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-   -   monogamous reflexes (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12801)

serialmonogamist 07-30-2011 04:51 AM

monogamous reflexes
 
I have been divorced several years. I no longer feel emotional sensitivities about my ex and the divorce. So why does my body close itself to the prospect of doing things that I used to do with my ex when I go on a date? I was not pro-mono as a youth. I would gladly have dated whoever caught my interest with only the worry of whether I would get caught. Why do I now avoid "cheating" even though I'm no longer in a relationship? It reminds me of the stories I've heard of amputees who feel their limb is still present. Is this a monogamy reflex?

sage 07-30-2011 01:19 PM

I don't quite get who you are avoiding cheating on?

I am coming around to the belief that monogamy may be as hard-wired into some of us as polyamory is into others. Maybe that hard-wiring is deeply buried and is only recognisable after we've cleared out a lot of mess and rubbish from previous toxic relationships. Like you I wasn't like this when I was younger.

Polyamory has always made sense to me intellectually. When I started out on this board I was very open to the idea that monogamy was a cultural norm and once personal defects of jealousy and insecurity were dealt with it would kind of fade away and be replaced by this wonderful compersion and ability to love freely.


That hasn't happened for me. Yes I dealt with jealousy and insecurity and I want my partner to experience his polyamorous self. But I think I also need to experience my monogamous self and I don't know if that is truly possible with a polyamorous partner. This realisation has taken a long time to surface and I'm not ending my relationship but it is a new paradigm for me and I will have to see where it goes.

VeronicaE 07-30-2011 02:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sage (Post 94594)
I don't quite get who you are avoiding cheating on?

That hasn't happened for me. Yes I dealt with jealousy and insecurity and I want my partner to experience his polyamorous self. But I think I also need to experience my monogamous self and I don't know if that is truly possible with a polyamorous partner. This realisation has taken a long time to surface and I'm not ending my relationship but it is a new paradigm for me and I will have to see where it goes.

Well, what you just wrote there scares the s... out of me, being the "poly" and my husband being the 'mono" (it's awful to label us like that, too...)

NeonKaos 07-30-2011 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VeronicaE (Post 94598)
Well, what you just wrote there scares the s... out of me, being the "poly" and my husband being the 'mono" (it's awful to label us like that, too...)

You can say "shit".

VeronicaE 07-30-2011 02:28 PM

Shit!

(thanks!);)

serialmonogamist 07-30-2011 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sage (Post 94594)
I don't quite get who you are avoiding cheating on?

That's the weird part. I don't have someone to cheat on right now yet I still feel like I would be sacrificing my honor if I cheated. I think the feeling could be compared to a virgin who doesn't want to give up their virginity because they believe it is something special to be cherished. Yet I also don't feel like I am "saving myself" for anyone in particular either. These are weird feelings that don't quite make sense to me intellectually and I'm wondering if deep mono cultural programming has something to do with them.

Quote:

I am coming around to the belief that monogamy may be as hard-wired into some of us as polyamory is into others. Maybe that hard-wiring is deeply buried and is only recognisable after we've cleared out a lot of mess and rubbish from previous toxic relationships. Like you I wasn't like this when I was younger.
I'm thinking they can both be. Sometimes I can really lament my resistance to engaging in affectionate behavior. If someone is very sweet and kind, I will think that they deserve physical affection and want to give it them or think that a person is attractive and wish that I could have some fun with that person. I could have such feelings about multiple people within a reasonably short time-span, but then I think it is the poly-nature of these feelings that causes my mono-reflex to shut everything down and go, "don't get yourself into more than you can handle"

Quote:

That hasn't happened for me. Yes I dealt with jealousy and insecurity and I want my partner to experience his polyamorous self. But I think I also need to experience my monogamous self and I don't know if that is truly possible with a polyamorous partner. This realisation has taken a long time to surface and I'm not ending my relationship but it is a new paradigm for me and I will have to see where it goes.
That's funny. I sometimes think that having a monogamous relationship with a polyamorous partner would be the ultimate relationship since you can totally devote yourself to that person by also supporting them in having other partners as well. With one-on-one monogamy, I think there is often more potential for cheating because of the constraints that limiting yourself to a single partner brings with it. In fact, I think monogamy makes "the grass on the other side of the fence" greener because of repressing the ability to pursue other people licitly. Anyway, I'm really just speculating because I don't have experience with living poly. Maybe someone who does can address how poly affects the allure of the grass on the other side of the fence.

Magdlyn 07-30-2011 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by serialmonogamist (Post 94606)
That's the weird part. I don't have someone to cheat on right now yet I still feel like I would be sacrificing my honor if I cheated. I think the feeling could be compared to a virgin who doesn't want to give up their virginity because they believe it is something special to be cherished. Yet I also don't feel like I am "saving myself" for anyone in particular either. These are weird feelings that don't quite make sense to me intellectually...

Join the club. I have seen here that most of the things you feel, think and write about don't make any sense intellectually to most of us either.

Quote:

Maybe someone who does can address how poly affects the allure of the grass on the other side of the fence.
When I seek other partners besides my lovely sexy gf, I don't see greener grass. If she's bluegrass, the other people may be a lovely fescue. Or oats. Or sorrel. Or lavender. Not greener (better), just different. I seek variety, in lovers, as well as in making the most of other experiences in life while I am on this planet.

serialmonogamist 07-30-2011 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magdlyn (Post 94624)
Join the club. I have seen here that most of the things you feel, think and write about don't make any sense intellectually to most of us either.

Ok, so much for gaining insight into my feelings then, I guess.

Quote:

When I seek other partners besides my lovely sexy gf, I don't see greener grass. If she's bluegrass, the other people may be a lovely fescue. Or oats. Or sorrel. Or lavender. Not greener (better), just different. I seek variety, in lovers, as well as in making the most of other experiences in life while I am on this planet.
So you've never had the experience of being attracted to a 'forbidden fruit' then?

Magdlyn 07-30-2011 04:21 PM

Since I've been poly for 12 years, not lately. Before that, while trying to live mono and married, sure.

NeonKaos 07-30-2011 04:25 PM

I've been attracted to fruit, but I've never forbidden myself from having sex with it.

Some vegetables, too.


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