I don’t agree with “rules” within relationships. I think sometimes people need to make agreements, but unlike rules, agreements are mutually consensual, not about one person dictating the behavior of others. I believe that being free to love others necessitates personal autonomy, and that becomes impossible if someone else is given the power to micromanage the details of your personal relationships. I believe people are always entitled to have personal boundaries, ie, “I’m not willing to do ______.” But this is not the same as saying “you’re not allowed to ______.” I’m of the opinion that genuine love and respect in relationships make rules unnecessary, and that without genuine love and respect, rules aren’t ultimately going to help you.
The focus of poly relationships isn’t intercourse, it’s intimacy. That means love, friendship, and yeah, sex.
Because we live in such a monogamy-centered society, it makes sense that many people can only conceive of non-monogamy in what ultimately still amounts to monogamous terms. There is a common misconception that a polyamorous relationship is really no different from an open-relationship agreement: one committed couple, with some lighthearted fun on the side. But the word “polyamory,” by definition, means loving more than one. Many of us have deeply committed relationships with more than one partner, with no hierarchy among them and no core “couple” at the heart of it all. To me, this notion that there must be one more important relationship, one true love, feels a lot like people looking at same-sex couples and thinking that one person must be the “man” in the relationship and the other must be the “woman.” After all, both of these misunderstandings result from people trying to graft their normative conceptions of love and relationships onto people who are partnering in non-normative ways. It seems that it is somewhat easy for many people to acknowledge that humans are capable of loving one person and still enjoying sex with others (assuming, of course, that the terms of their relationship make such behavior acceptable). But it is much harder for people to think outside the fairy-tale notion of “the one” and imagine that it might be possible to actually romantically love more than one person simultaneously.
Yes, jealousy happens. In and of it itself, jealousy is neither good nor bad. It’s how you choose to express and deal with it that determine whether it is good or bad.
Let us fit together like the land, sea, and sky.