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Old 04-12-2011, 07:48 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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What do you think of sympathetic joy (the idea of feeling happy because someone you love is happy, even if they are happy because of someone else)?
I think it's an admirable quality to foster in oneself.

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To me it seems really logical, but very difficult.
It's easiest if you A) are ensuring your own needs are met & B) you are committed to not being self-centered.
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Is it hard to experience sympathetic joy sometimes?
absolutely. If you have an unmet need, have failed to address your internal fears, if you are "under the weather" (which means you have an unmet need), if you are focused on your own gratification, if you are addicted to instant gratification.

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What do you do when you are feeling jealously, or envy creeping up on you?
Depends on what's going on. One time I sent my metamour a loving, affectionate letter. She wrote back how much it meant to her that I shared my husband with her and that reply sent me to highs of self-appreciation that killed the insecurity that was driving my bout of jealousy.

At other times I've simply asked my partner for a hug or kiss and told them I'm feeling insecure (because generally jealousy is triggered by insecurity) or missing our time together (because envy is generally triggered by a lack of having what someone else is having). That almost always solves the issue.

In an ideal (poly)world, I'd spend a few extra minutes with my significant other with them reassuring me by their willingness to give me a few extra minutes; and then I'd plan a "friendly date" (not romantic-no need to compete) with my metamour in the week ahead.
I find that creating a friendly bond with the metamour makes them a REAL person and that alleviates the sense of them being a "threat". Also, if I can be friends with them and can talk and hang out with them comfortably on my own, that increases their understanding of my quirks (like I get all emotional just before my period) and my understanding of theirs (like they need their lover more often the week before theirs).

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It seems like somewhere in the roots of sympathetic joy is the idea of non-attachment, or the idea that we only hurt ourselves with attachment and the false sense of security it brings.
I think it's critical to know what your definition of attachment is in order to address this. For me attachment is a critical part of a relationship, but being attached to someone is not the same to me as being possessive of them. In order to remain in a deep, meaningful place in a relationship, I need quality time and emotional connection with my S.O.

But, I don't need them to share quality time with ONLY me and have an emotional connection with ONLY me. In fact, that would be creepy. I think that the emotional connection that one has with a lover is related to the emotional connection one has with any other person; different depth maybe, but same concept. I would never want someone to give up their emotional connections with the rest of their loved ones for me; it follows logically for me that if I can share a deep, meaningful, emotional connection with them while they have so many emotional connections to others, then I can share an emotional connection with them while they have another deep, meaningful, emotional connection with another lover.

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Has your experience with polyamorous relationships seemed more realistic at all, in the sense that you are less possessive of your loves and/or more accepting of the idea that (unfortunately) we will all have to say goodbye to one another eventually?
No. I already was no possessive of my loves. I'm not accepting of the idea that we will all have to say goodbye to one another. Saying goodbye is a choice, we can make it, or not.

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How has your experience helped you to be more true to yourself and to find your true identity?
Yes.

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Lastly, given the society that we live in and its prescribed ideas of heteronormativity and monogamy as a norm, what struggles have you had as you have challenged these ideas?
Aside from dealing with Maca, very few. The people I surround myself with (mostly mono) are open to accepting that we're all different. That has made it very easy to be "different" because in one way or another, we all are.

On the other hand, I've encountered a number of judgmental and hostile people in the "poly community". Which I find ironic and bizarre.

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Has it been worth it?
Yes.

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What would you say to the closed minded if you could tell them or try to teach them anything you believe in?
I wouldn't waste my breath. It's impossible to teach anyone who isn't open to learning and a closed minded person isn't open. However, to a person who was open to learning but inexperienced or fearful, I would tell them of all the positive lessons I've learned.
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