Welcome to the boards.
Sorry it's taken me a while to join in on your thread--I've been out camping with a whole bunch of interesting people and even a few dirty hippies.
Originally Posted by smilnlol
Why do we need other people if our relationship is healthy and satisfying?
Why do people have more than one child if the experience of having the first is healthy and satisfying?
If you have more than one child, do you love the last any less than the first?
Think back to the relationships that you've had. Was each relationship identical to all the others? Or did each lover share a bond with you that wasn't replicated by the other pairings you've lived?
I'll wager that, like most people, your relationships have each been individual in flavor and texture. Why, then, would you expect a new relationship to somehow make the one you have cease to be as unique as it is?
One important aspect of poly living that you appear to be missing is a little thing called "compersion," or taking joy in your lover's happiness. In poly tangles, we take joy in our partners finding yet more love that increases their joy and enriches their lives.
I just don't want to pretend sex isn't a driving factor.
You don't have to pretend. Sex isn't generally a driving factor.
If sex were a driving factor in what we do, we wouldn't get involved with multiple relationships and all of the added work that comes with them. Sex is so much easier to get outside
of relationships--we could simply take up swinging or pretend to be mono and cheat or simply remain single and always play the field. Or, for me, I'd simply hire a whore.
The sex is an outgrowth of the relationships. I didn't alter my budget to travel out of state often just so I could have sex. I didn't spend hours providing emotional support to my girlfriend when her teenagers were making life hell just so I could get sex. I didn't spend time listening to two women nag at me to take better care of myself just so I could get sex.
Sex is easy to get from my wife. Sex is easy to get picking up women at a local bar. Sex is easy to get by calling an escort--and that'd cost less than what I spent traveling and helping provide for that second household. Sex doesn't drive me--nor most poly folk--to a new relationship.
It's the relationships that drives me to stretch myself too thin on some occasions. It's the relationships that lead me to provide emotional support to two women who have emotional crises at the same time. It's the relationships that drive me to further relationships.
And part of loving freely and allowing the relationships to grow as they will is the reality that they may--likely will--involve sex. To mistake that outgrowth of the living and loving as a driving force involves a serious mistake of perception.
and I guess this life, opening myself to others, scares me. I hate dating : )
I'm with ya there! I'm always scared of growing intimacy with another person, though I always welcome that quiver of fear as part of the dance of life. I've been discarded several times by (now former) lovers and fully realize that it can happen again at any time. I fully accept that risk because the relationships are rewarding, even those that end much sooner than I would like.
Shakespeare claimed it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. I'm thinking it better to have loved as deeply and often as possible, despite what losses may occur along the way. I don't regret the relationships I've had; I vaguely regret having settled for mono relationships so many times and wonder how many other wonderful relationships I've missed out on because of that.
And I hate dating.