Fortunately Redpepper and me got to spend much of the weekend together with her son. We had lots of talks as per normal and the topic of this thread came up. I thought it was an important point to put out there to our friends and the community.
I was approaching it not so much as how you (the person seeking freedom as we are using the term here) are able to commit to all these people, but what type of dedication/commitment do you expect to get in return from each person or certain ones.
Again it all seems to come down to what your goals are. Do you want multiple people to not only be romantically involved with but also to be an integrated part of your family, sharing chores, family functions, contributing to child care etc? Or do you simply want to have a very fluid, completely open relationship?
Having multiple free flowing and fluid relationships is very possible, as we have seen with people at our poly meetings. These people do not seem to not have committed people with which they are building homes, raising children, planning a future or sharing the mundane responsibilities of life with. They tend to be single, young, or newly divorced from traditional marriages.
Having committed family integrated relationships are also possible as we ourselves are experiencing.
Having total "freedom" (as defined earlier in this thread) and total "commitment" (as defined earlier in this post) is not something we have seen working in person however.
I myself, although completely devoted to Redpepper within our dynamic and boundaries, know that I would inevitably succumb to the stresses of a 100% free flowing relationship. I am blessed to, without effort, look at her and her husband as one entity and therefore can honestly say I have experienced a zero jealousy poly situation. I do however have my boundaries with the introduction of new men.
So in affect, she knows I am hers as an integrated, dedicated family member. We have pushed this belief to near the breaking point in coming out to her family. She also knows I ask for certain boundaries for me to be healthy.
I represent one end of the spectrum…total, lifelong, family integrated, goal and future orientated commitment in a poly dynamic with her husband, her tertiary and future women to love (not to share with me, I’m so not into two women LOL)
I could not co-exist with the other end of the spectrum…total freedom to explore any love interest that arises whether male or female. (The difference in why one is possible and the other not is another thread that I may someday tackle as it is very private to me and I have yet to be able to fully explain it to even Redpepper.)
Redpepper’s responsibility is in evaluating, and re-evaluating if the relationships she has and the contribution from each is worth the resultant “cost” of our boundaries.
I have to do this too. For me, although monogamous in nature, any “cost” I experience currently is outweighed by the “gifts” I receive which is sharing in her love and family.
While we spend a lot of time talking about mythical unicorns on here I sometimes feel that the idea of a utopian community of completely dedicated and completely free lovers is the true unicorn of poly. IMO getting everything is not a realistic or achievable goal in any area of life. I simply have to ask myself what I have right now, in this moment, as I am, to see the truth in that for me. That doesn’t make life any less amazing or rewarding.....for me it just makes it real.
Again, though…everything comes down to goals
Peace and Love