Originally Posted by Petunia
I've been telling him this. That with any relationship you have no guarantees someone will stay with you - you can't control that, it's their choice whether you are in poly or monogamy.
OK, a good point, and the common response to that from the more monogamous-thinking folks is - "But that's what commitment should be all about - knowing that you're not going to leave me" - the implication is, therefore that poly implies a lack of commitment to romantic relationships.
When my counsellor friend, who had not heard of poly, and I chatted about this, and I explained how I felt about relationships, she observed that I am, in fact, MORE committed to my partners than a lot of monogamous folks are...
So... and this is what comes up - how do we define commitment? Is commitment to a relationship really saying "I will stick by you through thick and thin, even if we don't love each other any more?" Is it really intended to be a lifetime promise that bypasses any sort of choice? I think that the divorce rate shows that this isn't the case (unless all those folks never really had a committed relationship).
No, it really should involve choice - a relationship should last as long as you really want to be with a person. If it really isn't working, then why stick in it and make everyone unhappy?
Commitment, to me, means a promise to stick with things and work through issues, rather than turning tail and running at the first sight of trouble, or on a whim. If a relationship comes to an end it's because all possibilities to try to make it work have failed - there can be no positive outcome. The commitment is to try all those possibilities and to really work at it.
Others may have other definitions, but that is what my partners and I have agreed.