View Full Version : Polyamory, commitment, and emotional investment
07-11-2009, 01:59 AM
I have done a lot of reading on this topic, and finally took a break recently to mull some ideas over in my head. One thing that I wonder is the topic of polyamory and commitment. I know this is something that has been discussed ad infinitum on many websites and blogs, but the part of it that truly interests me is not the argument that polyamorous people lack commitment, but where polyamorous decisions come from internally?
What I mean is this: (Disclaimer - There are all kinds of people in the world and I cannot distinguish or over generalize how people act to any one group.) The point is that I believe there are people that practice polyamory and hold commitment to the highest regard - committing to a shared life with one or more person(s) and working on the relationship when things get rough.
But, where does polyamory come from? For some it stems from adopting a philosophy of life, from others it stems from long recognized desires, and from others it stems from the inability to remain in monogamous relationships and resorting to cheating. But for all of these people does polyamory stem from a desire to both keep some emotional distance from partners one is involved with and for that same emotional distance to not exist?
Also, what do you think about people who claim to be polyamorous, and yet do not want to invest emotionally in relationships, platonic, or otherwise?
07-11-2009, 02:57 AM
Life changes and for me we change. Aging and circumstances have led myself to move in a poly direction with my wife of 27 years and our best friend, another woman. For me it cannot be platonic, although in my younger years, I was the platonic male friend to many women.
For my definition, I do not believe you can be poly without committing emotionally and developing long term sustainable relationships. Just my opinion and my circumstance.......
07-11-2009, 05:21 AM
I agree with Mark. Polyamory is literally "Many Loves". A lot depends on how you define love and what is involved in that love.
I don't feel that there has to be an "emotional distance" involved, but that also depends on the type of relationship you are looking for. Speaking for myself, I am currently only interested in an emotional and physical relationship. I would like to emphasize the emotional part most of all. It is that connection that I feel and that makes me happy, the physical is just a nice way to show that feeling in a tangible way.
As for you last question: What I think of them depends on the reason they are using the term. Is it out of ignorance, is it because that fits best how they feel, or are they using is as a ploy to get what they want without regard to the other people involved or the damage they can do by giving poly a bad name.
07-11-2009, 03:00 PM
It is both a wonderful thing AND a pet-peeve that we can't force ourselves to fall in love (which is one of my issues about "unicornisms") nor can we force ourselves NOT to fall in love. I have never gotten into a "successful" relationship by "looking" for one.
I don't have the time right now to editorialize about what means "successful" because I have a birthday party to attend soon.
07-11-2009, 03:29 PM
It is both a wonderful thing... that we can't force ourselves to fall in love... nor can we force ourselves NOT to fall in love. I have never gotten into a "successful" relationship by "looking" for one.
This so perfectly sums up how I feel.
07-11-2009, 11:35 PM
YGirl hit the nail right on the head.
07-12-2009, 01:44 AM
Yikes! You're welcome!
The party was awesome! Had to leave prematurely 'cause the Husband had to be somewhere. Met up with this super-hot lady who has a lot of mutual friends with me. I'm gonna try not to get too carried away too fast...
07-13-2009, 01:48 AM
For me, my realization that I was capable of multiple loving relationships was quite organic. I wasn't seeking out this lifestyle, but my loves found me. I am a strong believer in committed relationships and cannot imagine entering into a relationship with sexual contact being the sole reason for it's existence.
I think everyone's experience is individual and no one can necessarily say there is a "right" way to be poly..but there is a difference between being poly and a swinger, in my opinion.
07-13-2009, 05:19 PM
SK, you are so right. They are two entirely different things. Neither is wrong or right, they are just different and work for different people. But, I'm with you on this in my def of poly.
08-22-2009, 11:16 PM
How important is security in your relationship?
Many have a "fear of the future"... Is there a way to overcome this, possibly by offering security in some way?
08-23-2009, 12:04 AM
For me, polyamory has always been my nature, though I repressed it and usually ended up cheating anyway. I knew from very young I was capable of multiple loving relationships, just as I knew I was attracted physically and emotionally to other women (also long repressed). It was only through alot of pain, honesty, deconditioning, and support from my husband that I accepted and acted openly on my true feelings.
I don't like the idea of using the term to include purely sexual relationship. I know I focus on the love part and the sex is an expression of that, and only follows that love.
I think for me the only thing that has gotten rid of that fear for the future was time. The longer my husband and I have been together, the deeper our lives entwine, and the more we know eachothers hearts and minds through complete openness, the less I fear we'll ever be apart. Should I/we find a new love, it will probably be the same case.
08-23-2009, 02:11 AM
I would imagine security is a tremendous factor....I have gone way out of my way to ensure total security to both my wife and my OSO....and still they both have doubts and insecurities......I don't know what else more to do....