Keeping in mind that monos can be as diverse as polys, here's my take on it. I tend to feel that focussing on one person (at a time, mind you) is what gives depth and intimacy in a relationship. If we start having other people involved in a relationship both emotionally and physically, then that seems like it will reduce the depth and intimacy by dividing it up or, more accurately, spreading it out. This may not be as much of a problem if the multiple relationships are primarily physical, since I can accept the idea that physical pleasure can be focussed on a per occasion basis. However, it is very hard to see how one's love, affection, etc. can be spread across multiple partners in the longterm without somehow reducing the depth. Love may be infinite (not convinced of that, though), but there's a strong impulse in my mono heart to see it as on some way finite. If you pour 1 litre of water into a 1 litre glass, it is deeper than if you spread it over 4 250ml glasses type of thing assuming that the glasses are same shape, base area, etc. (And maybe that's the difference that I'm missing in the analogy. Maybe the 4 250ml glasses are very narrow so that they are still the same depth as the 1 litre, just a different shape). Once you lose that depth, the relationship changes and my mono heart feels that this change isn't necessarily going to be for the better; that "less depth of love" = "less relationship". This may be a wrong view to a poly, but it is one way that a mono might look at a poly relationship and find it lacking. I'm a mono who's trying to fathom my own growing sense that polyamory might be a more valid way of approaching relationships than I've given it credit for in the past, by the way.
Originally Posted by Erato
I just wanted to add a bit about how he's explained his feelings on poly to me even though I don't really grasp it very well.
He talked about it in terms of hearts.
He gave his heart to me to carefully hold and he has mine.
If we introduce someone else into the equation it would have to be someone who he could trust because he feels he would be opening up to them in some way by sharing me as a lover (even if they have no sexual contact).
So, in that case, I would be holding his heart and someone else's. He'd need reassurance that I could be just as careful and gentle with his heart while holding another's as I would be with just his.
To quote him: "I gave you my heart to handle carefully, and I need to trust they won't make you drop it while handing mine, for one"
Which is slightly ambiguous but I gather that he means that if they hurt me that it will hurt him. And that he needs reassurance that I won't leave him for them, perhaps? I'll have to clarify later.
He also said: "they [my other lover(s)] have to know me emotionally and be close to me" - which I can't understand. I understand him wanting to be on good terms with them and trust them, he's trusting them to care for the love of his life after all, but to know him emotionally and be close to him is a strange idea to me.
BTW, I do like his explanation. I think it can mean several things to me, probably all simutaneously:
- if they hurt you, it will hurt me
- will you still want to hold my heart after holding theirs for a while? Will two hearts be too much for you to hold?
- what if something that happens in that relationship causes you "drop" or otherwise injure my heart? IOW, what if that relationship affects ours in a negative way, even if it doesn't end it?