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  #11  
Old 11-18-2009, 06:54 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
A person can be committed to aspects of the relationship at varying degrees. But, sexual/intimate exclusivity within a monogamous relationship is the key to defining the commitment two people make to each other.

Commitment to a monogamous relationship is based on being exclusive. Exclusivity and commitment go hand in hand.
They may go hand in hand, but I still don't see them as the same thing. It could be that in a monogamous context exclusivity is a necessary factor for it to be monogamous, and you can even say that that monogamous people make a commitment to be exclusive, but again, they are two different factors. The commitment is what you do. The exclusivity of monogamy is one particular way to manifest and follow through with a commitment. It is but one of many ways a person commits to a relationship. It just so happens that it is a necessary factor for monogamy.

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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Why direct energy trying to understand the monogamist ideal of commitment when you have no desire to apply it in your own life is my question?
Well, why do you post about your views on monogamy and commitment in other places? Why do you post about polyamory if you're monogamous? To get ideas out there and discuss them. I have continually seen on this board, on other boards and in many discussions the idea that commitment is measured in terms of exclusivity, i.e. somehow relationships eventually evolve into some form of fidelity and are somehow more committed than relationships that remain open. I've also seen a lot of judgement behind many of those assumptions. These are the kinds of assumptions that continue to drive negative stereotypes around polyamory. Plus it creates a false dichotomy between what it means to have a healthy mono or a healthy poly relationship.

And lastly, when opinions are put out there that drive negative stereotypes of any kind, I'm going to challenge them. When people start saying things like "It's only my opinion, but I think gay people are more promiscuous than straight people. But that's just my opinion. If it's ok for them, then more power to them!", of course people aren't going to remain silent. It may seem innocuous (though I imagine it doesn't sound so innocuous to us) but assumptions like that do a lot of damage and create a lot of prejudice that translates into an entire group of people in our society being marginalized in life altering ways. Those same types of assumptions can be harmful when applied to poly people. Because the idea that being in an open relationship is less committed pervades our society. It can damage poly families, it can disempower women who would have to hide their nature in order to not lose their families, it can marginalize men who practice ethical non-monogamy. I have seen people almost lose their kids because of such assumptions about commitment. It can do and has done a WHOLE lot of damage to people who choose to live this way.

So yes, I'm going to challenge these views, even if they're only opinions.

Last edited by Ceoli; 11-18-2009 at 07:17 AM.
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  #12  
Old 11-18-2009, 06:59 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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All relationships are hard, all require work... I do NOT subscribe to the belief that one style is harder than another, or that one style is more "evolved" than another.
Amen! And your list of the varying challenges each relationship model faces is great.
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  #13  
Old 11-18-2009, 07:30 AM
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I do NOT subscribe to the belief that one style is harder than another
Except if the relationship style does not fit you. (Gay trying to be straight, poly trying to be mono)...
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2009, 04:06 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Hi Ceoli,

Being a bit cautious of the term "principles" we'll try to just put out one or two "concepts" that might be seen as some type of dividing lines between poly & mono outlooks with the required disclaimer IOHO (In Our Humble Opinion)

1> In poly-minded folk, there's an acceptance of the fact/possibility that it's possible to have deep feelings/ caring/emotional bonding (love?) about someone other than one's primary mate and that the existence of this is not viewed as a threat to the primary relationship.

2> The expression of this caring in a sexual manner is accepted when it leads in that direction. It doesn't always, nor is it a requirement, but if it does it's just acknowledged as one component of a close relationship.

It would seem that these basic tenets seem to be the line in the sand in most cases - IOHO

As a sidenote we saw a comment somewhere in a forum or somewhere this morning stating that a mono relationship was much more complicated to maneuver than a poly relationship. LOVE to know how that conclusion got drawn <chuckle>
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  #15  
Old 11-18-2009, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post

So yes, I'm going to challenge these views, even if they're only opinions.

I simply live in a world where I don't feel the need to challenge things. I'm glad for that, it enables me to focus on the reality of my life and not worry about what the rest of the world thinks or does. I don't need approval or permission to be comfortable in how I chose to live my life. I get the sense that you do...I hope you get there, Ceoli. I truly do.
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  #16  
Old 11-18-2009, 04:25 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
I simply live in a world where I don't feel the need to challenge things. I'm glad for that, it enables me to focus on the reality of my life and not worry about what the rest of the world thinks or does. I don't need approval or permission to be comfortable in how I chose to live my life. I get the sense that you do...I hope you get there, Ceoli. I truly do.
You misread my intentions then, Mono. I'm not looking for nor do I need approval or permission to live the life I lead. I have already made those choices and am quite comfortable with them. I already have what I need to live my life happily. And part of that is having the strength to challenge prejudices and misinformation. Both within my self and in other people. This doesn't take away from my inner peace. It takes away from my inner denial and thus allowing my peace to be more authentic in myself. Good for you that you don't feel the need to do that.

Perhaps you won't ever have to face a situation where such prejudices marginalize you or take away your rights. That's great for you. And honestly, I probably won't have to face a situation like that either (though I also know that it could happen). But because I'm a human being, I feel it a key aspect of my humanity to do my part to create a world that provides justice and understanding for all people. Not just my little isolated corner. Challenging prejudice isn't about "asking for permission or approval". It's about standing up for yourself and expecting that you will be able to live your life with your choices without having to pay a huge societial price. It's a huge difference. Gay and lesbian and transgendered people aren't asking for permission when raising issues. And neither am I.

Last edited by Ceoli; 11-18-2009 at 04:28 PM.
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  #17  
Old 11-18-2009, 04:31 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Hi All,

I think the whole topic of "commitment" and it's agreed to definition would be a great topic for it's own thread ! It's undoubtedly one of the most complex issues involved and therefore most subject to misinterpretation.
Really liked the comment Mono threw in about being aware of what we say in public like this because of the likelihood of a large segment of the readers coming away with slanted views/understanding.
Anyone want to open a "Commitment" thread ? Anyone feel the need?
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  #18  
Old 11-18-2009, 04:33 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
I simply live in a world where I don't feel the need to challenge things.
(This is a bit of a tangent and not very poly-specific but is a key point nonetheless.)

This right here is a privilege that most people in the world don't have. I also have that privilege but I choose to reject it in favor of a better understanding of humanity. This is exactly why I do anti-racism and anti-oppression work.
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  #19  
Old 11-18-2009, 04:37 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
Hi Ceoli,

Being a bit cautious of the term "principles" we'll try to just put out one or two "concepts" that might be seen as some type of dividing lines between poly & mono outlooks with the required disclaimer IOHO (In Our Humble Opinion)

1> In poly-minded folk, there's an acceptance of the fact/possibility that it's possible to have deep feelings/ caring/emotional bonding (love?) about someone other than one's primary mate and that the existence of this is not viewed as a threat to the primary relationship.

2> The expression of this caring in a sexual manner is accepted when it leads in that direction. It doesn't always, nor is it a requirement, but if it does it's just acknowledged as one component of a close relationship.

It would seem that these basic tenets seem to be the line in the sand in most cases - IOHO
I would say that it doesn't even need the definition that includes the primary relationship since many people don't use that primary/secondary model in their relationships. But yes. The idea that one love doesn't threaten or replace another love seems to be at the center.

So is the difference that monogamy sees romantic love as a zero-sum game and polyamory doesn't?
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  #20  
Old 11-18-2009, 04:53 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
(This is a bit of a tangent and not very poly-specific but is a key point nonetheless.)

I simply live in a world where I don't feel the need to challenge things

This right here is a privilege that most people in the world don't have. I also have that privilege but I choose to reject it in favor of a better understanding of humanity. This is exactly why I do anti-racism and anti-oppression work.


I'm a little lost in this Ceoli, please help me understand. I do not live as society tells me I am supposed to (poly relationship). I chose not to concern myself with the judgement of that society....how is that a right that others don't have? It's a choice.

If you are implying that I am not an activist or promoting the acceptance of poly relationships then you are correct. I'm not an activist and feel no need to push for acceptance. If people or society don't like how I live so what? I'm not asking for legal rights and am not doing anything illegal.
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