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-   -   Poly: Choice or Predisposition? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68443)

BillNIndy 01-10-2014 06:16 PM

Poly: Choice or Predisposition?
Hi everyone, my first post here and I've come here because I'm pretty sure that I am poly and I've always been poly. What I'm looking for is:

From your personal experiences, do you believe that you were born poly or do you think that poly is a life choice that you conciously made?

For me, I think that (looking back on all previous relationships) I've always been a person that seeks the deeper emotional connection over a physical connection. I've always been the kind of person that develops deep care for others (love in many cases) without having any control over it.

I think that I was predisposed to be polyamorous. I don't think that it is something I have chosen, even though I have made the decision that I will not refuse myself of the opportunity to live a poly lifestyle any more. I know that living mono just doesn't work for me.

So, what do you think, are you born poly or do you choose to be poly?

I appreciate everyones input on this. It is really something that I've been trying to figure out for myself and now that I THINK I have it figured out, I want to know what everyone else felt like.

opalescent 01-10-2014 06:52 PM

I chose to be ethically non-monogmaous. Within that category, I also choose to be open and poly.

I'm not someone who finds this question useful. I experience my relationship and sexual orientations as very fluid. Also, I strongly feel it is a false dichotomy. We are always being influenced in ways that are obvious or subtle by genetics, by experiences, by our upbringing, by our past or present environment and so on.

I also find the related argument (which the OP did not make) that if something is innate and can't be changed, then that is additional weight for pushing for acceptance and some level of civil rights respect. I call it the 'I can't help myself' argument for gay rights. What this does is set in stone a 'normal' and an 'abnormal' - where the 'abnormal' may be accepted but is always secondary, and always defined in relation to the normal. It does not allow for the civil rights argument that I exist and therefore deserve civil rights, regardless of my genetic code or expression of relationship preferences.

And anyway, this turned into a bit of a rant.

ShpaceEchsplorer 01-10-2014 08:41 PM

I was born and raised to be a monogamous. I tried living my life that way and it contradicting inner feeling I had. It led to causing pain for a mono partner. I mostly didn't realize I was poly because I didn't know it was an option in the first place. Everyone I knew has either been mono or secret about alternative sexuality to the point I assumed them mono. So I was afraid that I was the only person in the world who felt like me and it took me decades to discover I wasn't the only one. But yeah, I think it was always in me. Being raised in a nuclear family really does suppress it efficiently.

BillNIndy 01-10-2014 08:49 PM

Thanks. I think my situation is similar in that I was always raised to be mono.

I came to a point in my life with my ex-wife, where I knew something was missing and she was "fairly" open minded about things, so we tried swinging. While it was fun and all, it still didn't quite fit what I felt I needed. When we found a specific couple that we became "regular" partners with, I began to have feelings grow towards the wife of the other couple and she did with me as well.

That was the end of that arrangement, my wife was completely OK with me having sex with someone else, but not with me having feelings for someone else.

LovingRadiance 01-11-2014 12:32 AM

Both. I am poly by nature, even in 1st grade I had an interest in two boys and a girl.
But I choose a poly lifestyle, at other times in life I have chosen a mono lifestyle because it worked for the moment.

nycindie 01-11-2014 01:47 AM

In my opinion, people are, well... just people. I don't believe or give credence to any hypothesis which states that people are inherently polyamorous or monogamous. I disagree with the notion that poly is an orientation. I view polyamory as simply a structure or approach to relationships that we desire or choose to practice - or not. Even if one feels predisposed to practice poly, even if one remembers having multiple crushes way back in kindergarten, it doesn't mean anything other than that is how you feel. But feelings aren't facts. It's still a conscious choice one makes to be in a poly situation, and that choice is influenced by many factors such as upbringing, societal influence, and a variety of personality traits.

I always find the question "Am I poly?" rather useless and a waste of energy. And I've seen many instances where people use the idea that they are "wired" poly just as an excuse to run roughshod over their partners so they can get their jollies with others.

There are numerous discussions and debates on this topic here and on every poly forum out there, if you do a simple search. I don't really see the point. People spend lots of time trying to figure out if they (or someone they're interested in) are poly or not, but all you really need to do is cultivate self-awareness, ask yourself what you want in life, and see if you can create ways to make it happen with consideration and compassion for the people you care about.

RichardInTN 01-11-2014 12:00 PM

I believe that all humans are "hard wired" for poly but not in a "you WILL be poly" sense. I believe it's more of a "hallway with infinite doors" type of thing, and the software (social upbringing) either only allows one to open at a time (raised mono) or allows combinations of doors to be open at any time (raised poly). Some people can break their software programming and open those doors though. That's why poly people can come from mono upbringing.

bookbug 01-11-2014 02:44 PM

My personal theory - for what it's worth - is that the predisposition (or not) lies along a spectrum. Some people cannot function as anything but poly; others can't function as anything but mono; and the rest is in between. Me? With the right people - meaning those with excellent relationship and communication skills - I can function in either configuration. Right now, I am in a mono relationship with a guy who has had some poly experiences and is open to it, but our time is so constrained, we barely have time for one another, much less additions.

belleamore 01-12-2014 02:12 AM

I think that while raised to be monogamous, and taught that any sort of relationship that isn't monogamous is bad, I am predisposed to being polyamorous. It's gotten me in trouble in the past, when I didn't understand that's how my heart worked - I thought that having feelings for more than one person was bad and wrong for the longest time, due to my upbringing, but that didn't stop it from happening. It took the help of a couple of very close friends of mine to realize that having feelings for multiple people is not bad, and I'm not a bad person for feeling the way that I do. My best college friend put it best when he said "You just have too much love to give to one person, you have to share it around - and that's not a bad thing".

Inyourendo 01-12-2014 02:24 AM

I don't think for me it's a choice. Just like being bi isn't a choice. Its just how I am

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