PW 401: Fuzzy landmines

The fuzzy landmines and invisible fences that new partners run across

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1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

4:15 Topic: Fuzzy landmines and invisible fences

This topic is based on a blog post on the Solo Poly blog by Aggie Sez: Invisible fences and fuzzy landmines. Something that the solo polyamorist or the poly person entering a poly relationship has to deal with, the ramifications of which couples often are unaware: fuzzy landmines and invisible fences. A few highlights:

  • There is no alternative to being self-aware and owning your own shit. No emotional outsourcing.
  • Invisible fences: unstated boundaries or rules in relationships that a new partner only discovers when tripping over them.
  • Fuzzy landmines: rules and boundaries that are only stated in deliberately vague terms that serve as an excuse to end the relationship when someone in the original couple freaks out.

And one more question: how can you tell the difference between a couple making a genuine effort to be open and own their own shit and a couple that is not devoted to working on their own issues and relationship mechanics?

  • Does everyone involved self-identify as poly? How secure is each person in that identity?
  • Do the people in the couple talk to each other honestly?
    • Do they own their own shit?
    • Does their behavior match the walk they talk about each other?
  • Are their dialogue and behavior towards you aligned? Do they do what they say they will do?
  • How willing is the couple to hear your concerns as valid (rather than as a threat or unreasonable request)?

20:15 Feedback

23:30 Happy Poly Moment

S wrote in with a HPM of the week!

8 things cover fingers27:15 8 Things ebook

The Eight Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory ebook is available here! And print copies here!

28:30 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Poly Dating 101

Thanks to everyone who attended and asked questions at yesterday’s Debauchery session on poly dating! The slides are here for your enjoyment:

PW 386: Telling the emperor he has no clothes

types-of-dishonesty-lolcat

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1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

  • OKCupid has added Relationship Type (mono/non-mono and mostly/strictly) under your details! Plus, you can specify “in an open relationship” (versus “seeing someone”)
  • I’ll be teaching at Debauchery April 25-27 in North Carolina

Topic: How do you tell the people you’re dating that their relationship is fucked up

G writes in to ask how to broach the topic of seeing some issues in the relationship of the couple she’s dating. If you see something unhealthy or concerning going on, is it your business? Should you just butt out? How can you tell if it’s a harmless quirk of the dynamic or a relationship-ending issue? And if you do decide to bring it up, how do you do that diplomatically?

This is a tough one! No one likes being told that their relationship appears unhealthy. But the general rules of relationship communication apply: if you see something you’re afraid to bring up, you absolutely should bring it up. But how?

I don’t have any magic plan for this one; it’s really tricky. So I applied the basic guidelines for bringing up any difficult topic:

  1. Set a time to talk
  2. Use “I” statements based on your own experience
  3. Acknowledge your limitations
  4. Refer to specific behaviors first
  5. Refer to your own experience
  6. Ask for insights

Happy Poly Moment

Harper shared a happy poly moment in which her mother chose to publicly acknowledge Harper’s poly relationship rather than avoiding it!

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

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