PQ 18.8 — Can I build a relationship that respects the agency not only of each of us, but of others who are involved as well?

a photograph of Arcadian County Park in Los Angeles County, California. The photo features a grassy area with picnic tables and trees that are casting long dark shadows.
Image by Brian / CC BY

PQ 18.8 — Can I build a relationship that respects the agency not only of each of us, but of others who are involved as well?

*

“You know, it’s funny,” I say to Justin as we’re out taking a walk together. “Sometimes I’ll get asked questions about you when I do interviews.  » Read more

Continue Reading

Not Permission, Not Chaos: Toward a Buy-In Model of Polyamory

a stick figure person drawn on a sheet of typing paper with 4 connector cables attached to its head
Image by Omran Jamal / CC BY

It can be a difficult balance to strike in polyamory: How to add new partners to an existing relationship system without upsetting the relationships that are already in place.

A number of common strategies exist. Some relationship systems have extensive permission structures in place. Existing partners are consulted and each is called upon to approve or veto potential new relationships.  » Read more

Continue Reading

PQ 13.2 — If I feel a desire to restrict relationships between my partners and their partners, what underlying need am I trying to meet?

a burgundy background with what seem to be fleur-de-lis watermarks. It reads "MAGICK" in a fancy script in silver metallic letters
Image by Hayder Hoozeer / CC BY

PQ 13.2 — If I feel a desire to restrict relationships between my partners and their partners, what underlying need am I trying to meet?

*

I used to spend a lot of time when I was a kid thinking about magic. It was all the rage in middle school especially.  » Read more

Continue Reading

PQ 12.10 — If I start a relationship with someone who is already partnered, what kind of input do I feel is reasonable for their other partners to have in our relationship?

3 segments of rusty chain links on top of a wooden floor
Image by Patrick McConahay / CC BY

PQ 12.10 — If I start a relationship with someone who is already partnered, what kind of input do I feel is reasonable for their other partners to have in our relationship?

*

This question sits at the intersection of two separate — but important — issues.

The first is that whenever possible it’s best to stay out of other people’s relationships,  » Read more

Continue Reading

PQ 9.5 — Is someone threatening my well-being, safety or livelihood?

screenshot of 2 people texting. 1: Morning sunshine 2: Good morning baby. I love you. 1: Love you too! 2: Have a good day 1: I hope you do too. 2: Thanks! You are the best boyfriend ever 1: Naw, I'm just in love.
Image by Elizabeth K / CC BY

PQ 9.5 — Is someone threatening my well-being, safety or livelihood?

*

Threatening well-being, safety or livelihood? That sounds fairly extreme now, doesn’t it?

And yet — as in PQ 9.1, it’s important to note that sometimes these threats onset in rather insidious ways. That’s the tricky thing about abusive relationships.  » Read more

Continue Reading

“Hands Off That Guilt!”: Emotional Loan Sharks and Guilt Without an Expiration Date

a picture of a shark swimming through the ocean, taken from under the water
Image by Allan Lee / CC BY

“Hands Off That Guilt!”

Last week, we posted “Distressed by Another’s Jealousy: How to Deal with Guilt from Hurting a Partner” in response to a reader who wrote in asking for help.

The piece drew a lot of interest. Most of it was positive and thanked us for tackling a common issue that isn’t often addressed by existing poly how-to.  » Read more

Continue Reading

PQ 5.11 — What do I expect of others, and why?

shop sign that reads "Closed. Will return when you least expect it. Thank you! Please come again!"
Image by Ben Husmann / CC BY

PQ 5.11 — What do I expect of others, and why?

Here are a few pieces I’ve written about the tricky nature of expectations:

  1. You Get What You Expect, Kinda: Resilient People Aren’t Always Positive
  2. Happy Poly-Days, Because for Some? Holidays Are Basically the Worst
  3. It’s Not a Cure-All: 8 Things Polyamory Doesn’t Fix

I’ve learned to not expect a lot of people.  » Read more

Continue Reading

PQ 3.2 — Polyamory and Boundaries, First Degree, Second Degree, and Beyond

3 red buckets hanging on a wall, each bucket says "fire" on it
Image by Adele Prince / CC BY

PQ 3.2 — Have I sought input from everyone affected? Have I obtained their consent where my decision overlaps their personal boundaries? (Chapter 3 questions are all asked in the context of ones to ask to evaluate whether your choices are ethical.)

*

This is truly one of the trickiest parts of polyamory —  » Read more

Continue Reading