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  #221  
Old 10-12-2012, 11:48 PM
SkylerSquirrel SkylerSquirrel is offline
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It seems to me that the difference between people who like rules vs. don't like rules is that some want to make the relationship expectations explicit (for various reasons) and some want to keep them implicit (for various reasons).

GalaGirl has a point that making expectations explicit helps keep everyone on the same page. The point is not to bind your partner to a code of behavior - the point is to be up-front about what you want so your partner isn't kept guessing.

Now if your rules are very basic, it may be unnecessary. However, some people want to take no chances and have them anyway. Either way is legitimate.

I hate forcibly-imposed rules, but I have reasonable guidelines that anyone who gets intimately involved with me needs to abide by, for my own emotional and physical safety (and theirs too).

Quote:
Even something as simple as "treat me with respect" has wildly different meanings to different people because the word "respect" has different definitions for everyone.
^THIS SO MUCH. And it makes it very confusing when people EXPECT you to know how to behave respectfully (or kindly or fairly) by their definition, but refuse to come out and TELL you what that looks like.
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  #222  
Old 10-13-2012, 01:04 AM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBomb View Post

@Vicki - I think rules are important in terms of exploring relationships outside of your marriage, if only to prevent confusion and misinterpretation of intentions. 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."
I am with Vicki... I have no rules placed upon me by my husband in regards to my boyfriend. Other then bring home the damn crock pot when you take it to make a meal. Which I accidentally broke this AM.

Good communication has always just happened no need for rules.
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  #223  
Old 10-13-2012, 01:33 AM
LoveBomb LoveBomb is offline
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First of all, let me clarify something.

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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.
It seems that many of you have taken this passage of mine completely out of context. I was illustrating a point with it, not suggesting that people should make these rules explicit. I agree that these things are completely necessary for a healthy relationship. I brought those up to illustrate that "agreements" between people come from a foundation of mutually accepted "rules".

Those of you who claim that they don't have rules are straight up not paying attention. You DO have rules, you just don't think about them because you and your partner accept those rules implicitly. Is it okay with you if your partner dates people without telling you? No? Then that's a rule. Implicit or otherwise it IS a rule. Those of you who claim that there are no rules in your relationship are quite simply lying to yourselves. There are certain kinds of behaviour that you will not accept from your partner (or if you accept everything your partner does, regardless of how it makes you feel, then you're probably a doormat). If there's something that your partner might do that is a deal breaker for you, then YOU HAVE RELATIONSHIP RULES.

Relationship rules are important with ANY relationship. You may not define them as "rules" in the context of your relationships, but if you discuss a topic and come to an agreement regarding how to behave within the context of that topic, you have created a new rule within your relationship. You may not call it a rule specifically, but a mutual agreement that defines how people should behave is a rule whether you like it or not.

Yes, it's implicit that everyone respect one another within a relationship. Nobody goes into a relationship intending on disrespecting their partner. But HOW you go about respecting that person is WILDLY different from relationship to relationship. Someone with the best of intentions can end up disrespecting their partner without realizing it because the offender is oblivious that what they have done is disrespectful. Respect within a relationship is a RULE, pure and simple. How each person defines that rule is what requires open communication.

I, for one, have made it explicitly clear to my wife that she is free to explore feelings with other people, but if she ever meets someone that she really likes and wants to pursue a relationship with that person, then all I ask is that she talk to me about it. I made that explicit to her so that she knows that she can talk to me about it without worrying about how I might react.

It seems like a lot of people here really dislike the word "rules" as though they are meant to control someone. They aren't. They really aren't. They are in place to define boundaries and limits to what can be done within a relationship. Without rules (whether implicit or explicit) disrespect, pain, and heartbreak is INEVITABLE. That's because rules naturally arise within a relationship through an active dialogue between partners. They go hand in hand. By talking to your partner, you define the relationship with that person, which inherently defines the rules of the relationship.
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  #224  
Old 10-13-2012, 01:51 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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then what is the purpose of your question? if you're assuming that everyone wants to respect each other? you're talking in circles.
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  #225  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:04 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
So, an absence of rules specifying that you respect your partner and treat them well implies that it's ok to disrespect your partner and treat them poorly?
It is never ok to treat your partner poorly.

Quote:
And, having rules specifying that your partner treat you well and respect you is supposed to PREVENT them from disrespecting you and treating you poorly?
No. I do not control their behavior. I can only control mine. It's not about preventing them from disrespecting me or treating me poorly.

For me? It's about being on the same page and about willingness to be held accountable. Are you willing to hold ME accountable if I step on your toes? Are you willing for me to hold YOU accountable if my toes get stepped on?

If all this is obvious to them -- yay. We share a laugh and trade dating horror stories over drinks.

If they hem and haw over such basics -- that's telling me all I need to know. Not a serious player, I can pull out now before I get in too deeply involved. *shrug*

If it is someone in between those two things -- well, let's try it and see. And when conflict comes up, it's easy enough to point to agreement they agreed to when there's a calling into account needed.
"Why are you fussing at me that I went to the concert without you? Did you give me the right to responsiveness? I said tell me you want to come by Friday, and I'll buy enough tickets for the group. You said maybe on Monday. I emailed to be sure Wednesday. Nothing Friday -- come and gone. So I let it go and I moved forward without your input. I buy tix Saturday -- none for you. I cannot mind reader you. So you have to own this one. How is it me being "inconsiderate" to you? Did I check in? Yes. Did you respond and give me the right to responsiveness? No."
That keeps it on the measurable actions done/not done rather than derailing into personalities -- "You are not nice, you are inconsiderate, you are too sensitive..."

If you have ever watched other people or experienced it yourself -- conflict going round and round in circles? Oy. Headache.

So much easier to point to agreement and note actions done/not done. There. Everyone holds their own baggage.

Hell, I'm not perfect. Maybe it is ME that needs to be called into account. It's happened before!

Maybe they have a passive style -- I'm very assertive. But if they can just point to agreement -- "Dude, GG! Where is my clear communication you promised me?" then they can move on to feeling better faster. Because I will own it right away and go "Oops! You are so right! I did not realize it seemed that way to you. My bad! I apologize. Can I make it up to you?"

When we are first learning each other in dating -- a passive style personality could be cowed by my temperment. I'm trying to give them a leg up by giving them a tool to use I know that I will respond to. Print the thing, highlight the one, leave it on my desk (or email it and CAPS THE ONE you are talking about) and I'll come find you and sort it out when I see it. There. Easy passive personality route to STILL get the thing solved. You don't have to be all confrontational if that bugs ya. I still like ya how you are. But we move past this kerfuffle in a constructive way.

Because isn't the goal for both to be in harmonious relationship together?

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-13-2012 at 02:50 AM.
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  #226  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:17 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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people are held to such higher and sometimes ridiculous standards when orgasms (or lack thereof) are involved. "just sayin"
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  #227  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:22 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
people are held to such higher and sometimes ridiculous standards when orgasms (or lack thereof) are involved. "just sayin"
Too sleepy. Please clarify.

GG
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  #228  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:34 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Too sleepy. Please clarify.

GG
Get some sleep and re-read.

BG
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  #229  
Old 10-13-2012, 07:37 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I think it's good to have principles, rules, whatever you call them. But I also think that out of this list...

Quote:
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
...rules 2-4 are just rule 1 narrowed down to a more specific context. And it seems to me rule 5 follows from rule 1 as well, although less directly. So I don't see a point in making a whole list that's just one basic principle repeated over and over again.

It's great if it helps you, of course. It's just not something I think is really necessary.
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  #230  
Old 10-13-2012, 11:19 PM
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rory rory is offline
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I find it funny that a thread where a person asks about people's rules has turned into a lengthy debate over whether rules are needed. Why not just skip if you have nothing to add about the topic?

I don't use the word rules, but I do have expectations from my partners, and I aim to act the same way towards them
- honesty
- love; caring about and liking each other
- respect
- communication
- autonomy; space and support for leading happy and fulfilling lives outside of the relationship
- intimacy
- support in hardship
- consideration
- connection
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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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