Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray
I don't feel that I'm asking MC for permission, exactly, but I absolutely DO ask him if minds being single parent for an evening while I go out (whether it's with my friends or my partner or whatever)
I like to think of it this way:
Say I make a request of my partner, "I'm feeling a little lonely, I'd like to get some more time with you this week" or "My parents are coming into town this weekend and I would love for all of us to have dinner together", or "I am dying to go out with my friends, will you watch the kids Friday night"
I know that I am respecting their independence and am not acting as though I am entitled to their compliance if the answer "No" is perfectly acceptable. That doesn't mean that I have to be thrilled about it, but I have no business laying down guilt (one of the most anti-respect things I can think of) or bullying them into compliance. That's a good gauge for me. If I start to think that I am entitled to my partner acting in a way that I want them to then I am not respecting them as an independent adult.
As far as splitting poly up into more sub-classes, I can't imagine how that would help in a conversation like this. Because we aren't talking about living arrangements, not even when it comes to having kids or not. The core difference from one relationship to another is the level of trust and respect for each others independence. That's the difference between a relationship that involves a great deal of work and one that is basically effortless.