#WLAMF no. 33: Black belt mistakes

Some time ago, I wrote about dating black belts. I prefer to date people who have already demonstrated the skills required to treat others well in a relationship–that is, people who are black belts at relationships.

It’s a common misconception among folks who’ve never done any martial arts that a person with a black belt has mastered the techniques of his discipline. That’s not true; in fact, a black belt merely shows you’ve got a handle on the basics, and are now ready to start learning the more advanced stuff.

#WLAMF no. 23: Relationship rights

Way back in 2003, I proposed a “secondary’s bill of rights” for polyamorous relationships. This Bill of Rights, much of which was written by my partner Shelly, came out of our attempts to navigate the hierarchical relationship I was in at the time with my ex-wife. My wife and I had radically different goals in relationship (I am intrinsically polyamorous, whereas she identifies as monogamous; I wanted to be free to let other people in to my heart, while she preferred to be the only person I loved, or, failing that, the one I loved the most), and the hierarchies we had in place were our clumsy attempt to negotiate those differences.

#WLAMF no. 18: Feeling worthy

I have said many times that one of the core secrets to good relationships is good partner selection. A huge number of relationship problems can be avoided up front simply by choosing good partners: partners with compatible ideas about relationships, with good communication and problem-solving skills, partners who are not abusive or controlling or entitled.

But there is a prerequisite to good partner selection. It’s one I don’t often think about, because it’s something I’ve always taken for granted. And I’ve become aware that I can’t take it for granted; indeed, it’s far from a given for many of us.

#WLAMF no. 12: The flip side of couple privilege

In our book More Than Two, one of the dangers Eve and I talk about with existing couples opening their relationship to polyamory is the problem of “couple privilege.”

“Couple privilege” is a set of assumptions and expectations, some external and some internal, that we make about relationships. No mater how hard we try to be egalitarian or treat new partners as “equal,” we can assert privileges–sometimes without intending to–in our existing relationships, and end up disempowering anyone we may start a new relationship with.

Backer question: What happens when poly relationships end?

One of the rewards for the More Than Two crowdfunding campaign is that, at $500 and above, we’ll answer a question on the blog (or write a post on the topic of your choice). This post presents our first backer question–and naturally it’s a doozy, with no easy answers. It also happens to be a topic we’re planning to cover in much more depth in the book.