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  #11  
Old 09-02-2012, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Okay, so you feel that "poly ways" are vastly different from "mono ways" and monos have incredible difficulty understanding polyfolk.
Precisely.
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Several of us are saying poly relationships aren't all that different from mono ones and that there are challenges in helping a mono understand, but it can be done.
Excellent. I'm glad to hear that.
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Remember, that many of us who practice poly in our lives were staunchly mono prior to doing so.
Absolutely. I was too. But I believe I have always had a mindset which is malleable and open. And I'm getting to the point that the people who have a "mono block" are probably the one's that appear to have staked their self-esteem in their beliefs and it gives them shivers to try and understand "Poly" as something other than "people being promiscuous or unable to be monogamous." And it's this that makes me agree with people who say that poly people are more "evolved". I understand what they are getting at. I don't fully agree, because maybe fucking a bunch of people is more primitive, but the idea is that to have an open malleable mind is more evolved. But that's a whooooole other debate that I don't agree with using the word "evolved" for. My basic point is, if a person is truly mono than they can't understand poly natively and that in itself gives them a block. I think this thread is useful and valid for someone who may have hoped to be able to communicate to their mono about such a matter in hopes of opening them up. That is why I posed the opinion/theory I posed.
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But you disagree and want to argue your view.
Uh no, I don't disagree. I have an open mind to it being a discussion. Do you always talk to other people such that you tell them what they are or are not thinking? I don't find that to be very respectful communication, though I totally understand you. But still I think you shouldn't tell someone what they are thinking or they might find that feeling like a boundary issue of yours. Personally I'm fine. Just letting you know so you don't get into trouble with anyone else. No hard feelings. We're supposed to be just discussing.
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Alright, so monogamous peeps have a hard time "getting" what poly is -- so what?
Well look, if it's not interesting to you than why come in here and bag on the discussion? Maybe you don't get the point of discussing it because it's not applicable to you. I find it an applicable discussion for anyone who would think that anyone and everyone can understand Poly if they just listen to the right words. But what I'm saying is that it might be the case with some that they can never get to that point no matter how hard you try and if that is a significant other it could be very frustrating for both of you.
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Did you actually want a discussion or just the opportunity to defend your stance?
It was a statement, with an opportunity for discussion.
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What's the big deal?
Nothing I think for you. But it is for me in my situation and it might be for others too sometime.
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What's your point?
I think we understand each other now.
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2012, 05:13 PM
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Remember, that many of us who practice poly in our lives were staunchly mono prior to doing so.
I do enjoy discussing with you. And I'm curious... Are there Poly people that don't understand the Mono mindset/wiring/way? Because personally I found Poly by passing through Mono. But I suppose a person could be cultured Poly from childhood and Mono would seem very strange to them, and so I wonder if they couldn't understand how Mono provides happiness, etc.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2012, 05:44 PM
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But you disagree and want to argue your view.
Uh no, I don't disagree. I have an open mind to it being a discussion.
Let me correct my wording: what I meant to say was that it seems as if you disagree and want to argue your point. If I read your previous responses to what people wrote in the thread, that is the vibe I got, so I asked what was your point in starting this thread if when someone would say, "poly and mono aren't so different and mono people can eventually understand poly" it appeared that you were responding with, effectively, "No, you're wrong. Mono people have a block and cannot understand poly." That rather cuts off possibility for discussion if the response is always "no."

What I would also like to know is what you mean by the terms "poly ways" and "mono ways."

And no, poly people are definitely not more evolved than monos simply by virtue of the fact that they are poly. There are plenty of narrow-minded assholes who live poly and plenty of wonderfully open-minded people who are monogamous. These are choices for relationship structures that are available and people choose what works for them. Being so-called "more evolved" is not automatically inherent in choosing to live polyamorously.
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:12 PM
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I'm curious... Are there Poly people that don't understand the Mono mindset/wiring/way?
I don't. I never have. I was trying my hardest to be monogamous and just didn't get why it could work that way. No matter what people tried to explain to me, it just didn't resonate with me. I couldn't understand why I was expected to be no longer in love with someone simply because a relationship was not possible with them. I was told it was wrong, and I did my absolute best to feel that it was, but I knew in my heart that, for me, it wasn't.

I still get moments with my mono partner where I do a double-take, because something just "does not compute" for me. Even though we have worked through so much in terms of talking and explaining. She gets those moments too. Luckily, because we have worked on this so much, we don't have to go back to square one every time.

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IMpvO (In my poly virgin opinion).
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But I believe I have always had a mindset which is malleable and open. And I'm getting to the point that the people who have a "mono block" are probably the one's that appear to have staked their self-esteem in their beliefs and it gives them shivers to try and understand "Poly" as something other than "people being promiscuous or unable to be monogamous." And it's this that makes me agree with people who say that poly people are more "evolved". I understand what they are getting at.
With respect you are not the first person who is relatively new to poly that has voiced the opinion that it is somehow more "evolved" than monogamy. I would gently caution you that this can come across as very disrespectful towards monogamy, which works exceedingly well for a large group of people - telling them that their chosen relationship style is "less evolved" can feel pretty condescending.

I do completely understand the euphoria that goes along with the realisation that you have found a relationship style that "fits" you. I also understand the keenness to want to tell the world, and to show them how this can work. I think that a lot of us have been there at some point or another. It's vital, though, if you want them to accept you and your relationship style for who you are and what it is that you return the favour, rather than coming across as being dismissive.
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  #15  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by evanevans View Post
Are there Poly people that don't understand the Mono mindset/wiring/way? Because personally I found Poly by passing through Mono. But I suppose a person could be cultured Poly from childhood and Mono would seem very strange to them, and so I wonder if they couldn't understand how Mono provides happiness, etc.
I understand it as well as I understand any other not-me abstract.

I did try to be monogamous. I just seemed to screw up all the rules except "don't cheat". There were these standards I struggled to grasp. I was an indecisive little thing; who did I really want? Well, why did I have to answer that question? Why couldn't I try them all to be sure? And why did my time suddenly belong entirely to someone else? Why couldn't I have a happy, comfy tickle and cuddle session by the fire with a friend? Was my body no longer mine to use as I saw fit, either?

Guess what? It wasn't! Apparently it belonged to a boy with Opinions on my hair and the languages I needed to be interested in. (High school: I was weird for wanting to learn Japanese. College: He picked up Swahili. Hey, I was going to put my Japanese to good use...)

As I moved into sexuality, ownership shifted further: not only was it not my body anymore, it belonged to whichever "him" I had at the time. Consent once, consent the rest of the time. That was how it worked. I had no words for "Not now" or "Get off me or pay me, you douche".

I took back my body. I took back my time. I decided that if I did feel like sharing them again, I'd do it with people who didn't want exclusive rights. Owning people had become, to me, one of the stupidest ways to relate since, well, slavery. Coupledom shut people out, creating this insular world in which even feelings had to belong to the other person. ("Emotional infidelity"?!)

And on the "am I a hypocrite?" end of things: I had a history of wanting to gate-crash established relationships. Not doing so. Just wishing I could, because I didn't need a person to myself. I could share. It seemed to me that the people who were best suited to having relationships were already having them.

You could say I spoke both mono and poly, but poly was my first and best language, the one whose nuances made sense to me.
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  #16  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:38 PM
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What CdM said, except I'm the mono partner in my relationship (a different one, in case there's any confusion ). I'll post more after dinner and I'm not posting via the phone (ugh!), but my partner and I have the same "huh?" moments with each other and Just. Don't. Get. certain things about each other.
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  #17  
Old 09-02-2012, 11:14 PM
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I understand what monogamy is intellectually, but have never been able to live it for myself. Even as young as 5 I recall having two boys I wanted to marry.

I also don't believe all monos find poly so difficult to understand. My boyfriend hasn't had any difficulty with the concept and he's definitely mono. He just see's it as 'to each his own'. He loves me and thats enough for him. I love him and Maca and he knows I would like to have a girlfirend also and thats good enough for me. Shrug.
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  #18  
Old 09-02-2012, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by lovefromgirl View Post
As I moved into sexuality, ownership shifted further: not only was it not my body anymore, it belonged to whichever "him" I had at the time.

I took back my body. I took back my time. I decided that if I did feel like sharing them again, I'd do it with people who didn't want exclusive rights. Owning people had become, to me, one of the stupidest ways to relate since, well, slavery. Coupledom shut people out, creating this insular world in which even feelings had to belong to the other person. ("Emotional infidelity"?!)
Love it. Absolutely how I feel too. It helps that I was raised by a hippie mom I think. But freedom is the way to treat yourself. And I think it's ok if you are good at sharing. That makes it balanced.
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  #19  
Old 09-02-2012, 11:41 PM
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Love it. Absolutely how I feel too. It helps that I was raised by a hippie mom I think. But freedom is the way to treat yourself. And I think it's ok if you are good at sharing. That makes it balanced.
Mind you, I'm also firmly in the "if monogamy actually works for you, great" camp. Poly wasn't any sort of evolution for me; that would imply I had something from which to evolve, when really I was poly all along. Life would have been infinitely easier had I just been wired mono. This sort of thing comes with many risks and few rewards for a young woman in a small-town environment. A man has forty girlfriends, he's a stud; a woman has a cuddle with another man, nothing behind it but a desire to be held by a friend, she's a slut.
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  #20  
Old 09-03-2012, 12:53 AM
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I think the biggest fear/hurdle/rub in getting a Mono to understand Poly is to stop comparing the two.

Poly works, and creates happiness, intrinsic to it's "poly ways", not in any way intrinsic to "mono ways". And so Mono's have the mental block/hurdle of understanding how "poly ways" create happiness for polys in ways they don't consider happiness to mono's. And they seem to try and understand it as how it differs from their mono lifestyle. But that's like trying to see the difference between Scissors and a Whale. They each serve such a different purpose and really have their own entire way of life and purpose. Mono's seem to project the question: "How would that make me feel?" in trying to understand it. But that is the block right there. You can't use your own mono experiences to understand poly. A Whale doesn't care how being Scissors would make him feel. He doesn't have a need to cut paper.
I guess I'm also sort of scratching my head as to the point. I don't understand how jumping out of airplanes makes anyone happy, but honestly, I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure it out. It does, they do it, they lead their life, I lead mine. It makes no difference if I get it or not, and I can guarantee they also don't understand why some of the things I do make me happy! I'm curious if your statement/question is coming from a personal incident in your life in which you'd like to be poly and your SO doesn't? In which you're trying to explain how you feel and don't feel that you're being understood?

I guess to me, asking "How would that make me feel?" is most people's attempt to follow the Golden Rule. It's what parents often say to their children in trying to teach them to understand others: How would that make you feel? if it would hurt you, then you shouldn't be doing it to someone else. Again, it makes me wonder if this question relates to an incident in your life of trying to explain to someone else how you feel.

Also, are we talking about someone of a mono mindset (ie, someone who has never been in love with two people at once) or someone of a mono relationship style (wishes to be monogamous regardless of feelings for others)? Are we talking about them trying to understand poly as in the ability to fall in love with multiple people or poly as a relationship style and why it would bring happiness?

Quote:
With respect you are not the first person who is relatively new to poly that has voiced the opinion that it is somehow more "evolved" than monogamy. I would gently caution you that this can come across as very disrespectful towards monogamy, which works exceedingly well for a large group of people - telling them that their chosen relationship style is "less evolved" can feel pretty condescending.
Thank you for saying so, Ciel du Matin.

What I find interesting from my reading on this board is the two distinct issues of poly as ability to love multiple people romantically vs. poly as a relationship style. I have definitely had major infatuations with two people at once. There are plenty of stories of women thinking they were war widows and re-marrying only to have the missing husband return--and they are torn in half, because they love both. To me, poly as a mindset is perfectly normal, so much so that I never would have thought to give it a name. If someone has never fallen in love with two people at once, if their feelings for one die as their feelings for another grow, I would never think to call them less evolved--it's simply the way their emotions work. Not much different than one of us liking apples and one of us preferring bananas.

As to lifestyle, I also wouldn't call it less evolved. I have become involved with a married man I'd known as a friend for years before my divorce. His wife is fully aware and highly approving, or I wouldn't be near him. I continue to see him because I very much enjoy his company and our time together and I see a great deal of good and personal healing and growth coming out of it for both of us.

But ...having experienced a polyamory relationship, I'm not at all convinced I ever want to be in one again. This makes me, I suppose, someone of a poly mindset (quite capable of loving multiple people) but preferring a mono relationship style.

This doesn't mean I disrespect anyone here (in fact, I've seen some great wisdom here about relationships and a lot of mutual respect). I don't regard anyone here as more or less evolved because they will likely pursue different styles of relationship in future than I will; nor do I regard myself as more or less evolved because of how I would prefer my next relationship to be. We simply want different things out of life and relationships.
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