polyamory-advice

anonymous asked:

Please don't use 'poly' as shorthand for polyamory, the polynesian peoples have been trying to reclaim it for a long time!

You’re absolutely correct and I apologize; I even recall reading an article about this about a year ago and started trying to fix the habit of shortening it, but laziness and a lack-of-exposure to Polynesian culture caused me to relapse. I will endeavor to do better.

http://aidamanduley.com/2015/09/01/stop-saying-poly-when-you-mean-polyamorous/

http://www.guerrillafeminism.org/poly-means-polynesian-not-polyamorous-lily-stone/

What should my partner and I make sure to discuss before opening our relationship?

What are some good questions to ask at the beginning of changing a monogamous relationship into a polyamorous one? My husband and I recently decided to make this change, we’ve talked about it for a while and this is something we’ve agreed on. However, I want to make sure we cover all our bases on everything that might need to be discussed.

First off - and I know this isn’t the answer you were looking for - let go of the idea that you can actually get all your bases covered. There is no foolproof way to ensure that no one gets hurt or that nothing unexpected comes up. You can’t prepare for everything. This isn’t just true of opening up a relationship - it’s true of everything. I just listened to a podcast about the killing of Osama bin Laden - they had everything lined up perfectly, all their “bases covered,” and then a helicopter crashed. Some things you just can’t protect yourself from, even if you prepare thoroughly.

But, you are correct that there are things you can do to lay a strong foundation for your relationship. My recommendations - and this is not an exhaustive list - are to at least discuss:

What are your best-case-scenarios? Indulge in daydreams and outline exactly what you’d get in a perfect world. Do both of your fantasy futures line up perfectly? (If so, one of you probably isn’t being totally honest.) Where there are gaps, dig in and discuss. Consider reading accounts of polyamory (check my resources page) and discussing what you do and don’t like, what you do and don’t want, etc.

What are your worst-case-scenarios? What are you most afraid of? What would be a complete dealbreaker for you? Relatedly, what are some “rough spots” you anticipate not enjoying, but wouldn’t consider absolute dealbreakers? Again, wherever you two aren’t totally aligned, dig in and discuss.

How do you two plan to present this new relationship to friends, family, and potential new partners? Do either of you have personal or professional concerns? How will you present a united front? Does someone want to be more open or more private about this than the other person? How will you navigate that?

How are you defining everything? For words you two have been using (monogamous, polyamorous, relationship, partner, sex, etc.) make sure you two have the same definition. It’s easy to assume you both mean the same thing when you say “relationship,” but that’s actually a pretty nebulous word!

How will you manage “couples privilege”? This probably will come up in your best-case/worst-case discussion and your definitions talk, but should be placed on the table explicitly. Are you going into this as a solid couple unit who will make decisions together about new partners, whether to re-close the relationship, etc. or are you two polyamorous individuals free to explore dating externally? If being polyamorous together doesn’t work out, is your intention to re-close the relationship or break up?

Those are some conversation starters - you will probably find many more things to talk about as you begin this journey. Note that I didn’t talk about “rules” like “veto power,” or “sexual limits,” etc. In my experience, setting up rules like “no sex on the first date” or “no saying ‘I love you’ to other partners” have the opposite of their intended effect. Rather than add more coverage for your bases, they just create new bases that can then become points of conflict or require more coverage. Best of luck!

anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts on a poly person staying in a monogamous relationship just for the sake of their partner? Do you think the poly person is not doing what is "natural" for them? Also, what do you think of their partner saying they would leave them if they fell in love with another person? Is that unfair to the poly person?

I think anyone staying in any relationship truly “just for the sake of their partner” is going to eventually feel like they’re going against their own nature or desires. I think it’s important for anyone who feels that way to remember that – and this is a quote I can’t currently find the source for, though my guess is More Than Two (anyone, feel free to chime in if you know about the source) – “the people in a relationship are more important than the relationship.” The people in the relationship should feel like the relationship makes them each individually happy. You don’t serve the relationship; the relationship should serve you.

That isn’t to say some people can’t be happy in either a monogamous or non-monogamous relationship. Some people really are happy either way. But that doesn’t sound like the situation you’re describing.

If the monogamous partner says they’d leave if the poly partner fell in love with another person – no, I don’t think that’s unfair to the poly person. It’s probably not personal. It sounds like the monogamous person just knowing and communicating what their own boundaries are in a relationship. Mono people have the right to seek monogamous relationships just like poly people have the right to seek poly relationships. Although successful mono-poly relationships can and do exist (see https://www.morethantwo.com/poly-mono.html), if the mono person needs to have a partner who is also mono, then it may just be the case that that particular pair of mono/poly people isn’t well-matched as a couple.

You remember that time I thought I was straight

The straightest straight to straight

Could never be gay


Ha


Remember when I thought I was cis

Being just a “good educated ally” learning everything to know on transition


Ha


You remember that time when I thought I was strictly a monogamist .

The most jealous insecure little monogamist

Could never ever think of “sharing” my partner


Guess what


I’m noticing a pattern

anonymous asked:

Hi, I've been trying to understand polyamory but I can't wrap my head around it. Maybe the people that are poly around me are just bad examples because the guy is a pushover and the girl can have as many boyfriends as she can get while she doesn't let him have another girlfriend. Up until now, I've underestood polyamory as an open relationship but please correct me if I am wrong. I need to know, what is a healthy polyamory relationship? I sometimes feel like she abuses of the poly status but idk

So there’s a lot to unpack here.

First of all, the way one person, couple, group, etc. practice(s) polyamory or other forms of non-monogamy is not necessarily the way anyone else will or must practice it. There are as many ways to be non-monogamous as there are people who consider themselves to be non-monogamous, and what is preferred and healthy for me and my partners is not going to be preferred or even healthy for anyone else and their partners - or, for that matter, for my partners and their relationships with their other partners.

Some polyamorous relationships are indeed the stereotypical “open relationship”, in which a preestablished (probably) couple are free to have other relationships outside of the traditional pairing.

Others involve triads, quartets, or even larger groups in which everyone in the group is in a (romantic) relationship with everyone else in the same group. These groups can be open - like the above couple - allowing the members to date and even seek relationships outside the group; or they can be closed, in which no one in the group dates beyond the groups, just like allegedly traditional monogamous relationships but with more people.

There is also solo polyamory, in which an individual has multiple relationships, none of which are contingent or dependent on any of the others (this is what I practice).

These are just some of the more simple examples of non-monogamy, and there are countless others under numerous labels. No matter what, they are all based on honesty, communication, and consent. Without those traits, they can’t really be considered healthy, and frankly, the same is true of monogamous relationships as well.

All of that being said, while the way I practice polyamory need not be the way anyone else must and I generally hesitate to judge anyone else’s relationship, I can not consider the example you give to be even the illusion of “healthy”. I’ve seen it all too often. It usually happens in heterosexual pairings, and it almost often is the exact opposite of what you describe above. The so-called “one penis policy” - borne of our culture’s rather appalling misogyny - is a situation in which the man in a couple is allowed to date as many women as he may, but the woman may not. Usually in this situation, however, she is perfectly free to date other DFAB people as she wishes (since, of course, we also fetishize lesbianism).

The situation you’re describing sounds exactly the same, albeit with a different-gendered person in the controlling position. While some consider this a form of polyamory, I quite frankly don’t, and in my personal opinion, the key word in your ask is “let”. That the controlling partner in any such situation had the ability to allow -or, more accurately, disallow - their partner something (particularly something so defining as part of the very basis of the relationship’s structure) is not just abusive of the status of claiming a polyamorous relationship, but in fact actually constitutes emotional abuse of their partner.

This isn’t just an example of unhealthy polyamory; it’s a downright unhealthy relationship.

How do you navigate family holidays as a polyamorous person?

This is a more technical question, but are there any good ways to make ‘family holidays’ work with poly? Thanksgiving is coming up and 1 turkey dinner is daunting enough, I don’t know if I can manage 3. I don’t really know how to coordinate who goes where on what day to maximize the number of people made happy (and having everyone over at my place is not an option). Plus there’s non-understanding parents to consider…. help?

Ah, the eternal awkwardness of navigating the holiday season as a polyamorous person. Part of the trick is just being willing to let someone down; being a bit of a sponge willing to soak up some negativity and some conflict. You can’t make everyone happy, so let go of trying. It’s fair to want to “maximize” the number of people made happy, but really, your main job is to make sure your own needs get met, and to have the backs of the people you’re in relationships with. Seven annoyed or offended aunts and grandmas isn’t really “equal” to one burnt-out or insulted partner. 

Some families find that trade-offs work - “Jorston and I are going to Glavel’s family Thanksgiving, but we’ll be with you all for Christmas.” Or, “I’ll be doing Thanksgiving with Jorston’s family this year, and will plan to visit you for Thanksgiving next year.” Some people may pitch a bit of a fit about you skipping Thanksgiving, but that’s their problem. If you’re not up to 3 Thanksgivings, don’t go to 3 Thanksgivings.

Figure out what’s going to work for you, and then make that work. Don’t get caught up in making everything work for everyone. That might mean telling your partners “I’m sorry, but I’m just not up to going with you to your family’s Thanksgiving this year. I’ll be with my family for Thanksgiving all day. Of course you’re invited, but I totally understand if you want to spend it with your family.” There is no Relationship Law that you have to be together on Thanksgiving. Their family might whine about it and pester them about “where’s Blatilda? Why isn’t Blatilda here this year?” - but that’s, again, a mild unpleasantness that can’t be avoided.

Some polyamorous networks find that it’s easier to shake out into smaller, often more mono-passing, arrangements for the sake of the holidays. In my situation, for instance, even though I don’t practice hierarchical polyamory and none of my partners are my “primaries,” my partner “Casper” has a family that lives in the same city as my family, and I’m pretty close to his family. So I travel to my home state and do part of Thanksgiving with the Caspers, and part of Thanksgiving with my family. I can’t go to the house of my other long-term partner, “David S. Pumpkins," for Thanksgiving because the Pumpkins family lives in a different state. Even splitting the day between my family and the Caspers causes some friction. But that’s what I want to do, so I do it.

It may be that one year David S. Pumpkins lets me know that it would be really important to him that I join him for the Pumpkins Thanksgiving. In that case, maybe I’d choose not to go to my home state one year, and stay and do Thanksgiving with his family. That would mean some disappointed people in my family and Casper’s family. But sometimes we disappoint people! Or, I could tell David S. Pumpkins "I’m sorry, but going home for Thanksgiving is a tradition that is really important to me, and I just can’t do what you’re asking. Let’s figure out some alternatives.”

Either way, someone has a Thanksgiving without me, and the world goes on despite the fact that I had to tell someone “no” in a bummer of a conversation. Anyone - family member or partner - who chooses to try guilt-tripping, tantrum-throwing, or other tactics to get me to spend a holiday with them immediately drops off my list, rather than making me more likely to find time for them. It can be tempting to think that you really ought to go to someone’s house because they’re the “most hurt” about it, but don’t reward that kind of behavior. Decide where you want to go and then let people know what your plans are. It’s not a negotiation. 

When it comes to non-understanding family members, there are two possible problems. One is that you tell your mother that you’ll be with Glavel’s family for Thanksgiving, and she gets deeply wounded because !he’s not even your real boyfriend" or somesuch nonsense. All she’s done is make it easier on you to choose to spend a day in someone else’s company. You have my permission to flounce off elsewhere without any more fuss. You don’t need anyone’s permission or understanding to do what you want for a holiday.

But if you want to bring multiple partners to a family gathering and worry that your family members will be bigoted or rude, that’s something to take a bit more seriously. Talk with your partners beforehand about their concerns, how you’ll present a united front, which family members are more likely to be nasty, who you have in your corner, and what the plan is for responding to inappropriate comments. If you feel like a certain family gathering just won’t be emotionally safe for someone, don’t go, or at the very least don’t make that person go. 

So maybe it works out for you and Jorston to go to your family’s place for Thanksgiving and Glavel goes to his family’s place. His family might be like “why didn’t you bring your partner?” and Jorston’s family might be like “but why can’t you join us?” - but they will survive. They might sulk a bit, but they are adults and they will survive the crushing disappointment of an adult having other life obligations on Thanksgiving. Or, maybe all three of you go to your house for the dinner, and then all three of you pop over to Glavel’s for some wine in the evening, and then go home. Or maybe you and Glavel will go to Glavel’s house, then you’ll leave early and swing by to say hi to Jorston’s family.

There are infinite possibilities. All of them will make someone unhappy. But you do what you need to keep yourself happy. Make sure you see the family members who are important for you to see (both your own and your partners’, if you are close to their families) and make sure you and your partners find some time without pestering aunts and insensitive grandmas to enjoy each other during the holiday season.

anonymous asked:

I don't know anyone that i can talk about this with that would understand or have any answers.. so here I am on your blog that I found via poly tags. anyway I think I'm in love with two people. I've been in a monogamous relationship for almost 3 years now and I have been recently questioning if I'm poly. I've loved multiple people at a time in the past, and its happening again. I cannot picture my girlfriend w/ anyone else unless that person is with me too. Is that still poly? idk what i am. TIA

Hi! Thanks for reaching out! It is still poly, and that’s a natural way that many people start thinking about things. However, I encourage you to do some more thinking about different arrangements and how they might benefit people. I’m going to lay out some hypotheticals. This will be pretty blunt, but please know I’m not making assumptions about how you would actually behave, I’m only describing the ways that people sometimes unintentionally approach these things without realizing how it might cause difficulty.

If a new person had to be with both you and your girlfriend, what if someone you like (who likes you back) feels pressured to like your girlfriend too because they know that’s the only way they are allowed to be with you? Not everyone clicks with everyone, and it’s actually pretty darn rare for someone to click with both members of a pre-existing couple. Even if someone is into both you and your girlfriend, that also means both you and your girlfriend have to be into that person, too. You can see how this gets statistically less likely. Even assuming that’s true, then imagine how those relationships might develop. How would you feel if your girlfriend and the new person had a stronger connection than you had with the new person? Would you be okay with the two of them spending more time together than they spent with you? What if the new person wanted to break up with only one of you, not both? Would that get weird? Would the new person get dumped rather than get to stay with the person they still wanted to be with? It’s really important to try to put yourself in the shoes of the new person, who is often at a disadvantage when dating people who have been together for a long time. To treat someone well, try to imagine how you would feel if, say, you were a single person, and you were approached by a couple. What sort of agency would you want in your decision-making and the development of your new relationship(s)?

I don’t tell you these things to scare you or to tell you that you’re wrong for feeling what you’re feeling. Like I said, it’s incredibly common for people’s thoughts to go down that exact path you’ve described when they are first thinking about polyamory. Something that looks a little like “monogamy + 1″ makes sense to our brains that have been conditioned to think about relationships in terms of monogamy.

When you say, “I cannot picture my girlfriend w/ anyone else unless that person is with me too,” try asking yourself this: is it actually important that you are able to picture who your girlfriend is with? Could that be something that’s up to her? Do you want to be able to pursue people who aren’t interested in your girlfriend, or who she might not be interested in? If you are comfortable with non-monogamy as an idea, I encourage you to reach for the courage that would let each person determine the course of their own relationships and who they want to have those relationships with. 

From what you are saying about having feelings for multiple people, it does sound like you learn towards polyamory yourself. If your girlfriend does too, it may be that she has feelings for people who you wouldn’t be interested in, or who wouldn’t be interested in you, or maybe even who aren’t a gender you’re interested in (I don’t know your gender or orientation, so that might or might not be relevant). If you decide to open your relationship, again, I encourage being open to the idea that you might each be interested in different people.

Many newly poly people picture a closed triad as their ideal. What many people don’t realize is that triads (open or closed) are actually incredibly complex. In a triad, you have 4 relationships: one between each dyad (3 couples), plus the larger triad relationship. It’s not impossible, but many people who attempt it when they very first begin polyamory end up feeling in over their heads. I won’t tell you that you shouldn’t try it, but I can warn you that it’s a lot to think about, and it’s so important to make sure you are treating everyone truly as an individual. (Check out http://www.unicorns-r-us.com/ for more info.)

In short, I strongly encourage all newly polyamorous people to try dating as individuals. You met your girlfriend as an individual, right? Even if you do someday end up in a triad (or bigger group) relationship, there is nothing to be lost from developing individual one-on-one relationships first. Most successful triads that I’ve heard of actually developed organically, even accidentally, when people just so happened to get along with their metamour (partner’s partner) – not because anyone tried to make it happen.

That was a really long answer! I hope it wasn’t overwhelming. I’m glad you’re exploring what’s important to you in relationships. I wish you luck! If you want some further reading, I highly recommend the book More Than Two and the website by the same name. And please feel free to get in touch again if you’d like to talk more.

Some polyamory advice

For some reason, there are unfortunately many people who will have permission to date and fuck and love others as long as they just tell them they’re polyamorous, and cheat anyway.

So if a new partner in a relationship tells you that they’re polyamorous, specifically request to meet the partner face to face. Ask what their partner is allowed and not allowed to do with other people, ask what their rules are on using protection, what their boundaries are in the relationship, and go over rules they set for their relationship. Specifically ask if they’re only okay with their partner being casually romantic, or if it’s okay for them to be sexual with others, and if their partner is allowed to be equally as romantically intimate with others or if their relationship is primary and takes priority.

That way, you can be absolutely sure their partner knows you are dating and/or hooking up with their partner, you’ll save yourself betrayal, and you will not find out months later that you were made to be a “home wrecker” without even knowing it. If that person makes excuses and says you can’t talk to their partner or that it’d be awkward, it’s probably better to not chance dating them. If it turns out that they are not polyamorous, you can tell their partner that they’re dating a liar and a cheater.

If I'm polyam, should I date someone who's mono?

hello! if i’m polyamorous, should i get into a relationship with someone who is monogamous?

I wouldn’t advise it - read through the archives of my blog to see a lot of examples of this not working out. But then again, the only people who write in to an advice column are people who need help with something. There could be tons of people out there in perfectly happy mono/poly relationships.

It’s okay for some things to be dealbreakers - what are yours? Think through what you’re willing to give up for that relationship. Don’t go in hoping that you can change their mind or work up to opening up the relationship. It’s okay to decide that you want to try and make it work. It’s okay to decide that it’s just not meant to be. Ultimately, that’s your call.

anonymous asked:

Hi! I'm messaging you because I was hoping you could help me. So my older sister came out to me as poly about a year and a half ago now and she told me she had a girlfriend as well as her boyfriend who I knew about. This took me by surprise because I saw very few signs but I guess I didn't know what I was looking for. I wasn't unfamiliar with the term but similarly wasn't familiar with it or anything around it and as I assumed it was more of a main relationship with a woman on the side... (tbc)

Part 2:
Cont … I didn’t ask any questions but she didn’t exactly educate me on much except the sexual aspect and a few terms as well as the community and friends she has. Now she’s told my mum because their other partner has moved in. My mother is usually a very accepting person but she doesn’t understand polyamory and also feels like my sister has lied to her about who she is. I’m now caught between the two of them. I just wish I had access to more knowledge and legitimate sites about polyamory(tbc)

Part 3:
cont..I guess what I’m asking is maybe for some insight/advice on what to ask my sister. I was also wondering how common it is for a poly three to all live together? I want to support her but I don’t know how to approach it. Thanks so much for reading all these messages if you have and I appreciate if it’s too complex. -A x

——

Hi there! You’re in luck – there’s a book exactly for people in your situation. It’s called When Someone You Love is Polyamorous

I also super-recommend this entire website for all sorts of resources: http://morethantwo.com/

As for what questions to ask her – it’s hard for me to know the answer to that without knowing more about what your relationship is like with your sister. If she was comfortable enough to tell you about sex things, I would guess she might be open to talking about a lot of things. I would suggest maybe trying some general questions: “How did you become interested in polyamory?” “When did you realize it was right for you?” “What about it appeals to you?” A lot of polyamorous people get questions that can feel overly negative, so I’d caution against asking too much about jealousy, or whether people in her life are judgmental – unless she brings those things up herself or you’re getting a sense from the way the conversation is going that she’d be open to talking about the more cautionary aspects of it. Probably good to start out positive and with a spirit of non-judgmental curiosity. :)

As for your question about whether it’s common for three people to live together: it’s not uncommon, but it’s less common than some people think. Triads (or throuples) definitely exist; and some of them do live together. But many people have a poly life that consists of independent, individual relationships connected in a network. They might live alone or with one partner or multiple partners or with platonic friends. One of the things I love about polyamory is that it often helps people realize they are empowered to figure out what they want their lives to look like, including living arrangements.

You sound like a caring sibling. I’m glad you’re interested in learning about how to talk with your sister about this! Best wishes!

anonymous asked:

I'm in a MFF triad, and I am the addition to their coupledom. As much as we try to make it equal, I have known from the start that they are headed for marriage, even though they aren't in a hurry to get there. Still, I am having a lot of trouble reconciling that them having legal paperwork does not mean I matter any less. He has told me if he could marry us both, he would. But laws being what they are and all, I know that's not going to happen. It hurts. (continued)

I’m trying to learn that it’s normal to feel hurt and maybe even resentful about this because of what society has burned into our skulls, and trying desperately to logic my way into not letting the feeling of being secondary or unwanted or unworthy or “not enough” get to me. I’ve discussed it with them both. Our situation is unique because he and I dated previously but it never got off the ground, and now all these years later after they started lifebuilding together, here I am loving them both.

Some non-monogamous relationships are explicitly structured so that relationships are prioritized differently. And as long as people aren’t jerks about it, that can be okay. For example, a couple raising a child together might honestly and compassionately communicate to other partners that that relationships comes first for them. I think that’s cool.

But sometimes people don’t want to prioritize one relationship over another. I think that can be cool too.

Occasionally people chase this idea of equality in a way I think is silly. Like when people think “well I go on one date with her every week, so that means I need to go on one date with him every week, and if I take him out to a nice meal, that means I need to take her out to a nice meal too.” Different relationships can be different without it meaning one is more important.

I think there’s a different sense of pursuing equality that makes more sense. You can take conscious steps to make sure you aren’t prioritizing one relationship over another and you can make sure people feel like they are being treated fairly. This isn’t the only way to do non-monogamous relationships, but it’s a cool option.

So, that stuff said, here’s the thing about your situation: It sounds like your partners say they don’t want to prioritize their relationship with each other over their relationships with you. It also sounds like your partners, without any particular reason it makes more sense than one of them and you getting married, want to get married to each other. So, honestly, it sounds like your partners are kind of just being jerks. They’re prioritizing their relationship with each other even though they say they’re not.

I think there’s sort of two ways to go from here:

1. The couple acknowledges they actually do want to prioritize their relationship with each other. They start communicating that honestly and compassionately, and they are sorry they weren’t doing that to begin with. You decide if this is actually the sort of triad you want to be in. It certainly can work, but it sounds like it may not be what you want from your relationships.

2. They work on actually not prioritizing their relationship with each other over their relationships with you. They apologize for thinking you should just be cool with them getting married. You all make a decision together about whether there is a practical reason any set of two of you should be legally married. Maybe all three of you have a non-legal marriage ceremony, if you all want that. Maybe you wait (hope) for laws to change.

As far as working through your feelings, I find writing in a journal and talking to other people helpful. If you can find a poly-friendly therapist, that could be great too. (See this post for tips on that.) It can also just take time. And feeling hurt sometimes is just a thing that happens that you kind of just have to get through, I guess.

I obviously don’t know all the details, though. And I can’t ask for more before posting this since you sent me this question anonymously. Maybe there is some reason they are planning to eventually marry each other that I don’t know but would totally change my impression of what’s going on! If my assumptions about the situation are wrong, please ignore what I said and forgive me.

I’m sorry but I just… don’t get polyamory???? I’m trying to tho, I really am. But just… could you explain why you’d feel the need to be in a relationship with someone else, while you’re in a relationship with someone even tho you’re happy with them, and completely satisfied?

The best way I’ve found to explain it is in metaphors: you might want to have mashed potatoes with your steak. Even though the steak on its own is delicious and satisfying as a steak, there’s plenty of room to enjoy other flavors and foods as well. Wanting potatoes doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong or lacking about the steak, but just having steak is less appealing to some people than steak and potatoes.

Even if you have the best bed in the world, and your dream car, you still want to have both - your bed being an awesome bed doesn’t mean you don’t need a car, and your car being spectacular as a car doesn’t mean it works well as a bed. 

Most people like having more than one friend, even though all their friendships independently are happy and satisfying - because people are multifaceted and it’s rare to find one human who meets 100% of your needs 100% of the time. You can have positive, loving, happy, satisfying relationships with multiple siblings and both parents - polyamory is an extension of this concept, that love is not “zero-sum” and that loving one person doesn’t make it impossible to love someone else too.

But to be totally honest, questions like this make me wonder whether we as a culture need to get better at seeing the value in things we don’t necessarily want for ourselves. I really, really hate working out. I don’t see any of the appeal in it; and I especially hate running. But I have friends who run miles every day and run marathons. I understand intellectually that they get something positive out of it, that it works for them. I can’t comprehend personally how any of that is enjoyable, but I can accept that it is, for someone who is not me. I personally don’t get why a person willingly endures that, but I do get that plenty of people do, and it’s okay for people to be different from me.

I can completely accept the validity of lesbianism, even though I am a woman who is very straight and don’t really “get” the appeal of having sex with another woman. I don’t demand that lesbians explain to me how it works that they’re into women; I don’t refuse to accept something unless I myself “get” it. I don’t conflate my own interest in something with that thing’s fundamental value.

So my recommendation to you is to ask yourself why it’s important to you to “get” polyamory. Is it enough to accept that other people have perspectives, desires, and feelings that differ from yours? Can you let yourself understand intellectually that this is just another way of being a person, even if you yourself have never felt that “need”? 

If there are polyamorous people in your life and you’re struggling to come to terms with their choices, try and remember that you don’t need to feel the same way as them for you to respect, honor, and value them - just like I don’t have to fully grasp what is fun about running to support my marathon-running friends. If someone in your life is trying to pressure you into a polyamorous mindset or relationship, know that you don’t need to change who you are or think yourself into being someone that you’re not. It is enough to be yourself and let others be themselves.

P.S. I know working out is very good for you and I really do my best please do not send well-intentioned suggestions about yoga or crossfit or couch-to-5k :) 

By skipping the step of disentanglement, you don’t create for yourself or your partner the clear image that you are an individual. And so, you don’t get to learn some key lessons before dating, such as:

Even if they have time alone, they still love me.

I won’t curl up into a ball and die because I’m left alone.

Having individual lives makes us both more interesting people which strengthens our relationship.

It’s important to take care of yourself. That includes emotional health, too. If something triggers jealousy or insecurity in you, you should do some introspection in order to better understand your feelings. Afterwards, talk to your partner about it and find a solution together. Ignoring your feelings will only make you feel worse and put a strain on your relationships.

scarcity-of-cats  asked:

I've got a Dungeons & Dragons character who's pan, and for a long time I've also really felt that she's polyamorous (one of those things where a character takes on a life of their own). But I've been hesitant to portray her as such because I'm not poly myself and I don't feel like I know enough about it to do it right on my own. What are some things to keep in mind when writing a polyamorous character?

Hi!

While Poly is not technically part of the LGBT banner, I have some history here, so I’ll take an initial exploratory swing here.

1. Poly people are people. They fall in love at about the same rate as everyone else (you can, of course, be ace/aro and poly), they find attraction at about the same rate as anyone else. And yes, they feel jealousy sometimes, but there are ways to deal with jealousy (including just stopping doing the jealousy-making thing, or bargaining, or a sort of therapeutic debate that breaks down the elements of the jealousy and deals with them once they are manageable)

2. Poly people are not superhuman. Being poly grants no extra time or stamina. So even if I wanted to sleep with everyone, I couldn’t, and more than two would require better calendar keeping skills than I have.

3. Poly people are not always healthy. Just as everyone else can be abusive, codependent, or just plain jerks, do not assume poly people cannot be also. Some poly people present their lifestyle as this sort of zen, godlike status that raises them above petty human society. That’s bullshit. See point number one.

4. Poly people talk more than you’d expect. In order for a poly relationship to work, everyone involved has to agree on the groundrules. And renegotiate them if anything changes. Consent becomes not only consent with the two or more people in bed at the moment, but also with any other relationships that might be affected.

5. Poly relationships come in many types, and all are equally valid as long as everyone is okay with it. Just about anything you can imagine is possible. Here are some I have seen personally:

  • Poly Triad: three people faithful to each other and no one else.
  • Primary/Secondary; You and I are the main relationship. We’re both allowed to form other relationships, but they must be subordinate to our in all ways.
  • Gender Exclusive: “You can date only men. I can date only women.” or “I can date anyone, you can only date women.” 
  • Playmates: People can come share but no attachments, and we only play according to certain limitations, often allowing a person to explore avenues the other person is not interested in.
  • I Don’t Want to Know About It: You can date who you want, but don’t tell me
  • Only Together: Variant of Playmate, you only fool around when we’re together
  • Other Rules: I have to meet them. Only when I am at work. Only if you don’t fall in love. Only if you do fall in love. Only socially. Only as a cuddle mate. Only as a BDSM servant. Only one-night stands. Only people you want to keep in a long-term relationship. Only dates. Only swingers. 

And on and on and on. Some of these work better than others, of course.

Thing to keep in mind: most especially, they work out the rules and boundaries themselves.

Hope that helps.



~~Mod Scix

I think I need my faith in polyamory restored. I broke up with my first boyfriend about a week ago, and we were in a poly relationship (him with his fiance who has other partners, me with just him while looking for more). I realized towards the end that he was using poly mostly as an excuse to get girls, and friends have pointed out that he was starting to mentally abuse me. He lied to me and everyone else about how his relationships work. I’m scared to date again…

Shitty people can be polyamorous.

Polyamorous people can be shitty.

Polyamorous people can lie, cheat, steal, neglect to use their turn signal, and do all manner of shitty things.

So can monogamous people!

Lots and lots of monogamous relationships end in tears, anger, drama, betrayal, and lies. Plenty of polyamorous relationships do as well.

Lots and lots of people use monogamy as an excuse to be possessive, controlling, abusive, manipulative, or just generally annoying.

I am really sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with someone using pseudo-polyamory as an excuse to hurt you. But that doesn’t mean polyamory is bad; just like a monogamous person hurting their partner doesn’t make monogamy inherently bad.

It is okay to take a break from dating. It is okay to find some time to nurse your wounds, heal, maybe see a therapist, think through your needs and expectations for your next relationship, identify red flags you’ll be once-bitten-twice-shy about in the future.

It is even okay to decide that dating polyamorously isn’t for you; or that dating men isn’t for you; or that dating right now isn’t for you; or whatever you need to decide for your own health and safety.

But don’t let one shitty person ruin future positive opportunities for you! No one has the power to take away your ability to be happy in other relationships. No one individual’s terrible choices get to set the tone and expectations for you in the future. One person did a bunch of shitty things. Be angry at them individually - don’t let them rob you of the ability to step into new things that have the potential to be healthy, joyful, and fulfilling. 

anonymous asked:

I've noticed that since I've come to terms with the fact that I'm Bi that my views have changed a lot. I used to be one of those girls that was into the whole fairytale (love at first sight, have to marry a man etc) But now I'm just open to everything. (threesomes, open or polyamorous relationships. I might not even get married at all or even be a single mom. I feel like I'm not tied down to heteronormative culture anymore. Has anything changed on how you all view love, relationships, life etc.?

Yeah!! I was aware of my bi-ness pretty early on, but the journey of accepting and embracing it certainly came with changes not only in my openness to those sorts of things, but my dreams for the future. Even though my mom raised me with very progressive ideas of being able to do whatever I wanted, social and cultural pressure meant I still had pretty heteronormative ideals for the future. My first crush on a girl inspired me with all these different images, though, like being a career woman my WHOLE LIFE if I wanted, not just until it was time to raise kids. And imagining myself in that role with a wife let me imagine myself in that role with a husband, too. 

Speaking of polyamory, even though my mother was very pro-polyamory, I couldn’t accept it for myself until I identified fully as bi. Then suddenly I felt enthusiastic about the idea. Accepting my bisexuality was like finding freedom to be myself, not just in terms of my sexuality, but my role in society.

Curious to hear what Maddie’s and Max’s experiences have been!

KC