Is anyone poly for nonsexual reasons?
Hi, here is my thing...
I sometimes have felt pressured to find a primary pair bond relationship for reasons that were not romantic and sexual - I am on the asexual spectrum to some extent (I'm demisexual to a degree) and do not have a huge sex drive when I'm alone. I tend to only want to have sex when I'm already with someone I love. I'm quite capable of being sexually monogamous and have tended to just lose sexual interest when relationships went south. I didn't feel the urge to go out and find someone else. I go a long time between partners. I have felt the pressure to partner however just to have companionship and deep connection but every time I've partnered, I ended up enjoying even LESS of this than I enjoyed as a single person. Plus I have had friendships that were "blurry" and were intimate to the degree of blurring the lines with partnerships. They just haven't been necessarily sexual (although one was).
I have felt a huge relief since discovering poly, like I found a missing piece. I was afraid at first that I would feel pressured to find somebody ("they date all of these people and I can't even find ONE!") but it's actually the opposite. I don't feel pressured at all, and feel like, if I have enough poly friends, I won't have a shortage of company so there's no real need to "pair off". I'm not left alone anymore just because all of my friends are "paired off". For the first time I feel relieved of this pressure and like if I wanted to live outside of the paradigm of marriage and primary partnership, then it would not mean being totally alone. I am a very loving friend and enjoy one-on-one time with people and connecting at a deep level. In a weird way, by letting go of the pair paradigm and by letting go of trying to find a soulmate, I feel more likely to actually find one, too.
Now that I have some poly friends, I always have someone to see a film with or talk to, even if they are in a relationship. The relationships aren't totally "airtight" against deep friendships with other people the way my monogamous friends' relationships are. I don't feel "left out" anymore and in fact I increasingly feel less and less like I "need a relationship". I'm a whole and complete member of a tribe, not a half person missing their other half. I am increasingly more and more comfortable just hanging loose and enjoying my friendships as they are, and letting things be where they are.
When I've been in monogamous relationships, however, that person tended to be very threatened by the other people in my life. I've ended up MORE lonely in relationships than I've ever been single. They expected to be the only person with whom I shared Deep Conversation type of energy. They wanted to be the only person who knew about my life. Trouble is, plenty of people do. I'm not that hard to know.
A friend of mine recently called me a "social swinger". I enjoy sexual and romantic relationships on occasion, but closeness is more my motivation than sex and I tend to want more closeness and depth than I seem to be able to get in any one relationship.
I'm not happy unless I have the freedom to talk to people and get to know people. Some of my friendships even get slightly "blurry" - some of my friendships are very loving, though not necessarily physical or even sexual (I don't have a high sex drive, in fact!) - and then I deal with the pain when the person goes off into a monogamous relationship, then completely shuts me out on all but a superficial basis.
As a result of this, I've discovered polyamorous friends and how wonderful they can be; there is a depth we can have together that I don't seem to be able to have with my friends who are in the "Pairs" relationship paradigm. They are able to talk to me all day and on deeper levels than my mono friends ever were because they are not as afraid of "what might happen". They're not pushing intimacy away, if it happens then it happens, so the friendship can simply be deeper. It's the level of depth that I prefer and have always missed in my friendships.
Seems monogamous people are either desperately looking for their half-a-pair, or jealously mate-guarding to the extent that they lock all of the other people out of their lives (except to have dinner parties with other monogamous pairs).
Whereas I am happiest living in an amorphous web of relationships (I'm capable of having multiple best friends) of various levels of depth and I don't want to feel like I have to suddenly transition my friendships to shallow acquaintanceships when I become romantic and sexual with somebody. I don't feel like I am a fit in the "pairs" world and I've been deeply unhappy when I've been part of a pair. I'd like to be in love - but I'd like it to evolve organically. The "pairs" world seems to leave no possibility for that.
What I also realize is that my previous relationships might have actually been better if we had been openly poly. I came with my network of deep connections, and they were threatened, and I was just arguing loudly "WE ARE NOT LIKE THAT! I Never slept with these people!" (in all but one case, one person was an ex and we're still close). It would have been MUCH easier if it could be on the table in the beginning: "these are the people in my life whom I love" instead of trying to sort everyone into the "friends" vs "lovers" box so neatly.
Last edited by Quietfever; 07-10-2012 at 08:57 PM.