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-   -   Considering Poly, any advise? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7055)

SuperLaur 02-22-2011 08:41 AM

Considering Poly, any advise?
So, here's a quick background.

About two years ago I was introduced to an interesting article/essay on poly, i've been in a monogamous relationship since then but its recently come to an end, because of my lack of a) wanting a stereotypical relationship with all of the boundaries and social expectations and b) not really liking the idea of long term monogamous commitment that is often required for 'relationships'to work.

Anyway what I'm saying is that I have a very non conventional view of what a relationship is/should be...but obviously most other people don't.

It's come about in the last few weeks that a friend of mine has feelings for me (and I for him for around 7 years) but I very much do not want an exclusive relationship, we've been going on as usual with some very nice intimate moments in between,
so here's my question/dilema. I've discussed with my friend the fact that I am not conventional etc, that I would not want exclusivity and would not expect it in return, but I'm still somewhat guided by social 'norms' and fear hurting him/ruining our friendship if it carries on and the idea of poly can't be accepted etc.

so fire away, help me out here because atm I have no idea about where the next move should take us/me.

nycindie 02-22-2011 09:06 AM

Hello and welcome to the forum. I looked at your profile and all I see is that you're female, so... some more info about you would be helpful, such as age, sexual orientation, general location (since that's often a factor in being "conventional" or not). That being said...

First of all, just because you're reading about and embracing polyamory, you don't have to use that word to bring up the subject with someone. You can use other terms that make it more easily understood.

Secondly, you're fresh out of a long-term relationship that ended. It would not seem abnormal to say you're not looking for exclusivity now. Most people need to take some time after a split, that wouldn't really seem odd. It would be rather presumptuous of any new person in your life to think that you're just going to jump right in to a monogamous relationship right away! Just say you're dating, and as you get to know the person and learn more about poly, discuss it with him. It doesn't have to be this big heavy thing you spring on him and close your eyes hoping it will be taken well.

I know lots of people here say we should warn any prospective partners right away that we're poly, before anything starts, but I feel like that's assuming too much. It's like saying you know they want something serious with you, and that, of course, they want you totally devoted to them. It think you can start off dating someone in a much more relaxed way and just see how it goes and what they want. There is nothing wrong with getting a little attention from someone you're interested in, enjoying their company, going out a few times to get to know them, and waiting a little bit to even see if something could develop before having a big serious talk. You might go out and realize you're not that interested in continuing further -- you never know!

Of course, I also agree that clear, direct, honest communication is key. So it may be very appropriate to bring it up right away. You have to see how the moment goes and who this person is. As far as what to say, why couldn't it be something as simple as: "I am not interested right now in exclusivity, nor am I hoping to find The One. I want to discover what would make me happy in my life and that includes what kinds of relationships I want to have. I'm not against developing something serious, but want to take my time and enjoy meeting people, so I'm in no hurry. If you want to date me, you'd have to be okay with my dating other people for now."

I recently sent pretty much all of that in a message to someone on OKCupid (a dating site) and he responded with, "You are direct, honest and to-the-point. Lets go for it."

Again, welcome! This is a great community.

SuperLaur 02-22-2011 11:54 AM

thanks for that, well i've updated some of my details but in answer to your questions i'm 25, prefer relationships with guys but have had relationships with women, I find both sexes attractive but wouldn't identify myself as bisexual. I'm just liberal! ;)

You make a valid point about the dating thing but I have tendencies to create intense bonds with people and have found that in the past they have evolved into something that wasn't fully expected or understood by the other party.
You know the deal, 'oh I'm in love with you' then I somewhat feel responsible for the following disapointment, (when they realise that i'm not a 2.4 children, house and a dog kind of person,) because as much as I tend to care for/respect the other party I'm not really a big believer of 'love'. Well not how the Western ideology polarizes it.

So if that makes sense I now try to be very clear from the beginning as I would hate to be thought of as using people, which is not the case. I find people/relationships variable and what you experience with one person is different from the next but as I see it we shouldn't have to choose, there's enough of us to go around.

I've asked myself the question 'am I fucking around' and that's not the case as it's not just about the sex, its the everything.
Anyway i'm young have all my life etc but in all fairness I think I just want to find some ligitimacy for my approach to the way I think. because we have to be honest that this sort of behaviour in the social 'norm' of things is considered to be 'abnormal' no?!! :eek:

and with the matter in hand with my friend (a very, very good friend) I want a relationship with him but not just with him ....i suppose we need to negotiate the terms, and see if it can work because to be honest I like it the way it is. I just want to avoid the complications associated with cultural/social expectations! lol no promises:no expectations
Plus I'd like to see him with another girl, he's too nice to keep to myself...i'm never selfish and he's way to lovely to only have one special person in his life.

ok thanks for listen to my semi rant/offload.

redpepper 02-22-2011 03:17 PM

I'm not sure what your question is, but welcome. It sounds like you are doing just fine. Taking your time, being honest, not naming yourself. I would suggest doing some reading here so you have some heads up on what could come up, but other than that you seem to be managing quite well.

BlackUnicorn 02-22-2011 03:35 PM


Originally Posted by SuperLaur (Post 67659)
so here's my question/dilema. I've discussed with my friend the fact that I am not conventional etc, that I would not want exclusivity and would not expect it in return, but I'm still somewhat guided by social 'norms' and fear hurting him/ruining our friendship if it carries on and the idea of poly can't be accepted etc.

Hi and welcome!

I think your problems isn't so much about being indoctrined and unable to let go of societal norms, but about being a considerate, vulnerable and real person who is concerned about leading on someone whom she cares about.

SuperLaur 02-22-2011 05:39 PM

yeah ur right, cheers.
There's not much of a question, more just a general info on the situation. I'm putting it out there for the feedback really, I just want to do the right thing by for myself and others.
so thanks, I feel better just getting off my chest.

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