Totally agree, LR. Thanks for posting this.
It (obviously) irks me no end when folks proclaim that someone who doesn't do poly in a way that they find right is being in some way abusive, or less evolved - we've seen these "One True Way"ers come and go and we're usually left with a core of folks that are just getting on with making poly work for them, in their own way, and everyone involved is quite happy and content.
I have many friends who do poly differently from me - and yet I still number them as my friends and can have a civilised conversation with them.
I am a firm believer in the Dependence/Co-dependence -> Independence -> Interdependence model that has been proposed by several experts in society - that the human is by nature a social animal and we work best together with others. Independence is far better than dependence (and certainly better than co-dependence) but after that there is an extra step that will drive things to even greater heights. But that is just the hatpeg where I have chosen to leave my cap.
Poly, by its definition, is about a style of interpersonal relationships, not about us each living in isolation. We're supposed to be loving and caring for those that we choose. To do this well, I believe that we need to be trying to think win-win (not how I can get more than another), seeking first to understand then to be understood, and then creative cooperation, which some call synergy. These terms may well be familiar to some, already. This is what I desire in my interpersonal relationships, and what I believe is quite possible with a group of mature thinking individuals. If someone isn't prepared to be a part of these sorts of things, then I will definitely choose not to have a relationship with them. Seeing the willingness to engage in what I consider these principles of good interpersonal relationships is going to greatly increase the possibility that we are going to have a good working happy relationship.
People who are out for themselves, or only concerned with themselves, are usually going to end up causing trouble - often because they don't care about the win-win - they just care about the win for themselves and don't care about the other person's result. If they're not going to expend the effort to try to understand the boundaries, issues and desires of the others then how can they ever work together to make sure that everyone is happy? If they aren't willing to put the energy into things to try to find the best possible solution, then we don't function as well as we could, and the general level of happiness is lower.
The old cliche of being a "team player", while hackneyed, most definitely applies when it comes to my style of poly.
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