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Old 12-05-2012, 09:46 AM
katja24 katja24 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 48
Default Poly Math for New Quad?

I am mostly looking for suggestions on the "poly math" of this situation, so that I can suggest ways to help our quad move forward happily and healthfully. I think we are missing some key aspects of having strong relationships all across the board. Actually, if someone could simply remind me what "poly math" is, and perhaps then help me see how it applies to poly relationships, that would be really awesome as a start.

Here is the specifics of our situation, in case anyone wants to take a stab at applying it directly

My partner J and I met a new couple about a month ago, C (the woman) & D (the man). We met them as a couple, in a couple-to-couple context. They are fairly new to their intentional and negotiated open relationship. So it wasn't until the past couple of weeks or so that they become open to, and desired, a space to develop individual relationships in one-on-one settings.

I am bi, and my ideal situation in creating a relationship with another couple is having the ability to connect (mentally, emotionally, physically) with both the man and woman in the couple. However, I don't think this will be an option as C is "bi-comfortable." She likes exploring sexual play, but does not feel romantic towards me. So I am still desirous of an emotional relationship with her even if I cannot explore a more romantic relationship. In addition, J is not bi and D is bi-comfortable, and so even if they are not expressing their relationship sexually, it seems like they will be continuing to develop their mental and emotional connection.

Another aspect of this is that J needs an emotionally intimate relationship with C, and she also needs this with him. J & C are more similar in how they approach intimacy with new partners. They like to do a lot of cuddling and slow, gentle touching. D & I are more similar in that we like to be more playful and high-energy. J & C are desiring more private, one on one spaces to explore their intimacy, and D & I really like playful group play to explore everyone sexually although he and I are interested in being one-on-one, too. The expression of intimacy for me is a result of feelings that have developed, and so I am not interested in having the slow and more intimate-feeling encounters with D yet.

I am not sure exactly if it is helpful at all to know about those details, or if they are even relevant to explaining poly math and how it applies to my situation. I guess I am mostly looking for some advice on how to approach these relationships so that everyone can get what they need. I think this situation is made more difficult by the fact that we met them in a couple-to-couple context and the transition to creating more individual-focused relationships has been difficult because we all have slightly different comfort levels with the expression of intimacy. I am also not sure how varying degrees of intimacy among different people will work in a group setting (so, if J&C are in one place with their intimacy, and I am in a different place with each C & D, and J is somewhere else with D, not to mention the primary partnerships between J & I and between C&D- how does that all mesh coherently in a group setting, when we are all together??)

Thank you for your insight, feedback, and suggestions!
29 yr old queer woman with primary male partner, J
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:33 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,264

People will feel whatever it is they feel when they feel it. Then they will choose to behave however it is they behave. They have their preferences.

You may wish for certain outcomes or happenings in the quad -- but you cannot dictate it to be so. You can just hope, wait and see. You can only tend to your own behaviors. It doesn't much matter for polymath. Could call it family math, or work math -- basically it's just how communication happens in a group.

Serolynne explains polymath here.

I take it out a few steps further because I list the communication flow arrow in both directions and I list the breaking up "ghost layer" since the group in question is in a romance.

Not all people think it all the way out to "when this ends, how to we want to be to each other?" Because all relationships end. Even "til death to us part" is an ending. So you could consider keeping it real and planning for the ending with your poly people. So it can be a GOOD parting. Shoot, maybe even "til death do us part!" for this quad. Hope for the best outcomes, but plan ahead too for emergencies.

Each "mini relationship" inside the larger polyship needs TLC, time, privacy, respect, etc. Then the overall polyship is hopefully healthy. It's on the people in that tier to communicate their wants, needs, and limits.

I list how I would write the communication break out below in a quad polymath. Note that I remove the repeating things. Because whether it is written as 2+3 or 3+2 it is still the same equation.


(K+J) and (C+D)


K to K (how you related to yourself -- no longer a footloose single, no longer a partner in a duo. Now you are a quad person and take 3 other people's needs into account when you do things.)

J to J
C to C
D to D


K --> J (do you go to this person with your stuff well? Whether they are a lover, a meta, a friend, or combo of all the above)
K --> C
K --> D

J --> K
J--> C
J--> D




(K+J) ↔ D (communication flow arrow in both directions to save space.)
(K+J) ↔ C
(K+J) ↔ (C+D)

(K+D) ↔ J
(K+D) ↔ C
(K+D) ↔ (J+C)

(K+C) ↔ J
(K+C) ↔ D
(K+C) ↔ (J+D)

(J+C) ↔ K
(J+C) ↔ D

(J+D) ↔ K
(J+D) ↔ C

(C+D) ↔ K
(C + D) ↔J


(K+J + C) ↔ D
(K+J + D) ↔ C
(K+C + D) ↔ J
(J+C+D) <-->K


(K+J+C+D) working together as a team


How will we be when this ends? No longer


back to original couples of

(K+J) – (C+D)

or all singles

K – J – C – D

or some shape in between all together and all broken up?

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-05-2012 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:35 PM
katja24 katja24 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 48

Thank you so much GG for your feedback!! The article you recommended was also extremely helpful- I plan to share all of this with my group.
29 yr old queer woman with primary male partner, J
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:51 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,264

Most welcome. Hope it is useful to you guys.

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