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Old 01-25-2010, 07:11 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 900

Originally Posted by quila View Post
The only extent to which I agree that mono and poly relationships are the same is this: Every relationship is different. So in the sense that "every poly relationship is different" then yes, they're just like mono relationships. Is that what you mean though?
That's pretty much true. How mono relationships manifest is as wide and varied as how poly relationships manifest. Which is why I often say that the factor of poly or mono isn't the prevailing cause of any differences in relationships.

I feel that the difference in relationship dynamic between mono and poly is how you deal with jealousy. In a monogamous relationship, you have the right to expect your partner not to fall in love with another person, and the right to be jealous and angry if they do. In a relationship with polyamorous people, you still have the right to be jealous, but you make the commitment to own the jealousy as being your issue, and not expect your partner to curb their behaviour to pacify your jealous nature.
I disagree with this assessment. First it assumes that jealousy only manifests within a monogamous relationship when a partner is falling in love with another partner. I've seen plenty of people get jealous over all sorts of things that have nothing to do with their partner falling in love with someone else. Having a jealous nature is just as stressful on a mono relationship as it is in a poly relationship because if a person's *nature* is jealous that usually means there are insecurities that haven't been dealt with. I don't know of *any* relationship that can thrive and be healthy if the dynamic is driven by the jealous nature of a partner. In both cases, each person should be making the commitment to own their jealousy and not expect their partner to change their behavior for the sake of one's insecurity.

Now, there certainly are cases where jealousy arises as a truthful and valid reaction to a partner's transgressions. This also happens in both mono and poly relationships. A mono partner might be having an inappropriate wandering eye, making their partner feel like they're not as important to them as they think they should be. A poly partner might be spending far too much time with one partner and ignoring the other. These are both cases where the feeling of jealousy serves as a warning that the partner is not living up to their part of the relationship and that needs to be addressed. So again, when those feelings are owned and honestly expressed in good communication, things can get resolved easier, regardless of whether it's a mono or poly relationship. But I've found that in both mono and poly relationships, it's a lot easier to address these things when people own their own emotions about it.

But being mono doesn't mean they have *more* of a right to be jealous than someone who is poly. In both cases jealousy serves a purpose. That purpose can be either a destructive force driven by insecurity or a valuable insight into a problem in the relationship that needs care and attention.

Monogamous people have the right to expect to be the center of their spouse's universe. Polyamorous people have the responsibility to accept that their spouse's universe may orbit in a figure-8 or some vastly more complicated celtic knot. Yes, there are many poly relationships with a primary and then secondary relationships, and so these primaries still have the right to expect being the center of the universe, but this only comes back to "every relationship is different."
Again, I know plenty of thriving mono relationships where they don't subscribe to the expectation that they are the center of their partner's universe. They show a good deal of independence. There are friends, family, professional commitments, and all sorts of things that get balanced with a mono relationship. A healthy and thriving relationship will usually acknowledge that and work to keep that balance.

And as far as poly relationships go, the same sorts of balancing acts are done with other partners in addition to the other things. *But*...when I am with my partner, I treat that time just like anyone would treat that time with their partner or partners: with commitment and full attention. I would expect nothing less during the time I have with any partner.
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