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Rules Are Made For Those That Break Them

Rules Are Made for Those That Break Them

There is a school of thought in the polyamory community that you shouldn’t have rules, only personal boundaries, which you make agreements around. This may seem like a subtle distinction, or maybe even just wordplay, but it’s an important difference.

In poly, making a distinction between rules and boundaries is important, because it’s no longer about two people. Two people in a relationship with only each other can make rules with each other all day long as long as they both agree to them. In poly, when you create a rule between two people instead of stating your personal boundaries, the rule also affects any future third party but they didn’t have any say in it.*

Rules are declarations, whether agreed to or not, that you will enforce someone else’s behavior otherwise they will face consequences. Boundaries are clear definitions that you state about what you are comfortable with, and you act on your boundaries, instead of demanding that someone follow your rules. When it comes down to it, you are deciding whether you’re controlling someone else’s autonomy, rather than your own.

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This Space Intentionally Left Blank: Making Time for Yourself

I’m a very busy person. I work full-time, at times take classes part-time, run a few Meetup.com groups, and have plenty of friends to fill up any time in between those. Between all of this, I already have a fairly full calendar, and with polyamory – and therefore all my partners – in the mix, it’s easy to feel like I have absolutely no free time.

I am what I would consider a social introvert. I love being around people and socializing, but eventually I need to curl up at home, with a book and some cocoa for a day, with no social obligations. It’s extremely rare that I find someone that I can be around while recharging, so that means that time needs to be spent alone for the most part. I have been lucky enough that my husband and one other partner are both people I can recharge around, but even then I still need my time alone.

Last week, my calendar was absolutely packed. My long-distance partner was visiting. We visited a friend a few hours away for a couple days. I had a team event after work. Another night I ran a meetup. This past week was no different – Two date nights with my husband, and two other dates. One appointment. I’ve also had multiple opportunities to see how things go with a few new (potential?) partners in the past month alone. With all this, I felt that I was about to go insane.

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Chelsey’s Poly Contract (With Myself)

When I began my journey into polyamory, I had to decide what was healthy for me in my relationships. I eventually wrote down my boundaries and limits. These boundaries apply mostly to me and are reminders of healthy practices, but since most of the points are essentially spelling out respect and ethical behavior, I hold my partners to most of the same standards. I revisit it every so often to make sure it matches what I want (you can check the bottom of the page to see the update dates). I’ve posted it here not because it’s the be-all-end-all of poly manifestos, but because it might help others figure out where they want to start, even if it is to do the complete opposite of what I want and need.

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Why Fair Does Not Mean Equal: On Keeping Score

As everyone finds out at some point, jealousy is something that will come up in every relationship, polyamorous or not. It’s really easy to try and find an easy way out of it, some way to tame the beast without actually trying to solve the jealousy.

Our culture tells us that jealousy is a healthy thing, that if you love someone, you will be jealous when they even glance at someone they find attractive. Hell, there’s even a popular song that came out recently titled Jealous that glorifies it. Some people even try to stoke jealousy in their partners as some sort of “proof” that they love them. It’s getting out of hand.

Instead of facing jealousy (which is a whole different series of posts…), so many people try to make up rules to try and skirt around the jealousy. One idea that keeps coming back for many new poly couples is making sure things are equal. Tit-for-tat, keeping score, even – whatever you want to call it, it only makes things worse.

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To Unicorn Hunters, From An Ex-Unicorn

To Unicorn Hunters, From an Ex-Unicorn

You can see my other post on the topic here, directed at “Unicorns”.

Note: This post is not referring to everyone that looks for a triad – in this context, “Unicorn Hunter” is specifically referring to the kind of people that make the really common mistakes below. It’s similar to if someone mocks a new Dom that doesn’t understand consent by calling them Christian Gray. If you want to look for a triad, go for it!

Dear Newly Poly Couple,

Welcome to exploring the world of non-monogamy! It’s exciting, scary, exhilarating, tense, thrilling, and any other word you can think of in the rollercoaster of emotions. You’ve already talked about what you want, laid down groundwork, and set rules to make sure that each of you are comfortable. You may have even had a threesome or two already! Now, you’re all set to find a bisexual woman to join your relationship, love both of you, and be just what you both need. Right?

Not really.

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It’s Not What You Know, it’s Who You Know

There’s a lot to be said for getting into poly after doing as much research as possible. If you’re single, you want to figure out what you want so that you can tell each new partner where you stand. If you’re already in a relationship, you have talked, discussed, and communicated, and when you were done, you did it some more. Eventually, you’re finally ready to dive into poly… so now what?

Just because you’ve changed your relationship status from “monogamous” to “open” that doesn’t actually change anything immediately. You still have to go on dates, find someone you like, see what happens. Where do you start?

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