MY GAME BOOK: ETHICS IN RELATIONSHIP
My first boyfriend had the simplest agreement:
- 1) Do not lie to me. Just spit it out and hard truth it to me.
- 2) Do not cheat on me and cootify me
- 3) Don't be a ass. Play like honorable Jedi. Whatever it is, barring horrors, we can work it out. Horror being something evil like you being a rapist, serial killer, or BBQing babies. Let's keep it real.
He could not keep it real. He didn't outright lie, but there were lies of omission. He could not hard truth it to me. He never cheated or cootified me. Where he became the biggest ass? Was in not wanting to deal with me in full color. He didn't want to love all of me uncensored – he was young and it was easier for him to cope with conventional than unconventional.
I learned I needed to state full colors from the get go. I hadn't been clear so he didn't know what he was signing up for fully.
I also had not set a firm limit at the outset of the relationship, so breaking up came hard for him. I had not set my limit well. I assumed my limit was his limit for the expected duration of the rship.
And I was too nice in breaking up because I felt bad about not setting clear limit and not giving full colors. So the break up went longer than it needed. Ugh. I was upset with him, myself and the whole relationship. It was like Pigs in Space. Not entirely Muppet Backstage Chaos, but not exactly Jedi either.
So I also learned to break up hard and swift. To set better limits for clearer understanding of the mission being undertaken, and whether or not where would be an option to renew. He had his bag of things to own but so did I.
I got tougher about Loving Hard.
I played the field a bit for a short while with these revised rules – still the spirit of the old rules but more clear on the HOW of execution. This is how you stay in right relationship with me:
- Do not lie to me. Just spit it out and hard truth it to me. I find this reasonable. If you do not, do not play here.
- I am not looking for exclusive. Do not cheat on me and cootify me. If one of your others is looking to go loverly, give me the heads up so I can make a decision about my own sex health. I do not get excited unless it is time for me to get excited. Tell me when you have someone new, then tell me again when it looks to go lover. I find this reasonable. If you do not, do not play here.
- Don't be an ass. Play like honorbale Jedi.
- Lie? That's a one strike you are out.
- Anything else? I'm willing to negotiate. But own it. More than 3 times on the same thing? You are not a serious try player. Goodbye. 3 strikes you are out.
- If you cannot do these things, do not sign up for the mission. We're better off as friends.
I ended up in a dating and then settling into a “V” of a kind. A mono male + poly female + mono male thing with me as the hinge person.
It was fun most of the time. It was interesting. It satisfied for a long while, in many buckets. My friends with benefits became Loves. But eventually I had to narrow down further. It had challenges, mostly good ones. I regret nothing.
The break up with one side was the best break up ever. I was hard and clean and swift. It was first confusing to him and then SO understood by him.
That made it sweet – the bittersweet sweet. Dialing it down to friends and then gentle fading out of my life like he'd gently faded in . Couldn't ask for better parting.
Life with then FWB-then BF-Now DH has been sweetness of another kind.
So a new crossroads as we kick around the idea of Opening A Marriage. Old rules revisited and straightened up. I kept posting them so much in my early posts on this forum as I stepped out of years of lurker-dom that I finally just put it in my profile as a quick link.
But to have it in a post in my story thread in full? Here's my current contract of rights and responsibilities. DH and I play by these in a closed polyship of 2. It would be pretty much same/similar if it were opened. The other parties would be invited to add their things to it to help make it their banner to fly under too. But my bits? They are pretty firm.
I'd have to ask DH if there's anything there he would change.
In a relationship (of whatever configuration), the people in it have worth, value, and dignity. It demands respect. You have to TRY to play ball and be in right relationship to your people.
How I roll:
A) No lying. That's a 1 strike you are out.
Any lie of any kind – overt and lies of omission. Don't bother. Hard truth it to me. I may not like the news but I will Listen without shooting the messenger.
B) Anything else I'll negotiate on with 3 strikes you are out. Four times on the SAME issue? You are not a "give serious try" Jedi player who holds up rights and responsibilities in rship. Don't play with me. Bye.
I'll go Dossie Easton-ish for HOW to be a Jedi Player to me in our agreed upon relationship:
- The right to clear communication
- The right to expect support from partner
- The right to be nurtured
- The right to get your needs met
- The right to responsiveness
- The right to constructive feedback
- The right to constructive conflict resolution
- Responsible for knowing and stating your needs, wants and limits
- Responsible for knowing your math tiers of this configuration
- Responsible for following through on promises
- Responsible for your own and your partner's buckets: mental health, emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health buckets. Carry buckets with minimal slosh. (You are NOT a footloose single any more. Don't ding me intentionally. )
- Responsible for emergency preparedness
- Responsible for caring for your own equipment/stuff
Life is NOT a dress rehearsal. Play hard. Play ball.
Love hard like honorable Star Wars Jedi. Not like the Muppet Show.
I love the Muppets, and they are fun to watch on TV. But I don't want to live
in Muppet Backstage Chaos all the time.
I want partner(s) with hot ethics, beliefs and values.