Priorities and Hierarchy
Ready For Polyamory
by Laura Boyle
1M ago
Let's talk Relationship Anarchy, priorities, and hierarchy. Those of you who are even a little familiar with relationship anarchy (even if only here at the blog, not from elsewhere in the world) have some sense that it is an anti-hierarchical philosophy. This is one of the defining points of relationship anarchist philosophy. In the very first tenet of the RA manifesto, it says "One person in your life does not need to be named primary for the relationship to be real." That is to say - you don't need to have hierarchy to add meaning to your network of relationships. In his book Relationship A ..read more
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Mindset, Growth, and Grief in Relationships
Ready For Polyamory
by Laura Boyle
3M ago
Our cultural messaging around relationships, around self-knowledge, and around love (of the self and of each other) is focused very strongly on growth. Part of the cultural force of the relationship escalator is the idea of tying ourselves to someone else and forcing joint growth (a kind of support pole for the bean vines of our hearts - even if sometimes the effect is more "decorative pruning" or "bonsai") - and when we choose to identify the limits on this and grow independently, apart from these scripts, the lack of script can lead to just that - a lack. The absence of script, the additiona ..read more
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Compromise and What's Expected
Ready For Polyamory
by Laura Boyle
4M ago
There are a number of social conventions that are broadly undermined by polyamorous relating but especially so by non-hierarchical relationships and relationships that are informed by a relationship anarchist philosophy. One of these is the notion that our relationships should be largely composed of compromises. The relationship anarchist manifesto goes so far as to say "Love is not more real when people compromise for each other because it's part of what is expected" and "Rather than looking for compromises in every situation, let loved ones choose paths that keep their integrity intact, with ..read more
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Relationship Anarchy - A Smorgasbord of Options "Instead of Entitlement"
Ready For Polyamory
by Laura Boyle
6M ago
You may have heard of the Relationship Anarchy Smorgasbord - a concept which takes a metaphor of relationships as meals where you and your partner build your "plate" from a smorgasbord (a Swedish buffet-style service of a variety of foods and dishes) of options available to you to create a customized relationship that suits you uniquely - the idea being that you do this with each person you have a close enough relationship to have conversations about how the relationship works with. There have been many iterations over the years of graphics to illustrate the concept and help folks have clearer ..read more
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I Don't Want HER Date! - Differentiating Relationships
Ready For Polyamory
by Laura Boyle
6M ago
It can feel very natural, when seeing multiple people, if you have a really nice experience (try a good restaurant that turns out to be GREAT; see a particular art exhibit that's in town for only a few weeks that moves you a huge amount; do a holiday tradition you love [that movie you watch every year! making treats and eating them together by a fire!]) to want to repeat them with all your partners. "Hey I found this AMAZING new restaurant, let's go together!" can be fun - and many people truly don't care where or how you found the amazing new restaurant. But if consistently the "finding" or f ..read more
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Commitment off the Escalator
Ready For Polyamory
by Laura Boyle
6M ago
We talked last time about the Relationship Escalator, the social expectations that generally circumscribe romantic relationships in our culture. Some central features of the escalator include exclusivity and the expectation that romantic relationships will last until death. Polyamorous relationships naturally undercut the one expectation and may or may not undercut the second. Let's look at some ways we can express commitment in non-exclusive relationships,which we may or may not regard as "off-the-escalator": Having consistent date nights Expressing love regularly Expressing vulnerability an ..read more
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What is the Relationship Escalator?
Ready For Polyamory
by Laura Boyle
6M ago
I was having coffee with a friend the other day and catching up about our recent dating lives (and their complications in labels and lack thereof) when he said "you know, it's not like the old days when folks went steady and it was obvious that 'This Is Dating' - is that part of the problem?" And on the one hand, he's right - a hesitance to be clear about what "hanging out" is and whether we're invested emotionally is a dating scourge on people my age (35) and younger - but it's not solved with "going steady" and a cultural script that any time alone must be a date, it's solved with clear comm ..read more
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Don't Force It
Ready For Polyamory
by Laura Boyle
6M ago
Have you ever had a hinge partner insist on a particular relationship between you and a metamour? Either directly, or by only having time available that included your meta(s) in the plans? If you happened to get along with this metamour it maybe didn't feel like an imposition; and if you felt like it was transitional or a "price of entry" while they were opening up or your relationship got more serious or "earned more calendar time" maybe it was a situation you were okay with in the short term but didn't expect to hold in the long run. If you really don't get along well with your metamour(s) a ..read more
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Home for the Polydays
Ready For Polyamory
by Laura Boyle
7M ago
Let's talk about polyamory and the holiday season. (Sorry, Canadian friends - I know you already did Thanksgiving, and I hope it was lovely, but American Thanksgiving is yet to come.) There's a frenzy of family, friend, and work holiday events over December for many of us - between Thanksgiving (this year on November 23) and New Year's Eve, with Hannukah from Dec 7 to 15 and the official Christmas holiday on the 24&25, plus a miasma of themed social events over the month preceding - and how our relationships play into these events is a little different than it is for the monogamous folks i ..read more
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It Doesn't Look the Same Twice
Ready For Polyamory
by Laura Boyle
8M ago
If you took snapshots of my polyamorous life from the moment 17 years ago when I was on a date and was asked if I'd heard of polyamory? Well, ok, but how about open relationships? To today, at 18 month intervals, my relationship structure would not look the same twice. (Or if it did externally, the forces that drove it internally, in terms of philosophy and the kinds of discussions & metacommunication happening inside the relationship absolutely wouldn't.) I think, while many people's external changes are less tumultuous (thanks, my entire 20s, as an ADHD person with many Gemini placements ..read more
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