Checklist for Meeting Metamours

December 31, 2012 at 1:06 pm (Polyamory, Relationship) (, , )


After a first meeting with a metamour a few days ago, and a miserable emotional crash after it, I realized I needed to mentally prepare for such meetings with intention. I do not deal well with uncertainty, and there was a great deal regarding this meeting that was left up in the air. I can enter a situation with greater confidence and certainty if I prepare for it, so I’ve made a prep list for meeting metamours in the future. I thought I’d share it as it may prove useful to someone else.

This list is a mix of things that should be discussed before the meeting, and some guidelines for how to make such a meeting successful. Your mileage may vary. There are a lot of “shoulds” in this list, and it is because they are my personal preference and what I would feel most comfortable with. For others, some of these points may not be so important. But they may help you think of the topics you would want discussed before meeting a new metamour.

Also, this list presumes that the meeting is between metamours who share a common V partner but are not necessarily interested in or going to build an emotional or physical relationship together – in other words, a V relationship and not a triad. That’s simply because that has been my experience as a mostly-heterosexual female dating a mostly-heterosexual male. There would probably need to be additional adaptations to the list if it were to be applied to a situation where there is interest in forming a triad.

Because of this, a lot of the burden in conducting the meeting is placed on the person who is the V. I feel this is fair. It is in that person’s best interest to facilitate a successful meeting, so that individual should be prepared to plan and communicate expectations clearly with both partners, and be actively involved in enabling a pleasant encounter for everyone. If the V person is not willing to at least discuss these topics, and shows reluctance to consider the guidelines I’m suggesting, that would make me question my relationship with that individual.

Anyway….

Arrival at a meeting place

  • If the V person will arrive with one of their partners while the other partner meets them solo, determine in advance what kind of greeting will be offered between the V and the solo partner – smile, hug, kiss. Agree to the appropriate and comfortable level of affectionate greeting with respect for the feelings of all individuals
  • If each individual is arriving separately, determine in advance what kind of greeting will be offered by the V to each partner with respect to the comfort level of each individual.
  • The V should make the introduction between the metamours. Do not immediately start a conversation or wait for them to introduce themselves.

Seating arrangements

  • If possible, seating should be with the V person in between the two metamours, with metamours facing each other (this should work with a square or round table).
  • This allows metamours to angle slightly towards the V person while not directly turning away from each other as they would if they were next to each other instead of opposite.
  • This should allow for more comfortable, open body language and avoid a feeling of turning one’s back on another person.

Conversation

  • The V should acknowledge that while everyone is probably a little nervous at least, that he/she appreciates their willingness to meet and express happiness that they could finally meet.
  • Keeping in mind personalities, nervousness, introvertedness/extrovertedness, the V should probably be prepared to carry the conversation, or at least provide lead-ins.
  • Have a few topics ready to bring up that should be of interest to both metamours. Think of common hobbies they may share or other similar interests.
  • Try to avoid inside jokes between the V and one metamour. If such a topic does come up, explain the context to the other metamour to avoid any feelings of being left out or excluded.

Departure

  • The V should again thank both partners for their willingness to meet. Metamours should feel comfortable to display the level of farewell that feels comfortable – smile, handshake, hug, etc. as based on how their interaction developed.
  • If the V person is leaving with one of their partners while the other partner departs alone, determine in advance what kind of farewell will be given – hug, kiss, etc. – with respect for the feelings and comfort level of both partners.
  • If each individual is leaving alone, determine in advance the kind of farewell shared between the V and each partner, with respect for the comfort level of all.

I may add to this as time goes on and I have additional experiences meeting metamours. What do you think? What else would you put on a list like this for yourself?

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