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Old 10-01-2013, 04:28 AM
london london is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635

My OP is referring to how new relationship affect current (older) relationships. And how older (current) relationship affect new ones. There is an effect on both. I understand that people already apart of a set Polyship are going to be considered when negotiating wants/needs within my relationships (it’s the sensible thing to do). I’m talking about new ones, and how they affect the network (using your terminology). My polyship is quite small, so not much of a network.
Regardless of whether it's a new relationship or a first date, you still have to consider the needs of the other person. I would find it very rude if someone I was going on a date with was more interested in accommodating their wife's needs than thinking about what I might need for the date to have a chance at success.

The scenario does not have to refer to a primary type relationship, just a relationship that is settled, has a rhythm, and now is adjusting to a new relationship that may or may not actually take off.
Again, just because you haven't formalised any sort of relationship agreement or commitment to someone that you are interacting with, it doesn't mean that their opinions get to be dismissed, or deemed less important than those of your partner. Not unless they are okay with their needs being secondary and not really considered until they agree to a relationship with you. Personally, I wouldn't be able to bond sufficiently with anyone who made me earn the right for my opinions about our relationship to be considered; we would never be able to get to relationship stage. You can easily replace primary with "relationship that has existed the longest". Because that is what you are asking, isn't it? You are creating this dichotomy between meeting the needs of your existing partner and meeting the needs of potential/new partners. You can actually do both if your existing partner's needs are reasonable and do not continuously impact on the other relationships you have.

Not every person I date will actually turn out to be a new partner for me. I do however want the option for that new person to turn into more than just a friend “getting to know you “ date. So I will talk with my partner(s) about how I feel, and see how they feel, and what may need to be negotiated. I have responsibilities to the people who are already apart of my partnership, I do not have the same responsibilities to someone I’m just now getting to know.
See, what would be logical to me is to discuss what that person would need for that option to be there and then I would consider whether I can meet those needs given the obligations I already have. Discussing how I develop new relationships, ie my polyamory, is something that should be settled between any existing partners already, before there are any potential partners on the scene. So, when I do meet someone else, I think about interacting and bonding with them and not having to console my existing partner(s). I am or should be already meeting their needs. We already know what my obligations and how much time I have to spend with any additional partners. I know that I will need to find someone who doesn't require an amount of time that I am unable to give as well as maintain the relationships and responsibilities I have already. Why will my existing partner's needs suddenly going to drastically change now I have someone else on the scene? If that was a regular occurrence, I'd certainly question whether it was a manipulation technique.

I do however expect someone new to also be willing to be flexible, and understanding of my non single lifestyle.
Yes, all parties have to be flexible and adaptable. That includes people in existing relationships. If you want to have a relationship with other people, you have to be able to meet their needs, create the environment they need to bond with someone in that way as well as what you need or the relationship has no chance of success.

Does stating things in this way help to see that the existing relationship isn’t “controlling” the “new” relationship?
I think that if there are rules and agreements in the existing relationship that define how and when one interacts with potential partners, then the existing relationship is controlling new relationships. My obligation to my existing partner is to meet the needs that he has of his romantic partner(s). When I stop doing that, I am then being a less than responsible partner. If his needs included controlling the way I interact with new partners regardless of whether I am fulfilling my obligations to him, it would be me and him that have the incompatibility. If my new/potential partner needed me to shirk my ongoing responsibilities in order to create a relationship with them, that would be a sign of our incompatibility. I will not treat someone badly (by dismissing their needs) in order to maintain or build another relationship.

Therefore (in my eyes) it is not just that the existing partner that needs to be accommodating to the new partner, it is also the new partner who needs to be accommodating to the existing partner(s). Again I acknowledge that this “accommodation” isn’t as big for the solo polyists.
I absolutely agree that both people have to be flexible and acknowledge that their shared partner has obligations to more than one person. I disagree that "solo" poly involves less accommodation of this kind: just because I might not see/meet/interact with someone's wife, it doesn't mean that I don't have to constantly make sure my needs are not impeding on her needs. The difference is that I don't view the wife's needs as more important than that of new or potential partners. From the time I start to consider a relationship with someone, or I am interested in interacting with them in a romantic and /or sexual way, what they need for that budding union to potentially blossom becomes as important as my needs and any of my partner's needs. Being as important doesn't mean that everything will go their way, but it means they will be given an equal voice, equal consideration, whilst I decide how best to proceed. This might mean that I hear their needs, acknowledge that I am unable to meet them with my current obligations and decide that I therefore cannot ethically build a relationship with them.

Last edited by london; 10-01-2013 at 04:32 AM.
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