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-   -   does poly make you less patient with lovers? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21011)

noob 02-06-2012 06:49 AM

does poly make you less patient with lovers?
Hi! Been officially poly about 9-10 months. I'm married to my primary and have had two significant secondary relationships (6 months, 4 months, respectively) in that time. Both ended in breakups mostly initiated by me. I've noticed that I'm a lot less prone to tolerate negativity or relationship downswings in poly...after a few weeks of sustained downswing, I just tend to get the hell out. Is this something you guys have noticed you do? I feel like in mono I put up with a hell of a lot more unpleasantness. I think eventually I will need to learn to up my tolerance for unpleasantness a bit or I won't have any long-lived secondary relationships. But I'm wondering if this is mostly a product of having a primary and putting in more work there...and knowing I have that to fall back on. Just thinking out loud and needed some people to do that with :)

Derbylicious 02-06-2012 01:58 PM

It could be that you just weren't compatible with these particular people, that happens. The thing with relationships is that they aren't going to be just fun and games all the time. People have good times and they have bad times. If someone trusts you enough to let you in when they aren't feeling all happy that's a good thing and should really be looked on as a gift. Going through rough emotions with someone generally brings you closer together emotionally at the end of it.

AnnabelMore 02-06-2012 02:01 PM

Can you clarify what you mean by relationship downswings?

NovemberRain 02-06-2012 02:46 PM

I second Annabel, a little more clarification might be helpful here.

I am not married, never have been. I have recently entered into poly with two men I've known (and sequentially dated) for over eight years. I find that I have been more forgiving of each of them, of things I was not forgiving about when I was mono with either of them. I don't know that I would call it unpleasantness, but I have noticed that I feel more tolerant.

AnnabelMore 02-06-2012 02:51 PM

I'm not sure if there's benn a difference for me pre- or post-poly, but I think I've been much more critical of my relationship with the person I'm working on being primary with, versus the person with whom I have secondary relationship. Things with my secondary need to be good, but things with my primary need to be capital "r" Right for me to feel comfortable. A bad habit like leaving dishes lying around is no big deal in my secondary because I'm only over a relatively small amount of the time, whereas if my primary, who I'm intending to live with, does that, it would drive me insane in a week!

noob 02-06-2012 03:04 PM

Well...let me see if I can clarify, then. The most recent downswing occurred after I introduced a new partner and my existing secondary took it really hard, was hostile toward me and erratic in his behavior. He also expressed a lot of his emotional ups and downs to me with it...and he's depressed anyhow on top of that but hasn't sought help so far. He's surprised that after two weeks of processing his behavior and feelings with him I'm ready to be done--but I just don't feel committed to seeing it through. Maybe I lack commitment to this particular relationship, but my worry is I just lack commitment in general. However, I have been married for almost 8 years, 6 of them entirely mono, so obviously I am capable of committing to stick out the bad times. I guess I just wonder if my perseverance is mostly taken up by the primary relationship, leaving me less energy for sticking it out in the others?

AnnabelMore 02-06-2012 03:31 PM

Ah! The guy I'm talking about having a primary relationship with also suffers with depression. I think that condition untreated just makes things really hard.

You may have something with the "primary relationship taking all my stick-to-it-iveness" theory, but it seems just as likely to me that you just have a better fit with your husband than with the new guys you've met so far. Plus, it's always going to give you much more pause to let go of an LTR versus something that's very new. I think that'd be true even if you were newly single, mono, and dating.

There's nothing wrong with being choosy and not investing in something that's not feeling right.

RfromRMC 02-06-2012 05:45 PM

I wouldn't say poly makes a person less patient but it makes you prioritize what type of BS you put up with.
If you look out for yourself as a top priority and then look out for your primary partner as your next highest priority, then that leaves less energy to deal with crap from anyone else.

A single poly without a primary will likely not seem less patient than a mono is.

rory 02-06-2012 05:55 PM

I would just think it would be mostly about the differences of time and commitment put into the relationship and not whether it's mono or poly.

MeeraReed 02-06-2012 06:14 PM

I've mostly had the opposite issue--when I was involved with more than one person, I was super patient and easy-going and tolerated a lot of situations that were...not that great.

I didn't have a primary and didn't want any of the three men I was seeing as a primary. I was also continuing to look for other potential dates / relationships.

So, logically, I felt that each man should be able to be himself, and if one wasn't meeting a need/expectation of mine, I could seek it somewhere else.

I was really happy at the time, but when all three relationships ended strangely in the same month, I realized I hadn't been approaching things with the right mindset.

I didn't need to tolerate problematic behavior just because I had more than one guy in my life.

Also, in retrospect, I felt guilty that I was sleeping with more than one person, so I felt like I had no right to complain about anything that bothered me.

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