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  #231  
Old 02-21-2012, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Basically I see anyone I am with as lovers, so I've adopted a term after SourGirl suggested it to me: lover-friends. I really like that.



These type of topics always make me feel like people are creating some parallel-universe to monogamy. It`s like the same thought-processes, and fears get carried over.

For instance, take marriage and some of the thoughts that go with it. There was long a theory that you shouldn`t live together before marriage,...he won`t 'respect you'.
Or, you should wait for sex,..... after all, why buy the cow when you get the milk for free, right ?
There were all these fears centered around the idea of 'making' someone respect you. That if hoops were jumped, you would live happily ever after.


I see the same type of fear-mongering in these threads.

- Don`t let him call you this, or let her call you that.
- Don`t arrange your relationships this or that way,....etc, etc...because then you won`t be respected.
Why buy the poly relationship for the long-term, when you can get the short-term for free, right ?

Really,..respect, and feeling comfortable in a relationship comes from being with good people. People with integrity to be honest about who they are, and what they really want. If they are unsure of what they want, then they are honest about that.
You can`t 'design' that. The only thing all this designing leads to, is it taking longer to realize someone is NOT a good match for you. Much time is wasted, under false pretenses.

I have witnessed many secondary relationships that have a ton more respect and value then some primary ones. We all have witnessed that,..which is why divorce or break-ups happen on all levels, in all areas.
The more people start designing how poly people 'should' act, the more you will have the wrong kind of people learning the lingo, and learning to be what is expected, for all the wrong reasons.

' Oh SURE I like walks on the beach. Oh yes I LOVE chick-flicks. Yes I agree, you`ll never be a secondary to my wife and 3 other girlfriends of 5 years...oh yes I promise,...Now let me show you some primary lovin'....'

So, I guess I would urge people to forget looking for words and pre-designed scenarios that make them feel better about their fears in the short-term, and just take a chance on letting people show their true colours from the get-go.

Odds are the type of people with some integrity, are NOT going to jump through hoops to prove themselves worthy. They are going to expect to be given a fair shake, and treated better then a dog performing tricks for approval.

Last edited by SourGirl; 02-21-2012 at 06:03 PM.
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  #232  
Old 02-21-2012, 08:22 PM
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You can`t 'design' that. The only thing all this designing leads to, is it taking longer to realize someone is NOT a good match for you. Much time is wasted, under false pretenses.
After that post there's really not much I can add to it.

I've seen several of these threads around for a while, extolling the sins of hierarchical relationships and the word "secondary" as if slapping a different bandaid word on the problem would heal the wounds beneath.
Personally I don't buy it.

For myself, I don't really see the problem with either hierarchies, or primary/secondary labels in and of themselves. They allow for some people to communicate their intentions, capacity, or expectations to another partner, and if everyone is on the same page and consenting of that arrangement then there's really nothing anyone outside that arrangement should have to say about it.

But the words used don't automatically mean that the secondary partner is going to be treated as disposable or inhuman, as many of these threads have implied. It also doesn't mean that secondary partners aren't going to feel hurt and put off when the other partner is prioritizes the primary first. ...I don't think anyone likes being second, so how many who have been in that position, have truly managed their own expectations about how much their "secondary" will be there for them when the chips are down?

And for those who look at non-hierarchical models as the greener pastures to which it is all daffodils and soft puppy's, try to keep in mind that just because someone doesn't have any "primary's" or loves all their lovers equally, doesn't mean they can't still use, abuse, or otherwise treat you like shit from time to time.

Life is what happens when you're making other plans.
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  #233  
Old 02-22-2012, 11:50 AM
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I don't think that anyone trying to find terminology that offers a perspective other than hierarchical necessarily means they are afraid or trying to create something artificial in relationships. Obviously, some words or ideas seem like flimsy substitutes that don't mean anything different, but does that mean we have to settle for terms that don't sit well with us?

It's simply that some people don't like the idea of hierarchies in multiple relationships, and some people do. For some, a hierarchy works really well, and for others, it rankles. For my personal situation, it doesn't make sense to me.

No one is running screaming away from people who use the word "primary" and I'm sure we all know it's the work you put into a relationship, and things like compatibility, compassion, cooperation, and so on, that contribute to making it a success. But if someone doesn't like the terms primary and secondary or finds the prospect of being in a hierarchy distasteful, why shouldn't they seek alternatives? I don't think it's about trying to find a word that is then used to create some structure around; I think it's about finding a word for a structure one already knows resonates well with someone. And so what if we develop a new lingo? Someone once thought to use the word "primary" and others jumped on that, but it isn't a rule that we all must follow suit to take part in polyamorous relationships.

Lots of people have reclaimed or adopted the word "slut" and use it proudly, while many still find it offensive. Should those who dislike the word and wish to find some other option to describe their own sexual attitudes be told they are having silly or unrealistic expectations or that they are trying to make up some false rulebook for everyone else's behavior? Hell, I'm not even crazy about the word polyamory and very rarely use it when I meet people, unless I'm at a poly event. Recently I was doing a little online searching for methods of goal-setting, and found an article where someone suggested putting together a list of broad goals but she called them "anchors." I changed my list to "touchstones" just because that term worked better for me within that exercise than anchors or goals did.

To some of us, words are important and help us find a sense of direction or something to sink into as we create our own paths in life. If thinking about hierarchies and primaries doesn't work for someone, there's no harm in looking for words or approaches that more closely express what we are comfortable with in relationships.
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An excellent blog post against hierarchy in polyamory: http://solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-i...short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 02-22-2012 at 12:16 PM.
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  #234  
Old 02-22-2012, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I don't think that anyone trying to find terminology that offers a perspective other than hierarchical necessarily means they are afraid or trying to create something artificial in relationships. Obviously, some words or ideas seem like flimsy substitutes that don't mean anything different, but does that mean we have to settle for terms that don't sit well with us?
I sort-of disagree. You are looking at this specific thread. I am looking at the overall trend that happens. My default thinking, is people can pick and choose what words suit them. Customize their language, so to speak. Nothing wrong with that at all, like you mentioned.


Here is the difference, and where the slippery-slope begins : It`s one thing to choose your own words for yourself, it`s another thing, to put those words on people in your life, and those you meet. It very much becomes ' You can`t use those words around me.'
The hiding, and hoop-jumping snowballs. Then it becomes some type of quest to banish the word from popular use.
Are you on a mission to dismantle the use of polyamory ? Or, anchors ? lol,...probably not. What you are evoking, is personal choice. Where as with most of these type of 'word' threads, there is an agenda starting to take place.
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  #235  
Old 02-22-2012, 04:37 PM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
It's simply that some people don't like the idea of hierarchies in multiple relationships, and some people do. For some, a hierarchy works really well, and for others, it rankles.
No worries nycindie, I'm totally with you on that. Whatever works for some, works and that's cool. And some people like certain terminology, and that's cool too. I'm in no way trying to disparage non-hierarchical models, or the terminologies that people use to communicate with others. It's all good.

The point I'm trying to make is that regardless of the label, be it "primary" or "co-partner" or whatever, the people are still people and jerks will still be jerks, no matter what set of labels have been used. So the idea that changing labels like "central" vice "primary" will somehow cause some partners to be less jerky than they would be anyways, seems to me a little naive.

The important part of the equation in whether one is treated well by their partners is the people involved...not what they're called, or the set of vocabulary being used.
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  #236  
Old 02-24-2012, 06:58 PM
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I liked the alternative terms that were suggested by somebody (Annabel?): lifepartner and lovepartner.
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  #237  
Old 02-24-2012, 10:35 PM
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It doesn't matter how one calls it. Just like in the rest of life - the subject matter gives meaning to the words, not the other way around.
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  #238  
Old 02-25-2012, 03:07 AM
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It doesn't matter how one calls it. Just like in the rest of life - the subject matter gives meaning to the words, not the other way around.
Amen to that.

Just from a pure definition, a central partner seems to me like the hub of a wagon wheel to which all other partners are attached.

We're not out to anyone, so, in our world, friend, boyfriend, roommate, my idiots, etc. serve us just fine.

And how you treat people really speaks more than words ever could. Right now, E (who would be considered a secondary) is struggling because I've been working a lot out of town during the week and people who recognize T and I as a couple have been camped out at our house on weekends. So, my "alone time" with E has been, more or less, "Hey baby, why don't you come a little zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz." (passes out asleep) So, basically, I'm going to explain the situation to T and hope that he understands that E and I have to work a little more on our relationship right now.

Is there a hierarchy? Sure, a bit, but mostly we just focus on talking with one another and not doing things behind backs that might cause a fuss.
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  #239  
Old 02-25-2012, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Pretzels View Post
...how you treat people really speaks more than words ever could.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nllswing View Post
It doesn't matter how one calls it. Just like in the rest of life - the subject matter gives meaning to the words, not the other way around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SourGirl View Post
It`s one thing to choose your own words for yourself, it`s another thing, to put those words on people in your life, and those you meet. It very much becomes ' You can`t use those words around me.'... Where as with most of these type of 'word' threads, there is an agenda starting to take place.
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Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion View Post
But the words used don't automatically mean that the secondary partner is going to be treated as disposable or inhuman, as many of these threads have implied... just because someone doesn't have any "primary's" or loves all their lovers equally, doesn't mean they can't still use, abuse, or otherwise treat you like shit from time to time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion View Post
The point I'm trying to make is that regardless of the label, be it "primary" or "co-partner" or whatever, the people are still people and jerks will still be jerks, no matter what set of labels have been used. So the idea that changing labels like "central" vice "primary" will somehow cause some partners to be less jerky than they would be anyways, seems to me a little naive.


I don't think anyone with a brain would argue against any of the above. However, I also don't think anyone here was making up rules for other people's relationships or saying that one word would determine someone's actions, just by giving an opinion on it. I thought the purpose of the thread was simply to discuss terminology, not behavior, our own terminology preferences, and/or responses to the article RP posted. Am I missing something?
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"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post against hierarchy in polyamory: http://solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-i...short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 02-25-2012 at 03:44 AM.
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  #240  
Old 02-25-2012, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I thought the purpose of the thread was simply to discuss terminology, not behavior, our own terminology preferences, and/or responses to the article RP posted. Am I missing something?
Not at all...I'd read this thread as a productive discussion of not only terminology but also some thoughts on what vocab choices can reasonably be expected to achieve, or not.

My particular points were in reference to the following:
Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Thoughts on this included that it reduces the risk of hierarchical thinking and could reduce the emotional impact of that hierarchical thinking.
In that I mostly disagree with the premise that changing the terminology would either reduce the type of thinking, or the impact of it; possibly quite the opposite.


I like discussion... But I'm also back home this week with friends from decades ago with whom I can debate with mercilessly. Some of that might leak out.
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