04-20-2012, 05:06 PM
My nick name is Amy and I am a female in my mid-twentys. My whole life I have loved many people, and I fall in love very easily. I am just someone who wants to share my soul and connect with everyone on this earth. I have always felt this way, but have been in a mono relationship for 4 years. I have had romantic feelings for MANY other people during that time, but I did not act on it unless we were broken up... which happened a lot in our on and off relationship.
About 6 months ago, I discovered something about myself...that I just want to love and share my life romantically with more than one person and until last week I did not know that it had a name...polyamory. I have always felt monogamy to be wrong in my heart and I had always thought I was just a strange girl because my partner always says " If you truly love someone you do not think of anyone else". My partner says that he has never loved anyone else and that I am his always and forever. Is sad to hear, because although I love him and feel we belong together... he is extremely monogamous and would be torn apart if he knew I wanted to be in other relationships. The conversation alone would be painful to him.
Anyways, thats me and my story. I am just taking this journey and I know everything will work out the way its supposed to. I will talk to my boyfriend slowly about this, because I love him and honesty is important to me.
Thank you for being here and helping me to feel like I am not alone. You have really opened my heart and eyes. I love you all and am grateful that you are here for me and other people who are searching for answers.
Welcome, Amy. This forum is a wealth of information, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
Are you and your boyfriend currently "on" or "off?" It seemed like you are together, but I wanted to clarify. :)
04-20-2012, 10:05 PM
Welcome to our forum.
I think you have the right idea, you should talk to your boyfriend about polyamory, but you should do it in very small pieces, since it might be a difficult topic for him.
I once came across the following words of wisdom from a man on Polyamorous Percolations (http://polyamoryonline.org/smf/index.php?topic=1599.msg9230#msg9230):
"Coming out to a close partner is a little different than coming out to others, but most of the principles are the same.
This method isn't the one we wish -- quick and simple, however, I'm pretty certain it's got a much higher rate of positive results. These are some thoughts I've been formulating about coming out. Credit must be given to two important sources of information about this -- Mistress Matisse (from a PolyWeekly broadcast) and 'Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.'
When coming out, it's important to keep certain important aspects of human psychology in mind.
1) Understanding: People rarely understand or accept new concepts quickly. When exposed to them, whether new ideas within polyamory or quantum physics, they tend to compartmentalize them into the 'boxes' or categories they already understand, no matter how poor the fit. For polyamory, few of these boxes are considered nice -- cheating, taking sexual advantage, immorality, polygamy, promiscuity, just to name a few. It takes time to form a new way of thinking, a new 'box' to put this information in.
We all carry tons of unspoken assumptions about everything. Think of how many of us carry assumptions about polygamy in the Arabic countries. We may be correct in certain cases, but we are certainly wrong in many others. These assumptions need to be exposed as assumptions, not allowed to remain as assumed 'fact'.
2) Handling Change: People rarely handle change quickly. It takes time to get used to certain kinds of change, especially if you don't necessarily consider the change good.
3) Consistency: Once a person has made a decision or decided on a course of action, there is a strong tendency to keep it. This is usually a good thing -- we wouldn't want friends or coworkers that said they would do something and were completely unpredictable about doing it. Unfortunately, this means that committing to even a small course of action tends to generate it's own inertia and a person will rationalize that course of action justifying it to themselves to keep in that direction. Door to door salesmen recognized this early after the 'three day cooling off' laws came into effect. They were able to improve the sales they 'kept' simply by having the customer fill out the sales form. This small 'commitment' of filling out the form changed the numbers of people *not* calling back to cancel the sale from 25% up to 75%. Not only that, but the customers were usually more satisfied with the purchase, given they rationalized they wanted it more and felt less 'hard sold' into buying.
The implication for coming out is if a person isn't allowed to come to terms with you being who you are and take a negative position on it, they will tend to stay that way much longer than logic and the information warranting it, is valid. They will form rationalizations to support their decision.
4) Fight or flight: Most of us, consciously or subconsciously, tend to come out in almost as a form of challenge. 'Accept me or Don't.' It's a way of protecting ourselves against not being accepted. Unfortunately we have, as conscious animals, developed a pattern of either fighting or running away when challenged.
What this all means:
We all tend to see coming out as a simple 'I am poly,' 'I am a woman born in a man's body,' or 'I am gay.' Unfortunately, done that way we set ourselves up to lose friends and family at a much higher rate. It sets us up to fail at what we really wish to happen -- be accepted for who we are.
Coming out -- How should we do it?
1) First talk about the subject in an impersonal way, as an abstract subject having nothing to do with you. This allows a person to form the proper mental understanding (the proper 'boxes') for the information they have been given. It allows them to ask harder questions than if the issue was in terms of you. It gives them time to get used to the ideas involved.
2) Talk about it in terms of people you know, this allows it to become less abstract, more real world. This humanizes a potentially foreign concept. It's easy to dismiss having two wives when you can just say 'Oh, that's just an Arab, they oppress women and the women don't know any better.' It's much harder to dismiss when you talk about your friend Christi who has a live-in boyfriend and girlfriend, and who are both quite happy about the relationship.
3) After some time (I'd give at least a few days, preferably a few months), then bridging into telling them 'who you are' is easier and much more likely to succeed in having them accept it and you. Often by this time, they've already 'figured it out' and will make coming out that much easier. They may disagree with the concepts, the morality, or even some basic assumptions about the situation, but they are MUCH more likely to accept this, when handled in this way. Some people still won't, but we are talking about improving odds here, not a perfect method for having people accept you."
Hope that's somewhat helpful.
You and your boyfriend will have quite a challenge ahead of you, with these polyamory discussions. No matter how you present it, he may not take it well. He may say, "Absolutely not." You may end up with some tough choices to make on how patient you can be with him, or if your desire to live a polyamorous life outweighs your relationship with him. I only state that as a worst-case scenario, but I've heard of this kind of thing playing out any number of ways. It can be really painful for a hard-wired monogamist to hear that his partner is polyamorous. He may just totally not understand. He may not want to understand.
Do the best you can. You can get some good starter info at Franklin Veaux's website (http://www.morethantwo.com/), and this site here is a good place to ask questions and find answers also. Don't hesitate to post whatever doubts or questions may come into your mind.
We'll be here to help in any way possible.
04-21-2012, 02:54 PM
Km34, thank you. I am happy to have found this website! We are currently "on".
Kevin, nice to meet you and thank you for that quote. That is what I was thinking of doing, and now I have a much better guideline to work from. I know its going to be a long hard journey, and I am so happy that I have this website to take it with. Its nice to read posts about people feeling and going through similar things.
04-21-2012, 08:22 PM
Yes, that's kind of why I like the forum also. :)
Wow, nicely done you guys. Haven't been on in awhile, but really enjoyed reading this :)