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-   -   "good enough to be someone's primary" (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24608)

Quietfever 06-11-2012 02:23 AM

"good enough to be someone's primary"
 
Greetings.

A friend of mine (has an obvious physical difference) and I (geographically undesirable, live at home) find that we have trouble meeting single monogamous or polyamorous person to date us.

We have plenty of poly people (who are already in primary relationships) at any time who are interested. We find these people to be so much easier to get along with and they seem to be less judgmental.

Is there such a thing as not being "primary material" that is similar to not being "monogamous life partner" material?

We both have a complex about this.

I am previously monogamous starting to consider poly; I am thinking that perhaps if I dated two or more people as a secondary relationship, maybe that would fill the bill?

Derbylicious 06-11-2012 04:00 AM

What do you want? Do you actually want more than one secondary type relationship or do you want a more full time arrangement with one person. There isn't a right or wrong answer to this but you shouldn't settle for less than (or different than) what you want.

Anneintherain 06-11-2012 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quietfever (Post 139191)
Is there such a thing as not being "primary material" that is similar to not being "monogamous life partner" material?

In general, meeting somebody you want to live with/spend the rest of your life with, is just really hard for most people, irrelevant to poly or mono. Is it similar? Well kind of but - not really? An example I can use is my boyfriend, Brian. I love him, we've been dating for 15 months and I can't think of a reason that we would stop dating, though it's not impossible. I enjoy the time I spend with him, but for me he is not "primary material" because I think there are incompatibilities that would keep it from working out. Might he be a life partner? Yes. Monogamous life partner? No. Primary material? Probably not.

(This example is just for illustration, Brian is already married, I am married, my husband and I don't plan to cohabitate with any other partners - not impossible, just unlikely.)

I think a lot of poly people who are already involved in one (including me) aren't closed to a second primary connection, relationships develop however they're going to develop. Since I am not looking for a 24/7 partner, YES I find that I can date people who have one or two big issues that would keep me from wanting be with them 24/7 (ie messy and don't clean their toilet, reckless with their money, hates cats, has children).

Not sure if any of this answers what you are asking - if you date two people as a secondary, of course that will fill lots of needs for socialization, affection, fun etc. One good thing about being poly is you can form solid bonds with people and when that disney fairy tale "soul mate" comes along, you get to keep old connections. Not sure if you are interested in poly as a permanent choice or as an interim to keep you busy until "soul mate/primary" comes along. It really depends on your desires and needs. A lot of people lament being a secondary when what they want is to come home to somebody every night. A lot of people embrace being more independent, and are glad to feel free to run their own life. It can take trial and error to figure that out if you don't have a clear grasp on it yet.

RfromRMC 06-11-2012 11:07 AM

I've known some poly people who were happier just being a secondary for two or three people and not dealing with a primary situation. It works for some people. I think the advantage there is less pressure to be a perfect match.
It is harder to find a good match for a primary--would take more time to do that.

nycindie 06-11-2012 06:49 PM

I think it's kind of strange to think of people as being "good enough," or not, for a primary relationship. Plenty of people are very content in secondary relationships, and the fact that they are "secondaries" has nothing to do with their worth as a partner but more to do with other things, such as time available to spend on a a committed relationship, geography, not sharing households, already being in other relationships, etc. Still others take a more egalitarian approach and have co-primaries or no primaries, choosing instead not to have any hierarchy or ranking system at all.

If you're having success meeting and getting along with people who happen to also have other relationships, great. Why not judge how it goes and how it fits into your life on the dynamics of the relationship itself, rather than some label, which really doesn't mean that much anyway? It's all about how you relate to the person or persons, and whether everyone's needs are met, after all.

Tonberry 06-11-2012 08:03 PM

Are you assuming the poly people you meet aren't interested in more primary relationships because they already have one (or more), or is it something they stated themselves?
Or does it come from you? That is, do you specifically not want a primary relationship with someone if they already have a primary relationship with someone else?

Aside from that point, primary relationships require more investment and I can see them being more difficult. They're also about commitment, and not everyone wants to commit right away. Lots of primary relationships, poly or mono, didn't start that way, but evolved to that point.

Quietfever 06-11-2012 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tonberry (Post 139296)
Are you assuming the poly people you meet aren't interested in more primary relationships because they already have one (or more), or is it something they stated themselves?
Or does it come from you? That is, do you specifically not want a primary relationship with someone if they already have a primary relationship with someone else?

Aside from that point, primary relationships require more investment and I can see them being more difficult. They're also about commitment, and not everyone wants to commit right away. Lots of primary relationships, poly or mono, didn't start that way, but evolved to that point.

It's more that my friend and I are finding that single monogamous people don't seem to be interested in us, and we aren't meeting polyamorous people who don't already have a legal spouse in the house. The polies all seem to be married and the monos all seem to be extremely picky and ruling us out.

Plenty of people seem willing to date us as a secondary partner. In my own case I think that lesbian relationships can be especially hard because in straight relationships, there is some social expectation that the woman may be able to "fall back" upon the man financially or may be able to "marry up". This may not be realistic, but it still affects how a lot of people think. Plus there are the legal benefits of legal marriage that don't exist in gay relationships. So a lesbian woman, in order to not marry a man, has to be very self sufficient financially. at the moment, I don't seem to be "material" for most women becaus I don't have my financial house in order right now (went totally broke, was out of work for a while, now back in college at 38 and living at home). Likewise, there seem to be women I would date but not commit to as a primary partner or live with and that seems to be what is "in my league".

My friend and I are half joking about being platonic life partners of EACH OTHER (I'm gay, she's straight, we would basically be a "Boston marriage, and we would date/sleep with other people) just to get that "shared life" thing. We have been unable to find people who actually take us seriously as committed monogamous or primary relationship material. I really look forward to the day when I can expect to spend the holidays with the same person for five years and just have the comfort, stability, and certainty that my mother enjoys with her husband of 20 years. Being without a primary partner feels like living on the edge. I want the married lifestyle. I am sick to death of roommates, it's like this perpetual merry go round of finding crazy people to live with and neither person really wants to be there under better circumstances! The lifestyle feels so precarious. I will be moving out and in with a roommate within the next year. I live in an area with a high cost of living and have had to have roommates even when I made decent money. It feels very unstable, like you never know when someone is going to move out or you will need to move and then you are taking a chance with the next person. If I have to split expenses with someone to afford to live anywhere, then I would rather it be someone with whom there is an actual life commitment to each other's happiness and well being.

I have been really severely depressed lately over the thought that if I stay single, I will still be living with roommates ten years from now (at 48). think I wouldn't mind dating this one woman I am interested in (bi poly, married) but I'll still want to find someone who wants to live with me and share a life with me.

Tonberry 06-11-2012 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quietfever (Post 139306)
It's more that my friend and I are finding that single monogamous people don't seem to be interested in us, and we aren't meeting polyamorous people who don't already have a legal spouse in the house. The polies all seem to be married and the monos all seem to be extremely picky and ruling us out.

I understand, but my question was, why is it a problem that they polies are married? Are they making it clear that you would never be able to have a marriage-like relationship with them? Is it because of the lack of recognition that would come from being the partner who isn't legally married to their spouse? Or is it because you personally don't want to date anyone who is married, or in another strong committed relationship?
I'm curious because I'm going to get married, and I would hate if it meant other people didn't want to be my primaries anymore.

AnnabelMore 06-11-2012 10:30 PM

Why on earth *not* commit to your friend as a platonic life partner, if you two really get on so well? After all, one primary doesn't preclude another. If/when you find the romantic primary partner you dream of, that person can be co-primary with your friend. :) Of course, this thought is predicated on you and your friend really caring enough for each other that you'd be comfortable building a life together, and maybe that's not realistically the case. But if your hesitance is because you think only one person can ever fill that "slot" that's just not the case.

nycindie 06-13-2012 10:20 AM

It seems that you have certain, perhaps limited, ideas about what polyamory is and what polyamorous relationships are supposed to look like, as if it's the same for everyone, across the board. You really can have just about any configuration you can dream up. But it starts with the people first, not the role or title. If you meet someone who really floats your boat, that's something. Then you see how they fit into your life, and they see how you fit into theirs. If you stay very fixated on finding a life partner to marry someday, then you could miss someone totally fantastic for you right now.


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