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Old 09-29-2013, 04:27 PM
london london is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635

Does a relationship have inherent privileges, rights, responsibilities, and expectations? Or do those grow as the relationship grows?
I believe that you do have obligations and duties to the people that you form relationships with - friends, family, partners etc. This doesn't mean that many of the things you are obliged to do for them, you won't want to do anyway or at least, when you are in a healthy relationship, you want to do them. It just means that when you are someone's boyfriend, there is an expectation to meet the needs of your partner. No, not all of their needs, but the things that require from their romantic partner(s). On a side note, this is why partner selection/compatibility is so important; you can't be in a position where you are constantly having to sacrifice your own needs to meet theirs. You just won't be happy. These expectations, obligations, duties etc do evolve as the relationship progresses. People's needs change over time and relationships usually deepen. You share more entanglements and therefore you have more aspects of the relationship to maintain. Some of these entanglements are practical like finances and children, others are more to do with the emotional and social entanglements you develop with wider family and friends.

Does starting a new relationship reduce, or remove the privileges, rights, responsibilities, and expectations of the longer term relationship(s)?
No. You are only taking on new obligations, you are not lessening your existing obligations by spreading yourself thinner. That's why it is so important to recognise when you are poly saturated and unable to meet the obligations of having any more romantic partners. at that stage, it's best to limit the obligations you form by keeping any other potential relationships as casual as possible and being forthcoming with any newcomers about what you are able to offer and maintain in order to ensure that is compatible with their. What does need saying, however, is that agreeing to a polyamorous relationship, namely, your partner having more than one loving relationship at a time, means that you understand that they have obligations to fulfill with other people as well as yourself. Whilst that shouldn't mean they meet less of your needs than they were meeting previously, it does mean that some of their time will be earmarked for meeting someone else's needs. There will more than likely times when you both need your shared partner and despite your relationship with them existing longer than their relationship with them, their needs might be of a higher priority of then yours at that time. That might feel like you are now less important than you used to be, but that usually isn't the case. It is simply the fact that they now have obligations to more than one person and that might mean that they have to utilise time management skills to meet those obligations and maintain their relationships.

Or is it acceptable for the longer-term relationship to stick to their expectations of each other, and allow their relationship to organically grow to include the newest relationship at a rate that works for the longer-term “couple”?
Well, that's fine if the couple (or the person in the additional relationship at least) is forthcoming about these "expectations" with anyone they form a relationship with. This way, that person is able to see if those expectations are compatible with what they need, or if they are willing to give the relationship time to evolve to a state where it does meet their needs. What is definitely not acceptable is to give the impression that someone is able to become emotionally attached to you or your partner and then constantly change the rules of how attached they can become due to the miscommunication or incompatibility of needs in the existing relationship.

What rules, privileges, responsibilities, and expectations do you have in your various relationships and did those relationship start with those roles? or did they grow to include them, or did you have a relationship that had to adjust itself to accommodate changes to the roles it had?
We have a responsibility, an obligation, a duty to meet one another's needs as long as we want to keep fulfilling that duty. as long as it is still a positive and beneficial part of our lives. We have this expectation of one another regardless of how many other relationships we have. This expectation was formalised when we decided that we were in a romantic relationship.
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