Originally written in 2013, Ron Young poses a series of question that may help you or your potential mates gain a better understanding of what you're looking for in a relationship.
Consider your Ideal Relationship
- Sum up your relationship in a quick sentence.
- How many partners do you have?
- What kind of connections do you have? e.g. primary, secondary, casual...other?
- How many partners would your partners have and how deep are the connections?
- Would all of your metamour be your lovers, too? Or would none of them?
- Do you or your partners have casual sex and/or swing?
- How important is this ideal to you, and how strongly do you pursue it?
- What sorts of poly relationships will you not get involved in, and what might you consider reluctantly?
- What nature of partners are you interested in? (sexual, BDSM, M/s, casual sex, casual play, emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, live-in, take out only, shared only, only not shared)
- Do you have hierarchical relationships? If so, how does that hierarchy work? Are you open to a changing hierarchy or are you committed to keeping particular partners in particular roles?
For the following questions, assume you are having a difference of opinion or a disagreement with a partner.
- Do you address it or just let it go? What determines your choice?
- Do you prefer to talk about things immediately, or wait a while? If so how long? (days, weeks, hours, years?)
- Do you believe you should 'never go to bed angry?' What does that mean for you?
- How would you feel about your partner talking over these issues with someone else that you know (a friend or metamour or whatever)?
- If you reach an agreement, how can it be changed and how long is it in effect?
How You Work in Relationships
- How do you define "faithful," "commitment," and "cheating?"
- Have you ever cheated on anyone? Is there anyone in your past who would disagree?
- How do you manage your time?
- How long have you been actively poly? Do you consider poly part of your nature, something you are experimenting with, or something else?
- Do you actively seek more partners? If so, how? If not, how has your poly been realized? How do people become your partners?
- How do you feel about long-distance relationships? Live-in relationships? Local relationships? Do you have particular restrictions on what sorts of relationships you can have with someone you do not live with? How about someone you do live with?
- How do you feel about your partner embarking on new relationships after the one between you is established?
- How would you be most comfortable dealing with changes over time? What are your feelings regarding rules, boundaries, and limits, whether stricter or more open?
- How are you feeling right now? Explain as you would to a partner.
- What are three things that make you feel loved?
- What are three things that hurt you deeply?
- How can a partner support you when you're having a hard time?
- What do you do to take care of yourself?
- What kinds of emotional support are you good at offering?
- What are your ideas about spirituality? How do you think those ideas are a part of your intimate relationships? How do you accept, respect and deal with diversity around spiritual beliefs and practices?
- Do you have children? What are your policies and agreements about your or others' kids and poly? At what point, and in what context/role do you you want your partners to meet your kids? What kinds of relationship would you want to have, or not want to have with partners' kids?
- Do you want to have future children? Do you have thoughts on with whom and when?
- What will you do in the case of an unplanned pregnancy?
- Does what you would do or expect in an unplanned pregnancy change with the nature of the relationship? How?
- What range are you comfortable with, regarding the amount that you know about your partners' other relationships, and what they know about yours? Every sexual detail? Nothing except that the other partners exist and maybe their first names? Whatever the metamour chooses to share with you directly, but very little via your common partner?
- What kind and level of involvement do you want among your partners? Is it important to you that they get to know each other, like each other, and/or become involved with each other romantically or sexually? How flexible are you on these desires?
- Do you perceive your relationships as affecting each other? Do you keep them completely separate and work to see that they have no effect on each other? In what ways do you perceive your relationships having an effect on each other? How’s that working for you?
- If a partner breaks up with you, how would you feel if they kept seeing a metamour of yours?
- What is, or what would you want for your relationship to your exes? If you do not know, how do you think/want it would look? (For instance, do you stay friends, do you never want to see or hear from the person again?) How has that worked for you in the past?
- What is your transition/breakup style ? If you do not know, how do you think/want it to look?
- How long have your relationships lasted in the past?
- After the dust has settled on your breakup or transition, have you ever made an attempt to reach back into that relationship? Not for your selfish desires of wanting to rekindle things, but to find TRUE GENUINE COMPERSION and friendship in that person whether or not they hurt you or you hurt them?
Have you asked these questions of yourself and your partners? What would you add?