Cheers Sexy People!
I have been thinking a lot lately about rules, boundaries and negotiations in polyamorous relationships. A poly friend of mine once said to me, to him freedom feels more loving than rules. And to a certain extent, I agree with him. But if there are no rules at all, is that just relationship anarchy and chaos? Everyone can do whatever they want with anyone that they want at any given moment, both emotionally and sexually? There are aspects about that that do not feel loving to me. It feels a little bit… disrespectful… and unsafe, both emotionally and physically.
As I’ve been thinking about this, I realized that it comes down to there being a balance in our relationships if they are to remain healthy and strong. The relationship needs to feel fair to all parties. Each person needs to feel like their needs are getting adequately met. Back to my emotional bank account analogy from the last post… are you taking more out of the emotional bank account than you are putting in, thus the other person feels deleted, or used, or in some way cheated or dissatisfied? Maybe you are being completely honest and open, thus not actually “cheating” behind someone else’s back. But what if it feels like things are “out of whack?” On the flip side, are lies of omission actually lies? What if you tell a lover, I am polyamorous and have other lovers, but you don’t reveal the depth and extent of those other relationships or reveal the number of other lovers there actually are. Is that wrong or unethical? What if the other person is more a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” type (a style of relating that I don’t subscribe to as I think it’s more about putting one’s head in the sand and saying “la, la, la, I don’t want to hear the truth.” Personally, I’d rather know the truth and deal with reality than play dumb and be in the dark.)
The interesting thing about this notion is that no one can answer it for you. You have to reflect and answer it for yourself. And you have to muster up the courage to have a direct, maybe difficult heart to heart with your partner and own up to exactly which of your needs does not feel like it is being met VS. saying something like “I forbid you from doing X.” That statement is more an act of controlling or manipulating VS. figuring out honestly and in a vulnerable moment, which need is not being adequately met by your partner, and saying it out loud to them in a nonviolent, not blaming or criticizing way. This can be tough and tricky stuff. And this is something that I am thinking about now. What are my own boundaries? Where can I “draw the line” for myself yet do it in a manner where I am respecting myself, yet not telling someone else “what to do” or who they can see, or how many lovers they can have?
In this area, monogamy is certainly simpler overall as compared to polyamory, which is much more complex and some can argue that polyamory takes more maturity and emotional strength to navigate. With monogamy, the “rules” and boundaries are pretty straight forward: I’m with you exclusively and you are with me exclusively, both emotionally and physically. Anything outside of that is cheating. Boom! Done. End of negotiations. But for me, at least over time, that scenario is just not realistic. I need more freedoms. My partner does not own me. Thus I work very hard to navigate the waters of polyamory and find my own way, which is not an easy task some days. Today is one of those days for me. I do however have faith that I can figure it out, in a loving, compassionate, supportive way, with the help of my partners who love me. Leading a polyamorous life is a journey. And this is the road that I choose.
Here is an excellent article that I found that relates to this topic. I hope you can find something useful here, as I did, in my quest for answers to polyamorous questions:
How about you? I would love to hear your thoughts on boundaries, rules, and what works for you in your relationships. I welcome your thoughts.
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)