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-   -   Aren't we all polyamorous? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22998)

InfinitePossibility 04-11-2012 06:30 PM

Aren't we all polyamorous?
 
I have been thinking about this for a while and discussing it a bit with friends.

Maybe I'm looking at this too logically/from an odd perspective/just misunderstanding through lack of experience but I keep thinking that really, almost everybody must be poly.

My thought process is this:

Assuming loving, committed relationships can exist without sex being involved.

Assuming most people are involved in more than one relationship like that for most of their lives - I don't know many people who aren't.

Then, doesn't that make us all (or almost all) poly? Including people who are currently sexually monogamous and have no plans to change that?

This has been going round in my head for a while and I thought I'd ask what you guys thought.

IP

CielDuMatin 04-11-2012 07:06 PM

I know quite a few people who are only involved with one person at a time, sexually, emotionally and loving. They call themselves monogamous for that reason. They don't want to be involved with more than one person at a time, either through choice or wiring (and for the sake of this argument I would suggest that it doesn't matter which).

So no, I don't think that we are all polyamorous at all.

InfinitePossibility 04-11-2012 07:17 PM

Really? That's interesting. I don't know anybody who is only emotionally involved with one person (although I do know one person who reckons she's never loved another human being).

I know lots of people - in fact, most of the people I know - are only sexually involved with one person.

But all of them have at least one or two other committed, loving relationships which don't involve sex.

DiCandy 04-11-2012 07:48 PM

I used to think the same, after 4 months ago, one of my best friends is always freaking out because she believes that I want her to be the same way I am, I tell her that she has to involve herself in an emotional relationship that she feels comfortable with... She gets angry because I have sex with some close friends, because I feel more comfortable than doing the whole casual thing, but she says she can't have sex with friends because she is not emotional or sexually attracted to them, and that's more than understandable...

My father and my mother are both firm monogamous and they have been together for over 35 years, so at this point I don't think we all are poly...

km34 04-11-2012 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility (Post 132262)
Assuming loving, committed relationships can exist without sex being involved.

Assuming most people are involved in more than one relationship like that for most of their lives - I don't know many people who aren't.

Then, doesn't that make us all (or almost all) poly? Including people who are currently sexually monogamous and have no plans to change that?

There was another thread recently about the difference between love and friendship and whether or not there is one. It is here.

I don't disagree that if you're talking about the most literal definition of the word polyamory (multiple or many loves), then yes... Almost everyone would be polyamorous because prety much everyone loves multiple beings- parents, siblings, other family members, friends, lovers, themselves, pets, etc. If you assume, however, that polyamory implies a more romantic love (which is what I personally associate poly with), then I wouldn't agree. Sure you can have loving, committed relationships with friends but that doesn't give it the romantic aspect that I associate with polyamory.

So, I suppose the real question is - What is polyamory? Is it the literal meaning of the word or is it something deeper?

InfinitePossibility 04-11-2012 08:02 PM

I suppose that for me, love and commitment isn't necessarily about sex.

My parents also were sexually monogamous for 50 years until Dad died this year. But I'd still probably call them both polyamorous - they were (are in Mum's case) an inspiration to me in their ability to form loving, committed relationships with other people.

I spent my childhood surrounded by their friends - many of whom I am still close to.

My parents loved widely and well. They just didn't have sex with anybody other than each other.

Didn't stop them experiencing many loves.

km34 04-11-2012 08:07 PM

I didn't talk about sex at all. I talked about romance.... To me, romantic love is very much different than the love I feel for friends or family. And just because I feel romantic love for someone does not mean that I'm going to sleep with them.

Does polyamory include just the romantic love or is it also the familial and friendly love?

InfinitePossibility 04-11-2012 08:27 PM

All this stuff fascinates me.

I'm not at all sure that I truly understand what romantic love is. And what makes it different from friendship love or familial love.

Or possibly it's that most of the times I've experienced what I might call romantic love it's been with platonic friends.

Hmm - more stuff to think about.

LotusesandRoses 04-12-2012 01:31 AM

Nope. Some people really aren't poly, or bi, or pansexual, or whatever. Doesn't make us awful or more enlightened. Some people don't experience romantic feelings for more than one person in an entire lifetime, and I've known two people like that personally.

kdt26417 04-12-2012 02:16 AM

For what it's worth: Oberon Zell-Ravenheart has indicated that "polyamory" was originally thought of as a word that denotes "many lovers" in the same way that "polygamy" denotes "many spouses." I've heard polyamory defined as anything from "fully egalitarian, ethical, sexual, romantic multiple relationships" to "any type of love at all." It's hard to get agreement on the definition, so depending on how you define the word, you could say that virtually everyone is "polyamorous."

Wiktionary defines polyamory as: "any of various practices involving romantic or sexual relationships with multiple partners with the knowledge and consent of all involved."

It defines polyamorous as:
"following one of various practices of having relationships with multiple partners, with the knowledge and consent of all involved," or,
"having personal beliefs regarding relationships that are compatible with polyamory, regardless of one's experience or current practices."

Wikipedia defines polyamory as: "the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved."

It doesn't give a specific definition for "polyamorous."


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