by Eve Rickert
I want nothing from you for which the giving doesn’t make you happy.
I want you to be no one but yourself for me.
I want you in my life, but only if my presence in yours enriches it in some way.
When you are with me, I assume you are there because you want to be, because there is something you get out of being with me. I assume what I offer is unique and can’t be replaced by someone else. I won’t try to bind you to me by preventing you from having experiences I can’t personally offer.
Your gifts of any part of yourself are just that, gifts. They aren’t promises, they aren’t currency. Giving me something will not make me expect further gifts, nor does it entitle you to anything from me.
Likewise, anything I give you is given freely, without expectation of anything in return, unless we’ve agreed otherwise.
This is all, of course, easier said than done. Which is why I want you to challenge me if I ever behave in a way that is not in accordance with these principles. Like I said, this is hard to live by and those who know me well will know just how often I stumble in trying to follow them. Still, I see them as a kind of mission statement, something I strive for, even when I fail.
About the Author
Eve Rickert, co-author of More Than Two, has been living poly since 2008. She is a professional writer and editor, and is founder and mastermind of Talk Science To Me in Vancouver, which helps people to formulate and express their research. More Than Two is a non-judgemental, humorous guide to the ethics and philosophies of polyamory and some of the mistakes you can make along the way.