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Old 01-03-2010, 04:39 AM
quila quila is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
I am editing this just to add I am actually a little blown away by how simple and yet personally "perfect" I find your idea to be. WOW! Hope you don't mind me steeling this train of thought!
Don't mind at all, in fact, I'm flattered!

Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
So, yeah, I think I'm a poly person. And I'm not sure it matters so much that we all agree on how to use language to define or describe our relationships. That is, if there is a poly person and a mono person together in a relationship, I'd say let them decide whether the relationship is poly or whatever. For some, it will be important to define the relationship as poly. Great! Let 'em. Others won't define it that way because some member/s of the grouping are mono. Fine. Whatever.
You're right there. It's one of those quirks of english that something can be non-gramatical and still perfectly able to convey an idea. I'm actually not suggesting that people stop using the phrase "polyamorous relationship." It's useful to convey, quickly, which type of non-exclusive relationship it is. But I think reframing our perception as people being poly rather than the relationship helps clarify confusion for some people.

Ironically, I totally think that it makes sense to say a "non-monogamous" relationship, more than it makes sense to say a polyamorous relationship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
We share common goals -- like going backpacking in spring..., but the word "commitment" seems more fitting as foundational in our relationship than "goals" does.

We're committed to being honest with one another, loving one another, trying to be kind and loving as much as we can.... We're committed to staying open to growth and evolution. To trusting one another. Stuff like that. Goals are not so much the ruddder or the guidance for us. Our commitments are. Focussing on goals overly much can get in the way of the unpredictable nature of life's natural unfolding.
I agree. Goals change, but commitment doesn't (ideally). We might one day decide together that we don't like our current life path and therefore we'll change our goals, but that doesn't affect our commitment to one another. We also both have personal goals, and our commitment means that we will do what we can to help each other achieve their own personal goals, even if it sometimes means putting our own on hold for a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
I know this is not going to be a popular statement and I fully believe that it is a function of conditioning and not wiring but I have such a hard time with the concept of "commitment" within non-monogamous relationships.

When I say I have a hard time accepting the term commitment I don't mean to imply that people can't commit to loving each other or caring for each other. I think of it from the perspective of public declarations.
I have to confess, we were lazy when we planned the wording of the ceremony. Even though the commissioner read us the "Do you take so-and-so to be your husband [blah blah blah] and forsake all others?" line before hand, we didn't even bother taking it out. We were both willing to say "I do" and ignore that part of the promise forever more :P The "standard ceremony" in our province has three separate places where you make "vow-like statements" ... We used the canned "I do" and "with this ring" vows, and then we wrote our own "I promise to ..." vows. Those were the only "real vows" and the rest was "legal stuff" :P

I've never felt that commitment equals exclusivity. I'm committed to doing well at school, paying the bills on time, and feeding my cats before they get hungry. I'm committed to understanding and supporting my husband, helping him grow as the person he wants to be, and putting his emotional needs on equal footing with my own. We were committed to one another long before we got married, the wedding just put that commitment in writing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennjuice View Post
I see where you are going with what you wrote. And it makes sense. But, in my situation I don't know how you would define it. Mine and my husbands relationship started out mon. But over the four that we've been together we decided to change it, we want to add to it. So though our relationship changed we did not. We are the same people, same beliefs we always had. We just didn't realize until we were together that this is something that we would want.

So I do have to disagree. It's hardwired into us, that's for sure. It was there all along, but we chose this. Our relationship started mon. and has ended up poly.
I think your situation is the PERFECT reason to reject calling relationships themselves as poly... As individuals, you were both always poly. When you got together, your relationship started out as exclusive, and now it's non-exclusive.

For the record, I see no reason why someone's identity can't change. Someone can grow up monogamous and only desire one romantic partner at a time, and then wake up one day feeling bored with her 30 year marriage, and want something more. I wouldn't say that she was "poly all along" because up until that point, she may never have wanted more than one love, which means until that point, she was a monogamous person. But people change.
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