Meeting your partner’s other partner can be very stressful. It can be uncomfortable to spend time with the person whom you know is also dating your partner. For some people, meeting a metamour is a natural thing, and they aren’t phased by it. But most people may feel anxious, nervous, or even jealous as they consider meeting their metamour. They may feel as though their partner or metamour will be judging them, or feel that approval is needed from the metamour – especially if they are the newer partner. If you are feeling nervous about the prospect of meeting your metamour, here are some helpful tips!
Meet for the first time without your partner there. It is possible that both you and your partner will feel more pressure to somehow impress your partner, or each other, if your shared partner is present. Especially in cases in which one person is struggling a lot with jealousy, it may be important to meet without your shared partner, so as not to increase the amount of jealousy that may occur by watching your partner interact with your other partner. If it is not possible to meet without your shared partner, it may be helpful to talk to your metamour about what each of you are comfortable with – can your shared partner hold hands with your other partner in front of you? Can you kiss your partner in front of your metamour? Everyone has different preferences and different things that they are comfortable with, so it is always important to communicate these things!
Get to know your metamour. What shared interests do you have? What makes the two of you different? If you get to know your partner a little better, you may see why your partner is interested in the other person. In a mononormative society, in which monogamy is seen as normal, and romantic and sexual exclusivity is considered more natural and is given more privilege and value, we have been raised to compete with people who our partner is interested in. However, it may be more helpful to think of you and your metamour as players on the same team! You are both there for your shared partner, you both want your partner to be happy, and you will both do what you can to be there for your partner.
Remember, you always have at least one thing in common. If you feel the meeting isn’t going well, because you and your metamour seem to have absolutely nothing in common, remember that you are both there for the same person. You may never have met if it wasn’t for your shared partner!
Don’t feel pressured to be best friends. You don’t have to love your metamour! if you find your metamour slightly off-putting, or boring, or simply don’t have anything in common with them (aside from your shared partner), then that’s okay! Meeting your metamour doesn’t have to include pressure to like your metamour as much as your partner does. The important thing about meeting your metamour is being able to get an idea of who they are, and opening a line of communication between the two of you. If you want to plan a surprise birthday party for your partner, now you can do it with your metamour’s help!
Process the meeting afterwards. Whether you want to journal about how the meeting went, talk with another partner or friend, talk with your therapist, or even talk to the same metamour a few days after your first meeting, it is important to think about how you felt during and after the first meeting! Ultimately, it will be important for your shared partner to know how the meeting went. Did the two of you hit it off, and plan a spa day together? Did the two of you have nothing in common, and will most likely not interact again? Your shared partner may be interested in hearing these things, and will need to know if the two of you are comfortable being in the same room again. Can your shared partner invite you both to a party, or out to dinner together? How would you both feel about that? You may even want to spend some more time with your metamour to get to know them even better!
If you are a mental health clinician, and you have a client who is meeting their metamour for the first time, you can also utilize these tips for your client as reminders and considerations to think about. I hope you find these tips to be helpful. While there is never one “right” way to go about meeting a metamour, these tips may offer you some guidelines, especially if you are new to polyamory or have never met a metamour before.