Give and Take in Poly Relationships

We all need things. That’s the difference between a stranger and a friend. A stranger is a person who wouldn’t give you their last dollar, or maybe even the time of day, while a friend is a person who would give you their jacket if you were cold, and their last dollar if you needed it. If nothing else, that’s one of the main criteria of connection that is meaningful.

But there’s a limit, and that’s what separates a friend from an enemy, ha ha. One friend never needs you to lend them the shirt off your back, nor any of your life savings; your worst friend has asked you for your last dollar and for your favorite sweater during the fucking worst winter, ugh. That person is borderline enemy.

When poly lovers come into the scenario, the question is: How much do you allow them to take? We never know until they start making little requests here and there. You see their values. Their concerns. Their intentions. Those for sure are seen.

Can you do this for me? Can you get that for me? Can you meet me here? Can we go out to this event together? These are the things that take time, take energy, take heart, and take soul from everyone trying to make things happen happily.

Who do you give the most energy to? Who gets the most of your self? I know who asks me for a lot, and who asks me for a little. I know who takes too much, and who never takes enough. They all create the poly spectrum of generosity which I can accommodate, and being able to give enough or a substantial amount of oneself to people is the essence of polyamory.

It’s time, space, energy, emotion, awareness, compassion, limits—giving is the name of this game. The whole thing is about balance. Give and take to be living great! Take too much and your poly partners are going to give you up, and you’ll need to take a time out!

Addi Stewart

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