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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Where do I sign?

Things pop into my head at the strangest times.

The other day I was in a business meeting where an officer of the company was talking about the company process of signing on new clients. A process which while working well for the Marketing Department didn't seem to be working so well for other departments. To sum things up they said "We partner with people quickly, get married right away, then go into therapy the next day to try and fix things".

My first thought was that they were talking about some of the poly people I know.

The next thing they said was "We need to see if there is a fit before signing if there is to be any hope of things working".

And again, I thought of poly people I have known.

More than once I have seen someone who seems to acquire, and quickly discard, partners in quick succession. It is almost as if they believe with the ability to have multiple partners the skills and energy required are automatically granted as well. Which in turn seems to instill the belief they should engage with any potential partner who comes their way. In short, they sign people up right away as partners and then (if they are at all dedicated to the relationship) enter almost immediately into "therapy" to make things work.

Personally I prefer to explore potential partners a bit before engaging them as actual partners. Sometimes to the extent I actually chase them away, or they get bored waiting for an actual relationship with me. That can be a bit frustrating but it seems to help eliminate the need for immediate therapy after entering a relationship.

I don't think fully exploring potential partners as I do is for everyone. Some people just have too much energy and fly through life full-tilt. For those people quickly entering relationships is a way of life and they probably wouldn't be happy functioning differently. But for those who jump into relationships, fall deeply in love almost overnight, then lament the loss of a short-lived romance maybe a bit more up front work would help provide longer lasting and more satisfying relationships.

As I mentioned earlier, "being poly" doesn't automatically provide the skills needed to be successfully poly. I think it is even possible that quickly jumping into poor fitting relationships can have a negative impact on a properly functioning existing relationship. Think of it as the polar opposite of NRE.

So the next time you are about to enter into a new relationship take a few moments and think about the emotional cost of therapy if things don't work out right. It just might be that a small investment of time up front will avoid the need for therapy the next day.