The White Knight stands over his priority. He may warn her of danger he thinks may be ahead, she hears him, he trusts her judgement, but still stands by to protect her – hoping that he’s wrong but there to keep her safe if he’s right. Nothing changes that.
I’m not polyamorous. But I prefer myself and my priority to have the freedom to express ourselves as we choose. When you’re not in an exclusive relationship you have a few choices. The first is whether all those you meet with and play with are the same to you, no one ‘special’. Or whether there’s someone who is more important that the others, someone who takes priority.
Either of these are perfectly reasonable choices to make. I prefer to have someone I can make a priority, someone who’s needs comes above the needs of others. Someone who gets special consideration, holds a privileged position.
When you have an exclusive relationship, that privileged position is clear and obvious. How you show them they’re your priority is well defined. When you’re not in an exclusive relationship, it is less so. So it’s more important to understand what that priority means to avoid misunderstandings and assumptions that your priority may not share.
For some, it’s about you (as a couple) inviting others to join you – you can’t play unless you’re both there. For others it’s about seeking permission from your priority before you play. For others it’s just about showing, in the little ways, that they’re your priority wherever you are, whoever you’re with and whatever you’re doing. That’s likely to involve some sacrifices of passing whimsy, but that’s how you show it. And if you can’t make those little sacrifices of passing whimsy, then clearly, they’re no priority.
The more minimal the requirement, the more important it becomes to define it, and to stick to it. Because – quite simply – if the other person can’t see that they’re your priority, then they’ll decide they’re not really.
You may each think you show the other, or that the other will instinctively understand, but if you’re not showing them in the way they need, then trouble lies ahead. That’s why communication is so important. You need to listen to each other, and understand. Not fail to listen. That, too, will show them they’re not really a priority.
Much of it of course isn’t a choice: Are you the person they wake up thinking about? Are you their first [private] “good morning”? Are you their last [private] “goodnight”? Do you feel an urge to talk to them or to someone else, do you leave their messages hanging, unread, while you come on and offline chatting away to someone else? Because if your urge is to talk to someone else to the exclusion of them, then they’re going to realise they’re not your priority. Not because you’re being mean, or deceitful, just because of where your urge lies. If you feel no need to pick up their messages, that shows them very quickly how important you are to them.
But those are, in the grand scheme of things, trivial. The much more important things is how you both handle the times you’re with other people. But if they don’t make you their priority in those little things, how will you feel they might make you their priority when it matters?
Do you lie to them? Because if you do, then you do have an understanding that what you’re doing denies them their priority.
I like unprotected sex. I’ve had a vasectomy, so birth control isn’t an issue. While it’s perfectly alright for me to make risk assessments about the people I play with for me, it’s not okay to make those risk assessments for someone else. So if you’re not exclusive, you have two choices. Either tell each other everything you do with someone else, who it was, when it was so that your priority can make their own minds up about whether the person you’ve had unprotected sex with is safe, or don’t have unprotected sex with anyone but your priority. I prefer the second option. Yes, it requires a level of sacrifice if your whim is to have unprotected sex with someone else, but that’s no sacrifice if your priority is, in fact, a priority. No one who’s ever been my priority has felt differently.
Of course, you’d never know, would you? Which is why if you feel you’re not a priority from the small things you do know about, then red flags fly.
Priority is important. It has to mean something beyond the words being said. It has to be shown and it has to be seen. If I were your priority, then that has to be about things you do for me, how you act toward me, privileges you keep for me. It’s not about knowing you can rely on me, run to me, that I know you better than anyone else. Those are things I do for you.
We all have red lines, though, don’t we? I have mine. I think they’re pretty minimal…
- Never lie to me, however hurtful you think the truth might be, the lie will hurt more.
- Need only me. However much you want others, need only me.
- Accept what I give, whatever that is in the manner I intend it; my care, my protection, my love, my advice, my demand for your orgasms…
- Preserve *our* ability to express ourselves together unprotected, without concern or hinderance.
Surely that’s not too much? And if it is, I’m not your priority.
© Charles Rochester 2015