Originally Posted by zylya
I said that I'd mention people who have examined their own lives and still choose monogamous arrangements, or even define themselves as monogamous people. A frequent message on this site is that love is an infinite resource, but things like time and energy are not. While someone may be ABLE to love more than one person at once, they may only WANT to feel that with one person at a time. Obviously we're not including anyone who only gets into monogamous relationships because that's what they've been taught (although we shouldn't entirely discount the social learning that happens for years, reinforced all around our society - movies, books, tv shows etc) but people who have realised and understand that they WANT and CHOOSE monogamous relationships for themselves. I guess the best way to explain this is to say that while I think that all humans are ABLE to love more than one person, they are not REQUIRED to love more than one person, or even anyone at all.
I believe the difference between monogamy and non-monogamy as relationship systems can be compared to the people who naturally prefer to have a small group of close friends to a larger group of less close friends. While someone who prefers a small group of close friends would certainly be ABLE to add a new friend into the mix, they might not WANT to. Similarly for monogamous arrangements, someone might be ABLE to love a second person, but they don't WANT to. They understand themselves well enough to know that they prefer to invest their limited time and energy into one relationship with one person.
At this point, I'd like to bring up poly-fidelitous arrangements, a sort of half-way house between monogamy and complete non-monogamy - a group of people who only have sex and romantic connection to other people within the group. To me, this actually reinforces the idea that monogamy (as a system) is a chosen system - while it's clear that these people can love more than one person (since the group is more than two) at the same time they're promising EXCLUSIVITY to each other because they, like those who choose monogamous relationships, prefer to invest their limited time and energy into those people within the group.
For all other non-monogamous arrangements, the people prefer to invest their time and energy with multiple people - I don't have to say a whole lot on this, since anyone on this site either knows, or is learning about it
I believe that each system is a totally valid way of living your life and managing your relationships, as long as you know that it's right for YOU. Any type of relationship borne out of fear and insecurity is a recipe for disaster.
Thank you, Z, for your insight, it really helped me think some things through in my own situation right now.
One concept I'm struggling with is "What's good for the goose is good for the gander."
Personally, that perspective is failing us right now. "If you love someone else, then it's ok for me to go look for someone else, too..." For some reason, we seemed to think that just because one of our hearts (mine) opened for someone new (and as a lovely consequence, my husband's heart opened for him, too), my husband needed to find someone new, too. Is this a Noah's Ark thing??! Everybody must be in pairs??
(Speaking of Bible stories/religion, Wow, Mag -- you refer to "YHWH" -- you must be very current on things. Isn't this something new? And Catholic?)
After reading Z's post, I'm realizing that maybe it's ok to say, "I am most comfortable living in a MFM V relationship. Forcing it into an N is not going so well, and it's ok to admit that just because I could be ok with it eventually, I may not WANT to. I lost sight lately of the freedom gained from living an honest, authentic, life, one of the things I've really embraced in poly. Am I a hypocrite for saying, "It's ok for me to love two, but YOU have to love only ME" -- ? What about, "I am not comfortable with you having casual sex with others, even if I am having sex with two men, because I am committed to our V and I would like you to be, too" -- ? Which brings me back to a more general discussion (and I apologize for getting off on a personal tangent)...
Polyamory is about loving more than one, not just having sex with more than one. Right? I guess I'm confused sometimes in that regard. The book Sex at Dawn
is about SEX, not necessarily love. And as far as the reproductive systems are concerned -- what about when you're past fertility? Isn't it clear to see that those things are rather moot after a certain age? With people living longer these days, it seems logical that we are examining relationships differently. Between that and the availability of birth control, it's not all about the babies we are potentially creating anymore.
I just realized that the terms aren't congruent! Mono-gamy is not the same as mono-amory, is it?? Ah, there lies my confusion, possibly...