.) Find the things that enjoy doing together and substitute those for the time-wasting distractions.
8. Group Mail, texts and conference calls. Even if you only have two lovers, you will cut your correspondence time by 50% if you can write them both simultaneously. You can still have special calls and texts (preferably sexts with photo attachments) but you can save your thumbs the redundant re-typing if you are simply sending standard info. Recently my lovers and I have taken to using google docs for our relationship agreements and other creative projects…this way we are all on the same page–literally. Conference calls are also a great way to avoid triangulation and misunderstandings when having deep meaningful conversations about the relationship.
9. Work hard, Play hard. I like to set specific times to handle phone calls and emails so that it doesn’t interrupt my work time. Sometimes in order to stop the interruptions, I must physically get away from my lovers to work. I don’t want my work life to bleed into my playtime so I am committed to prioritizing and mastering time management. Time is my most precious resource, I take the time each day to strategize how I want to use my next twenty-four hours otherwise I’m too easily distracted or seduced off-task. In order to work smart not hard, I tackle the items in order of their importance that way, if I do not get to everything on my list, I will at least get to the most important things first.
10. Be flexible and allow for spontaneity. It may sound like everything I do is structured and planned but from experience, I have learned that the map is not the territory. Structure actually allows for even more creative flow. When a lover stops by for an unexpected quicky, or an emotional process arises and changes everyone’s plans, I take it as a challenge. I’m constantly detaching from routines when especially they get boring. When the wisdom of the heart speaks, I reschedule.
*Reading these tips will not help you unless you put them into effect. Choose one new behavior and take action!
If you’d like to join Kamala Devi and the San Diego polyamory family for a fun weekend retreat to explore firsthand how they do polyamory, check out Poly Palooza: Top 10 reasons to go to a 4-day festival for free lovers! or go to Poly Palooza: The Weekend Festival for Free Lovers.
- Real Relationship Agreements, Rules and Contract by San Diego Polyamory Pod
- A Scientist, a Yogi, a Tantra Teacher and a Polyamory Activist Answer Deep Questions on Sex, Love & Open Relationship!