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Old 08-12-2012, 06:00 AM
katja24 katja24 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default Boundaries & Relationships: Global Philosphies or Case-by-Case Basis?

I would love to hear everyone's opinions, ideas, and experiences about the following:

Do you have global philosophies in your relationships, or do things happen on a case-by-case basis, or both? For example, do you agree to boundaries that pretty much allow anything or do you agree to boundaries depending on specific situations, contexts, or people? Or do both things happen for you in your relationships?

My partner feels like he needs a more global direction for our relationship, while I feel more comfortable getting used to new people and relationships on a case by case basis. I think I do have some global feelings: for instance, I am comfortable with any of his partners, as long as I trust them and I am able to meet them a couple times to get to know them a bit myself.

I would just appreciate hearing ideas and feedback about these ideas from anyone who cares to share I hope this isn't too confusing!
25 yr old queer woman with primary male partner, J
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:50 AM
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Glitter Glitter is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 115

I have a few very strict boundaries that I have with everyone, regardless of the relationship type. For others, I tend to discuss what their boundaries are, and see if we have an amicable area. If not, we try to find a mutually agreeable area that we both feel our needs, wants, boundaries, etc being met. If there is no reaching an agreement, then I pull away. If my strict rules are broken, you're out on your ear.
Me: 33 F
Married to: Storm 35 M
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:05 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,296


The basics for being in right relationship with me? It's here.

We are closed, but discussing. We have to see where it leads. We know it's not going to be open any time soon.

There's some other things we're mapping out right now because it's a different playing field when you open up an existing marriage (to us anyway) than the last "V" when we were 3 singles without kids or heavy burdens (ex: careers, houses, combined finances, aging parents, etc). It's not exactly a level playing field like before.

It's not like we can predict every little thing that might happen. Nobody can. But getting some global basics sketched in and agreements for how to resolve conflicts when (not IF!) they arise? That's where I like it.

I want to trust my partner to play well. He ought to make the calls in his relationships -- both with me and whoever else it may be. BUT -- since there's overlapping people? Let's get some "play fair" things in place. I'm enjoying the conversations with him -- he's got hot ethics. They turn me on.

I don't need to micromanage him or be micromanaged. But I need to be able to feel I'm in safe hands in all my buckets -- mental health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health. I want to know where he's at so I can carry HIS buckets with minimal slosh too. It's that whole "You are responsible for your own and your partner's buckets" thing.

When you are IN a relationship, you can't act like you are a footloose single. Even in open relationships -- there's ethics. It's not just the obvious "STD/pregnancy no riding bareback" thing.

Other issues in other buckets to have to treat with respect.

I'm just not interested in drama.

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Old 08-12-2012, 08:55 AM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Europe
Posts: 417

If the poly life is teaching me one thing (and its teaching me lots of things) it is that my preconceived notions of what is right and wrong, my ideas about black and white moral issues, about hard and soft boundaries, are all in constant flux.

When we started out I would say things like "Oh no I would and could never ever be ok with that." Turns out, 3 years later, I've done and experienced most of these things and have learned so much about myself in the process.

I suppose the only real rule and boundary that I have is that I want my partners to be honest to themselves and to me, and vice versa. But even that isn't something that is always completely and 100 % doable.

So I guess my global rules are: lets all try open communication as much as possible, lets all try to stick to the things we agreed on as much as is possible.
But, we'll take into account that we are all human and that mistakes will be made. Forgiveness is a very powerful thing.

Then, on a case by case basis, be brutally honest to yourself about what you are feeling, what is good and healthy.

I recently experienced something that made me realize that some of my hard boundaries are really just safety nets that prevent me from really looking at my fears. Dealing with things on a case by case basis is definitely more work that having strict rules and boundaries (at least that what this feels like for me, now).
early forties, straight.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:09 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 1,456

For me, each person involved has their own boundaries, and have every right to them. When any combination get together and try to have a relationship, it's important that each of those boundaries be explored, and a decision made as to whether there are any conflicts and whether these boundaries can be respected by all involved.

I have some "bottom lines" that for me are non-negotiable. Each person that I have met have had the same. Also, boundaries can change as the level of trust between those involved increases or decreases. Therefore they need to be reviewed from time to time.
Please check out The Birdcage - an open, friendly Polyamory forum for all parts of New York State

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:58 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,387


Seamus and I know each other's boundaries, and the basic concept of how to act if we meet someone. But then if we do, we talk about it and decide what works for that specific case. I guess our global rules, apart from the safe sex ones, are mostly "let's talk about it so we can decide the case by case stuff".

Hell, even for safe sex, if the new parter has been single for a while and has their test results, for instance, we might decide that protection doesn't need to be used.
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