I am a big believer in time for the whole polycule to sit down together and enjoy each other’s company. But as most polies find out eventually, schedules are a bitch. This is definitely a YMMV thing, but I highly suggest added regular family meals to your calendar.
If everyone lives together, and work schedules aren’t too insane, you might even manage a daily meal. Tradition would have it be a family dinner, but at one point when I was working second shift and my family was spread across both halves of a two family house, we would have a family breakfast every morning.
If you don’t live together, try getting together once a month, do a potluck at someone’s house or meet up at a local buffet.
If you have a small polycule, you can probably manage to get everyone together pretty regularly with a bit of scheduling. If you have a large polycule, you might want to just a regular day (say, the third Saturday of each month) and whoever can make it, makes it.
If you don’t do the group relationship thing, you might ask why you and your SO, and your OSO, and your SO’s OSO, and your OSOs OSO, and your other OSO should bother doing this. I have two answers, one is is philosophical, one is practical.
Get to Know Each Other Before You Need To
Look, in an ideal world, you would never need to get to know your metamour unless you wanted to. We don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where unexpected pregnancies happen, people get into car accidents, and, in general, stuff changes.
Let’s take a look at two changes, one (potentially) positive, one negative
Your SO has grown really close to both you and your metamour. In fact, your SO loves both of you so much, they are talking about wanting all of you to live together. Maybe you like the idea, maybe you don’t. Either way, if you’ve spent some time with your metamour, your are in a better position to respond to your SO based on actual experience, not just guesses about a person you’ve said hi to in passing once in a while.
You get in a car accident and end up in the hospital. Imagine your SOs sitting together waiting for news of your condition. Do you want them to be near-total strangers, or acquaintances (maybe friends?) who know each other and maybe can offer each other some support?
These situations are just easier when you know the people involved as more than a face you see in passing from time to time.
Spending Time Together Builds Relationships
This is a philosophical thing. Maybe you don’t care if the other folks in your polycule interrelate at all. Maybe you aren’t interested in getting to know your metamour.
But polyamory is difficult enough to juggle when you aren’t part of a complicated network with near-strangers. Spending an hour or two together a month can help strengthen your network.
As an added bonus, it can also reduce some types of jealousy. Sit down to dinner with your metamour, watch them slurp their soup, pig out on ribs, and tell horrid jokes. And if you thought of them as a paragon of perfection next to your bundle of insecurities, you won’t anymore.