Tips for dating poly folks when you’re monogamous

Written by DNGG on the sexuality-focused web magazine Fearless Press, "A Mono Girl's Guide to Dating Poly People" is a wonderful collection of tips for monogamous folks navigating the path of dating poly people.

DNGG begins with some background on herself. She has always been open to the concept of non-monogamy, but ultimately decided it wasn't her style:

To a degree, I took a long, hard look at non-monogamy and decided it wasn't for me. Poly seemed slightly more reasonable (assuming I could find a partner that believed in polyfidelity and wanted to keep our circle small). However, in the end, monogamy won out due to my personal preferences. The hard part in all of this is there isn't a great theoretical basis for my decision. I don't consider non-monogamy immoral. Polyamory isn't unnatural or something to be scorned. Those options simply don't work as well as monogamy does for me. I find myself happier when I only need to devote romantic, sexual attention toward one person.

DNGG had not had a huge amount of partners in her time when she happened upon the local kink and BDSM scene. Confronted with an array of alternative relationship structures, she began re-thinking things and dated a poly man for three years.

Having experienced such a relationship and now considering another mono/poly one, DNGG has some excellent tips for working through the "clash of ideologies" that might happen when a monogamous person dates a poly person. Here is tip #2:

Take time to define which aspects of monogamy, non-monogamy, or polyamory are the most important to you and voice them – This may seem like common sense, but many people launch into relationships without first examining what portion of their interactions with others means the most to them. If sex is a deeply emotionally connecting act for you, but your partner sees it as a fun activity that need not involve emotional connectivity, you're likely to have problems. While you don't have to share the exact same views, a monogamous person and a polyamorous person that share some basic beliefs (i.e. sex needs to occur within the bounds of emotional connectivity). This means that future conversations can stem from somewhat common ground.

Read all the tips on Fearless Press.

30 things to stop doing to yourself

Sometimes I read a piece that isn't about non-monogamy, but easily could be. "30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself" is one of those posts. From the self-improvement and productivity blog Marc and Angel Hack Life, this post is about behaviors that may be holding you back from happiness. Here are three particularly good points:

Stop spending time with the wrong people. -- Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn't have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it's not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you're at your worst that are your true friends . . .

Stop trying to be someone you're not. -- One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don't change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you . . .

Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. -- In life you'll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

Read all 30 suggestions here. There's also a follow-up called "30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself."

Multiple parent bill proposed in California

A new California bill proposed by Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco would allow a child to have more than two legal parents. Designed to benefit modern households such as gay couples, surrogacy arrangements, step-parents, adoptive parents, and folks using reproductive techniques that involve multiple people, the bill's goal is to make the lives of children easier.

Senator Leno first witnessed a shortcoming in the laws when, in 2011, he saw a young girl end up in foster care when her two mothers (her legally married parents) could not care for her. Although the girl had a relationship with her biological father, the court did not have the authority to appoint him as a legal parent.

A bill like this could potentially benefit poly folks. Anne at Life on the Swingset says:

For poly families, this would be a move towards greater legal recognition and protection . . .

Even if the bill passes (and that’s probably a big if), legal parenthood for multiple parents is still at the discretion of the court.  That means that poly families trying to ensure that all parents are legally recognized as such may still face discrimination and skepticism while trying to convince a judge that all three (or four or whatever) of them should be considered parents to the children in the household.  The designation of multiple parents can only be done if it is determined to be in the child's best interests.  It's far from a simple and straightforward process.  But for it to be possible at all would be an exciting step forward.

Opponents say this bill will only encourage "radical" and "experimental" family structures -- which, of course, according to them, do not benefit children.

The bill has passed the Senate and is now awaiting an Assembly vote.


Poly Coloradans talk to Out Front Colorado

The June issue of LGBT publication Out Front Colorado includes the headline "What We Can All Learn from the Poly Lifestyle." The article, written by the fabulous Shanna Katz, is moreso just about polyamory in general. It includes quotes from a Boulder relationship therapist as well as interviews with a few poly Coloradans. The quote that spurred the headline comes from the therapist, Dr. Jenni Skyler, who says:

Those who already operate from a place of non-monogamy, or are making the move to do so from a place of safety and trust, often find great benefits in the relationship as it pertains to communication. In short, non-monogamous relationships force partners to communicate deeply and to work with jealousy.

Read the rest on the Out Front Colorado website.