Relationship models

A couple of weeks ago, I was hanging out with some friends who are in a polyamorous relationship. I was the only one there not part of that poly family.

As we were sitting around chatting, I asked a somewhat personal question of one of the others. I acknowledged that it was personal, but I was still curious. I got a nice answer to my question; the reply made it clear that they didn’t think the question was overly intrusive or personal.

However, it did not end there.

The other people in the relationship began to give their perspectives on issues raised by that question and its answer. It turned into a fairly intense discussion among them.

As I sat and listened to them talk, I realized a few things:

– They trusted me enough to have such a discussion in front of me. This made me feel good. It’s an honor to find yourself worthy of trust.

– I’ve often heard the poly mantra “Communicate, communicate, communicate.” But I’d never seen it in action before. This family was talking with each other, not “to” each other. They listened and responded. It was intense, but it was also calm and mature.

– It dawned on me that this is first time I’d ever seen a mature relationship dynamic in _any_ relationship. With my parents, they were either in dysfunctional mode (yelling or manipulating), or they kept everything hidden from the children. In my own relationships, due to my lack of experience in relationship models, I tended to either defer or flail about for answers.

It was a valuable experience. I thank them for allowing me to share it with them.

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