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Old 06-14-2011, 07:53 PM
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Default poly relationships in relation to mono ones

I need some help formulating the up coming workshop I am facilitating. I was hoping to get your opinion on what the difference is between poly relationship structures and mono ones in terms of beliefs around relationships, values and managability. Essentially a little bit more about philosophy rather than experience.

So far I have noticed three things:
  • Mono relationship structures tend to be more about ownership and control of partners and partnership.
  • Mono relationships tend to put "the relationship" on a pedistal of what is accomplished rather than "the individual." The individual effort, pride in personal work and being/acting individually seems to be more important and necessary in poly.
  • In mono relationships their tend to be the belief that love is scarce and we should all be holding on to it rather than love is abundant and found everywhere as in many poly relationships

I'm wondering what else you think is involved and do people agree or disagree with these statements.

I am hoping to head off any curve balls ahead of time and as I am speaking for monogamous people as much as poly, I hope to make sure I have my thoughts in order so I can do justice to the topic.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:26 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
  • Mono relationship structures tend to be more about ownership and control of partners and partnership.
Mainstream, monogamous relationships do emphasize the "I belong to you and you belong to me" aspect of romantic relationships. However, that's not always a negative (I know you know this RP! Just trying to think of objections along with you). That is one of the things I liked best about my monogamous relationship with Beloved. Another thing I enjoyed about monogamy was the ideal of security. The ideal of security illustrates the flip side of jealousy as something positive - he or she loves me enough to not want me to party, stay with, talk to, see, someone else. (I, personally, am not agreeing with this but it is certainly out there.)

I personally tend to associate ownership and control of partners with abusive relationships. Mentally, I would then associate the first list point with all monogamous relationships, and thus with abusive relationships. Ownership/control=monogamy=abusive relationships. This is just how my particular thoughts would jump around in response to the first point - I'm not saying everyone would do this.

I suggest rewording the first list point to something more diplomatic, more positive wording than, to my mind, the strong negatives of ownership and control. It may help you keep your audience in a more open state of mind.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck! It should be very interesting!
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
I suggest rewording the first list point to something more diplomatic, more positive wording than, to my mind, the strong negatives of ownership and control. It may help you keep your audience in a more open state of mind.
Yes, I think that is a good idea. It's not the best wording. It's hard to put my finger on how to say it without sounding judgemental and negative.

I guess some history of monogamy might be helpful and of non-monogamy....

Not all monogamous people operate according to the list I posted. It is a list I came up with from being on here and reading peoples stories. I realize that mono people can and do operate from other perspectives also, and that poly people operate from different perspectives... I am thinking along the lines of what common philosophies can poly and mono people come together and create healthy and happy relationships... I am hoping that I figure out at least one. lol
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:55 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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"the mono relationship structures tend to be about ownership". How? I would say committed partnership....similar to those in business.

I know you're married so you must have called pn "your" husband at one time or another does this describe ownership?

I never felt owned by my wife.....I was devoted to her.... I chose to to focus my time and energy .....life to/with her. Maybe you should run those statements by your parents and see how they react.....might give you some prospective....or the basis for the statements.


That's just me ...D
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
It is a list I came up with from being on here and reading peoples stories. I realize that mono people can and do operate from other perspectives also, and that poly people operate from different perspectives...
Well the people who come here are a small sliver of the population at large, it might help to find other sources to research this workshop. How far away is it? Meaning how much time to you have to plan?
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
So far I have noticed three things:
  • Mono relationship structures tend to be more about ownership and control of partners and partnership.
  • Mono relationships tend to put "the relationship" on a pedistal of what is accomplished rather than "the individual." The individual effort, pride in personal work and being/acting individually seems to be more important and necessary in poly.
  • In mono relationships their tend to be the belief that love is scarce and we should all be holding on to it rather than love is abundant and found everywhere as in many poly relationships
Oh dear.

I think these are over-generalizations which really make monogamous relationships sound super fucked-up and less evolved than polyamorous ones. I know (hope?) you don't mean it that way, but YIKES! There are plenty of healthy, nurturing, loving-beyond-belief monogamous relationships in which the individuality of the people involved is appreciated and encouraged, without codependency or possessiveness.

Popular culture might encourage a sense of ownership, but actual experiences vary widely from that.

I think possessiveness is a quality that a person has, not something inherent or required in a monogamous relationship. In fact all these things in your bulleted list I see as more "people qualities" than relationship qualities.

If I were giving a talk like yours, I would start off with what makes a healthy relationship, and show how both mono and poly relationships can have all those elements. Then branch off into the differences, the main one being -- simply -- that poly people attempt to cultivate more than one loving and healthy relationship, and therefore, there are challenges in keeping our "heads above water," so to speak. I would focus on how the challenges of polyamorous relationships differ from monogamous ones.

Because really, mono and poly relationships all have many of the same goals, such as (for a start) to nurture and support the ones we love, and to build lives together.

Maybe you can do some research in real life and do some informal interviews of monogamous people in your community! I would post an ad on Craigslist or something, come up with about five or six questions, and have people sit down with you at a Starbuck's to answer your poll. Get a sense of what people have going on in their lives, ask them what their "philosophies" on monogamy are, and uses some of that info for your talk. That could be fun! Oh my gosh, I want to do that in NYC.
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Last edited by nycindie; 06-14-2011 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
  • Mono relationship structures tend to be more about ownership and control of partners and partnership.

Disagree - when two people commit to each other out of internal monogamy there is no sense of control or possession by either partner in a healthy relationship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
  • In mono relationships their tend to be the belief that love is scarce and we should all be holding on to it rather than love is abundant and found everywhere as in many poly relationships

Disagree - love is more focussed but there is no sense of scarcity. That is solely a poly view in my opinion.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:27 PM
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Don't for get I am talking with poly people at this workshop. What message shall I pass along. Mono you will be helping me, what do you intend to say?

This is not necessarily summond from my opinion, just what I have learned about SOME mono people from being on here. There are obviously differing points of view. What are they and what is the mono point of view? How is it different?
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:33 PM
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Well, I think my suggestion of focusing on the challenges is good, but what is your thesis? The point you're trying to make? There must be a reason you want to do this in the first place?
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:55 PM
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The point will be to help poly people who love mono people cope and understand them so that they can be sucessful in their relationships.
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