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  #11  
Old 12-06-2011, 01:14 PM
polyq4 polyq4 is offline
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Default Primaries

Yes it is possible, we are a fourple, and I love both of the women I have very much, it would be very hard to stop loving either one of them. My wife is my primary only in the sense we have to do day to day stuff together that my gf does not have to. She has her primary in that sense as well, although we do help each other out in many ways, we have even had some conversations around the four of us living together, although more in fun that or real but there has always been a ring of truth in these talks.

And in my book what is love, it means being friends, caring and doing things with the other, love has that feeling that looking at the other person and just having feelings, looking past the little things and loving the whole.

I ramble too much lol.
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2011, 11:57 AM
AppleCrumble AppleCrumble is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Funny how we've been taught that love = commitment. Sometimes love just is, and there is no requirement that anything change in a relationship when that word is uttered. I find this perplexing and sometimes problematic in my own life. I just want to be able to say I love someone without there being the added notion on top of it that something else must be attached to it (such as a commitment to a certain goal, moving in, sharing more than what we share, our dynamic needing to change, etc.).
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Originally Posted by polyq4 View Post
And in my book what is love, it means being friends, caring and doing things with the other, love has that feeling that looking at the other person and just having feelings, looking past the little things and loving the whole. I ramble too much lol.
Thanks, both, for those explanations. I think we're on the same page, just using different definitions. For me, what you both described above is "caring", and that's what I feel for Sabina. Personally, I wouldn't call that (romantic) Love. I thought Love is wanting to spend your lives together, sharing house and kids and all that. But maybe that's a too narrow definition. I'm now thinking that maybe Nycindie is right that love doesn't have to mean commitment. I just always thought it did.

Oh, and ramble, polyq4? Have you seen my posts?! lol Don't worry about rambling at all!!

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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
But of course, it is always possible another Mr Right, or Ms Right, could come along, who is so perfect for you that you also want to commit to them in some kind of permanent way. Commitment doesn't have to mean living with, or sharing finances, or having kids together... it can just mean a regular weekly date, occasionally taking vacations together, helping them with life issues (like if they need to move house and want help, or fall ill and need help with housework, babysitting each others' kids, etc etc).

It is possible to have 2 people you consider primaries, even though you live with one and not the other.

Then again, if you really want to prevent committing to another in this way, you might actually need to put up walls yourself in order to keep the relationship on a more casual level. Like you have now... saying you and Sabina can't have sex anymore because you think she trusts you too much!
Yes, Magdlyn, I think that's the crux of the issue in my head at the moment. But do I really need to put up walls? Can't I love/care for Sabina and still sleep with her - without necessarily evolving into a life-partners (house + kids) kinda commitment? (as long as I'm clear about that with her) Because if so, that would be my ideal.

I still worry it's unfair to be unable to offer her the full commitment I give to Mr W, or that I'm being selfish, but so far I get the impression she feels the same way as me.. In which case, maybe this whole break in having sex is just silly (though perhaps I'm rationalising because I want it! lol).
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2011, 12:20 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleCrumble View Post
Thanks, both, for those explanations. I think we're on the same page, just using different definitions. For me, what you both described above is "caring", and that's what I feel for Sabina. Personally, I wouldn't call that (romantic) Love. I thought Love is wanting to spend your lives together, sharing house and kids and all that. But maybe that's a too narrow definition. I'm now thinking that maybe Nycindie is right that love doesn't have to mean commitment.
I think Cindie is all about commitment, but she is saying commitment does not have to mean living together, buying a house, having kids. Unless one has a dream of several poly partners living together, one can be in love with several, and committed in a sense that has been explained, that doesnt include full immersion in each others' lives 24/7.


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Yes, Magdlyn, I think that's the crux of the issue in my head at the moment. But do I really need to put up walls?
No, you don't. You have been, but it seems that doesn't feel right to you.

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Can't I love/care for Sabina and still sleep with her - without necessarily evolving into a life-partners (house + kids) kinda commitment? (as long as I'm clear about that with her)
Sleep with her, have sex with her, whatever. Sleeping together shows more commitment than merely having sex and then one partner leaves.

Ach, pet peeve, people saying "sleeping with" to mean fucking. Fucking is one thing, sleeping together is something else. On this board, I wish people would stop with the euphemisms already. </rant>

Quote:
I still worry it's unfair to be unable to offer her the full commitment I give to Mr W, or that I'm being selfish, but so far I get the impression she feels the same way as me.. In which case, maybe this whole break in having sex is just silly (though perhaps I'm rationalising because I want it! lol).
I think stopping the fucking just because you're both starting to care MORE for each other is kinda ass backwards! If you and she both want some kind of security (X amount of hours per week together), and crave each others' presence, bodies, spirits, but don't want to live together, it sounds like you're on the same page.

Go get your rocks off.
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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

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miss pixi, my live-in gf, 36 (together since Jan '09)
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  #14  
Old 12-11-2011, 07:38 PM
AppleCrumble AppleCrumble is offline
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Duly noted.
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  #15  
Old 12-12-2011, 03:28 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Originally Posted by AppleCrumble View Post
After some reflection, I think youre right, part of it is being scared. How do you think I should consider approaching things differently? I care about Sabina as much as any of my close friends that I love, but Im very scared of saying I love Sabina. because terminology-wise, it sounds no different from saying I love Mr W. And (I think) theres a very key difference in terms of the commitment I feel to Mr W. I dont want him to feel any less important, that hes not the main romantic interest in my life because he is!
The key thing here is communication, which, luckily, it seems like you all are quite good at. As long as Mr. W knows that "I love Sabina" doesn't mean "I am planning to run off with her" or "You are no longer as pivotally important to my emotional and practical life as you once were" and as long as Sabina knows that "I love Sabina" doesn't mean "I am going to forsake other commitments to be with Sabina" or even "I am capable of committing to Sabina beyond the commitments I've already made to her", then you should be just fine.

Of course, the idea that love can be fine doesn't mean you should rush it. It may well be that what you have right now is a very close, loving friendship of the kind you might have with a "best friend", that also happens to involve sex. If it's not "romantic" that is perfectly fine and that sort of loving friendship is wonderful in my book. But that doesn't mean that at some point you won't find yourself doodling her name in the margins of your notebook with a heart in place of a dot over the "i", if you get what I'm saying... it might evolve into something that feels romantic, something that makes you burn to hold her close and whisper "I love you Sabina" and take her out to a fancy restaurant and hold hands all night and stare deeply into each other's eyes.

If the day comes that you realize you feel that and you want that, and your reaction is gut-wrenching fear, you may do something you'll deeply regret later, like cut her out of your life.

And the thing is, that fear is completely unnecessary. My gf and I first traded ILU's about 6 months into our relationship. It was spontaneous and really special and I won't ever forget it... and it didn't change one single thing about her relationship with her husband. He is still her life partner, they're still on track with the life they planned. I am not her life partner, and we have no plans for that to change (though neither have we closed the door on it some day being a possibility... more on that later).

What does love mean in that sort of context, what does commitment mean?

To me, loving her as "more than a friend" means I have a strong emotional reaction to her joy and her distress, I delight in surprising her and caring for her, I consider her before I consider most people in my life, I think of time with her as something that I won't do without if there's any alternative at all, and I wanna kiss her and hold her and touch her and such. I've had loving friendships before and my relationship with her is more than that, it's greater than the sum of its parts, I don't know if I could exactly articulate what makes it romantic love.

Commitment for us actually means something very similar to what you posted regarding your agreements with Sabina, that we tell each other about things and consider each other carefully. For me it also goes beyond that into having made a personal commitment to sticking with this and supporting her until/unless she wants to end it or life events should push us apart (somebody gets a dream job in Australia, for example). We have also both demonstrated a commitment to making time for each other in our lives (including alone time, which is no mean feat for her with a job, husband, new baby, and an active social life!). We haven't expressed much in the way of concrete commitments (x evenings together per month for example) because it hasn't seemed necessary and because our lives are a bit too chaotic for that right now.

Our relationship is still quite young to my mind... 2+ years, but unlike a mono couple might have done by now we haven't moved in together or spent exorbitant amounts of time together, so I feel like it's taken longer for the relationship to evolve than it otherwise might... I'm ok with this, it is what it is, but what I mean to say by pointing it out is that we truly don't know where things are going and are in no rush to figure it out. What with her new child, I doubt we'll take any major steps forward together soon. However, we have set no limits on what steps we *could* some day discuss taking.

If we decided it would make us both happy we could set a concrete date night each week plus a long weekend of vacation for just the two of us once per year, or we could get handfasted, or if/when I buy a house I could choose a place near hers, or we could work out some kind of legal contract that would allow me to take care of her child if she and her husband were to die, or I could actually move in with her and her family and be a co-primary partner to her along with her husband (I hope this never seems like a good option because it would pretty much have to mean my bf and I, who are discussing moving in together, had split up, but who knows what the future will bring). All of this would need to be ok with her husband, of course, but he and I get along very well so I don't see that as prohibitive.

I've made this very personal, I realize, and your relationship by no means needs to look anything like this in order to be healthy. That's the amazing thing about poly... the part of it which, in some ways, can be the most challenging to societal norms and which can be scary if you need certainty in your life... any given relationship can be allowed to develop into exactly what it wants to be with no script.

Which brings us to this question -- "How do you think I should consider approaching things differently?" I would suggest letting go of preconceptions and fears as much as you can and embracing the exciting unknown of what you and this woman could feel and could be to each other.

Why do this?

1) Because it could be amazing and bring things to your life you never imagined. For instance, if I was trying to keep myself from loving my gf "too much" or being too deeply involved in her life, I probably would never have gotten close enough to fall in love with her child, and loving a brand new person has been a unique and delightful experience.

2) Because there's no reason not to. It goes against traditional mono thinking, but it really is possible to fall in love and yet keep your head on straight and keep on loving and being committed to your other partner(s) just as much as before. Your relationship with your husband by no means needs to be in any peril over this as long as you show him you're still there with him and he trusts you. On her end, it's not bad for her to have your love and perhaps some degree of commitment even if you never can give her more. She's an adult, if she says she's fine and happy you have to trust her, and if a primary partnership ends up being what she wants and isn't something she can get from you, she can stay with you while seeking it elsewhere (she'd be limited to someone poly-friendly, who preferably doesn't hate your guts, but this is by no means impossible to find). Or she can leave if she decides this isn't right for her. There's no reason at all for you to feel guilty.

3) If you set limits now, before you have a clue what this relationship wants to become, there's every chance you'll end up butting up against them later. If in your mind it's acceptable for this to become something more than a caring friendship, even if neither of you expect it to, if it some day does go in that direction it'll be a surprise, not a disaster. Whereas if it's NOT ok for anything deeper to develop, if you realize some day that you want more than anything to do something that wouldn't cause any harm to other pieces of your life per se but that is more serious than is "acceptable" (giving each other special pieces of jewelry to wear as a symbol of your relationship, for example) you'll be faced with the choice of changing the boundary (in which case why was it there in the first place?), surpressing that desire (which could badly impact you and your relationship with her), or ending things. Why set up that situation?

Well, this was longer than I intended! I may cross-post in part to the "poly lessons" thread in the gen section.

Btw, AC, the concepts I've touched on here, aside from being drawn from my own life, are scattered throughout the essays at www.morethantwo.com. If you haven't already been to that site I highly recommend it.

And before anyone asks again why I don't have that site listed in my sig line, I like personally recommending it, I feel like people are more likely to actually check it out that way.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #16  
Old 12-12-2011, 03:52 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Also, if you want more perspectives you can always post in the New to Poly section with a question and a link back to this thread for context.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #17  
Old 12-12-2011, 05:11 PM
AppleCrumble AppleCrumble is offline
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Annabel, it's so kind of you to write that massive post as a reply. I'm really glad you've shared it on the other thread so other people can benefit, too. (Just a note from when I read your post there, Mr W and I aren't married yet, but we act like an old married couple much of the time, so you're not far off!)

I think I will take that approach. After these deliberations (and under much influence by the kind advice given on this board), we have decided to start having sex again (do you appreciate my avoidance of euphemisms, Magdlyn? hehe)

I'm a still little weary of going in with no limits at all, but I see your point. In a way, I think it's enough that we're all clear on that Sabina and I aren't planning to ever set up house together. I don't want to "lead her on" by leaving that possibility open. Anyway, I can't imagine that we would ever both want to move in together, but if it did, I suppose we could re-assess.

In any case, yes, if one day I start doodling her name in the margins my notebook, I won't be horrified.
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2011, 07:54 PM
Sabina69 Sabina69 is offline
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Originally Posted by AppleCrumble View Post
In any case, yes, if one day I start doodling her name in the margins my notebook, I won't be horrified.
You won't be? lol...i'll remember that...

Hey all, i'm AC & Mr W's Sabina

xx
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