I am in a fairly new relationship, jumping back into polyamory after some time away and a lot of growth and healing. My current partner is wonderful, supportive, and very caring. He has a long term long distance partner in another state whom he has not seen for almost a year. They will be visiting for 16 days next month.
Right now, I am dating a few other people, but nothing serious or committed yet. I am finding myself very anxious about this upcoming visit. All the advice that I’ve found relates to what to do when your partner goes on a date. Well, instead of a date, this is a half month visit. I haven’t had to deal with him going on a date at all, and now I will have to ‘be ok’ with him being with another partner for an extended amount of time, when I am used to being with him at least twice a week.
Several things I have already done in preparation:
Do you have any other suggestions on how to handle the anxiety that goes along with this? My anticipatory anxiety is manageable, but I am very nervous about how I will handle the actual visit.
Two things I am especially unsure about…
Thank you for your time, energy, and expertise! I’m really enjoying the podcast and blog, and look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!
The first thing I would suggest is see if there is an event before the person visits that’s like a polyamory dating meet-up or even just a regular speed dating event where you might be able to test your anxiety in the short term before this happens. Though, you could be someone who isn’t that bothered by one off events but is more bothered by something like this.
Nevertheless, the steps you have taken are really good preventative steps. Also just being kind and gentle with yourself, expecting you might feel like shit and anticipating that. Make sure that your friends are checking in on you and you have some fun things to do — which already sounds like what you’ve got going for you.
In terms of the things you want to ask about, a good rule to approach this sort of thing is to ask yourself how you might feel if this were a friend with a partner visiting. This might not always be directly comparable, but in the case of your first example… Wanting to have lunch one day for example is not too much to ask, so long as you’re okay with them wanting to spend as much time together as possible — which you would also understand if a friend was having their partner visit.
In terms of your second question, this is really up to you and also up to the person you want to meet. Maybe you can schedule a lunch with them both before you go meet another friend for a movie and then that way you can kill two birds with one stone, so to say.
Overall, it sounds like you have a really good structure in place. And you may not be so bothered at all — you never know! I would give yourself just a lot of grace and understanding. If you don’t have a therapist, it might be a good time to get one just so you have that extra support. But otherwise, you’re doing everything that you can be doing to prepare.
I hope this helps and good luck!