Thursday, March 19, 2009

When you move at different paces


Yet another older piece resurrected for your reading enjoyment! ;)


One of the more challenging points of poly for us has been where one partner moves at a different speed than another. This can lend itself to one person feeling like they are holding another back, someone feeling like they are rushing a growth process on another, or just flat out being dragged backwards or forwards at a pace that is uncomfortable. With so many differences in the ways that we all process change, how does one pace the speed of growth in a way that is sustainable on a personal level, but more importantly, at a level that can work for existing relationships?

I am grateful for the influences of PG, who is a more cautious person than I in some ways. Generally, he's a deep thinker, who considers all the various aspects of a choice, processes how he might feel about it, what the ramifications may be, thinks it over again, then makes a decision. He provides me with a touchstone, an anchor, a more considered approach to many changes on a personal and business level. On the flip-side, he's also been known to be disturbed by a particularly bold haircut! ;)

Then there is my approach: Make a choice, run with it, process as you go, make tweaks as needed. Gee, you think that we might do this differently? S is getting his poly legs under him, but tends to be a bit closer to my style. It's a REALLY good thing we have PG to keep us grounded! The best thing is that I can totally rely on either of them to be supportive, tell me when they feel that I'm going off on a tangent, or to call me on my own crap. Particularly of help is the part where they point out how my own emotional stuff/past experiences might be coloring something that is going on currently. Talk about great resources!

As for the pacing part, it's something that I think will continue to be a force in the way that we form new connections, deal with issues, and create our direction in life together. All I know for sure is that the holding together is more important than superfluous change in the grand scheme of things, so I will strive to recognize the points where it would be better to circle wagons than make another six miles to the next camp!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Instead of the poly rule, "Move at the pace of the slowest person," I wish more people would communicate what happens in the way you've done in this post.

We do all have our own speed at which we get comfortable with and accommodate change. Those of you who have children know this from experience. There are the kids who transition easily from one state to another, and there are those who need a period of adjustment before they are comfortable with a new activity.

New poly relationships involve a similar, if not more fundamental, state change. In some cases they involve asking someone to accept a complete paradigm shift. If we focus only on those who appear to make transitions quickly we may do an injustice to those who shift from one state to another at a more measured pace. These are possibly innate differences in people, not matters of 'right' or 'wrong.'