How many folks are in, or have had, successful polyamorous/ethically non-monogamous relationships? I don't think you have to be involved with more than one person for your relationship to count as a successful poly/enm relationship.

What makes your relationship(s) work? What made them work?

Did you make any agreements early on, or later?

Please elaborate on anything you feel is pertinent to successful relationships. Promise I'll be back at some point to share my experiences.

Please save the horror stories for a separate discussion about abject failures.

Tags: success stories, what makes it work

Views: 20

Replies to This Discussion

"I don't think you have to be involved with more than one person"
Good. (Like others, I can sometimes become a little self-involved. Autopoly).

I had a successful poly relationship with a monogamous person. Once.

Although she aspires to find Mister Right as a One And Only, when I met my friend uh, Pixie, she was aggressively single, emotionally intelligent, and twenty-two years younger than I am. Our difference in age required some attention; less so the mere fact that Pixie wants to get married, while I am unmarriageable by law in all 50 states. Success was due to stacking the deck in our favor as the relationship began. Without really good communications skills on both sides, we would never have been successful. Recognizing that from the top, we were deliberate enough to avoid any of the obvious problems, and wise-plus-lucky enough not to encounter anything we hadn't already mapped.

Notable assets in our favor:
* Everyone was acquainted with polyamory. (Pixie had a happy long-time relationship with a polyamorist so there was no ideological spadework to perform).
* Pixie was exceptionally mature: Being of different generations didn't keep us from negotiating as peers. It was easy to forget she was only thirty, except when she called me "dude."
* There was a helpful peculiarity of shape, in that Pixie is one of the least tactful people I have ever known. She's straightforward, blazingly honest, and not exceedingly concerned with form over content. That kind of bluntness is a wonderful thing for me: In communications-theoretical terms, the higher quality ("information content") of Pixie's communication meant less bandwidth was required for redundancy and error checking. (Yay! Extra communications bonus! *dingding*) For a guy like me who just doesn't take "tactless" personally, it was a felicitous gift. Like many strong women, Pixie intimidates and frightens away a lot of men. But then, those macho wimps couldn't really keep her amused for long, anyway; their running away is a rational behavior. Mister Right, whenever he appears, is going to be, emotionally and intellectually, one righteously strong dude.
(Like others, I can sometimes become a little self-involved. Autopoly).

Ha!

I've seen people make statements like "You aren't polyamorous, because you aren't involved with more than one person." I suppose someone can't be heterosexual unless they've ever had sex with an XX or XY, depending on their chromosomes (just to follow that line of "reason").

After many failed relationships with monogamous people (who said they could accept me being polyamorous... really they could), I decided never again. Good to hear it worked for you.

Without really good communications skills on both sides, we would never have been successful.

Indeed. Seems to apply to all relationships, sexual or not.
Indeed. Seems to apply to all relationships, sexual or not.

New Presbyter is but old Priest writ large.
After many failed relationships with monogamous people (who said they could accept me being polyamorous... really they could), I decided never again. Good to hear it worked for you.

I deny that self-profession as "poly" correlates to one's proficiency in managing plural relationships.

Here, I had good fortune to deal with someone who, although philosophically "monogamous," was already successful in several long-term intimacies (including one with an avowed polyamorist).

Imagine, instead, a philosophically polyamorous individual who lacks effective experience in long-term plural intimacies: That "poly" person will be harder for me to communicate with. We won't share the same points of departure. The "poly" will be less practiced than my "monogamous" partner in dealing with issues like relationship distance or jealousy. Perhaps the poly person is ideologically closer to me, but much practical spadework would be required to realize any Potential in a real-world relationship.

I have been accused -- on occasion, with justice -- of holding a theoretical bias remote from practical considerations. In my old age, I've come to appreciate that theory divorced from practice just lets me spit into the wind. Not merely impractical, such outcomes are theoretically _inelegant_.
This is very interesting. I was going to start a discussion at some point about having relationships where only one of the partners is actively poly. That is my primary relationship. He is free to date others but it hasn't come up so much; he works a lot, hasn't been lucky in meeting women, and it isn't his focus.

It has worked out OK so far. We are very different people (opposites attract too!), and we have unexpected things in common. He doesn't need to have everything in common with me because I can also relate to other people with those interests. I have had 2 boyfriends and he was fine with them. He had met them, we'd all hung out in groups--being familiar with them and feeling that they were nice people was very helpful.
I was going to start a discussion at some point about having relationships where only one of the partners is actively poly.

I'll look forward to that!
Every romantic relationship I've been involved in has either begun or become polyamorous. Most of them ended for one reason or another but I feel safe in saying that had they not been polyamorous they would have ended for the same or similar reasons.

I'm currently in a poly relationship with a poly man. This is the first relationship I've been in in which there has been total honesty. We've only been together for about three years but so far, we've hit no snags. We've both courted other people and dated other people during that time as well as having the occasional fuck buddy, shared or otherwise.
Sounds great! Long may it last.
I would say what you've suggested is a natural progression, Larry. I can understand how having multiple spouses might make your spouse only insurance skyrocket. But I can't see a good reason why you wouldn't get that option... except for tradition and religion.
The above would make an interesting discussion on its own, in a new post. This discussion is for poly success stories.
"remember that every single relationship you ever have will end in failure, until one succeeds."

Ha! Well put!

I like that you've listed important attributes of your relationships. Thanks for posting this, it's really good to read your success story.

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