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Old 02-15-2012, 02:08 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Choosing is an option for some I guess. That is what I understand from you and sourgirl and others. It isn't for me. I am poly in identity, even if I might choose to be in a mono situation.
Well, if you can choose monogamy, you can choose polyamory. (just a little poke)

Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I agree, gender/sexual identity is not the same as gender/sexual orientation. It seems to follow along the lines that introversion and extroversion does. I would agree with that... that is another identity that comes from an orientation though no?
I think it is simply a characteristic in one's personality; in other words, patterns in how one's emotional development, attitudes, and behavioral responses combine with one another, of course also influenced by cultural and familial circumstances.

I don't think a personality trait is the same as gender identity or sexual orientation (but I will look into that). In other words, a person may have developed a personality that is very comfortable with polyamory as a structure or practice, and in fact could feel a big hole in their life without multiple relationships, but again that is not gender identity nor sexual orientation, although I'm sure it feels all pretty much part of the same thing in one's head. Maybe some people have more of a capacity to compartmentalize certain aspects of their personalities than others do.

Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
It seems to me that orientation is something that one just is. Something that we are born with. Identity is how one chooses to express themselves and what we were born with.
I think you have it backwards. Identity is how you feel about yourself, and orientation is how you relate to others, who you are attracted to. Think of the verb, "orient." We orient ourselves to know where we are in relation to the world (aside: this is different from "orientate" which means to face east. A pet peeve of mine is when people mix these two words up). Expression is definitely a separate thing from those two -- we can express how we see ourselves, to whom we are attracted, and how we relate to others in many different ways.

Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Identifying as poly is two fold perhaps.... those who identify as poly in lifestyle choice and those that identify poly as their orientation.
Hmm, but there are people like me who do not see it as an identity nor lifestyle, but rather a practice or approach. So, I really don't think of myself as a polyamorous person. According to the continuums in the chart, I identify as a woman, express myself as feminine, am biologically female, and heterosexual in orientation -- and I also just happen to be someone who now wants multiple, non-exclusive loving relationships in my life. Before 2010, I happened to be someone who wanted to live happily and monogamously ever after with my husband. But I never really identified myself specifically as a monogamous person, because my approach to relationships isn't how I think about myself. To be honest, I don't really give much thought to my identity; it just is what it is.

I've said this before - (and I am not directing this to the OP or anyone who's contributed here, btw, it is just a general statement) I think too many people waste time and energy trying to figure out "if they are poly" instead of simply asking what kinds of relationships they want and going about creating that. People base their actions on some conclusion they've made about themselves, filling the holes they feel in their lives with people, trying to live up to some romanticized idea they have about something, and blaming a lot of drama they've created on "it's just my nature." I think it's much more beneficial to look at how we treat the people we're in relationship with, and do whatever we can to treat people well and bring more quality of loving kindness into our lives, whatever form that takes.
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 02-15-2012 at 03:22 AM.
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