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-   -   Seeking balance (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2972)

GroundedSpirit 06-09-2010 03:50 PM

Seeking balance
 
Starting with a couple quotes from a previous thread........

Quote:

Originally Posted by EL314
On the more vanilla sites I see many women who either want a relationship leading to marriage, and/or single mothers looking to meet someone (with the possibility of marriage implied if not stated). Very few state that they are looking for something less traditional.


AND

PS: As a side note; it's pretty sad to see all the single-mother profiles that come up day-after-day. Each represents a failed relationship that usually results in hardship for the kids (and the mother).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Idealist
I do think that women are especially vulnerable and prone to buying into the fairy tale images as well as the love songs and movies about love and how you have to find "the one" and how "I am nothing without you" and "I can't live without you" and all of those codependent ideas that our culture puts on us. The white dress and the whole wedding ritual with promises of "till death do us part" are the things that women tend to cling to with some amount of desperation at times which can be almost embarrassing.

Here are a couple comments/observations that are quite commonly observed.

EL314 takes note of the number of women he's encountering that seem to only have the "traditional" model in their sights. On another post he mentions the harsh reality of the single Mom position, children impacted etc.

Idealist follows up with her observations from a female perspective, largely substantiating the theory that a disproportionate number of women don't seem to be considering what might be progressive or logical approaches to allowing people into their lives that could make an important and positive difference.

So my question seems to be..............

What needs to happen here ?

IS it simply education ? How does that get accomplished ?

Is it visibility from the many wonderful women who are blossoming in their lives in this lovestyle ?

Who can contribute what ?

Like EL314, we have witnessed many women who via a different choice could have been leading a much more pleasant, fulfilling life with nothing more than maybe considering a broader range of options.

When does the "all or nothing" approach reveal itself as often self defeating ?

Would love to hear thoughts - especially from the ladies - on their interactions with other ladies in these situations and what those conversations MIGHT be like ?

GS

redpepper 06-10-2010 12:27 AM

I think things will change for women when they see their men staying home and helping them raise their kids... really there is a complete lack of trust there that needs to be addressed before anyone can even have ONE good relationship. That is what I get from my mono friends. I get that entirely, what I have is a gift and a privileged. I have been raised in a household that communicated and was middle class. I have parents that taught me to stay together during hard times and make it work. Whether or not they should of is another story, but... you get my point I hope.

There are distinct systems that have been forced on communities that don't have the privileged that I did that forced men out of homes and women to take care of kids on their own... I don't know much about it, but I think it was Chicago where women didn't get enough welfare money to survive if the fathers of their kids stayed home, so they left, just to survive. When I lived in Montreal, single mothers got more money than single women towards their education so many women got pregnant just to be able to go to school... screwy systems make screwy families. All good in a lot of ways, but far from being able to have healthy poly relationships.

there is also a huge number of kids, now adults, who have grown up in single family homes who have witnessed the break down of families due to a large number of circumstances. What is their take on poly? They have grown up experiencing that single is the only thing that works I would think... at least the only thing that appears to anyway.

Hope this is a start. I am feeling rather sheepish about it, cause I don't know much, but this is the sense that I get so far.

I think it would depend on the type of poly relationship also... the swinging end I don't think would be sustainable in raising kids, but the poly-fi end is. The poly-fi end seems to be far more difficult in terms of what I was talking about above. Lots of trust and communication skills needed.

anyone else? I feel very vague on my thoughts around this and could be easily convinced to believe something else at this point.

AutumnalTone 06-10-2010 04:23 AM

I think the essential factor would be stability of a core set of adults taking care of the children. Those poly tangles that have long-term stability among most of the adults would likely be best for the children. Those with a high turnover rate among partners who aren't biological parents could still be good families for children (if the parents are strong and capable), just not as good as having long term engagement by most of the adults who have been involved.

As for families operating under other forms of non-monogamy, I think those are situations much more like mono families. Most open couples aren't going to expect any other partners to act as parents. I suspect parents who swing are more likely to hide their activities from the children.

So, a stable core of strong capable parents would be the key element in providing a good home for children--with only one being necessary and value added with each after that. I don't know if the typical woman knows enough about poly to even begin to make that connection, though.

The same phenomenon applies in terms of social support for the woman, too. Women do better the better their support systems, so a larger support system from a poly tangle would be of benefit. Again, gaining enough knowledge about poly as a viable choice would be required prior to that connection getting made.

Folks seem to be adept at creating fairy tales that work for their own situations, so I doubt replacing all of the traditional tales would have to take place. I suspect it will just take broader knowledge of how poly relationships can work out for women to consider whether or not they could do poly tangles/families.

GroundedSpirit 06-10-2010 03:02 PM

Thanks for your thoughts so far RP and AT,

So - to get to maybe a more clear questions, let's construct a scenario.......

Let's say you have a single GF - maybe with a child or two - maybe not. You are having a conversation over coffee (or tequila) and the subject turns to relationships. She's telling you she hates being alone and is having little luck finding a 'classical' mate.

Do you open the topic of poly - and how it could be a legitimate option for her to build intimacy and a strong support system ? And start the education by offering examples of how that can happen.

This is a TRUE questions for all you ladies that have (or don't have) these opportunities. How often do you expose this alternative (even without explaining your own personal discovery) ?

And if you don't, but just try to offer sympathy and 'classic' dating advice - WHY ??????

GS

Ariakas 06-10-2010 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit (Post 32303)
Let's say you have a single GF - maybe with a child or two - maybe not. You are having a conversation over coffee (or tequila) and the subject turns to relationships. She's telling you she hates being alone and is having little luck finding a 'classical' mate.

Do you open the topic of poly - and how it could be a legitimate option for her to build intimacy and a strong support system ? And start the education by offering examples of how that can happen.

Ok this happens to me a lot. In fact our ex ended up creating this scenario for us and in turn we tried to introduce her to it. She outright refuses to accept it as a life for her. She wants that vision of 4 kids, house, knight in shining armour to marry her and for her to be the stay at home mom. She wants this so much I believe she is walking right past a lot of opportunity for love.

Luckily for her, she is smart and picky. She won't and hasn't just jumped on the first man to try and woo her. She is waiting for that connection. Kudos to her for that


Quote:

This is a TRUE questions for all you ladies that have (or don't have) these opportunities. How often do you expose this alternative (even without explaining your own personal discovery) ?
does this preclude men from answering :p:D

I have a lot of female friends in the EXACT position as described, at various ages in various stages. In all cases they have expectations that they want to have met. Like checklists of life. Instead of being open to love, they are simply open to loving predescribed requirements.

The negative affect that has, as they get older, they drop some of their requirements, my concern for them is the eventual partner they find is no longer awesome for them, but simply a warm body so they can avoid the loneliness...

Ariakas 06-10-2010 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 32247)
I think things will change for women when they see their men staying home and helping them raise their kids... really there is a complete lack of trust there that needs to be addressed before anyone can even have ONE good relationship.

I would never have even considered this a problem. I guess, since I was raised by my dad while my mom was corporate big wig (in the 70s), I just figured this was long gone...I am a little flabbergasted to be honest.

SchrodingersCat 06-11-2010 04:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ariakas (Post 32315)
I would never have even considered this a problem. I guess, since I was raised by my dad while my mom was corporate big wig (in the 70s), I just figured this was long gone...I am a little flabbergasted to be honest.

Oh Hells no, stay-at-home dads are still a rare commodity. Most families where the mom wants to work involve sitters, daycare, or part-time jobs for mom.

The 70's was great for giving women the option of working or staying home. But back then, and even now, it's not like all women actually wanted to go out and work. A lot of women want to be mommies. And frankly, if I was going to do all the hard work of being a Mommy, I personally wouldn't want the burden of balancing it with a career. And for those women who want it all, I say a big Kudos because I sure couldn't!!

SchrodingersCat 06-11-2010 04:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit (Post 32303)
You are having a conversation over coffee (or tequila) and the subject turns to relationships. She's telling you she hates being alone and is having little luck finding a 'classical' mate. Do you open the topic of poly - and how it could be a legitimate option for her to build intimacy and a strong support system ? And if you don't, but just try to offer sympathy and 'classic' dating advice - WHY ?

I guess it depends what kinds of difficulties she's having.

I mean, if you're having trouble meeting someone who has the same interests as you, same goals, sexual attraction, is responsible enough to be a good role model for your kids and a reliable parent, and that whole package, then it's going to be just as hard if you're poly.

Perhaps you were talking about the notion that by opening her options to the poly dating pool, she might be able to find more compatible mates? I guess that's possible, but the poly dating pool is so small, adding those potential partners is a bit of a water drop in the bucket.

GroundedSpirit 06-11-2010 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ariakas (Post 32314)
.................
does this preclude men from answering :p:D

Well - actually yes Ari <chuckle>

Because the conversation - and credibility is not at all the same. That's the biggest part of the problem. Like you, I've had these conversations and with ladies that I had no particular interest in other than trying to be helpful.
But I'm a 'man' - and we're just players, predators etc. We have little credibility.

However, if this comes from another woman the situation is entirely different. I believe that even if there appears to be no 'immediate' acceptance- the seed is planted. Later - at some variable time - when thinking through it's pretty common for a reaction to occur like...."hmmmm maybe what Ms XXXX wasw saying is worth considering". It's only then that things may begin to change.

But thanks for your efforts too. Hopefully they can help.

GS

GroundedSpirit 06-11-2010 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat (Post 32421)
..........

I mean, if you're having trouble meeting someone who has the same interests as you, same goals, sexual attraction, is responsible enough to be a good role model for your kids and a reliable parent, and that whole package, then it's going to be just as hard if you're poly.

yea ? Not sure what you are getting at here...........

Quote:

Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat (Post 32421)
...Perhaps you were talking about the notion that by opening her options to the poly dating pool, she might be able to find more compatible mates? I guess that's possible, but the poly dating pool is so small, adding those potential partners is a bit of a water drop in the bucket.

Yes - exactly ! That's it.
And maybe something just surfaced here ! The potential 'poly' pool of men is far from the drop in the bucket you assume ! That's exactly the problem we're discussing. There's a pretty substantial pool of guys - and these are guys who (many or most) have already mastered certain desirable relationship skills by way of being in one (or more) loving relationships already ! Compare that to the 'single' pool - where in large part you are fishing in a pool of people with history of failure.

Now...........which would make more sense from YOUR perspective ? This assuming that you had somehow successfully detached from the White Knight, Picket Fence syndrome. Which pool would you feel more likely to have some success ?

See.........for me - I'm totally open to another nice lady to enter the picture. But my ears would definitely perk up quicker if I discovered she is already involved in a successful, loving relationship. Because that exhibits that she has the skills, desire, and ability to make solid connections and be creative & flexible in approaches how to strike balance.

But that logic seems to be missed in large from the ladies seeking relationships except for the small pool you mention of poly gals.

And it seems to me that any education has to come from that pool, for the credibility reasons I mentioned.

That help ? Make sense ?

Thanks for your input !

GS


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