I have found in my own consensual non-monogamous life and in the consensual non-monogamous lives of my clients’, middle ground is hard to find. However, difficulty in finding middle ground is not particular to consensual non-monogamy. Finding middle ground is hard in most aspects of human life.
Finding middle ground can be difficult because to find middle ground ALL individuals involved must be willing to let go part of their own story to make room for part of another’s story. In consensual non-monogamy, middle ground is a moving target I believe. I say this because consensual non-monogamy can be very fluid. Each relationship or sexual experience we have with another has the potential to change us, change our story. When individual stories change, the middle changes between individuals.
Your story, the mixture of your culture, personal emotional experiences, somatic knowledge, and transpersonal experiences, has more meaning and importance to you than anyone else. People who love you bring their own culture, personal emotional experiences, somatic knowledge, and transpersonal experiences to situations. Finding middle ground in consensual non-monogamy means that you understand that your story is not truth. The failure to respect, reflect on, and accept a part of your lovers’ stories is a failure in finding middle ground. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, you may have to suspend your story to actually listen, not hear, but listen to your lovers’ story. Your lovers’ story does not have to be your truth, but it cannot automatically be false either.
How do we suspend our own stories? Pretend you are absolutely wrong for a moment. Stay there for a minute or two (or three or four or 40). If you are wrong about everything, what about your lovers’ thoughts could be true? What parts of your lovers’ stories make sense considering your lovers’ contexts, their cultures, personal emotional experiences, somatic knowledge, and transpersonal experiences? If you are just finding your voice, finding middle ground may not be the move for you at this moment. You may still not know enough about your own story to listen to anyone else’s. That is ok. We won’t always have the desire, patients, time, and ability to suspend your story. We remain human; we error. That’s ok. Your story IS important. It is just not the truth. Enjoy consensual non-monogamous life.