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-   -   Is it poly if you haven't met anyone yet? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13624)

BlackUnicorn 08-17-2011 09:58 AM

Is it poly if you haven't met anyone yet?
Feel free to throw jelly cupcakes at me if there's a thread about this somewhere with vivid discussion and excellent points already.

Pure semantincs; say you've recently opened up a previously monogamous relationship, or are a single individual whose decided to embark on poly. Say you are dating to boot.

Is it poly if you don't have romantic feelings for two or more people at the same time?

Can you declare a relationship poly if there's room for others but no practical need for the room right now?

zylya 08-17-2011 11:21 AM

I personally believe that people are polyamorous rather than relationships. To me polyamory is the ABILITY to love more than one person.

Monogamy on the other hand, imo at least, describes a relationship (mono - one, gamos - marriage in origin). Non-monogamy would therefore describe all OTHER relationships in their various forms: open relationships/marriage, triad, quad, multiple LTRs. I believe polyamory is the trait that is applied to humans, and non-monogamy is a better term for the diverse collection of relationship styles that we refer to as "polyamory" on this site.

Pure semantics anyway, like you said ;)

I think that polyamory is like sexuality in this case - you don't actually have to have sex with the opposite gender (straight), same gender (gay) or both genders (bi) to be that orientation, it's a self-definition. Likewise you don't actually have to be in multiple relationships, or be in love with two (or more) people to BE polyamorous.

Tonberry 08-17-2011 11:21 AM

In my opinion, the people in the relationship are poly, and the relationship can be described as de-facto mono, but really it isn't monogamous in the way most people would understand it. So yeah, calling it poly is fine, even if it might confuse people if they ask about your partners and you say you only have one.

I think whether you say your relationship is mono or poly you probably need to specify ("mono, but open to poly" or "poly, but without other partners" or something).

If you're an individual, saying you're poly is only talking about your orientation and works fine. You don't have any partners, that doesn't make you mono, or celibate, or anything like that.

affablegreen 08-17-2011 01:47 PM

Yes, absolutely, IMHO.

Sure... it can start with you falling in love with someone but still loving your partner just as much. It can start with a surprise flirtation and then a bunch of negotiation and discussion.

But yeah: it can also start with a state of mind, a change in perspective. And that change in perspective might lead to new partners. Or it might not.

polandrylady 08-17-2011 03:35 PM

I'm sure it is a matter of thinking too. You don't just feel that way for a short time. It took talking to psychologist for them to say I belong on the Eastern side of the world where they practice two husbands. I don't take my sexual life as casual, but I certainly know of what I feel.
I think when you end up with the two women scenario, you end up with people who come and go and never end up with a long term relationship... but in most cases, the opposite, the women are thinkers and weigh what the right people would be to put in the mix

MonoVCPHG 08-18-2011 04:48 AM


Originally Posted by zylya (Post 97747)
I personally believe that people are polyamorous rather than relationships. To me polyamory is the ABILITY to love more than one person.


That sums up my definition of poly...which is of course non-binding to anyone else. :D

SourGirl 08-18-2011 09:21 PM

The 'ability' theory use to be my definition, but experience has changed that.

I would like to believe, that people are poly regardless of their relationship status, but I think the actuality is different.

For instance, if you have a poly person talking to a 'open-minded' couple who don't currently have outside partners, odds are, the poly person will refer to the couple as 'living monogamously.' Sometimes, even regardless of the intention.

There does seem to be a line drawn in most scenarios.
If you are at least 'looking' with serious intent, then you get the poly label.
If not, it seems most people might refer to someone as open-minded, if they are single, or 'living monogamously' if they are a couple.

So we are defined (by others) according to our relationship structure in most cases.

Now we could debate if that is just a old, ingrained-habit or not,..but that is for a different thread. :)

AnnabelMore 08-19-2011 01:05 AM

You can always use Dan Savage's turn of phrase and call a newly opened relationship "monogamish". ^_^

Nacirema 08-20-2011 03:23 AM

I think it's a good idea to mention it as well, as it might become a point much later on.

For example, when I first decided to try polyamory, I was single. There were a few people who were interested in me, and I told all of them before anything even remotely went down that I considered myself polyamorous now. Nothing came out of those people, because they couldn't handle that caveat. I don't regret that, and in fact I'm thankful for it, because if I hadn't mentioned it and let it come up later in the relationship, things could have ended up a lot more dramatic, and people a lot more hurt.

Inyourendo 08-20-2011 07:42 AM


Originally Posted by zylya (Post 97747)
I personally believe that people are polyamorous rather than relationships. To me polyamory is the ABILITY to love more than one person.

that is how I feel about it. Ive always been poly, i may have chosen to practice mono at times though

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