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Old 11-29-2013, 11:53 PM
SparklePony SparklePony is offline
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Default Not mono but not poly, what is my poly identity? How do I "label" my relationship?

I believe in Abundant Love, but I'm not sure how to define my poly identity. In fact I may not be poly at all. I do not feel any needs or desires to have multiple partners and can be completely satisfied in a monogamous relationship.

However I wouldn't consider myself "mono" because I am with a poly man and I embrace, encourage and enjoy the fact that he is poly. I hardly feel jealousy, can feel strong compersion, and enjoy bonding and (when possible) sex with him and his partners in three or moresomes. In fact I am probably responsible for him breaking from his pattern of serial monogamy and exploring his poly identity. I encouraged him to see other women and (since his last girlfriend was the jealous type) I "untrained" him of his preprogrammed behavior so he could feel comfortable hitting on other girls and talking about his relationships with me.

I've been wondering if I would be attracted to other men while in this relationship but it hasn't really happened yet. I'm not sure if this is because subconsciously I know that my man would not be comfortable with me being with other men. In past mono relationships I often would feel attracted to others but would not pursue my attractions. But just because he is poly doesn't seem to make me want to pursue outside partners.

Neither of us knew the word "polyamory" until now, 4 years into our relationship. We just called it "single together" and we did not call each other "girlfriend" or "boyfriend" because we assumed those labels implied sexual exclusivity. We've been resisting labels for so long but this means I have a hard time explaining my relationship to others, and they take my confusion as a lack of confidence. This has been my biggest struggle with being in a poly relationship as people think I'm being taken advantage of and letting my man run around because I have low self esteem. In fact it is my very high self esteem that keeps me from feeling jealousy. For the most part I have learned not to care what other people think (and since my man and I are very public characters in our community people do think and talk a lot). But still I want to find confidence in the right way to represent our relationship.

What am I? For the sake of convenience, how do I "label" myself and my relationship? Words of wisdom and experience welcome! Thanks!

Lauren
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:16 AM
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What you describe is typically identified as a mono-poly relationship.
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:51 AM
SparklePony SparklePony is offline
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From what I've read monos are hard wired for monogamy seem to have a hard time accepting poly. But when I started reading about poly it all made a lot of sense to me and seemed natural... Left to my own devices I probably wouldn't go through the extra effort it takes to bring new partners into a relationship. However if I think about the girlfriends we've had, I truly cherish these relationships, wouldn't trade them for anything, and am open to new ones. So part of me does wants to identify as poly...

Perhaps I'm "polycomfortable?"
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:37 AM
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I can certainly empathise with your resistance to label yourself. I don't find it adds any value in my life to stick a tag on, except when I really am "confused" and the label helps me find people going through the same struggles. But I find that in those cases, the label is more of a "signpost" that I use as a stepping stone towards better understanding, rather than something that becomes part of my identity.

For example, I recently heard the term "gray-A" and asked what it meant. I was told it referred to people who are more-or-less asexual -- that when it comes to sex, they can take it or leave it -- but they're not wholly adverse to sex and they can enjoy it without needing it. That description really resonated with me, and the term gave me something to Google so I could learn more about it. But after going though that process, I didn't feel the need to identify as gray-A, it was just enough to know that it was "a thing" that I could relate to.

I see nothing wrong with just saying that you don't resonate with any labels, but that you'd be happy to explain your relationship dynamics to someone who's interested (if you are interested, of course; otherwise, choose your version of MYOB). If you just need a quick reference to get the ball rolling, something like "poly-ish" could be useful.

As an aside, nothing prohibits people who identify as mono from coupling with people who identify as poly. We are not defined by the people we date. But whatever reasons you have for not identifying as mono are perfectly valid.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:20 AM
SparklePony SparklePony is offline
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Thanks SchrodingersCat,

Yes I totally identify with you say about labels helping find clarity in times of confusion. I resist labels but they are often necessary for communication. I work with brand development so choosing what labels you want to identify with can be very important. An extra tricky element of my poly relationship is that my partner and I work together as entertainers on stage and the gossip spreads quickly so in some ways it is hard to separate our relationship identity from our brand identity. As a public figure, I need to prepare a quick and easy-to-digest label for when people ask about our alternative lifestyle choice. If I am poly (or even mono in a poly) I want to be so with confidence and clarity so I can help represent this lifestyle appropriately.

When I was experiencing relationship problems I realized I had few friends to turn to whom I could share with and be understood. Finally I googled "open relationships" and "swinging" (my partner and I tried swinging but realized quickly that we are not into the whole sex with strangers thing) but it finally led me to find the word "polyamorous" which is a label that totally opened doors for me and I am so thankful to find this community to share with. <3
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:58 AM
SparklePony SparklePony is offline
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Oh and another label I guess I'm working on is Bi... and I feel about the same way towards Bi as I do Poly...I definitely like it but I probably wouldn't do it on my own.

I've always been attracted to men, but as I'm still young I've been exploring my sexuality with women. I've only been with other women sexually in three or moresomes, and the idea of just me and a woman is intimidating. I def like a man around b/c he knows how to take care of her better than I do. But I am very sexually attracted to women.

I've had lesbians tell me I'm not "truly" bi... and I probably wouldn't choose to date women on my own, so I guess that leaves me somewhere in between hetero and bi. And in the same way I feel somewhere in between mono and poly.
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparklePony View Post
From what I've read monos are hard wired for monogamy seem to have a hard time accepting poly.
Not necessarily, for a few reasons. Many people disagree with the idea of hard wiring and instead feel we all have choices, and all of us have been influenced by numerous things (societal, familial, etc.) in life that bring us to where we are. Additionally, many,many people who practice monogamy understand and even admire polyamory as a choice, but simply feel it is not for them.

Blanket statements about any group of people really aren't of much use and often are not accurate. I think it's more important to figure out for yourself what feels right for you and embrace it, without worrying about what to call yourself unless there is some purpose that establishing a label would serve for you.
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:00 PM
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Murf is hard wired for monogamy and has never given me a problem with me being poly.

He fell in love with me and understood and accepted me for me.
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Old 12-11-2013, 05:54 AM
weareopeningup weareopeningup is offline
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I gave up trying to categorize my marriage a while ago.

She's definitely closer to "poly" than I am in that she actively courts close personal relationships with other men, whereas I'm not really wired to get that close with anyone (male or female) other than her. But even as she develops those relationships, there's a gulf between what she develops with them and what we have together (a fact I have finally learned to take for granted - in the good "I trust her implicitly" way, not the bad "I take her for granted and neglect my end of the relationship" way). When jealousy was an issue for me, it was always on the emotional rather than the physical side.

I am definitely not poly in the emotional realm. She's the one. I can't imagine having that close of a connection with anyone else, let alone maintaining it. If I think about it I suppose there's still a tiny lurking desire for her to have a similar disposition, only wanting to have deeper connections with ME...but that voice is utterly drowned out by the joy we've BOTH found in the freedom afforded by accepting what each other needs.

That's not to say I am closed off and have no emotional connections with other friends. It's just not something I actively seek out. It has to be that rare person and takes time. And even among my closest friends, it only goes so far as I just don't have the capacity to maintain that. It's about the only form of jealousy remaining in our relationship - I am occasionally jealous of her ability be that open with people.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparklePony View Post
I believe in Abundant Love, but I'm not sure how to define my poly identity. In fact I may not be poly at all. I do not feel any needs or desires to have multiple partners and can be completely satisfied in a monogamous relationship.

However I wouldn't consider myself "mono" because I am with a poly man and I embrace, encourage and enjoy the fact that he is poly. I hardly feel jealousy, can feel strong compersion, and enjoy bonding and (when possible) sex with him and his partners in three or moresomes. In fact I am probably responsible for him breaking from his pattern of serial monogamy and exploring his poly identity. I encouraged him to see other women and (since his last girlfriend was the jealous type) I "untrained" him of his preprogrammed behavior so he could feel comfortable hitting on other girls and talking about his relationships with me.

I've been wondering if I would be attracted to other men while in this relationship but it hasn't really happened yet. I'm not sure if this is because subconsciously I know that my man would not be comfortable with me being with other men. In past mono relationships I often would feel attracted to others but would not pursue my attractions. But just because he is poly doesn't seem to make me want to pursue outside partners.

Neither of us knew the word "polyamory" until now, 4 years into our relationship. We just called it "single together" and we did not call each other "girlfriend" or "boyfriend" because we assumed those labels implied sexual exclusivity. We've been resisting labels for so long but this means I have a hard time explaining my relationship to others, and they take my confusion as a lack of confidence. This has been my biggest struggle with being in a poly relationship as people think I'm being taken advantage of and letting my man run around because I have low self esteem. In fact it is my very high self esteem that keeps me from feeling jealousy. For the most part I have learned not to care what other people think (and since my man and I are very public characters in our community people do think and talk a lot). But still I want to find confidence in the right way to represent our relationship.

What am I? For the sake of convenience, how do I "label" myself and my relationship? Words of wisdom and experience welcome! Thanks!

Lauren



LOL why r u so concern and want to label yourself? U said you are content-happy being who you are. Plus maybe you are the one who made the man becomes poly? So why sound as if you are stressing yourself to be labelled? I wonder? Dont go chasing waterfall you might fall over. After all if you are so happy why even bother want to be wearing a label. Just continue being married and free or what ever u use to reffer to it-you as? You say you dont want even want to persue outside partned? Yet u seem to be otherwise within yourself? Then again if you are for real behind the wall? Why are you working so hard to be labelled? Chill...
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