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Old 07-08-2012, 03:24 PM
apophis apophis is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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NovemberRain: Looking forward to it.

turtleHeart: I agree. My thoughts and feelings on the subject run very similar to what you seem to be experiencing.

Tonberry: You seem to have side-stepped the argument through analogy without really addressing it. I'll take this piece by piece.

Certainly there are mono partners who are co-dependent and spend all of their time together. There are also mono partners who are not co-dependent who still spend the majority of their time together because that's how they want to engage with someone. As turtleHeart mentioned, it's popular within that framework to consider the time you spend away from your partner your work time. Of course you also take time to be with friends and family, but the majority is still spent with your partner. This is really quite similar to most poly relationships where the majority of time is still spent with a much more limited number of people. It's just divided amongst those people instead of spent with the one. As I mentioned, I think it's important to compare mature mono with mature poly rather than immature mono with mature poly.

I agree that you sacrifice a fair amount of your alone time to be with a partner. In essence what you are doing is saying that I will learn and benefit more from being with this person than from being by myself. In the case of many poly people I think the belief is that being with multiple people in loving relationships will cause the most self-growth. For mono people it's that being with one person will. For someone who thinks that their greatest growth is done on their own, they'll likely remain single or keep small relationships on the side while maintaining the majority of time to themselves.

I mentioned the one on one time in my initial examples. I just took it further and said that you can't inherently compete in certain ways with someone who has far more one on one time than you do.

The argument about the child is an interesting addition, but I think it depends on how you handle it. First of all, of course I think people who are poly and childfree are still sacrificing the time commitment of the mono relationship. We can look at how children affect both mono and poly dynamics, but my initial argument was based on neither having children so as to simplify variables. That being the case, no part of my argument was dependent on either sort of relationship having children. The addition of children also does not affect my initial argument. Even if you could prove mono people have to focus on the child more than their relationship, my initial argument of mono being more time-committed to a partner than poly and what results from that would still be unaffected.

However I think that there are ways to address a child without losing your partner in the process. I have seen couples who can create an interaction with the child that is also romantic and intimate for the couple in the process. I think it really depends on how the child is handled. If the child is handled as something that needs to be dealt with on a regular basis and the partners simply trade off on the responsibilities then the child will take a tremendous amount of time away from the couple. However if the child is handled as an opportunity for shared experiences with something that you have equal responsibility to raise then I think you can continue to spend most of the time together that you initially did. Of course the dynamic will change to some extent and will sometimes be interrupted by the child doing something unexpected, but I think the integrity of the relationship and amount of commitment put into it can actually be preserved.

In the instance of multiple children, I absolutely do think that parents with multiple children end up knowing their children less well than parents with a single child. As with poly, that may be perfectly fine to those parents. It doesn't mean they love them less, and their goals in raising the children may not require the constant interaction of the single child. For instance to want your children to grow up physically and mentally healthy feeling supported in what they do is a very noble parenting goal. However it's also one that can take less of a one on one time commitment allowing for multiple children (though I think there's a limit to how many). On the other hand if one wants to consistently engage with the single child for one reason or another then having more than one child will become a detriment to that. Just like my argument for poly versus mono, this depends on personal choice of what's desirable to gain from the relationship.

It seems clear to me that what would be gained from a mono relationship is simply not desirable to you. I just want to note that I'm not faulting that. As I said in my initial post, this is really a personal choice. It doesn't mean you love your partners less, but I think it's necessary to articulate the realities of the benefits in both directions. I actually disagree on learning just as much by spending appropriate quality time with them even if it's less time. Part of the challenge of the mono relationship is reinventing your understanding. I think it's heard a lot in the negative of finding the new spark or things that failing couples need to do, but there's a grain of truth lying behind it. In a healthy mono relationship part of the enjoyable challenge becomes how to get to know the person you're with in ways you haven't already.

The reason I'm in a mono relationship is so that I can spend the majority of my time with my partner and turn as much of that time into quality time as possible. Thus my contention is that the more limited amount of quality time to be found in poly cannot compete with that in certain respects. Those respects may be less, and likely are less, desirable to the poly person in favor of the quality time spent with multiple people and what can be gained from that. However being that in the mono relationship my reason for being mono is to gain as much as I can from the one partner, that demands that we put a lot of effort into reinventing our understandings.

Mono relationships will easily stagnate on the basis of the same things being repeated. To go back to my example from my first post, it's sort of like if as a writer I was just using exactly the same formula over and over to whip out story after story. Eventually I would probably start to hate writing or at least be very bored by it. However my commitment to writing as a single career is based on the idea that I want to gain everything I possibly can from it. So I'm going to find as many diverse and fascinating new ways to use writing as possible.

Mono isn't based on the fairy tale. It's not about finding someone who fulfills your every need or someone to be co-dependent with. It's about the fact that both partners think the most they can individually gain will be gained from dedicating the majority of time and energy to each other. It's about the exploration of one person versus the exploration of multiple. Of course this demands exploration. You can't just both sit around not really doing anything and expect that the relationship will just happen. That's the immature fairy-tale idealism again. It's necessary to be looking in the relationship at what haven't we talked about before, what haven't we done together, what interests you that we haven't explored, and so on. By constantly pursuing those things with one person you will gain a level of experience and understanding with them that is logistically impossible in any other way. A poly relationship is still based on doing those things in the quality time, but the mono relationship has a lot more quality time. Also the mono relationship never has to focus on how to divide the quality time or any of the resulting conflicts.

So as I said in the first post which I don't think has been refuted, poly is the choice to sacrifice what can be gained from a person in a mono relationship for what can be gained from multiple people in poly. Mono is the choice to sacrifice what could be gained from the multiple people for the total exploration of the one. They both have benefits. I don't think either one is right. I don't think poly people love their partners less than mono people or wouldn't put themselves on the line for them. It's a personal choice, but I do think it's entirely necessary to articulate the differences and that there are benefits and sacrifices from both styles of relationship.
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