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Old 12-14-2009, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Derbylicious View Post
Here's my perspective for what it's worth. My partner and I have boundaries in our relationships. One of the main reasons is that we have children together and those children need both of us together to be a support system to them. We can't selfishly become involved in a relationship that becomes more important than the one that we have with each other.
That's certainly understandable. I've noticed a variety of ways that poly couples deal with how they balance children with their other relationships. From my perspective, I would hope that a prospective partner who has children with another partner would have enough trust between them and enough trust in me to make choices that honor that partnership without having to put in pre-set rules before we would even have a chance to explore how our relationship may develop.

Originally Posted by Derbylicious View Post
Because of this I tend to seek out others who also have a primary relationship. If it's not a good match for you to be a secondary to someone who has a definite primary it's probably just best to walk away from the situation before getting too emotionally invested.
My issue isn't about whether or not a prospective partner has a definite primary or whether my role is secondary in a relationship (I'm actually *not* in the market for a primary style relationship at this point in my life. I will be, but I'm not at this time). My issue is about setting pre-set limits and rules on other partnerships before they can even develop into what they could. For me, setting such rules implies a lack of trust that partners would do the right thing anyway. Anyway, I do walk away from such situations before getting involved, the only trouble is that such situations comprise the vast majority of poly relationships that are available to me.

Originally Posted by crisare View Post
Interestingly enough, I find myself feeling quite the opposite of you, Ceoli. I want a relationship where I am decidedly a "second" in the hierarchy. That doesn't mean I want to be emotionally marginalized or that I want to be treated unfairly, but I don't want to become a part of a relationship where they want a full time third partner (or 4th partner, or whatever). I am very comfortable in my life being the secondary to someone who has a defined primary.

Just goes to show that there's someone for everyone, right?
Funnily enough, as I said before, I'm not really in the market for a primary style relationship. My life is in far too much transition for that. Like I said, it's the idea of pre-shaping other relationships because of the primary one that I find unappealing. And it becomes even less appealing when the motivation is about setting rules to "protect" the primary relationship. That immediately says that what ever relationship I may be developing in this dynamic could be a "bad and scary thing". I really don't need that kind of drama sitting in the foundation of something that I haven't even had the chance to build yet.

I know a lot of people say they don't like the labels of primary and secondary, and neither do I, but frankly, that is the structure I encounter most often when being approached about possible relationships. And my part has already been prescribed. That's what I don't like.

For me the annoyance isn't about not having a primary relationship, its about the huge number of times the nature of what relationship I might have with someone in another primary relationship has already been decided before I'm even in the picture.
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