These 5 Books Will Answer All Your Questions About Polyamory
Polyamory is hard, but navigating these complex relationships is all about learning new skills.
Polyamory is hard. Absolutely no one with non-monogamous relationship experience will argue that. However, most people who've tried and succeeded at a polyamorous relationship will also tell you that the benefits and overflowing love can make up for the difficulties that you may face. No matter what permutation your polyamorous relationship takes, experiencing open love, being able to be with multiple partners, or enjoying lots of sexual expressions can easily start to seem worth the occasional argument, overscheduling, or dealing with bouts of jealousy.
However, learning to manage those difficulties is a learned skill. Just like how you've probably learned the best time to approach your partner about money (definitely after the first cup of coffee!) or how you've learned the proper way to format business communication, learning a brand new way of dealing with and excelling at open communication takes exactly that: learning. Like many things you're just starting to learn, most people can start to hit a few hiccups in their polyamorous set-up - even when they started their open relationship with the best intentions.
Unlike with monogamy, however, it can be a lot harder to find advice about how to navigate a relationship that involves more than two people. While the Internet offers a plethora of new options that weren't available generations ago, much of the advice you'll find is anecdotal. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but look, if you wanted to learn how to knit a blanket, you'd listen to someone who's knitted over 300 of them - not someone who saw a YouTube video on knitting once. Learning good communication methods and how to deal with jealousy requires expert advice. Choosing to do your research and read what the experts have to say (and then putting it into practice!) has the highest likelihood for success.
While books about polyamory still aren't hitting the best-seller list, these are some of the most well-known books about having a harmonious poly relationship.
"Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships" by Tristan Taormino
If you're still new to open relationships and polyamory or just want to figure out whether it's something you want to pursue in the future, this book by Tristan Taormino is a must-have. It explains the nuances of various types of open relationships and then delves into the tips and tricks for navigating non-monogamy. Written for those who are still new to non-monogamy or just starting to consider it, the book spends a lot of time on how to open up, how to deal with some of the road blocks, and how to design a relationship style that works best for what everyone is looking for. This book isn't weighed down by too many abstract concepts or lengthy discourse - it gets straight to the point. Plus, it's interesting and easy to read.
If you aren't much of a reader or are just looking to learn the basics of being in a non-monogamous relationship, this book by Cunning Minx is a good place to start. It's less than 100 pages and it gets to the point. This book doesn't go into depth about all of the permutations of non-monogamy. Instead, it focuses on the most common forms of polyamory with practical tips about how to practice poly.