Here’s what it boils down to, dear Magpies: if you can’t hold a boundary for yourself until she knows her own boundaries, then you’re taking advantage of the poly-novice.
And yes, that’s a of emotional labor to do for someone! It can be painstaking and challenging and you may not even end up being her partner. In the longer term, it is always worth it to gently push back on people to empower them in their own agency, and support them to understand what it means to be ‘at choice’ in all things. Let other people be her guides, lend her your books and connect her to the communities.
Tarnished by many Magpies, I can bite my tongue no longer. And no one deserves to be tarnished by ignorance to what’s happening beneath the surface.
It seems to be a too-common trope, especially amongst people still fresh to polyamory, that if you aren’t sexually attracted to them, then your metamour needs to be enthusiastically tolerated. I’ve been there and tried that- tolerating my metamour- and I noticed that, for me, it affected my relationship with the shared partner.
At a very fundamental level, I believe we are all in relationship to one another. And, the moment you start engaging with someone who has multiple relationships, you are forging your own relationships to those relations. I’ve become what would be termed a “Kitchen Table Polyamorist” (as opposed to the compartmentalised “Kitchen Cupboard” style of polyamory, or Parallel Polyamory where you know about your metamours but don’t talk about them).
You might have metamours who end up (directly or indirectly) hurting you- even in ways that have nothing to do with your partner- and that pain may still be felt long after the relationship you shared is done (been there, done that).
You might have partners who refuse or are resistant to meeting your other partners, their own metamours.
She may be looking to you to create a blanket of security for herself- and by so doing, unconsciously bypassing the deeper issues she needs to address. Not just the “I don’t want to go out tonight” No, but her “I can’t be around that person” No.
The “I have a hard line No to this kind of behavior” kind of No.And a lifetime of good, giving and game leads us to tolerate a lot of bullshit from a lot of people until we grow numb to the bullshit and begin to tolerate the death of personal joy instead.When you’ve lived a life repressed in relationship, the candy store of polyamory can seem so golden and desirable…I enjoy not just meeting my partners’ other partners, I also desire to form friendships with them and have an enthusiastically positive relationship with them.And that kind of friendship can’t be forced, or feel obligated, it’s something I desire to be authentic.We who are raised as women are told that boundaries are bad, limiting, and ruin the fun.