Category Archives: Community

Poly Gratitudes

120px-Cooking_cranberriesHappy Thanksgiving to all of you US folks (or anyone else) who celebrate it today!  Today I am grateful for the skills that I’ve learned through polyamory, which have helped to bring our tribe(s) into relative harmony and alignment that couldn’t have been imagined only two years ago.  I created my “usual” — fresh cranberry-orange sauce, an apple pie, and a pumpkin pie –  while my daughter made fresh bread with our breadmaker. My partner took the potatoes, the stuffing, and the turkey over to his ex’s house, and cooked them there.  I helped my daughter’s boyfriend’s family get costumed for the Dickens Fair this weekend, and then we headed over to my partner’s ex’s house, and consumed a marvelous feast and chatted while watching Rob Roy on DVD and enjoyed the attentions of a variety of domestic critters.  All in all, a good day.

I hope your day was as good, and I wish you a wonderful Holiday season.  I am thankful for you. :)

Because Love is always OK!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Have you checked out the “beta” version of my KISSable Agreements Workbook yet?  Only $10 via PayPal! :)

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

 

From Free Love to Polyamory (a Loving More teleseminar)

LOVE

Hey folks:

Ever wonder how we got from the Free Love movement in the 60′s/70′s, to the polyamory movement now? If so, you’re in luck! Loving More is doing another of their teleseminar series this coming week.  Check out the details below!

…because Love is ALWAYS ok!

~♥ Dawn

From Free Love to Polyamory
Thursday, November 14, 2013
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM America/Denver (Add to Calendar)You can choose to hear the audio for this meeting either through your computer speakers or by dialing the following conference call information with your phone:Conference Call : Toll Number: 213-416-1560 | Attendee Access Code: 201 9893
Please click here to register and receive your login instructions
Link not working? Copy the following URL into your browser
http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EA50DB83804B3B
Personal message from Loving More Nonprofit
From Free Love to Polyamory

A history of non-monogamy, open relationships and the future of the Polyamory Movement. This webinar goes through the rich history of the polyamory movement taking a look at the origins of marriage, monogamy, free love and the roots of the modern polyamory movement. Where do we go from here and what is the role of polyamory play in the future of family, love and relationships.

This webinar is $8 or free for current Loving More Donating Members. Members need to contact Robyn@LoveMore.com to receive member code.
Please include membership type; annual or monthly.

TODAY! Highlights of Loving More 2012 Survey, 6pm Pacific

Hey folks!  Check out this interesting Webinar from the folks who conducted the Loving More/NCSF Internet survey of self-identified polyamorous people!

October 17, 2013. 6:00PM Pacific*
Highlights of Loving More Polyamory Survey with
Jim Fleckenstein and Derrell W. Cox II, MA

From February 10th to April 2nd 2012, Loving More, with the endorsement of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) conducted an internet-based survey of over 4000 participants who self-identify as polyamorous. This is the largest survey of self-identified polyamorous individuals to date. Individuals were recruited through local and regional listserves, Loving More email list, the PolyResearchers list, the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality’s (IASHS) student and alumni lists, and the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists’ (AASECT) AltSex list. With the exception of five questions, all the questions were drawn from among those asked in the NORC’s[1] biennial General Social Survey (GSS) in order to compare a sample of the polyamory community with the general US adult population.

This free Webinar is a chance to learn about the survey results firsthand and includes 30 minute Q&A at the end.

Space is limited – Click here to register now.

This is a free webinar and space is limited  Click here to register now.
*Time listed is Mountain Time which is 9pm East Coast, 8pm Central and 6pm Pacific.

Presenters of the Loving More Survey Highlights:

Jim Fleckenstein

  • JimFOwner, The Earth Moved, LLC
  • Co-Editor, What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory (2009, 2012)
  • Presenter at six AASECT/SSSS conferences

Derrell W. Cox II, MA

  • DerrellDoctoral Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma
  • Presenter at several international scientific conferences in sexuality and in childhood development

This is a free webinar and space is limited  Click here to register now.

*7pm Mountain Time, which is 9pm East Coast, 8pm Central and 6pm Pacific.

Also, don’t miss the 3rd and FINAL free teleseminar on Jealousy that I’m doing with Kathy Labriola, next Monday, October 21st at 5:45pm Pacific.

Green First Aid KitGreen First Aid KitGreen First Aid Kit

“More Options for More Jealousy” is ANOTHER all new call, featuring a new relaxation meditation, more models and options for dealing with jealousy, and a step-by step process for examining your beliefs and fears around your jealousy triggers.  We’d love to have you join us! (or, if you can’t be on the call live, sign up anyway, and get the recording and the FREE “take home materials”!)

Hope you can make it to both of these interesting calls!

~♥ Dawn

PS:  Can’t make the calls live?  That’s OK!  Sign up anyway, because both of these WILL BE RECORDED.

Click here to register for “More Options for More Jealousy,” Monday Oct 21st at 5:45pm Pacific

Click here to register for TODAY’s “Highlights of the Loving More/NCSF 2012 Survey” at 6pm Pacific

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

 

Positive STI Test? Don’t Panic! (Yet)

gamblingsign.phpShould you freak out if you get a positive [STI] test?  Probably not, depending on the number of “false positives.”  Here’s the mathematical reasoning, based on a disease with a 1% rate in the population, where the test finds the diseases 100% of the time, but has a 5% “false positive” rate.

http://www.businessinsider.com/controversial-math-problems-markov-chain-cantor-coin-flip-2013-5#-27

The “moral” of the story? Don’t freak out (yet); instead, get a second opinion.

Of course, the exact numbers will depend on how accurate the test is, and exactly what the false positive rates are. But mathematically speaking, a positive test is not something to freak out about, at least not until there are TWO positive tests in a row.  Preferably by different testing methods.

Picture of condoms in a rainbow of colors

This, by the way, is why you really shouldn’t “out” someone publicly who’s just told you privately that they got a positive test, and are awaiting re-testing (while taking appropriate precautions not to unnecessarily expose others in the meantime, just in case).  Because the HIGH probability is that the re-test will be negative. Making a big deal about whether they’ve told absolutely everyone yet is just going to cause drama that is likely completely unnecessary.  Giving them a little empathy about how challenging it must be to get this result and how hard it is to wait, on the other hand, would probably be really welcome. :)

May you always love boldly, safely, and well!

~♥ Dawn

Want some help negotiating safer sex (or any other kind of) Agreements? I’m always happy to schedule a free 30 minute session (or 60 minutes for half price). Read what other people are saying about my work here. Or read more about making Agreements in my KISSable Agreements workbook entries. :)  Still got questions?  Feel free to contact me on my Love Outside the Box webpage.

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

 

Poly Speed Dating Goes to Boston!

Poly Speed Dating -- BostonWhy should singles or monogamous couples have all the fun?  That’s what Pepper Mint, Luke, and the other Poly Speed Dating organizers said to themselves a few years back, when they created the highly successful Poly Speed Dating events. Armed with moxie, a desire to serve the poly/open communities, and some wicked programming skills, they created a unique algorithm to allow the poly/open communities to experience the entertainment and relationship hookup possibilities inherent in “dating” 10 people — or groups of people — all in one evening.

I’ve been to a few PSD events myself, and they’re quite the ride.  Anywhere from dozens to in at least one case several hundreds of eager polyamorous/open people crowd into a room organized into groups of chairs, usually by twos, but in some cases in clumps. Daters can specify a dizzying array of options, including dating as a single, being open to (or only) dating groups, sexual orientation, gender (including several beyond the standard binary M or F), kinkiness (or lack thereof, called “vanilla”), geographical preferences, and other items.  Less specificity might get you more dates; more specificity may get you fewer dates, but ones that are more in tune with your particular wants and needs.  Each date lasts a few minutes, and daters have the opportunity to say whether they’d be open to more contact later.  Only if BOTH parties match on that, does the computer program reveal contact information to both parties. (After that, it’s up to you to do something about it.)

Since their inception, they’ve become popular in the SF Bay Area, and have spawned several sub-varieties, such as the specifically Queer-Friendly events.  Last year, the biggest ever (so far!) PSD took place in the ballroom at the highly successful “OPEN-SF” conference. [And for those who are interested, I have word from the organizers that YES, there is another OPEN-SF conference planned for 2014!  Hooray!  More news as I hear it.]

Now, Poly Speed Dating is going to Boston, and it promises to be one of the events of the year. (Hey, Alan, since it’s in your own backyard, are you gonna be there??)  Here are the details (you can get lots more at the PSD event page, too.)

Details:
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
At MOKSA, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA – www.moksarestaurant.com

 

• 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.
• A 5-minute walk from Central T.
• Check-in starts at 7pm. You must be there by 7:30. Event ends around 10pm.
• $20 per person if you pre-register, $30 at the door.
• We’ll provide snacks and soft drinks for you as part of your entry fee. There will be a full (pay) bar.
• No person turned away for lack of funds–please contact us!

If you have any questions about THIS event, email bostonpsd@polyspeeddating.com.

You can get yourself on the PSD mailing list for future events (in Boston or elsewhere) by writing to them at:
PSD@polyspeeddating.com

 

So if you’re poly/open, and in or near Boston, you’ll want to check it out.  It looks to be awesome fun.

 

And remember:  No matter what makes your love special, no matter how long or short that love is, no matter who and how many you love…

Love is ALWAYS OK!

~♥ Dawn

 

PS: Want to set up a time to talk with me about open relationships, polyamory, monogamy, and/or how to design your own best relationships? I’m happy to do a free 30 minute, or a 1/2 price 60 minute phone session with you. Get clear on what your relationship structure is, and underlying assumptions about rules and boundaries, and your relationship/s will be easier and happier! Or call me (510-686-3386) to set up a time!

love_is_ok_rainbow_heart_tshirt

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Interview with Kathy Labriola

kathyLabriola

Kathy Labriola, Author of Love In Abundance

The interview I did with Jessica Burde was so much fun, I decided to do another one!  This time I interviewed Kathy Labriola, well-known counselor/nurse, and author of the popular book on polyamory and open relationships, Love In Abundance: A Counselor’s Advice On Open Relationships.

As many of you know, Kathy is a great resource for people in polyamorous or open relationships. She’s been practicing some form of polyamory/open relationships for about 40 years, and has been counseling others for more than two decades. She’s very dedicated to serving the low-income population, and has been providing excellent advice for many years via her variety of free pamphlets, which she mailed out to any who requested them. Any by “mail” I mean she licked the stamp and dropped it in the mailbox, because she started long before the internet existed!

Cover of "Love In Abundance", by Kathy Labriola

Love In Abundance,” by Kathy Labriola

So I was very excited when Kathy accepted my offer to interview her, so I could share some of her great knowledge with others. As last time, we conducted this interview via Skype in audio only.  What I did not do this time, however, was to transcribe the interview. Sorry! You’ll need to listen to the recording in order to enjoy Kathy’s excellent discussion about the three main types of open relationships, and a few of her many tips on what makes people successful. And as a bonus, at the end of the interview, Kathy shares her favorite jokes about polyamory! (If you’d like to volunteer to do the transcription, both Kathy and I would appreciate it!)

Tip: If you right-click the link and open it in a new tab, you should see some sort of player for the interview. You could also choose to play it in iTunes. The interview is just over 18 minutes long.

DawnDavidsonInterviewsKathyLabriola4.1.13

If you’d like to order Kathy’s book, you can get it directly from her own website:
http://www.kathylabriola.com/Love-in-Abundance

You can also get it from Amazon (and if you click on the link below I’ll get a tiny, tiny percentage), but honestly, Kathy keeps more of it if you buy it directly from here: http://www.kathylabriola.com/Love-in-Abundance.

Hope you enjoy listening to the interview as much as we enjoyed recording it!

~♥ Dawn

PS: There’s more to come!  The same day we recorded this interview, Kathy also interviewed me.  So watch this space for another recording. Also, Kathy is in the process of writing a new book, The Jealousy Workbook (which will appear next spring from Greenery Press), to which I’ve contributed a technique for battling jealousy.  I’ll certainly be announcing it when it appears, so if you’d like advance notice on that, you can sign up for my LoveOTB List. (Kathy doesn’t have a list, though of course she’ll announce it on her website as well.)

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Poly Media Successes!

LMonOurAmerica

Chuy, Robyn, and John on “Our America”

Reports are coming in from all over that the poly segment of Our America that aired last night is a smashing success.  Alan M. of Poly In The News calls it “incredible,” and in one email to the Poly Leadership Network, said it would be “great publicity material for explaining the poly movement like forever.” :^D  You can see available video segments, and get a link to the re-broadcast schedule on Alan’s blog:

For those who missed the Oprah Winfrey Network’s incredibly good, hour-long poly documentary on “Our America” last night, you can watch the available video segments from it here:
http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/2013/03/our-america-poly-documentary-incredible.html

Yes it was that good.

The show will be rebroadcast next Tuesday night and maybe again later. Schedule:
http://www.oprah.com/own/tv-schedule/index.html?q=Our+America+with+Lisa+Ling+%28Season+2C%29&page=1#browse_top

 

There’s also a great segment on the Loving More organization itself:

 

(Deleted Scenes: National Organization for Polyamory Awareness)

And another about a poly family raising an 11-year-old child:

(Deleted Scenes: Polyamorous Family Raising 11 Year-Old Girl)

Wow!

Remember also that we in the East Bay Poly Potluck community will be hosting TWO viewing parties in the next week.  I think the Berkeley viewing is full up, but there is still room at the one in Antioch, which is this coming Sunday, March 10th.  Doors open at 2pm.

In the process of getting ready for the show, the Loving More folks (who were profiled on the Our America segment) have also been working extremely hard at an upgrade to the Loving More website. They rolled it out last night, and it looks awesome!

LMBanner

One of the things ON that new Loving More site is a link to a new article by yours truly. :)  It’s called Five Reasons Agreements Fail, and it’s a combo of the two entries I made here last month in my KISSable Agreements Workbook series.

If you’re interested in another preview from the book, you can also download the section on Getting to Win-Win-Win, which I gave out at the recent International Academic Polyamory conference in Berkeley. The pdf is free, though to get it you’ll need to give me a valid email address. By the way, that will also sign you up for my list, where you’ll get periodic tools and tips, and notification when my workbook actually appears in print (soon, now!) If you don’t want to stay on my list after you get the pdf, you can always unsubscribe, of course (though I hope you’ll stay.)

Hooray for fabulous progress in the understanding of polyamory in our culture!  Hooray for personal and business success for Loving More, and all the other poly families and groups who appeared on this show! And hooray for getting the word out about tips and tools for successful polyamorous relationships — both my own (via this blog and Loving More), those of others on the Loving More site and at other locations all over the ‘net, and the world.  Bit by bit, we really are creating that reality in which I want to live, where whoever you love, whatever forms that might take, or however many people you might love …

love_is_ok_rainbow_heart_tshirt

Love is always OK.

~♥ Dawn


∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Poly is Part of Our America

infinityheart

It’s official:  Poly IS part of America!
… or at least part of “Our America.” ;)

Tomorrow, Tuesday March 5th, [with a rebroadcast on March 12th, and perhaps more; check listings here] a whole episode devoted to polyamory will appear on the show Our America with Lisa Ling (10pm Eastern on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.)

[Check here for an update on this post], with links to videos on poly parenting, and Loving More Non-profit.

Preview: Monogamy’s Not for Everyone (“I Love You & You…&You”)
(http://www.oprah.com/own-our-america-lisa-ling/Preview-Monogamys-Not-for-Everyone-Video)

 

First Look: Plenty of Love to Go Around (“I Love You & You…&You”)
(http://www.oprah.com/own-our-america-lisa-ling/First-Look-Plenty-of-Love-to-Go-Around-Video)

And Lisa Ling herself is clear that poly is not exactly the same thing as either swinging or polygamy… because she’s already done episodes on both of those. :) [Hey, check it out! Reid Mihalko is front and center in his Sex Geek t-shirt in the promo pic for the Swingers Next Door episode!  Way to go, Reid. :)]

Robyn Trask of Loving More Nonprofit writes:

Loving More is very excited to announce an upcoming documentary on Polyamory. In August, 2012, we were contacted by producers from the show Our America with Lisa Ling. They were thinking of doing an episode on polyamory. We keep a list of people willing to talk to the press and TV media and set about helping them find families willing to be on camera. The more I spoke with the producers, the more interested they became in the Polyamory Movement and Loving More Nonprofit. We checked them out, as we always do, before forwarding the request. I spoke with Reid Mihalko who had worked with them on an episode about swinging. We watched the show on swinging along with several other documentary episodes of Our America and we were very impressed. We put them together with a family on the East Coast, a family of five adults all living together (Wes, Gina, Jessie, Shaun, Ginny). See their blog Polyskeptic.com

I had talked to one member of the family and to my delight they agreed to work with the Lisa Ling Show. They also filmed my family, Jesus (Chuy) my long term partner, John, whom I was in new relationship with (essentially filming a V-triad), and me as well as several people from our community here in Colorado. During the weekend Lisa did an interview with my sixteen year old daughter Marina, who has been raised in a polyamorous family. The show also found a triad in Vancouver, who I beleive all live together, to film as well. Essentially they have covered a nice cross section of polyamory in different configurations.

Working with the producers, crew and Lisa Ling, who is an award winning journalist, was a delight. We spent three full days filming at our home in Loveland, CO. Overall it was a fun experience and very different from other TV crews I have worked with. We were not able to announce it until now because we agreed to sign a nondisclosure.

We have no idea what the final film/documentary will show or how it will be edited. From experience both, in working with other television and media as well as the shows we have since watched on BDSM and a show on seniors in America, I am confident the show will be done well.

We are having a viewing party here in Colorado in north Denver. Email Robyn@lovemore.com if you are interested in the potluck/viewing party or to join Loving More Nonprofit on meetup groups Colorado. I know a few people elsewhere who are hosting a party or recording for people to see later [e.g., we're hosting two viewings through the East Bay Poly Potluck and Discussion Group on 3/10 and 3/14; contact Dawn on her website (or by email at LoveOTB@gmail.com) for details!)]

Best wishes to all the families and poly groupings who appeared on this show.  It’s never easy to be this far outside the box (as I well know: e.g., [Nat Geo (cameo)] [Montel 2005 pt 1]). But with the risks, comes the possibility of creating a better world for all poly folks (and other relationship explorers.) Thanks to everyone involved for their part in helping it “get better” for polyamorous folks.

~♥ Dawn

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[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Sharing the Love (More) Safely

Qpid.me drawing of two stick figures sharing a heart outline

I was recently introduced to a new resource for managing safer sex and testing results.  It’s called Qpid.me, and it claims to be “A free, simple way to share your verified STD results” by registering with them, and having your results sent directly from your doctor to their private database.

Here’s what they say on their website:

To make informed sexual health decisions, you must not only be informed about your own health, but also about your partner’s health as well. We enable you to privately share your STD [Sexually Transmitted Disease, aka Sexually Transmitted Infection or STI] status however you choose. We believe that sharing is a good thing and that it can lead to better sexual health decisions, more (safe) sex and fewer STDs.

The service is limited, and doesn’t include a couple of important STIs (e.g., HSV, aka Herpes), and so far doesn’t seem to include a way to make any statement (or have your doctor make a statement) about those STIs, either.  Here’s the list of what they DO cover (from their FAQ):

  • » HIV: PCR/RNA, antibody and viral load (for HIV positive users)
  • » Gonorrhea: genital/urine, rectal and oral
  • » Chlamydia: genital/urine, rectal and oral
  • » Syphilis
  • » Hepatitis C antibody
  • » HPV vaccine
  • » Hepatitis A vaccine

I myself have some concerns over this whole idea, around the idea of the results being useable to potentially stigmatize someone/s in the community who turns up “positive” for something.  On the other hand, stigmatizing is certainly being done NOW, without benefit of this service to speed up the process, so I’m not sure how much actual increased risk there is.

BerkeleyFreeClinic.logo

I’m also concerned about things like financial accessibility, and that requiring a certain kind of testing might become a way to effectively marginalize some less-privileged parts of the community. Of course, there are some free or low-cost resources available, at least in most urban areas in the US (e.g., Berkeley Free Clinic), but in the current economic and social climate, this certainly is not a guarantee for everyone in all areas… and even if you live somewhere that’s covered by such services, accessing them can be more than a little bit of a hassle. (Not to mention the issues inherent with contributing to the unsustainable medical-industrial-complex in the US. (Thanks to Charlie Glickman in Twitter for that link))

One of the other things I’m concerned about is the common misconception that clear test results mean there is no risk of getting an STI. It doesn’t.  It’s incredibly important to remember that testing gives you a snapshot at a particular point in time, and that any sexual contact with others means that the snapshot may no longer be 100% accurate (see more about the “window period”).  Depending on how active you and/or your partner/s are, the accuracy could range anywhere from “still good” to “completely false.” Clear tests are never a substitute for good safer sex practices (e.g., consistent and correct condom use, and being mindful about cross-contamination), honest conversations with your prospective partner/s, and possibly having a Safer Sex Agreement (whether that’s something that’s “only” an Agreement with yourself, or whether that includes 1 or more partners as well.)  Remember also that any Agreements you make are best made in advance of clothes coming off, and when everyone’s awake and sober!

Picture of condoms in a rainbow of colors

In any case, I thought this might be of interest to some folks here, as one part of a comprehensive Safer Sex Agreement or plan.

(And now my brain is suddenly full of  images of eggs and juice and the phrase “[brand name cereal] is part of a complete breakfast”! *chuckle*)

May you always love boldly, safely, and well!

~♥ Dawn

Want some help negotiating safer sex (or any other kind of) Agreements? I’m always happy to schedule a free 30 minute session (or 60 minutes for half price). And if you act before the end of February, you can still get my Valentine’s Day coaching discounts.

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Agreements: Good Faith Efforts

Two stylized hands clasping, forming a heart. Copyright-free symbol designed by Ravi Poovaiah, Professor, IDC, IIT Bombay.This entry in my Agreements Workbook Series (aka “KISSable Agreements) series, is the second of three discussing some Caveats and Assumptions in making Agreements. Read more below about Good Faith Efforts and why they’re so important in making mutual Agreements.

And remember, I’ll be giving a short presentation on the topic of Agreements at the upcoming Academic Poly Conference in Berkeley, CA, this weekend (February 15-17). My presentation is currently scheduled for mid-afternoon on Saturday in the parallel non-academic track. (You can still register here!)

Questions or comments?  As always, feel free to comment below, contact me here, or on my FB Page, Love Outside The Box!

~♥ Dawn

LoveOTB_DkPurp_72px_ClipPS:  It’s not too late to take advantage of my Valentine’s coaching specials! Want to know more? You can find out what other people have to say about my work here. :)

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Caveats and Assumptions (Part 2 of 3)

Good Faith Efforts Are Necessary

Back in Tip #2 (Clear Standards and Consequences), we talked about respect, and a little about negotiating in “good faith.”  What does that mean?  It means that for Agreements to work, all parties must be respecting themselves and each other, and being honest with themselves and each other (and by extension, the world.)  Yes, “stuff happens,” and Agreements aren’t always able to be kept. However, if one or more parties enter into the Agreement in “bad faith,” i.e., never intending that it be kept, or knowingly choosing a path that will hurt the other/s, then the Agreement was untenable from the first. No amount of writing and re-writing Agreements will ever produce one that will work for everyone.

“In contract law, the implied covenant of good faith is a general presumption that the parties to a contract will deal with each other honestly, fairly, and in good faith, so as to not destroy the right of the other party or parties to receive the benefits of the contract.

Wikipedia article on “Good Faith (law),” Feb. 11, 2013 (emphasis added)

HandShakeManAndWoman

Conversely, it’s generally important to assume good faith, in absence of evidence to the contrary. Suspicion breeds mistrust, and that generally leads to a downward spiral. This is because mistrust is usually met with defensiveness, which most people interpret (rightly or wrongly) as slightly hostile, which leads to more defensiveness and hostility, ad nauseum. Starting from a place of neutrality, or if possible, assuming good faith, will lead to the most positive benefits to be gained from the situation.

How can you tell if someone is negotiating in good faith?  One way that serves me well, is neatly encapsulated here by my friend (and curator of the Polyamory Archive Collection at the Kinsey Institute):

 “Listen Carefully to What People Do”  –Ken Haslam

In other words, in single dealings, it can be hard to tell, but in multiple encounters, a pattern of behavior will probably emerge.  Ultimately the most important thing, in my opinion, is that all parties are honest with themselves and each other. With that in place, the rest can be dealt with over time.

[Up next in the Agreements Workbook series: The 3rd of 3 entries on Caveats and Assumptions.]

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[© 2013 Dawn M. Davidson]

Note that these entries are all rough drafts, and thus are probably missing things like references. If you know the perfect reference to add, feel free to suggest it! I always like to add to my resource collection.

 

[Next Entry: Culture Clash and Other Caveats to Agreements (3 of 3 on Caveats and Assumptions)]

[Related Entry: Is It Over? (Agreements Appendix C) ]

[Previous Entry: When Agreements Fail: Competency (1 of 3 on Caveats and Assumptions)]

[Return to the Table of Contents for the Agreements Workbook Series]

[Return to the first text entry in the Agreements Workbook series]

 

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

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∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥