Notes summarised from 2 excellent documents:
Lack of Poly Education
Learning to be poly is a bit like learning to drive a car. Take advantage of the resources available – books, local groups, forums etc.
Lack of Basic Intimate Relationship Skills
Not developing good listening, communication, negotiation, trustworthiness, honesty and conflict resolution skills is a major contributing factor to failure
The Kid in the Candy Store Syndrome
Don’t let NRE with (lots of) new partners distract you from your duty to spend time and be loving with your existing ones
Hunting Ducks where the Ducks are and where they are not
Mono-poly is very challenging
Various ways we jump the gun
Pushing onward with unresolved issues
Letting guilt, fear and jealousy get the best of us
The quality of character is not determined by the kind of relationship you choose but by your actions in them
Worries about poly parenting
Be a visibly responsible parent first and foremost
Failing to get what poly demands of us all.
Act in good faith and be mindful of the best interests of all involved
Making assumptions about your partner or your relationship; not talking about everything
Be clear upfront about what your partner expects from you and vice versa
Ignoring the consequences of your actions--even the unintended consequences
When you hurt /disappoint your partner, that can and likely will affect your relationship with that partner, even if your partner explicitly gave you that power. Be aware of this and take responsibility for these effects
Trying to micromanage your feelings, or those of your partners
Rather make rules about actions than emotions
Destroying the village in order to save it
Related to 11
Expecting someone to develop the same relationship with both you and your partner
Rather construct inclusive relationships (friendship with metamours) than trying to force the above
Assuming that you can prevent jealousy by making sure you and your partner date the same person
Rather figure out the root of the jealousy and deal with that
Forgetting your priorities
Don’t get carried away; pay attention to what you’re doing. Take care to make all your partners feel loved, needed and secure.
Starting new relationships if your existing relationships have problems.
“Relationship broken – add more people” . Never a good idea.
Getting involved with an existing couple who haven't worked out what polyamory is all about.
Getting involved in polyamory if you're still not sure whether or not you have a poly relationship in the first place, or if you're not prepared to take responsibility for your actions
Assuming that needs not being met in one relationship can be met in another
Many needs are connected to a relationship, not to a person
Forcing your relationships to fit a predefined mold
Let your relationships be what they are
Isolating your relationships
Each relationship can and will exert an influence on the others.
Combining your relationships, or force them to act as a single relationship
Related to 20.
Spending all your time together can make it suffocating to have no space of our own
Separating yourself from your lover's other relationships
The reality of your lover’s other relationship is almost never as bad as the fear makes it out to be
Being afraid to put your foot down
Speak up if something bothers you
Expecting human beings to be rational all the time
Its important to be compassionate and respectful of your partner’s feelings even if they are irrational. Try to understand what they are feeling and why
Making unilateral life-altering decisions
Include partners in making life altering decisions. Just announcing major changes can alienate them
Not talking to all your partners. Relaying info through your other partners.
Relying on relayed information
Both 27 and 28 – ever play “broken telephone”? Same concept.
Moving too fast
There is no such thing as instant polyamory
Ignoring that little voice in your head
Proceed cautiously when your gut tells you something is wrong
Being afraid of change
Change is a feature, not a bug
Assuming every problem you encounter is related to polyamory
Isolate the root cause of the problem rather than simply blaming the problem on polyamory
Not making sure your actions and your intentions match
Say what you’re going to do, _do it_, then report on what you did. That makes you trustworthy. Claiming some positive attribute, then avoiding following through on the actions that support it, then denying the mismatch sends a clear message, not in your favour.
People broken add more relationships
Related to 16 but specifically about urgent personal mental health issues that need addressing first
-- South African Polyamory http://www.polyamory.co.za
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