Hello lovely readers! Below is a list of Poly Do’s and Don’ts that I have found most helpful when practicing ethical non-monogamy.
- Be unapologetically poly- Don’t minimize your poly lifestyle due to fear of a new potential partner not being on-board with your other partners or anything else related to your brand of ethical non-monogamy. Be honest from the get-go. This will help to manage surprises for all involved and allow potential partners to make informed decisions.
- Know your deal breakers– It’s important that you know upfront what is and is not important to you. Furthermore, it’s important for those dealbreakers to be communicated early on. Often when people first start seeing someone they don’t want to be a “problem” or have serious conversations. However, it’s paramount to have these talks upfront to avoid wasting time and to make sure that everyone is on the same page. For example, if you are not comfortable with dating someone who has a partner that has veto power (the ability to nix another relationship), this is important info to talk about upfront before you get the feels for this person. This also goes hand in hand with being vocal about what your potential partner can expect from you regarding what time you have to give, level of commitment you are willing to give, etc. Again, it’s integral to be upfront about these things right away. Assumptions, most likely, will work against you.
- Time management is key– Scheduling and organization is a must. Most poly folks tend to plan far out. Make sure you are taking time for yourself, hobbies, friends, family, downtime etc. Many folks (especially when they first become poly) catch the “poly frenzy” and overextend themselves with dates. It’s always necessary to cater to yourself and your prior interests and commitments even in the throes of NRE (new relationship energy, which is essentially the rosy honeymoon phase in the first 6 months- a year of a relationship).
- Hone your compartmentalizing skills-In life and in poly one can experience many things at once such as a breakup and a fantastic new relationship. In most cases. it’s unfair to spend time with a partner venting about your break up and how awful the other partner is/was. However, I am in NO way saying that you should hide breakups from partners. I think in most cases it’s important for all partners to know this info. However, it’s a lot different telling a partner “I want to let you know that person x and I broke up” vs. “They are such a loser. I don’t know what I ever saw in them.”
- Do the self- work– Below are some questions to ask yourself relating to poly. Of course these answers can change over time and can be modified for specific scenarios. I put them in this piece to get you thinking. Things can definitely change when going from the hypothetical to the actualized.
- Are you looking for hierarchical poly or off the relationship escalator poly? Or solo poly? Kitchen table poly? Perhaps a hybrid of some of these?
- Are you okay dating someone that has a different style of poly than yourself? If so, which kinds are you okay with? Which kinds are you not? Why?
- What does safe sex mean to you? How often would you want to get tested? How often would you want your partners to get tested?
- Are you looking for kink relationships, vanilla relationships, or a hybrid of the two?
- What is your learning style? What is your communication style? What kind of listener are you?
- What are your core values? What values do you want and/or need your partners to have?
- What is your love language? What kind of love do you need from others?
- Why are you poly or want to be poly? What would your ideal poly relationship(s) look like?
****hierarchical poly- type of poly where there can be a primary, secondary, etc. There is a clear pyramid of priority.
**** getting off the relationship escalator-the idea that we don’t have to do relationships in a traditional fashion such as move in, get married, have kids,etc. The concept of making our own individualized relationships
*****solo poly- type of poly that is based around an individual’s autonomy and independence
*****kitchen table poly-type of poly where all partners and partner’s partners (metamours) can at least sit at a table together and be cordial such as at a birthday dinner
****learning styles- auditory, visual, reading/writing, kinesthetic, solitary, social
****listening styles – passive, active, detached, involved
***communication styles–passive, passive aggressive, assertive, aggressive
****love languages-words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time, physical touch-there many online tests to determine this
As always thanks for reading and stay tuned!
About the Author
Slave Bunny is involved in a wonderful and loving TPE 24/7 M/S relationship with her Master and husband. She is also the Creative Director of Kink Weekly.
She has dedicated her life to working on herself mentally, spiritually, and physically, and hopes to inspire others to do the same. Through teaching and mentoring, she hopes to help everyone in the Kink community as much as she can.
Feel free to add her on Fetlife (Slave_Bunny992) to see her upcoming workshops and classes.