One of the faster ways to start an online pie fight is to bring up the topic of hierarchical relationships.
Some non-monogamous people practice hierarchy, in which one relationship is favored above others. (This is often the case, for example, when a married couple enters into polyamory.) And, perhaps understandably, other people find ranking relationships distasteful and/or an invitation to treat other partners poorly.
But it’s worth noting that There’s a difference between a descriptive hierarchy and a prescriptive one. Descriptive is saying “I live with X and lived with them 20 years before Y came along, so there are aspects to that relationship not matched by the other.” Prescriptive is saying, “X will always be my #1, and no other may be allowed to rival that relationship.” It’s the difference between what is and what will be.
We will always have more experience with one partner than another. But so long as:
- Duration of relationship does not equal or imply intensity or value of that relationship;
- What one partner gets does not depend on what the other partner gets;
- And neither can veto decisions about the other,