Polyamory in the time of COVID19

Dandelionkisses

New member
Hi all!

Long time lurker, first time poster. I’ve been polyamorous for the last 8 years, currently in a 6 year long relationship with a non-nesting partner (Sunflower) who lives with his wife (Snapdragon). Snapdragon has a long term non-nesting partner (Foxglove) of about 8 years. We all live within a few minutes walking distance from each other in 3 households. There are 5 children under 12 between the four of us adults, with mine and Foxglove’s from prior relationships.

We all spend a great deal of time together and things have gone quite smoothly over the years. People would describe us as kitchen table poly. We share a lot of meals, childcare, vacations, etc. Sunflower and Snapdragon spend about 60% of their time together and about 40% with their other partners (me and Foxglove). I’m really the only one of the group who has regularly dated outside our polycule over the years. Prior to COVID 19, I was very happy to live on my own and have the full autonomy to date and socialize as much or as little as I wanted.

Fast forward to our new pandemic world... I find that these last few months have been really really hard. Our polycule has become 1 “germ pod” with no other outside contacts. I’m finding that now that I’m alone a lot in the evenings (and lonely!) I’ve been rethinking this whole thing....Like actually considering trying to find a monogamous relationship! This is not something I ever thought I would contemplate again.

At the beginning, I kept myself optimistic and thought that it would be a rough couple of months and then we’d get this whole thing under control and things would go back to normal. Now that it is looking like things will not be going back to “normal” anytime soon, I’m feeling like I can’t imagine continuing on like this with no end in sight. We are spending more time all together as a group which can be nice at times but also can feel taxing. I really just want to cozy up with my partner alone. But obviously, he has a whole other partner who wants his time too, so not really a possibility.

For me, it’s been a combination of loneliness, not loving spending extra time with my metamour (I like her in smaller doses), and wanting to feel like I’m someone’s priority in the way a nesting relationship might. I can’t really go out and look for a new nesting partner while continuing my relationship with Sunflower as this would put my whole pod at risk during the pandemic. I also cannot imagine ending my wonderful partnership with Sunflower. It’s not easy to find someone you are super compatible with even under the best circumstances. So, I’m not doing anything right now.....just sitting with these feelings I’m having.

I guess I’m just wondering... is anyone else having these kinds of thoughts? Is the pandemic affecting your polyamorous relationships in a way that makes you want to jump ship? I’m not really asking for advice on my situation per se but I’m curious how other poly folx are faring during this new strange world? Has it made you look at your relationship(s) through a new lens? Has it made you want something different? I’m especially interested to hear from all of you who are NOT in a nesting situation right now.
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=135808&page=1

This is my blog where there have been these issues within our polycule. The person in your situation, Violet, was only cut off from everyone she wanted to spend time with because she lived with housemates. Those of us who live alone or with a nesting partner could have created a "pod" between us all. We have one very high risk person in our group, and he would have been happy to have people around him and have his nesting partner visit his metamours after we all shielded for 14 days with the understanding that we would continue to shield like he is. I opted not to do this but you can read it all there.

Violet has decided to get her own place now so something like this isn't an issue again. Rose and Thorn are actually going to help financially and practically with that.
 

breathemusic

Active member
Is your pod willing to have a conversation about what reasonable precautions that you might be able to take to allow you to start dating again? What if you did social distance dates with the intention of finding another serious partner that could then integrate into your germ pod? Of course, you'd have to consider whether or not that person has their own germ pod as well, but this is all part of the reality that we live in. Depending on where you live and how long this is going to stretch out, I think at some point people are going to have to consider finding the balance of safety and being able to live life without going stir crazy. I'm not suggesting tons of random dates or unsafe behavior, but talking to potential partners online and going on social distance dates is pretty safe (I'm thinking picnic outside where each bring your own food, or just an outdoor hangout at a distance). Once you do that enough times to see if you click and also see if you're on the same page with safety, you could then consider whether or not pod integration makes sense.
 

Dandelionkisses

New member
Is your pod willing to have a conversation about what reasonable precautions that you might be able to take to allow you to start dating again? What if you did social distance dates with the intention of finding another serious partner that could then integrate into your germ pod? Of course, you'd have to consider whether or not that person has their own germ pod as well, but this is all part of the reality that we live in. Depending on where you live and how long this is going to stretch out, I think at some point people are going to have to consider finding the balance of safety and being able to live life without going stir crazy. I'm not suggesting tons of random dates or unsafe behavior, but talking to potential partners online and going on social distance dates is pretty safe (I'm thinking picnic outside where each bring your own food, or just an outdoor hangout at a distance). Once you do that enough times to see if you click and also see if you're on the same page with safety, you could then consider whether or not pod integration makes sense.

Yeah, not really possible to add another contact/partner. Not because anyone is telling me not to but because it’s just not safe at this point. I described our polycule germ pod - the people I actually spend time with- but in actuality with the children’s other bio parents (who are not in our polycule) and their partners (and additional kids) - our germ pod is already at 17. Really too many already and our polycule has no sway or say over how our former partners (co-parents) are conducting themselves in terms of social distancing. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would want to join me in our germ pod.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Dandelionkisses,

You seem to be torn between, on the one hand, retaining your relationship with Sunflower while being lonely much of the time, and, on the other hand, breaking up with Sunflower so you can date around again. As far as I can tell, Covid-19 throws a real monkey wrench into the works, as, even if you were single again, you still couldn't date around, as you might be an asymptomatic carrier of the virus, and anyone you dated would thus be at risk. Truth be told, anyone you have contact with (even Sunflower) is at risk for that reason. If we were really going to kill this virus off, we'd have isolate completely from everyone, even the people we live with. Three people live at my house, and one of us has to drive to work every day, so technically, he should have zero contact with either of us other two. And none of us should ever go out and get groceries, etc. etc.

Restrictions to that order of magnitude would really be more than we could handle, especially since Homo sapiens is a herd animal. So, we have to take measured risks. I don't know exactly how that notion would play out in your situation, but it's something that occurs to me, when I think about Covid-19. The best you can do is isolate when and however reasonably possible, and wear a mask whenever you can, things like that. Take all the precautions you reasonably can, and "reasonably" in this context is a personal judgment call. Maybe you can date around if you wear a mask? I don't know.

I hope you can work things out.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
Yeah, not really possible to add another contact/partner. Not because anyone is telling me not to but because it’s just not safe at this point. I described our polycule germ pod - the people I actually spend time with- but in actuality with the children’s other bio parents (who are not in our polycule) and their partners (and additional kids) - our germ pod is already at 17. Really too many already and our polycule has no sway or say over how our former partners (co-parents) are conducting themselves in terms of social distancing. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would want to join me in our germ pod.


Let the other person make that decision. As long as they do not pose more risk than yourselves, it is up to them.
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
I don’t think anyone in their right mind would want to join me in our germ pod.

Depending on where you are, the risk has lessened considerably since the outbreak a few months ago. I'm in suburban NYC and we learned a lot about how this virus is passed, how it is not passed and what very effective precautions are. We were Covid-central in April & May and now we have the lowest transmission rate in the country. Extreme quarantine isn't necessary anymore in most parts of the USA unless a person is high risk for complications. Most people (around this area, anyway) understand what is risky behavior and what is not - all backed up by science, not by Facebook. If you care to say, why is your polycule still taking such extreme quarantine measures, so much so that you are not able to interact with anyone else?

BTW, if your germ pod is as insular as you describe, it's actually a very safe place to join. Who wouldn't want that?!
 

MeeraReed

Active member
You could start by asking for more time with just Sunflower and less time hanging out with your metamour. Or INSISTING on it, if they aren't realizing it's a serious request that has you re-evaluating your whole relationship/life.
 

vinsanity0

Active member
If you are just looking to get laid, that's one thing. But if you are looking to get out and meet people, that can be done safely. I've met a couple people at parks. Had a couple dates where social distancing was happening. Moving towards the next step with someone I feel is not a real risk.

I agree with Fallen that your "germ pod" seems relatively low risk. This is the new normal for now. Meet. Stay apart. Assess the risk. Go from there.

You could also ask for more time with Sunflower, at least temporarily.
 

Vicki82

Member
I'm not understanding why you can't have one on one time with your partners if you are all in a bubble together. What happens when you ask?

My poly life is fucked, and it's why I've stopped updating. My household has been in full isolation since March 13. When Charles was able to isolate himself, he moved in with us, but once he got recalled to work, we could not allow him in our bubble anymore because of high risk.

So now I get to see my boyfriend from more than 2 metres away, outside only, for the foreseeable future. It's a fucking nightmare. No contact at all.

But I don't get why your needs aren't being met if you are IN the bubble with your partner?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry you are struggling. Pandemic is def changing things for a lot of people. Work, relationships, getting out and about, etc.

Sunflower and Snapdragon spend about 60% of their time together and about 40% with their other partners (me and Foxglove).

Ok. This was the old normal and you seemed content with that.

I really just want to cozy up with my partner alone. But obviously, he has a whole other partner who wants his time too, so not really a possibility.

Why is this not a possibility? Because before pandemic, he could spent 40% of his time with you. What happened?

For me, it’s been a combination of loneliness, not loving spending extra time with my metamour (I like her in smaller doses), and wanting to feel like I’m someone’s priority in the way a nesting relationship might.

How about you make you a priority and stop spending extra time all in a group esp with the meta?

We are spending more time all together as a group which can be nice at times but also can feel taxing.

Can you ask Sunflower for more 1:1 time like it used to be?

Galagirl
 
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