Originally Posted by PolyinPractice
To be fair, Nycindie, you can't really expect someone you just started dating to be as important as someone you've built a life with for twenty years. Doesn't mean there isn't potential for that new person, but that has to be earned and developed over time. I know you know this, and everyone here does, but newbies may not understand that
Poppycock. I don't "know this," nor would I say everyone here also knows this. Not only do I disagree with your statement, I reject the use of any kind of hierarchy in intimate relationships! For me, hierarchy has no place in love relationships. When I love, I love. I don't love anyone more or less - I can't quantify love! Therefore I can't quantify someone's importance to me. Every human being is just as important as every other human being. Everyone I share my life and body with is equally important to me. Just because I might be married to someone for 20 years doesn't mean I cannot listen to and consider the needs of a newer partner with the same level of respect, kindness, empathy, and affection as anyone else I care about. Having a long, previously established partner should not mean that another, newer partner's time will never, ever come first! To always, automatically prioritize one partner over another would simply be cruel.
I feel that there is no such thing as giving 50-50 to a relationship. Each person gives 100% to each of their relationships. No matter who I am with, I strive to be fully present and 100% involved with the person in front of me. If I can't do that, why even attempt having more than one relationship?
Of course, there will be times the long-term established partner will come first, but that is not set in stone just because of the amount of time spent in a relationship with me. It should be need-based, not time-based. I did not say that every partnership or relationship would have the same dynamics nor that each person would always be given equal time -- equal is not the same as fair -- but I operate on a first come, first served basis. For example, if I make plans with a new lover and my long-term lover then wants to see me, too late - unless there's an emergency. In other words, whoever needs me most at the moment gets priority, like triage, not who "outranks" the other in terms of length of time with me. That's just ridiculous.
I find applying hierarchies to love relationships quite repugnant.