Originally Posted by capricorny
I wonder if that may be the real difference between "mono" and "poly": "Real" monogamists can't stand sex being linked with love outside the relationship at all.
So you mean a monogamous person could love other people, or have sex with other people, but not both?
I'm not for blanket statements: just like poly people aren't all the same, mono people aren't either. But I'm intrigued.
Because even if I was in a mono relationship, I would still be poly. Falling in love with other people. Not have sex with them, not even try and get closer to them as "friends", or whatever, but the feelings would pour in anyways.
I definitely don't think it's just keeping the two separate. I sincerely think you don't love your siblings, parents or children the way you love your spouse, even if you remove the sex. For me, the feelings are different.
With a partnership, you're on the same level, with the same projects, either shared because it's a common project or shared because you support each other. You are creating a link that is very strong, and while family ties are strong too, the difference is that you have created this tie yourself. And while friend ties are strong too, the difference is that this one is closer.
I wouldn't consider someone my partner if I contact them every so often, when I think of it. Even if I know they'll never forget me and will be there for me after years without a contact. They're not a partner, they're a friend.
If I go and see them after years of contact and we have sex, they're still not a partner, they're a friend I have sex with.
For me, a big difference is that a partner - someone you are in love with, whether the relationship is happening or something you are hoping for - is part of your life every single day. Constantly. You see something, you think of them, because they'd like it, they'd hate it, or they said something about it someday. You walk by a store, you're going to think "oh, they'd like this, I should get it from them".
Your lovers are never away from you. It's different from a friend. In a way, you can live days, weeks or months without a friend's existence affecting your life. You might not think about them for all that time. You know they exist, just like gravity exists or trees exist or something, but you don't think about it much.
When you are in love, you think about that person every day. You think that they exist, not just as a fact of life, but as a blessing. They're just a complete part of your life.
There is a level of involvement that differs. I think there are emotional levels that can vary, with kinds of investments that are different. And sex is another issue, for me.
So you have friends, and you have friends + sex. You have people you are in love with, and you have people you are in love with + sex. And even, you have strangers, and strangers + sex.
Having sex with someone, I feel, doesn't make them switch from "stranger" to "lover" or from "friend" to "lover". Feelings do that, regardless of whether sex is happening or not.
I think someone who is monogamous is wired for one "lover" type of emotional connexion at a time. They can have more than one of the others, but only one at a time of this one. It's not something I fully comprehend since I am different, but to me it's not about whether they separate sex and feelings. Because for me, sex and feelings are different things anyways
. They can have friends, and they can have friends they have sex with, they can have "strangers", and they can have "strangers" they have sex with (I use quotation marks, because I'm talking about an emotional level, you might have known the "stranger" for a bit but feeling wise, they're a stranger, if you lost them your life wouldn't really change, that's what I mean). But they can't have a second "lover", be it with or without sex.
That's the way I personally see it. But as I said in the beginning of my post, I do think people don't all work exactly in the same way, so I realise it might not apply to everyone.