It can be really daunting to navigate polyamorous life when you’re not plugged in to a community of people who understand and support that style of relationship. Early in my poly journey, when I needed to process something about one of my relationships I felt conflicted about relying on my usual support system of other romantic partners and monogamous friends & family. I was fortunate to get connected to a great relationship therapist who showed very little bias about my non-monogamous lifestyle, but sometimes I needed someone available more often than just an hour or so each week.
I knew that ultimately I would feel less isolated, more validated, and better supported if I could find other polyamorous people and cultivate a sense of community. I, like so many people, thrive on meaningful connections and support systems. Here are a few ways I was able to establish exactly that:
A simply search on Facebook and Meetup for terms like polyamory, non-monogamy, and alternative relationships revealed a handful of like-minded groups of people in my state. I joined the ones that looked most applicable, made introductory posts and began attending events hosted by those groups. Admittedly, not every group and every event was a perfect match but I did make several great connections, learned about other groups, and made some awesome friends along the way.
DATING APPS & WEBSITES
I’ve had more than a few friends recommend dating apps & websites as avenues for meeting other poly people and say it’s how they got their first introductions in to their local communities. Even if you aren’t actively seeking new partners, when you openly describe yourself as polyamorous in your profile or you utilize the non-monogamous filter on certain websites,l OKCupid, you can definitely meet other poly folk and begin building friendships.
Another way to find other poly people is to get plugged in to other alternative lifestyle groups. I was surprised at how often I met other poly folk when I came out as such at LGBTQ, swinger and kink events. The overlap rate isn’t 100% in these communities, and some people didn’t agree with polyamory, but for the most part my interactions were incredibly respectful. I even had some people say that while they didn’t practice polyamory themselves, they had other friends & acquaintances who did and they were happy to make introductions.
As polyamory becomes more visible in mainstream culture, it will undoubtedly get easier to find each other. In the meantime, tapping in to existing resources of social media, dating apps & websites, and poly-adjacent communities can go a long way in finding your poly tribe and establishing a sense of community. Take the initiative; it’s so worth the effort.