In any community, romantic relationships begin, mature and end in one form or another. These times mark emotional and sensitive times for all involved. For a community
to be cohesive the community must honor the deep emotional waters of any meaningful relationship.

Goals:


  • Honor the beginning and ending of deep sexual relationships as long as they are in place.
  • Clarify for the community what commitments are currently in place.
  • Provide a clear framework for respect and movement of relationship status.

Strategy:

  • By formalizing the beginnings and endings of romantic couplehood in the community, the clarity to support active relationships is provided, while lifting the burden of individual communication and aiming for ongoing goodwill as partners shift within the community.
Protocols:

  • Any sexual/romantic relationship that begins is honored at the weekly community meeting.
  • The ritual is filmed and archived for anyone who is not present with the meeting and is on the app.
  • In the ritual several things are clarified by the couple stating them:
    • The intention of the relationship.
    • The sexual boundaries of the relationship: open, closed etc.
    • The time commitment, if any, in the relationship.
    • The challenges are both people want support to grow the relationship.
    • The protocol for stating interest in either party in the relationship.
    • The feelings for both partners.
  • ​Similarly, the ending of any romantic couplehood is honored in an ending ritual:
    • ​The formal ending or change in the romantic/sexual relationship.
    • The reasons for the ending.
    • The feelings of both parties involved.
    • The openness of either party and their preferences for romantic/sexual relationships.
  • ​​Community concerns in both cases can also be voiced and listened to.
  • Should a couple wish, they can design their own celebration/ritual beyond this scope.
  • This may or may not include legal marriage and divorce if preferred.
  • Each community member makes a pledge to support the stated relationship when it begins.
  • In the event of infidelity, both parties in the infidelity will apologize to the community for breaking the integrity of the circle and listen to the impact this has on anyone who wishes to speak.
  • The statement: "Anyone is free to enter and to leave a romantic relationship with another member of the community. What we ask is that respect is shown for the feelings involved by honoring all sides through this ritual. Request for mediation/support within the community or by outside professionals is encouraged and supported."
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