Poly Relationship: Handling the Distance


Poly Relationships: Handling the DistanceLong distance relationships suck. There’s no two ways about it. Especially if you’re someone like me, where physical affection is one of the major ways that you receive love. Not having someone to just reach out and touch, have a cuddle, or something more; it becomes draining after a while. But it has given me a unique perspective. Since I’m polyamorous, but I’m also in a long distance relationship, most of the time, I might as well be single.

Being “single yet not” comes with a slew of perks, as well as drawbacks. I don’t have to plan around my significant other, barring the weekends or weekdays I spend with her. I control my plans, and my finances. I have the freedom, but I still have someone who is an amazing emotional support for me. I also feel like my dating options aren’t restricted by the fact that I have a partner. Granted, I would still be honest with anyone I would date that I am in an open and long distance relationship, and that I have a very vested interest in maintaining said relationship. So far, the people I’ve been on dates with have really respected that, and my girlfriend.

However, it does have some drawbacks. Any new or potential relationship, especially a local one, causes my Bunny a little bit of stress, even though she’s seen my dedication to her. Simply not being local to me when someone else is means that, no matter how hard I try, things could turn on their head pretty quickly. It does also seem like it would limit my dating pool a bit, as I would have to find someone who is cool with my existing relationship.

Thankfully, my local BDSM community, where I have been investing a lot of time growing my personal relationships, knows Bunny, and totally respect her and my relationship. Sadly, however, the dating pool is a little scarce there: the people I’m interested in dating aren’t as interested in dating me. Which is fine. I’ve recently shifted from the “sprint” mentality in relationships to a bit more of a “marathon” mentality. And it has made a world of difference.

It’s also eased a lot of stress from me and Bunny. Things are less “if”, and more “when.” Long-term isn’t just feasible, but likely. And it really eases her into knowing that I’m in it for the long haul. In a way, I think the long distance has brought that out. Because I don’t always get to see her, we really have to work to build our relationship, which just makes it feel more valuable, more invested. And our relationship is thriving, not just surviving. The time and distance puts things in an unusual perspective, a longer perspective. It makes handling the distance, both physical and temporal, much easier.


Derek is a twenty-something guy living in a somewhat urban and rural community in the Midwest. When he's not on the occasional date or trying to get a poly community started in his area, he enjoys hanging out with friends and playing all sorts of different games. Life is sometimes different out in the cornfields, but that doesn't stop him from doing his best to bring polyamory into the open by living openly poly.


  1. Amen. I am also in a long distance relationship with a woman I wish so much to be closer to. It is a struggle, but when those interactions happen… Fireworks.

  2. It sucks when there is only one of me, and I can’t be in two (or more) places at once! I recently became involved with a man who lives 3-4 hours’ drive from where I live, and not only that, but he lives with his elderly mother (who is not deaf, go figure, lol), so our options are limited to what we can afford to spend on fuel and accommodations. But we talk on the phone at least once per day – it’s either “get what we can” or “go without”.

    However, I do feel bad for LD BF sometimes because I live with someone else and we get those little things like being able to touch each other and enjoy the benefits of having a second person around to share meals, errands, bills, etc. I know that LD BF would like to have someone closer to him to share those things with too.

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