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Old 04-20-2012, 12:50 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Upstate New York, USA
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First up, I agree with what the other responders have said so far.

Originally Posted by LemonCakeIsALie33 View Post
That is, if I am close with someone who is in a monogamous or monogamous-by-default relationship, someone who does not identify as poly (but may not be mono) should I distance myself romantically? Should I avoid allowing a crush to develop?
If they have made no overtures about being poly, then yes, you should totally avoid any romantic entanglement with, and should file them away as "do not touch" when it comes to crushes. Developing crushes where the only hope of something happens is in your dreams and fantasies will probably only end up with you frustrated and hurt, or doing something colossally stupid (or some combination).

However, I know someone who was in exactly this position, and trying to talk reason to her was like trying to talk to a brick wall.... It's too easy to get into the "but what if he/she is really poly and doesn't know it", or convincing yourself that the existing relationship is either not good for him or already on the rocks. "Here be Dragons"

So if you can control, it, then please do so.

Originally Posted by LemonCakeIsALie33 View Post
Someone I know (albeit someone I find often has the air of wisdom without actually being wise) said to me tonight, "Stay away from people in relationships."
That is the version in a monogamous world - the poly version of this would be "Stay away from people in monogamous relationships". But you can also add to this that you need to stay away from developing crushes on folks who are profoundly monogamous if you are polyamorous - that can lead to large amounts of pain and suffering too.

Originally Posted by LemonCakeIsALie33 View Post
It really got under my skin. Am I bringing this pain on myself? Should I avoid being friends with people if I start feeling I might crush on them?
Maybe you need to distinguish friendship from romantic interest. I have quite a few people who I feel attracted to who are not available. But I know that and I don't let it go further in my mind than "wow, that person is attractive". I don't picture myself having a romantic relationship with them and certainly would never dream of acting on it in any way that made their lives difficult or ruined our friendship. (For the record, one of my friends does know that I find her very attractive in many ways, and the only reason I told her was because I knew I could trust her not to assume that that meant anything other than the fact that I think she is a dear sweet person...)

So there's nothing wrong with being attracted to someone, it's all about what you do with that, both your actions, and how much you let it eat at you.

Originally Posted by LemonCakeIsALie33 View Post
Recently, it seems to me that much of my romantic pain has been caused in relation to people in monogamous relationships. I've been bemoaning society and how it leads us to believe all sorts of things about relationships that aren't true, such as that mono is the only way and poly means you don't really love someone.
For some people monogamy is the only way that they want to have a relationship. I think that we need to respect that in the same way that we would respect any boundary, and in the same way that we would like them to accept our way.

Feel free to bemoan society - there are plenty of folks in the poly and queer communities that do the same - and the idea that there are some folks out there who may well be poly but have been conditioned by society to think that monogamy is the only way is one that is disturbing from a global aspect but also because it reduces the pool of available relationships. But I firmly believe that folks have to come to their own realisations about things like this - it's not our job to "convert" anyone, just to show that this is indeed, a viable lovestyle.

Originally Posted by LemonCakeIsALie33 View Post
But the world is this way. So given that it is... should I just work with it? Should I close myself off, distance myself in some ways? Or does this just provide the illusion of protection?
If you are not capable of handling and controlling your feelings towards unavailable people, then yes, I think you need to do that. However, I would suggest that you also do some work on yourself along the lines of distinguishing attraction from the automatic desire to have a relationship with them. Because if you can get better at doing that, then you may well be able to be more open to folks, and not let it get out of hand. You will be able to keep friendships and be a lot happier in the process.

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
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