Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine
My friend isn't challenged by polyamory. I think he's challenged by how polyamory for me has caused me not to limit my relationships.
I'm not sure I understand this distinction you're making.
I'm not sure where I wrote this, and not even sure I have on this forum but... I can't speak of something "authoritatively" unless it's my own. So when I mention differences between polyamory and monogamy, I'm speaking of my experience with them, not with the nebulous thigns that are "poly" and "mono". I mean, at the very core, both poly and mono revolve around how INDIVIDUALS relate and I'm very much an individualist. So I ALWAYS imply an "in my experience" or "my opinion is" in every statement I make. There are exceptions to every rule when it comes to complex people, and I fully recognize that. I don't mean to paint all people in a collective with the same brush, I merely mean to share my experiences on the subject.
I've often seen abuse of the "in my experience" qualifier as a way to absolve ideas from being examined or questioned because it comes from their experience (I'm not saying that you're doing that, though). However, many times the ideas that are generated by an experience seek to define what lies beyond that experience. You offered your experience that lead to your reasoning for why you think there may be mono values. So in a way, you're seeking to use your experience to define something beyond your experience.
A simplistic exaggerated example would be something like this: "In my experience, men have always been the cheating type." That kind of statement implies that men are prone to cheating as evidence of my experience without lending credence to the fact that my experience is very limited in that situation. If that got questioned, it would be the idea that men are prone to cheating that gets questioned. I wouldn't be questioning whether the person making that statement actually really experienced being cheated on by a man. Certainly some men are the cheating type. But one person's experience isn't sufficient to define the nature of men in general.
There's nothing wrong with using our experience to draw conclusions since that's how we as human beings live and learn in this world. However, even though the genesis of the idea may be in your experience, it can still be examined when it starts defining that which goes beyond it. In fact, it's great that it can be, because experiences are limited by their very nature. To question and examine that offers a broader view that goes beyond one's own experience and that can only add to the strength of an idea.
Oftentimes, examining such ideas is seen as trying to subvert an experience or an opinion. I appreciate that you're seeing this as a dialogue.