#039: No, Poly Isn’t Easy (and Other Common Myths In The Community)
September 17, 2018
On today’s episode, we explore the four most harmful myths about polyamory… three of which are coming from INSIDE the poly community. We see these myths pop up time and time again, and want to debunk them once and for all to help folks build and sustain amazing relationships. Understanding these myths and taking action upon them will be an enormous step in your poly journey.
We also talk about this “new and improved” safeword chart some educators have been promoting as best practice on Facebook. Does this even LOOK serious to you?
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[7:13] A parody safe word color chart making its way across the internet is stirring up quite a conversation about safety and language in scenes. Safe words should be simple, and we suggest the tried and true spotlight system: green (good, keep going), yellow (time to slow down and/or try something else), red (stop now).
[16:10] Myth #1: Love is Enough, and It’s All We Need.
While we love the Beatles song, we are here to tell you that love is not all you need. The myth that if you love someone, everything will work out is evidenced in the statistic, (according to the American Psychological Association), that half of all married couples in the United States will divorce. Most likely they loved or still love each other, but there were other issues they weren’t able to resolve. Love isn’t the glue that binds broken relationships together magically. Relationships require skills, work and communication. While some prefer to learn from their own mistakes and be “self taught”, sometimes time may run out and the relationship may end before a solution is found. Others prefer to learn from a coach, or seek outside help for their issues.
[24:20] Myth #2: Poly is easy.
Often times, members of the poly community will explain their relationships to non poly folks as easy to navigate and dismiss poly-specific issues so their relationships are recognized as legitimate and valid. Then they take this “poly propaganda” and spread it to other poly folks. The belief that everyone else is happy all the time and that poly should be easy stunts individuals or groups from seeking the education and help they may really need, and doesn’t move us forward in discovering ourselves and others. Being Poly is perfectly doable, but it takes even more skill and work than being monogamous in a lot of ways. We should focus on the reality of our relationships and practical education instead of painting a picture of how things should look like to the outside world.
[36:37] Poly Myth #3: Poly Education Should Look a Certain Way.
Education comes in many forms, and the best way to learn is the one that fits the outcome you are looking for at the particular time you are looking for it. We support all forms of education, and it doesn’t have to be a situation where you pick just one. Education is valuable, so feel free to mix together the way you take in information – books, in person seminars, podcasts, blogs, coaches, etc. However, when you are seeking advice from your friends or metamours, there are some challenges. They themselves may be struggling with the same or other issues in their own personal relationships, and coming at your situation with a bias. Also, there is a big difference between knowing something and knowing how to teach it properly.
[43:11] We discuss therapy vs. coaching. If you need to create a massive change in your life, and are trying to piece together a lot of fragmented information to create a system, it may require personal attention. Both therapy and coaching have their place, but be sure that if/when you do seek out a professional, that they are poly or kink friendly. Therapy is good for assessing and treating trauma, emotional and mental disorders, and to uncover why something is happening. Coaches can provide motivation, accountability and help you to set up a system using specific skills and goals you need along the path to your destination. It is possible to seek out a coach while undergoing therapy, and we suggest you have both providers talk to one another so their advice and plans complement instead of conflict.
[52:01] Myth #4: Poly Education Should Be Free.
With education, you get what you pay for. In the poly or kink community there is a sentiment that educators should be volunteering, which is then relegating education to a hobby, and oftentimes our hobby’s are the first thing to get pushed aside when we need to focus on paying our bills. When you are in the mindset of paying for value that something brings into your life, relationships should always be one of the top investments. As our program has grown, people show up more, put in the work and get amazing results because they feel as though they have