Linkthing: When You Give Permission To Experiment, You Give Permission For Honest Mistakes

Stuff has been super busy forever. There is some possibility of them getting less busy soon, though, which may result in actually writing The Blogthings. Meantime, this is pretty good:

“What’s this?” you ask.

“It’s milk,” they say.

“That’s whole milk,” you say, hands trembling.  “I needed skim.”

“It just says ‘milk’ on the list.”

“How could you not know what kind of milk I needed?”

“I’m lactose-intolerant, remember?  I don’t drink milk.  And I thought you drank whole…”

“I’m on my diet!” you cry.  “The one I started two months ago!  And now whole milk tastes disgusting to me!  I can’t drink this!”

Now, look, it’s reasonable to be a little pissy about it, especially if you had your stomach set for a delicious glass of milk.  (Mmm, milk.  My favorite drink.)  And clarifying what you mean when you say “milk” is certainly an action item to be discussed on the endless list of Shit We Need To Get Straight.

But if it’s two weeks later, and you’re still sulking and snapping about the time your trusted your partner, and they came home with whole milk, then you guys have got some work to do.


But that’s often how it is when people are starting with beginning polyamory.

The grocery store is not a grocery store, but some new partner they’re unsure of.  And the worry is not that your lover is going to buy an extra box of cookies, but that they’re going to do That Sexual Thing That You’re Totally Not Okay With.

And the milk?  That’s the miscommunication.  That’s where they thought that “kissing” meant “making out” was okay, and stopped when it got too hot and heavy, yet what you meant was “a kiss goodnight.”  That’s where they thought “going out on a date” meant “they could hold hands in public.”  That’s where they thought “cuddling” involved sexual tension, and you distinctly did not.

That’s super-common behavior for a partner who’s not sure they’re poly yet: straightjacketing their partner’s every new interaction with a thousand rules.  And some relationships feel they need training wheels at first, so the other partner can be sure that their partner is trustworthy.  (Some small segment of of them even do need them.)

But here’s the thing: If you give your partner permission to experiment, you have to give them permission to make honest mistakes.

Go read the rest: When You Give Permission To Experiment, You Give Permission For Honest Mistakes