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-   -   How to fail at poly well (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69426)

copperhead 03-25-2014 01:42 PM

How to fail at poly well
 
Ok, my first real experience at polyamory didn't go down that well. I wasn't ready (I thought I was, and I tried my best) and due to that other people got hurt (as well).

I've been reading this forum and lots of articles about polyamory, but haven't still found instructions on how to fail at poly and keep the casualties at minimum. Seems like an important topic for us newbies. Everyone seems to aggree that polyamory is not easy and there are lots of instructions on how to do it right. It feels like once you try, you'll just have to get it right. But what if you don't? How to fail well?

graviton 03-25-2014 06:50 PM

I hear you man. My attempt failed spectacularly with hurt feelings all around and now there are 6 friends/acquaintances that I am estranged from because poly is just "wrong". I take responsibility for my part in it but I am pissed that others won't do the same.

SchrodingersCat 03-25-2014 07:10 PM

I guess it depends what you mean by "fail." I mean, sometimes relationships end. That's life. It doesn't mean you failed. I like the attitude that it's only failure if you give up and refuse to try again. Otherwise it's just learning a experience.

I would say that as long as you're being sincere to yourself and your partners, you're considering everyone's feelings as being equally valid and important, and you're not being a general ass hat, then you didn't "fail."

Going forward, look at what you could have done differently. For example, you figure you weren't ready. What do you mean by that? How will you know, by contrast, when you are ready? Do you need to learn more communication skills? Do you need to gain an awareness of yourself and how you function? Do you need to learn more about how other people function, what different people do differently, etc? It doesn't sound like you were just being a selfish prick who doesn't care about anyone but yourself, or else you wouldn't be here talking about your own supposed failure but rather you'd be talking about how everyone else screwed up your party.

Marcus 03-25-2014 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by copperhead (Post 262979)
Ok, my first real experience at polyamory didn't go down that well. I wasn't ready (I thought I was, and I tried my best) and due to that other people got hurt (as well).

Every romantic relationship I have had in my life has come to an end at some point. Who knows if I will meet someone who will be with me from now until I die but exactly all of my experiences to this point have demonstrated that this is unlikely.

That being said, all of these past relationships have ended for good reason but ended in hurt feelings on at least one side. People get attached to each other and to the idea of being together, so when it ends there is a high probability that someone is going to be let down.

Quote:

Originally Posted by copperhead (Post 262979)
I've been reading this forum and lots of articles about polyamory, but haven't still found instructions on how to fail at poly and keep the casualties at minimum.

Without a description of what you are actually talking about I can only assume that you are talking about drama bombs being dropped at the end of a relationship. Am I close?

If that's the case, then it is much ado about the people involved. Self-absorbed, insecure, and possessive people are A-L-W-A-Y-S going to end relationships with casualties. My only advice would be to tell you to avoid associating with these types of people if you want to dissolve romantic relationships without drama.

copperhead 03-25-2014 08:20 PM

What I was referring to was that I thought I was ready and wasn't and in the process ended up hurting my partner and the woman he was interested in. I was thibking about how to fail like this without hurting others too much.

But after I wrote the original post I learned that they already had sex, even though he had promised to me not to do anything without letting me know what direction things were headed. He did this at a time when I didn't even know he was interested in her, so that's a major dealbraker. I have felt bad for two weeks thinking I'm just not good enough to have a polyamorous relationship. And all this time it was him.

Marcus 03-25-2014 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by copperhead (Post 263008)
they already had sex, even though he had promised to me not to do anything without letting me know what direction things were headed.

So your end of this issue was that you tried to limit his actions because you were insecure about how it would impact your relationship with him?

That is an action which you can work on. "Not ready for poly" is far to vague to be of use when trying to emotionally progress and will likely only succeed in causing frustration.

Sounds like you accidentally dodged a bullet. Dating someone who is comfortable with lying isn't going to end well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by graviton (Post 263002)
now there are 6 friends/acquaintances that I am estranged from because poly is just "wrong"

This would be a good example of the involved parties being self-absorbed (and simple minded) and should be avoided in the future. These folks are usually going to encourage drama when they don't get their way.

copperhead 03-25-2014 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcus (Post 263011)
So your end of this issue was that you tried to limit his actions because you were insecure about how it would impact your relationship with him?

My side of the story is pretty much in Aspergers and poly thread. I did my best at not limiting him but telling him what I'm comfortable with and pushing myself further for him. And he made promises to stay within my limits and let me know if he needed to or wanted to move beyond them so that I could deal with it. He broke both those promises.

Marcus 03-25-2014 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by copperhead (Post 263012)
My side of the story is pretty much in Aspergers and poly thread. I did my best at not limiting him but telling him what I'm comfortable with and pushing myself further for him. And he made promises to stay within my limits and let me know if he needed to or wanted to move beyond them so that I could deal with it. He broke both those promises.

Your jealousy issues and his decision making are two separate issues. At least they should be if your interest is actually to grow from the experience.

SchrodingersCat 03-26-2014 05:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcus (Post 263011)
So your end of this issue was that you tried to limit his actions because you were insecure about how it would impact your relationship with him?

I don't see it as "limiting his actions" to request communication and information about things that are going on in her life and may affect her. She didn't say "Don't progress your other relationships without my permission," she said "Just keep me informed as your other relationships progress."

copperhead 03-26-2014 06:55 AM

Marcus, you don't get to diagnoze me with jealousy nor any other thing. To me your communication style is an example of what is wrong and scary in polyamory (gasp!). You belittle my experience and my feelings, you make excuses for salamander like his behavior was alright. Maybe you have relationships that work without agreements, boundaries, rules or limits. Congratulations. I wouldn't start any kind of relationship with you though. I bet you wouldn't with me either. But Salamander agreed to start a relationship knowing my limits. He promised not to cheat and not to hurt me. Yet he did. He broke his word in so many ways that I'm still finding out new stuff. It hurts. I don't need you to blame me for jealousy. Just back off.


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