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  #31  
Old 06-06-2010, 02:06 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Mono/Poly relationships can work, in my experience, but they are a hell of a lot of work and you really have to know you love someone and want to be with them in order to be healthy in them. Either that or you have to be willing to be super easy going and trusting.
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  #32  
Old 06-07-2010, 11:08 PM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
anyone want to add on some good ol' poly lessons learned from their own experience?
Things I've learned from screwing up:
  1. Don't date people who would prefer you to not be dating someone you already are.
  2. Someone identifying as poly-, or being part of the poly- community, is not really much of a predictor of whether or not they do poly- relationships well.
  3. If I can't trust my partner to maintain our relationship even when things are hard, that relationship is already broken. If I can't trust my partner to be an ally and a sane reality check to me, that relationship is already broken.
  4. Rules beyond safer sex ones are so often counter-productive that it's probably best to just avoid them.
  5. Let your (and others') relationships be what they are. Trying to speed up or slow down relationships based on someone's whims of the moment is crazy-making.
  6. Communication is not problem-solving. If someone is spending more time processing than they are actually enjoying relationships, they need to develop the relationship skills to actually use all that communication productively.
  7. Most poly- dramas, or poly- relationship issues, aren't really about poly-, even when it's jealousy about your partner being with someone else. Sex isn't a cause, it's a trigger.
  8. Dating people who would really prefer to be in a mono- relationship is likely to get someone's heart broken. That said, heartbreak is always a risk in romantic relationships, and so that doesn't necessarily mean one shouldn't take a chance.
  9. It's really helpful to have other poly- friends in your life. Being the only one you know who is doing it can be really isolating. People who only have LDRs or "platonic poly-" relationships, or who are polyfi-, don't really have a lot in common with my life either, but at least they're less likely to be weirded out.
  10. Being out is super-important. People pick up on secrecy and defensiveness and reasonably conclude something sketchy is going on.
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  #33  
Old 06-08-2010, 12:20 AM
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thanks jkelly, food for thought!

I would add to my list,

-your #5, let your and others relationships be as they are. I think it is important to realize that my relationship with someone is going to be different than someone elses and therefore I am valuable because of that difference as much as I am in my sameness. I will find my own way in my relationships with someone, but "heads up" are sometimes appreciated. Some times I tell Nerdist how things might work better in his relationships too. That kind of info can be really be helpful in determining success in a new relationship.

-your #9, I agree, community is so important... even just on here! There have been times when I have relied entirely on the community on this forum to help me get through. There is nothing wrong with that, but actual tangible people in front of your face is very helpful... experiencing what goes on in their lives as it happens and being a part of that is a huge learning experience.

I would like to suggest jkelly that the result of your #4, of rules are "often counter-productive"... and "that it's probably best to just avoid them..." could be because of your #9, in that you don't have anything in common with poly-fi folk... rules and discussion of boundaries seem to be big deal to this population because of primary relationships and family issues. Just a thought.
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  #34  
Old 06-09-2010, 03:43 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Patience...patience...patience...hahaha
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  #35  
Old 06-13-2010, 07:22 PM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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Default Rules being counter-productive

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I would like to suggest jkelly that the result of your #4, of rules are "often counter-productive"... and "that it's probably best to just avoid them..." could be because of your #9, in that you don't have anything in common with poly-fi folk... rules and discussion of boundaries seem to be big deal to this population because of primary relationships and family issues.
I think that people make rules in relationships for two related reasons. One is to avoid having to deal with jealousy; "I agree to never do x with someone else because it makes you jealous." The other is to try to protect an existing relationship; "I agree to never do x with someone else because it might lead to them becoming a bigger part of my life."

But, really, you'll never cover every single thing that might make someone feel threatened. Then, when someone gets upset, you wind up in a fight over whether or not a rule was broken. Every minute spent arguing over whether or not someone broke the rules, or how the rules should be interpreted, is a minute wasted on not dealing with the real issues.

If you've got rules, and never wind up having to fuss with them, it's almost certainly because you're reasonably secure in the relationship, can trust your partner to make good decisions in order to maintain a healthy, satisfying relationship with you, and are open to the changes that come as people move in and out of your lives. If you're already there, why have the rules?
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  #36  
Old 06-13-2010, 10:41 PM
saudade saudade is offline
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Quote:
I would like to suggest jkelly that the result of your #4, of rules are "often counter-productive"... and "that it's probably best to just avoid them..." could be because of your #9, in that you don't have anything in common with poly-fi folk... rules and discussion of boundaries seem to be big deal to this population because of primary relationships and family issues. Just a thought.
There's a difference between rules and boundaries, I think, at least in my view of things. A boundary is a first person policy: "I won't have sex unless I love the other person," or "I won't date someone who refuses to use a condom." A rule is a second person policy: "You can't have sex with Jimmy," or "You may not take Paula to our favorite restaurant." I think a polyfi family and a gaggle of swingers (what word should I have used?) can wind up with rules, or boundaries, or both.

Personally, I prefer the first-person restrictions, those on oneself, to those imposed on others. I think relationships tend to be healthier when you realize you can only control your own actions, particularly once you've opened the Pandora's box of poly and thrown the default version of monogamy out the window.
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  #37  
Old 06-13-2010, 10:42 PM
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lamnidae lamnidae is offline
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I am still relatively new to this (3 months), but for me the biggest learning curve has been that I have to be willing to give what I am asking for. If I want my husband and L to listen to my feelings without becoming defensive or frustrated, then I have to be willing to do the same.

Another lovely thing learned has been just what a truly amazing man my husband is. I have watched him tackle seriously uncomfortable emotions that he was not expecting, and do it while consistently telling us that he is not going anywhere. I have learned how strong and present he can be, even when dealing with emotions that would send most people running for the hills.
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  #38  
Old 06-13-2010, 11:41 PM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saudade View Post
There's a difference between rules and boundaries...

Personally, I prefer the first-person restrictions, those on oneself, to those imposed on others. I think relationships tend to be healthier when you realize you can only control your own actions, particularly once you've opened the Pandora's box of poly and thrown the default version of monogamy out the window.
Yeah, absolutely. My #1 in the post above is an example. My partner hasn't imposed on me a rule that I can only date people who appreciate that we're together, but I've adopted it as a guideline myself because I've discovered that not doing so results in a ridiculous mess that I don't want to be involved in.

And these boundaries or whatever can totally involve your partner, too. Like, I can get all NRE and overlook potential problems. If I have a partner I can trust not to act out and behave badly because I'm dating someone new, I can then say "Oh, I know about myself that when I am in NRE I can have some blind spots, so I should pay extra attention to what my partner is saying about this dynamic, because they may be seeing things that I am missing." This is super-valuable.
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  #39  
Old 06-14-2010, 06:31 AM
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Relationships become more of a challenge when the two people involved are not experiencing the same dynamic. When one is merged with another person and the other isn't.

When one is responsible for the investments they have made in others in terms of time, committed emotions and money (such as a marriage with joint finances and children) and the other is not, then there is sometimes work to do in the way of understanding differences that would not be there if the two were in a similar dynamic.
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  #40  
Old 06-16-2010, 04:07 AM
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Taking things with a grain of salt seems to be the best policy and eases the tension of drama... things have a way of working themselves out with time and aren't as troublesome as they originally appear.

Partners of any kind need to be treated as equals, not as an addition to an already established relationship in my opinion... this, I think is the nature of loving

If someone is coming into a relationship for the expressed desire to rejuvenate ones sex life or a troubled marriage then this to me is not poly but a method sometimes used by people in an "open marriage." It isn't about love of that new person, but a desire to be bonded and re-connected with ones original partner. I think it's important to realize this before unsuspecting new partners come into ones lives expecting to be loved as equals and hoping to have that couple also become a part of their lives, when really the intent was not there in the first place to do so at all.
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Last edited by redpepper; 06-16-2010 at 04:36 AM. Reason: changes in approach
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