I’ve been spending a bit of time recently reading and following varies threads on poly discussion groups and forums.
I’ve noticed a few things about the poly community which I’ve found quite interesting
“polyamory is loving however/whoever makes you happy … as long as you aren’t unicorn-hunting, don’t operate a OPP, etc”.
From my perspective I can identify two relatively clearly defined tribes based upon the way they react to simple questions on forums and I’m going to try and define them.
There are those polyfolk for whom poly means;
“Everyone should be free to arrange their relationships however they see fit”
These include those that practice hierarchy with “primaries” and “secondaries”. It also generally covers the polyfidelitous triads and quads.
They generally consider boundaries to be okay as long as they are mutually negotiated. I believe this tribe are probably the largest and most common.
They most likely read and liked “Opening Up“.
Then there are those polyfolk for whom poly means
“everyone is responsible for their own happiness, and it’s unethical to expect another person to permanently restrict themselves for the sake of your insecurities”
They generally consider boundaries is a bad smell, and even if they might be necessary for some relationships, they’re purely used as training wheels.
Their ultimate goal will always be to eliminate boundaries and not accept or perpetuate them in any form.
These are the people who have self-defined, independent relationships with some number of friends and lovers.
These folks probably read and liked “The Ethical Slut”.
There is some crossover of people and ideas, but I tend to consider these tribes as two pretty well-defined ideological factions.
From what I’ve seen so far the two tribes seem to spend one hell of a lot of time arguing and writing hateful things about the other set without even realising what they’re doing.
It’s probably why we seem to see such a lot of internal drama on poly discussion groups and forums.
So Just because someone hasn’t gravitated to your personally preferred set of no-rules-except-my-rules polyamory doesn’t mean they aren’t open-minded or will someday see it your way “when they mature”.
We all have to consider that they might just be content with what they are doing already and perhaps agree to disagree.
Remember, polyamory is all about “love”, “communication” and “understanding”.