A friend sent me a link to this great article by the brilliant Franklin Veaux on secondary relationships.
It explores what I think may have been the other reason I was taken aback by last night’s conversation.
You can’t always predict the natural form a relationship will take; trying to dictate the form of a relationship, or force a relationship to fit a mold that’s not natural for it, is almost certain to cause tension and stress.
I guess New Guy was trying to avoid the complications encountered by not setting boundaries, while I try to avoid complications encountered by trying to define a relationship from the outset. I’ve found that defining a relationship either way at the outset can lead to trouble down the line. However, being realistic about expectations is important too. I think it’s possible to strike a balance between the two; setting limits, but being open to changes that come along down the line.
It’s a great article and the whole site is an excellent poly resource.