Thursday, April 29, 2010

New configurations


One of the hot topics, and most confusing things about having a conversation with anyone poly, is figuring out how to track all the various relationship connections, and how those configurations impact various people, particularly in the event of a change in relationship status. For example: I've had several people ask me if there are any "rules" about who is off limits for dating, given the split between PG and I, or if they need to "pick a side". The answers to those questions are: yes, and no, in that order.


To the first question: Yes, we've had a policy about not dating the same people for a while because we figured out quite some time ago that it didn't work well for us. That seems like a reasonable strategy to continue with, at least at this point. Who knows? Some time down the road, it may seem perfectly reasonable to date the same person, but this isn't that time!


To the second: No, neither of us are soliciting a split in our circle of friends or community. One of the things that has been wonderful has been the lack of antipathy, and the all-round support for each of us as individuals, without seeing a significant division. It helps that we've managed to keep things pretty amicable.


I've got an amazing support network, and have huge amounts of gratitude for each and every person that has asked me to have coffee, grab lunch, just talk, anytime I need it. To those who have held me when I cry, listened to me grieve, rant, or tried to work through potential scenarios, a huge thanks! For the few, the proud, the brave, who have kicked me in the ass in the moments where self-pity was highest in my thoughts, I owe you a big one.


The ways that this change in the relationship that PG and I share is impacting others is just beginning to settle in. There are certainly some people that are going to be more comfortable being closer with one or the other of us, and likely others that are going to want to back away to wait for the dust to settle. All in all though, it's going well, with a minimum of fuss.


We all have examples of how relationships can blow up spectacularly, causing collateral damage to those around them. My hope is to feel all that is important to feel, and still respond in a way that is minimally corrosive to those around me, most particularly, our daughter, and the rest of my household members and partners. In poly networks, there are even more people potentially impacted by a dissolution in a relationship, and an opportunity to create options that don't include nuclear fallout. While I'm not quite sure how all of that may look as we move forward, it is firmly my goal to not salt the ground on which I stand, because a lot of others eat here as well.

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