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Old 11-25-2011, 01:18 PM
Sociopath Sociopath is offline
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Default In one paragraph or less, what have you learned that's of great significance?

Hello. I am new here. Well, I've been reading a few posts here and there for the past year and a half or so.

Could you volunteer a little bit of your background, and a short paragraph of something you've learned, of great importance to you personally, since venturing out to learn more about what's collectively referred to by many as polyamory?

I grew up in a Western culture and amongst a Christian society. Needless to say, monogamy was the absolute, one and only acceptable standard.

From adolescence on out, I've learned through experience and observation that humans are NOT a monogamous species. The most important thing I've learned throughout all of this is that mental stamina is more usefully spent on understanding our sexual behavior, rather than to be recklessly squandered on kicking and screaming "because it hurts." Of course, studying the sexual behavior of humans has opened up, for me, a Pandora's box that made a mess I'm still cleaning up.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:42 PM
kamala kamala is offline
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Somebody told me once when I was a lot younger that as you mature you go from looking for meaning in life to finding ways to create it. I'm beginning, I think, to see what he meant.

Polyamory has been one example of that: using my dissatisfaction with the standard relationship model to really ask myself - so what is a good relationship for me? What does it mean to love someone? How best can I conduct myself? What is important and what isn't?

I have often found that moments of "great significance" are ones I specifically engineer myself
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:48 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Hmm - interesting question. Not sure right now.

I do wonder about the idea of being able to learn through experience and observation that humans aren't monogamous. The difficulty with learning through our own experience and observation is that humans are very good at fooling themselves.

If we are looking for an objective truth such as 'humans are NOT a monogamous species' then we can't trust our own observations and experiences - no matter how much we might feel as if we can.

Ben Goldacre talks at length in various blogs, books and newspapers about the need for well constructed and statistically analysed studies.

Malcolm Gladwell discusses this sort of thing too in his book blink (possibly in others).

And Bruce Lipton talks in his book The Biology of Belief about how modern research into genetics has revealed that things which we might have seen as being determined by the genetics of the species we belong to in fact aren't.

This blog by Ben Goldacre on the subject of scientific trials is really fascinating: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...entific-trials

Sorry to be a total geek about it but I'm always wary of taking experience and observation as truth! I see it as truth for me but not necessarily truth for anybody else.

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Old 11-25-2011, 01:56 PM
Sociopath Sociopath is offline
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InfinitePossibility,

Duly noted, but monogamy is a black-and-white thing. We either are, as a species, or we aren't. Until we break apart into different species down the line, we are all still part of the same species.

There's clearly non-monogamy practiced by a significant portion of the members of this species. Therefore, we are not a monogamous species.
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Old 11-25-2011, 02:25 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Oh - I could talk about this for hours and hours.

I think nothing in the natural world is binary in that way.

Even truly binary systems (computers are binary things), very quickly become so complicated that our minds can't experience them in that way.

It might all be 1s and 0s to the computer but it's not to the human - that's why computer programmers all approach the same problem differently even if they have similar levels of expertise in the system in question.

Sorry sorry sorry to hijack - you have just written so many things that fascinate me utterly.
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Old 11-25-2011, 04:21 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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I've had both monogamous and non-monogamous relationships encompassing a range of configurations over the years. I believe that there's a spectrum of mono and poly tendencies, just like with the Kinsey scale, and that for the folks in the middle portions of the range it's all about choice -- what's right for you and your partner(s). See my signature line for my current situation.

Something valuable I've learned?

Time creates change. If something isn't right for you now, that doesn't mean it won't ever be. If there's something you can't say or something you can't do now, that doesn't mean it'll always be that way. Some things are stable enough so as to be functionally immutable, yes, but most aren't. And active stretching and flexing and *trying* to change when you want to make change is very important, no doubt. But, but. Sometimes patience and time are what's really needed. Sometimes you just need to sit with a concept and see where you end up. Time creates change, on every level, in all of us, and we would all do well to be aware and respectful of that fact, to allow space for it, and to not feel betrayed by it but rather work with it and embrace it.
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Old 11-25-2011, 04:39 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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There is no one way.

Life is unfair. We are here on earth partly to make that statement a bit less true.

That's the sum total of my wisdom so far.
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sociopath View Post
Hello. I am new here. Well, I've been reading a few posts here and there for the past year and a half or so.

Could you volunteer a little bit of your background, and a short paragraph of something you've learned, of great importance to you personally, since venturing out to learn more about what's collectively referred to by many as polyamory?
........
From adolescence on out, I've learned through experience and observation that humans are NOT a monogamous species. The most important thing I've learned throughout all of this is that mental stamina is more usefully spent on understanding our sexual behavior, rather than to be recklessly squandered on kicking and screaming "because it hurts." Of course, studying the sexual behavior of humans has opened up, for me, a Pandora's box that made a mess I'm still cleaning up.
Well by doing a tag search you might of come across this thread on "lessons learned" or perhaps this thread on "poly foundations". Thanks for yet another chance to pass the link along. Everything I have learned is in these threads I believe. AT least pretty darned close.

I don't agree with the statement above that I underlined. At least not as it stands. I think that actually most people are monogamous. What I believe is that most monogamous people are serial monogamists. Mostly because we live longer, women have more options and we are not held to religion as much as we used to be in terms of being monogamous with a life partner. I think most people aren't interested or can't be bothered to challenge themselves to include more partners in their lives. If that works, then awesome... we all have our own interests. Mine is human nature, sexuality and human interactions. Someone who is mono might not care about that but care about how to build racing cars. Its just different.

I agree that understanding ourselves, regardless of relationship description, is the first course of action towards having a successful relationship in terms of what we believe our own success is. Bouncing it off others is part of finding out how we tick and how others might work with us in a romantic and/or sexual relationship. Part of that learning curve involves learning how to communicate and check in with ourselves moment to moment I think.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:17 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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What I've learned is that the label "polyamory" is perhaps useful for finding other people who are open to having multiple love relationships in their lives, sort of like a code word, but it isn't much more than that to me. I am finding the word less and less useful as I go along. Polyamory's not this strange... something... I enter which then will change me, and it's not a club with specific requirements or a secret handshake. The word simply describes an approach to intimate relationships and only one aspect of my life.

I have learned that some people view it as an identity and can get rather political about it, but for me, it is more productive to just ask oneself what kinds of relationship one wants and then set about creating them. Personally, I feel that it's a waste of time and energy to wrestle with the question, "Am I poly?" It's most important to me that I cultivate the kinds of relationships I want in my life and treat others with the love and respect that I want to be treated with, and not worry about what to call it.

A year ago, when I first chose to embrace a non-monogamous approach to my love life, I felt a bit frantic about trying to find guys to put into the roles of my boyfriends. But I realized, and continue to learn, that I cannot expect a "set of poly relationships" to suddenly fall into place. Relationships take time and I don't need to be in a hurry to have four boyfriends.
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Last edited by nycindie; 11-27-2011 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:11 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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I learned that words and actions are somethimes in conflict and to trust my gut more than my head....unfortunately I learned that after the fact.
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