I’ve gotten some pokes from various sources saying that I’ve posted a lot about what to run away from, and what to avoid, but what about turning it around?
What do you say “yes” to?
- Mutual support of each others’ goals.
It’s good to cheer on a partner’s accomplishments and it’s good to have your own applauded. Good relationships recognize the personal development of each of its members. You’ve kept the kids quiet while your partner is studying, or you’ve had a partner gallantly put on sound-cancelling earphones so that you can learn to play the violin, haven’t you? That’s good stuff. Good relationships are encouraging of growth and learning.
Fun is sometimes underrated. A good relationship can and really ought to have an element of play to it where you’re doing nothing more useful than simple enjoyment. Play is good. You don’t have to have kids to have a squirtgun fight, and being able to lay on the grass and find shapes in the clouds with a love is a good thing.
- Feeling “heard”
When you’re confident that when you speak up, your partner will listen, it’s a very good sign, indeed. Now “listen” does not mean “will automatically do what you want”. It’s when you know that the person will try very hard to understand where you’re coming from, and is interested in your point of view.
- Feeling motivated to listen deeply
The flip side is your own willingness to return the same depth of attention to your partner. When you have a deep drive to understand that person into his bones, you’re coming from a good place.
- Celebrating individuality
A good relationship encourages you to develop yourself as a whole and complete individual. As much as you might want to be with your partner, in a good relationship, instead of feeling dependant, there will be a feeling of interdependence that comes from knowing in your bones you’re self-sufficient and are choosing the wonderful give and take of a relationship that makes being human good.
- Feeling accepted
In a good relationship, you’ll know your partner is fine with you being a geek, or an introvert, or that you’ve a constant desire for activity and company, or that you really just have to keep your cereal bowl in the fridge. You’ll feel good about accepting your partners’ quirks and eccentricities. In fact, the best relationships are the ones where you feel the most grounded in being you. In a good relationship, being fully yourself feels very good, indeed.
Poly is about relationships when it’s all said and done. While it’s much easier to list things to watch out for and run from, the sweet and subtle things to which saying “yes” is a goodness deserving a great deal of attention.