Originally Posted by CielDuMatin
I really don't mind what definition you use, or even if you choose not to define it rigidly or not - I haven't met many people at all where I could say that my poly is their poly, and that is perfectly fine to me - I don't have to be the same as them or think the same as them in order to communicate with them, become friends with them and like them and respect them as people.
Even among poly folk saying "I'm poly" doesn't mean a lot and, if you want people to have an accurate picture of your relationship style, you need to explain a lot more. In my opinion there's nothing wrong with that.
When I interact with people on this and other fora, since I am not trying to define this community or do anything that involves public acceptance of the term in general, I feel that it is perfectly OK to refer to things as "that's not the way I do it" - but that's all it is - it's not a value judgment on the other person's way. Maybe sometimes we could try to defuse a potential situation like this with a little more care in how we express our differing opinions and make it a little more obvious that we respect the other person's right to think differently and to have a differently-structured relationship. This would include using words that don't sound like sweeping generalizations or could be interpreted as "this is the way to do it".
i could not agree more. of course we have a variety of ways of being polyamorous - i celebrate our diversity i would not want it any other way!
what is painful and diversive at times is when we appear to be telling each other that our way is the only way, that another person's way of being poly is not
poly. what i hope is meant in those moments is "that isn't how i practise poly" but sadly what often gets said is "that is not poly".