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Old 07-11-2012, 11:55 PM
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FannyHackabout FannyHackabout is offline
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Posts: 6

1. Do those "pangs" ever go away completely?

I wouldn't say they ever completely go away. To say they do so would be saying that you've entirely eliminated the emotion of jealousy/envy in your relationship, and that's not something one can entirely do. You can't guarantee it because down the road you might experience a "pang" again in response to a situation.

However, hopefully those "pangs" become a lot more few and far between. If they are something you constantly experience in a poly relationship that needs to be looked at. I actually struggled with those "pangs" a great deal in a good portion of my relationship. I ended up having to take some time to really ask myself, "is there something my partner is doing that we need to discuss? Is this just an issue I have that I need to learn better ways of dealing with it constructively? Or is this a sign that this relationship might not be right for me?

I found asking those questions was a huge step to get me started on really getting healthy, since in my case the problem was with me. Now those pangs are very few and far between.

2. Do you share the details of whether you've kissed/what you've done/what the kiss/sex/whatever was like?

Currently only with my boyfriend and (sometimes) his girlfriend, A. Though I was in the past, I am currently not together with his girlfriend S, and I've only begun casually having sex with him and his girlfriend A, who is new to the relationship.

Because my boyfriend, A and I have sex together, everyone knows the details, but before I was having sex with A I would talk to her about sex with our boyfriend, and she would do the same. He would also tell me about sex with A when I asked. So yes, I share details, but not with the partner I am not with. I do not ask for details about her sex with them, either.

3. Does one activity bother you more than others? i.e. sex/kissing/love/dating often?

My boyfriend, A and S live together, but I live separately from them. So they are together most of the week, and then I go see my boyfriend and A on the weekends. Sometimes S hangs out for a while too (she is still one of my best friends and I care very much for her), sometimes A will hang with S and leave me and my boyfriend alone, but you get the picture.

I find the thing I get most upset about when I can't be with them is sex. Specifically the fact that I know he's having sex with them and I can't because I am unable to get to him during the week. However, that's usually only when I'm already in a bad place emotionally. I may be feeling irritated or sad or needy, so it comes out more often at those times.

Back when my relationship was beginning, two years ago, I was joining my boyfriend and S to form a triad. I was in a very different place at the time, and it was love that bothered me most. The struggle I had with S over her relationship with our boyfriend is what tore us apart, twice. Now, with the addition of A, love does not bother me so much anymore, because I've done a lot of personal growth in the past year. But a while back it was love that bothered me most.

4. Do you expect to meet your primary's dates?

Absolutely. In fact, I prefer to meet them before my partners even go on dates. For us dates really mean become sexual partners, but we all agree it is of utmost importance to at least know the person is having sex with someone new, if not meet them.

The thing is we usually all end up having sex with a new sexual partner, so of course we get to meet them anyway.

5. Do you have limits on the amount of times per week that you see secondaries?

There are no secondaries and there are no limits. The only reason I don't see them as often is because I live in a different city. There is also the matter of working around S and my own schedule, since she does not stay overnight while I am there, and vice versa.

6. Do you operate a "I'll do (x activity - date/kiss/sleep with) then tell you" - or do you operate "I'd like to do (x) - would you be ok with it?"

We are always up front about what we intend to do with a new partner. It's sometimes a group communication, but it's ALWAYS at least between our boyfriend and us. For example, I saw someone a while back. It was a non-sexual relationship, but there were other elements to it, and I had to be very clear cut and very upfront with my boyfriend about it. He needed to be informed and be comfortable. That's just how our relationship works.

7. Do you have a veto rule? Do you agree with vetoing?

There is an informal veto rule, but it's only used in extreme cases.

For example, late last year my boyfriend wanted to be the "director" of a webcam session with a female friend of his. She and her boyfriend had just broken up, and she asked my boyfriend to tell her "what to do" for her boyfriend over the cam. So basically she would be on camera and my boyfriend would be directing her as to how to give her boyfriend a "show."

S and I used the veto rule in this case for the reason that the friend in question was in an emotionally unstable and vulnerable place and we didn't want our boyfriend involved in that. He was very unhappy, but he didn't do it.

Basically, there has to be a valid reason for the veto. I couldn't just say that "I didn't like her." I would have to say why I didn't like her and see if there was a valid concern there.

We all work so closely in the relationship that the veto rule rarely comes out. My boyfriend's veto is final, though, but that's because we have a power exchange relationship.

8. What is the biggest stress for you in poly? (possessiveness, jealous, threat, guilt, time constraints, etc)

Time, mostly. I don't get to see everyone as much as they see each other, and sometimes that makes me sad. It can be hard when I'm in a tough place emotionally to deal with that.

Possessiveness and jealousy have been the more prominent ones at different points in the relationship. I really was not ready for poly when I started, and that added a lot of stress to the relationship. I had to learn to work on dealing with my own issues before the possessiveness and jealousy could fade to the background.

9. What is the difference, for you, between acting in a poly way, and acting in a single way?

Honestly, there isn't much difference. I still use the same principles in a poly relationship as I did in monogamous relationships. I still had to work on open communication and jealousy in monogamous relationships.

The difference between monogamous relationships and poly relationships is that there are more people. That's it. It just means that managing things can be a little more complicated at times with more than two people in the mix, that arguments can be a little more stressful because you can be arguing with multiple people at once, that being able to meet everyone's needs sometimes conflicts. It can feel like a lot more work, but really the same principles are there. You're just adding more people.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr. Seuss
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:00 AM
katja24 katja24 is offline
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Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 46
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!
29 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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Location: BC, Canada
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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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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: 485

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).
Cleo - forties straight female
Ren - husband of 20 + years
Bo - BF of 3 years
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:09 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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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.

"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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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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Old 08-13-2012, 12:39 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Location: Pennsyl-tucky
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As of now -

Global boundaries: condoms if not within the 3 of us, keep the members of the Vee in the loop if relationships/sexual intimacy with others is evolving, other partners can dictate the boundaries of their relationships but not mine/ours.

Case-by-Case: these are things that depend on my relationship with my potential metamour - can they come to my house? can they have sex in my bed? can they meet my family? That depends...on how much I trust them to be careful with the heart(s) of my love(s) and whether they care about ME or are just in it for themselves (this is mostly theoretical - there was one test case that forced me to realize that I did, in fact, have boundaries in this regard).

Privacy, I think, is also on a case-by-case basis - both of the boys feel that anything they share with me, conversations, sexual details, etc. are not privileged amongst the 3 of us. I'm ok with them sharing “me stuff” between the two of them but uncomfortable with me sharing “them stuff” with the other (unless I feel it is vital to the health of the whole dynamic) even though they have both said it was ok.

Each of them also gives me the option of sharing or not when asking me a question - for instance, MrS knew that Dude and I had a disagreement/argument about sex the other week...a few days later Dude and I had a deep conversation addressing it - which was partially satisfactory. MrS (who is absolutely awesome about supporting me - his wife, and Dude - his best friend in getting through our shit without taking sides – Dude and I have no idea how he does it so skillfully without prior experience) asked if I could share the gist of the problem with him so we could have a more detailed conversation about it. NOT demanding. I already have Dude's permission to share anything I need to with MrS - so I was able to give him a synopsis withOUT feeling like I had violated anyone's privacy.

(Having said all of this – MrS still has a “knight-in-shining-armour” response if he hears something that tweaks his “ save-the-damsel-in-distress” button – apparently I have a tone to my voice that says “I mean it” - and if he hears this, no matter how innocent the context – he is there with swords metaphorically drawn ready to “save” me – I have to admit that I appreciate this, and that I, now, purposefully regulate the tone of my voice so as to NOT trigger this response unnecessarily.)

JaneQ(Me): poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" V-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (25+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (7+ yrs) and MrS's BFF
SLeW: platonic hetero girlfriend and BFF
MrClean: hetero mono male, almost lover-friend to me, ex-FWBs to SLeW, friends with MrS
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.

My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:39 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Thanks for writing it that way, Jane.

I have come to realize some of that stuff I put in the "housekeeping" bucket of my mind.

It's not in the "how to be in right relationship to me" bucket which are more global principles. That the WHAT. Those other bits end up being some of the HOW.

So I guess we're all going to have some kind of mix of global/case-by-case spectrum thing no matter what bucket names we call it all by.

Interesting food for thought for me. Thanks again!

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Old 08-13-2012, 04:55 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
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.
DEFINITELY this. I've noticed there are some significant similarities between many of the poly's who are in relationships and branching out which are not similar to many of the polys who are starting out single. AND this is the basis for it. There's shared responsibilities that come into play and need consideration so no one gets caught "holding the bag" so to speak.

Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
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.
DEFINITELY this. I strive to consider each entities boundaries in each situation. Not JUST MY OWN and this is true outside of poly and romance as well.
"Love As Thou Wilt"
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boundaries, boundary negotiation, boundary pushing, boundary setting, broken agreements, dating, guidelines, jealousy, managing relationships, negotiation, poly, primary, rules, rules vs boundaries, secondary, trust issues, veto

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