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Old 04-18-2013, 05:39 PM
Octopus Octopus is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 36
Question Commitment beyond Exclusivity

This is inspired by a discussion I frequently lead with monogamous-minded people.

The conversation normally goes something like this:

Me: I am in a non-monogamous relationship.
Mono: Oh, okay. So you are seeing this person casually.
Me: No, it is not 'casual'. The fact that we sleep with and sometimes date other people does not mean we are not serious about our relationship. In fact, we are both very committed to each other.
Mono: Except you're not committed to each other - you sleep with others too.
Me: We are very committed to each other. The fact we sleep with others has nothing to do with that. It also does not change or diminish this commitment.
Mono: It does! You're obviously not committed.
Me:

After thinking about this a while, I realised that some monos equate commitment with exclusivity.

For me, commitment means a willingness to respect each other, care for each other, reach out and help or support the other person. It also means being invested to do so for a long time, even if things may be difficult sometimes.

So the next few times this came up, I tried to react differently:
Me: I am in a non-monogamous relationship.
Mono: Oh, okay. So you are seeing this person casually.
Me: No, it is not 'casual'. The fact that we sleep with and sometimes date other people does not mean we are not serious about our relationship. In fact, we are both very committed to each other.
Mono: Except you're not committed to each other - you sleep with others too.
Me: To me, commitment means being honest, supportive, loving. It means being respectful and invested in a relationship. It does not mean monogamy.
Mono:

So, I didn't really get further. It's just - I've literally observed this so many times with different people of different background, and they respond equally. It confuses me.

Do you have any thoughts on this?

Why do people fail to understand how commitment can go beyond an exclusive relationship? How can I better explain that one can indeed be committed to one's partners while having relationships with others?

Last edited by Octopus; 04-18-2013 at 05:41 PM.
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