Loving More Than One

Polyamory as it relates to my life and written from my perspective only. MY thoughts, feelings and opinions.

Poly Group Meeting

on May 25, 2011

We had our monthly meeting of our local Poly Group last night. I really enjoyed it. More so since I wasn’t able to make the one last month.

We had 4 new people attend. Yay!!!

Topic of  discussion was Rules vs Boundaries vs Agreements. Lively discussion on this. I’m not sure that any are more healthy than the other. It’s got to be a personal decision. Rules generally are you telling someone what they can or can’t do. Boundaries are what you are saying you will or won’t do. And agreements are things you each voluntarily agree to.

Dirk and I don’t really have rules any longer. We each have formed personal boundaries for what we need from a relationship/partner. And I would say we have some general agreements. The latter is off the cuff and I haven’t discussed that with him. So, I’m not concrete enough in those thoughts to voice them. But it dawned on me that I feel we may have a few.

If you’ve read my blog any you’ll know my general personal boundaries….honesty, respect and integrity. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I will not enter into another relationship where someone else has complete veto power over whether or not that relationship is to continue. I will go as far as to say, I’d prefer that whomever I’m in a relationship with, no one can control any aspect of that. Not that I won’t be friends with a metamour but I want the control of any relationship to basically be in the hands of my partner and myself. I’m not without reason though.

What about you readers? Do you have any rules, boundaries or agreements?

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3 responses to “Poly Group Meeting

  1. Jack says:

    We were discussing personal boundaries, which we summarized as things that you would not allow to be done to you, as opposed to rules which are things you tell the other person they cannot do and agreements, which are things that you agree not to do.

    I think this distinction is important as you cannot apply personal boundaries to other people. I cannot tell you that you can only sleep with guys uglier than me and call that a personal boundary; yes, I might have security issues, but those are my responsibility to deal with, not yours.

    As a rule, I might say that my partner cannot have unprotected sex unless this person has been duly tested and approved as per whatever standards we agreed on.

    As a boundary, I might say that I have a boundary of not exposing myself unnecessarily to STIs even indirectly and that I will use protection with anyone that might violate that boundary (ie have unprotected sex outside our fluid-bonded circle) or possibly even terminate the relationship if they do so and lie about it. Note here that while the lying is still an integrity issue, it has also become a disease exposure issue; had I known that my partner was having unprotected sex, I could have taken steps to protect myself.

    As an agreement, my partner agrees not to expose me to STIs by having unprotected sex outside our fluid-bonded circle, and notifying me immediately if this does happen or they are otherwise exposed.

    On a personal level I much prefer agreements as those are voluntary and mostly common sense. My partner and I have built our relationship on several agreements, some of which are listed here:

    A) To treat each other ethically in all situations
    B) To trust each other’s intentions as good whether we agree with their wishes or not
    C) To always be honest while allowing room for error and privacy; we recognize that what some perceive as dishonesty is often someone else’s perception of how much information should be disclosed whil protecting someone’s privacy or simply not seeing the information as needed. We have agreed that the default assumption is that malice/deception is not intended unless evidence indicates otherwise
    D) To practice safer sex outside our circle of trusted and tested friends, (which currently consists of the 2 of us) and to notify the other immediately of any exposure, accidental, unplanned or other.

    Like you, we do not believe in veto power, partially because that gives someone else control over our relationships, but also because it then may make them feel that you are somewhat responsible for their relationship. I’ve had it thrown in my face in the past by my ex that I should have stopped her from dating a guy that I thought was shady and I personally do not want to feel responsible for that.

    Other than that, I’m not sure that I can think of any, and if we do, they are mainly common sense (I know, you can’t lave things up to common sense, but we kind of trust each other that way..I also don’t have a stated boundary that she can’t cut my willie off, but I’m not afraid she will…which brings up an interesting point that we tend to use these tools when there is a perceived threat o some sort)…I’ll try to get Eve on and see what she has to say.

    • Thanks, Jack.
      This is such an interesting topic in many ways. As always, what works for one doesn’t work for another. Like you, my boundaries and what not have been forged a lot from my experiences.

  2. jack says:

    Like with anything, everyone’s situation and combination of personalities makes each and every situation unique; what works for one may not work for another. ANYTHING I ever say is simply saying what I think may work for me….YMMV and all that jazz.

    At the same time, I am always open to input from others on how they would handle/feel about similar circumstances. I might not take what they say as the best solution, but often it helps to see it from different perspectives and even if you do not completely agree with them, you may find bit and pieces of their thoughts that are applicable and resonate with you.

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