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Old 09-01-2012, 05:15 PM
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Default Mono's Block in Understanding Poly (Whale vs Scissors)

I think the biggest fear/hurdle/rub in getting a Mono to understand Poly is to stop comparing the two.

Poly works, and creates happiness, intrinsic to it's "poly ways", not in any way intrinsic to "mono ways". And so Mono's have the mental block/hurdle of understanding how "poly ways" create happiness for polys in ways they don't consider happiness to mono's. And they seem to try and understand it as how it differs from their mono lifestyle. But that's like trying to see the difference between Scissors and a Whale. They each serve such a different purpose and really have their own entire way of life and purpose. Mono's seem to project the question: "How would that make me feel?" in trying to understand it. But that is the block right there. You can't use your own mono experiences to understand poly. A Whale doesn't care how being Scissors would make him feel. He doesn't have a need to cut paper.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:00 PM
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Well, I tend to agree that the mindsets are very very different, but it's human nature of compare new experiences with our existing paradigms. Folks need to have information and try to fit it into their "world picture".

A lot of poly folks struggle to understand mono folks - so often they will post "why don't they get it? This is just so much commonsense!" The thing is, this mirrors exactly what the monogamous person is thinking.

Based on what I have seen and experienced, it's worth exploring a little what common ground there can be - it might be that the mono person is more poly than they think, due to conditioning, but there comes a point where you have to stop beating the issue to death and start to take a few things on faith about how the other person thinks. If you wish to stay with that mono person, then there may need to be some extra concessions put in place in order to keep things from going totally off the rails. It's going to differ, based on the individuals involved, of course.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:55 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Are you talking about mono's outside of a relationship ...parents , friends. Or are you talking about a mono partners in a relationship with poly partners.?


Isn't the basis for the interaction "the relationship(s) " feelings.

Whats your motivation in having multiple partners or relationships. ..., excape from boredom , free stuff, etc
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:25 PM
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I don't think there is that much difference actually. I use the analogy of religions. Religions are different. All claim to be a spiritual practice. All come at spirituality from a different angle. The result being the same, spiritual satisfaction for the individual involved.

Really, the only difference is desire between poly and mono I think. Poly people desire a specific love style that fulfills a need for more expansive love with many. Monos desire love just the same but their need for expansion with many doesn't include calling them partners or lovers and having sex and close intimate time with them. They are happy to expand into the amount of love they want and need in a smaller container and a different level of intimacy as far as I can see. Its all love, all valid, all changable and all workable.

Having studied mono/poly relationships for many years here on the forum, in my personal relationship with MonoVCPG, conducting workshops and just living in the dynamic I have, I really think it comes down to personality types and how love is played out within them. That and an interest in relationship dynamics and communication or not. Some people like to fix up old cars, some like to have many boyfriends... At the end of the day there really isn't that much difference as fas as I have noticed.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:57 AM
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I think monogamous relationships and polyamorous relationships are pretty much the same, people just have more of them in poly. All the things necessary for a good mono relationship are also what make a poly relationship work: things like mutual respect, caring, compassion, intimacy, honesty, effective communication, affection, consideration, a willingness to take responsibility, love or a loving quality to interactions, allowing space for the person to be themselves (autonomy), and some kind of commitment. And people must love themselves in order to love others, whether they are in poly or mono situations.

The only thing that many monogamous people can't quite understand is how one can maintain all these things with more than one person simultaneously, but the basics of what makes any relationship satisfactory and successful are all the same things, IMHO. "Poly ways?" I don't know what the hell that even means.
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
Are you talking about mono's outside of a relationship ...parents , friends. Or are you talking about a mono partners in a relationship with poly partners?
Outside for sure. But of course I'm sure even Mono's inside still struggle with grasping Poly. I think they see it as a different belief set, but really it's much stronger than that IMpvO (In my poly virgin opinion). It's easy to accept or tolerate another belief set, like for instance Jews don't believe Jesus is the son of God, but Christians do. Pretty simple. They can get that. A Christian can understand that, and a Jew can understand the contrary. But it's deeper than a different belief. It's a totally different understanding.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanevans View Post
Outside for sure. But of course I'm sure even Mono's inside still struggle with grasping Poly. I think they see it as a different belief set, but really it's much stronger than that IMpvO (In my poly virgin opinion). It's easy to accept or tolerate another belief set, like for instance Jews don't believe Jesus is the son of God, but Christians do. Pretty simple. They can get that. A Christian can understand that, and a Jew can understand the contrary. But it's deeper than a different belief. It's a totally different understanding.
But it really isn't. It's a different way of relating to other humans. We all relate to each other and the fact that some of us want to relate to more than one person sexually or romantically really isn't all that different from mono people wanting to have friends at varying depths for different types of friendships. We all crave human contact and interaction and really we are much more the same than different. (But then again I tend to believe that like sexuality monogamy and non-monogamy exist on a spectrum with very few people being at either extreme and most of us falling somewhere in the middle. The challenge is to find that middle ground where you understand each other and move from there).
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbylicious View Post
But it really isn't. It's a different way of relating to other humans. We all relate to each other and the fact that some of us want to relate to more than one person sexually or romantically really isn't all that different from mono people wanting to have friends at varying depths for different types of friendships. We all crave human contact and interaction and really we are much more the same than different. (But then again I tend to believe that like sexuality monogamy and non-monogamy exist on a spectrum with very few people being at either extreme and most of us falling somewhere in the middle. The challenge is to find that middle ground where you understand each other and move from there).
Well that definitely goes towards what I'm saying. It's a different understanding of how to relate to other humans. A way which mono's have a hard time understanding using their own understanding. I think you are definitely explaining a different understanding: telling a mono that it's the same as friends in a mono world with added love and intimacy (to paraphrase). They can't understand that natively. They understand that kind of love and intimacy to be a direct connection one-on-one with only one special person who is more than a friend could be.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbylicious View Post
But it really isn't. It's a different way of relating to other humans. We all relate to each other and the fact that some of us want to relate to more than one person sexually or romantically really isn't all that different from mono people wanting to have friends at varying depths for different types of friendships. We all crave human contact and interaction and really we are much more the same than different. (But then again I tend to believe that like sexuality monogamy and non-monogamy exist on a spectrum with very few people being at either extreme and most of us falling somewhere in the middle. The challenge is to find that middle ground where you understand each other and move from there).
I think you are projecting the fact that you understand poly, into your viewpoint, of, what a mono can understand.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanevans View Post
I think the biggest fear/hurdle/rub in getting a Mono to understand Poly is to stop comparing the two.

Poly works, and creates happiness, intrinsic to it's "poly ways", not in any way intrinsic to "mono ways". And so Mono's have the mental block/hurdle of understanding how "poly ways" create happiness for polys in ways they don't consider happiness to mono's. And they seem to try and understand it as how it differs from their mono lifestyle. But that's like trying to see the difference between Scissors and a Whale. They each serve such a different purpose and really have their own entire way of life and purpose. Mono's seem to project the question: "How would that make me feel?" in trying to understand it. But that is the block right there. You can't use your own mono experiences to understand poly. A Whale doesn't care how being Scissors would make him feel. He doesn't have a need to cut paper.
I guess I'm also sort of scratching my head as to the point. I don't understand how jumping out of airplanes makes anyone happy, but honestly, I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure it out. It does, they do it, they lead their life, I lead mine. It makes no difference if I get it or not, and I can guarantee they also don't understand why some of the things I do make me happy! I'm curious if your statement/question is coming from a personal incident in your life in which you'd like to be poly and your SO doesn't? In which you're trying to explain how you feel and don't feel that you're being understood?

I guess to me, asking "How would that make me feel?" is most people's attempt to follow the Golden Rule. It's what parents often say to their children in trying to teach them to understand others: How would that make you feel? if it would hurt you, then you shouldn't be doing it to someone else. Again, it makes me wonder if this question relates to an incident in your life of trying to explain to someone else how you feel.

Also, are we talking about someone of a mono mindset (ie, someone who has never been in love with two people at once) or someone of a mono relationship style (wishes to be monogamous regardless of feelings for others)? Are we talking about them trying to understand poly as in the ability to fall in love with multiple people or poly as a relationship style and why it would bring happiness?

Quote:
With respect you are not the first person who is relatively new to poly that has voiced the opinion that it is somehow more "evolved" than monogamy. I would gently caution you that this can come across as very disrespectful towards monogamy, which works exceedingly well for a large group of people - telling them that their chosen relationship style is "less evolved" can feel pretty condescending.
Thank you for saying so, Ciel du Matin.

What I find interesting from my reading on this board is the two distinct issues of poly as ability to love multiple people romantically vs. poly as a relationship style. I have definitely had major infatuations with two people at once. There are plenty of stories of women thinking they were war widows and re-marrying only to have the missing husband return--and they are torn in half, because they love both. To me, poly as a mindset is perfectly normal, so much so that I never would have thought to give it a name. If someone has never fallen in love with two people at once, if their feelings for one die as their feelings for another grow, I would never think to call them less evolved--it's simply the way their emotions work. Not much different than one of us liking apples and one of us preferring bananas.

As to lifestyle, I also wouldn't call it less evolved. I have become involved with a married man I'd known as a friend for years before my divorce. His wife is fully aware and highly approving, or I wouldn't be near him. I continue to see him because I very much enjoy his company and our time together and I see a great deal of good and personal healing and growth coming out of it for both of us.

But ...having experienced a polyamory relationship, I'm not at all convinced I ever want to be in one again. This makes me, I suppose, someone of a poly mindset (quite capable of loving multiple people) but preferring a mono relationship style.

This doesn't mean I disrespect anyone here (in fact, I've seen some great wisdom here about relationships and a lot of mutual respect). I don't regard anyone here as more or less evolved because they will likely pursue different styles of relationship in future than I will; nor do I regard myself as more or less evolved because of how I would prefer my next relationship to be. We simply want different things out of life and relationships.
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