- to be free from coercion, violence and intimidation
- to choose the level of involvement and intimacy you want
- to revoke consent to any form of intimacy at any time
- to be told the truth
- to say no to requests
- to hold and express differing points of view
- to feel all your emotions
- to feel and communicate your emotions and needs
- to set boundaries concerning your privacy needs
- to set clear limits on the obligations you will make
- to seek balance between what you give to the relationship and what is given back to you
- to know that your partner will work with you to resolve problems that arise
- to choose whether you want a monogamous or polyamorous relationship
- to grow and change
- to make mistakes
- to end a relationship
- to decide how many partners you want
- to choose your own partners
- to have an equal say with each of your partners in deciding the form your relationship with that partner will take
- to choose the level of time and investment you will offer to each partner
- to understand clearly any rules that will apply to your relationship before entering into it
- to discuss with your partners decisions that affect you
- to have time alone with each of your partners
- to enjoy passion and special moments with each of your partners
- In a poly network:
- to choose the level of involvement and intimacy you want with your partners’ other partners
- to be treated with courtesy
- to seek compromise
- to have relationships with people, not with relationships
- to have plans made with your partner be respected; for instance, not changed at the last minute for trivial reasons
- to be treated as a peer of every other person, not as a subordinate
Separation anxiety is a natural part of the developmental process as infants and toddlers grow and are given more independence.
We often hear about separation anxiety in relation to animals and young children. (e.g. the first time a new mother leaves her baby with a babysitter, a new puppy that whines all night when left in another room, or child that’s shy and nervous on the first day of school)
So why are we talking about this in relation to poly? Just like children grow and becoming more independent from their parents, a person can also grow or branch out in various ways from their partner. This may happen, for instance, when a new couple is just getting into poly and they begin to date and spend time with more than each other, or when a new relationship in an existing poly dynamic takes off.
A small amount of separation anxiety in these situations are normal and to be expected. It’s important for all parties involved to find healthy ways to deal with this stressor.
Below are two examples of encountering separation anxiety in poly relationships.
( Example 1 - Jane and Dave )
( Example 2 - Kate and John )
We don't get a lot of examples on how to poly, so there's a lot of unlearning and learning to do.
When learning new behaviors or concepts you don't just pluck out the old and replace with the new. It's not a switch in the brain.
It's muscle memory (actually more neural pathway) and we have them because it makes life more efficient. I don't have to think through how to make my coffee in the morning or start my car, I've got it down. My brain just auto pilots.
In the same way, you've learned how to survive in a situation that no longer applies. You've developed an ingrained response, and a lot of these are so second nature we don't even realize we have them.
Trying to develop a new, more healthy way to do it is gonna take time and patience. Each time you practice the new, more healthy thought process it becomes a bit easier. Over and over again you have to mentally choose to respond with the new tactic. Until one day it becomes your go-to response. But even then, in times of stress, you're likely to fall back to those old habits.
A prescriptive label is calling something what you want it to be (regardless of if it is) often in the hope to make it that way.
e.g. Calling her your girlfriend after just one date isn’t gonna make it true, buddy.
A descriptive label is a term used to describe an already existing dynamic.
e.g. There wasn’t really a day that we started dating, after about six months we just realized that we were.
Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you either hear or are about to repeat a rumor.
Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?
Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me something good?
Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me going to be Useful to me?
If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?
Taken from here.
I want to come back and talk more about this video and some of the points it touches on.