"Five Lessons From Poly Relationships That Everyone Can Benefit From"
If that title sounds familiar, it's only because the Five Things meme broke into poly writing last year. This piece appeared in Autostraddle today and is new as best as I can find.
It's also a winner, worth passing along to relationship-advice type places.
Autostraddle, "News, Entertainment, Opinion, Community and Girl-on-Girl Culture," claims to be "the world’s most popular independently-owned lesbian website with over one million unique visitors and 3 million views per month."
Five Lessons From Poly Relationships That Everyone Can Benefit From
By Carolyn [a longtime Autostraddle editor]
Juggling multiple relationships at different levels with many different people requires a sturdy relationship skill set that makes poly relationships the PhD of human interaction — not better than other types of relationships, but definitely more complicated. Here are five principles central to successful consensual non-monogamous partnerships that can improve basically any relationship.
1. Communication is really important.
...Sex educator Charlie Glickman says:
“Something else I’ve learned from being poly is that it requires the ability to talk about and process feelings quickly and efficiently.... When there are multiple people, each with their own needs and desires, as well as their feelings about each other, there are a lot of moving parts. If I could, I’d tell my younger self that the best way to learn how to process well would be to build social networks full of people who are dedicated to open-hearted, honest communication.”...
2. Consent is also really important.
...Talking about your relationships or current situation or expectations happens a lot in non-monogamous situations, but can be really useful in monogamous relationships as well. In addition to the obvious importance of enthusiastic consent in sexy situations, collaboration and enthusiasm between everyone at all stages can only lead to a better experience for all.
3. Everyone has feelings and needs.
...and theirs may be different than yours....
4. Jealousy is a dish best served deconstructed....
5. There is more than one way to have a relationship.
A ton of modern relationships are seen as having one logical path.... Solo Poly calls this path the relationship escalator....
There are so many possible types of relationships, and so many ways to conduct those relationships, that thinking about what you actually want from a given situation and how it might work for you (and communicating those needs) is incredibly important.
Here's the article (May 21, 2014). The comments, for once, are worth reading.
Update the next day: Another Five Things article just popped up: Five Ways In Which Polyamory Is Like Grad School, on Love Is Infinite's blog:
1. It’s not for the faint of heart....
2. It will sometimes eat your life and require you to consume copious quantities of caffeine… but you love it anyway....
3. People will ask you, “How can you do that?!?”....
4. And your answer will be something like, “I couldn’t NOT do it!”...
5. There are times when you will want to quit… and may more times when you will be glad you didn’t.
As mentioned before, this stuff is HARD. When you’re on your third night of no sleep with that damn essay that just won’t go right, you will want to say “fuck this! I don’t need this qualification anyway!” When you’re struck with an attack of jealousy or have just broken up with someone, you will probably want to say “this would all be better if I were just monogamous!”
But when you step back and realise you followed your heart and chased your dream and worked through all the adversities in the way, you will be so very glad you stuck it out.