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Old 10-19-2011, 01:49 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Default Boundaries & Rules for the Single or Solo Poly Person

This thread is inspired by a post I saw over at PolyMatchmaker, in their "Single Polys" forum. I thought the question interesting enough to bring it over here.

We often hear from practitioners of poly who are partnered, or married and have "opened up" their marriages. Many discussion threads focus on the rules and/or boundaries partners have arrived at or are developing for themselves in order to embrace polyamory in a way that is healthy and fulfilling for everyone involved, and very often as a way to protect the couple "at the center."

But what about the unpartnered singles? And the solo poly who has relationships/partners but either doesn't want a primary, or is often in the role of secondary? How do we protect ourselves and set boundaries to help support finding happiness in polyamorous relationships?

How many times we have seen posts from single people who got involved with a couple and then come here to say, "They want this, want that. They tell me it has to be this way, and that way... but I'm not [happy, satisfied, feeling like I matter]. Is what they want okay, is that normal for poly? Can I ask for ___?" Or, if not with a couple as a triad, they become involved with someone whose OSOs have demands that affect them.

Such individuals may not have a strongly developed sense of who they are. But obviously, they entered into the relationships without figuring out what they needed (or could put up with) to protect themselves and make sure they are happy. They had not devised their own boundaries or rules. Perhaps that is why so many triads fail. Perhaps they never should've started in the first place without each party having their own clear set of boundaries (or without reading Franklin Veaux's Secondary's Bill of Rights). I think the idea that solos and singles should have their own set of boundaries should be just as prevalent in polyamory as the idea that partnered people/couples should.

So, I address these questions to the solo poly people out there (feel free to answer whichever ones move you):
  • What are your rules or boundaries for poly relationships?
  • What requirements do you find absolutely necessary and non-negotiable when you enter into a poly relationship?
  • Do you find your boundaries and rules have been respected and given equal consideration by those you've been involved with? If not, what adjustments would you make, if any?
  • What concessions have you made regarding your boundaries and would you do it again?
This isn't just for solos who want to be in relationship with a couple, of course. There are many solos who are not looking for that, for various reasons. Many solos, like myself, either want an egalitarian approach to having multiple lovers, are straight, or don't want to cohabit with anyone nor be part of a tribe. But we may come up against some weird ideas out there about solos, like the assumptions that we're all cowgirls and cowboys or only want casual sex.

So, I think it's important for solos and singles to define our own set of boundaries and/or rules. From there, of course, negotiation can take place, but to not have any can put us in icky situations. This thread is open to being a place to work out what your boundaries would be, if you haven't already figured it out. And if you have, please share how it's worked for you!
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:10 AM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
  • What are your rules or boundaries for poly relationships?
  • What requirements do you find absolutely necessary and non-negotiable when you enter into a poly relationship?
  • Do you find your boundaries and rules have been respected and given equal consideration by those you've been involved with? If not, what adjustments would you make, if any?
  • What concessions have you made regarding your boundaries and would you do it again?
The only boundaries or rules I have for sure is that everyone must know about everyone else and when I was in a primary relationship, I made it clear that relationship was my priority. So far that has worked. If I am ever in a primary relationship again, I will probably do the same. Of course, right now, I'm not much interested in another primary type relationship.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:05 AM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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Wow, I was surprised to see that this thread was so short. This is something I would like to discuss, so I', resurrecting it. Nycindies questions are so good.

Quote:
What are your rules or boundaries for poly relationships?
What requirements do you find absolutely necessary and non-negotiable when you enter into a poly relationship?
Do you find your boundaries and rules have been respected and given equal consideration by those you've been involved with? If not, what adjustments would you make, if any?
What concessions have you made regarding your boundaries and would you do it again?
I'm going to answer from a secondary point of view, because my expectations are different for a primary type relationship. As a secondary, I expect to know clearly what is ok from my part and what I can expect to have in the relationship. It is also very important to me that my partners OSO's are OK with what is going on and that we all get along. I want everyone to be on the same page about everything. I expect any changes to be communicated and discussed as soon as possible and very openly.

When I start a secondary type relationship (wich to me means intimate friendship), all I ask really is that I'm allowed my feelings and emotions. I'll find a way to handle them within the limits of everyone involved. I'm trying to think about a rule or boundary that might involve my children. I think there might be such things, but I'm not yet aware of them.

My boundaries and rules have been respected by OSOs and my intimate friends. Although I have very little experience of anything so far.

I'm not wiling to be in a relationship where communication doesn't work and where it's clear that there isn't even an effort to make it work. I don't accept lying or cheating. I try to pe honest and respectful, and I expect the same from others.

The only concession so far I made years ago, when I told myself that I wont feel love towards someone I loved. I'd confessed my love, I was turned down, and I encapsulated that love only to find it years later. (Lucky me, I now know about poly and he is open to it too). I will never do that again.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:53 PM
westVan westVan is offline
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Default my personal rules

I have a number of personal boundaries as solo but the most important are-

1.) Own your own shit. - I'm willing listen to your issues and understand them but don't expect me to own them .

2.) My relationships are independent of each other. I'm willing to meet your other partners but don't expect me to be bff's or have contact with them. I will chose my own friends, just because we're F***ing the same guys doesn't mean we have anything else in common.

3.) Don't expect to stay at my place longer than 48hrs - I am independent for a reason and feel suffocated if people are around longer than that.

4.) Don't expect me to be your "dirty little secret" when we're out on a date and we run into someone you know, don't walk away from me and have a conversation with them for 20 mins, expecting me to be waiting on the corner till your done. Introduce me as a friend but don't pretend I don't exist.

5.) When your with me, I expect that you will be with me, not texting and talking on the phone to your other partners, if you can't be away from each other for a few hours without contact, you really don't have time to be with anyone else. (Emergencies' are an exception).

6.) Check your couple privilege at the door. There is no room in my world for it. If you have rules that you expect me to honor then I expect mine to be honored as well.

7.) You have your kinks and I have mine, don't expect me to be into the same things as you or try to force them on me. I'm straight and not interested in threesomes. and you might not be interested in mine - that is why we have other partners.

these are just a few that I have for myself . I don't tend to date anyone in a coupled relationship any more because to getting burnt in the past. I prefer to date other solos now.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:17 PM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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Wow

It's clear that I'm really new to all this and you know what you are talking about I really like 1, 2 and 5. I have no need for a rule like 3, but I understand why you need it, and would respect such a rule if I met someone like you.

It's great to read how others think about things like this.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:23 PM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
  • What are your rules or boundaries for poly relationships?
  • What requirements do you find absolutely necessary and non-negotiable when you enter into a poly relationship?
  • Do you find your boundaries and rules have been respected and given equal consideration by those you've been involved with? If not, what adjustments would you make, if any?
  • What concessions have you made regarding your boundaries and would you do it again?
The only poly specific boundary I can think of is this:
1. Interfering with my other relationships or poly relationship "style" is off limits. Each person I am involved with gets a say in *that* relationship.
The rest of my relationship boundaries are not related specifically to poly. The link in my sig pretty much sums up my views.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:31 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I am so glad this thread was resurrected - wow, I started it over 2-1/2 years ago. I have wanted to revive it myself a few times, because I always wondered why more independent solo poly people didn't weigh in on the topic. I don't think PMM has their forums online anymore, but this topic went on for pages and pages over there.

For me, personally, I set my own boundaries but do not make rules. My main one is pretty much the same as Marcus's - no one has a say about my relationships but me and the person I'm involved with, and that applies to metamours as well as as to other lovers of mine.

I've more to say but no time right now, so I'll check the thread later.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:22 PM
westVan westVan is offline
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Default Interesting

I find it amazing that there isn't more posts on this thread....
But thank you for finding it and making it current.
It has me thinking about my personal boundaries both in my poly relationships and life in general. My #2 is the same as Cin and Marcus, and is the hardest one to obtain at times .
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:59 PM
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I don't think my relationship rules are specific either to poly or lovers, but apply to all of my relationships.

1. Emotional maturity. You are responsible for how you feel; not me. I will gladly help anyone work through an issue, but I won't help you wallow in it.

2. Honesty. Authenticity. Without it, there is only a facade of a relationship. Does that mean a new friend needs to tell me about all of his / her skeletons right away? Absolutely not. And maybe not ever. Just that what you do decide to share is honest.

3. Respect for thoughts, feelings, aspirations whether or not you agree or can relate to them. I will do the same.

4. The simple willingness to try to achieve mutual understanding - even if we ultimately disagree.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:07 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is online now
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I wonder if the majority of them aren't having poly struggles and so aren't on these boards?
I think it's an awesome topic, just not one I can post on personally.
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