Originally Posted by WhatHappened
To my mind, most (not all, but most) people date with the intention of finding a life partner. A poly man who is upfront about loving his wife takes away that promise and hope.
Maybe they don't want a life partner for various reasons.
Do you mean an exclusive life partner?
Different people want different things of course, and mono or poly, there are people who don't want life partners, or want some of their partners not to be life partners. No matter what that means to you (and it could mean that it's intended to be short term, and not for your whole life. Or it could mean you don't live together. Or it could mean something else altogether, I'm not sure exactly what YOU mean when you use the phrase).
But for me, I have a life partner right now (serious relationship, we live together and I hope to spend my life with him) and when I meet someone else and we hit it off, I definitely want him to be a life partner as well. At least for the "serious relationship that has no end in sight" aspect, living together might be harder depending on the circumstances (how many other partners does he have? How many other partners do my other partners have? Can we all live together or not?) but we can live close-by and/or have changing living arrangement (I live with one husband some of the time, with another one some of the time, etc, still see all of them for dates and hanging out).
I don't think polyamory necessarily means something less committed or more casual than the "classic" monogamy we're shown on TV as an ideal. Not do I think monogamy has to be that, either. Can be more casual. So can poly. Can last a lifetime with less commitment, can be just as committed but for less long. People can live together or not. They can have children or not. I've known people who were married and lived apart, or people who had children and lived apart, and all of them were fine because that's what worked for them.
So, I don't deny the idea that some women don't want a life partner (or don't want an extra life partner, if they have one already) but that doesn't seem to be a requirement to be polyamorous. I'm polyamorous because I want more than one life partner. Since I'm not into casual sex, if I didn't want more than one life partner, I wouldn't want more than one partner.
Sure I don,t expect relationships to ever start that way, moving in on the first date and calling ourselves husband and wife, relationships evolves and it takes years to establish that kind of connection, but I would be clear that it's what I want.
If the relationship evolves differently (I believe in letting them evolve organically), I'd have to see if I'm fine with it or not. Maybe it would end up working for me, which I didn't expect. I can't know. But I'm definitely not going into it with the goal of something less "serious".
Originally Posted by WhatHappened
And here's one of the problems with poly: how far can you go in making one person happy when ultimately what gives one peace is upsetting to the other? Sooner or later, in trying to juggle two relationships, there will be such conflicts. How will you resolve such conflicts if you have a girlfriend you've fallen in love with and value, and what she needs directly conflicts with your wife's wants or needs?
In my opinion, that's not the problem with poly, that's the problem with being human.
People do point out often that you might end up with conflicting commitments if you have two partners. Sure, you might. You also might if you have one, or even none.
You can have your mom require you to give her a ride to the doctor, and your soon having a big game at the same time.
You can have to work late at work one night and risk being fired, but it's your anniversary, or to keep partners out of it, your best friend's birthday party. Or the one time that friend you haven't seen in ages is in town.
You might be offered a job in a different country but your roommate couldn't afford the rent or their own. Or you'd need to leave pets behind because the job provides a pet-free housing only.
We have conflicts between commitments ALL THE TIME. Work, friends, family and partners are the main ones. Sometimes it's a conflict within the same category (you have two kids and they both have something important on the same day; you have two different job offers and they're both tempting, but
whichever you choose the other will be closed to you in the future; you promised to do something with a friend you see all the time but all of a sudden, a friend you never see is available, and you don't know when that might happen next).
With the exception of situations involving children (depending on how old they are), the solution is always the same: talk about it.
Your friend that you see all the time will understand if you have to cancel for the other friend. They might be disappointed, but they'll understand. You can figure out something with your roommate before you move out, or ask your job if different housing arrangements can be made. You can drop off your mom to the doctor, and then go see the end of the game, and arrange for someone else to drive her back.
These are all random examples and random solutions. Different people will make different choices. But when it's between adults, you can talk it through. Your metamours aren't your enemies, dead set on doing anything to make your life horrible. They're people who love your partner as much as you do, and that gives you something in common. In the end, everyone in the relationship has the same goal: finding a solution to make the relationship work in such a way that people don't feel used, taken for granted, taken advantage of or mistreated. Since everyone has the same goal, it only makes sense for everyone to work together.
I don't get the assumption that my partner's other partners will dislike me or not try to help me get along with him, or not try to adapt to make things easier for me. I definitely do my best to make it easier for them and it seems like common sense to me. They're happy, he's happy, I'm happy.
Now, I get that some people have bad experiences, and I would direct them to Franklin Veaux's articles, notably the one about fixing your refrigerator
. I think he has a lot of great advice and I pretty much share his views on polyamory 100%.
I would also direct people to his poster of relationship principles
I don't think you should ever make anyone feel like they're second best, be them your partner or your metamour. They'll always be the best at being them, and that's something nobody else can do. People aren't interchangeable and cannot be rated on a fixed scale.