12-06-2011, 05:35 PM
I wonder what is the distinction between dating and being involved in a relationship (boyfriend/girlfriend) in poly. Mono people I think begin a serious relationship with exclusivity.. what's the poly equivalent? Say, your negotiated rules are complete freedom to see whomever you please.
12-06-2011, 05:46 PM
It's really hard to define for me. I think when you start considering the other person in your decision making process, it has become a relationship. When you're just casually dating someone, it's usually a weekend/whenever you have free time thing, but my boyfriend became my boyfriend when he started factoring me into his plans, and I did the same. Of course, when he and my husband met, that helped, too. :)
12-06-2011, 10:35 PM
I'm in a relationship when someone has dedicated time and space in my life. Not a rigid schedule but a mutual expectation. Someone I'm dating in terms of their time with me is necessarily tentative.
12-06-2011, 11:19 PM
I wonder what is the distinction between dating and being involved in a relationship (boyfriend/girlfriend) in poly. Mono people I think begin a serious relationship with exclusivity. what's the poly equivalent? Say, your negotiated rules are complete freedom to see whomever you please.
Up until last year, I had been monogamous my entire life. Back then I never expected that a date with someone had to turn into a relationship. I like meeting people, getting to know someone, and doing fun things. I never liked putting pressure on dates to audition for me so I could see if they were going to be relationship material. Fuck that. I would casually date several people and as I got to know them, eventually the ones that I didn't want to continue seeing were naturally "sifted out." Or one would stand out and command my attention, so we became monogamous. Agreeing to exclusivity was something significant, when we'd reached a point where we both wanted that. The moment when mono people say, "let's be exclusive" is a biggie. Until that time, there is no understanding that it is exclusive. Then of course, the commitment to being exclusive is equated with the relationship turning "serious."
I don't see it as being that much different in poly, when it is about committed relationships and not just casual fucking around. You date a few people, sift some out, until the gems remain. There is still commitment in poly, but it is just not to exclusivity. Instead of that all-important moment when two mono people agree to be exclusive, I think there must be an equally important moment when poly people agree to some form of commitment to each other. Otherwise, what would it be?
It isn't necessary for the agreement to be about moving toward building a life together for me to feel it is a committed relationship. For me, good relationships have affection, lightheartedness, caring, honest communication, and mutual respect at their center. First and foremost, one needs to find happiness, freedom, and security within oneself. Then the commitment with another person can be to sharing who we are with each other, standing side by side to offer emotional support, and to lift up a mirror when our partners need that. It's not necessarily about frequency or amount of time spent together, for me.