Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-04-2011, 10:42 AM
zusammen zusammen is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 12
Unhappy Labels -- I HATE them! Advice?

Hi all. New here, and fairly new to polyamoury. Please bear with my rambling... as you'll see, I'm not very good at putting my thoughts on this subject into words....

Anyway, I recently met someone with whom I have a great connection. I've been seeing him, sort of hoping "the" conversation would just bring itself up, but that wasn't happening and I was beginning to feel it needed to be brought up sooner rather than later. I had absolutely no idea how to broach the subject of my being polyamorous, so I got rather drunk first This helped me "break the ice", but just made it that much harder to express myself succinctly...

So he got that I'm polyamorous, but probably not much about what exactly that means to me, and I'm pretty sure I didn't make it at all clear that I have a "boyfriend" already - and that I am, in fact, (temporarily) living with him. Now that's another conversation that I do not look forward to having

The problem is, I just don't know how to explain myself to people. I am resistant to using labels, (such as "polyamorous" and "boyfriend") because they already carry connotations that I don't necessarily feel apply to me. Avoiding these terms really makes discussions difficult, and generally each of these topics requires so much clarification that I don't get around to discussing both in one sitting...

I also don't know whether it's best to explain my situation in terms of the philosophy behind it, or the reality of it, or what. It all makes sense in my head, but it's thoughts and feelings that I just don't know how to convey accurately to anyone else -- nor in what order...

I guess also it just annoys me that people carry around assumptions - that if you hook up with someone, and they're obviously interested in more than a one-night stand, that it's supposed to become monogamous, exclusive, committed. I don't make these assumptions, so if I'm not asking, it means I don't really care. So I find it kind of difficult that I have to bring the subject up, when I'm the one that is flexible about what the situation is. I either like it or I don't, and if I'm curious or bothered, I'll ask. If I'm not asked outright, or it doesn't just kind of come up in conversation, I'm at a complete loss how to bring it up at all... I'd honestly prefer not to mention it, except this kind of thing seems to matter to other people quite a bit

Sorry for all the rambling. I'm really just wondering if other people have this kind of difficulty? How do some of you bring this up with potential new..... um.... "friends"? Does anyone have one simple statement that can just sum everything up????

Aggghhh!! :S
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-04-2011, 01:12 PM
BlackUnicorn's Avatar
BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 906
Default

Hullo and welcome!

Sadly, no simple statements. This subject of how to bring up poly with potential new squeezes has been discussed a lot just because there is no one catch word to sum it all up. Do a tag search on 'dating' and see what others have come up with.

As to the specific question of whether to describe the philosophy or the practice I would take the practice, and if further questions arise, make sure to mention 'polyamory', 'responsible non-monogamy', 'non-exclusiveness' or whatever you think describes your situation best. If they are interested, they will check out Google or Wikipedia, or ask you outright.

The biggest confusion I see people having is confusing responsible non-monogamy with cheating. Something quite casual like 'my boyfriend has been going on dates with this girl, and I think she's really cute and they seem to be getting on fine' or whatever circumvents the problem some people have with blurting out 'I'm polyamorous' or 'You need to know I have a live-in bf', since it doesn't always ring a bell and would imply that you are actually thinking this new thing is going to be a relationship. Cheating and seeking out affairs is something that makes culturally a lot more sense, as it were, so that is what people will automatically assume in most cases.

As to general aversion to labels - you need to establish a certain level of common language with anyone you meet in order to be mutually understood. It doesn't have to be polyamorous or boyfriend or a even a relationship, but something that even if it doesn't 100 % describe your life philosophy communicates something across the board. I lean towards 'ATM I'm dating someone but we are not exclusive', but there are really lots of ways people have chosen to tell the same thing. Read around a bit and see what feels right to you.
__________________
Me: bi female in my twenties
Dating: Moonlightrunner
Metamour: Windflower
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-04-2011, 06:16 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,868
Default

The very nature of poly allows for a craptastic amount of micro labelling. I for one love the terms lovers, girlfriends, boyfriend etc. They suit me.

Life partners, sisters, brothers... magick love friends etc... all drive me nuts. They don't suit me, my personality or my life.

Labelling is something that comes up for a lot of people. Especially considering some labels can denote ownership. I wish you the best of luck on finding something that suits you and your "friends"

Quote:
except this kind of thing seems to matter to other people quite a bit
If I were monogamous, and met someone who didn't tell me they weren't and they wanted a relationship. I would be pissed. So I can understand why they want to know.

For the record, I am non-monogamist/open first. Poly second. I find explaining I am in an open relationship far better suits me than poly. Poly does carry a lot of.. extra stuff to it, that I don't identify with. This whole non-monogamist thing for me is like dating. I enjoyed it when I was available, the dating aspect was fun, but I am not going to fall in love with everyone I meet. Poly creates that assumption and pressure, so I do understand
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-05-2011, 12:03 AM
redpepper's Avatar
redpepper redpepper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,633
Default

You might try a tag search on "coming out" also. I can remember a thread that Mono started on what to tell people who have no clue what poly is or worse yet did an on line search and got one of those "poly" dating sites that are for people looking to cheat on their partners or something! (I refuse to use their names here as I don't encourage anyone go to them to find out about poly!)

When Mono came out he told his family we had an "open relationship." Just about everyone gets that an "open relationship" means you are free to date others. Its a bit different than poly in that it indicates less emotional ties to those you "date" but at least its above board a bit more than "cheating." Which indicates lies and deception is going on.
__________________
Anyone want to be friends on Facebook?
Send me your name via PM
My blog
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-05-2011, 01:34 AM
MonoVCPHG's Avatar
MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: In Redpepper's heart
Posts: 4,742
Default

Here'e s a link to the post Redpepper is referring to.

Knowing your audience
__________________

Playing the Game of Life with Monopoly rules.
Monogamy might just be in my genes

Poly Events All Over
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-05-2011, 05:21 AM
redpepper's Avatar
redpepper redpepper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,633
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Here'e s a link to the post Redpepper is referring to.

Knowing your audience
Thanks my love
__________________
Anyone want to be friends on Facebook?
Send me your name via PM
My blog
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:33 AM.