Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Poly Peer Pressure


Recently, I was on a date with a delightful man for the evening. He's someone I've gotten to know a bit over the past several months, and whose company I enjoy. As the evening progressed, one of the things that came up for both of us was the fact that we each have partners that are going through a certain amount of NRE, and that they were rather highly encouraging us to "Get out and have some fun!".


Now, I'll admit that when I'm in the throes of a new relationship, it can be a bit anxiety-provoking. While the desire is there to really enjoy that stage of the progression, I also find myself rather concerned that my preexisting partner(s) might be feeling a bit left out, or as though they aren't having as much fun, even if I am doing a reasonably good job of staying engaged across the board. So, it makes sense to me that the desire would be there to gently nudge one's partners to go and find something/someone to keep themselves entertained with while I'm off indulging in the fizzy hormone stage of things.


The really funny part of this was realizing that both my date and I were in the same boat of going out, not only because we wanted to spend some time together, but to please our partners and alleviate some of their potential anxiety about leaving us at home "alone"! This subtle sort of "Poly Peer Pressure" seems to be motivated by both the desire to make sure that one's mate is happy, and for fairness or parity across the board. Of course, there are all sorts of ways that people seek balance within their poly circles. Sometimes, it's pulling back from being emotionally or physically close with someone, largely because that same opportunity for intimacy may not exist concurrently for everyone. Other times, it may be pushing a partner to get a new hobby, or to pull them closer to home for a while. Whatever the method used, it seldom produces the desired equality.


The bottom line remains that there is absolutely no way to create the exact same potential relationships at the same time for everyone you are involved with. Chasing that balance point is crazy-making material. So, have the relationships you want to have, take care of the partners you want to stay intimate with, and let them handle their own pacing with additional connections. It may take a while, but things tend to balance out over time. Your partners will find what they need when the opportunities present themselves. No need to pimp them out! ;)
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