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Old 10-11-2012, 11:35 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 10,083

Originally Posted by LoveBomb View Post
Good communication is definitely part of it. For example, one of my rules would be "If you meet someone you really like, be open about it and don't keep it a secret from me."
But see, generally, the folks who say they don't need rules would look at that and scratch their heads and wonder, "Why would anyone need a rule for that?" Logic says that in any relationship where there is mutual respect and good communication, there wouldn't be secrets and people would express what's going on for them without needing a requirement to do so. And many would find it offensive to have a rule like that! I mean, that is what it is to be a grown-up in a relationship, and knowing how to treat a partner with kindness, respect, and courtesy. No one would need to tell them they have to be honest.

It's about trusting your partner to make smart and loving choices. I guess it depends on the people involved, how long they've been together, how well they know each other, and what they've been through.

I think River, a member here, has said it very eloquently in the following posts (there come from several different threads, which you may like to read as well):
Originally Posted by River View Post
I don't mess around with rules much. I figure that if the parties involved love and respect one another and communicate well, rules aren't really necessary. The communication is key to this. My sweeties can only respond to a need or desire of mine if I let them know I have this need or desire. They are free to respond as they will to any request or expression of need/desire. They are not rule bound. If I'm unhappy with their response, it's up to me to say so. But I/we don't feel the need to formulate an official list of rules. Instead, we try our best to care for and look out for one another.
Originally Posted by River View Post
You can play at the rule thing . . . and that's fine, or you can all decide to grow up and be adults about this thing, in which case you will have need of only one rule: Love one another. I mean, 'cmon! . . . I'll say that if you're all loving one another you'll find that there will be less and less need for setting up rules for one another.

. . . It just occurred to me that my relationships don't involve rules like, "Don't bust the windows out in my house" and "don't deliberately scratch my favorite CDs with a fork" and "Don't throw cold water on me when I'm sleeping".... All of this stuff is implicit in loving relationships, and so is "Don't text me, or answer text messages, when I'm sharing precious intimate time with my partner." And I would say setting a rule like "don't see your other love but once a week for x number of hours" breaks the implicit premise of loving. A rule having to do with trusting your loved one to make sound decisions about spending time with their other partner. Yes, it is loving to ask for more time if such time is desired and the other partner is taking up a lot of one's time. That, too, is implicit in loving.
Originally Posted by River View Post
Most everything flows out of the agreement Kevin & I have to be honest and transparent with one another. It's more of an agreement that a "rule," per se. We trust each other enough that we don't feel the need to lay down rules for our relationship or for each other.

We really like being together, so neither of us fears that there won't be enough time together if either of us ends up having another love. Probably, if or when either of us has another love, we'll include the other/s in our lives in such a way that we'll spend a lot of time together as a group -- whether or not all of us are "romantically" involved with each other. So our routine frequent hikes in the mountains, camping trips, etc., wouldn't be dramatically altered -- we'd just have another (or two) to share these activities with ... along with meals, maybe a bed....

Sure, if either of us -- or both -- were to have another love, we'd spend some one-on-one time with him or her or them. That goes without saying, but there's no fear or doubt about the love we have for one another (or none rising beyond barely perceptible, and laughable), but there'd be no need to make rules to insure that we spend time with each other. We like being together so much that the thought of one of us neglecting the other in terms of time shared is preposterous. But he and I are also generally quite comfortable being alone, or out and about on our own, so there's none of the clingy-needy stuff between us. We need each other, sure, but not in a needy-clingy sort of way.

. . . Rules are for the distrustful. I've had shattered trust in a supposedly "love" relationship before, and it took a lot of years to find myself where I'm at now. Trusting my partner as I do. We need no rules, and want none. But we can arrive at agreements. The difference may seem very subtle, if even perceptible to some. But it's the Grand Canyon between these two for me.


Rules are borne of a failure to share or enter into agreement. They are based on a lack of trust and a fear that the other would harm you or allow you to be harmed where preventable--or a fear that one is unloved. Rules are like training wheels, at best, and are like manacles or prison walls at worst. Where there is agreement, "escape" is not sought or desired, so manacles or prison walls are unnecessary.
Originally Posted by River View Post
By distinguishing between "rules" and "agreements" as I have done above, I meant to highlight the difference between those relationships where there is profound trust and those relationships fraught with anxiety and fear that the other will harm or disrespect us. Kevin & I have so much trust and respect and kindness and warmth toward one another that I don't feel like I want to have "rules" in place meant to protect me from hurt or harm which may result from his actions/non-actions. And I believe he basically feels just as I do in this regard.

We have absolutely no rules as to who one or the other can interact with and how they may interact with them -- because such rules would be utterly superfluous. Why superfluous? Because we trust one another and our love for one another enough that we see no need to tether one another by such rules. Kevin's just not going to be loving me any less if he meets someone else and falls in love with him/her. He's not going to abandon me in the sense of not spending plenty of quality time with me. I have nothing to fear! Try as I might, I can't think of a scenario in which Kevin would abuse the trust I have in him -- so I don't see any need to restrict him with "rules".

We have agreements, but our agreements are nothing like rules. We agree, for example, that it is unloving for myself or himself to have unprotected sex with someone who we don't know to be free of STDs/HIV.... Likewise, we agree that it is unloving to involve ourselves in relationships with people who may mistreat, exploit, or abuse us. I don't need to give my okay to the friends or lovers he may choose because i fundamentally trust him . . .

our basic agreement: to love one another. That's the agreement that all else flow from, including our agreement that such agreements are superior to rule-making, and including our agreement that the trust of the sort we have toward one another is the springhead of the liberty we honor in one another. And I say "honor" because I cannot be the bestower of this liberty. I can only recognize it as the truth of who and what we are. If I wanted to constrain that liberty in any way, I'd have to take three good long steps back and examine what I'm fearful of. Such fear indicates a problem ..., but I have no such problem. We are happy and free. Loving and loved.
I just thought I'd include those quotes for another perspective.
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia

Click here for a Solo Poly view on hierarchical relationships
Click here to find out why the Polyamorous Misanthrope is feeling disgusted.

Last edited by nycindie; 10-12-2012 at 12:09 AM.
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