Originally Posted by evanevans
I think the biggest fear/hurdle/rub in getting a Mono to understand Poly is to stop comparing the two.
Poly works, and creates happiness, intrinsic to it's "poly ways", not in any way intrinsic to "mono ways". And so Mono's have the mental block/hurdle of understanding how "poly ways" create happiness for polys in ways they don't consider happiness to mono's. And they seem to try and understand it as how it differs from their mono lifestyle. But that's like trying to see the difference between Scissors and a Whale. They each serve such a different purpose and really have their own entire way of life and purpose. Mono's seem to project the question: "How would that make me feel?" in trying to understand it. But that is the block right there. You can't use your own mono experiences to understand poly. A Whale doesn't care how being Scissors would make him feel. He doesn't have a need to cut paper.
I guess I'm also sort of scratching my head as to the point. I don't understand how jumping out of airplanes makes anyone happy, but honestly, I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure it out. It does, they do it, they lead their life, I lead mine. It makes no difference if I get it or not, and I can guarantee they also don't understand why some of the things I do make me happy!
I'm curious if your statement/question is coming from a personal incident in your life in which you'd like to be poly and your SO doesn't? In which you're trying to explain how you feel and don't feel that you're being understood?
I guess to me, asking "How would that make me feel?" is most people's attempt to follow the Golden Rule. It's what parents often say to their children in trying to teach them to understand others: How would that make you feel? if it would hurt you, then you shouldn't be doing it to someone else.
Again, it makes me wonder if this question relates to an incident in your life of trying to explain to someone else how you feel.
Also, are we talking about someone of a mono mindset (ie, someone who has never been in love with two people at once) or someone of a mono relationship style (wishes to be monogamous regardless of feelings for others)? Are we talking about them trying to understand poly as in the ability
to fall in love with multiple people or poly as a relationship style and why it would bring happiness?
With respect you are not the first person who is relatively new to poly that has voiced the opinion that it is somehow more "evolved" than monogamy. I would gently caution you that this can come across as very disrespectful towards monogamy, which works exceedingly well for a large group of people - telling them that their chosen relationship style is "less evolved" can feel pretty condescending.
Thank you for saying so, Ciel du Matin.
What I find interesting from my reading on this board is the two distinct issues of poly as ability to love multiple people romantically vs. poly as a relationship style. I have definitely had major infatuations with two people at once. There are plenty of stories of women thinking they were war widows and re-marrying only to have the missing husband return--and they are torn in half, because they love both. To me, poly as a mindset
is perfectly normal, so much so that I never would have thought to give it a name. If someone has never fallen in love with two people at once, if their feelings for one die as their feelings for another grow, I would never think to call them less evolved--it's simply the way their
emotions work. Not much different than one of us liking apples and one of us preferring bananas.
As to lifestyle, I also wouldn't call it less evolved. I have become involved with a married man I'd known as a friend for years before my divorce. His wife is fully aware and highly approving, or I wouldn't be near him. I continue to see him because I very much enjoy his company and our time together and I see a great deal of good and personal healing and growth coming out of it for both of us.
...having experienced a polyamory relationship, I'm not at all convinced I ever want to be in one again. This makes me, I suppose, someone of a poly mindset (quite capable of loving multiple people) but preferring a mono relationship style.
This doesn't mean I disrespect anyone here (in fact, I've seen some great wisdom here about relationships and a lot of mutual respect). I don't regard anyone here as more or less evolved because they will likely pursue different styles of relationship in future than I will; nor do I regard myself as more or less evolved because of how I would prefer my next relationship to be. We simply want different things out of life and relationships.