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  #41  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:06 PM
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The context:

A (a man) and B (a woman) have been “together” for a while now, maybe a year or so. They are not married to each other, neither do they live together. Both have full, satisfying, lives apart from the relationship with each other. Both have sufficient affection, sex, companionship elsewhere so that the relationship is not based on desperate needs.

Financially, A and B have set up a common pot, into which they contribute equally. One is bound to be better off financially than the other, but this doesn’t matter, for both take this financial equality in the relationship very seriously. Too bad if she can afford very expensive restaurants and he cannot – as in everything, they settle, cheerfully, for what both can afford.

For the same reason, A and B do not buy expensive gifts for each other (unless they are both so rich that this hardly matters).

--------------------------------

A calls B (although there is no reason why B can’t call A). He says: “I have most of the day free tomorrow, until 6. Shall we go for a walk in the Park?” He doesn’t have to explain why he is not free after 6 – B knows that he is not playing games.

They meet at the entrance to the Park at 10. It is a wilderness park (say, Stanley Park right here in Vancouver), you may get wet, dirty or both. A and B are both dressed suitable for this walk, and not for a fashion show or a nightclub.

They walk. Oh, I am sure they hug and kiss each other, and say nice things, but a walk in the wilderness involves looking at the wilderness, for it is interesting to watch. He knows about trees, and she knows about the wildlife – so they teach each other about things the other person may not know. Oh, they will also talk about other things, like astronomy, languages, medieval art or prehistory. One will know more than the other, but the other will listen and learn, for all knowledge of this kind is exciting. Neither will feel inferior because (s)he doesn’t know something, but (and this is important) neither will mock the other for being such a nerd.

What they don’t talk about much is the relationship. The terms have been ironed out months ago, there is not much anyone can say. It is assumed that neither will walk out for trivial reasons, or because they have found a hotter lover. Assumptions can turn out to be wrong, but looking for constant reassurance is futile and counterproductive. Anyone can learn to parrot reassuring words while already plotting the next move. You either trust the person you are with or you don’t – and if you don’t, get out, the sooner the better.

Anyway, after a 2-3 hour walk, it’s time for lunch. Somewhere pleasant, in line with the couple’s budget. They will eat something they like, not something that will impress the partner. If one is a vegetarian, he (or she) will of course not eat meat, but will not utter a snide remark about the steak the other one is having. Neither will there be a snobs’ competition for selecting the wine (if wine is drunk). Not everyone cares about such things.

After lunch the couple will repair to the most convenient secluded location – someone’s apartment or house, a hotel room if there is no better solution, and make love. It was taken for granted from the very beginning that they will do this – if for some reason she can’t, she either doesn’t accept the invitation in the first place, or explain – very sweetly – why she can’t. No man likes to be kept on tenderhooks about such things, or feel that he has to go through hoops every time.

The lovemaking can be gentle or rough, simple or complicated, whatever works for A and B. What it is not is a mutual ticking box. I did this for you, you do this for me. How many times did you come? Neither A nor B are circus performers, neither do they wish to be.

Then it’s time for cuddling, talking, maybe some common activity, or even some independent activity in each others’ presence. A may wish to catch up on his e-mails, B may wish to do some writing.

6 o’clock approaches. They set a date for the next meeting, or agree to contact each other soon. And they do – one or the other, but within 3-4 days at most. It is not nice to leave people hanging for longer than that.

6 o’clock. The interlude is over. They kiss, they hug. Both go back to their other lives. Maybe to more than one (unlikely).

There is no discussion at any time of domestic matters, shopping, taking out the garbage, what school the kids go (or should go) to. These are to be discussed with the people A and B live with, in their other lives. An exception of course is if A or B happen to be experts at solving a problem the other one is having. If B is a vet, and A’s cat is sick, of course it’s reasonable for him to ask for her advice.

Oh yes – both A and B’s cell phones were on all this time, but no-one has called. Both A and B’s other partners know that they should only call in an emergency.

-------------------------

A post-script: the above is fiction, more fantasy than anything else. I have no idea whether anything this harmonious is even remotely possible.

However, I have always been interested in thought experiments. I recently found something I wrote, when still quite young and a virgin, about how I imagined a love affair to be actually like. It was quite a bit more explicit than what I wrote above. It also came remarkably close to reality, once I started to experience it. Aside from the dream aspects, of course.
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  #42  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:25 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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That sounds like a perfectly normal poly date. I don't get why you think it's not realistic?

The only thing I would add is that in a real poly relationship, the two of them would probably ask about each others' other partners. At the very least in the sense of "What new with X? How's her job going?" Other partners are not usually an off-limits subject for discussion.

Having read this thread, I think you just need to get out there and go on some dates. I think you are really overthinking things.

After all, even if you were widowed and back in the dating game after a 30-year marriage, dating would still be different than it was for you 30 years ago. You would not be able to offer the same lifetime-partnership-and-kids even if you were single right now--just because of your age. I assume you are in your 50s or 60s?

So women in your age range, regardless of poly-ness, are not going to be looking for the same thing they were looking for 30 years ago. They will be at a different point in their lives, as are you.
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  #43  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
That sounds like a perfectly normal poly date. I don't get why you think it's not realistic?

The only thing I would add is that in a real poly relationship, the two of them would probably ask about each others' other partners. At the very least in the sense of "What new with X? How's her job going?" Other partners are not usually an off-limits subject for discussion.

Having read this thread, I think you just need to get out there and go on some dates. I think you are really overthinking things.

After all, even if you were widowed and back in the dating game after a 30-year marriage, dating would still be different than it was for you 30 years ago. You would not be able to offer the same lifetime-partnership-and-kids even if you were single right now--just because of your age. I assume you are in your 50s or 60s?

So women in your age range, regardless of poly-ness, are not going to be looking for the same thing they were looking for 30 years ago. They will be at a different point in their lives, as are you.
Thanks Meera.

I am not sure about some of the gift-giving limitations, women so love to show off baubles offered by admirers. But I know this, and wouldn't want to disappoint such a lovely partner.

As to your comment about respective partners, point well taken. But, should such a fantasy come even remotely true, I would long have introduced the woman to my wife, and there is a good chance they would have become good friends. Not in a bi way, that's not part of the package. As for me getting to know the lady's SOs, even I fail at being able to imagine how I would react to the hypothetical boyfriend/husband of a hypothetical girlfriend.

And I am getting out there in the real world, and even being on this Board I am getting out there. Anyone from the Lower Mainland reading this? Oh, I will consider the US Pacific NW, I have always wanted to visit Powell's.

Or Hungarians from anywhere. We can always have a rendez-vous in front of the old (now non-existent) National Theatre in Budapest (next time I go there), where the no.6 tram stops [a Hungarian in-joke].

Does it have to be my age-range though? I so had my heart set on a mature 30-year old!
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  #44  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:38 PM
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I don't see anything unusual in the arrangement you describe. Why do you think women wouldn't go for it? I am completely puzzled. It sounds like a lovely date.

As for your comment that women want to show off gifts from their "admirers," do you seriously think all women expect such things? I don't. Sure, if someone gave me a nice gift, I'd be happy, but getting gifts or being treated to dinner is not how I determine whether I am being treated well by someone. I'm in my early 50s and discovered that guys today generally don't treat women to drinks or dinner anymore. Since becoming separated I don't date if I can't afford to pay myself, because the norm seems to be that we "go Dutch." Recently, I went on a date and the guy paid for dinner - it was a complete shock to me, as I did not expect it and no one has done that in a long time.

I'd rather someone listen to me when I talk, be willing to be affectionate, connect with me on a heart level, and be a considerate lover. I can buy my own baubles.
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Last edited by nycindie; 12-06-2012 at 11:44 PM.
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  #45  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I don't see anything unusual in the arrangement you describe. Why do you think women wouldn't go for it? I am completely puzzled. It sounds like a lovely date.

As for your comment that women want to show off gifts from their "admirers," do you seriously think all women expect such things? I don't. Sure, if someone gave me a nice gift, I'd be happy, but getting gifts or being treated to dinner is not how I determine whether I am being treated well by someone. I'm in my early 50s and discovered that guys today generally don't treat women to drinks or dinner anymore. Since becoming separated I don't date if I can't afford to pay myself, because the norm seems to be that we "go Dutch." Recently, I went on a date and the guy paid for dinner - it was a complete shock to me, as I did not expect it and no one has done that in a long time.

I'd rather someone listen to me when I talk, be willing to be affectionate, connect with me on a heart level, and be a considerate lover. I can buy my own baubles.
No, I don't think all women expect such things, although (I think) most women like receiving such gifts - and why not, to the right person I don't mind giving gifts that give them pleasure, as long as I don't bankrupt myself doing so. But this is a difference, you must admit - men on the whole do neither look for nor take that much pleasure from receiving gifts. You would have to get to know me extremely well to know the only gift that would really give me a lot of pleasure, and I would only accept it if I knew you could afford it easily. It's a set of scholarly publications that I just don't have the heart buying, since we live (like most families) on a budget, and these books are just too damn expensive.

As for going Dutch, today's mores have gone a bit too far. I am old-fashioned enough to at least offer to pay for a first meal, and would continue to offer afterwards, although I would draw the consequences if someone never offered to pay.

In fact, I did go out with a girl a few times this year. They were not quite dates, in the sense that the girl told me she was not ready for going poly, and in any case considered me to be too old for her taste. If you like, these were dates from my point of view but not from hers. But the poor girl was in such difficult financial circumstances that I didn't have the heart not to insist on paying for her lunches. Not because I expected anything, but simply out of sheer humanity. At some point I even thought I might be able to change her mind (or heart) about me - then discovered that I was simply not prepared to take on such a responsibility. A case of being more afraid of succeeding than of failing, I guess.
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  #46  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyLinguist View Post
No, I don't think all women expect such things, although (I think) most women like receiving such gifts - and why not, to the right person I don't mind giving gifts that give them pleasure, as long as I don't bankrupt myself doing so. But this is a difference, you must admit - men on the whole do neither look for nor take that much pleasure from receiving gifts.
No I must NOT admit this. I know plenty of guys, my ex included, who love getting gifts -- that drove me crazy, actually, because he thought that I would like receiving gifts as much as he did, and he was always puzzled as to why I was never much impressed or thrilled or sentimental about such things, and he actually was insulted when I made him a card instead of buying one once. I always look for practicality, and deeds rather than symbols, so I would rather not receive show-offy tokens that are supposed to mean something. He got mad when I gave my wedding dress to a thrift shop, too.

Plenty of women prefer other expressions of affection. You should read the book "The Five Love Languages." There are more ways to express love, affection, and caring than by giving gifts. Everyone has their preferences, but it isn't gender-based.
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Last edited by nycindie; 12-07-2012 at 12:27 AM.
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  #47  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
No I must NOT admit this. I know plenty of guys, my ex included, who love getting gifts -- that drove me crazy, actually, because he thought that I would like receiving gifts as much as he did, and he was always puzzled as to why I was never much impressed or thrilled or sentimental about such things, and he actually was insulted when I made him a card instead of buying one once. I always look for practicality, and deeds rather than symbols, so I would rather not receive show-offy tokens that are supposed to mean something. He got mad when I gave my wedding dress to a thrift shop, too.

Plenty of women prefer other expressions of affection. You should read the book "The Five Love Languages." There are more ways to express love, affection, and caring than by giving gifts. Everyone has their preferences, but it isn't gender-based.
OK, you win. Personally, I don't give a hoot about gifts, anniversaries and the like. I have to force myself to think of them for others, and I note the pleasure a gift can give them.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:41 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
No I must NOT admit this. I know plenty of guys, my ex included, who love getting gifts -- that drove me crazy, actually, because he thought that I would like receiving gifts as much as he did, and he was always puzzled as to why I was never much impressed or thrilled or sentimental about such things, and he actually was insulted when I made him a card instead of buying one once. I always look for practicality, and deeds rather than symbols, so I would rather not receive show-offy tokens that are supposed to mean something. He got mad when I gave my wedding dress to a thrift shop, too.

Plenty of women prefer other expressions of affection. You should read the book "The Five Love Languages." There are more ways to express love, affection, and caring than by giving gifts. Everyone has their preferences, but it isn't gender-based.
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OK, you win. Personally, I don't give a hoot about gifts, anniversaries and the like. I have to force myself to think of them for others, and I note the pleasure a gift can give them.

She isn't trying to "win", LOL.

This has to do with all that "5 Love Languages" mumbo-jumbo. And I don't use "mumbo-jumbo" disrespectfully this time. I really do think there is something to that system of how different people respond to different forms of showing affection. To the person giving, it may not even SEEM like it's showing affection. Giving gifts is one of the 5 Love Languages. Quality Time is another, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, and Physical Touch. Anyway, I am receptive to Acts of Service when it comes to Spouse and Words of Affirmation when it comes to Other Partner. I still haven't figured out what my partners' preferred languages are - probably the same things, although I am more expressive than either of the two of them and I tend to do a little of all 5.

But what I'm saying is: It's definitely not a man/woman thing.
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  #49  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:12 AM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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What others have said. It seems like your biggest issue here is that you think "women this" and "men that."

That's probably going to be your biggest obstacle for poly dating: your own attitude about "all women want this" and "all men want that."
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  #50  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:58 AM
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OK guys, so I have definitely learned something thanks to you. Lots of women want what I thought it was mostly men who wanted it, and vice versa. Thank you.

I don't think this will make much difference to my dating approach, though. I approach pretty much everyone in the same manner. Hello, my name is this, what's your name, what do you do, where are you from (especially if they have an accent). If it's a poly occasion, I may then bring in some comment on polyness, or ask what their experience (if any) is.

If it's a woman, and she has some very attractive feature, I may praise it, although according to Neil Strauss you should never do this. Strange, since many women will actually respond with a smile and a thank you. I now know that this is not a female-only feature, but then I wouldn't normally praise a man's outfit or beard. Maybe I should.

It's what comes after that is the hardest, because it is hard to maintain a conversation unless the other person responds in some significant way. It's a bit strange that if I ask someone, say, why you decided to study nursing, why they don't follow up and ask me, say, why I decided to settle in Vancouver. If and when I meet the right person, this won't be a problem, because she will indeed follow up with some questions, figuring that I didn't start a conversation because I had nothing else in life to do.

As for the five ways of giving love, I'll get to that discussion some other time. I do consider such things mumbo-jumbo - the inclusion of "quality time" is a red flag for me. I encountered it when I was raising my kinds, and it made me angry. All time spent with your kids is quality time. If I study Japanese while they play on Nintendo it is quality time - they know their father is trying to maintain his intelligence rather than let it run down, and this will make them think (eventually). It is hard to imagine what time I spend in the company of my wife would not be quality time. When I sleep, maybe? Or take a shower?

Anyway, don't let me continue on this, I just get angry and then get your backs up! I am not North American by birth, and managed to escape psycho-babble in my upbringing.
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