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?
Transparency is critical to me. It is important for me to be able to share my joys and sorrows in each relationship with my partners, and that requires at least knowing the others – I do not do well with these things on my own.
I am not only happy with them knowing each other, as well as knowing them myself, but I think that this makes everything run smoother. I don’t need people to be best friends, nor do I need to be best friends with my metamours, but having a good relationship, with lines of communication open (when wanted/needed) is solidly in the need category.
Let’s put it this way. Currently (and this is my preferred way of doing things, TBH) my polycule is part of my chosen family and I think, for the most part, we operate like a family. We know about each other, we talk with each other, we choose to exist in each others’ presence on occasion (actually, much more often than my bio-family). Each individual dyadic relationship within the family – between partners and metas – is different. Being a family doesn’t mean that we don’t ever have issues with each other, miscommunicate, or fail each other. For me, it means that I am happy and proud to be with them and that I consider it very worthwhile to improve our relationships overall (I can’t speak for anyone else in the group).
I do believe it is important to have our own private things, as long as they don’t do any harm to anyone else. I think that this helps keep things interesting and helps each person retain a sense of themselves as an individual in the context of their relationships (not being completely enveloped by the whole).