Some basic beliefs:
- You can’t steal a relationship away from someone. Relationships start on their own, stand on their own and end because of some inner pressure it can’t withstand. Relationships are a shared stream of consciousness experience. In order for a “relationship” to exist, you both have to agree on it’s nature and existence…and the agreement has to be ongoing. Each person has their own viewpoint of the shared experiences. It is up to those in the relationship to get on the same page. If they don’t, then the relationship comes to a natural close. Let’s make that crystal clear: No one can steal a relationship!
- Loving me does not diminish love for you. Loving someone romantically works the same as loving your two children, or loving both your parents, or loving all your friends, or your cousins. Each of those relationships is unique and special all on it’s own. Some relationships are closer than others, more influential than others, some roles require more attention and priority than others…but love is love. Loving me does not diminish love for you.
- Trusting someone to a love relationship that’s also a polyamorous setting can happen without losing the loyalty or commitment to preceding relationships. Having more than one relationship takes inner security, compassion, understanding, acceptance and a belief in one’s own intrinsic value. It also means having faith that your partner values the place you have in that loved one’s life. There’s a difference between these last two points. Reread them to be sure you got it because they are the most crucial to polyamory.
- That trust I just mentioned must extend to your whole lives together; even in the face of seeing love for Another valued very much or as much as their love for you. Really stable individuals with a really stable sense of trust in each other are well suited for polyamory. Obviously the opposite is also true about those factors which constitute unsuitability.
- The other side of this coin is one must have consistent boundaries about how we treat others. They have to be overt, stated behaviors that others can count on so they can create appropriate relationship boundaries among all concerned. For instance, you cannot expect that others will trust you to be on time, if you are frequently late and use excuses about why you’re late. Lateness isn’t a polyamorous example, but it does apply. If you are late for dates with your poly partner or late coming home from dates with your poly partner, people start to feel like an unimportant afterthought. They begin to feel that their time is not valued and respected. That makes it super hard not to feel diminished in value compared to other partners or just devalued. Not to mention, whomever is waiting for a later partner could be spending it with someone who wants to make the time we have together count and to account for every possible second of it. It is sabotaging others security in the relationship to be inconsistent with your boundaries and demonstrations of respect for your partner.
- Monogamy can still exist within a polyamorous setting. The styles of monogamy are varied. My way is to practice fluid monogamy. Monogamy is also necessary when there’s too much outside or inside pressure on a relationship…when to add more demands in some way would be unwise. I also practice monogamy within the context of available time. If I haven’t enough time for the relationship(s) I already have, then I don’t add another. As well, I don’t open a relationship if it’s not mature enough yet. New relationships have not accumulated a foundational level of trust. Trust building takes time. Generally a few years.
- Jealousy happens. for some people its a daily thing to contend with, for others its purely situational- generally when there’s some element in a relationship that causes them to feel uncertain, unsure, insecure. Jealousy happens to everyone sooner or later. It is each person’s responsibility to address jealousy. It should be discussed openly, blamelessly and with compassion; remembering always that jealousy doesn’t make anyone wrong, bad or inadequate. It’s simply an emotional hurdle to be contended with in order to live the lifestyle they have chosen. People should also remember that monogamy doesn’t protect anyone from jealousy.
- Making someone else responsible for your fears, jealousy, etc., is inappropriate. For obvious reasons. I mention this simply to point out that burdening others with feelings can be very subtle sometimes. You have to be attentive to your motivations for all your behavior.Monogamy and polyamory are relationship styles. Neither is bad or good. They each have pros and cons.
- Relationships require time, attention and nourishment no matter what kind you have. If you don’t give them all these with constancy and regularity, those relationships will wither until there’s only the irritating aspects of them to consider. Then there will be withdrawal, turmoil, stagnation, endings.
- People make agreements. This is a natural part of relationships. Interpretations of an agreement can vary though. It is important to clarify what each person considers an agreement means.
- People can change their minds. Sometimes agreements, traditions and interests no longer fit one partner. Adaptation is a healthy sign in a human being and in a relationship. Accepting that another person has the right to change their mind, to want something else, to grow in a new direction, or wants to love someone whom we don’t find appealing can and likely will happen sooner or later. If a relationship is to remain healthy in context to change, it must adapt; people must adapt.
- Adapting requires a new negotiation, new approaches, and brainstorming. Refusing to do that is the same as choosing not to continue the relationship. Insisting on continuing with the old agreement simply to maintain control of the situation is the same as trying to force someone to make you happy and that spells endings. All that’s left after a refusal to adapt is the turmoil of endings.
- Again, consistency, loyalty and constancy matters. You can change your mind, but it shouldn’t like your underwear and it shouldn’t feel that way to others. The difference is signaled by stable, happy, meaning relationships, vs treating relationships like an all you can eat buffet or like a two year old who wants one for each hand, plus the one you’ve got too.
- Everyone has a viewpoint about how polyamory should be done. No one’s way is wrong. I do not believe that polyamory equates with casual sex or casual play partnerships, though some define it that way. Polyamory means loving more than one, thus I feel it means loving meaningfully, not fucking casually. For me, polyamory is an interpersonal relationship which, by definition, is a deep relationship.
- I allow relationships to find their own place in my life and allow them to find their own context. Sometimes they are casual, sometimes monogamous, sometimes polyamorous. I never have more than two interpersonal relationships at once. I don’t have the energy for more. I may have many casual relationships at once. I generally don’t have casual relationships if I have an interpersonal relationship. I prefer not to invest time in casual relationships if there’s a nourishing interpersonal relationship to focus on.
This relationship with Remus is a monogamous one at present. It is likely that the impetus of my need to have a deeply intimate (both
emotional and erotic intimacy) relationship with a woman will lead to polyamory for us. Right now, I prefer monogamy with Remus. I love having his sole attention. I love not worrying about disease or adding more pressure on our relationship. I love the intimacy and focus our relationship has. I love the joy growing between us. Monogamy means our relationship does not need to grow around or along side the needs and wishes of yet Another.
Say, you’ve got an interest in someone. Here’s some further principles that I believe in for my poly relationships:
- It is necessary that met-amours share a basic trust and respect. I don’t say they must love each other, but there should be a basic appreciation of that person’s personality and values and there should be a devotion to supporting that person’s existence in your love’s life. Even if you wouldn’t pick the meta-amour for a partner yourself.
- It is necessary that there be a comfortable open communication style between meta-mours.
- People are human. When we are upset or don’t like someone, we will not be disposed to give the benefit of the doubt. Our approach to each interaction will be with a readiness to confirm dislike. Ethical people may try to prevent bias from entering interactions, but hurt can make it hard to maintain those emotional boundaries. The general opinions we have about others tends to be what we focus on and this seems to consistently inform our instincts and responses to events with our meta relationships. Enmity can grow all too easily. Thus, I refer back to number one of this second list.
- If there isn’t a basic reverence between metamours, then it will be truly intolerable to begin a live in situation with a meta-amour. As with any live-in situation, make sure there’s camaraderie and compatibility and an ability to negotiate conflicts amiably.
- Keep your word.
- Don’t run to the arms of anyone to escape the difficulties of another relationship.
- Never play favorites.