Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   General Poly Discussions (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=2)
-   -   The difference between dating and polyamory. (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1006)

redpepper 10-22-2009 07:41 AM

The difference between dating and polyamory.
Why is it that younger people are calling themselves Polyamorous?

When I was in my late teens to mid 20's I dated a lot. I had several long term girlfriends and boyfriends. If you can call a year a long time (I certainly did then!), but in between times I saw several people at once and felt I loved them... I never called that non-monogamy, poly or anything. It was what one did at that age and to me and everyone else around it was simply dating.

As a general question to the world... Why has that changed??!!! Please tell me you younger ones who read this. Why bog oneself down with those terms such as poly, when you are supposed to be fucking everyone! Falling in love at the drop of a hat and getting your heart broken just as much.

Today at my parenting course we were going through the ages and stages that children and young adults go through. The last of which happens at 21 apparently and is the one where people finally realize that others are a "me" in the world as everyone else is... there is kind of happy empathy time where the person feels one with the world and those in it. Many activists are around this age for this reason... it's all new to them to actually realize they are one of many and we are all "me's" and that others are not being taken care of properly or the planet isn't being taken care of properly... whatever cause they decide is most relevant to them.

I would think that because of this young people should just date and experience that for awhile before settling into marriages, poly relationships and the like. There seems to be too much out there to make young people (and children) become adults before their time. Does this include young people defining themselves as Poly too?

ImaginaryIllusion 10-22-2009 10:30 AM

Maybe 'Poly' is just the new 'Playing the Field'.

greenearthal 10-22-2009 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 9543)
Why is it that younger people are calling themselves Polyamorous?

Because they have that word available to them. Younger folks will try on any self-identification that they are even tangentially related to to see if they want to wear it.

ramfish 10-22-2009 11:47 AM

I think it depends on how you date. Sure there are probably young people out there who date lots of people and claim poly, but that doesn't mean some of them aren't. When I was "dating" I never had more than one boyfriend at a time. I didn't date other people when I was with one guy. If I was involved with someone else, it was with permission, a one time thing, and our relationship was considered "open"; not poly.

I don't really consider myself "young" anymore (I'm sure some of you do). I'm 25, married two years. I've been with my husband for five years but that certainly doesn't mean this stuff never comes up. Once we started looking at this type of lifestyle we realized this is one reason why you don't fit the "normal" perimeters of a relationship. We've both realized that there have been times in the past where we have been with one person and loved another, but felt ashamed for feeling that way.

So if young people are dating multiple people in a kind of casual manner and calling themselves poly, they're probably missing the point. Greenearthal is right, they're just using the term because it seems to fit their behavior.

So...that's my thoughts on it.

ladyjools 10-22-2009 01:36 PM

I am only 25,
so i guess it wasn't so long ago i was 21,
i had to grow up extreemly fast, got kicked out of home at 16, was homeless for a little while, and at 20 i met C, who at the time was 23, we fell in love very quickly, and moved in together after 6 months, so by 22 i had bought a house, was in a steady relationship with a dog and a cat and was very happy :)

we where together for 3 and half years before we considered making our relationship poly and we had one disastor at the start and then finally we got it right and now we are both very happy.

so i never did date lots of guys and experience youth in the sense that you did,
sometimes i wish i had
sometimes i think that i am making up for it now in a sense

but then i think about what i do have, a loving supportive partner, and a new relationship that i feel is really going somewhere.


MonoVCPHG 10-22-2009 02:54 PM

I think perhaps there is a certain freedom in using the term poly for younger people. Think back to being in hi-school and the judgement of girls who "played the field" vice the cool reps of guys who were "studs".

I'm not saying adolescent dating is poly in nature, but it does certainly de-slut the ability to enjoy one's sexuality without conforming to traditional ideals of what relationships should look like or the "higher ground" of monogamy.

If it levels the playing field and reduces judgement then by all means use it. The important thing is that younger people try not get all caught up in the idea of lifelong commitments and intense balancing when they should be having fun and learning simply to develop relationships.

And yes…this is in fact Mono speaking. Just because things don't work for me, doesn't mean they don't work.

MonoVCPHG 10-22-2009 03:12 PM

Hey Ygirl..your comment disapeared but for the record, I joined the military at 19, got married at 20, had a planned pregnancy at 23....I was all about the long term!

Marriage lasted 16 really good years; daughter is an amazing young woman who hardly conforms, been in the military for 19 years with one to go hopefully. I generally commit pretty hard...Redpepper is doomed!

Dune 10-22-2009 04:16 PM

Due to the fact that I'm 21, I'll throw in on this one.
In my personal experience, it varies from person to person. I know some people who have been in several long term commited poly relationships. I know 10x more people who claim to have been, but they really are just sleeping around without the title of 'slut'

I am a relationship person. The definition of relationship can be whatever I and my partner wish it to be. But they are relationships nonetheless. I stick with people. I do not sleep around, unless it's a night of fun with a partner and someone we find attractive.
I have a serious partner and a not-so-serious partner. This doesnt mean that I am just sleeping with the second mentioned, it just so happens to be that we tried many dynamics and this one works best for us. I am very very close with both of them.
There are other factors that help define my relationships. I have a 3 year old son. I am in school full time. I have almost NO free time and so building my relationships takes much longer than others.

I think it's all relative. Likely the reason you see so much frivilous behavior in younger folk is because they are young, and young adults, regardless of being poly, mono, straight, gay, smart, dumb, whatever, are just not really ready to be in the type of relationships that most of you are in.

It's all a learning proccess, I guess.

WaywardDruid 10-22-2009 04:49 PM

Instant Gratification....
Because it's the Now generation.

Because it's the Me generation.

Because it's the Hip generation.

Because it's the Pepsi generation.

Because it's all about instant gratification and being able to flip open the cell phone and instantly talk to anyone and everyone in the world generation.

Cell phones are Evil they're evil I tell you. And when you all turn into Zombies and start coming after me to eat my brain then I'll tell you I told you so. Sorry been reading too much Stevie King "Cell".

Where was I .. oh yeah. Well you get the point.
Just my humble opinion, I could be wrong, and usually am.

Just Me,

MonoVCPHG 10-22-2009 05:01 PM


Originally Posted by WaywardDruid (Post 9566)

Cell phones are Evil they're evil I tell you. [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

They are banning the use of Cell phones in cars here in British Columbia. Experienced drivers will be allowed a hands free device usage and anyone caught texting/emailing gets even more serious penalties....this will kill some people when not that long ago we didn't even have these things :eek:

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:20 PM.