Let’s get this misconception out of the way before we go any further.
The idea that poly relationships are all about getting to bone anyone with the pleasure parts that you prefer is flat out, totally and completely, 100% ridiculous and incorrect. There are absolutely asexual poly relationships.
Everyone’s agreements are going to be different. There are relationships where only one partner is poly inclined, and the other stays monogamous. There are poly relationships where there is no core/main relationship, there may be restrictions on who the partners can date/sleep with/etc. It’s unlikely that you will find any two relationships with the same exact set of rules.
I will use my relationship with R as an example of what I’m talking about.
– We realize and understand that we can not fulfill each other’s needs 100% and that is okay. (Example: R likes guys and I like girls. There’s no way we can fullfill those situations for each other.)
– We continue to have our core relationship, which, of course is R and I.
– This core relationship is not closed off to another individual, should we find someone we both would like to commit too.
– At this time, both of us agree that any satellite relationships, in which only one of us would be dating someone else, is out of the question.
– Sleeping with someone else is fine, as long as it stays an NSA friendship/one night stand/ whatever you are inclined to do.
– If one of us is going to have an ongoing sexual relationship with someone, then we both must know that person.
*I really like this one in particular because:
-It allows all parties involved to know exactly what’s going on.
-It allows either of us in the core relationship to give a second opinion, which can be important. In fact, we’ve booted one person out of the circle that R was interested in, because I was able to see things that were rather concerning that he did not see.
-You can make really good friends this way. When everyone is open and comfortable with each other, it strengthens relationships of all kinds.
-If you really want a poly relationship, but have jealously problems, it helps you learn to control them and see that your partners partner is not going to or trying to steal them from you.
– Safe sex practices are absolutely a requirement.
– Rules can and do change, but only if we talk about them and mutually agree to change any said rules first.
We have more guidelines and rules than that, but those are the basic layout.
You end up with a whole lot of communication in a poly relationship. You’re continually editing and revising your rules/guidelines/whateveryouwanttocallthem. You think you’ve covered every situation, and the truth is, you are wrong. You will constantly run into new situations that need to be talked about.
The thought that cheating is impossible in a poly relationship can absolutely be wrong. In my relationship that is a false concept. If something was going on, and either of us was sneaky or secretive about it, then that definitely wades into the realm of cheating.
Communication is the single most important thing in poly relationships. When we went from a monogamous relationship to a poly relationship, something amazing happened. Our ability to communicate became better than it ever had been before.
We have become a lot closer as well. At the end of the day, when we are together, be it watching movies, cuddling, having sex, playing games, Everything is so much more intimate and wonderful.
It’s wonderful… and unexpected. I didn’t think it would change our relationship for the better or the worse too much, but it really has made it much better. We are more intimate, we communicate better, we are both less stressed, we have more fun, we are able to work out our arguments better and by extension, there’s less stress in the house and family as a whole. It has quite literally affected every facet of our lives, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.