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“Sharing a partner creates shifts in the dynamic of trust and intimacy,” says Thompson.

That can be a slippery slope—especially if your relationship isn’t that solid to begin with.

“We just don't always look at the evidence honestly.” want?

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It's also different than polygamy, says Gin Love Thomson, Ph. The latter is "usually related to religion and is a male-dominated concept of the man having several wives,” she explains.

Polyamory, on the other hand, is not gender-exclusive.” Every solid polyamorous relationship starts with taking a good, hard look at what you want and what’s going to make you happy.

If the answer to a lot of these questions is no, it might mean your relationship is lacking the foundation necessary for polyamory. “Once things get going, you might find yourself surprised that you aren’t always on the same page with your partner,” he says.

The best way to stave off these potential conflicts is to set up some guidelines with your partner on the front end.

There are a few specific questions you can ask yourself to test this: How did it feel that time you ran into your partner’s ex at a party?

Do you find yourself getting uncomfortable when your partner keeps bringing up how much fun they have with their favorite coworker?

“Check-ins are an important part of this type of relationship,” says Lundquist.

“Some couples use a therapist for this or even a friend who's more experienced with poly relationships.” Put a standing date on the calendar (these can be as often as bi-weekly or more spaced out every month or so—whatever you feel most comfortable with) where you both know the explicit purpose is to talk about how the relationship is going, which can help remove any awkwardness around bringing it up.

“Thoughtful polyamorous relationships often come with rules and agreements ironed out early on,” Lundquist explains.

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