Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-05-2011, 11:32 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 264
Default What the heck is love?

Hello,

I don't have a question so much as I just want to hear the thoughts of like-minded people.

I found this site last summer when a long term friendship started getting passionate, although I am happily married. I was amazed to read about polyamory and realize things about myself I'd long struggled with, and with everyone's encouraging comments I was able to have some wonderfully frank talks with my husband about it all. He accepts that I fall in love with others, and I accept that he doesn't want me having sex with anyone but him. He also doesn't want to hear much about my feelings for other men, and I've been mostly fine this way.

Right now there are three men occupying my thoughts. My husband, "H", is someone I could praise for pages and pages. I don't know how I got so lucky.

Then the long term friend (since before I met H), who had me so confused last year. "L" lives a couple of hours away but we talk on the phone, and I can tell him absolutely anything. Unlike my husband, L loves and is attracted to many people like I am. When my libido is low it just takes a little visit or phone call with him and he has me feeling like the sexiest woman on the planet, and off I go to the marital bed. H knows that L turns me on and that I don't have sex with L. I think L improves my marriage.

These days suddenly I am strongly attracted to a man I dance with. (I go social dancing, sometimes alone and sometimes with my husband.) I can't say it's a sexual attraction exactly; "D" is 30 years my senior and nothing special to look at. It's the subtle communication of our bodies when we dance, and the way we look at each other, and the quiet conversations on the dance floor. I would like to dance with him all night. He feels the same.

Are these all "love"?

Maybe because it's the newest attraction, but I can spend hours daydreaming about D and the little things said on the dance floor, the funny little smile on his face when he pulls me close, and somehow this excites me more than a recent visit with L involving X-rated conversation and kissing, or a long sensuous evening with H including more orgasms than I can count. I think that I don't even want my interactions with D to grow to the no-holds-barred level of my conversations with L, and I don't want sex with either L or D, not only because my husband is against it but because the relationships would lose something -something about flirting around the edges of what's permitted. Something about the subtlety of the chase, maybe. D is married anyway, and paid dearly for an affair he had decades ago, so I definitely don't want to get him into trouble.

Polyamorous people, do you have these kinds of relationships? Connections that excite you, but aren't meant to lead anywhere? If my lifestyle permitted more sexual relationships, I think I would still want something like with D, with mystery and subtlety and evenings that end with sighs of longing. Am I just crushing, maybe?

I'd appreciate anyone's feedback, or stories. What are the shades of love?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-06-2011, 12:19 AM
Magdlyn's Avatar
Magdlyn Magdlyn is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Metro West Massachusetts
Posts: 3,569
Default

Love comes in many flavors. Agape, eros, caritas were words the Greeks had for 3 flavors on the list.

You may feel love for your husband and your friend, and sexual attraction and friendship with your dance partner. Enjoy it in all its variety!
__________________
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:39 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 264
Default

I guess it doesn't really matter what I call it. I just confuse myself by having these feelings. Why should I feel so excited about a dance partner (I'm 40, he's 70, I mean really!) when I have a fulfilling and exciting sex life plus the love and attention of another wonderful man?

Reading around I see one can be "emotionally polyamorous" and "sexually monogamous" so I guess I'm not the only one.

Maybe I've always thought of relationships being about meeting one's needs: instinctively, to mate and bear offspring I suppose (done that). Additionally, to feel loved, appreciated, desired, etc. (I get lots of that). Practically, to share in the work of creating a home (check). Socially, to have a partner for companionship in life (got that too). I could probably think of more needs and my husband meets all those too, and if he leaves anything out I'm sure it gets fulfilled by L. So I'm just a little amazed at the strength of what I feel when D walks into the room, and I feel my smile spread ear to ear. Is he giving me anything I didn't already get? Other than having a solid grasp of how to dance the way I like it? (But H and L dance too; I met them each that way!)

If falling in love was only about fulfilling unmet needs, then it seems polyamorous relationships would carry the implication that the first partner was somehow falling short, and I'm quite sure that's not how most poly folks see things. I want some perspective. Why do I fall in love again and again? Why is it that the happier I am with my husband, the more I fall in love with others, and vice versa? It just doesn't make sense to me!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:48 AM
Magdlyn's Avatar
Magdlyn Magdlyn is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Metro West Massachusetts
Posts: 3,569
Default

Try reading the book Sex at Dawn. It's an anthropological study, but an easy read, which demonstrates humans are meant to be non-monogamous! It's monogamy that goes against our wiring.

Variety, flirting with or shagging other people, makes our primary relationship more exciting too. It's a fallacy that humans are meant to be mono, and a shame that women need to barter their bodies for food and protection during their child bearing years.
__________________
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-06-2011, 02:04 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 264
Default

Thanks, Magdlyn. I'll give it a read.

I wonder though why monogamy comes so easily to so many people, though? And why it's just not right for others? So many people seem happy to focus on their one-and-only and find the thought of two lovers as silly as the the thought of wearing two pairs of shoes at once. Whereas I used to cheat or break up with boyfriends all the time, thinking each time I fell in new love that it must mean I'd fallen out of the old love, or it hadn't been love after all.

I don't feel like I've bartered my body for my childbearing years, at all. I feel like I have a man I love so much, I want to live with him and watch our children grow, and it's great that he makes money for us (I make some too) and we can share in the work of our home. I certainly have never had sex with him when I didn't want to. I think we must have had entire years without sex when I was too busy breastfeeding to want to share my body with anyone else, and he never complained. (I realize that's rare.) We do make small compromises to keep things going, but it doesn't really feel like much of a sacrifice to me to keep my other relationships out of bed.

I'll have to read the book. I want to know why I keep falling in love, if it can be called love!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-06-2011, 03:23 AM
idealist's Avatar
idealist idealist is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Deep South
Posts: 542
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
So many people seem happy to focus on their one-and-only and find the thought of two lovers as silly as the the thought of wearing two pairs of shoes at once.
Maybe there are a lot of people who are happy to focus on their one-and-only, but over 50% of all marriages end, and from what I can see a lot of the long term monogamous relationships that are still together are held together by obligation and the promise they made, supported by the ingrained belief that monogamy is the only way and anything else is less than.

I agree with Magdlyn- monagamy isn't natural for most people, but most people don't allow themselves the opportunity to step out of the box. I would say what's happening to you is more normal than not.

Also- the question "why" is a futile attempt to explain the unexplainable!! Just go with it!!!
__________________
The key to life is in being fully engaged and peacefully detached simultaneously and authentically in each moment.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-06-2011, 06:10 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,872
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Try reading the book Sex at Dawn. It's an anthropological study, but an easy read, which demonstrates humans are meant to be non-monogamous! It's monogamy that goes against our wiring.

Variety, flirting with or shagging other people, makes our primary relationship more exciting too. It's a fallacy that humans are meant to be mono, and a shame that women need to barter their bodies for food and protection during their child bearing years.
If you listen to his interview with the poly weekly chick. He is actually debunking there being a natural norm.

Not debunking monogamy as a whole. The concept of there being one natural way is what he was trying to beat down. Well at least thats the impression I got listening to his interview. Haven't read the book however. Too much other reading material in my life at this point. Maybe someday.

To the OP. I think everyone views love differently. Some of us can create discernible lines in the sand as it were. It is very easy for me to have friends who I love, but I would never be poly with them, which too me insinuates an intimate relationship of some kind, while still being able to romantically love others. Apparently I am fairly unique in this. I don't confuse the two. Loving butterflies like I feel for my loves, comes with intimacy, sexuality, love and a "relationship"... those butterflies are what guide me.

At one point, early on, I had considered this question a lot to myself. Once I saw the clear line, for me, it was much easier and less confusing.

Last edited by Ariakas; 04-06-2011 at 06:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-06-2011, 06:17 PM
MonoVCPHG's Avatar
MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: In Redpepper's heart
Posts: 4,742
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariakas View Post
If you listen to his interview with the poly weekly chick. He is actually debunking there being a natural norm.

.
I think this is a very important point...I think the natural way is for there not to be a blanket structure or dynamic. The spectrum is very fluid. Some people are legitimately on one end, others on the other end, and plenty in the middle somewhere.
Thanks for mentioning that interview
__________________

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

Poly Events All Over
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-06-2011, 05:27 PM
stille stille is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2
Default

hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
Why do I fall in love again and again? Why is it that the happier I am with my husband, the more I fall in love with others, and vice versa? It just doesn't make sense to me!
not that it makes more sense, but also me and friends have discovered as more we are sexualiy satisfied, as more people we meet we find (sexually) attractive.

Is that the same for others?

kisses
s
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-06-2011, 06:01 PM
MonoVCPHG's Avatar
MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: In Redpepper's heart
Posts: 4,742
Default

The biggest error and misinterpretation of any information regarding monogamy/non-monogamy and human nature is the injection of genralization and the lack of broader studies.

No one can speak for all humans. Some are monogamous and happy, others are non-monogamous and happy.
Helen Fisher is one of the most accomplished and published biological anthropologists. She is also one of the most published scientists in the area of human love. But again, she offers her research as not "the only way". Her brain mapping research is in depth and very widely recognized. If you want to know about love in the modern age I highly suggest to look at her research.
__________________

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

Poly Events All Over
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
love, mono/poly, sex at dawn

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 08:40 PM.