Good insight all around, especially regarding dating. I'll try to keep those two issues more separate in my mind moving forward.
However – with regard to shared activities or experiences, I do think mono-poly frictions are at the source of it.
In response to MindfulAgony who had said:
You seem to be experiencing problems in your primary relationship in terms of your connection with your partner and the number of arenas you connect deeply on.*
Yeah, this is certainly true – but part of these issues are rooted in mono/poly mindsets. Or at least that’s how it was presented to me. I'll give you a concrete example. My partner wont join me in several activities, ranging from the completely mundane (won't join me for poker night) to serious (won't come with me to visit my family) in terms of my emotional needs.
I used to spend a lot of time pressuring her into joining me. She claimed that this was part of my monogamous mindset, that I was looking for a mythical fairy-tale person who would complete me in every-way. I was certainly guilty of some of that early on in our relationship, but I don't think its the case anymore.
I don't feel like I need her by my side ALL the time. I now consider myself a very independent person. Other coupleo have said as much too. I'm certainly OK with her skipping poker night. But on the more serious side I often take weekend trips out of the city into the country to get some nature in and put my mind at ease and she HATES coming with me. Really seriously she wont visit my family with me.
Well – its not that she wont. When I have convinced her to come – she's bitter and grouchy the entire time and pressures me into leaving early – or leaving without me. She feels coerced, like I'm stripping her of her freedoms.
I explained to her that it was important to me, and her reaction was something along the lines of “just because I love you doesn't mean that I should do things just to keep you happy if they make me miserable - find someone else to do it with” or like “why are you trying to change me?”
I explained to her that I gladly sacrifice for her just to make her happy and its not a big deal for me. She says that that’s not healthy. I get that a mono-mindset can create couples that take this to ridiculous extremes, they defer dreams, plans, loose friends, or pass up jobs for the other. But this was never us. I'm just talking about a boring weekend with my sisters so I can catch up with my nieces and nephews. More than that, I want HER to see ME with my family, to see how my sisters are an influence in my life. I also want my parents to see that she's a positive influence in my life. Her take on it is just kinda like “I don’t want to or need to”
Is this really a poly-mindset? As poly-couples go, do you the rest of you really not make any sacrifices for the other? I really don't get the benefit to so much unbridled freedom. How can you show someone you care about them if you just do whatever you want without regard for the other all the time? I get that I'm responsible for my own happiness – but the more I take this to heart – the less of a presence she is in my life. I'm now asking myself, do I need her at all?