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  #181  
Old 05-27-2012, 08:42 PM
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It as good a reason as any to try poly. But, I would suggest making sure it is something that fits you in a deeper way. If you see yourself loving more than one, how do you feel about partner's loving more than you? Polyamory can be difficult for some because it can require a high emotional resources, a great degree of flexibility and the willingness to deal with things you find uncomfortable to a much greater degree than monogamy usually does.

Keep exploring and figure out if it fits for you.

After that, you'll need to figure out how to introduce it to your partner. It would be good to know whether or not you think it's a deal breaker for you or not. If he's not willing to walk this path with you, will you stay monogamous with him? How strong is the pull for others? etc.
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  #182  
Old 07-22-2012, 09:16 PM
jonandkas jonandkas is offline
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Default Questions... questions... questions

Hey,

I'm Jon and my co-habitting girlfriend is Kasia, we're new round these parts - hi all

We recently started thinking we might be/want to be polyamorous. We seem to have very similar thought patterns - she started thinking about it two days before me (we realised this after me initiating the conversation yesterday).

Apparently she started by thinking it could be something I might like & is now considering she might be ever-so-slightly bi herself... so it's something we're definitely interested in investigating further.

Certainly, neither of us are specifically against the idea of it - but feel we have a bit of monoamorous social conditioning that we both have to get past to feel completely comfortable with the idea.

We're not yet 100% sure what we want from this and of course that's something only we can answer for ourselves, but it's definitely something we want to pursue and think others experience could be of great help to us.

We've been living together for over 2 years now, very happy with each other and we don't want to do anything that could ruin what we have with each other... so we would definitely be looking to keep this as a form of "primary" relationship. I think we just have more love to share and would almost like it to work as an extended family, of sorts. I think we'll be looking for a V or Triad style relationship, rather than anything more casual, but I'm open to a quad or similar if that's something that would make Kas happy. We need something that works for both of us, I think a bit of experimentation will be required to figure out what's right for us.

I'm currently going through the various threads on this forum, including the very useful "Master Thread"... but we've got some questions we'd like to get out there - I hope these haven't been posted many many times, but here goes:

- To those who made the "switch" from monoamorous to polyamorous - why did you make the "switch" and what did you hope to get from it? (I put "switch" in quotes because it's highly likely not a switch... more a realisation)

- How did you first start pursuing a polyamorous relationship? (seeing as it's not a social norm, we're assuming it's not the easiest of relationships to fall in to and would like a little guidance to help find like-minded people)

- Did you get what you were looking for out of it? (I expect most still on this forum did, but it still seems like an appropriate question as you could well have been expecting one thing & ended up with something completely different - as with most things in life) and so if different, how?

- Are there any foibles you'd specifically recommend we avoid?

- How did you get past the mono social conditioning - are there any tips/tricks or is it just something that gets more comfortable with time and experience?



Thanks for taking the time... we've already figured out the single most important thing to maintaining our healthy relationship - communication - without this, it will all fall apart.

My/our ideas are still very new & we're both a little unsure of ourselves at this stage - so apologies if this post has come accross as a bit convoluted.

Last edited by jonandkas; 07-22-2012 at 11:14 PM.
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  #183  
Old 07-23-2012, 07:43 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonandkas View Post
I'm open to a quad or similar if that's something that would make Kas happy. We need something that works for both of us, I think a bit of experimentation will be required to figure out what's right for us.
I would ditch that idea. As in - if you can't rephrase it "I'm open to a quad if we meet the right people and it will make Kas AND I happy" then don't even entertain it. Experimenting with people to test out what you're looking for can be bad. These other people are hearts and souls, and although I know there are happy quads, almost every post I've ever read about a quad is about how one person really isn't that interested anymore, or never was as invested, and then you have 4 unhappy people.

My advice is to date as individuals, if a triad happens in the future, great if that's what you want! Lots of problems come from looking for a specific configuration instead of being open to individual connections and seeing where they go.

Read some of the books on the Books and Websites sticky, I've read most of the poly ones and would recommend Opening Up by Tristan Taormino, it will help guide you through a lot of the good questions, and what to expect, when transitioning from mono to poly. It will help ensure you and Kas KNOW if you're on the same page or not, instead of accidentally thinking you are and finding out you're wrong through trial and error and drama.

I "made the switch" because my 1st husband and I married young, had been together over a decade, and outside influences had made us aware there were other options so we started talking about it. I believe mainly what both of us hoped to get out of it originally was a bit of variety in sexual experiences, since each of us had only had a few other sexual partners/experiences as teens.

Did I get what I wanted out of it? Hmm kind of? Originally was not aware of polyamory, though when I discovered information about it, it seemed like a good fit for what I wanted. Was still a surprise to fall in love with somebody else. That is one thing people new to it often aren't prepared for the reality of. Read and discuss what people say about NRE (new relationship energy) and be willing to examine your own behavior if you start dating - try to be aware if you're falling under its spell.

Be aware that if one of you falls in love, you might want to spend a lot of time with your other partner, even splitting time equally and having "co-primaries" or come up with the brilliant idea you should all live together. You can't know what the future holds, but it's a good idea to be aware of the possibilities. What you think you want now, or promises you make to each other that no other relationship will rock your boat, are idealistic. Maybe it will be true, but do not count on it too much.

I pursued it on OKCupid.com. I met my current husband on it. I met my current boyfriend on it. Anybody I've known who was registered there and that I've been great friends or partners with were a 90% or so partner and/or friend match. Look for local munches and meeting if that's what you're into (I would've rather been anywhere but a place like that the one time I went.. but most people are more social than I am) If you like board games groups or gaming conventions, there's lots of opportunity to meet and flirt there. I hear swing dancing & poly often goes hand in hand. If you are outgoing and flirty you can find people to date anywhere. It really depends on where you live and what your interests are to determine how it's easiest to "actively" seek partners if you are interest in being intentional about it.

Getting past mono conditioning? Eh...my parents were both cheaters/swingers at various times so I had odd ideas about it. However being so happy about being in love with two people at once was conflicting, but since neither of them had a problem with it that was enough for me.

Good luck!
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  #184  
Old 07-23-2012, 01:02 PM
jonandkas jonandkas is offline
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Thanks for your kind, contemplated reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
I would ditch that idea. As in - if you can't rephrase it "I'm open to a quad if we meet the right people and it will make Kas AND I happy" then don't even entertain it. Experimenting with people to test out what you're looking for can be bad. These other people are hearts and souls, and although I know there are happy quads, almost every post I've ever read about a quad is about how one person really isn't that interested anymore, or never was as invested, and then you have 4 unhappy people.

My advice is to date as individuals, if a triad happens in the future, great if that's what you want! Lots of problems come from looking for a specific configuration instead of being open to individual connections and seeing where they go.
I think I chose to phrase it that way because it's the scenario that would take me longest to aclimatise to.

Also, I didn't want it to seem to Kas like I was only thinking about myself & am aware that moving to a polyamorous relationship gives her the ability to explore. I really care about her happiness and if it's something she would want to pursue, then I would support her in that. But it's not the scenario I would favour in my current mind. Her happiness is closely linked to mine & if she wanted that, I don't have inhibitions that would stop it or anything of the sort - I'm just not bi-curious, so maybe quad is the wrong terminology - it would be more like a V plus a triad or two Vs. If I could get a good, close friend out of it - that would make me very happy Perhaps that's a better way to phrase it?

From more discussions after this post last night, it's not what she's looking for - so quad is likely out the window... however, I'm not particularly against the idea, I'd just need time to adjust to another guy around.

It seems we're both on a very similar as to what we would like... triad or V, but we're not restricting ourselves - we want more love in our lives & want to be open to it, however it arrives.

You're 100% right with respect to experimenting with people... not quite what we want to do, the problem is - we feel as though this is something we could both get a lot out of, however due to no experience with the poly community/lifestyle/etc - we can't know for certain until we have tested the water. We pride ourselves on our honesty (something which has got us both in trouble at work one way or another, lol) and would certainly be very up-front with anyone we meet, it's who we are and even how we met.

Quote:
Read some of the books on the Books and Websites sticky, I've read most of the poly ones and would recommend Opening Up by Tristan Taormino, it will help guide you through a lot of the good questions, and what to expect, when transitioning from mono to poly. It will help ensure you and Kas KNOW if you're on the same page or not, instead of accidentally thinking you are and finding out you're wrong through trial and error and drama.
Will take a look at that, thanks.

Quote:
I "made the switch" because my 1st husband and I married young, had been together over a decade, and outside influences had made us aware there were other options so we started talking about it. I believe mainly what both of us hoped to get out of it originally was a bit of variety in sexual experiences, since each of us had only had a few other sexual partners/experiences as teens.

Did I get what I wanted out of it? Hmm kind of? Originally was not aware of polyamory, though when I discovered information about it, it seemed like a good fit for what I wanted. Was still a surprise to fall in love with somebody else. That is one thing people new to it often aren't prepared for the reality of. Read and discuss what people say about NRE (new relationship energy) and be willing to examine your own behavior if you start dating - try to be aware if you're falling under its spell.
Interesting... when we first started talking about it, it did seem to be as simple as more variety.

After talking about it further, though - we realised we want more than that, even if the odd shorter encounter could be a fun experience. We would like to bring someone in to our own little world and share that with them, ideally a form of co-habbiting triad.

Quote:
Be aware that if one of you falls in love, you might want to spend a lot of time with your other partner, even splitting time equally and having "co-primaries" or come up with the brilliant idea you should all live together. You can't know what the future holds, but it's a good idea to be aware of the possibilities. What you think you want now, or promises you make to each other that no other relationship will rock your boat, are idealistic. Maybe it will be true, but do not count on it too much.
We realise things like jealousy will never dissappear, it's more about how you cope with it & how well you trust your partner(s). We have a very good level of trust with each other and are confident our relationship can weather the storm, should any arise. I've never been in such an honest, free from bullshit, emotionally satisfying relationship. We recognise there will have to be compromises along the way, but our promise to each other is to work through those & never let jealousy or similar tear us apart.

We realise we don't yet know what we're getting ourselves in for and I think that's where the pensiveness is coming from.

We both have a strong desire to pursue this, obviously thinking its something we'll both take to. With such a mindset, I think it's unlikely either of us will change our minds.

Quote:
I pursued it on OKCupid.com. I met my current husband on it. I met my current boyfriend on it. Anybody I've known who was registered there and that I've been great friends or partners with were a 90% or so partner and/or friend match.
How did you "advertise" yourself in this context - did you mention in your profile that you were polyamorous (or words to that effect) or is that a subject you brought up later, once you'd started talking?

The reason I'm asking is because, without the experience of looking yet, my mind seems to think that most out there wouldn't even be open to the idea. Am I overthinking this? It's probably a lot more flexible in general.

Quote:
Look for local munches and meeting if that's what you're into (I would've rather been anywhere but a place like that the one time I went.. but most people are more social than I am)
I know the feeling, we're not the most social of people either... but that's actually something we're both working on, for our own benefit. Looks like we just missed a local meet, but I think attending something like that could be quite beneficial to us, talking face to face with some like minded people. We'll stick the next meet up in our calendar

Quote:
If you like board games groups or gaming conventions, there's lots of opportunity to meet and flirt there. I hear swing dancing & poly often goes hand in hand. If you are outgoing and flirty you can find people to date anywhere. It really depends on where you live and what your interests are to determine how it's easiest to "actively" seek partners if you are interest in being intentional about it.
Doesn't really sound all that different from mono dating, I think I'm more worried about how to raise the subject with a new friend.

From reading other threads, it seems like there are quite a lot of cowgirls/boys out there... but that's just something we'll have to learn to deal with.

Quote:
Getting past mono conditioning? Eh...my parents were both cheaters/swingers at various times so I had odd ideas about it. However being so happy about being in love with two people at once was conflicting, but since neither of them had a problem with it that was enough for me.

Good luck!
For me, while still a bit pensive, I don't think it'll take me much to get over the conditioning. I was brought up in a very free-thinking house with a push to find nothing more than happiness, in whatever form it may take. So while I still feel a bit of attachment to mono society, I can see myself getting past that quickly.

For Kas, it's a little more difficult. She was raised catholic, so was brought up with a definite push toward mono relationships. She lost her faith a long time ago & is a very intelligent woman - so she recognises there's absolutely nothing wrong with it if it's what we both want, but there's still the years of conditioning she went through that's not going to be the easiest of things to just shrug off. I guess that book you mentioned will be a good read for this, along with "The Ethical Slut"?

As I re-read that last bit, I'm unsure how to phrase it differently - but realise it could read like I'm pushing her toward something she may not be comfortable with. This is not the case & not something I would ever do to her. She actually came up with the idea before me!
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  #185  
Old 07-23-2012, 07:01 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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I'm pretty sure quad works - as Xeromag.com sums it up
QUAD: A polyamorous relationship involving four people, each of whom may or may not be sexually and emotionally involved with all the other members. See related N. Commentary: One of the most common ways for a quad to form is when two polyamorous couples begin romantic relationships cross-couple

My OKC profile lists me as available (you can put you're not single but check the boxes that you are looking for long or short term dating or casual sex, which switches your label to available) In my first paragraph or two I state that I'm married and that I have another relationship too. I mention polyamory. When my husband has his profile active, I include a link to it so they can look at see who he is and that we both are on the same page. I always like it when people (especially men) do this, it lets me see that everything is above board and erases concerns they are cheating, and I can get a better feel for the sort of relationships they form. My advice is to browse other people's profiles with a keyword search for poly/amory and see how different people present the information.

In general people don't like finding out you already have a partner after you meet them. Giving them the info ahead of time lets them make an informed choice about whether they want to fit into what I have going on. And of course lots of people are not open to that, but depending on where you are, the dating pool can still be very large. If you want to date people who aren't identified as poly you can use open or non monogamous to describe your relationship too if you prefer - lots more people have a general idea what that is than will be familiar with poly. Just fill out the details about the specifics of your relationship in further conversation.

On that note, my strong advice is to NOT date anybody who doesn't already identify as poly or open right away if there are available interesting poly people in your area. That comes with a whole lot of problems that I think are generally best avoided until you've figured out what you want and have experienced the initial stuff inherent in changing your dynamic. Lots of people would not give the same advice, but it can be less confusing to (for both you and them) to date somebody who already has a clear understanding of what poly means to them - even if it differs from what poly means to you. It's also more likely they'll be understanding about the road bumps that can happen as you and Kas negotiate all this for the first time, because they've been there.

There are some threads on here about how to broach the subject with people you meet say - at a bar or party or work when you don't know if they are open to poly or not. I'd direct you to find them, as I haven't been single for 20 years, and never approached somebody who I didn't know was already poly for the purpose of dating.

And likely reading those books will help Kas with some of the guilt or weirdness about it. So will meeting other poly people and discussing things with them. It helps to spend time with like minded people, it makes you feel like you're not abnormal for choosing non-monogamy. (That's also one benefit I find likely for her with dating already poly people - people who aren't can be kind of shitty when you tell them about being open - they often make lots of wrong assumptions about you, which would reinforce the feeling that you're doing something "wrong".)
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  #186  
Old 07-31-2012, 04:02 AM
thatgirliknew thatgirliknew is offline
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Default Introduction to Polyamory

I'm just curious to know what you're first introduction to polyamory happened.

Looking back, I realized mine was in high school. Granted I didn't know the name for it, or that other people did it. But it just seemed right for me.

In high school, I met two guys that I thought were just amazing. I found out that they dated each other and just let it be. (I'm going to use initials so that hopefully I don't get too confusing.) K always flirted with me and I enjoyed it, but never took it any further, until T (his boyfriend) asked me if I noticed that K really liked me and basically gave permission for a relationship to happen. A little later in the relationship, T expressed interest in me as well, so i guess we had a triad going on. This lasted for a couple months and I started dating a girl, A. Surprisingly, for highschoolers (and A, the college student) this went remarkably well until we realized that K had a girlfriend who did NOT know about me or A and that led me and T to breaking it off with K. And then a few months later, T told me he was gay, not bi like he thought and we cordially broke it off.

Anyway, without realizing I was poly I had a pretty good poly relationship, surprisingly as a highschooler.

When was your "intro"?
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  #187  
Old 07-31-2012, 05:17 AM
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I met poly in Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein. I read it the first time before I was 13 (in the very early 70's), but I don't remember exactly when the first time I read it was. My parents made some attempts at poly relationships, but they weren't exactly including me. Didn't know the whole story then (and I'm not certain I do now).

My first personal experience with poly was in my twenties, with a woman who was flirting with both me and my girlfriend, while gf and I weren't telling each other that was going on. We later found out she had a history of doing this with couples. We attempted, for like a minute, to have it be the three of us. At some point in that, I got a black eye out of it.

I didn't much think about it, until it presented itself last December, and here I am in my vee.
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  #188  
Old 07-31-2012, 04:01 PM
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When I was going through a bad spell feeling trapped in my relationship. Hubby and I talked it out. We discussed how I was feeling about things. How my past relationships went before him. Why they ended. They ended because while I liked even loved the men I never felt they were the "right one" So I would move on like a butterfly flitting from flower to flower. Hubby said have you ever fallen for two men at once... and I said yes. His answer is honey I think you are poly. Despite being mono himself he is open and understanding. He gave me my freedom.
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  #189  
Old 08-05-2012, 11:20 PM
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The very first time I considered poly, though I didn't know what it was called, was when I had just started my very first relationship when I was 15. I guess I should start with the beginning with this story.

Around April that year, I became friends with a boy, J, and I liked him immensely. We had a thing going for a little bit, but he was still too emotionally immature to understand what was happening and stopped paying attention to me. This hurt me a lot and it took a very long time for me to get over the feelings I had for him. That July, I met the guy who would become my boyfriend, A. When school started back up, I discovered, to my horror, that he was J's best friend. So I was in a new relationship but I still had my old feelings for J. I didn't want to be around him AT ALL because I was ashamed of my feelings, but then that meant that A felt like he had to split his very limited time between us and often had to choose between one or the other. That wasn't fair, so I tried to be friendly with J again, but that ended up in unintentional flirting between us (which was pointed out by other people). I was ashamed of what I had done and so I stopped, but in my mind I thought that it would just be so much easier if I could be with both of them. I presented the idea to A, who (due to being completely spineless at the time) said that it was fine by him, though in reality it was tearing him apart on the inside. I realized that it was hurting him, smacked myself, and told myself that I had to focus on and honor the relationship I already had, and stop chasing after the other guy who had never been so nice to me anyway. After that, I had banished the idea from my head as That Really Bad Idea I Had Once. I still felt guilty though, about being attracted to other people while I was in a relationship.

I didn't think much of it back then, but recent events have made me realize that I can no longer deny the poly aspect of myself and that I refuse to continue being ashamed about my feelings of love for other people. I haven't actually been in a full-fledged poly relationship yet, though.

Last edited by StarTeddy; 08-05-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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  #190  
Old 08-06-2012, 03:21 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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I guess I'm living my introduction to poly right now.

Several months after my divorce was final, a long-time friend, married, asked me out, telling me it was a business meeting, and at that 'business meeting,' told me the rest of the story.

I'm still undecided about the wisdom of being involved in this, although some of my misgivings about our relationship and him stem from my own issues after 20+ years in a marriage full of lying and cheating. The problem is, I don't really know what's 'normal' anymore, what I can or should expect from a relationship or from him, and on top of it, am trying to figure that out within a relationship that wasn't 'normal' to begin with.
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