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Old 02-08-2013, 07:43 PM
Pyuvii Pyuvii is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 32
Default Primaries, secondaries, tertiaries, what?

So, there's something I just don't quite get with a lot of poly relationships.

What's with this having heirachy and ranking in people you love?

Now I'm just going to be frank, and I honestly want to understand the other side of this, so please don't be offended, but to me the whole situation of having a lover set higher than another, seems rather unfair, and honestly unloving ):

So! Conversation go!
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:47 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northern Cali
Posts: 552

Hi Pyuvii!

Have you tried the tag search here? If you click "Search" and then click "Tag Search" you can click on any tag there and pull up any thread that's been tagged as having to do with that topic. Yeah, it's a LOT, but you'd be able to get a really broad view of what many people think about hierarchy, among other topics. You could also click the tags for "primary", "secondary", "secondaries" and "primary/secondary" if you wanted. And resurrecting a thread is TOTALLY fine here, since there's always new people around to contribute to it.
Pan Female, Hinge in a V between my mono (straight) husband, Monochrome and my poly (pan) partner, ThatGuyInBlack
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:49 PM
Pyuvii Pyuvii is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 32

See, but I can't do that because that would make too much sense XP

I will do that then! thanks =D
Accidentally Poly and loving it~! <3
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:37 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,091

Different open relationship models appeal to different people.

People have different polysaturation points too. For those who enjoy a heirarchy type model -- it doesn't have to stop at "tertiary" for some. For others out to "secondary" is all they may have time/desire/other resources for.

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Old 02-08-2013, 11:55 PM
AJ1 AJ1 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 27

For me, my primary is my husband. We are life partners, first and foremost. He has made it clear that he does not want anyone else to share that place, in my life or in his. No matter how important another man becomes to me, he will never live with me, or share finances or major life decisions. That is out of respect for my husband's preferences. That does rule out any potential partners who are looking for that deep of a relationship - but I am upfront about what I can and can't provide in a romantic partnership.

My secondary is my boyfriend. He is a very independent man who has never been married and never wants to be. He needs a lot of alone time and personal space, and is a major commit-a-phobe. It can be hard for a man like that to find a suitable partner in the regular dating scene, since most people have the standard expectation of a monogamous relationship that builds to living together and marriage. He prefers his "secondary" status, because he doesn't have the emotional skills or energy to devote himself fully to a relationship.

None of the people involved find the situation unloving or unfair. In fact, none of us would want my BF to hold the same position as hubby. BF doesn't want that responsibility (dealing with family drama, taking care of me when I'm sick, etc.) He just wants some companionship, some sex, someone to go out with and have a good time.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:38 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 826

Really it is how you make it. I get the sense people who were already married when they decided to try poly are more likely to "do hierarchy", and people who were being poly before they got into cohabitating or life partnerships are somewhat less likely to do it. Each person using primary/secondary probably means a slightly different thing, it's hard to find common language with uncommon things, in many cases its for convenience. Lots of those people don't mean ranking loves at all, though sure, some of them do.

My husband (who was poly for two decades before we met) uses hierarchy language, because for him it is his truth at this time - he believes that I will always come first and he wouldn't love anybody as much as he loves me. I pretty much just use it in "quotes" in threads as a descriptor - married/boughtahouse/raisingkids sortsa relationship vs notgonnadothat ones. My partners aren't primary/secondary etc, there's just currently the person I love and am married to/live with, and the person I love who would be incompatible to live with. The person I live with is the one who affects my day to day life most, so it is much more likely for more decisions I make to be based on how they'd affect my home life than my non-home life. There's the understanding that I don't want to live with any females (no matter who's partner it is) that might want to try to fuck my awesome interior decorating up, and my husband doesn't want to live with any of my male partners, so that is a realistic limitation for what future relationships can likely become, but I'd never assume if somebody said they did X or Y or Z that it was the same as my X Y Z unless I discussed it with them.
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:57 PM
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Karin Karin is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Around Buffalo, New York
Posts: 2

For me here I always agreed that the hierarchy of poly world did not work for me either. I thought it was degrading.

Well than I donated my kidney and my wife went into the hospital 2 seperate things that changed a few ideals for me. My lover got very upset she was not able to sit in on some of the drs meetings and go into the OR and things like that. I had to fight hard to get visitation and stuff for my wife's lover.
All this opened my eyes that yes my wife and I are primary in the first to call for money and hospital things.... And we are very invested by 15 years in each others lives where our lovers loving with us or not had less invested and less I interest in these matters.
This is when I broke my thinking of the fact that yes there is a hierarchy format in my life. Not my ideal choice however it is the one that works in cases of emergency. My lovers husband has to be the first called and my wife is the first called in any emergency and these people have first rights to make those important needed choices when the other can not.
I do write they have equal say in my medical needs however the wife gets the top line.
All this said no one is loved any different or less. Just they way our lives have been built up
Together over time and the foundation blocks of our relationship.

I still understand what and why you are asking.
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