I identify as Poly but I have found coming out to people to be quite difficult. However, I do still want to be in a consenting poly relationship. I have a wonderful girlfriend who knows that I’m poly and accepts me and consents to a poly-v relationship but it’s taken me aback with how many people I meet being either poly and almost stalkerish or monogamous and wants me to leave my girlfriend. Are there any good sites or anything I could check out?

Dating is hard. It’s hard for everyone, mono or poly, gay or straight. Most of us have at least a few bad or just blah experiences before we find someone we click with perfectly. For some of us, that’s part of the fun of dating; for others, it’s a huge discouragement.

Make sure going in that you know your boundaries and how to stick to them. It sounds like you’ve done a good job shutting down behavior you find “stalkerish” and saying no to people who want you to leave your girlfriend. Keep being clear and open about what you want, and you’ll find what you’re looking for. Just give it time. If finding someone awesome to date was simple and easy, we wouldn’t have like 50% of the movies/TV shows/books that currently exist.

Here is my FAQ page on finding poly people to date. Good luck!

duoconcertant  asked:

I'm going on my first date outside of my relationship tomorrow. We've recently decided to try polyamory, and I'm really interested in the person I'm going on this date with, but I'm not sure how to bring up that I'm currently seeing someone else as well and am in a polyamorous relationship. Any advice?

That might depend on this: How did this date get planned? Did you meet this person on a dating website? Did you just meet somewhere and they cold asked you out? Do you know each other through someone else? And is this 100% clearly a date? Or anywhere in the vaguely ambiguous territory of maybe just someone asking someone else to hang out?

Generally my answer is to tell people before we go on any dates. But I mostly meet people through online dating, where my profile makes my relationship status clear. Or I meet people through mutual friends, which generally means people have met the people I’m involved with before they’d consider asking me out. But even if someone cold asked me out, say in a coffee shop, my ideal answer, if I was interested at all, would be: “I’d love to, but you should know I’m in an open relationship. I’m happy to tell you more about that. Still interested?” My friend got an answer like this from someone he’d just met at some kind of dance event, and even though he’s generally only into monogamy, he gave it a go and dated them for a bit.

But now you have a date schedule and maybe you could text them or say something as soon as the date starts but maybe that’s kind of just more awkward for everyone. Like, if your date totally isn’t in to it, they might still feel weird about canceling or ending the date. Or now you’ve sort of worked yourself into a place where telling them like that is kind of over-apologetic. Because this is something they should know, but it’s not something bad about you!

I think you owe it them to say something before a second date. So if you want to tell them now, cool. Or if it comes up naturally during the first date and you want to just tell them, cool. If you feel like saying something at the end of the date like “hey, I’d love to do this again, but I have to tell you this…” that could work too. Or maybe you’ll realize one date was all you wanted, and that could take care of the issue too. Or a text/call/whatever after the date. I think you’re okay if you tell them before a second date. I think if you go on a second or third date without telling them, that starts being not very nice.

I recommend starting with the phrase “open relationship” instead of “polyamory,” as far as trying to communicate to a new person the nature of your current relationship. If they are interested in dating you more, you can tell them more specifically how your open relationship works. Or, they might immediately know they have no interest and not want to hear anything. Since polyamory more often requires it’s own whole explanation of what that word even means, and that complicates the discussion, I think it’s easier to keep it simple to start.

Best of luck! If you’re willing, please tell me how it goes!

My first attempt at giving poly advice.

I get the general inquiry a lot: People ask me what polyamory is, or what its like, or how it could possibly work, or what do we do that works for us. I figured I’d take a crack at writing down a brief summary of some things I’ve learned over 3 years of answering this question for myself and for others.

Polyamory is tough to pin down or characterize.There really isn’t one-size-fits-all polyamory. You need to explore for yourself and see what makes you comfortable. I actually don’t advocate polyamory to most people. Its a LOT of work. The light at the end of a long tunnel is worth it though: the brightest and warmest sunshine I know.

It seems to me that those of us making it work tend to be highly adaptive to new situations and highly open/honest/self-reflective. I think it takes time to deprogram the monogamous paradigm and this can be hard; its kind of a process to sharpen the tools in your poly toolkit. The most important tools I listed above.

Self-reflection: Self reflection means knowing thyself. Being able to recognize one’s damages is important. For example, I tend to deal with conflict in a very confrontational, “solve the problem right away using logic and argumentation skills acquired from debate and legal studies” kind of way :S. (Yes, my lovers have saintly patience and tolerance for this) I am dismissive of emotions and unsympathetic to them. Because I know this about myself I can in moments of diligence override my knee-jerk reactions in tense conversations. This development takes a lot of help from my partners pointing out my tendencies and foibles and hangups repeatedly until I can see them for myself and this foresight becomes a self-reflective habit. I also tend to deal with negative thoughts and insecurities by projecting them onto the source, whether or not there is good reason to be insecure. I know this of myself and my partners know this about me so difficult conversations become easier to navigate the more we all self-reflect, guide and support one another. In turn I am aware of my partner’s insecurities, damages and foibles and act as a guide or support when they need me to.

Openness: For my domestic partner and I an understanding and appreciation for the scientific view of human behavior is very useful. Evolutionary psychology has a lot to say about the origins of jealousy, possessiveness, insecurity, mating strategies, division of labor and resource allocation. Knowing why our genes are programmed to make us emote in certain ways under certain conditions can help us employ our frontal lobes to override our more simian or reptilian impulses regarding gender roles and expectations, nurturing styles, partner selection, risk-taking or risk-aversion and a host of others. Evolutionary explanations for why and how emotions and behaviors are likely to have evolved in social groups on the Pleistocene can turn a lot of idealists and humanists off with its game-theoretical pragmatism and often dim view of human emotions. This is where openness comes into play. A high degree of openness to new ideas and other points of view is important. What works for she and I may not work or be convincing to our lover(s) and its important that we incorporate other these other views and ideas about the world into our account of the amorous relationships we maintain and it is important for our lover(s) to understand where we are coming from and how we run the analysis on relational maintenance when we work on things together.

Honesty: All that said, none of this is worth anything without honesty and a firm leash on one’s ego. If you cannot be honest with yourself then your self-reflection is going to be skewed in favor of your probably distorted self-image. Nobody is perfect. The more we admit to ourselves our shortcomings the more likely we are to overcome them. If you cannot be honest about what your preferences, comforts and insecurities are and effectively assert them in your relationships, it is difficult to be open to new ideas. How do you even identify what is outside your comfort zone or what is a new idea if you dont have a well-defined boundaries and a core set of beliefs.

Assertiveness: I personally think a polyamorous relationship is doomed to fail if everyone involved does not learn how to speak and how to listen. When important matters are being discussed it is important for everyone to be able to assert themselves in a supportive environment. We all have needs and we can’t defer to our partners all the time. While compromise is important, if anyone’s needs go neglected for too long the relationship is likely to sour. Luckily polyamory teaches us that we do not need to project all our needs onto one person. Learning this has saved both of the relationships I am currently in from disastrous ends.
Its been so long that I don’t understand or remember how monogamous couples get by suffocating each other trying to do this. If someone that you love is simply unwilling or incapable of meeting your needs, you can continue to be in a loving partnership with them while finding someone else to meet those unmet needs. However, if your current partner(s) can meet those needs and you just never asked or asserted yourself, you’re obviously missing out.

Self-Image: Finally, something that my domestic partner and I worked on really hard and continue to work on is the understanding that your self-image is very different from who you are a person. We all think we’re swell, but in my experience the only “self” that really matters is who you are in terms of your loving relationships. You can think you’re wonderful all day long but if the ones you love are constantly hurt, neglected, or made to be insecure by your actions, then guess what? You’re not that wonderful, chum. In order to make things work with your lovers/partners/friends/etc you really need to listen and understand how others perceive what you do, and not rely on what your intentions were. I think a self-image detached from reality borders on a mental disorder that I think a frightening number of us have. Why and from whence this mass social disorder comes from is not as important as taking active steps to deprogram it by simply putting our egos aside and listening. This will become habit and improve all your relationships.

Im curious what my poly friends make of this. Holler at me. polynotes polyamoryforeveryone polyamorous-love jade-polyloveninja-deactivated2

I recently started dating a guy who is polyamorous and I have only ever been in monogamous relationships. This is something I am open to, but I’m having a difficult time being okay with him texting his boyfriend while we are hanging out. How can I confront him about this without it coming across and me not liking his boyfriend?

This is a pretty low-stakes issue. You’re doing most of the emotional heavy lifting here, and if he’s practicing healthy polyamory, he’ll be open to this kind of request.

Try not to think of it as a “confrontation” - I don’t think it’s that serious of an interaction. Find a quiet time to talk, and let him know that while you’re doing your best to be open to his polyamory, you are uncomfortable with him texting his boyfriend while you’re together. This isn’t about you being jealous of the boyfriend, just you wanting to feel like you have his attention and are a priority during the time you’re together.

If he gets upset and confrontational - if he insists you’re being controlling, or it’s not a big deal - run. This is a pretty basic issue of common courtesy and has very little to do with the nuances of polyamory. If he can’t handle that conversation, he is not a good candidate for your first poly relationship.

anonymous asked:

Hi I'm very interested in polyamory and would like to get to know people of the same interest.. Where would be a good place to start? I live in a small town and most people don't even know what polyamory is.

Half the time I’m not sure I know what polyamory is. So don’t be shocked if people don’t know the words or get the concepts right away. One disclaimer, I live in NYC, I’m not a small town expert. I did have a rather slutty couple of years traveling for business a while back and will draw upon that experience for this advice. Without further adieu:

The Polystumbles Guide to Small Town Polydating 

Get your shit in order. Your existing relationships, your money, your job, your mental health, your body. You have to attract partners first and foremost, poly or not.  

Date Casually. if you are comfortable with it, build casual relationships: actual friends with benefits. I’ve dated a few partners who may not have gotten the idea of polyamory, but were fine with going on dates, having no expectation of monogamy if you simply stuck some more societally accepted name in front of it. This is also a great way to develop non-monogamous communication skills and see if you are ok with Poly — encourage more sharing with those partners, explore your limits, comfort, and compersion. 

Work it. Work online dating sites. Be clear. Make the first move. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Use tasteful pictures taken by friends. Write detailed messages that show you read their profiles. If you get a response 5-10% of the time you are doing well.

Broaden your search. Make friends in the kink and queer communities even if you are vanilla, cis and hetero (just do some homework and a lot of listening first). Why? Because poly is kind of queer and I accept it. Because rates of poly seem to be higher if you already are outside other social norms regarding relationships. Also because very few people are 100% anything, not 100% straight, not 100% gay, not 100% pet, not 100% fetish X, not 100% male or female.

Kink is something I avoided for a bit, but eventually embraced. I’m not someone who needs kink, but I saw some marketable skills that brought me non-monogamous partners and community — particularly when I was traveling for work. Just had to google a local dungeon and I could find a place to have some OJ and talk about my Wife and girlfriend without a million questions. It also means a traveling community you could plug into, a global network with plenty of poly subcommunities. I never got into it — but some people feel the same about swinger communities. Personally I have a gut anti-swing reaction — I like an emotional connection and I don’t want to swim upstream to get it. But to each their own. I’m not swing-negative. 

Also find other related communities that may not use the word polyamory: sex positive, open love, open marriages, non-monogamy. 

Build your support network.  Friends, family, online. Who are you going to talk to about this?

Get offline: Travel. No local community? Then save up and get the to further away places. Weekends in a bigger city (couchsurf if you want to avoid hotels), driving to Meetups and Munches, conferences. If you want poly bad enough you have to be willing to go out and get what isn’t nearby.

Lastly, Polydating is dating. It really doesn’t have to look different at first. Find someone worth dating, bring up non-monogamy as a rejection of going exclusive, encourage them to date someone else first. Don’t stop dating because you can’t find poly people, your perfect partners may not know they are poly yet. Of course once you have partners, be transparent with anyone you are dating (even casually). 

Patience. While I’ve been married my entire poly time, I haven’t always had additional poly partners. Sometimes I went 3-5 months between outside dates. That was in a big city. It might be longer for you in a small town. 

Hope this helps.

P.S. Come off anon! It helps for people to know who you are. Just make sure your name is not too descriptive if you want privacy.

“What if I like someone more than the other?”

There are polyamorous relationship dynamics that have secondary and primary labels for partners and it’s completely acceptable. Though primary and secondary isn’t necessarily a ranking system for who you like more or less - word choice is important. It’s a way to prioritize relationships and have an understanding of where someone stands in the relationship so there’s no conflicts. It benefits everyone to communicate these things.

More Terms / Relationship Dynamics

I’m in a pickle. My bf and I decided we were both poly months ago and have been exploring other relationships. This week he has decided it was a mistake and has asked for us to close our relationship. He’s asking me to give up the relationship I’ve started with another man who I think I’m in love with. I don’t want to lose either but it seems I have no choice because he’s giving me ultimatums.

My very first poly partner gave me this advice: If someone is forcing you to choose between them and someone else, always go with the person who’s not asking you to choose. Kimchi Cuddles recently also did a comic about this issue.

This is one reason many singles are skeptical of getting involved with people who are already part of an established couple that decided to “open up” the relationship. Due to something called “couples privilege,” it’s often the already established couple that gets prioritized in any conflict. But it doesn’t have to be like that - just because your boyfriend has been with you longer doesn’t mean he’s automatically the person you owe allegiance to.

If you love this new partner, and he’s shown himself to be someone capable of giving you a healthy, fulfilling, polyamorous relationship - if he has his house more in order, so to speak, and what he offers is potential for growth and openness - keep that in mind. If it’s more important to you to keep exploring this potential, both with this man and with polyamory in general, it’s okay to leave your boyfriend who’s demanding that you give something up and go for this new opportunity. If it’s more important to stay with your boyfriend, it’s okay to call off this experiment in polyamory. Only you can make that call.

anonymous asked:

Hi I'm 20 and I've never dated anyone but polyamory interests me but at the same time I'm curious as to how to avoid being jealous or avoid feeling left out if you're insecure. Idk if you could help at all but yeah lol. Thanks :)

Hi there! Thanks for writing! You’re my very first advice-seeker. :)

The best approach I’ve learned for dealing with jealousy is to treat it just like any other emotion. Culturally, at least in the mainstream, we treat jealousy very strangely compared to other emotions: instead of learning ways to cope with it and make its effects manageable, we try to avoid it. This isn’t terribly realistic for poly relationships – putting a lot of restrictions on other people’s behavior can build resentment and end up hurting them. So, the strategy that many poly people have is not trying to avoid it. Just as we have cultural strategies for “anger management,” many poly people think of jealousy as something to accept and manage.

The best strategies I’ve seen involve (1) allowing yourself to feel it and not judging yourself for feeling it, (2) when you feel it, asking yourself what is really at the root of it – do you feel unloveable? Unattractive? Uninteresting? Afraid of losing someone’s time?, (3) figuring out if you can reassure yourself on these matters or if you need to talk to your partner to clarify your shared intentions for the relationship, and confirm that your fears are unfounded, (4) if so, taking a deep breath and asking your partner for that. I tend to tackle the first two steps alone, and sit with my feelings for a while, and see if I can reassure myself. This is a process I’ve been through many times. I don’t always need to go to a partner about it, but I definitely do sometimes! I think it’s pretty important to have partners who understand the whole process and are on board with it, because having someone dismiss your jealousy, or tell you that you shouldn’t feel it, doesn’t actually help with processing it. Having partners who are happy to put in the time to work on it with you means a lot.

The other thing I’d add is that the more you can work on your insecurity – just in general – the less often and less strongly you’ll feel jealous. So, that’s another angle you can approach it from. Tell yourself that you are worthy of love and belonging, because you are! This is something I’ve learned from Brené Brown, whose books are fantastic.

I also highly recommend the book and website More Than Two (here is their jealousy page: https://www.morethantwo.com/jealousy-insecurity.html), and the book The Jealousy Workbook

I hope this is helpful! Best wishes to you!

FAQ: How do I know if I’m poly?

If you’re still trying to figure out whether you identify as poly, or whether a polyamorous relationship would work for you, that’s okay! If you can picture yourself in a polyamorous relationship or a monogamous relationship, or if you don’t yet have a clear picture of what a relationship would look like for you, that’s okay!

If you need a term to describe yourself in the meantime, this blog and others have come up with a few:

  • bipoly
  • polyamorish
  • polyflexible
  • poly-curious
  • werepoly
  • poly-mono
  • me, figuring myself out & doing what’s best for me right now!

There is no Official Checklist For Determining Polyamorous-ness - but I can point you to resources to help you think through it all.

If you’re young and/or you haven’t had many relationships, but you’re still pretty sure that you identify as polyamorous, that’s okay! You can start your dating life as a polyamorous person - but be aware that it can be hard to find younger people who are open to the idea. You may be tempted to date older people because they’re in the poly community, but be very very wary, as that’s often how predators find people to take advantage of. It is okay to be single when you’re young and figuring things out, so don’t rush!

Poly Advice posts on this:

Seems you’ve turned Anon off, I know you haven’t really given advice for awhile but I could use it from another polyamorous fellow, however I do beg that if you do answer you do so privately. Anyway, I’m starting to get into this relationship with a polyamorous girl, besides me she also has a girlfriend. I’m a straight male, and she’s pansexual. This will be the first polyamorous relationship I’ve had and I don’t know how or if I should break it to my somewhat conservative parents. 

Oh, sorry about the anon thing. I turned that off because of my stalker. But she seems to be leaving me alone now, so I’ll turn it back on. Anyway, I’ve anonymized your question.

Congrats on your new relationship! Congrats on finding a fellow poly! =)

How do you feel about it? This is your first poly relationship, after all. Take things slowly and be sure to communicate, especially if you start to feel jealous. Polyamory can be wonderful, but only if everyone approaches it in the right way.

But you haven’t asked about any of that, so I assume you’re ok. The main question is your parents.

My first thought is that there’s no rush to tell them about it. It sounds like you’re involved with this girl, and she’s involved with a second girl, but you and the second girl aren’t directly involved with each other. Do I have that right? If so, you and the second girl are “metamors”. (I just love using that word, lol.) You and your metamor won’t be going on dates, so it should be easy to keep this a secret from your parents if you so choose. (I don’t think you should outright lie to them, but maybe you can just keep quiet about it.)

In my mind, the point of keeping it secret is for your benefit. This is your first poly relationship, after all. If you’re like me, you’ll want time to figure this out for yourself. If people who don’t approve of polyamory get wind of what you’re doing, they might judge you and criticize you. Then what happens if you have doubts about the relationship? You could find yourself stuck, thinking “Do I have doubts because the relationship honestly isn’t working out, or do I have doubts simply because I’m caving under the pressure I get from my parents?” On the other hand, if your parents don’t know about it, then they can’t pressure you. And thus, you can explore your own feelings with minimal interference. So there’s no rush to tell them about it. (It wouldn’t be a secret forever, most likely. You’d just wait till you feel comfortable about telling them.)

But it all depends on how you feel. For some people, they want everyone to know as soon as possible. Maybe they want to demonstrate that they’re not afraid of other people’s opinions. Maybe they feel close to their parents (or whoever), and it just feels wrong to keep secrets. Maybe they feel that their parents (or whoever) will find out anyway, so it’s best to be upfront about it. If you have a feeling like this, if you feel the need to tell your parents for your own personal reasons, then go ahead and tell them. The only reason for keeping polyamory secret is to make you more comfortable. If it makes you uncomfortable, then don’t keep it secret.

If/when you do decide to tell your parents, talk to you girlfriend and metamor first. Ask them what they think about it. They can’t keep you silent against your will, but they have the right to know in advance that you’ve decided to come out. After all, if you reveal that you’re poly, you’ll be revealing that they’re poly too. (You could keep their names out of it, of course. But that might be difficult, especially with your primary girlfriend.)

Now, how to broach the subject? Well the thing about being poly, as opposed to being gay, is that almost nobody knows what that means. So the first thing to do is simply educate your parents on the term. “Have you ever heard of polyamory?”, you might say. They’ll say no, they haven’t, and then you can explain it to them. (Maybe you could link to my blog, even.) Make sure you emphasize the concepts of honesty and communication. You don’t want them to get the impression that “poly” is a fancy word for “cheating”. During this talk, you don’t have to reveal that you’re poly! Just talk about the concept in general terms, and see how they react. If they hate the concept, maybe you’ll decide to stay hidden for awhile longer. If they’re ok with the concept, you can feel more relaxed. Maybe they’ll hate the concept at first, but after a few weeks they’ll calm down about it. (It’d be helpful if you could point to some other openly-poly people that you know, and thus demonstrate that poly relationships can work IRL, but of course there are very few poly people in the world, so I doubt that you can point to many examples.) And then, after they’ve calmed down, maybe that’s the best time to tell them the whole truth.

Seeing as your girlfriend is pansexual, you might want to start with that concept. Do you know how they feel about gay and bisexual people? (I know “bisexual” is different from “pansexual”, but the terms are so closely related that you might as well treat them as synonyms. Chances are your parents are more familiar with the term “bisexual”, so you might as well let them use that term, if it’s ok with your girlfriend.) Perhaps you can get your girlfriend’s permission to tell your parents that she’s pansexual. Perhaps you can give them some time to get used to that concept, before they find out about the polyamory.

Unfortunately, society has different standards for men and women. A man with two lovers might be considered a stud, but a woman with two lovers (such as your girlfriend) might be considered a “slut” (even if she’s not having sex with them!). Hopefully that won’t be the case with your parents. =(

Whenever you do come out to them, it’s probably best to start by showing them that this relationship is good for you. Talk to them about how you and your girlfriend get along. Tell them all the things you like about her, and the things she likes about you. Tell them how the relationship makes you feel. Show them that the relationship is healthy. (If it’s not healthy, then that’s a separate problem and you need to deal with that.) Then, after you’ve finished with all that, tell them that your girlfriend is pansexual and/or that you’re in a 3-person poly relationship. Hopefully the good stuff will give them a better perspective on the “weird” stuff.

You say that your parents are “somewhat” conservative, so it’s quite possible that they’ll accept all this with only mild discomfort. Maybe all this planning is excessive. But better safe than sorry, right?

In any case, I hope you have a good relationship in your current setup. Be honest with yourself, and with your partners. Remember that poly relationships can have problems just like mono relationships. But if the three of you are a good fit for each other, then that’s wonderful. Not only will it be good for the three of you, but it’ll also be helpful in convincing your parents (and others) to accept you.

*HUGS* Good luck. =)


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Got a question? Something bugging you? Need some advice? Send me a message on tumblr and I may just post the response on my blogs. (If you want the response to stay private, please say so. You can also ask anonymously,) You might even be featured in my upcoming books. (Sorry, I can’t afford to pay you any royalties or whatever.) You can also email me at sonicsuns@gmail.com
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And remember: Be good to everyone, including yourself.

*hugs* =)

My girlfriend and I are in a very serious relationship, we have been for years and plan to get married. She introduced me to polyamory which was a new concept to me. I told her I’m open to trying it, but due to my mental health I had boundaries and things I’m not comfortable with her doing with her new partner. She agreed & so far its been going okay, with her being very attentive to my needs. But I was wondering, if she were to do something I’m not comfortable with, would that be cheating?

Only you can really make that call. I think “cheating” is defined as “violating the agreed-upon terms of a relationship.” If you feel like her violating those boundaries is cheating, then yes, it’s cheating. If it feels more nebulous to you - like she did something you’re not comfortable with, but it isn’t a complete betrayal, then maybe it’s not cheating. 

For instance, if I ask my boyfriend “hey, do you mind if we reschedule our dinner date because I just got invited to a really exciting party?” and he says “well actually, I would be really bummed out, I was very much looking forward to hanging out tonight,” then I have a decision to make based on the information I have. I could choose to go to the party, knowing full well it would upset him, and face the emotional consequences of doing so. Would that be cheating? It would certainly be doing something my boyfriend didn’t want me to and told me he would be sad if I did it, but is it violating the fundamental terms of our relationship? That would differ across couples, as it should - there is no immutable relationship law that determines what is and isn’t cheating.

In general, I think specific boundaries in polyamory like “if you do XYZ with your other partners, that counts as cheating” very very rarely work out. Emotions and desires don’t ever stay neatly in the boundaries we prescribe for them. Setting up instances in which you consider yourself “cheated on” puts you at a pretty high risk of feeling/being cheated on. My advice is to think through the boundaries you’ve set to try to understand where they’re coming from. Consider whether you can address your emotional needs and safety using strategies that don’t create such a clear-cut “cheating zone” for your partner to risk straying into. How can your partner help you feel secure in a ‘positive’ way (by actively doing certain things) rather than a ‘negative’ way (by not doing certain things)?

Also, if you know there are mental health issues at play, definitely discuss this with your mental health care provider. These kinds of boundaries can be useful for easing a nervous partner into a poly relationship, but I have rarely seen them work out in the long term. Seeing them as temporary tools to help you understand your needs and how to meet them, rather than new core terms of the relationship, would help a lot to alleviate your concerns about what counts as cheating and whether it’s happening.

anonymous asked:

My partner of two years came out to me as polyamorous recently and said he wanted to be with me and his ex, the mother of his child. That he never stopped loving her, but tried for me. I was glad he was honest with me and was willing to try it for him, her and I are both monogamous and our partner said he's happy with just the two of us, we may all move in together soon. Here's the problem, I told my best friend and she is COMPLETELY un supportive. Do you have advice on how to handle that?

Honestly the best advice I have regarding handling this situation is that your best friend will either accept it, or they will not accept it, and that pushing them into accepting it will not be a positive reaction. Your best friend is allowed to feel their emotions because they are theirs to process. Maybe once things have sunk in prehaps they will come around and be supportive after learning more about your relationship model (which is probably new and foreign to them having been raised in a very monorelationship centric society) - or they very well can not. The best advice I have for you is to not maintain a relationship with this friend if they treat you poorly from here on out. 

Not too long ago, I grew tired of feeling constantly neglected by my primary partner (A) and found myself a new one (B). This led A to change their behaviour completely and beg me for a second chance. I love B, and I truly believe that they are a good match for me, but I still feel bad for rejecting A. Neither A nor B currently have any other partners besides me. Any advice on how to handle this situation?

I’m confused by this scenario. You say that A “begged you for a second chance” and that you feel bad for “rejecting” them - but then you say they both currently have you as a partner. If you are still dating A, then they shouldn’t need to beg for a second chance, and you didn’t reject them.

In healthy polyamory, finding a new partner should not be an action you take to get back at a current partner, or emotionally bludgeon them into changing their behavior. New partners are purely additive - bringing B into your life shouldn’t have required you to “reject” A. If you don’t like dating A, if they make you feel neglected, then you need to either end that relationship or work with them to resolve the issue.

Remember that other people are not need-meeting machines. B cannot replace the attention you are missing from A, nor is that their job. That relationship should be allowed to develop and stand on its own terms, and shouldn’t be impacted by how invested you are in A at any given moment. Polyamory is founded on a belief that affection is not zero-sum; that any time and energy you invest in B is not ‘removed’ from the resources you have for A.

It sounds like maybe you need to take a step back and think about:

What does polyamory mean to you? Is it a way to get your needs met, or is it a temporary stopgap to keep from addressing issues with A, or is it something else?

How do you define a relationship? What does primary mean to you? Why are those distinctions important? What are the terms of your relationship with A? With B?

Is what you are doing fair and responsible to all parties? Does B know you sought them out in part to solve your problems with A? Do you think you’re capable of dating multiple people in an arrangement where no one feels rejected?

Once you think through these, talk this out with both A and B. Maybe the best thing for you is to keep dating both of them and work on your issues individually with each partner. Maybe you have discovered that you really just want to be dating B because your relationship with A no longer makes you happy. But make sure your decision comes from a place of clarity and understanding, not implicit assumptions about what relationships are or need.

Similar to showing love I believe there are a multitude of ways to put effort into something, relationship or otherwise. It’s important to note that just because someone’s effort isn’t the same as your own doesn’t mean it’s nonexistent. It’s just different and unique to the individual. In polyamory, it’s important to figure out what works for the whole network. If someone’s effort isn’t matching up with your own it’s important to communicate with them and the network about why that is and what’s happening from your perception. With this in mind, it may just take a simple conversation to put everyone on the same page.