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Old 12-28-2011, 03:30 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Default On Not Looking

I was recently introduced to a long-standing "mindvirus" called "The Game".

Even by mentioning it, I may draw the ire of people in the grips of said mindvirus: you see, the only way to win the game is to never think about the game. You can make someone lose the game just by mentioning it. The most mean-spirited way of doing this is to say to someone: "You just lost the game."

(Sorry to anyone whose day I spoiled by bringing it up! There is a cure, though. See this: http://xkcd.com/391/ )

Now, why do I bring this up?

My wife and I started discussing polyamory back in March of this year, and we both took to the idea of it very quickly. As a matter of principle, I reject compulsory monogamy and embrace honesty and freely-given consent as the basis for healthy relationships.

In the first flush of enthusiasm for the idea, I joined OKCupid and polymatchmaker.com, and set out to look for another relationship.

But, the more I think about it, the more uncomfortable I am with that way of going about things, as though rejecting monogamy requires that I seek a girlfriend.

To make a long story short, I quit OKC . . . then rejoined OKC . . . and am now quitting OKC again. I quit PMM, then rejoined PMM, then quit PMM again.

I've reached the point at which, while I remain open to possibilities, I'm not actively looking for a relationship. If I find myself getting close to someone, by and by, I'll know what to do, but I'm not going to hang around online with the express purpose of finding someone to be close to.

Part of the reason has to do with a love-hate relationship I have with the internet, and with computers generally. I am trying to limit my exposure to screens, the better to live what the poet Wendell Berry calls "a three-dimensional life". ("Stay away from anything that obscures the place it is in", he writes.)

Part of the reason has to do with the fact that I've got a lot going on right now, with my marriage, my children, my career, and my very time-consuming avocation (traditional music and dance).

But part of the reason is also that I now find myself with a very odd outlook on polyamory that reminds me too much of "The Game": it seems to me that a good, healthy relationship can develop only if I'm not looking for "a relationship".

If, in the ordinary course of my busy life, I find a mutual interest developing between me and someone else, I'm now free to see what might develop from that interest.

But to look around at the world sizing up candidates to be "my girlfriend" - as though it is a job vacancy that needs filling - seems wrongheaded, artificial, forced . . . and puts a kind of distance between me and anyone with whom I might, in the fulness of time, develop a deep relationship.

Like "The Game", I can only succeed by not thinking about succeeding. I just have to get on with living my life, upholding all my present commitments, and let things happen (or not) as they will.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:26 PM
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I like that approach...good for you. (and I lost the game)
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:03 PM
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SourGirl SourGirl is offline
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I think you just happily lost the battle, to win the war.

The only successful ( in my mind) poly relationships I know of,...Involve people who haven`t a clue about all the poly-bible rules, who Franklin Veaux is, or any of what they call 'popular poly'.

They just fell into it. No expectations. They had a genuine interest to be respectful to each other, and when it stopped working, they wouldn`t force the issue.

10 years later, they are still together. 4 people, who just live their lives.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:58 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Is "The Game" that nonsense about not finding a relationship if you're looking for one?

That's so much hokum. I've never found a relationship without looking for one. Ever. I have never started a relationship when I wasn't looking for one.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:53 PM
Jericka Jericka is offline
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I know that just meeting people doing whatever things you do is a nice way of going about it, but, I would never have crossed paths with my boyfriend without OKCupid. We look back at all the paths that we could have taken that would not have had us meeting up and wonder, occasionally, at our amazing luck.

All that said, I suppose if I didn't have him, someone else might have come along. There's a Tim Minchin song to that effect:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KynIK...e_gdata_player
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:35 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
I've never found a relationship without looking for one. Ever. I have never started a relationship when I wasn't looking for one.
Well, if it never happened to you, it must not be possible then. My mistake.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:37 PM
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BigGuy BigGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
I've never found a relationship without looking for one. Ever. I have never started a relationship when I wasn't looking for one.
Ditto.

Although, I do believe there is something to be said about maintaining a Flirtatious Mindfulness in everyday life. That is, I need to work on pulling myself out of whatever it is that I am focused on and seize upon Opportunities for Flirtatious Behavior. I really suck at it. But fortunately, my wife is teaching me how to flirt. She's an expert.

Of course, capitalizing Opportunities for Flirtatious Behavior like it's some program or method really tells me how bad my mindset is.... boy do I suck.

Anyway, I've had relationships that started on-line and IRL. The ones that started IRL tended to last longer.
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Last edited by BigGuy; 12-28-2011 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:13 PM
Jade Jade is offline
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Semantics, maybe I can't "shop" for relationships like groceries. Sometimes they happen by accident, but I think most times they happen because I'm at least open to them.
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2011, 12:29 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperskeptic View Post
Well, if it never happened to you, it must not be possible then. My mistake.
Some reason for the jackassery? I pointed out that a widely spread meme is all sorts of wrong because it obviously isn't accurate and sucks as a generalization. I never said others couldn't have a different experience.

Why take a shot at me via the strawman?
__________________
When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:06 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
Some reason for the jackassery? I pointed out that a widely spread meme is all sorts of wrong because it obviously isn't accurate and sucks as a generalization. I never said others couldn't have a different experience.

Why take a shot at me via the strawman?
I think Hyper poking a little fun isn't entirely out of line. He posited an idea -- that for him, right now, thinking too much about finding a relationship might not be the best way to go (seems reasonable to me). "The game", which he was using as an analogy, isn't about dating at all, its a silly thought experiment like "try not to think of white elephants". He never tried to say this was the one true way for everyone, just that it might be a better way to go for him. You called it nonsense and hokum. So, who's being harsh?
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