All Relationships are Not Equal, But They May be Fair

Relationships Unequal But Fair

It’s been said that relationships must all be equal. However, in polyamorous relationships that’s not always the case.

It’s totally acceptable for relationships to be unequal as long as each partner’s needs are being met. Each person should be open about what they want, what they desire, and what they need in and from a relationship. Once those things are determined, compatibility can be established. If a person wants to see you four times a week, that may not be realistic if you’re juggling a full-time job, caring for an ill family member, raising a child, and also have at least one other intimate partner. You should share your time limitations, and emotional availability, to your potential new partner and see if a compromise can be found. If the potential new partner is agreeable to seeing you only twice a week, it can be said your time isn’t being distributed equally between your various commitments. BUT, if the agreement is honored, it’s fair.

Fairness can be gauged in terms of telephone time, how often throughout a day or week people speak or text, how often they see each other for out-of-the-home dates, as well as intimate times. People have varying needs, situations, and circumstances.

People have different love languages and desire different things. That means you shouldn’t treat each of your partners as if they’re one person. Relationships shouldn’t be cookie-cutter, they should fit the needs of each person as the individuals they are.

Some people are time-intensive, some are not. I’m okay with a few texts per day and an actual phone call if something serious occurs or plans need to be changed last minute. I typically don’t like talking on the phone, but one of my friends does. We talk on the phone maybe once every couple of weeks. I have a mentee who, like me, doesn’t like to talk on the phone. We have text conversations at least twice per week. I’m not in a relationship with either of them, I’m simply using them as examples of how people prefer to communicate. If I insisted on speaking on the phone to each of my partners or friends on a daily basis, or vice versa, we’d be incompatible.

Some people desire physical time and may want to see you at least three times a week. Someone else may be content seeing you once a month. If you have a long-distance partner, you may only have the opportunity to see each other every few months, though you’d likely communicate via texts, phone calls, or video chats in-between visits.

You can tell from the examples and elaborations that each relationship isn’t what would be considered equal in regards to how often to communicate and when and by what method, physical time spent, or emotional availability. However, as long as each person is receiving what they desire, the relationship is fair. The key is being open about what each of you desire and honestly determining if those needs can be met in a satisfactory way. If one person is lacking a desire, it should be communicated so a resolution can be sought. Open and honest communication should never be underestimated as it’s one of the main keys to all healthy friendships and relationships.

I look forward to reading your thoughts and experiences regarding unequal yet fair relationships. If you’re in, or have been in, a polyamorous relationship, have your needs been met even when different than one of your partner’s partners or vice versa? 

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