Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Being Open about Being Open (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51865)

Flowerchild 08-08-2013 09:04 PM

Being Open about Being Open
 
I posted this as a comment in a thread, but would like to isolate here for more general comments.

I belong to a pretty active poly community in a major city (not going to specify). After researching, this particular group appears to be the only active community in the city for younger people (there's one other for older, married couples, not intentionally, just so happens that most of the members seem to be such).

I have not been able to get to any of the meetups or such for the one group, as they tend to be in the suburbs or places you need to drive, but as for the one in the city....of all the people I've met, NONE are open about it, save for a few close friends, perhaps some family...

I, mean, not a single person. Now, I don't know them all, maybe some are. But I've also never, in passing, met someone who said, "Oh, by the way, I'm poly" or even, "I'm dating this married woman." The only open relationship I've heard of, really, has been Newt Gingrich. Every time I've explained to someone I'm poly, they get confused (apart from my one friend with a swinger friend. she had to have poly explained, but was able to understand much quicker, though she is still impressed I've chosen a "complicated" situation, instead of a nice single guy.) I've even had someone from my poly group tell me, "But wouldn't it be better if Such and such were single?" I can't make him understand his marital status is truly not important to me (aside from his wife makes him happy). And he's POLY (though he's started admitting he's not "really" poly, just sort of open, actually, not even sure if he really WANTS to be open.)

As an example, I started a polyamory facebook page, just for fun, invited a few, but, as i sent it out to friends, added, "If you don't want to join, I won't be offended," assuming, as it turned out accurately, that most would be hesitant to openly support polyamory. Most of my friends got back to me with, "I'd love to, but I don't want my family or friends asking me questions, and I'd rather not have to lie to them...." Totally understood. Heck, I won't even publicly like my own page because I'm not ready.

What I want to know is, who is completely open about their poly lifestyle. As in, if I went to a family gathering with you there, and I went up to your aunt and told her about my married girlfriend with the caveat, "but it's okay, we're poly like So and So," would get a response like, "Oh, well, that's cool. So, what do you do for a living?" Or if I were to have a birthday party, I could invite you and your various SOs (attached or not) and introduce them to my friends. Or, you put, "It's complicated" as your Facebook status ;)

LovingRadiance 08-08-2013 09:41 PM

We are. There are others on here who are as well. There are at least two fb groups I am in that while the groups are private, many of the members are not. It is in my "about me" on my fb that I am poly. I regularly post lovey dovey and sexual content to Maca's fb and GG's as well.
Most of my online friends are poly and out as well. Though on the whole they tend to all be in Western Canada (Vancouver area) and Washington state.

I have a professor at school who is.

Maca and GG are out to coworkers as well (I dont work).

opalescent 08-08-2013 09:45 PM

FYI, Gingrich was not in open or poly relationships. He is your stereotypical serial cheater. And people do somehow seem to understand that more readily than ethical non-monogamy of whatever flavor (poly, open, swinging).

If you search for coming out you may find some thoughtful threads on why and when or if people chose to be out and poly proud.

Inyourendo 08-08-2013 09:49 PM

I'm open an always have been. Family, friends, coworkers all know. Now while my ex and I were poly, I no longer talk to him so I don't advertise the fact that I still am to him because I don't need any baby daddy drama from him. My 14 year old knows, we don't hide it from my younger sob (j spends the night sometimes) but we also don't talk to him about it

Flowerchild 08-08-2013 10:44 PM

Sorry :-p
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opalescent (Post 220642)
FYI, Gingrich was not in open or poly relationships. He is your stereotypical serial cheater.

I meant that to be more sarcastic, and, that was a bit my point, that that is what people think of when you say "open marriage" and "poly" when the truth is, well, CAN be, much different. Truthfully there are people who use the guise of poly to cheat or replace partners. But I'd like to think that represents a small minority.

bookbug 08-08-2013 11:04 PM

Well, I don't tell people with whom I merely associate, but are not friends. However, if I were monogamous I wouldn't share details about the relationship either.

A lot of my former coworkers (I just changed jobs) with whom I became close know. It was a big shrug for them. My mom knows, but she had poly tendencies herself. I have other family that learned about it directly from me after after a cousin decided to spread rumors. I told them straight out. Decided they could accept me or not. They accepted. Shrug.

I guess for me it depends on the degree of closeness - but as I said, I wouldn't talk about a mono relationship with most people either.

LovingRadiance 08-08-2013 11:09 PM

Bookbug-we are similar. We dont wear signs saying we are poly. But we live in a small community. People see me holding hands or kissing one or the other guy in public and questions arise.
We answer.
But usually we just say open or alternative relationship style because its too much wasted time trying to explain poly to every random store clerk who inquires.
If they are closer acquaintances I will add, "google polyamory".
Gives them food for thought.

But it is certainly not secret. Anyone who doesnt know is blatantly trying to avoid the info. Cause its all over fb and our social network of friends most of whom are mono.

FullofLove1052 08-08-2013 11:17 PM

We were out, and almost everyone knew--including my oldest baby. Did I just tell every random clerk at Waitrose or the server at Clos Maggiore? No. Only people who mattered or played a significant role in my life. There were quite a few people who did not know like people on the job (could not lose my livelihood), grands and great-grands, etc. It would have been no issue to mention poly to certain people. We were out but not shoving it down people's throats.

Things have changed quite drastically now. We are no longer open/out and never will be again. My DH has now flat out refused to be out. He took it another step and said that he did not want our children to ever be associated with or around poly again. During counselling, he told me that I was free to do what the hell I wanted but that I could not and would not drag him or our children down that path they never wanted to go down in the first place. He is the mono partner, but sadly, he and my baby paid the price for what was basically my and my ex's decision to be out. With this decision, my loved ones have dismissed that part of my life like it was a phase and filed it under DND; do not discuss.

bookbug 08-08-2013 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LovingRadiance (Post 220655)
Bookbug-we are similar. We dont wear signs saying we are poly. But we live in a small community. People see me holding hands or kissing one or the other guy in public and questions arise.
We answer.
But usually we just say open or alternative relationship style because its too much wasted time trying to explain poly to every random store clerk who inquires.
If they are closer acquaintances I will add, "google polyamory".
Gives them food for thought.

But it is certainly not secret. Anyone who doesnt know is blatantly trying to avoid the info. Cause its all over fb and our social network of friends most of whom are mono.

I notice that you and I do share some similar philosophies. :). I suppose it really does help that I don't care what others think about me. (INTJ here.) That said, I am not going to make an issue of it either, by telling more than mere acquaintances need to know. :p

And while I have not had this happen, if I told someone and that person could not accept it, then I don't need them anyway.

LovingRadiance 08-09-2013 12:19 AM

Lol. I am ENTJ.


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:12 AM.