Polyamory 201: Feeling Special in Poly Relationships

Jan 2, 2019

Kevin Patterson blogs at www.polyrolemodels.com and can be found on social media @PolyRoleModels. He's recently published a new polyamory book and his book Love’s Not Color Blind: Race and Representation in Polyamorous and Other Alternative Communities is always popular. 


Dr. Liz Powell: Hey, everyone! Welcome back to Poly 201. I’m Dr. Liz with Sex-Positive Psych.

Kevin Patterson: I’m Kevin Patterson. I do the blog Poly Role Models and I wrote the book, Love’s Not Color Blind: Race and Representation in Polyamorous and Other Alternative Communities.

Dr. Liz Powell: Mouthful. So I could think of no one better to give me a Poly 201 tip than Kevin here.

Kevin Patterson: Oh, thank you.

Dr. Liz Powell: As a poly author and poly superstar …

Kevin Patterson: Oh, stop!

Dr. Liz Powell: … and the person who interviews all of the poly role models, right? I figure you must have a great Poly 201 tip.

Kevin Patterson: I think I do.

Dr. Liz Powell: So what is your Poly 201 tip?

Kevin Patterson: All right. Remember that you’re – remember that two separate people are separate people. And that sounds very simply but a lot of us get caught up in this trap of trying to compare time with person A, with person B or trying to measure up bits of time or carving out different activities like we only – me and you only do this together but me and this person only does that together.

There’s a lot of compartmentalization that happens. You really don’t need to do that something old. I mean do like do what you need to do. I’m not going to tell anybody what to do. I’m telling you what I’m not going to do. And what I realized is that a lot of things even if I do like if I go see a movie with you and I go see up that same movie with somebody else, the experience changes. The movie might be the same but the company changes, the dialog changes. You create a culture around your individual relationships that you don’t really need to force by compartmentalizing and like stipulating this thing is for person A and this thing is for person B.

Dr. Liz Powell: Yeah.

Kevin Patterson: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: And it can be so easy sometimes to feel insecure about that stuff.

Kevin Patterson: Yes.

Dr. Liz Powell: And worried about like, well, if they go to sushi with this person then our sushi isn’t special anymore.

Kevin Patterson: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: And I think it comes from this like need that we all have to feel special as a form of like validation.

Kevin Patterson: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: That is really hard to do a non-monogamy without going down toxic roads because special implies only to a lot of us.

Kevin Patterson: Yeah. And yeah, and that’s the thing. Like everyone is unique. Everyone has a different experience. I remember times where I’d be driving around in the car listening to music and I’m listening to say, ‘90s hip hop because that’s the hip hop that I grew up under. I’m listening to ‘90s music and next thing you know, I’m spitting verse per verse with the person in the passenger seat, and that’s one partner. Or I had somebody who didn’t grow up with a lot of hip hop. So now, I’m explaining like this is who had been with who, this is the history of this song.

Dr. Liz Powell: East Coast, West Coast.

Kevin Patterson: Exactly. Just sort of like giving a history lesson because they don’t understand where now, we’re sharing one another’s culture or something like that. So just the activity, the thing itself is about the people and people really lose sight of that and it’s really easy to do. Like I know I do it myself.

Dr. Liz Powell: It’s not what you do that makes you special. It’s who you are.

Kevin Patterson: Yes.

Dr. Liz Powell: All right. Well, thank you, Kevin.

Kevin Patterson: Yeah, thank you.

Dr. Liz Powell: And stay tuned for more Poly 201. Bye.

[End of transcript]

Sign up now for special content and exciting news delivered to your inbox.



Help Dr. Liz share Great Sex with the world. Get insider perks. All in one place.
big thanks to my sponsors!

Get the Book

Your practical, no BS guide to non-monogamy.
Buy it now
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram