Valentine’s Day can be tricky for single people or people in monogamous relationships. When you have more than one partner it becomes even more of a challenge. I see a lot of questions about how polyamory and Valentine’s Day works. There are no rules for polyamory and Valentine’s Day.
Do whatever works best for you and your partners. If you don’t know where to start, don’t panic! Here are some tips to make your Valentine’s Day fantastic.
1. Avoid Making Scheduling Choices Based On Ranking or Hierarchy
Even if you have a primary partner or nesting partner don’t automatically make plans with just them before talking to all your partners. Calling dibs on the day and excluding others can lead to other partners feeling unimportant and bad metamour relationships.
Not everyone’s needs and expectations fall in line with hierarchy. A primary partner might not place a lot of importance on Valentine’s day while it might mean the world to a secondary. This leads me to my next point.
2. Discuss Expectations & Don’t Make Assumptions
Talk to your partners about what they want from Valentine’s Day. Discuss expectations and assumptions. What does Valentine’s Day mean to you and your relationship? Do you want to exchange gifts? Being explicit about these expectations helps more than you would think.
Mismatched expectations lead to hurt feeling. Knowing who wants what helps with scheduling woes and managing expectations. Some people don’t mind celebrating it on a different day or celebrating in a different way than the typical fancy dinner, jewelry, chocolate, and roses.
3. Don’t Feel Like You Have to Choose
If you have multiple partners who all are really into Valentine’s Day you do not have to choose! You have a few options. Firstly, you can skip scheduling any dates that day and have a polycule party with all your partners and metamours. This happens to be my favorite. I love celebrating the love that is present within my polycule and community as well as the love I share with my partners.
Secondly, if you only have a few partners you can split up the day. Have lunch with one partner, dinner with another, and a movie/drinks with another, etc. This only works if with a few partners or scheduling will be too difficult.
4. Have a Self Love Day
This option works whether you have partners or not. It can be a good choice if all your loved ones are busy, if you have too many partners to see all of them, if you don’t want to choose between partners, or if you just feel like celebrating yourself.
Make yourself your favorite meal, take yourself out on a date, watch your favorite movie, or take a luxurious bubble bath. Do anything that makes you feel loved. Valentine’s day is supposed to be about love and self-love definitely counts.
5. Love Doesn’t Have to Cost
Everyone should be able to celebrate love whether they are rich or poor. The typical celebration of Valentine’s Day can certainly drain the bank- even with one partner. If the focus is on getting everyone gifts it can put a lot of pressure on the relationship; this can lead to the fun being sucked out of the day and leave everyone with too much stress to enjoy themselves.
Sometimes it is best to make each other meaningful gifts that don’t cost much and sometimes it is best to forego presents altogether. Making a meal together or having a picnic can be more romantic than a packed restaurant. There are options other than spending a lot of money.
6. Focus On Shared Experiences
Focus on sharing experiences. Go hiking, on a picnic, to a museum or cook together; the possibilities are endless. Celebrate and focus on the time you spend together instead of breaking the bank. There is less pressure on a night that is about spending time together and making fun memories than things that cost a lot of money. Spending $100+ at a restaurant can lead to expectations that the dinner and night must be perfect and perfection is a goal you will always be unsuccessfully grasping at. If you do decide to go that route try to relax and have fun rather than demanding perfection from an imperfect world.
7. Celebrate Your Non-Romantic Relationships Too
There are two friend’s days, February 4th and August 7th. These days get ignored. They don’t get an entire aisle in grocery stores or advertisements.
Our society places entirely too much emphasis on romantic relationships and too little on friendships. There is more to love than romantic love so don’t forget to celebrate and appreciate the friends you love too.
It is also an option to skip the romantic dates and have a friend or metamour V-day. Not having romantic love does make you any less. You can reclaim V-day to celebrate any love you choose. Love for family, friends, and yourself is just as important.
8. Don’t Fall Into Couple Privilege
Because Valentine’s is usually a holiday for couples, couple privilege runs rampant February 14th. Don’t make it worse. Keep in mind the third in your triad, your solo-poly partners, or secondaries and don’t immediately write them off simply because Valentine’s has been classically about couples and “the one.” Make a point not to throw parties that are couple-centric. Consider allowing more than plus ones and try not to couple off and leave others ignored. Celebrate your love while still being considerate of others. Keeping couple privilege in mind when making plans can ensure that it is a good holiday for everyone.
9. Don’t Compare or Compete
Every person and every relationship is different so the way you celebrate your love shouldn’t be the same. Try not to compare or compete with your metamours. You all have different needs. Some partners might think gifts are the best way to receive love while others may feel like time together is how they feel the most loved. Therefore it might be best to give a gift to one and spend the day with the other. That doesn’t mean one is more important than the other, just that they are different. Celebrate those differences instead of competing!
Remaining flexible can help you figure out what plans are best for you and what changes need to be made if problems arise. Tackle jealousy head on and identify the cause. Talk to your partner about it and take responsibility for how you are feeling and communicating those feelings to others. Don’t take Valentine’s day too seriously. It is your holiday and yours to do what you like with.
Romantic love isn’t the only form of important love and you don’t need a romantic relationship to enjoy or be valid this Valentine’s Day.