The holiday season is fast approaching and many people often wonder how to handle alternative lifestyles such as polyamory and holidays. I’d like to offer a list of Useful Tips that will help with the Cool Kids/Backward Family interface.
- If you’re thinking of coming out at a family gathering…. DON’T.
- Having a heart doesn’t mean being a doormat.
- Be careful with assumptions.
- Those communication techniques you learned for good poly relationships can apply to your birth family.
Good grief, have a heart! I’m all in favor of being out, yes. Yes, I think being truthful with one’s family is a great idea. But you know what? There’s a time and a place for emotionally charged conversations and it’s not when Dad’s got the knife and is carving the Thanksgiving turkey, ‘kay? If you’re going to come out before the holidays and all the gatherings, you’ve really only got a couple of weeks to do so to give ’em time to adjust to the shock. Otherwise, go ahead and wait until after the New Year.
In all things, moderation and balance are important. You know those boundaries I keep pushing? You don’t have to accept being called names, threats or anything of the like. Have plans for a graceful retreat if things get hairy.
It can be hard to predict how family will react. Give ’em a chance to react well to you being poly. Who knows? You may find you were unnecessarily edgy.
Good communication, good boundaries, a willingness to truly love? All those things are important outside of the fun romantic relationships, you know. You’ve spent a lot of time using and practicing them. Here’s a chance to practice even more. Love’s love, for pity’s sake, and the world needs loving people. All relationships take work, care and focus. Be willing to do the work.