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Old 10-27-2012, 03:56 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,812



That was an interesting thread to me because of the diversity of responses. Words have power. And not everyone uses words the same -- rules, limits, boundaries, principles, etc. Isn't it all the same?

I think so. But I think what people are stretching for is the phrase "personal standard."

I have certain core values. For self and in relationship. They are largely intangible concepts like "honesty." Yet my core values influence my behavior and character. If I were going to list what I value? It's a bugger. I value a LOT of things! I could list forever! But if I force myself to "top 10" it? Hrm.

I value:
  • honesty, trust
  • fidelity/loyalty
  • keeping promises
  • respect
  • clear communication & constructive conflict resolution
  • steadfast, stability, order. My healths being honored.
  • humor, practical, intelligence, maturity (all six!)
  • friendly, agreeable, kindness
  • forgiveness, compassion

Yeah... kinda hard to limit it to 10 things. Personal values lists really CAN go on forever. What I value today is different than what I valued as a teen. It's bound to be different than what I will value in 20 years.


I remember somewhere around 25 years old I turned to DH and said "Have you NOTICED how we value a comfy bed much more now than when we first met in our late teens? Sex on the floor, on the stairs, in the cars, freakin' from the bloody trees if we could. Now suddenly we're getting older and comfy beds have increased in value."

I remember he nodded. "Comfy is GOOD."

Later still when I was pregnant both of us suddenly valued LOTS OF PILLOWS like all get out. Foreplay suddenly included loving applications of pillowage upon my person, around my person, under my person as my ever growing pendulous baby belly made itself known in all kinds of ways.
"Stop!" I'd announce.


"We cannot have sex in this position. The baby is now awake and complaining and kicking my guts out!"

"Oh. Well... I have PILLOWS! Here! Let's change and give you more pillows!"

Laugh. One of the first things he did post birth of the kid was to run out to Target and buy her a littly baby monkey toy and buy me a pillow.
Me: ANOTHER pillow? We don't have enough?

Him: Yes. But this one has ARMS. I figure you need all the pillows I can get you. Maybe it helps for nursing? If you hate it I can return it. They have body pillows. Do you want me to get you a long body pillow? There's little neck pillows too.
I stared at him. Laugh. SO much fun. Living life with this man.

Basically, I'm down with a lot of the universal values. Thing is, there's a mess of them too. Blobbed into 10 major categories. And I'm not great and articulating them all -- even I have to go looking them up.

You NEVER assume in polyship. It's a lot easier to just calibrate and get on the same page than to assume you value the same things to the same degree and are on the same page.

A short list of Universal Values I like reads like this...
  • trustworthiness -- being honest and reliable, showing integrity, displaying loyalty.
  • respect: being considerate of others, tolerant of differences, and courteous
  • responsibility -- the desire to do the best work possible and keep on trying
  • fairness -- playing by the rules and not cheating or taking advantage of others
  • caring -- showing the qualities of kindness and forgiveness
  • citizenship -- being a cooperative, respectful member of your community and environment

I'd have to spent more time blobbing my values together. Maybe a major category or two would emerge as my Top 3 if I did it that way? Hrm. I'd have to bookmark that.

But I do articulate it to the "good enough" place in my Universe. That playbook is both my "Personal Code of Conduct" and the "Personal Standard for Polyship." A new potential player would be invited to add their things to it and we could negotiate the new form of it. If we all agree to be together, then THIS would be the way we agree to be together and we'd all be accountable to that standard we created. We'd agree to grant those rights and own those responsibilities to the rest of the polyship people in order to face whatever it is Life dishes out next and remain in right relationship to each other.

You honor the flag you choose to fly under.

Here's the thing though -- at work some people get some employee handbook listing the company's code of conduct and standards, policies and procedures. My kid's school sends the school handbook out every freakin' year. For personal standards? Rarely are they articulated or written out, much less sent around to the people it pertains to.

Over the years I learned the value of having it written out. Even for MYSELF.

I could be tempted by my emotions to lollygag around in a relationship that is no good for ME and my healths. Just because my emotions are unwilling to part. Have a clear 3 strikes limit on shenanigans keeps ME honest to ME.

I had to go through my first major break up to learn the value of having that listed out for myself. I spent too long there -- longer than I needed. Trying to leave "nicely" -- rather than hitting the 3 strike limit and taking the agreed limit OUT.

Emotional management is learned. I learned.

So even though the original thread poses the question as
"What are your poly relationship rules?"
If it were me asking it in general or asking it of a potential player I would put it more like this:
"Tell me about your values. What are your personal standards? What's your code of conduct for yourself? What's your code of conduct expectations of your romantic partners? What do you value in a partner? How's that same/different from what you expect from your friends or value in your friends? How did you arrive there?"
Given that I always ask

"So tell me how you like to break up with people... what kind of an ex are you?"
People largely fall into these groups:
  • Those that tell me I'm really scary and intimidating.
  • Those that tell me I'm bizarre and/or really refreshing.

I laugh either way. I'm not scary. Why are they scared to look inward for answers? Is it scary that I want to know the authentic them? I take an interest in people. Certainly would take an interest in people I want to date! There's another thing I value -- authenticity.

A friend of mine tells me I'm like the "boundary queen." I've also been told I have "too high of standards."

I like my high personal standards right where they are at. They've brought me a largely happy and content life. Why on earth would I want to compromise that for inviting all kinds of wacko into my life?

There's stuff I'm willing to put up with.

Then there's stuff that I'm not willing to put up with. If I can't be having with that? I shan't!

I just don't see how much clearer that can be. I give you a LIST! Show me YOURS.

We line up in values, goals, wants, needs, limits? We can fly together in harmonious polyship. We don't? Let's not fly a polyship and keep it at friends then. What's so horrible about having a friend?

I think people make things waaaaay more complicated than it needs to be.

DH told me today he loves my bold/authentic/honest/clear/earnest/fierce.

That's sounding like a values list to me in romantic partner. I have to ask him for the rest of his list. How has it changed since we first met, if any?

Damn. Now I have to think about answering that one myself.

Mmmm.... Shiny Thoughts to chase around in my head. Whee!


Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-27-2012 at 04:08 AM.
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