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  #21  
Old 10-14-2012, 05:43 AM
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Kommander Kommander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
Thanks for the many thoughtful responses to this thread.

I've notice that the vast majority of these responses came from people who are part of a primary-style couple. I'd also love to hear views from solo poly/open people -- that is, people who don't have (and who maybe aren't seeking or don't want) a primary-style relationship of their own.

If you're solo (or maybe just consider yourself "single") and are or have been involved in poly/open relationships as a solo/single person:
- How out are you about being poly/open? In what contexts?
- Why are you out (or not)?
- What issues have you encountered regarding how out your significant relationship partners are/have been -- especially if you've been involved with people who do have a primary partner?

Thanks!

- Aggie
I guess I'd qualify as single/solo for the time being. I ended a secondary-type relationship a few months ago that had been going on for a little over a year. Other than that there are two other women that, while we acknowledge that we love each other, the relationships have not yet become sexual, only borderline romantic at times, and it's not entirely clear if either relationship will become romantic or sexual in the future. At this time it seems to be more in the "friendship" category with both of them. Aside from that, even when I identified as mono, I don't think I've ever been in a primary-type relationship.

However, it is not necessarily that I do not desire a primary-type relationship. I don't have a preference for relationship style; it depends on the person and what feels right. Some people feel right as friends, some as secondaries, or primaries. Each relationship is different, and I go with what works.

This thread has a topic, doesn't it? It was... um... openness. How open am I? Well, this is my left hand:



So, I'm open to those who recognize that symbol, or who ask me about it, or who I tell because I want them to know. So, fairly open. I didn't send out a press release or anything, but I don't make any effort to hide it.

Why am I out? I don't see a reason not to be. I do not have any children, so custody battles aren't a concern. As far as employment goes, my preferred relationship style and having a tattoo on my hand is not relevant to any job. If someone chooses to not hire or fire me over something so trivial, they are obviously terrible at their job and I'd rather not work for someone so incompetent.

The only issue I've had with partners being less open that I am is that it occasionally it feels like they're being dishonest, and I occasionally have trouble determining whether not I can show affection in various public and social settings. Also one time I had a metamour who seemed to think that his position as primary meant that he was entitled to dictate the terms of my relationship with our girlfriend, and that I owed him something for "letting me screw his girlfriend." It wasn't long before that ended poorly for him.

In general, if someone is less open than I am and it's for a legitimate reason, like fear of consequences or just not being comfortable about it, I'm fine with it. I'm not okay with it if it's for reasons involving overt dishonesty or deception.
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  #22  
Old 10-14-2012, 06:01 PM
AggieSez AggieSez is offline
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Thanks, Cindie

From my own experience, and that of many poly people (solo & not) whom I've asked about "outness" lately, it seems that usually this topic doesn't get discussed clearly and specifically early in a relationship.

Discrepancies tend to emerge only after the relationship is well established and there's substantial emotional investment. And what seems to be the most common way that outness discrepancies become apparent iS when a nonprimary partner inadvertently transgresses an outness-related boundary of the primary couple, which the primary couple never disclosed and often is unwilling to negotiate about.

Another common situation is when the nonprimary partner unexpectedly finds themself excluded, avoided, or demoted to "friend" status without warning or negotiation at an event or in a social setting.

There are various reasons for why people usually don't discuss outness clearly and early in poly/open relationships:

- early in any kind of relationship (even most mono ones) it's usually seen as pushy or moving too fast to make public mention of a relationship (such as calling someone your "girlfriend") within the first few months. During initial NRE it's hard to tell how serious a relationship might be in the long term. So for people with relationship experience, outness usually isn't much of an issue early on.

- People often like to imagine they're more open or braver than they actually are.

- Poly people often initially meet, fall in love & socialize within the poly community. When that's your main social context for a new relationship, it isn't always apparent that, say, a longtime poly primary couple may be considerably or entirely closeted in other social circles.

- Often people feel that that it's unromantic to clarify outness boundaries early on, that this is an NRE-killer because of clarifies limits rather than hopefully embraces possibility.

- Often primary poly couples assume that the norm is that, outside the poly community, they get the prerogative to maintain the appearance (and privilege) of mono couplehood -- so nonprimary partners "should "expect & be willing to roll with that.

...Of course, YMMV. If you've seen differently in your poly/open circles, if the poly people you know generally think very clearly about outness and discuss/negotiate it frankly and --especially -- EARLY in new relationships, I'd find that very encouraging. From what I've seen and heard about, that's usually not how it plays out in the real world, unfortunately.
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  #23  
Old 10-14-2012, 07:45 PM
smiler smiler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
Thanks for the many thoughtful responses to this thread.

If you're solo (or maybe just consider yourself "single") and are or have been involved in poly/open relationships as a solo/single person:
- How out are you about being poly/open? In what contexts?
- Why are you out (or not)?
- What issues have you encountered regarding how out your significant relationship partners are/have been -- especially if you've been involved with people who do have a primary partner?

Thanks!

- Aggie
Disclaimer: I am new to all of this, but am willing to share my experience so far.

- I am out to some of my close friends and a couple of colleagues who are close friends. I've also told my sisters, but not my parents or any ther family members. That's unlikely to change.
- No issues so far with my boyfriend (who has a primary partner). I imagine as time goes on, it will become more difficult to not be part of all of his life, but I guess we'll figure that out as we go.

Smiler
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  #24  
Old 10-14-2012, 07:53 PM
AggieSez AggieSez is offline
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Hi @smiler

Given what you excerpted from my post, do you consider yourself single/solo? Just wondering.
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  #25  
Old 10-14-2012, 08:59 PM
AggieSez AggieSez is offline
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Default I blogged about this thread

Many thanks to everyone who's contributed to this excellent discussion so far. I appreciate the diversity of view on, and approaches to, outness in poly relationships.

I just published on SoloPoly.net a followup to my original post on the outness theme:

Why it can be hard to discuss how out you are (or want to be) early in poly/open relationships

This was sparked by Cindie's excellent and obvious question, which boils down to (paraphrasing): "Why wouldn't poly people just talk about this all clearly up front?"

I responded to that in this thread, but then decided to copy my remarks to my blog -- and also to link to this discussion thread, so others can see a range of views on this topic. (Note: I did not quote from anyone else's posts to this thread.)

Thanks for the great, and enlightening, discussion! I look forward to more.
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  #26  
Old 10-14-2012, 10:37 PM
SkylerSquirrel SkylerSquirrel is offline
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This discussion is very educational. I will have to remember to clarify "outness" boundaries early on once I start actually dating people.
__________________
Independent polyperson seeking friendships, in which physical intimacy may or may not develop.

I do not wish to attach to any particular person. My love knows no limits.
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  #27  
Old 10-15-2012, 12:16 AM
smiler smiler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
Hi @smiler

Given what you excerpted from my post, do you consider yourself single/solo? Just wondering.
I don't know what the name for it is, but I consider myself to have a non-exclusive boyfriend.
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  #28  
Old 10-15-2012, 01:28 AM
AggieSez AggieSez is offline
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Thanks. I should have clarified: do you have a primary (spouse-type or life partner) relationship of your own?
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  #29  
Old 10-15-2012, 02:02 AM
smiler smiler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
Thanks. I should have clarified: do you have a primary (spouse-type or life partner) relationship of your own?
Ah, sorry. I missed the question. Nope, it's just me. And my new p/t boyfriend. But I don't feel like I'm "single" because I am in a relationship, and "solo" sounds isolated, which I'm not... All semantics.
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  #30  
Old 10-15-2012, 03:12 AM
AggieSez AggieSez is offline
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Yep, Smiler. I thought about that very issue hard before naming my blog SoloPoly.net. The trouble is, all the terms our language has to describe people who are unpartnered have vague-to-outright negative connotations or are just awkward. So I decided, at least for my own purposes, to reclaim "solo" and embrace it as a positive ace to start from. Not perfect, but better than most alternatives.

Also it applies more readily to folks who are in relationships -- just not primary-style (or primary-track) ones.
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