Chris's article

Thanksgiving for poly folks can be complicated, to say the least. Who’s cooking? Where is dinner, and what time? Are Mom and Dad comfortable with hosting your new girlfriend–if you’re married already?

The big feast should be about gratitude and celebrating abundance, but it can be tricky to navigate for people new to poly relationships. Here are several ways to figure out how to split time fairly between people in a poly arrangement.


Depending on your schedule, you and your partners might decide whose family’s dinner to attend. Does your work schedule permit you to take the day off, allowing you to drive the few hours out to mom’s house?

Or, do you have an early morning the day after Thanksgiving and need to stay close–which means you’ll be attending your partner’s family’s dinner, which is just a ten-minute drive? This is a logical way to divvy up time between multiple families, and it can take the headache out of planning long day trips to families who live further away.

Holiday preferences

For some people, Thanksgiving is just another day. If you’re not much of a holiday person, then it’s reasonable to assume that you’ll be spending the day with your partners’ families, instead. 

Another idea is to split the holidays between different families such as New Year’s with your family, Thanksgiving with Partner 1, Christmas with Partner 2, and so on, depending on each person’s favorite day to celebrate with their families.

Between sister wives and shared children, it may be easier to do a joint dinner at someone’s house or a small venue such as a restaurant. This eliminates hard feelings about which family is ‘prioritized,’ and allows the family to spend quality time together.

Switch dinners every year

If discussions are getting heated over which family you’re meeting for Thanksgiving, it may be helpful to draft up with an official agreement. One compromise is to switch between families every year, which is a great approach for polygamists who don’t want the hassle of planning from scratch every year.

Split the day

For budding poly relationships with more than three people, it may be more sensible to split the day instead of switching venues year by year. Ask Family 1 if you can do an early brunch or lunch instead of dinner, then head to Family 2 for dinner. If there’s a Family 3, try to make it for the after-dinner activities or explicitly make post-dinner plans such as family game night.

Thursday with family, Friday with poly circle

Although Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, you can celebrate gratitude any day. Many people in poly relationships spend Thanksgiving Day with their biological families and then spend Friday night with their poly circle and friends. This arrangement can also ease the pressure off of partners who may not be out to their families just yet, or partners with conservative families.

Other tips for Thanksgiving for poly people

Going into the holidays, it can be tempting to use Thanksgiving or Christmas as a way to ‘test’ your relationship with a new partner. However, it may not be a smart idea to place that kind of pressure on a new relationship, especially under circumstances they cannot control. For example, just because they choose to attend their other partner’s family dinner and not yours does not indicate that they love you any less.

Here are a few more ways to be more compassionate and intentional during Thanksgiving.

● If possible, don’t choose this day to introduce new partners or come out as poly to your family, especially if you’ll be a guest at somebody else’s home.

● If you don’t feel comfortable bringing your partners to a family event, host your own dinner where you can set the rules instead of suppressing your identity or your partners’.

● Respect your partners’ wishes if they don’t want to meet your family just yet or face conservative family members.

● Have a discussion with partners about their expectations for the holidays.

● Talk about anything that may not have gone to plan after–and talk about the best strategy moving forward.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

There's a chance the sexual culture being cultivated by Millennials can diminish the environment of harassment and assault that's plagued so many workplaces.

From Matt Lauer to Louis C.K., and now Asia Argento and (allegedly) Avitel Ronnell, unwanted sexual advances made by highly accomplished, older, and otherwise highly intelligent people have left us wondering what, exactly, informs such widespread abusive behavior.

One explanation centers on power. Money and prestige—qualities that foster the kind of intimidation confronted by the #MeToo movement—come with age, and can both erode judgment and foster coercive behavior. As the economist Teresa Ghilarducci explains in Psychology Today, "Money, not sex, is at the root of #Metoo." Assuredly, there's something to this argument.

But there's also a deeper history to consider. Most of the abusers identified by the #MeToo movement came of age in an era of conflicting sexual norms. The sexual revolution of the 1960s and '70s brought Americans greater access to birth control, and, in countercultural circles at least, experimentation with free love. At the same time, conventional marriage—heterosexual and monogamous—remained the sanctioned end goal of the mainstream. So often the establishment looked at the sexual expression with begrudging acceptance—so long as the weirdos, after sowing their oats, began finally acting like the Cleavers.

Might the clash of these competing expectations—premarital freedom and marital monogamy—have fostered a dysfunctional sexual identity that's especially predisposed to abuse others? Might the brief taste of sexual liberation followed by the early expectation of monogamy lead to repression, frustration, a failure to communicate as sexual selves, and, alas, for some, an abusive response?

The idea is only a hypothesis. One way to start testing its validity might be to look at the emerging sexual habits and ideologies of Millennials (and Gen Z). On the one hand, people in their 20s and 30s are growing up in a culture that, largely through social media, is infused with sexual content—porn, porn, and porn—to an unprecedented degree. Some view this exposure as a sign of liberation. But we are also well aware of the dangers, especially for young women, of this chronic exposure to graphic content, dangers that include cyberbullying, revenge porn, and sexual aggression. "Sexually explicit material or pornography," according to a meta-analysis of the relevant scientific research, is associated with "a greater likelihood of perpetuating sexual coercion."

On the other hand, the easy prevalence of sexual themes and content also fosters, according to the same meta-analysis, "more permissive sexual attitudes." This permissiveness, notably, has not led to greater promiscuity among young adults. According to one study, American adults born in the 1980s and '90s had the same number of sexual partners as Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964. Contrary to the stereotype of a "hook-up generation," young adults are also waiting longer to have sex. And while greater sexual permissiveness has not coincided with greater promiscuity, it has emerged alongside a broader tolerance for multiple partners and open arrangements, skepticism of marriage and childrearing, and a radical openness to all gendered and sexual identities.

At the core of these expanding attitudes is a suspicion of monogamy. According to a 2016 study, nearly 20 percent of people who are under 30 and in a serious relationship have engaged in sex outside of their relationship with their partner's knowledge. Nearly half interviewed expressed some level of tolerance for consensual non-monogamy. Endorsing this perspective, and perhaps speaking for her own generation, the actress Scarlett Johannson said, "I don't think it's natural to be a monogamous person."

Boomers throw up their hands at this news and lament the end of romance. But tolerance of non-monogamy demands something the Boomers, half of whom are divorced, did not practice especially well themselves: constant communication. Non-monogamous seekers of multiple relationships are more obligated to discuss boundaries, needs, and desires than are monogamous couples (who can more easily go on auto-pilot). Whereas some have hypothesized that Millennials are in desperate need of relationship guidance, Bjarne Holmes, a Chapman University communications professor, explains how "People in these [non-monogamous] relationships really communicate.... They are potentially doing quite a lot of things that could turn out to be things that if people practicing monogamy did more of, their relationships might be better off."

According to Karen Trask, director of Loving More, a non-profit dedicated to fostering polyamorous arrangements, polyamory is increasingly popular with Millennials. Trask works closely with all age groups to support polyamorous relationships (which can be sexual or platonic or even alternate between both). But she notes that, while overall interest in polyamory is "on the rise," "this growth appears to be driven by the 20-something crowd."

And their approach, she suggests, is unusually tolerant and communicative. She says people in their 20s are "much more comfortable exploring polyamory" and that, in so doing, "they are constantly dealing with a need to communicate better"—about jealously, family, sexual health, wants and needs, and so on. "They're really lucky," she adds, "to be more exposed through the Internet and social media" to options beyond monogamy. They're also lucky to be more accepted by society if polyamory is a path they choose.

Polyamory isn't going mainstream anytime soon. But to the extent that its growing acceptance portends a larger cultural shift away from the demands of monogamy (both within marriage and not), and to the extent that this shift is complemented by healthy communication over sexual issues, the conflicting cultural norms that plagued those raised in the 1960s and '70s may yield to a sexual culture that, while more exposed to graphic sex, is nonetheless less repressed, no more promiscuous, better able to discuss sexual desire, and, no matter how powerful a person is, cognizant that we all have boundaries.

Sex and power might be inseparable, but it will be interesting to see if the sexual culture being cultivated by Millennials diminishes the need for an ongoing #MeToo movement. Interestingly, the little research that's been done comparing the generational responses to #MeToo indicates that older women are more likely to be silent about harassment and less likely to say that men should lose their jobs for harassment, while younger women are more likely to tolerate flirting in the workplace. In other words, the Millennials might be saying: Sexual banter is fine. Coercion is not. The world is changing. So let's talk.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

In a study of polygamous marriages in the Middle East and Africa, it was found that women who practice polygamy are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and marital dissatisfaction than women in monogamous relationships.

When you think about it, it makes sense. Sister wives may find themselves ‘competing’ for attention and affection from their shared husband, and in general, there are so many more factors to juggle in polygamous marriages than there are in monogamous relationships. All these intertwined lives mean that paying attention to mental, emotional, and physical health (wellness) is all the more important for people who practice polygamy.

What is wellness?

Wellness can be described as your overall state of being in terms of your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. (Financial wellness is also a factor.)  It’s a qualitative measurement of your mindset, mood, or health, and it affects all of us, not just people in poly relationships.

But, being in a poly relationship means wellness can’t be ignored. Practicing polygamy means facing emotions when they arise. Otherwise, the relationship is doomed to fail..

The impact of polygamy on mental health

No doubt that polygamous relationships abound with beautiful advantages like a wider support network and more financial help. However, poly marriages also come with their own brand of challenges.

One of the biggest is overcoming jealousy as a sister wife. When a husband seems to prefer a wife (or household) over others, this can create tension and negative energy within all the sister wives’ relationships.

Another difficulty in polygamy is keeping an identity separate from being a spouse and/or mother. When we put so much of our love and labor into our relationships, we often forget to check in with ourselves and make sure that we’re meeting our own needs and following our own dreams.

A disconnect between a sister wife identity and our long-term goals can lead to feelings of loneliness, discontent, and even resentment. What can help is to set aside time for checking in with our emotions.

Although poly relationships come with an automatic support system, our mental health is our responsibility. If we don’t learn to give ourselves the love and support we need, it can turn our relationships into a pool of drama and toxic cycles.

How to navigate mental health in poly relationships

The good news is that mental health is always a work in progress, and there are many avenues for help to follow.

1. Lean on your loved ones

Your first line of defense against fighting mental illness or relationship woes comprises your significant others, family members, and friends. Chances are, they may not always be able to help you overcome deeper scars like childhood trauma or marital battles.

2. Get treatment

For these, a trained counselor or therapist can help you reframe your thinking or create a mental health plan to get you on track to wellness. Both pharma and non-pharma modalities are fantastic sources of respite and ammunition against mental illness and negativity.

Counseling, therapy, meditation, acupuncture, group support activities, and new hobbies are just a few ways that may bring balance.

3. Be your own advocate

Even though your husband and sister wives may have your best interests at heart, you are responsible for your wellness at the end of the day. When there are issues in the relationship that are affecting your health (whether it’s the way family time is distributed among sister wives or how much each household contributes to the family budget), it’s on you to bring it up in an honest, respectful way.

Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself—you deserve a peaceful mind and healthy body, too.

Ways to improve wellness in poly relationships

There are many ways to stay happy and healthy in a polygamous relationship.

1. Spend time with yourself

Relationships can sometimes feel suffocating if you’re with your loved ones every hour of every day. Sometimes it can’t be helped, and wanting to get away doesn’t mean you love each other any less.

Alone time is crucial to fulfilling your mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. We suggest taking a weekend trip every now and then or taking an hour or two a day to de-stress and reflect on whatever may be weighing you down.

2. Get social

In the same vein, your mental health may be suffering if you’re not getting the social interactions we need as humans. Though some of us are more introverted than others, interacting with people outside of immediate family is vital to wellness.

When you want to cultivate new communities outside of your marriage, starting a new hobby or activity is a good place to start. Try volunteering with a local group or joining a hands-on class like pottery, walking, or improv. You never know what beautiful friendships you can make—or what hidden talents you might unearth.

3. Be kind

Around family members and significant others, we tend to talk more freely because we know that our relationship will bounce back no matter what hurtful or strong words are exchanged. The beauty of marriage and familial bonds is unconditional love, but some fights can create irreparable damage to a relationship.

During disagreements, remember to be kind. Take a few breaths or walk out of the room if you feel like your emotions are speaking for you through vicious words.

4. Respect others’ communication styles

In addition to being kind, remember that not everyone communicates in the same way. You probably know how your husband or sister wife acts when they are upset. Try to take what they say or do during arguments with a grain of salt.

For instance, if your husband is known to take a few days in silence to process what was said during an emotional time, remember that this is his way of dealing with a problem. It does not reflect how he feels about you or your marriage.

5. Take care of your needs

From consistent, high-quality sleep to regular, nutritious meals, you’ll feel better when you take care of your urgent needs. This frees you up to think of ‘deeper’ issues like solving relationship pain points or making career decisions.

Wellness and marital success

Some health concerns are with us for a lifetime, but this shouldn’t stop us from putting our best selves forward in our marriage and relationships. Step into your best self every day by making wellness a priority in your life. When we’re mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually well, we’re more capable of nurturing our relationships.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

One of the growing trends in the dating world, not just among polygamous relationships, is the growing importance of vaccine status. In a survey by Pew Research Center from July 2022, 47% of the respondents who had used a dating site or app in the past year said COVID-19 vaccination status was at least somewhat important when looking at someone’s dating profile, and 23% said this information is very important to them.

What does this shift mean for polygamous relationships and poly dating services?

Why vaccine status matters more in polygamous homes

Poly relationships can include as few as two people up to dozens, depending on whether the group has children, is casually dating, is cohabiting, etc. With this many people involved, taking risks with safety issues like pandemic and vaccination statuses is neither practical nor responsible.

If anything, the pandemic has shown us that polygamous families (as well as multi-generational households) are more vulnerable to infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

Case in point: TLC’s Sister Wives

In the newest seasons of Sister Wives, Kody’s strict pandemic rules were a pain point for the sister wives. While it can be argued that Kody had everyone’s best interests at heart by enforcing social distancing and quarantine rules, he seemed to cherry-pick from his guidelines at his convenience.

For example, he missed one of his children’s major surgery appointments because he allegedly wanted to avoid travel and keep the rest of his family safe during peak pandemic times. Fans (and the sister-wives) were quick to notice that Kody stopped making his rotations and stayed with Robyn and their shared children for the bulk of the pandemic.

Although Kody approached COVID-19 best practices from a misguided direction, it still stands that polygamous and polyamorous relationships were put on pause during the pandemic, more so than their monogamous counterparts.

Frequent meetings between multiple households simply weren’t feasible when there was a highly contagious disease around, and some polygamy dating sites adapted to these circumstances.

What this means for poly dating sites

Poly dating sites have been catering to different needs and current events since the COVID-19 pandemic was announced in 2020.

1. Vaccine status as a deciding factor

In the survey I mentioned, many respondents said that seeing vaccine status was at least somewhat important or very important on someone’s dating profile. Some companies have allowed users to display badges on their dating profiles in the past, and many users simply indicate their status on their dating profile bio.

2. Political affiliation is now important on dating sites, too

Like any hot topic, vaccination is often a political debate. Of the survey respondents, 53% said it is at least somewhat important to see someone’s political affiliation on their dating profile, while 18% say it is very important.

Moving forward, it may be more common to see someone’s political affiliation on dating sites. This seems a natural shift particularly for polygamy dating sites since polyamory and polygamous marriage are polarizing issues discussed through a sociopolitical lens.

3. More video calls and phone calls before in-person meetings

To practice caution and safety, people on dating sites are having more video dates and phone call conversations before they meet in person. The report found that  28% of Americans who used dating sites in the past year have gone on a virtual date first either by phone or video call. 

Video calling (available on reliable poly dating sites like Sister Wives) helps prevent romance scams by vetting a person before you meet, and it’s also necessary when physical meetings aren’t feasible, like during a pandemic.

What this means for poly dating

COVID-19 may have taken a lot from us, but it has also renewed a sense of mindfulness when it comes to poly dating.

1. Take more time getting to know people

This shift to a slower, more careful way of dating is another trend we see in monogamy and polygamy dating. Now, we draw important information from someone’s vaccination status and political leanings, on top of their career choice, hobbies, and other interests.

2. Prioritize emotional fulfillment over immediate physical needs

When we don’t (or can’t) jump into relationships due to external factors like COVID-19, we prioritize emotional fulfillment as opposed to dating as many people as we can. Another unintended consequence of the pandemic and the vaccination status trend is increased sexual safety.

Fewer physical interactions and higher risks associated with meeting someone for the first time have led to more caution in the bedroom.

3. Less spontaneous outings

In the same vein, people who date are less likely to go on spontaneous outings that involve alcohol and other risk factors. Meetings are more intentional and mindful, especially for people who are in a polygamy relationship and who have to consider multiple people’s safety and their own.

4. Increase in communication, openness, and vulnerability

When we’re more mindful about who and how we date, we put our needs first. Dating trends show that we’re now more open about telling potential partners what we want out of a relationship - a phenomenon called ‘prioridating.’

We seek a single priority in dating someone, whether it’s emotional support, financial wellness, or sexual satisfaction. This way of thinking in poly dating allows us to view relationships as a mutually enriching experience, not something that just takes from our emotional, financial, or mental wells.

Vaccine status and well-being in a poly relationship

Ultimately, asking for someone’s vaccine status allows us to prioritize our health and well-being. The shift towards being open about vaccination status (and whatever political affiliations it comes with) has trickled over to another trend, which is being more open about our needs and relationship priorities.

Loss, health scares, and mental exhaustion is part of the COVID-19 aftermath, but the poly dating world may be better off by emphasizing mindful habits, honest communication, and self-care.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

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