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Old 07-10-2012, 08:46 PM
Quietfever Quietfever is offline
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Default Is anyone poly for nonsexual reasons?

Hi, here is my thing...

I sometimes have felt pressured to find a primary pair bond relationship for reasons that were not romantic and sexual - I am on the asexual spectrum to some extent (I'm demisexual to a degree) and do not have a huge sex drive when I'm alone. I tend to only want to have sex when I'm already with someone I love. I'm quite capable of being sexually monogamous and have tended to just lose sexual interest when relationships went south. I didn't feel the urge to go out and find someone else. I go a long time between partners. I have felt the pressure to partner however just to have companionship and deep connection but every time I've partnered, I ended up enjoying even LESS of this than I enjoyed as a single person. Plus I have had friendships that were "blurry" and were intimate to the degree of blurring the lines with partnerships. They just haven't been necessarily sexual (although one was).

I have felt a huge relief since discovering poly, like I found a missing piece. I was afraid at first that I would feel pressured to find somebody ("they date all of these people and I can't even find ONE!") but it's actually the opposite. I don't feel pressured at all, and feel like, if I have enough poly friends, I won't have a shortage of company so there's no real need to "pair off". I'm not left alone anymore just because all of my friends are "paired off". For the first time I feel relieved of this pressure and like if I wanted to live outside of the paradigm of marriage and primary partnership, then it would not mean being totally alone. I am a very loving friend and enjoy one-on-one time with people and connecting at a deep level. In a weird way, by letting go of the pair paradigm and by letting go of trying to find a soulmate, I feel more likely to actually find one, too.

Now that I have some poly friends, I always have someone to see a film with or talk to, even if they are in a relationship. The relationships aren't totally "airtight" against deep friendships with other people the way my monogamous friends' relationships are. I don't feel "left out" anymore and in fact I increasingly feel less and less like I "need a relationship". I'm a whole and complete member of a tribe, not a half person missing their other half. I am increasingly more and more comfortable just hanging loose and enjoying my friendships as they are, and letting things be where they are.

When I've been in monogamous relationships, however, that person tended to be very threatened by the other people in my life. I've ended up MORE lonely in relationships than I've ever been single. They expected to be the only person with whom I shared Deep Conversation type of energy. They wanted to be the only person who knew about my life. Trouble is, plenty of people do. I'm not that hard to know.

A friend of mine recently called me a "social swinger". I enjoy sexual and romantic relationships on occasion, but closeness is more my motivation than sex and I tend to want more closeness and depth than I seem to be able to get in any one relationship.

I'm not happy unless I have the freedom to talk to people and get to know people. Some of my friendships even get slightly "blurry" - some of my friendships are very loving, though not necessarily physical or even sexual (I don't have a high sex drive, in fact!) - and then I deal with the pain when the person goes off into a monogamous relationship, then completely shuts me out on all but a superficial basis.

As a result of this, I've discovered polyamorous friends and how wonderful they can be; there is a depth we can have together that I don't seem to be able to have with my friends who are in the "Pairs" relationship paradigm. They are able to talk to me all day and on deeper levels than my mono friends ever were because they are not as afraid of "what might happen". They're not pushing intimacy away, if it happens then it happens, so the friendship can simply be deeper. It's the level of depth that I prefer and have always missed in my friendships.

Seems monogamous people are either desperately looking for their half-a-pair, or jealously mate-guarding to the extent that they lock all of the other people out of their lives (except to have dinner parties with other monogamous pairs).

Whereas I am happiest living in an amorphous web of relationships (I'm capable of having multiple best friends) of various levels of depth and I don't want to feel like I have to suddenly transition my friendships to shallow acquaintanceships when I become romantic and sexual with somebody. I don't feel like I am a fit in the "pairs" world and I've been deeply unhappy when I've been part of a pair. I'd like to be in love - but I'd like it to evolve organically. The "pairs" world seems to leave no possibility for that.

What I also realize is that my previous relationships might have actually been better if we had been openly poly. I came with my network of deep connections, and they were threatened, and I was just arguing loudly "WE ARE NOT LIKE THAT! I Never slept with these people!" (in all but one case, one person was an ex and we're still close). It would have been MUCH easier if it could be on the table in the beginning: "these are the people in my life whom I love" instead of trying to sort everyone into the "friends" vs "lovers" box so neatly.

Last edited by Quietfever; 07-10-2012 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:58 PM
Quietfever Quietfever is offline
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Could this be moved to "General Poly Discussions"? On second thought, I think this post is a better fit there.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:28 AM
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Here it stays then.

Welcome to the Forum.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:57 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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Hi,

Fascinating position. I relate, a lot. Not completely, but a lot.

I adore my men, but they seem to run out of words rather quickly. Or they don't like to talk on the same subjects as I do, maybe. They like to argue, and I do not; but once agreed, they don't want to explore a topic further, and I do. Or maybe it's just I wanna know how they feel about stuff and they don' wanna talk about that.!

But I recently had an opportunity to have a long deep conversation with someone, and it was quite lovely; and I realize I miss that tons and tons.

Thanks for posting this.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:39 AM
Quietfever Quietfever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
Hi,

Fascinating position. I relate, a lot. Not completely, but a lot.

I adore my men, but they seem to run out of words rather quickly. Or they don't like to talk on the same subjects as I do, maybe. They like to argue, and I do not; but once agreed, they don't want to explore a topic further, and I do. Or maybe it's just I wanna know how they feel about stuff and they don' wanna talk about that.!

But I recently had an opportunity to have a long deep conversation with someone, and it was quite lovely; and I realize I miss that tons and tons.

Thanks for posting this.
It's been my experience that when I've been in a monogamous LTR, I didn't even have the freedom to have long deep conversations with anyone. I notice even that my married monogamous friends don't tend to share very much online the way that my single or poly friends do.

My mother is monogamous in her marriage and is so paranoid about potential emotional infidelity and "how things look" that she doesn't even HAVE deep friendships, just the occasional lunch date with some other married straight woman. She is lonely, but she just considers this part of the price of being married and part of the sacrifice you make. :/

I have never been so in love with anyone that this would be a worthwhile sacrifice.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:58 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Um, I've never been in love with anyone who would even dream of me making that sacrifice.

But then, even when I was mono with MC for a short while when we were newly married (by choice, since I was still very much in the "honeymoon" phase with him and not looking for other connections), that never stopped me from talking to people. That's actually my favorite thing to do, besides read. When I stop talking to people, that's when I know something's wrong!

ETA: I think if it were not for the sexual connection, I would not consider it strictly "poly", but I can see where you're coming from. I've always been the type of person to develop close, intense friendships, and those who couldn't deal with it were cheerfully (or not) told where to get off. It makes sense that poly people would be less threatened by intense friendships, I just hadn't thought about it that way before. I didn't consider myself poly until TGIB and I started a committed relationship- what you're describing, to me, fits better in my category of "open"- open to possibilities, but not pushing for any goal in particular.
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Last edited by ThatGirlInGray; 07-11-2012 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:00 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Also, Imaginary, I think you misread this (bold mine):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietfever View Post
Could this be moved to "General Poly Discussions"? On second thought, I think this post is a better fit there.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:09 PM
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lovefromgirl lovefromgirl is offline
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Usual caveat: I haven't yet read the rest of the thread! Bear with me! The short answer to the question is, in fact, "yes". I am not poly because I want more sex. I am poly because I think differently about a lot of relationship types, as you'll see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietfever View Post
For the first time I feel relieved of this pressure and like if I wanted to live outside of the paradigm of marriage and primary partnership, then it would not mean being totally alone. I am a very loving friend and enjoy one-on-one time with people and connecting at a deep level. In a weird way, by letting go of the pair paradigm and by letting go of trying to find a soulmate, I feel more likely to actually find one, too.
The bolded part is what feels liberating about embracing who I am. Other girls had wedding dreams; mine were nightmares. I also had a hard time understanding the exclusivity of pairing off. Partly this was because I felt like the "one" at the tail end of a population of umpteen and one. Partly this was down to not getting why, if A wants B, C wants B, and B likes both, they can't all get along.

I don't believe soulmates come in pairs, either. I suspect that if we do have souls, those souls bond in so many different permutations over time, with so many different people, that it's pointless to declare one mate. More a matter of metaphysics, though.

Quote:
Now that I have some poly friends, I always have someone to see a film with or talk to, even if they are in a relationship. The relationships aren't totally "airtight" against deep friendships with other people the way my monogamous friends' relationships are.
It's one thing to be monogamous. It's quite another to insulate oneself against anyone outside that monogamous pair. How simultaneously lonely and stifling, to only have one "person" but to be stuck with that one all the time! I'm used to extended families -- grandmothers, aunties, cousins, and the like -- and I think my friendships reflect this. It takes a village, etc.

Quote:
When I've been in monogamous relationships, however, that person tended to be very threatened by the other people in my life. I've ended up MORE lonely in relationships than I've ever been single.
...like I said.

Quote:
They expected to be the only person with whom I shared Deep Conversation type of energy. They wanted to be the only person who knew about my life. Trouble is, plenty of people do. I'm not that hard to know.
I've had a similar problem. I had a boyfriend who wanted to shape me. He had already determined that he knew me exclusively, better than I knew myself. His attempts to change me silenced me as thoroughly as if he'd forbidden me to speak with anyone from the outside. In a sense, I feel he thought I was cheating on him with... me. Which is sad.

Quote:
Whereas I am happiest living in an amorphous web of relationships (I'm capable of having multiple best friends) of various levels of depth and I don't want to feel like I have to suddenly transition my friendships to shallow acquaintanceships when I become romantic and sexual with somebody. I don't feel like I am a fit in the "pairs" world and I've been deeply unhappy when I've been part of a pair. I'd like to be in love - but I'd like it to evolve organically. The "pairs" world seems to leave no possibility for that.
It only behaves that way if we let it. I only stay friends with people who treat me like a human, not as a threat or a possession. I acknowledge how very precious CdM is to me, but he can't be everyone and everything to me, and I seek out people who feel the same about their partners. We're all over the spectrum; of the ones I consider best friends, perhaps two have opened themselves up to non-monogamous possibilities. The rest are monogamous or not telling. Don't get me wrong! I also enjoy my polyamorous friends! But I don't limit myself to them, either.

I try, also, to cultivate individual relationships with people. That guy my friend married is Ryan, not Alyx's husband. He is jolly fun all by himself, and you want him on your side in an RPG. I don't force it. If I can't relate to a friend's SO, then I can't relate, but it doesn't change who my friend is to me. If I fake it, attempting to like someone just because she is John Doe's wife, what happens if they divorce? Will the ex-Mrs Doe expect more from me than I feel? (This really happened. It was a mess.)
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:39 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi Quietfever,
Just wanted to welcome you to our forum.

You make some interesting points, and it is often felt (by poly folks) that polyamory is, first and foremost, an emotional thing (while not ruling out the sexual). I'm personally of the mindset that there's something of a slider between "how monogamous" or "how polyamorous" different people are by nature. I'd almost say you seem like a "very poly person" who's been with some "very mono people," but actually it sounds like your monogamous partners were just plain possessive and insecure.

If two people happen to be monogamous and enjoy relating to each other emotionally to the exclusion of others, that's (theoretically) okay as long as both people feel that way. But when one of the two people longs for outside (such as deep/platonic) type friendships, it seems like the other person should be willing to compromise a little and allow for those friendships. There are ways to be wholesomely monogamous, but monogamy isn't for everyone. The problem is that standard social beliefs are that monogamy is for everyone.

I can agree that polyamory seems to be a perfect fit for you. I guess we can call it emotional polyamory when it doesn't result in a sexual relationship, but the point is, you needed the freedom to just let the various relationships in your life be what they are.

Anywayz ... glad you could join us, hope you will feel at home.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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