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Old 04-06-2013, 02:56 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas City Metro
Posts: 2,187

Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I have some questions/thoughts but it didn't seem appropriate to continue addressing in someone's lifestories/blog thread.
I considered a pm. But, I think this is a useful topic if it's addressed correctly and something we could all benefit from hearing/reading/discussing. I hope no offense is taken by my bringing it up publicly.
I think this is a good opportunity to clarify some matters, so I'll do so here.

I hear what you are saying about this being a board for discussing poly, but really, we do have MULTIPLE conversations going on here about topics that don't pertain to poly at all (like the thread on tattoos for an example).
Yes, we do allow for some off-topic chatter to allow the folks here to share other things about their lives beyond the loose bond of polyamory having some effect on their lives. We also keep an eye on things to make certain that it doesn't run amok and we end up with a largish proportion of non-topical discussions that makes for a good deal of friction in finding the topical discussions. This site has to remain primarily focused on polyamory.

The blogs section is of primary importance in that effort. It is the blogs that provide first hand accounts of relationships and how they are experienced from one point of view. The appearance of blogs that relate a monogamous journeys of couples where neither identifies as poly work against that effort.

There's also the problem of allowing ongoing blogging about monogamy in one instance and then telling other folks who show up that they can't post discussions of monogamy elsewhere. As we won't support discussion threads solely about monogamy on the other boards, we can't support blogs solely about monogamy. (Discussion of how past polyamory has affected the marriage and contributes to further issues is fine, as mentioned in the discussion on that blog.)

I don't think that someone expressing that (at least at this point) they've opted to live mono (and that may be a life long choice or it could change) means that they shouldn't continue to express how things develop.

My biggest issue is this:
It's been less than a month since the drama unfolded and things in their poly dynamic blew all to hell.

I KNOW that multiple times over the course of the last 4 years Maca (my husband) has said he was DONE WITH POLY. But, things evolve and grow and change.

MAYBE they will be mono for life.
MAYBE they will be poly for life.
MAYBE they will go back and forth another half a dozen times before settling.

But to limit posts to including poly in them... that's going to really limit the opportunity for the rest of us to see what can come of a huge blow up like they had-and the opportunity to learn how we can grow/avoid/whatever similar situations. It also limits the bonding opportunities and the sense of "community" that we have going. If we have to limit our conversations to poly-well a good solid half of what I write would be out. Because poly is an aspect of my life-but without the rest... well it's not really conversation worthy much of the time. We just live and let live. It's only conversation worthy when it's a dramafest.
Here's the thing: we can only take them at their word. If they say they don't identify as polyamorous, then we can only assume that they are not polyamorous. They may change their minds later, certainly, and tell us all about it!

If one or both do change their minds, then I suspect we'd all get an update telling us about it. Yeah...we're not necessarily going to lose out on their experiences, for any inclination to take up polyamory again (or realization that one does identify as poly) brings them back into play. Couple that with the fact that they're still welcome--and encouraged!--to participate here because of their past experience with polyamory, and I doubt we're losing much in the way of interaction and information.

So, if we allow for folks to walk away and blog about monogamy without any reference to polyamory, for how long would we let it go on? Is there some standard anybody can point to as how long it takes before a couple can be certain they don't want to be poly? Three months? Six? A year?

The only consistent standard we have available is that of current situation, and that includes generous allowances. As it stands, if one of the people involved maintains a desire for polyamory at some point, we accept it as topical, without regard to what the partner maintains (and the partner is encouraged to show up and discuss matters, too.) It's only when all involved say there's no desire for polyamory going forward that we look askance at blogging about it.

In this particular instance, I have a quite positive view of the blogger and would love to keep track of how well things work out. I'm sympathetic to the urge to want to hear about anything. I also have the task of keeping this site focused on its mission, and for better or worse, I'm unconvinced that letting anything go in the blogs is good for the site.

In your example of Maca deciding to be done with poly and then changing his mind, the constant in all that was that you were still wanting to do poly--there was one person involved with a desire/intent/identity involving polyamory. That's a distinctly different situation than one in which both involved have stated that they have no desire to pursue polyamory in any way.

In fact, most of her thread is about poly, there's a couple posts that are about her decision change-but there wasn't anything even in those to suggest that she was going to be posting anything anti-poly or even avoid discussing poly topics going forward....

As you'll note in the discussion there, she's been encouraged to continue to post about how the poly has affected them and she's indicated she's willing to do that. She seems to be worried about putting out a negative vibe about poly, a concern that I never had.

I guess what I'm getting at is-why should EVERY post have to include something about poly? Mine sure as hell don't.
As touched on above, not every post does. We're back to the basics of this being a site for people who identify as poly or practice polyamory or have poly directly affecting them in some fashion (such as a spouse announcing a desire for polyamory) to talk about poly--and to share bits and pieces of the rest of their lives, too. When somebody removes themselves from that group--they no longer practice poly, nor desire to, nor identify as poly--then they have removed themselves from the group. As much as we may like them personally, they have still stepped away.

It's not a happy situation. We want to hear from them, we want to hear that things are working out, we want to maintain some connection. This particular place, however, is limited in scope as to how far we can support those ties, which is the situation with most any social site.
When speaking of various forms of ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.