A few weeks ago, I spent some time riffing on polyamory and finance and I ended with the idea that both polyamory and money stuff require us to set priorities, and which priorities we set affects the decisions we make. For polyamory, I mentioned three choices we make:
- to prioritize our need or desire for multiple relationships over society’s push for monogamy
- to prioritize the individual or the group in our relationships
- to prioritize entwinement or autonomy
This week we’re talking about the choice to prioritize the individual or the group.
Is your polyamory individual or group focused?
I wrote about prioritizing the individual vs prioritizing the group extensively in The Polyamorous Home. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, I’m using two quotes from the book to summarize:
What does it mean to prioritize the individual?
It means each member of the family is responsible for their own well being. This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t ask for what you need. But it does mean that no one has a responsibility to give you what you ask for. They are not responsible for you, you are.
Essentially, when you agree to put the community first you are creating a symbiotic relationship. You agree to give up some of your right to self-determination, and the group agrees to be responsible for and take care of you, as long as you abide by the rules and take care of the group. If this symbiosis is forgotten, then prioritizing the community quickly becomes dangerous to the individual.
Most of the current polyam leaders strongly favor and support prioritizing the individual. In general, I agree, but there are people for whom prioritizing the group is the right choice. For more on both (and how not to be an ass to your polyam partners no matter which you choose), pick up the Polyamorous Home.
How Does Group Vs Individual Affect Money?
The decision to prioritize the group vs the individual has a big impact on how you handle your money.
If you prioritize the individual, then decisions about money are based on what is best for YOU. If you prioritize the group, then decisions about money are going to be based on what is best for the GROUP.