More Than Two Question Index

I have been inspired by one of my favorite blogs (Poly.Land) to do a series answering the chapter end questions in the book More Than Two by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert.  I have been re-reading portions of the book and this blog series at the same time, so I thought this would be a good addition to that.

The Questions:

Chapter 1
Have I ever felt romantic love for more than one person at the same time?
Do I feel there can be only one “true” love or one “real” soulmate?
How important is my desire for multiple romantic relationships?
What do I want from my romantic life? Am I open to multiple sexual relationships, romantic relationships, or both? If I want more than one lover, what degree of closeness and intimacy do I expect, and what do I offer?
How important is transparency to me? If I have more than one lover, am I happy with them knowing about each other? If they have other lovers, am I happy knowing them?
How do I define commitment? Is it possible for me to commit to more than one person at a time, and if so, what would those commitments look like?
If I am already in a relationship, does my desire for others come from my dissatisfaction or unhappiness with my current relationship? If I were in a relationship that met my needs, would I still want multiple partners?

Chapter 2

What are my needs in relationships? Are they attached to specific people? That is, do I need these things generally, or do I need them just from certain people?
What configurations am I open to? Am I looking for a particular configuration because I’m afraid that others might be more scary or more threatening?
Am I flexible in what I’m looking for?
If my relationship changes, is that okay?
Can I accommodate change, even unexpected change or change I don’t like?
When I visualize the kind of relationship I want, how much space does it leave for new partners to shape the relationship to their needs?
Am I focusing on an idealized fantasy more than on making organic connections with real people?
What happens if I connect with someone in a way that differs from how I want my poly relationship to look? What message does that send to someone who doesn’t fit neatly into my dreams?

Chapter 3

(Ch. 3 questions are all asked in the context of ones to ask to evaluate whether your choices are ethical.)
Have I disclosed all relevant information to everyone affected by my decision?
Have I sought input from everyone affected? Have I obtained their consent where my decision overlaps their personal boundaries?
Does my decision impose obligations or expectations on others without their input or consent?
Am I seeking to have my needs met at the expense of the well-being of others?
Am I imposing consequences that will make others feel unsafe saying no to me?
Am I offering others the same consideration I expect from them?

Chapter 4

Why do I have romantic relationships? What do I get out of them?
What do I consider essential, indispensable elements of a relationship?
Are there specific kinds of relationships that I know I’m looking for? Kinds that I know I don’t want?
What do I bring to the table for others?
What makes me feel cherished, loved and secure?
What makes me feel afraid in relationships? Why?
In what ways do I protect myself from being hurt? Do those strategies help or hinder my search for connection?

Chapter 5

Why do I have relationships with other people? (see also 4.1)
What needs do I have from my partners, in terms of time, emotional availability, commitment, communication and intimacy?
What does “commitment” mean to me, and why? (see also 1.6)
When I think about the future, what does it look like? Is there room for change and growth? (see also 2.4 and 2.5)
How much do I value personal autonomy, transparency, cohabitation, having and raising children, shared finances, community, tradition, the opinions of my friends and family, adhering to social norms?
What values are the most important to me in myself and in others?
Are the choices I make in alignment with these values?
Who are my mirrors? Whom do I rely on to call me on my mistakes?
How do I respond to criticism from people close to me?
How do I evaluate my choices when the effects of my actions are impossible to predict?
What do I expect of others, and why?

Chapter 6

Do I use words the same way my partners do? Do I often find myself in discussions about the meanings of words?
If I have a problem with someone’s behavior, do I discuss the problem with that person?
If my partners have a problem with someone else’s behavior, do I encourage them to bring it up with that person?
Do I communicate passively or directly?
Do I look for hidden meanings in other people’s words? Do I bury my real meaning?
Do I communicate authentically in ways that make me vulnerable?
In what ways do I actively listen to my partners?

Chapter 7
How do I directly ask for what I need?
What can I do to be more direct in my communication?
If I hear a hidden meaning in a statement or a question, do I ask for clarification before acting on my assumptions?
Do I perceive criticism in my partner’s statements even if they aren’t directly critical?
What do I do to check in with my partners?
How well do I listen to my partners?
What do I do to make sure it’s safe for my partners to communicate with me, and to let them know it’s safe?
Does my communication show that I take responsibility for my actions and emotions?


The First Draw

So, today felt right to open my tarot deck and pull a single card for the day.

Today’s was Change (10 in the Major Arcana)

Yeah – that’s a particularly relevant card recently.  The change of seasons (that perpetual cycle), the change of routines, the change in political situations.

A quote from the book:

It has often been said that the only unchanging thing in the world is change itself.  Life is continuously changing, evolving, dying, and being reborn.  All opposites play a part in this vast circular pattern.  If you cling to the edge of the wheel you can get dizzy!  Move toward the center of the cyclone and relax, know that this too will pass.


Tarot (Again)

So, I bought my first Tarot set the other day, from the hippie coffeehouse near my work.  When I had started thinking about tarot again a few months ago, I went on a search for a deck that would match my ideas and my spirituality (trying to figure out how to tap into this – I lost my sense of it a few years back and am just starting to pick up bits and pieces).  I did tons of research into various designs, the guidebooks that came with them, what other (experienced) people thought about them and just let the information percolate for more than a month, then let it sit, to see what kind of coffee it produced.

Then I waited for this deck to come in.  I didn’t know whether they would actually restock at the coffeehouse, but I figured that patience was in order for this sort of thing.  But once day, they did restock, and I got the one I’d been waiting on: this deck.

A couple notes:

  • This is not my first tarot deck.  My first was a gift (as I’ve heard is the correct way to do it) – a tiny pocket sized deck that my mother gave me because she didn’t want it.  I used the heck out of that deck in high school – lots to think about during that period of my life.
  • I don’t believe in the tarot as a predictive or mystical force, just a way to contemplate and process what is going on in my life.  An odd sort of meditation, I suppose.
  • So, I plan on occasionally pulling single cards per day or doing a layout for meditative purposes, and I’m going to share what I get if I think it is relevant or intriguing.  I will not be offended if people skip over those – I know it’s not everyone’s bag.