No relationship games in polamory

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Who makes the first move and what is not considered to be embarrassing? Who is supposed to call first? When can you text and how long before you suggest a second date? How about the kiss? Is it too early? Can you show interest before she does?

Now try these anxious rules and petty games in a relationship of three.

How much time should pass before you look for a new partner in the relationship? Can you bring in someone you already know, or does it have to be a new friend to you both? What sex should it be, anyway?

There is no glossy magazine to answer these questions (or come up with stupid rules) so you probably have to do what you (and your partners) think and feel is right.

Absurd dating rules and manipulation games don’t work for non-conventional relationships. But do they ever work for anyone?

Dating advice comes straight from hell. Dating gurus create the very confusion they offer to help you navigate.

We all learn the rules of the dating game from glossy magazines and received wisdom. So it is perhaps worth remembering that glossy magazines are written by deadline-struck editorial interns recycling old articles – that have been written by similarly deadline-struck editors for the sake of word count around that image on page 4. They hope that no one would take their made-up listicles seriously. And yet, our stupid dating games are saturated by those nasty pieces of advice.

Received wisdom is no better. It usually originates from the most confident person, who is the most confident because he is the most ignorant. Or it comes from those, who screwed up and hate people and want others to suffer with them.

“He asked you out for a drink and didn’t kiss on the first night?”

“She closed her eyes during blowjob?”

“He mentioned his dog on a first date?”

That is bad sign, you should not meet again.

But why is it so widespread to judge people by arbitrary rules – instead of talking to them? Am I the only one who finds this slavish and stupid?

In polyamory you cannot play games – or at least, you have to come up with better ones. There are no scripts and roles to follow. There are no sitcoms to learn the relationship games from. No one to imitate, to emulate, no script to fall back on. No prefabricated roles and mutual demands to sink into.

And want to hear something even better? In non-conventional relationships there is less room for games.

You pretend you’re not interested to make them come after you even harder? See if it works. But FYI, you just said no.

There’s less room for games – even in the bedroom.

Does he do it because he loves it, or because he (wrongly) believes I do?

Does she genuinely enjoy doing this or she just read it in a glossy magazine?

Ask, you idiots!

Enough with the second-guessing. No need to endure something because we are afraid to ask. With other than a heterosexual couple in bed, everything must be discussed – and no one accuses you of dishonesty if you change your mind later. Grown-ups know that it can happen.

And the bedtime routines you’ve come to hate? He makes the move, she sighs, he climbs on top, she helps to finish. She used to like this, so he does it first thing into sex – to speed things up. Very practical. It is now speedy and efficient, there’s not an unnecessary move, not a second wasted. You could write a life hack blog on how to automatize sex lives.

Oh wait, no one wants to hear that.

It takes a lot more to find a routine in a threesome – and when you do, there is one more participant that can throw you off the beaten track. And you can always sit down and discuss whether you actually like something or only perform/endure it for the other’s sake. You should do that in conventional relationships too.

Next:

Part 10: The lack of communication strengthens games and roles…

Part 1: Lessons to learn from polyamory

Part 2: What is love? And what it is not…

Part 3: Jealousy is not part of love…

Part 4: There’s no such thing as a soulmate…

Part 5: Don’t try to change people. Really…

Part 6: You absolutely have to figure out, who you are and what it is that you want…

Part 7: There is no mind reading…

Part 8: Relationship roles, life scripts, and the death of love…

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