Originally Posted by Marcus
It's a shame that this conversation always leads to this point.
Yes, it does seem like we keep going around in circles...
Let me sum up: I agree that "Rules = No Autonomy." I disagree that "Monogamy = Rules."
I'm not sure I understand what is so controversial about saying that the structure of monogamy has one more rule about how partners are allowed to behave than polyamorous relationships.
Monogamy is not always determined by a rule.
It's the law that I can't kill people. But it's not the law that stops me from going out and killing people. I don't kill people because it's not in my nature to kill people.
If someone says, from the get-go, "You've got this trait that I can't tolerate, so it's just not going to work between us," how does that equate to a "rule" in any way?
Two people who are inherently monogamous, and get together without ever talking about exclusivity, are nonetheless monogamous, even though they have no "rule" about exclusivity. They simply happen to be it.
"Hi, I'm Jane, and I only date one person at a time."
"Hi, I'm Jim, hey me too!"
"Cool! Do you want to date?"
Jim and Jane are now a monogamous couple. Nowhere in that conversation did either one say "You have to be monogamous or I'm going to leave you."
I'm not sure why someone would need to force something for the statement that monogamy (sexual exclusivity as a dealbreaker) is more restrictive on a persons ability to live their life free of rule than polyamory (sexual and romantic exclusivity are not necessarily required).
Monogamy simply means exclusivity. "As a dealbreaker" is a rider and not inherent in the description. While I agree that it's associated with the vast majority of relationships, that does not make it inherent in the fundamental description of monogamy.
There is a fundamental difference between putting restrictions on others and making choices for yourself. I do not see how it is restrictive for me to choose only to date people with a certain inclination, specifically monogamy.
Suppose Dick wears cologne and it gives me a headache. I hope we can both agree, I can't be expected to just have headaches all the time as the price of dating Dick. Are you going to accuse me of "restricting" Dick if I tell him that I can't date someone whose cologne gives me headaches?
Perhaps you will, in which case we are at an impasse. I believe that I always have the right to remove myself from painful situations, and I refuse to be accused of "inhibiting someone's autonomy" for simply protecting myself from unnecessary pain. Indeed, pressuring me to stay in a painful situation inhibits my
autonomy, be it cologne-induced headaches or pangs of jealousy from my partner being out with another person.
As I see it, my only other option is to stop seeing him without discussing the matter. I personally think that would be silly, because maybe wearing cologne (or having sex with other people) is something Dick thinks is kinda nice but doesn't really care about. Maybe Dick will be more than happy to choose not to wear cologne (or have sex with other people) because he does not want to cause me pain. Not offering him that choice is not only stupid, but it actually removes his autonomy
by making the choice for him.