Let’s talk about relationship conversations for a moment. When you’re polyamorous, you’re going to have them more often just because you have more of them. There are different conversations you will often want to have and they’re used for different purposes. I’ve chosen a basic breakdown of three, just because lists are easy and popular on blogs. Snigger as it suits you.
1. Checking In
The checking in conversation, while usually the shortest, is the most important in any relationship. I find it analogous to doing the dishes immediately after a meal when nothing’s crusty and it’s easy to clean up.
These conversations tend to be under five minutes, and tend to be along the lines of: I love you. How are things going with you. Do you think there’s anything serious we need to talk about? Nope? Did I tell you that I’ll be out next weekend? Oh, I put it on the calendar. Good. *hugs/kisses*
They’re so important because they keep you in touch with your partner without making a heavy deal of the situation. They seem light and trivial – perhaps hardly worthy of attention. Nothing could be further from the truth! If you take these conversations seriously and to heart, you’re building a lot of trust and intimacy within the relationship. Your partners will rely on that gentle flow of information, and will often be more likely to offer you the same opportunities.
2. The Hour-Long Conversation
Sometimes long conversations need to happen. Maybe you’ve neglected checking in often. Maybe something really complex has just come up in your life. That happens and is a standard part of life.
You should have a very clear idea what you want to talk about, and leave lots of listening time when you have these. You’ll notice I put a time limit of an hour. It’s not that I think a stopwatch is important. I do think a limited time is important. If you’re finding that you’re not sticking to the subject and rambling a lot, it might be you’re thinking aloud rather than having a conversation. Thinking aloud is okay, but it’s important to be clear about what you’re doing.
You can’t go far wrong if you read and take On Civilized Discourse to heart!
3. The All-Nighter
With this one, be afraid. Be very afraid. We’ve all stayed up into the wee, small hours talking. When it’s a bottle of vodka, and a political or philosophical discussion, it can be a lot of fun. If it’s the third time this year for a Serious Relationship Discussion and the snow hasn’t even melted yet, maybe there’s a big problem in the relationship.
While I’d hesitate to issue a blanket condemnation of all-nighters, approach them with caution, fear and trembling. Plenty of people just aren’t at their best when they’re sleep deprived, and agreements made then might be hard to take seriously in the cold light of day.
The place for these discussions are rare and sparing. Certainly and long and deep conversation can be transformative, but if they’re happening frequent, ain’t no transformation happening. I can’t encourage going with options one and two most often.
Though as a complete aside, I find it weird that friends rarely “talk about their relationships” while lovers do. Isn’t that odd?
 Sleep dep is an incredibly useful technique to encourage conformity. See the prayer schedule for the stricter monasteries, interrogation techniques, and the sleep schedule of your average boot in Basic Training.