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  #91  
Old 10-11-2012, 11:21 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Protected sex, until there is a discussion in which we decide to allow unprotected sex, and talking about what happens.

The rest isn't rules and gets decided on a case by case basis.
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  #92  
Old 10-11-2012, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBomb View Post
Good communication is definitely part of it. For example, one of my rules would be "If you meet someone you really like, be open about it and don't keep it a secret from me."
But see, generally, the folks who say they don't need rules would look at that and scratch their heads and wonder, "Why would anyone need a rule for that?" Logic says that in any relationship where there is mutual respect and good communication, there wouldn't be secrets and people would express what's going on for them without needing a requirement to do so. And many would find it offensive to have a rule like that! I mean, that is what it is to be a grown-up in a relationship, and knowing how to treat a partner with kindness, respect, and courtesy. No one would need to tell them they have to be honest.

It's about trusting your partner to make smart and loving choices. I guess it depends on the people involved, how long they've been together, how well they know each other, and what they've been through.


I think River, a member here, has said it very eloquently in the following posts (there come from several different threads, which you may like to read as well):
Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
I don't mess around with rules much. I figure that if the parties involved love and respect one another and communicate well, rules aren't really necessary. The communication is key to this. My sweeties can only respond to a need or desire of mine if I let them know I have this need or desire. They are free to respond as they will to any request or expression of need/desire. They are not rule bound. If I'm unhappy with their response, it's up to me to say so. But I/we don't feel the need to formulate an official list of rules. Instead, we try our best to care for and look out for one another.
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Originally Posted by River View Post
You can play at the rule thing . . . and that's fine, or you can all decide to grow up and be adults about this thing, in which case you will have need of only one rule: Love one another. I mean, 'cmon! . . . I'll say that if you're all loving one another you'll find that there will be less and less need for setting up rules for one another.

. . . It just occurred to me that my relationships don't involve rules like, "Don't bust the windows out in my house" and "don't deliberately scratch my favorite CDs with a fork" and "Don't throw cold water on me when I'm sleeping".... All of this stuff is implicit in loving relationships, and so is "Don't text me, or answer text messages, when I'm sharing precious intimate time with my partner." And I would say setting a rule like "don't see your other love but once a week for x number of hours" breaks the implicit premise of loving. A rule having to do with trusting your loved one to make sound decisions about spending time with their other partner. Yes, it is loving to ask for more time if such time is desired and the other partner is taking up a lot of one's time. That, too, is implicit in loving.
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Originally Posted by River View Post
Most everything flows out of the agreement Kevin & I have to be honest and transparent with one another. It's more of an agreement that a "rule," per se. We trust each other enough that we don't feel the need to lay down rules for our relationship or for each other.

We really like being together, so neither of us fears that there won't be enough time together if either of us ends up having another love. Probably, if or when either of us has another love, we'll include the other/s in our lives in such a way that we'll spend a lot of time together as a group -- whether or not all of us are "romantically" involved with each other. So our routine frequent hikes in the mountains, camping trips, etc., wouldn't be dramatically altered -- we'd just have another (or two) to share these activities with ... along with meals, maybe a bed....

Sure, if either of us -- or both -- were to have another love, we'd spend some one-on-one time with him or her or them. That goes without saying, but there's no fear or doubt about the love we have for one another (or none rising beyond barely perceptible, and laughable), but there'd be no need to make rules to insure that we spend time with each other. We like being together so much that the thought of one of us neglecting the other in terms of time shared is preposterous. But he and I are also generally quite comfortable being alone, or out and about on our own, so there's none of the clingy-needy stuff between us. We need each other, sure, but not in a needy-clingy sort of way.

. . . Rules are for the distrustful. I've had shattered trust in a supposedly "love" relationship before, and it took a lot of years to find myself where I'm at now. Trusting my partner as I do. We need no rules, and want none. But we can arrive at agreements. The difference may seem very subtle, if even perceptible to some. But it's the Grand Canyon between these two for me.

Edit:

Rules are borne of a failure to share or enter into agreement. They are based on a lack of trust and a fear that the other would harm you or allow you to be harmed where preventable--or a fear that one is unloved. Rules are like training wheels, at best, and are like manacles or prison walls at worst. Where there is agreement, "escape" is not sought or desired, so manacles or prison walls are unnecessary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
By distinguishing between "rules" and "agreements" as I have done above, I meant to highlight the difference between those relationships where there is profound trust and those relationships fraught with anxiety and fear that the other will harm or disrespect us. Kevin & I have so much trust and respect and kindness and warmth toward one another that I don't feel like I want to have "rules" in place meant to protect me from hurt or harm which may result from his actions/non-actions. And I believe he basically feels just as I do in this regard.

We have absolutely no rules as to who one or the other can interact with and how they may interact with them -- because such rules would be utterly superfluous. Why superfluous? Because we trust one another and our love for one another enough that we see no need to tether one another by such rules. Kevin's just not going to be loving me any less if he meets someone else and falls in love with him/her. He's not going to abandon me in the sense of not spending plenty of quality time with me. I have nothing to fear! Try as I might, I can't think of a scenario in which Kevin would abuse the trust I have in him -- so I don't see any need to restrict him with "rules".

We have agreements, but our agreements are nothing like rules. We agree, for example, that it is unloving for myself or himself to have unprotected sex with someone who we don't know to be free of STDs/HIV.... Likewise, we agree that it is unloving to involve ourselves in relationships with people who may mistreat, exploit, or abuse us. I don't need to give my okay to the friends or lovers he may choose because i fundamentally trust him . . .

our basic agreement: to love one another. That's the agreement that all else flow from, including our agreement that such agreements are superior to rule-making, and including our agreement that the trust of the sort we have toward one another is the springhead of the liberty we honor in one another. And I say "honor" because I cannot be the bestower of this liberty. I can only recognize it as the truth of who and what we are. If I wanted to constrain that liberty in any way, I'd have to take three good long steps back and examine what I'm fearful of. Such fear indicates a problem ..., but I have no such problem. We are happy and free. Loving and loved.
I just thought I'd include those quotes for another perspective.
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Last edited by nycindie; 10-12-2012 at 12:09 AM.
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  #93  
Old 10-12-2012, 12:00 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I haven't seen River post in SO LONG! But, I remember when.

I tend to agree.

I do have rules between Maca and I.

But GG and I, we just have understandings. We talk, openly and honestly and we always have. Sometimes we hear things that make us cringe, though more often than not, the cringe is combined with intense giggling because whatever was said was gross on purpose.
We've never needed rules because anything we are unsure about, we talk to each other about as we go along.

So many things have changed (back and forth even) over the years in our relationship. There have been times when we needed more distance, more space, other times we've needed less distance and less space. We've had a need to include others and a need to not include others.

All in all, it's been primarily a matter of "hmm I wonder what he thinks/feels?" and then off we go on another loving contemplation together.

It's absolutely true that rules come into play with lack of trust. It's quite evident to people who watch my interactions with GG and watch my interactions with Maca.
Many people have assumed that GG and I were the "primary" couple, because we seem "so comfortable" together OR not together. We slip in and out of every situation without much public discussion, because we discuss all of the various ideas in our heads daily-so rarely are we not on tract with how the other feels.
But, Maca and I struggle endlessly with this-and it's my opinion, the issues arise because we DON'T have that level of comfortable communication with one another.

Just last weekend I was at a Pride Conference. GG went along. I ran a workshop and was a speaker in another. Numerous people commented on how amazed they were when they saw the two of us together holding hands at lunch-because they didn't realize we were "together" during the workshops. He spoke as an "audience member" asking questions and I replied with answers. But, we did so in a way that was focused completely on the topic, not on us.
A couple people complimented me later on how smoothly we adjusted from a "professional" role apart in the workshops, to a completely bonded and loving role between the workshops and at lunch. One person in particular must have watched us a lot, because at the end she commented on how enamored she was of our relationship because we slipped in and out of our physical closeness as needed throughout the day as different people needed the attention of one or the other of us.
One specific example, I was called away by someone and that led to two other people needing to talk to me. GG just went along to a workshop he was interested in (carrying our jackets etc with him) and reappeared an hour and a half later. When he reappeared he introduced himself to the conversation and gave me a kiss on the cheek and then became integrated in what I had been involved with.
But, he never showed signs of being stressed or distressed at my attention to other things but him. THAT was because, he wasn't stressed or distressed. He was comfortable and confident (as usual he is) in our bond and knows darn well that none of these distractions are going to take it away. Likewise, I wasn't upset over his disappearance while I was busy either. It was just comfortable, he would be back as always.

I think the worst part about having an affair-is that it really highlights all of what is missing in my marriage with Maca. It makes it impossible to miss that there is a need for rules-because we don't have a joined understanding of what we want as individuals or as a couple. We need to learn how to communicate to one another openly and honestly-but for nearly 15 years-we've failed to accomplish it.
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  #94  
Old 10-12-2012, 02:39 AM
LoveBomb LoveBomb is offline
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I wasn't really suggesting "rules" as in "rigid laws we must follow" but rather like a set of rules to a game. Think about it for a moment. What differentiates one game from another are the rules to that game. That's what I'm saying when I ask "what rules define your relationship?" There are certainly "rules" that define a loving relationship, for example. "Be honest" is just one rule that helps define a loving relationship.

Every fun game has rules that define how the game is played. Without setting up "guidelines / rules", it's hard to keep things open and honest because you don't know how the other person will react necessarily. That's especially the case when one (or both) partner has a history of betrayal or trust issues. Rules may be for the distrustful, but there's also another side to it. Rules also help foster trust because it helps put people on the same page. Rules define expectations for both sides and foster good communication.

Rules, in my view, are a means to create a "construct" within the relationship that can foster a loving environment that minimizes jealousy, confusion, secrecy, etc. River talks about "agreements", but agreements can only be made when both sides can openly communicate about anything and everything. The "rules" in her case, are implicit. Although I totally agree with everything River has said, she (I think River's a she?) seems to be offering that advice under ideal conditions where the rules have already been established through a history of openly communicating. Few relationships, in my experience, are in ideal conditions.

Communication and trust issues arise in almost every relationship, and to find a relationship where you can communicate openly and honestly is not an easy thing to do.

Rules can be as simple as saying, "If you do X it will make me uncomfortable, so please don't do it. Instead, if you do Y, I'll feel much more comfortable." It may be an agreement, but it is also a rule that if broken will ultimately hurt the person who defined it. The rules require a dialogue and a degree of open communication. Agreements are made in response to the rules. For example:

Rule 1: Be Honest with one another
Rule 2: Don't keep secondary relationships a secret
Rule 3: Talk about your feelings, especially any jealousy
Rule 4: Maintain an open dialogue and strong communication
Rule 5: Respect each other's feelings and work together towards resolving issues
etc.

From those rules you can then make the agreements, which then fosters trust. You see, rules don't merely come from a place of mistrust. They help define the relationship and can actually foster a deeper level of trust between partners. They can also come from a place of love (which is what I think River was talking about).
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  #95  
Old 10-12-2012, 03:15 AM
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I understand what you are saying. It is awesome when they are unnecesary. But, yes, having a game plan can be a very great tool. Maca and I have an extensive one. But, I can't link it in my phone, i dont know how. You can find it on the boundry page of my personal blog, which is linked in my signature.
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  #96  
Old 10-12-2012, 05:25 AM
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There is only four off us in our group. I'm mono, my girl only has sex with myself and her lover, his wife is the only one that goes outside of our group. She is very careful, and gets tested regular. She does not enjoy having outside relationships anywhere near as much as she used to though.

We don't really have rules to be honest, I don't think we need to. We do listen and respect each other though.

It would be very difficult for me to except my girls tummy swelling from her lovers seed. She knows this, and I think that is the closest thing we have to a rule. She must be very careful with her birth control!
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  #97  
Old 10-12-2012, 01:17 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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River is a man.
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  #98  
Old 10-12-2012, 01:51 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I wouldn't want rules micromanaging my behavior or my feelings. I don't think anyone does!

Whether people call it
  • rules
  • agreements
  • principles
  • code of conduct

...or whatever else they might call it? Most people just want to be treated nicely in relationship.

I want rights and responsibilities laid out and agreed to verbally when we start to date. That THIS is how we agree to be together if we agree to be in a romantic relationship. So we can be cool together.

Because in my experience? It makes calling each other into account a whole lot easier. Life is life. Conflict arises.

In a perfect world it would not even be needed ever. But world is not perfect. People are not mind readers. Not everyone comes from the same family background, culture, or even level of experience in polyshipping. Not everyone wants the same things from a romance, or even wants them to come in the same way. There must be a a time to sort all that out and "calibrate" the expectations, wants, needs so you can work together well.

My first relationship I thought
  • Do not lie to me
  • Do not cheat on me
  • Don't be a jerk to me

was enough. It wasn't! I might want those things done, partner even wanted to do those things. But he did not know HOW -- his skill set for interpersonal relationship was poor. He wasn't a major jerk or criminal or anything. He was mostly a nice person... with weak skills and he lacked self confidence. He had a hard time with articulation and this caused a lot of conflict because of his passive personality. He was afraid of conflict resolution and would avoid it -- just ugh. And small things add up. We were not in harmony. We broke up.

And over the years I realized -- you know what? It's a whole lot easier on me to weed them out if I just state from the get go some basic principles of HOW I want to be treated in relationship. What kind of behavior I expect here.

DH? 20 years in? We rarely pull it out. Gosh, not since we first moved in together. They aren't really needed for us on our tier. But dating a new person? Tell me how you work. I can tell you how I work.

So just easier to list and articulate how I want/expect to be treated from the get go. Ask the person to treat me like I want to be treated even if things that "should" be obvious. I want the verify. I do not want to assume. Are these things obvious to you?

Ask this person how they want/expect to be treated. Then treat them that way that they like. Regardless of who is the lover, the meta, the spouse, whatever. So we can be cool together, in harmonious relationship because we all operate on the same standard and we have chosen to be in relationship together.

Otherwise we just cannot be in relationship together. We do not see eye to eye.

Platinum Rule, not Golden Rule.

GalaGirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-12-2012 at 09:10 PM.
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  #99  
Old 10-12-2012, 06:10 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBomb View Post
Agreements are made in response to the rules. For example:

Rule 1: Be Honest with one another
Rule 2: Don't keep secondary relationships a secret
Rule 3: Talk about your feelings, especially any jealousy
Rule 4: Maintain an open dialogue and strong communication
Rule 5: Respect each other's feelings and work together towards resolving issues
etc.
I'm flabbergasted that anybody would think something like that is necessary. Anybody who isn't automatically honest and communicative and respectful of others simply isn't ready for a serious relationship of any sort. I wouldn't think of offering that sort of basic emotional maturity up as a ruleset, though I suspect it would work well as a guage of how ready a new partner is for a serious relationship. Somebody who is *not* honest and communicative and respectful and so on isn't somebody with whom I'll stay involved.
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  #100  
Old 10-12-2012, 09:06 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
I'm flabbergasted that anybody would think something like that is necessary. Anybody who isn't automatically honest and communicative and respectful of others simply isn't ready for a serious relationship of any sort. I wouldn't think of offering that sort of basic emotional maturity up as a ruleset, though I suspect it would work well as a guage of how ready a new partner is for a serious relationship. Somebody who is *not* honest and communicative and respectful and so on isn't somebody with whom I'll stay involved.
@AT,

It's not a bad idea to state these things openly. It might see obvious to you, as it does to me too, but not everyone is on the same page in their ability to manage relationships, or has good communication skills yet, or even accepted the idea that, yes, one should be open, respectful, and honest to partners. And, yeah, maybe those folks are not ready for relationships. But maybe guidelines like these are a good first step, a reminder of how best to proceed.
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