No one owns anyone.
This supposedly ancient Chinese proverb sums up possessiveness:
“If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was. We do not possess anything in this world, least of all other people. We only imagine that we do. Our friends, our lovers, our spouses, even our children are not ours; they belong only to themselves. Possessive and controlling friendships and relationships can be as harmful as neglect.”
In Polyamory you must quickly learn to love with an open hand. Allow yourself to understand and accept your partner’s autonomy.
My partners have complete autonomy to establish relationships that work for them. Of course, I am free to voice my opinions but they are welcome to make their own mistakes.
Practicing Polyamory requires heaps of self-esteem!
Everyone knows what is going on in all the partners’ lives and everyone AGREES to what is going on.
If there is no agreement it is cheating. And if it is cheating then it is NOT Polyamory. It is cheating.
X. ACCEPTING OF SELF DETERMINATION
Understanding that each of us is different is essential. Encourging your partners to follow their own life’s path is mandatory.
Suppose, as for an example, your partner wants to explore BDSM and you have little interest and maybe even an aversion to this pastime. If they find a play partner for an occasional session of impact play or bondage you just have encourage them to do it safely and welcome them home.
I have members of my extended Poly family where she wanted to explore her interest in BDSM and he encouraged her to find safe ways to do this. For a year or two she had one or two sessions a month with a Dom, learned her limits, and eventually lost interest. They remain happily married and Polyamorous.
You must keep an open mind about your partner’s behavior since you have no control. Yes, you can voice your opinions and make your concerns and wishes known but expect disagreements from time to time. And disagreements can lead to disruption of relationships.
No one ever said that Polyamory is about perfection in relationships. Rather Polyamory is about honesty in relationships. Polyamorous relationships can and will fail, just like monogamous relationships.
I will be the first to tell you THIS IS NOT ALWAYS EASY, especially in the early stages of exploring Polyamory.
XI. SEX POSITIVE
Sexuality is, of course, a major part of Polyamorous relationships and all partners being in agreement on sexual matters is essential. Are all of your partners sex positive?
I have seen few descriptions of what sex positive means and here is my definition.
1. A sex positive person is comfortable with their emotional, spiritual, physical and sexual selves.
2. A sex positive person understands, accepts and tolerates their partners sexual needs, beliefs, practices, and yes, even kinks.