Polyamory and Healthy Boundaries

Feb 17 '2020, 7:23 PM | By Chris

Polyamory, for some, might sound like an option only for people with commitment issues or a hyperactive sex drive. There is a certain amount of freedom it entails that makes monogamous folks queasy. The idea of being emotionally and sexually involved with more than one person is a game changer in the worlds of dating and relationships. There is absolutely no reason to avoid enjoying yourself and exploring every desire as a polyamorous lover. That’s actually the point. It’s all about love, support, exploration, respect, openness, and fun. All good things, however, come with responsibilities. In poly relationships each partner needs love and affection, every new date deserves complete honesty, and existing relationships need the work and investment required to remain healthy. Making all of this work may sound overwhelming, but it’s really about adhering to some boundaries that will keep your loves close, and troubles far away. 

“The truth will set you free” is especially true when it comes to relationships. It will give you a foundation of trust to build on, which is the only way to have a healthy love life. Being truthful to yourself first leads to an ability to be truthful with the people you choose to explore a relationship with. What are your emotional and sexual boundaries? How much can you allow those boundaries to be pushed in different directions? Knowing your boundaries and where to draw hard lines is the first step toward healthy boundaries. Having conversations about boundaries and desires early and often with your love interests will make sure a relationship is worth pursuing. Even if you’re not a great match for anything serious you may decide on something like friends with benefits for a while. People with very different ideas about a love life shouldn’t try to force it. A fully heterosexual polyamorous person may have a hard time dating someone that is bisexual if they can’t stretch their boundaries to include a person of the same gender in their bed. It’s better to figure these things out before emotions start running deep and you find yourself holding back someone you love. It might work for a while, but it won’t be easy and resentment can build fast. 

For polygamous people, boundaries can be just as complicated. Polygamy no longer requires a handful of sister wives to only think of pleasing their one husband. Men looking for sister wives today will find women that are bisexual and he will need to be clear about the expectations he has for a new sister wife. She also needs to be clear about her sexuality and intentions. He may also want to find a husband to join him and his sister wives as one big family. Boundaries are not pre-set for polygamous families. They need to be discussed and settled before getting anyone involved in a completely unfit situation. There are plenty of women that want to be a sister wife in the traditional sense, and plenty of men that want that. It’s about knowing what you want and sticking to it. Don’t ditch your boundaries for whatever comes along first, or is easiest. It won’t be worth it. 

The very nature of polyamory presents a major reality that way too many people don’t take seriously enough. Sexual health. This is another area where boundaries need to be discussed and everyone involved needs to ensure risks are clear. Sleeping around and not using protection is an option, but only if every partner knows about it. Otherwise, you’re putting people you love at an unfair level of risk which is simply unacceptable behavior. If you are fluid bonding with your partners you have a responsibility to protect them. Even without a doctor, you can find resources in any area to get tested and stay on top of your sexual health. Don’t skip it because you’re scared of a result. Get checked! There are ways to cure or treat every STI in the book and there is no shame in addressing any that might come along. 

Beyond relationships, as a polyamorous person, you will have friendships and encounters where your love lifestyle will not fit. There is rarely a reason to not be open about being poly, but there will be plenty of situations where you’ll need to adhere to clear boundaries. If a friend that you’re attracted to is not interested in a poly relationship, or is already in a monogamous one, you must respect their choices. There is a big difference between acceptance and involvement, and trying to push an accepting person over the line between the two is not just unfair, it’s unseemly. Never take advantage of the kindness of an open minded person. If anything, these people should be protected and encouraged! If you put a friend in an awkward situation too often, they’ll eventually have to stop being a close friend and might even change their views concerning your lifestyle. A small chance at dating is not worth the risk, and the loss of an ally is not worth the cost of that risk. Knowing the boundaries necessary to respect everyone in the room will save you from a lot of heartache and misery. Keeping a diverse group of friends can be a little work, but provides a well rounded life experience that will be rewarding and insightful. You’ll be a better person for it. 

A discussion about boundaries isn’t limited to people that are living so-called ‘alternative lifestyles.’ In fact, everyone’s lifestyle is so different there really are nothing but ‘alternative lifestyles’. Think about situations you’ve been in where a super zealot religious person is making a dinner table or room of people very uncomfortable. What about a time you saw a person that was extremely intoxicated playing with children. Any very inappropriate moment can be used to explain why healthy boundaries are so important. None of us want to be ‘THAT’ guy or girl. Developing natural habits that involve boundaries and respect makes the world a better place for you and everyone you know. Don’t think of them as limitations. Think of boundaries as pathways to a world without limits that fulfills your every pure desire.

Published By: Christopher Alesich

Matchmakers, Inc: Sisterwives.com


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