There’s an old saying which is rarely used today, but it’s meaning remains every bit as valid. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Essentially it refers to treating people the same as you’d like to be treated, but it goes further in suggesting you should have the same expectations as others expect of you. Think about a time a rule was explicitly enforced on you while you watched someone else blatantly ignore the rule then suffer no consequence for it. It’s common in the workplace. A co-worker befriends a member of management and comes in a few minutes late almost every day, but never is a word spoken of it. You come in late twice in one week and end up with a verbal warning, or worse. It’s an unfortunate tendency in human nature. For my friends, the world. Everyone else, the rules. Double standards in the workplace are frustrating, but typically there are resources to correct the situation. Double standards at home, or in intimate relationships, are far more complex. Relationships don’t have written rules so it’s up to each participant to set expectations and standards and stick to them. Here are a few ways to avoid power imbalances and double standards in your poly relationship.
Sticking with workplace examples to make the next point. At work there is usually a manager to oversee operations, ensure employees are performing up to par, and implement disciplinary action when needed. This is not how intimate relationships should work. Everyone involved in a relationship is a ‘manager’ of that relationship and should be treated as such. Even if you’re into power play, or other similar kink, it should not be the guiding principle of your day to day relationship. Indulge yourself, but don’t lose yourself. When you invite a new person into your existing relationship, you are fully welcoming their input about relationship structure and expectations. When a polygamous man finds a new sister wife, she needs to be equal to any existing wives. There are some areas where trust has to be developed, naturally, but no efforts should be made to thwart a new member of your poly group from expressing themselves to the fullest. If your desire is to limit or control others, it’s not love you’re after.
Even in the world of polyamorous relationships there is a surprising amount of unreasonable jealousy. I’ve lost count of the number of times poly friends have expressed that they want to date other people, but want their partner to only be with them. This is usually expressed with full knowledge that it’s ridiculous, but is a real feeling nonetheless. In a world with too many people clinging to the idea of relationships as a form of possession, it’s not easy to break the habit. In order to grow a polygamous family or polyamorous group there has to be an environment that encourages dating and free expression. Patriarchal structures add a layer of difficulty to this concept. In a polygamous family, usually it’s only the husband that dates prospective new sister wives. The only way to justify this is by ensuring each current wife is happy with the arrangement and knows she is also free to start dating if she ever wants to. Some people will balk at this idea, but don’t forget, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. It’s only fair. Marriage, of any type, stopped being about possession decades ago. Love is what keeps people together. Don’t poison it with a double standard based on your inability to trust.
Trust is such a trigger word. It’s hard to maintain, easy to lose, and is required for healthy relationships in every aspect of life. We will stop going to a restaurant after years of enjoying the place based on one bad experience. We’ll convince ourselves to drive two miles out of the way for something we need because an employee at the local shop had a bad day once and was rude. Trust is complicated. There is no easier time to employ a double standard than when we feel our trust has been tested. In situations with the local shop or restaurant the only damage our pettiness will cause is a little less business they likely won’t even notice. However, pettiness over silly incidents with the ones we love can cause irreversible damage. It can kick off a litany of power plays and double standards that will ensure the demise of even the strongest relationship. People will show the worst of themselves when they feel they have something to prove. The only thing we should be concerned with proving to a lover is our ability to love. Love is forgiving, supportive, and without nefarious intent.
Relationships come in so many forms it would be impossible to pin them all down. Each person involved in an arrangement brings a unique perspective that should mold the relationship into something that is beautiful to them. There is really no wrong way to have a relationship as long as it reflects all of the people in it. We make the most amazing things in this world when we bring all of our best ideas to the table. You have to love and trust each other. When you look for polyamorous dates you need to keep the current love in your life at the forefront of your heart. A relationship cannot be healthy if anyone feels neglected or unhappy. Never prioritize pride, selfish desires, or pettiness over the people you love. Remember this, and that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and you’ll have a strong platform to work from. Polygamy dating, poly dating, and maintaining happy relationships is enough work already. Don’t make it worse by ignoring a double standard when you see it, whether it’s your double standard or a lovers’. Love is always more important than ego.
Published By: Christopher Alesich
Matchmakers, Inc: Sisterwives.com-https://www.sisterwives.com/
Originally Published at Sister Wives-https://www.sisterwives.com/articles/article/103/poly-love-not-double-standards