I have had reason lately to think about what I have learned about poly in the course of over a year writing on here, 12 years of living poly (mildly at some points) and what I have learned from my own constellation and community. I would like to again say what I have learned....
There are several things that I have tried and have had success with and some that I haven't. I am not usually one for formulas so a lot of what we have tried has been modified and made our own... which brings me to the first lesson learned.
1. my poly is different than others and that makes it right for me, but not necessarily for others. I can describe my poly life to others, but should not prescribe the same thing onto their lives as they are different in how they describe themselves.
This has proven to be difficult many times for me as I find that people don't necessarily want to talk about their poly lives to me in person and I am left frustrated and have ended up prescribing anyway, just to feel more comfortable.
which leaves leads me to number
2. communicate at all costs and as soon as possible. No stone should be unturned. Everything should be out in the open when it is discovered to be an issue, a possible problem that I am working on trying to figure out the details for and stuff that rocks my world. The latter to the one who is involved mostly as it sometimes hurts a partner to be told that someone else rocks your world
3. "go at the pace of the one who is struggling the most" I think I coined that one. make sure there is movement forward to something that works for all, but make sure no one gets left being dragged behind the boat.
4. mono's are sometimes REALLY mono! and there is a world of difference that is worth discovering.... Mono and poly are simply different cultures.
5. jealousy is often a sign of an unmet needs and fears or threats. Take it apart, discover its layers and walk through each piece of it.
6. all expectations and assumptions should be out on the table. No mind reading and no guessing.
7. go slowly, take time, be patient. Things are usually awesome at the beginning when foundations are being built. Unfortunately that foundation becomes very rocky when it's built on NRE. Hurt happens when a proper foundation has been rushed because NRE creates that rushed feeling.
It's like deciding it would be a great idea to walk 20 kms to get a donut from the all night donut shop when you are drunk. The walk there is great and fun at the beginning, but gets long and arduous as you sober up... Sometimes it's more worth it to turn around and walk back. Chances are it will be a long trek of unhappiness where as if you just hung out and waited until you were sober you could of taken the car.
Rushing also grasps on to other unsuspecting by standers that are not so keen to be dragged along and wonder what the hell the fuss is about. Like a cat being taken from it's cozy chair... grrrrr, meow!
8. There is a big difference between poly lifestyle and poly identity. Poly lifestyle is a choice to live and date honestly and with integrity; poly identity is what one is born with. A person who identifies as poly is unable to be comfortable with monogamy because it is not their nature.
I could go on and will, but that is a good start.
anyone want to add on some good ol' poly lessons learned from their own experience?
in addition, anyone find that one lesson in particular was more helpful than another?
If your partner demands that you work under different relationship restrictions than they do and not only justifies their special privileges, but holds it over your head, RUN.