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  #11  
Old 07-09-2012, 01:51 AM
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And as for the original post, I don't have the wherewithal to talk to all the points (great post, though!), but I know that in my partner's case, he "goes deep" with both me and his OSO. He gets close to friends and family as well, and if he had the time and energy to "commit" to everyone he loves (friends, family, etc.), he probably would. He's had a hard time in the past when he can't be there for one or the other of us as much as he'd like.

The boy's got a big heart, which I love, but which pretty much got me into a relationship structure that I never expected. Funny that.
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  #12  
Old 07-09-2012, 08:12 AM
turtleHeart turtleHeart is offline
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My wife and I generally pick activities that we can both enjoy and grow together doing, like partner acrobatics, aerial dance, weight lifting at home, Toastmasters, cooking, martial arts, hiking, volunteering to fix bikes together, doing Habitat for Humanity, travelling to various cities on my weekends off, etc. We're even looking forward to taking an academic class or two together sometime, once we can do it just for fun. Also, it's good simply being together even when we're having a lazy day.

At home we have a large papasan cushion on the floor that serves as a little island for us to both sit on with our laptops in front of us, so even as we surf independently, or she's showing me her tumblr, we can be cuddled up together. We both like to be in nearly constant physical contact, as we fall asleep and throughout the day.

Growing up, I was used to dating people that were also dating someone else, but since I generally only got to see them once a week or so whether they were dating someone else or not, I didn't see it hurting my relationship for them to see other people, but I did notice that I was never as close to them as I wanted to be. I used to think I needed to be with multiple people in order to get all the affection/closeness I desired, but ended up finding the experience of going deep with one person to be preferable, provided that one person also wants to follow that route. With Ginko, since we both love being with each other as much as we can, I finally felt sated for time and affection shared (quality time and touch are my two love languages), but with her seeing someone else, though we still spend more time together than most monogamous couples, the difference is notable to me.

We still do much of the above, but if I don't assert my preference for one on one time, particularly on weekends, I get much less of it, as we may spend all weekend hanging out with J at his place or ours. This weekend actually went really well as I made it more clear what I was wanting and when it'd work well for me for her to see J, and for once no one ended up feeling shortchanged. I'm looking forward to seeing how we can do next weekend. Even if I prefer monogamy, I'm feeling more hopeful that we might find a way to be happy with the current relationship structure in the meantime.

Last edited by turtleHeart; 07-09-2012 at 08:15 AM.
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  #13  
Old 07-09-2012, 08:49 AM
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As for the parenting analogy, any kid my wife and I have would be the child of both of us, meaning it'd be something we'd both be strongly involved with, not a separate relationship that one of us is building while the other is off at work. I favor the idea of equally shared parenting, where both parents strive to dedicate similar amounts of time to child rearing, home making, and work outside the home, regardless of difference in salary. If I have kids, which I plan to, I want to be very involved in raising them. Ideally Ginko and I will reach a point where we can each work less than full time, and we're pursuing careers that should make this doable.

I'm often in favor of the idea of sticking to having one kid, but suspect we'll see how Ginko feels after the first and whether or not she strongly wants any more at that point. She was an only child, and I feel my parents should have stuck to one as well, even if it wasn't me. The poly equivalent for child rearing might be said to be megafamilies, as described in A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family. I enjoy reading books/articles on both only child and many child families. It seems both can work.
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  #14  
Old 07-09-2012, 11:52 AM
bella123456 bella123456 is offline
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Wonderful posts and wonderful thoughts.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write them.

I support much of your processes in thinking, and not to suggest you are at the end of that process, it is all a journey of course..

I now practice the lessons and values I have taken on by exploring polyamory as a way of maximizing the value of all personal relationships with every person around me. Clients, children, colleagues, aunts, friends, teachers, students, the bus driver or the woman at the coffee shop.

I am lucky to have these increased skills... And my feelilngs of connectivity to the world and it's people are higher because of it.

I feel grateful to have learned so much about what it is to love, and to be loved.
At the moment.... That is what I am grateful for..

I don't feel anything lacking, I look around my life and see blessing after blessing.
I am happy directing deep intimacy in terms of building a life in one direction.
And I feel lucky about that too
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2012, 05:03 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apophis View Post
We do, however, sometimes enjoy reading near each other at the same time. What this provides in a monogamous relationship is the opportunity to share things as they occur in a way that wouldn't otherwise be possible. Every time either partner reads or experiences something that they find fascinating, the other partner is often nearby and happy to hear about it. Rather than hearing about a number of things in summary later, the opportunity is there to share them a little more in-depth as they occur.
I have done that in the past, too, but it seems to me there is no need for a single partner to be there to hear you. There could be one partner on a computer, one reading, one doing yet another thing, and each saying "hey, guess what?" at relevant times to the other two. I don't think this example requires exclusivity.

As for sharing all of my experiences with one partner, well, the way I see it, there are two ways to share experiences. Actually living them together, or sharing them later with one another.
I am not going to live everything with my partners at the same time. A lot of it already has been lived without them, whether as a child (and shared with my family... and I don't feel I know my brothers less because there are 3 of them, really their interactions and how the related to one another showed important aspects of who they are, too) or later on with other partners, before I was in my current relationship.
I like living things together, and referring to them later, and having private jokes. But I also like telling someone important about something that happened to me, something important and personal that they don't get to know just because they happened to be there at the time, but because I made the conscious decision to share it with them.
Both can be very important, both make my connections grow deeper. I definitely wouldn't want to trade one completely (or mostly) for the other.

Sometimes, splitting up helps experience more. Seamus and I have mostly different tastes in books, but we have found that the stories themselves interest us. It's usually the writing style or the sheer amount of volume that turns us off. We each read on our own, but we tell each other about the story. The kind of stories he reads, I enjoy his retelling of them way more than I would ever enjoy the books. I have tried reading a book he had summed up to me before, it didn't compare to the experience of hearing him tell me about it.
He seems to similarly enjoy when I tell him about what I read.
Yet, our tastes overlap some, and when there are books we have both read, or often I have read the book and he has seen the movie (he works long hours and reads slowly, so it's much more practical for him), we talk about it on another level that is very enjoyable too.

I don't like movie dates much, but Seamus went to one recently. He went to see a movie I wouldn't have been interested in, and that he said sucked. She wanted to see it, he wouldn't have on his own. But when he told me about the most ridiculous parts, and how they made fun of the movie mercilessly after it was over, to me it was a bonding experience, too. It was over something that happened with another partner, but it was bonding for me too, just like I'm sure they bonded in the car on the way back from seeing it over how stupid some of the scenes were.

So, that's more insight into my personal views on this

About raising kids when you're divorced, I believe being divorced, even when in good terms although especially in bad terms, implies more of a dichotomy, a separation. You rarely all live together when it's a divorced family. You rarely all hang out together. There might be a sense for the kid(s) of being split into two, and possibly less sharing of what happened with the other parents, because saying positive things about the other parent might annoy the current one, but the kid doesn't want to say something bad about their own parent, either.
I think even when this isn't something the parents are doing (going against one another), children often feel "in the middle" and might be less likely to share in the same way you might share what you did with another partner, for fear of just creating more drama between the parents.

I do appreciate the analogy though. I think the two analogies (several children vs children in a divorced family) show two different kind of poly, the former a more communal, live-in, co-primary form of poly, the second one a more separated, two-lives, less contact between metamours (or even none except through the hinge) form of poly.
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  #16  
Old 07-09-2012, 08:33 PM
apophis apophis is offline
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You're right. The example does not require exclusivity, but you're missing the point (or at least didn't directly address it). My point was not to illustrate individual things that can only be done if exclusive. That's impossible. You'd never find something. Depending on what poly people choose to spend their time on, they could always do some of the same individual things that the mono relationships are doing. My point is the sum total of all of those things happening the majority of the time cannot be replicated. That's the fundamental difference. So it would never be about pointing to some specific thing that mono people can do which poly people could never do. Arguably the whole point of being poly is the freedom to do anything. The point is that the level of understanding and individual focused commitment created in a mono relationship cannot be replicated in a poly relationship for reasons of physics.

It's interesting what you gain from relating the experiences, and of course all humans gain something from some form of stories. However we are physical creatures. Your brain rewires in accordance with what you interact with. A great deal of your self and perception is based on stored memories. Love I think is separate from that. It's an emotional state or a state of feeling. It may also be an ethical state for some people where they define love by the ability/desire to make sacrifices. However from a realistic standpoint a mature and committed mono partner will always end up knowing their partner better than a mature and committed poly partner. I don't think there's any way around that. I agree with (and I'm too lazy to scroll back and find out) the person who said that not all monos will be willing to go deep and not all polys will be willing to go wide. I think that's very accurate. However in the instance where you had two polys willing to go deep and wide currently in multiple relationships, they cannot achieve the same depth of understanding and knowledge of the other person as two monos willing to go deep and not going wide. That has nothing to do with how it feels to the individual. It's just the practical reality of it.

Again, to bring the argument out to other situations, a particle physicist must be constantly on top of her field. She has to be reading journal articles, constantly tracking the latest experiments, and also consistently researching and publishing her own work. If she were to try to keep up a career in genetic engineering as well, she would be in a constant battle to keep up with pioneering research in both fields as well as her own. She might be brilliant, but I don't think there's a case to be made that someone equally brilliant focused on one field would not achieve a greater understanding of it and more research within it than she would.

To bring that back to the relationships, removing a certain amount of the complexity (what I've been referring to as depth though the word has unfortunate connotations) from it is fine. That's what I mean when I say you could replicate any of the individual experiences but not all of them. That's removing part of the complexity. Also to hear a summary of the experience later does remove some of the complexity of actually having that experience yourself. Thus no one who reads adventure books has a portrait hanging in the Royal Geographic Society. The experience of the story is an experience and even a shared one, but it does not hold the same level of complexity as the actually shared experience. So you can share any experiences with a poly partner that you want to, but you can't share all of the experiences that mono partners do. Due to the way we're wired and the boundaries of linear time, that means mono partners will end up with a greater level of depth and complexity in their relationship than poly partners. A sacrifice that I think is made for the greater level of complexity in one's individual life where the poly individual has multiple relationships and thus arguably a more complex individual exploration than the mono partner.

I think the choice for poly versus mono comes down to complex individual exploration versus complex relationship exploration. I use the word individual not in the sense that the mono relationship does not enhance the life of the individual. Rather what I'm saying is that the poly person is choosing to explore their responses to a variety of people in relationships, intimate connections, and/or sexual experiences. This is in line with more of an individualistic philosophy thus the usage of the word. The mono person finds more to be gained, as I've said before, from the complete exploration of the single partner and gives up other explorations they could have of most levels of outside relationship/intimate/sexual connections in order to do so. I'd also like to note again for posterity that I am not saying these are black and white. There is a spectrum. Polyfidelity with a minimal number of people would seem to provide a much greater opportunity for relationship complexity than a totally open and individualistic polyamory. I simply think that mono and totally open poly represent the ends of the spectrum in that sense.
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  #17  
Old 07-10-2012, 01:42 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apophis View Post
You're right. The example does not require exclusivity, but you're missing the point (or at least didn't directly address it). My point was not to illustrate individual things that can only be done if exclusive. That's impossible. You'd never find something. Depending on what poly people choose to spend their time on, they could always do some of the same individual things that the mono relationships are doing. My point is the sum total of all of those things happening the majority of the time cannot be replicated. That's the fundamental difference. So it would never be about pointing to some specific thing that mono people can do which poly people could never do. Arguably the whole point of being poly is the freedom to do anything. The point is that the level of understanding and individual focused commitment created in a mono relationship cannot be replicated in a poly relationship for reasons of physics.

It's interesting what you gain from relating the experiences, and of course all humans gain something from some form of stories. However we are physical creatures. Your brain rewires in accordance with what you interact with. A great deal of your self and perception is based on stored memories. Love I think is separate from that. It's an emotional state or a state of feeling. It may also be an ethical state for some people where they define love by the ability/desire to make sacrifices. However from a realistic standpoint a mature and committed mono partner will always end up knowing their partner better than a mature and committed poly partner. I don't think there's any way around that. I agree with (and I'm too lazy to scroll back and find out) the person who said that not all monos will be willing to go deep and not all polys will be willing to go wide. I think that's very accurate. However in the instance where you had two polys willing to go deep and wide currently in multiple relationships, they cannot achieve the same depth of understanding and knowledge of the other person as two monos willing to go deep and not going wide. That has nothing to do with how it feels to the individual. It's just the practical reality of it.
Just to clarify, as I'm not sure you understood what I meant, I didn't mean that you can be with one person doing something, the way you described, and later do that with someone else. I meant that all three people can be together, and suddenly say "hey, in my book, this happened", and arguably gain more from it because instead of just one response they'd have two, and more back and forth and insight into one another.
So to me, your example is a case in which a polyamorous relationship would bring all the partners closer rather than bring them less close. There are more books being read, therefore more potential comments being made by one of the partners, and more responses to your comments due to there being two partners. I'll learn more of partner A is partner B responds and then partner A reacts to it than if there was no partner B around to begin with.
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  #18  
Old 07-10-2012, 04:41 AM
apophis apophis is offline
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I don't necessarily dispute that point though I'm not sure what the capacity is in that situation to really keep both other people in your head all the time with a high degree of focus. I think even if you were spending most of your time with both of them together, focus would still have to drift from one to the other. There isn't really anyone in psychology or sociology who thinks that three doesn't change from a one on one dynamic to a group dynamic. So in that specific example it might be interesting to have the three people together, however I don't think I've seen an example of three-person live-together polyfidelity that looked like a three-person monogamous relationship rather than taking on a group dynamic with associated divisions in focus and a necessity for time sharing.
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  #19  
Old 07-12-2012, 12:52 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I dont have time to delve into all of this thread-but great topics!

I did want to say,

one of the key things for me that is VERY clear to me is that I could not "do poly" in a manner where any of my partners weren't part of my immediate household.

My reasoning is that it would take away our day to day interactions and that is a critical component of a romantic relationship for me.

I have 4 kids. 2 still live at home and a grandson who is with me a few times a week. My husband and boyfriend live with me.
We operate as a single family unit.
OCCASIONALLY I will have a one-on-one date with one or the other of them. But, the large majority of our social time is all together (including kids).

The one caveat is that during the school year, my boyfriends work schedule is evenings (husbands is always 7am-3or 5pm). So during the school years I have mornings with boyfriend and kids, evenings with husband and kids.
But, weekends are family time.

We reserve our couple anniversaries as "personal couple dates" and we try to make a date every couple months that is strictly one-on-one for each couple.

(we are a V, not a triad, they are both straight men with no interest in one another).
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:56 AM
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I don't have time to respond deeply so I'm just chiming in so I don't lose the thread.
BTW, you don't need to respond to a thread in order to subscribe to it.

Just click on Thread Tools > Subscribe to this Thread on the second bar above any thread.
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