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Old 12-28-2011, 02:43 PM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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Default The epiphany, now the application...advice please?!

As groundwork let us say our relationship is incredibly secure, we don't waste our time or energy on useless emotions like jealousy/insecurity...we are VERY deeply in love, incredibly happy together and have an awesome sex life!!! We have been delving into the "lifestyle" and this aspect of our relationship has only contributed to our already deep love, absolute respect and total trust of each other. However our "play" in no way defines us as a couple, we don't NEED it for sexual happiness nor is it more than a pursuit of pleasurable to us. Both of us are bisexual with some limited experience.

While sharing some pillow talk the other evening we somehow ended up on one of those questions that is normally immediately unanswerable because of being put on the spot..."what would you like to add to your life to complete your emotional/physical happiness" (money etc. excluded)? She suddenly with a misty gaze softly said "I want a girlfriend," not just a friend but a lover too...he asked "do you want someone to play with or someone to love"...her response was both!!!

The depth of the emotion and quickness of the revelation stunned us both but that quickly evolved into happiness at the recognition of the emotion and importance of the trust involved in sharing such a feeling/need. Though we've been on here for a little while we had never discussed a poly arrangement fully, it appeared we would now need to!

We have a simple set of "rules of engagement" that we've set down that we feel work to start. We have decided that we will always be the primary members of the relationship and there really was never any question about that. Since we understood the dynamic would be shaped by the person(s) we eventually met we can't project what/how it will happen nor can we know which of us will be closer or more connected to this person(s). While we would prefer that this person(s) be attracted and interested emotionally in both of us we know that isn't always the case and we have no discomfort about them being somewhat exclusive to either one of us.

Can you good folks offer any further advice???
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:30 PM
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I know this is pretty simplistic, but read everything at www.morethantwo.com before you get started, especially the stuff on poly configurations and jealousy management, as well as the basic tips and do's/don't's, and you will be better prepared for surprises that still come your way (and there will be surprises!). If you're committed to a primary/secondary structure, don't look for exclusivity from a new female partner (I wouldn't suggest doing so even if you weren't, but especially in this case).

It sounds like you guys have a strong base to work from and an understanding that flexibility is an asset when moving into new territory, so you're well equipped already. I would just suggest arming yourself with more info and perspectives, as per above.

Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:33 PM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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Thanks so much, I've bookmarked that site and we will read/discuss it together! We have also come to the conclusion that whoever we meet can't really be limited by gender, no matter how much we want or focus on finding a girlfriend we may find ourselves interested in a guy! Now all we have to do is figure out how/where to find that partner!
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:28 AM
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Be careful what you say about jealousy. It can creep up. It isn't a useless emotion at all its a cluster of emotions that can tell us some very meaningful and deep messages and that is a blessing. Its our guts telling us that something is wrong and we have to figure out what. Usually its as simple as fear, threat and a need of ours not being met. To ignore jealousy means that the issues aren't discussed and dealt with.

Poo pooing jealousy as if it were in some way for people that are unable to control their emotions is also dangerous. I have known perfectly happy and solid relationships that have destructed because its members thought it weak to be jealous and when in fact they were they were ashamed and hide it to the point where they broke down and all hell broke loose. It was too bad because if they hadn't of been so full of pride they would of gotten to the bottom of their issues much sooner and might not of broken up.

So you are going from the "lifestyle" (by that I assume swinging) to poly now. Would that mean you can still take it or leave it? Would it still be a lifestyle choice? Its hard to go back to being a mono couple after. Have you discussed that?

There are lots of great threads here to read if you look in the tag section. All the ones of any substance in one area were tagged. If you have read around you know that, but if you need any direction to anything specific, please ask. While Annabel's link is a good one, its only one perspective and one source, there is so much to learn from so many places. More so than ever. If you find anything good, I'd love to hear about it.
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Last edited by redpepper; 12-29-2011 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:23 AM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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Thanks for your reply redpepper! Will will look through the "tagged" area and do more reading, we realize that Annabel's link is only one of many sites and views vary from person to person. Unfortunately we're not too up on navigating these sites...hence the direct open question!

We don't take jealousy, insecurity, codependency or any other potential threat to a healthy relationship lightly. We have both discussed our exploration into the lifestyle at great length and given a great deal of thought to the above issues, we will continue that approach in our efforts to connect with someone. We also recognize that pride/ego are the cause of many failures, not just interpersonal relationships!!!

Our foray into swinging wasn't/isn't approached lightly, it is/was a lifestyle choice, we also view polyamory as a lifestyle choice...nor would we just abandon either if things as they often do become difficult. We may decide to continue to "play" within the small circle of friends we have, none of which wish indulge in a more committed relationship...swinging after all is about sex not love even though deep friendships often are created. Obviously any continued swinging would be with the full knowledge of any/all partners just as it is now, they would also be welcome to join us. However it's obvious the dynamic of that relationship remains to be determined until/if we find that partner.

Unless we misunderstand the definition of polyamory there is a VERY wide range of sexual interests, relationship dynamics and interpersonal arrangements both monogamous and non-monogamous. If we are unable to find an appropriate partner or we establish a relationship that fails we would be returning to what is already a very healthy relationship and as primary partners we intend to maintain that relationship with or without another partner.

We both feel this is the next evolutionary step in our relationship. Often you hear people expound on how "special" their relationship is and just as often you see those relationships fail for reasons that seem obvious to everyone but the victims! We do indeed have something incredibly special, the love, trust, security, of our relationship surpasses anything we have seen elsewhere in or out of the lifestyle. We are both mature in our reasoning and we communicate clearly and concisely with each other, disagreements are few but in the nearly 5 years (3 married) we've been together we have never "argued" preferring instead to discuss our differing views and arrive at a middle ground comfortable to both. We share a depth of love and passion for each other and life in general that we would like to share with an appreciative partner. We honestly if somewhat naively believe no person can have too much love!

Last edited by swmnkdinthervr; 12-29-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:39 AM
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Sounds like you are starting from a really good place. I wish you well, as long as you stay open to what happens and the changes that come with that you should be fine. Poly seems to move people away from each other yet still includes more love than ever. Most change comes in becoming less co-dependant and more autonomous from one another. If you can do that and still be happy and healthy, still feel love is abundant and ever increasing you should be fine.

My only other recommendation would be not to use the term "lifestyle" when referring to poly as it can be a trigger for some poly people who are not on the spectrum end of poly where swingers lye. It could make or break a situation that could be successful in terms of a relationship. Its common to be in poly as a lifestyle rather than an orientation (such as gay for example), but poly people generally think of "lifestyle" as swinging and therefore that they are not worthy of any investment because its temporary. Does that make sense? Something to think about anyway.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swmnkdinthervr View Post
We have also come to the conclusion that whoever we meet can't really be limited by gender, no matter how much we want or focus on finding a girlfriend we may find ourselves interested in a guy! Now all we have to do is figure out how/where to find that partner!
We, we, we. Watch that. You will set yourself up for heartache and drama if you only view your foray into polyamory as a "Couple +1" endeavor (this seems to be a very swingerish mindset, as swinging tends to be very M-F couplecentric). You are both two individuals in a relationship, not one unit. You each have your own wants, desires, needs, and feelings, and so will anyone you get involved with.

I think you will find things to flow much easier and more smoothly if you allow attractions and relationships to develop as they do, with one or the other of you, and remember to nurture each separately. Strive to be your partner's primary without making any new partners feel like an appendage or toy for the two of you. Cherish each person you are in relationship with as a unique individual and do not think of anyone as meant to satisfy or augment "the couple" and you will be okay.


As for the use of the word "lifestyle" in referring to polyamory, it is important to remember that there is no one polyamorous lifestyle. Your own lifestyle can include poly, and so in that sense it is perfectly fine to use that word, as in "my poly lifestyle," "our poly lifestyle," etc. But just don't assume that there is The Poly Lifestyle that everyone adheres to in the same way. The reason why the word lifestyle seems to work very well in swinging is because there are generally universally agreed-upon rules and parameters that most swingers are aware of and accept. If swingers moved around from community to community, they would speak pretty much the same lingo, have the same understanding of the accepted rules, and be able to fit into most any swinging community on that shared understanding. So it is more correct to say "The Lifestyle" for them. While polyamory also has its own lingo, it is much more customizable, and there are a gazillion ways to live polyamorously. We talked lot about the word in this thread: What is this "lifestyle" you mention?
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:40 PM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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Hi Redpepper...there is no question in our minds that poly is VASTLY different than any relationship we have previously considered!!!

"What it appears you're saying is simply that we could be denying ourselves and someone else what we cherish the most about our relationship and that makes a great deal of sense, we really don't want to limit ANY relationship with fear no matter how seemingly rational it might be!" Was in response to Annabel's post but we suppose it could apply to what you both were saying!

"Second part; is this to Annabel? Yes, its hard to hear that exploring other partnerships might mean becoming less attached in the way you once knew into something more autonomous. I get a great deal of what I see as seething silence after I say a lot of things and I figure that its because its hard to hear. *shrug* I don't mean to sound negative, I just say it like I see it and realize that I make little friends by doing so. I just hope that they take it with them and think about it at some point." This actually was more in response to you...we had an initial "knee jerk" reaction to your honesty without thinking it through completely, Annabel's response helped us see what you were saying more clearly. We thank you for your straight forward approach!!!

Hi Nycindie... Thank you for jumping in! Please understand one thing...we are stressing WE meaning us as a couple when we are posting here, the intent is to let everyone know that while one person obviously is typing/composing/responding these responses we are BOTH participating in, contributing to this discussion. WE celebrate our individuality and totally support each others interests whether we share the interest or not.

We "get" the idea of allowing things to flow naturally or happen rather than try to control them but shouldn't any "primary" or the established couple be a little cautious to just opening their arms (and trust) to anyone she/he/we are attracted to...or did we miss your meaning? Our continued discussion has been centered around the almost limitless possibilities for the structure of a relationship with others and how that interaction might go, we're finding that it basically breaks down to being open to whatever grows out of the connection no matter how much we talk about it.

For whatever reason we've begun to get the feeling that many/some (?) here (or at least those responding here on the board, in our reading and in messages to us) are trying to make sure there is NO correlation between swinging and polyamory. Portraying swinging as something undertaken lightly and cast aside just as lightly as most perceive the partners are, our "friends" are all part of a small closed loop circle. There are potentially as many ways to "live in the swinging lifestyle" as there are to live in poly relationships and many "lifestyle" relationships could clearly be defined we're now realizing as polyamorous. As we continue to visit more and more poly websites we find there is a visible and almost equal division between those accepting of present/former "lifestylers" and those opposed to that "stigma" for lack of a better word.

However we respect everyone's sensitivities and will attempt to use the proper "lingo" on these individual sites.

We understand some of the social stigma, the conservative/vanilla world is fond of labeling any alternative lifestyle. Sadly we are subjected to something similar because of our bisexual orientation. Even those in the "swinging lifestyle" are concerned about and sensitive to how the outside world views their actions/choices and want to make sure they are viewed in what they consider a positive light. In a nutshell "open minded" sometimes means "as long as you agree with how I/we see things!"
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swmnkdinthervr View Post
Hi Nycindie... Thank you for jumping in! Please understand one thing...we are stressing WE meaning us as a couple when we are posting here, the intent is to let everyone know that while one person obviously is typing/composing/responding these responses we are BOTH participating in, contributing to this discussion. WE celebrate our individuality and totally support each others interests whether we share the interest or not.

We "get" the idea of allowing things to flow naturally or happen rather than try to control them but shouldn't any "primary" or the established couple be a little cautious to just opening their arms (and trust) to anyone she/he/we are attracted to...or did we miss your meaning?
Perhaps you did. Of course, yes, be cautious! There are a lot of nuts out there. I simply noticed that you were expressing yourself as a "we" in your posts, which definitely indicates a couplecentric approach, something that sometimes works in poly but often does not. I did not realize I was "talking to" a couple in my post to this thread. On this board, most couples are registered individually. For more info on that: Two People, One Username

Basically, it seems that in polyamory, it is usually viewed as a more healthy approach if a couple acknowledge that they each are autonomous with their own specific needs, even within their dyad. Poly relationships take time to nurture, and sometimes people put in a year of more before everyone gets comfortable. Most of the time, when a couple "opens up" their relationship to poly, additional relationships are usually more successful if pursued independently -- even if the ultimate desire is for involvement with everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swmnkdinthervr View Post
For whatever reason we've begun to get the feeling that many/some (?) here (or at least those responding here on the board, in our reading and in messages to us) are trying to make sure there is NO correlation between swinging and polyamory. Portraying swinging as something undertaken lightly and cast aside just as lightly as most perceive the partners are, our "friends" are all part of a small closed loop circle. There are potentially as many ways to "live in the swinging lifestyle" as there are to live in poly relationships and many "lifestyle" relationships could clearly be defined we're now realizing as polyamorous. ...
There are plenty of polyfolk here who also swing, or have a lot of past experience swinging -- but they are two distinctly different things. While you may have sensed judgment, it isn't necessarily against swinging, but that there tends to be a very strong need among poly peeps to make sure people understand the difference. For example, I live in NYC and if I talk to a "civilian," (basically a monogamous-oriented person) about poly, they assume it is swinging or about "open marriage" and having many casual sex partners, simply because swinging is the only form of open non-monogamy they have ever heard of. And polyamory is simply not the same as swinging or being open.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swmnkdinthervr View Post
... the conservative/vanilla world is fond of labeling any alternative lifestyle.
Yeah, um, additionally, I don't consider non-poly people to be "vanilla" because I don't view poly as a kink (and I tend to dislike the term "vanilla"). Conservative or conventional, more likely. Anyway...

Polyfolk often have to work hard to erase the concept in most people's minds that poly is only about sex. And while most of us know that swingers can and often do have loving relationships with their swinging partners, let's face it - swinging is focused on sex as a group recreational activity. Many polyamorists are also poly-fidelitous, not interested in casual sex outside their poly tangle, and often include non-sexual partners among their poly relationships.

For most polyamorists, sharing love and nurturing committed, loving relationships are integral to having multiple partners. So, when someone comes here and it sounds like they are embracing poly from a swinger perspective, members here tend to make sure they understand the overall general difference in approach and attitude -- even though many, many polyfolk also swing. See also this thread: poly or swinging

Have you done much searching and reading of this forum? There are plenty of threads that have addressed some of your questions.
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