She speaks of universal qualities to look for in a poly partner:
You want someone who is self-aware, with strong communication skills, good boundaries, and a clear sense of who they are and what they want… Trust your instincts and avoid people who will bring negative energy, a destructive agenda, unresolved baggage or lots of drama to your life.
Excellent advice. I’ve always tended to have a penchant for those with lots of life experience, anyway; I figure that if they’ve lived through a lot, then my shit isn’t going to faze them at all. This is why I don’t tend to be attracted to the 20-year-olds. Not that they don’t have their own wisdom and positive energy, but I’ve never understood wanting to date younger than me. Unless the person has lived an extraordinary 20 years, I’d like to let him simmer for another 10 years or so and then see who he is.
Get your shit together
And her second bit of advice rings true for me as well. We had an interesting discussion at the Poly Weekly Book Club a few months ago spurred by a statement in Anapol’s book about resolving psychological and drug issues before entering a relationship. Personally, I think that’s a good idea anyway; it goes under the category of “get your shit together before you try to be attractive to someone else” in my book. However, some folks with ongoing pscyh issues took exception to the caveat, and understandably so. I believe we settled on any psych issues being under control–for example, if you suffer from depression, it’s probably not a good idea to go out and date until you get your meds at a level that keeps you feeling you most of the time. If you have a drug or alcohol abuse problem, um, yeah, I’m going to go with the assumption that you’re not going to be a very supportive or drama-free partner for anyone else until you can take care of yourself.
I suppose this is all a way of saying that you should be kind to yourself first. If you’re wounded or confused, take the time to explore that and feel good about yourself. If you need a vacation, take one. Meditation helps some people. If you need to adjust your meds, spend time with family or see a therapist, do it. Nothing wrong with taking care of yourself first.
I was once told that the sexiest thing I ever wore was confidence. The confidence was hard-won at that time, and I only had it because I’d taken nine months to work on myself. But when I was ready? DA-AMN, girl, but I was on FIRE!