I’m going to make a shitty generalization that is based in enough truth that I don’t think many will debate me. Married people barely listen to each other. Or if they do, it’s only in circumstances where they are forced to deal with the other’s decision power.
Otherwise, married people often experience a sad and serious downward decline in their ability to give a fuck about the words of their spouse. And this gets to comical proportions sometimes, but ultimately it’s not productive or the way to avoid problematic patterns.
Listening is vital to relationship expansion. And in polyamory, we HAVE TO listen to various things at various times. Often they are hard and spark jealousy. Often they are insightful and inspire compersion.
You never know what you’re going to get when you sit down to have a moment of truth with your partner! They could confess a desire to transition genders, to explore other partners, to take a break, to have a threesome, to stop listening to your requests for anal sex, or any other number of shocking revelations. You can’t just say, “Yes, dear,” and turn over to watch Netflix like a married couple might try to get away with.
When shifts and changes come in the waves of polyamorous passion, one has to ride them with new presence of focus underfoot immediately. One can’t think of the next or the wave that might be coming, or one will fall the fuck down and make a messy splash.
In polyamory, we have to constantly practice listening to keep things fresh, clean, and productive. If things aren’t changing very much, then there may not be much to listen to changing and adjusting, but that may not last, and that’s the point of polyamory.
The moment someone meets someone else, they should be able to come to you and say, “Hey, I met someone last night, and we kissed. And I liked it.” To keep things together with them means you have listened to them clearly, and listened to your own feelings which were hopefully happy.
So yes, the final question to provide the answer to is: how much of your poly partner’s sexual, emotional, or intellectual connection with others are you able to listen to?
Your answer is a parallel to your level of trust.
Thanks for listening,