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  #1  
Old 10-08-2012, 06:39 PM
paraselene paraselene is offline
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Default Mono in poly relationship - should I try dating others?

Hi, everybody. This is my first time posting here, though I've been reading for several months. I'm glad to have found such a supportive community.

I'm a mid-40s woman, previously monogamous and content that way, now in a happy relationship with a poly man, R.

R told me on our first date that he was non-monogamous, and at first I was pretty hostile to the idea of sharing him with other women. But I surprised us both by asking him out on a second date. We've been together for six months now and consider our relationship to be "very, very primary" (his words). I'm still learning to defuse the fear and jealousy I feel when R is with his secondaries, but he's doing a good job of reassuring and supporting me, and things are gradually getting easier.

Now that I've seen polyamory close up, I have trouble picturing myself going back to monogamy. Poly makes sense to me in many ways -- not having to be everything to someone all the time, not struggling to keep one relationship fresh for the rest of your life, and so on. But while I have the intellectual understanding, I'm not yet feeling a gut-level drive to pursue multiple relationships myself. I seem to have one slot in my brain for "lover" and when that slot is filled, I barely notice other men.

My question is, should I try dating others and see how it goes? I'm very conscious that I shouldn't date to "even the score" with R, and I've been steadily expanding my circle of friends so I'm not lonely when he's out with someone else. However, much as I love and appreciate my friends, going out for pizza with the girls isn't as exciting as spending the night with a lover, and I definitely do feel a little left out and envious.

Also, I've never tried having two relationships at the same time, so I don't actually know if I'm capable of it, and it seems important for both me and R to find out if I'm always going to be a mono in a poly relationship, or if I can thrive as an actively polyamorous person.

Are there any monos here who've been in a similar situation, and if so, how did you approach it?
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2012, 10:59 PM
Stevenjaguar Stevenjaguar is offline
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I'd say don't force it. When the time comes that you meet someone you feel attracted to and want to have sex with, that's the time to exercise your option of having another relationship in your life. It's more a matter of meeting the person and having the freedom than anything else.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2012, 11:45 PM
SkylerSquirrel SkylerSquirrel is offline
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Yeah, I would say to go out and make friends of all genders. Then see if anything more develops.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:56 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I am confused by possible euphamistic language. Please clarify.

Are you meaning to say this:

Quote:
I do not want to take on a lover just to even the score with R since he has other secondary lovers. But I feel left out and envious when he's off with his other lovers and I am left with friends. I have not got another lover.

I've never tried having two lovers at the same time, so I don't actually know if I'm capable of it. (In what capacity? Mentally? Emotionally? Physically? Spiritually? Some combo? Something else?)

It seems important for both me and R to find out if I'm always going to be a mono in a poly relationship, or if I can thrive as an actively poly person.
WHY is it important? To who? What is wrong with being a thriving monoamorous person in a polyship with a polyamorous person? What are you needing to thrive?


(Do you even mean THAT mono when you abbreviate? Do you mean monoamorous? Monogamous? What about poly? Do you mean polyamorous? Polysexual? Polyfidelitous? Please write it all the way out.)


Are we talking about love, sex, or BOTH? I am so confused.

GG
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:09 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I don't recommend going out and getting a second partner just for the sake of it, anymore than I ever recommend single people go out and get a first partner just for the sake of being with someone.

But, if you meet someone and they seem compatible, then sure, see if it goes somewhere. But be aware that some people just aren't capable of loving two people at once. It doesn't mean you're any less of a person, or even any less able to be happy in a polyship. It just means that you'll have to satisfy your needs in a different way.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:19 AM
paraselene paraselene is offline
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Stevenjaguar and SkylerSquirrel: I hear you, but given that being in love with one person seems to make me blind to other potential lovers, I think I may need to go a little bit outside my comfort zone here, or else I could be waiting for years to find out if having multiple intimate/sexual relationships is a possibility for me. And by "outside my comfort zone," I mean something like creating a profile on OkCupid and intentionally starting to meet polyamorous guys, as opposed to just waiting to find someone by chance.

GalaGirl: Apologies for being unclear. I'm pretty new here. : ) You raised some excellent questions. To try to clarify a little, I'm not certain that I personally could thrive in the long term as a monogamous person with a polyamorous partner. In my mind, he would be enjoying all the benefits of polyamory while I have none of the benefits of monogamy and only some of the positives of polyamory, most of them related to his fulfillment and happiness, along with the negatives of polyamory, such time management issues. In my perception, this is inherently not an equitable arrangement, and it's hard for me to think how I could offset that imbalance.

SchrodingersCat: Thanks for the reassuring words. How to get my needs met in other ways, though, is a huge question mark for me. I suspect that taking up horseback riding or climbing Mount Everest is not going to do it - it's the intimacy my partner shares with others that makes our relationship feel lopsided to me.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:08 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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What needs are not going met that need offset? So far I'm only getting "not happy when he's off with other lovers because I don't have another lover for me." You say you are envious -- so you wish you had what he had. Another lover. I don't know if this would help you on jealousy...

http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/im...ed_10-6-10.pdf

What are pros/cons to monoamory (desire and ability to love one at a time) and polyamory (desire and ability to love several at one time) to you?

What are pros / cons to monogamy (closed and/or married to one partner) and polygamy (closed and/or married to several partners) to you?

I mean, if it ends up that you are monoamorous and give being in a polyship a try in the dating world and then discovered that it is not for you after all?

That's ok to feel. Perfectly valid. You are allowed to try something and decide you don't care for it.

I guess I'm just confused still. Like... if this doesn't work for you -- can't we end this polyship? And then you go date others then? Find the monoship you seek that will feed you better so you can thrive?

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-09-2012 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:28 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paraselene View Post
SchrodingersCat: Thanks for the reassuring words. How to get my needs met in other ways, though, is a huge question mark for me. I suspect that taking up horseback riding or climbing Mount Everest is not going to do it - it's the intimacy my partner shares with others that makes our relationship feel lopsided to me.
It doesn't just "feel" lopsided, it is lopsided. Only you can decide whether you're truly comfortable with that. Sure, from a logical point, polyamory might "make sense." But that doesn't make it right for everyone.

I personally feel that polyamory works best when each relationship would be capable of standing on its own two feet, with all other partners out of the picture. Each relationship should, as much as possible, meet all your needs, all by itself. It's not like Meal Planning, where you have a steak to meet your protein needs, steamed peas to meet your vegetable needs, and baked potatoes to meet your carbs needs. Every relationship should be like shepard's pie, with the meat, peas, and potatoes all in one dish. Now, some pies might have more meat and fewer peas, others might have more potatoes, and someone else might even through some carrots in the pie, which you don't really need but discover you really like. But none of the dishes should be completely void of an entire food group.

I also feel that even in monogamy, you shouldn't have to be everything to your partner all the time. Every person needs to be responsible for having their own needs met. It's unfair to put that burden on anyone else, even your spouse. The only exception is children, who need their parents and community as they learn to grow into self-sufficient, healthy, happy adults.

I'm not so sure that polyamory keeps your relationships fresh. If anything, it allows you to fall into the "their grass is greener" trap. When you're in two long term relationships, things can get just as old as when you're in one. Polyamory doesn't inherently mean you're always dating someone new, even though it's an option. What it does mean is that you'll have to double the amount of hard work, every time you add someone to your life. If it's not something you truly desire, than it's a lot of work for not a lot of gain.
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The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2012, 03:54 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
It doesn't just "feel" lopsided, it is lopsided. Only you can decide whether you're truly comfortable with that. Sure, from a logical point, polyamory might "make sense." But that doesn't make it right for everyone.
I agree with this. I also think, though, that there's some merit to the idea of "you don't know until you try". If you're curious about whether you'd be able to be poly yourself, then what's the harm in putting up a profile on OKCupid and seeing what happens? As long as you're honest about "I'm giving this a try but not sure how it'll go and how I'll manage everything" so potentials have the option of declining to participate in your experiment, it could help with the "not noticing people" aspect of getting out into the dating world. It's not like putting up a profile is any sort of commitment to going out with someone, so if you decide you don't want to after all, or you try it and it's not for you, then no harm, no foul.
Quote:
What it does mean is that you'll have to double the amount of hard work, every time you add someone to your life. If it's not something you truly desire, than it's a lot of work for not a lot of gain.
I would even say it quadruples the amount of work, rather than double. I have work to do in my relationship with MC, and I have work to do in my relationship with TGIB, and then there's EXTRA work since I'm also managing the balancing act between the two relationships. Rather like GG's polymath.
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2012, 04:19 AM
SkylerSquirrel SkylerSquirrel is offline
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Quote:
I hear you, but given that being in love with one person seems to make me blind to other potential lovers, I think I may need to go a little bit outside my comfort zone here, or else I could be waiting for years to find out if having multiple intimate/sexual relationships is a possibility for me. And by "outside my comfort zone," I mean something like creating a profile on OkCupid and intentionally starting to meet polyamorous guys, as opposed to just waiting to find someone by chance.
I agree with ThatGirlInGray's perspective on this, but I should clarify my response: Go out and make friends within the poly community if possible. That way you don't have the monostream expectations getting in your way, and the other poly's will be more likely to understand your situation.

(Was that the correct usage of "monostream," by the way?)
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