Just something I decided to throw out there after reading through several threads tonight. There seems to be some degree of similarity between some stories, and not in others.
I also sense this may break down into the whole "non-monogamy vs. polyamory" thing - which is fine, as long as it's constructive.
For me - well, I didn't know what 'poly' was until about a year ago. What I did know was that I had a string of failed relationships (including one marriage and another LTR that broke off during engagement) that all had one big thing in common: Me falling in love with someone else while involved and still very, very much in love with my partner.
To this day, I can look back at all my relationships of the past 17 years and see 3 or 4 women whom to this day I love immensely and would be happy to include in my current situation were all parties involved so willing and comfortable (ha).
Violet came along and changed my life with her relationship views, and we discovered that what we were seeking and working on was nothing new, and had been coined "polyamory", and the rest is recent history. I can look back at those previous relationships now through a new lens and it's all so clear! And so sad...
So how is it for mono's? Is it as simple as knowing that you could bever have romantic or sexual feelings toward more than one person, or is there more to it than that? I for one literally cannot fathom that, lol. In my mind, I figure being mono MUST involve some semblance of denial and/or restraint when those feelings come up for another - but I realize that this implies that you ever HAVE such feelings - a concept the antithesis of which I cannot conceive in more than a very esoteric manner. So enlighten me and the rest of us poly folk!
As for "the other thing". The ongoing poly/non-monogamy thing and issues with being called swingers or vice versa and so on has waxed and waned on these and other boards and in other places as well,but has never gone away, and probably never will.
Different people associate sex differently with emotion and relationships. Whereas there is some level of agreement that "poly" is focused on the feelings and "swinging" et al is about the sex, there is a HUGE gray area in between, and even a level of frustration when it comes to "separating" the two - which is easy for some, and impossible for others.