The shape or configuration of the polyship doesn't matter to me. I think it is worthwhile to know oneself and one's partners well in those areas -- each others values, ethics, way of going -- and co-create the expected personal standard for holding each other accountable so they can remain in right relationship inside the polyship.
It is not just about "basic manners and decency" to me. I get that with a grocery clerk. It is that I expect MORE from close friends and lovers -- I want them not just to "basic polite" me, but "platinum rule" me and treat me the way I want to be treated when we face difficult conversation or major life choices. I want to do well by them too and know how to platinum rule them. I can't know that without talking about it. We teach others how we want to be treated.
I don't have those kinds of intense Life moments with the grocery clerk. I do have those intense Life moments with close friends and lovers. I like having the guiding personal standard to help navigate in times of discernment so everyone is up to par and getting what they need in the way they need it.
Most recent example? My abused friend was living here temporarily. I did not know if her crazy ex was going to show up at my house and act out, or hurt someone or what. He could show up with a gun. Who knew? I didn't have to lay it on the line for her. I didn't have to put myself in the line of fire for crazy. If she chose to accept my aid, she had to play ball. Dude is/was scary. I was willing to shelter her, but she had to agree to my personal standard sheet I gave her or seek aid elsewhere.
We had to talk about a lot
of intense personal things -- money, sex, relationships, property, divorce, abuse she endured. So I could help her locate the local resources/lawyers/aid she needed to extricate herself. We could not NOT talk about uncomfortable things. It had to be done. It was draining for all of us, but with that shared standard we were both able to be comfortably uncomfortable telling each other hard shit without it getting cruel or brutal or damaging.
Traversing the interdependent overlapping area of discernment together in our relationship so
a) we could discern what to do to get to goal (keep us all safe while establishing her in her new life and get the ex off her back)
b) we could still be friends through it and after it
It was a delicate balance.
I'm interested in this charter or code or whatever mostly for informing my own awareness and judgment, so I can be more clear-eyed and clear-headed in my various relationships, and more likely to be successful in behaving like the decent human being I aspire to be.
If I do that work up front, it then becomes much easier to navigate relationships - and enjoy them, and celebrate them - because I don't have to spend a lot of time thinking about or agonizing over basic ethical ideas, unless some new kind of problem comes along . . . but, then, it's also easier to work through new problems pretty quickly. In other words, if I do the work up front, I don't have to spend a lot of time in my relationships fussing over what decency requires; I can just be a decent guy.
That's pretty much where I come from. It is easy to get along and be ethical when it's sunny days. Don't really need a guiding map when the problem is "What's for dinner?"
It's harder when it comes down to the wire and one has to make tough calls through the emotional curtain that can cloud good judgement. I find it easier to discern in stormy weather if everyone operates from the same standard built from shared values/ethics.
I (or anyone I have on that standard) can just pull it out and circle the things. "THIS is how we agreed to be together. THIS is what I am not getting/need more of right now that I want to get. Let us discern what can be done here so all can arrive at goal."
I do whip that out for guidance when the fit hits the shan or things get tense/dicey in my relationships. I want to be sure I'm treating them how they wanted to be treated. I want to be treated how I want to be treated.
, not golden rule.