One of the things I have learned in my time chatting with other poly people, is just when you think you have found a set of common denominators as to "what makes it work", someone comes along that blows that out of the water.
I have known poly work between people that are horrible communicators - how? Because they were pretty much on the same page.
I started believing it was about openness - sharing, etc, but then there are those that do the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and are making it work for them.
I went around and around on how much it was about sex, and met several sex-free loving relationships that are working very well.
My conclusion? The only universal rule for being poly is that you are capable of loving more than one person at a time, and don't want to cheat on your partners.
I think that trying to come up with any universal set of rules or foundations beyond that is going to be very very difficult. There are going to be commonly-held ones (like the openness, honesty, communications and stuff like that) but there are always going to be exceptions which work well for them.
...and it doesn't really matter, in my opinion, because this whole thing is about the individual finding out what it is like to work in interdependent ways with their partners, whatever way that happens to be.
So get ideas from those doing it, but use them as fertilizer to grow your own plants, rather than trying to build your garden just like someone else's.... I think that the discussion here shows well what comes of trying to "nail it down", like jello to the wall...
"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
Last edited by CielDuMatin; 05-13-2010 at 04:24 PM.