Originally Posted by SayYes
I'm just a newbie here, but personally I really like the fact that polyamory has a less than specific definition. It makes me feel like there are less automatic assumptions that go along with it, unlike some other labels that carry a whole set of stereotypes. If I tell someone I'm poly, they generally don't even know what that means, and I don't mind that at all. I'd prefer to explain the specifics of my personal relationship structure than rely on a label, and that would be especially true if I were talking to a possible romantic interest.
I understand the points about polyamory relying on trust, honesty, etc. But I agree with those who have said that those are simply good tools for any relationship with other human beings. If someone else says that they're poly, I assume that means that they are not romantically monogamous, and that anyone they are involved with is aware of that. My assumptions stop there. I don't assume I know anything about their values/ethics/specific relationship structures/etc., just like I wouldn't know any of those things about an individual based on a label of bisexual/gay/straight/etc.
I think I understand, but do you really think there will be that much of a set of stereotypes loaded if we agree on some foundational principles in addition to the basic romantical non-monogamy? One of them here is exactly the anti-sterotypical "Your poly is not my poly", and I can't live poly without a principle like that.
I also wonder what you think is wrong with using the word "multiamory" for that more general sense.
The basic trouble, as I see it, is that if we use that very wide poly definition, we know that it is really too wide, and the very characterization of these "good tools" as "good" imply that we are, in effect, making a distinction between different kinds of poly. IF there hadn't been such an universal agreement - as it turns out - about these "good tools", it would have been futile to talk about a "foundation" of poly. But there is, and making a distinction in romantic non-monogamy between "multiamory" as the more general sense with no real foundations to it, and "polyamory" with a well-defined foundation, but an enormous wealth of relationship forms sharing that foundation - couldn't that be useful?
At least, it is to me.