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Old 12-14-2012, 04:16 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsyl-tucky
Posts: 1,807

Originally Posted by PolyLinguist View Post
As for the inevitability of hierarchical situations, in my opinion they are almost certain to happen if one of the participants in a new polyamorous relationship already has a long-standing relationship with someone else. Pretty much the only way to make it egalitarian would be to downgrade, significantly, the pre-existing relationship.

I don't exclude the possibility that eventually the two relationships could come to be more or less equal - the second person could move into the household, and become a close friend of the first partner, for example. Possible? Sure. Likely? I have no idea.
I frequently use hierarchical terms in a "descriptive" way when talking about my relationships - which does not mean that I subscribe to a "proscriptive" hierarchy that seems to be what is meant by "couple-centrism" (i.e. "You can never be as important to me as HE is." "You can NEVER love them as much as you love me.")

So, Dude lives with us and is MrS's best friend (and was before we ever met). Does this mean he is "equal" to MrS? I don't really know what "equal" means in this context. They both are equally likely to forget to take out the trash, they both get yelled at when they overspend the budget, etc. Does a 2-year "boyfriend" have the same relationship with me as a 16-year "husband" - of course not...we are just getting to know each other. On the other hand, he is closer to me than MrS was at the same duration of our relationship (I have a little practice at relationships now ) My current description is that I am married and my relationship with my boyfriend is "working toward" co-primary.

On the other hand the two relationships would not be "equal" even if I had met them at exactly the same time. Relationships grown, change, and develop at different rates. They are not the same person TWICE, they are different people, I have a different relationship with each of them. EACH of those relationships deserves the right to thrive and grow at whatever rate and whichever direction is appropriate for THAT relationship

Originally Posted by Mya View Post
... You don't necessarily have to downgrade the old relationship for the old and new relationship to become equal. And remember, equal doesn't always mean the same. Equal can mean just equally important and equally considered in life decisions for example. It doesn't mean that the two people will get everything (time, attention, sex etc.) exactly the same amount. It means that no one is higher in the hierarchy than the other when making plans and decisions.
Thank you, Mya. One of the lessons I had to learn as a "hinge" is that fair =/= equal. It took me 6 months to a year to learn this. I would kiss one...and then the other. Go to dinner with one...then the other. I would keep "score" so that everything was "even". I drove myself nuts. Know what? The same thing that pleases one does NOT have the same impact on the other. Some people need more physical affection, some people need to feel emotional connection, some people need shared activities...etc. If I concentrated on making sure everything was the "same" (so MrS didn't feel like he was being pushed aside and Dude didn't feel like a third wheel) then I missed out on giving each person what they REALLY wanted and simply basking in the glow of the love of two wonderful men and enjoying the relationships AS THEY WERE. They both did their parts to help me learn this lesson, for which I am thankful.

Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" V-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (24+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (6+ yrs) and MrS's BFF
SLeW: platonic hetero girlfriend and BFF
MrClean: hetero mono male, almost lover-friend to me, FWBs to SLeW
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.

My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 12-14-2012 at 04:25 AM.
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