DeeDee & I communicate daily about our wants and needs. I find it difficult to express myself verbally, for many reasons. We usually do a "check in" when we get up in the morning and before/when we go to bed at night. It seems like a good way to start and end our days together.
Though we are not currently in a poly relationship, we still practice positive communication skills with one another which include many forms: verbally, via email, phone when we are apart, and of course, physically.
Right now I find it difficult to discuss "being" poly as we are not actively living in a poly relationship. We do have 2 roommates and we talk one on one and as a group to make sure we all are on the same page. We have had many discouraging events as of late, mostly unexpected financial burdens due to car repairs and medical bills...as many of you can relate to, I am sure. So we make sure to touch base regularly on all aspects of living together as a group. It just so happens we are living with one of my formers (I don't like the term "ex"), so in my mind we have some form of "poly-type" relationship going on, as it is just as important to communicate wants and needs with all those we live with, regardless the relationship. Our other roommate is my best friend, so I think we have it pretty easy here compared to a real poly relationship and communication.
I do agree wholeheartedly with Stead on the matter of communicating wants and needs to/with partners and that it is ok for partners to fill different needs.
Good topic Becca, thanks for getting us thinking!