“Are you free Wednesday? No? How about two weeks Thursday? Or three weeks Friday?”
I wish I could say that was a purely fictional conversation, but honestly it is not uncommon. Nearly every time I come out to someone as being poly “how do you find time?” is one of the first questions I am asked. My usual reply? “Honestly I’m not sure…”
Okay that’s a lie. I do know how, but it really isn’t easy. There are tools, and sometimes the most basic like Google Calendar work best. But the best by far is talking about it. Making plans is always hard, especially when you factor in being adults, having jobs, possibly thinking about childcare, bills, there is loads to think about as is. Imagine adding in another person with all of those things in? Maybe adding in multiple people? Then factoring in their other partners and all of those things for them? Yeah not the easiest idea in the world.
I don’t mean to make it sound impossible. It really isn’t. I have been practicing poly for a while now, and at present I am seeing 3 people with different relationship types, alongside more casual stuff. It isn’t simple. I am always having too book weeks, hell sometimes even months, in advance as it requires checking diaries nonstop.
I mentioned Google Calendar earlier and honestly I don’t know how I managed without it. In fact the article I mentioned in my previous poly post showed me just how helpful a calendar could be. I have everything plugged into it, my work schedule, meetings, and especially dates. This means that it is easy to see exactly when I am free. I put location in too, which means that if I am at a meeting in town then a break then another meeting in town, and someone wants to meet for a coffee, but we can’t work out when, I can see that I am going to be in town anyway and could meet them for a few hours. It just helps a lot, and means I don’t have to book 2 weeks in advance.
Another issue I find is seeing people in different parts of the country. One person I am seeing is all the way in Scotland. They are fabulous and I really cherish my time with them, but sadly I don’t get to see them much. Because of this, we spend time together chatting on Skype (or of late, WhatsApp video as Skype is messing around) and it is lovely. We can easily talk for hours and forget the time.
What I am trying to say is that time management when non-monogamous is not simple. I may not be able see people all of the time, but when I do it makes it all worthwhile.