Originally Posted by ray
. . . but it feels like folks are trying to make those of us who'd like a new word feel badly about it.
To be fair, perhaps those of us who don't like the word may have expressed our objections in a way sounded like we wanted the folks who do like and use it to feel badly about it. I hope I didn't sound that way and I apologize for doing that. I am still trying to figure out what I want in my life, how I want polyamory to work in my life, and what kind of situations I would like to find myself in.
I think if someone I cared about asked me, "Would you be my secondary?" I wouldn't immediately reject the possibility (though that's an odd question, but I use it just as an example). First, I would have to ask what that means to him. Heck, the words "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" -- and even "relationship" -- are loaded with meaning for lots of people. So, what it comes down to is asking how someone views the relationship, I guess, moreso than what they call it.
I just don't like the idea of feeling like
a secondary, if that makes sense. I don't mind having parameters to a relationship, as in amount of time spent, frequency, etc., but I never ever want to feel like, within the structure of my relationship with someone, that my opinions, feelings, right to make my own choices, how I want to spend my time with that person, etc., simply do not matter as much as anyone else's do. And I certainly never want to be in a situation where the physical aspects of my relationship are dictated by someone else not in the relationship, just because I'm considered a secondary. Ugh.
The article that Annabel linked to in her blog is rather brilliant:
It illustrates a few ways that someone designated a secondary should not be treated, and surely we have read similar stories from people who come here and post their tales of woe. I think, in that article, this paragraph says it best, especially the last sentence (IMHO):
"Because secondary relationships are often treated as disposable, secondaries may develop a sense of insecurity. They may fear that their lover's primary may at any time "veto" the relationship. This is an understandable fear in the current climate of polyamorous relationships, but I think that this can change. Secondary relationships, in their own way, are every bit as important as primary ones. They should involve just as much commitment and devotion as a primary relationship. The difference lay in the ground rules. Secondary relationships may be limited to one weekend a month, or perhaps it merely means a non-live-in relationship. But this does not limit the emotional connection or physical attraction that the secondary partners feel for each other. Whatever the rules are, once that relationship is established, it should not be so easily cast aside. Further, I think the only one who should make the decision to end the relationship is the person directly involved in it. "