Things I’ve Learned About Poly (So Far)
It’s freaking challenging:
Not in an impossible to overcome way, but in an I-have-to-actively-work-at-this-every-single-day kind of way. Knowing that when I wake up in the morning, my choices and actions will impact more than one person (me, my partners, my partners’ partners, my husbands parters and so on.) Being prepared to understand and respect that responsibility, contributing positively (or perhaps maintaining neutrality) to/towards the people and dynamics that I am connected to.
Balance between partners – This includes maintaining boundaries, fostering open communication, providing space where necessary, appropriate division of time and attention, prioritizing while also providing reassurance where needed and supporting the relationship choices of the people I care about.
Balance of emotions – Seeking that delicate harmony between jealousy and compersion, communicating emotions openly, confronting challenging emotions with the help and support of partners as well as following your heart and instincts while giving the mind a chance to contribute to the equation as well.
Balance of self – Keeping a grip on reality. Everyday. Kink is often a world where we have the privilege of playing out our fantasies, sometimes daily, but we cannot forget that relationships aren’t a game, they aren’t fantasy, they are tangible things and people who matter to us, and it’s often too easy to get swept up in a perfect moment, mindless of the consequences to our realities. Being educated and aware of the world around you, being capable of coping with it, remaining optimistic, and self aware enough to admit when you need support.
This one especially. Accepting that happiness is often derived from a carefully balanced puzzle to which many people contribute the right pieces. That we are pieces. Sometimes we are the corner pieces, sometimes we are not, but the puzzle isn’t complete without all the pieces, they all matter. Accepting that change happens (priorities, feelings, goals, desires, situations etc.) Accepting that sometimes we just aren’t going to want the same things, and accepting the consequences of that realization. Accepting people as they are, and not trying to change them to fit a mold you’ve designed or a need that you have in your head. Accepting when something doesn’t work. Accepting love, compliments, criticisms, affection and support.
“I don’t do drama,” is the biggest lie I’ve ever told myself. If I’m involved with more than one person, there’s always going to be an element of drama, no matter how hard I try to avoid it. Gossip, trust, confiding in one another, the sparing of feelings, misunderstandings, negotiating… poly is rife with these things, and they inevitably facilitate peak moments of drama and conflict. Minimizing these factors with honesty, optimism, patience and a lot of fucking communication are some good ways to stay afloat amidst the chaos.
Friendship, romance, D/s, sexual – There are a LOT of different types of energy that someone can bring into your life. It’s about making sure that the energy you bring (and allow) into your and your partners’ lives is always positive. Screw fitting into some kind of mold of expectations. Embrace the energy you feel with someone, explore it, talk about it, harness it into growing/escalating/maintaining your dynamics.
Be fucking calm. Plans didn’t work out to spend time with someone? Be Calm. A new girl is making the moves on my husband? Be calm. My partner’s partner hates me? Be Calm. Can’t afford a visit? Be calm. Escalating relationships all around you? Be calm. Feeling threatened? Be calm. Overwhelmed with emotion? Be Calm. Broken promises? Be calm. Nonacceptance? Be calm. Overexcited by the prospect of time with someone special? Be calm. There can never be too much calm.
***I plan for this piece to be a continuing chronicle of my exploration of poly experiences and the understanding that I gather from them. I accept that there isn’t any one way to do poly right, and that this just serves to explain what I perceive to be MY good poly.
Submitted by – SarifkaMorgan