I was submerged in a summer of distractions that kept me focused exclusively on work, and any woman who's loved a workaholic man will probably admit their principal competition is a tireless harlot that robs him of all his time. It's the damn job. That bitch.
Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I'm found too often the arms of that temptress. Yeah, I'm really crazy for her. Seriously though, she pales in comparison to the two real women who want the balance of my time and therein lies the problem.
There's only so much to go around. It's a commodity that demands management so every month we'll get together on the phone or in-person and spend about an hour looking for holes in our schedules. Between the three of us, we'll color-in a few lunches, day-time rendezvous, date nights, or weekend getaways. It's time well-spent. It gets us all in a room to negotiate a way for each of us to get what we want. It's a fairly practical exercise and its a great tip. Take the time to negotiate what you want together - no surprises.
Meanwhile, I can't be everywhere at one time; my secondary will sometimes be on her own while Polyfulcrum (PF) and I are together living our lives. That's hard on everyone. One of the greatest assets that I've got is a communication style with PF where we can both talk about what our lovers need, and we'll try to bend time around so we can each meet those needs. I'm really lucky that way. I'd say learn to be flexible and accommodating.
Birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions ... for any guy, need I say more? Now, take that problem and multiply it by two. Yikes! So this is one of my big weaknesses. I'm still trying to come up with ways to help with these things. I was thinking of establishing a relationship with a brilliant local florist to help out. Right, there's my next job: polyamorous gifting and event planning. Don't laugh, dude - there's a market there.
I've also learned about the importance of being present. I find myself making frequent calls, texting, and chatting a routine as to keep my sweetie engaged. I miss her and she shouldn't think that she's barely noticed. Everyday time together needs to be created, even if its just a few minutes on the phone or over Skype. Every little bit helps.
Life's a balancing act when it comes to time. Sometimes you just have to get creative. If PF sees me scheduling time with my sweetie away, I've found that it's not in her nature to just idle the time waiting for me to come home. Instead, she books time with D or engages some of her other interests. She makes the best use of the time she has. And I'll do the same when I find her away at a munch or it's BDSM night at the local adult club. You learn to make the best use of the time you've got.
And a closing tip to all of the guys out there: consciously make dating arrangements with your primary. I've screwed up on this one several times by fixating on booking date time with my "new/shiny" that I totally forgot to make time for her. Doh! Classic dumb move. So I've learned to book PF on date nights just as I'm also booking my secondary. Now, I don't think anybody should come to expect total equity out of poly relationships, but some semblance of making equal time for your principal relationship is an important fulcrum skill to learn.
Time. It waits for no man, and especially if there's two women involved. In the long run, you have to consciously find ways to make it work, and find ways to set work aside to pay attention to what really matters.