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  #61  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
I have to agree that I find some of the assumptions in this thread very...unrealistic?

Women like shiny baubles? I'm sorry if those weren't the exact words, but I believe baubles was in there. It leaves me feeling like a spoiled Victorian child...or perhaps a cat...whose mind is completely occupied with a shiny toy. It feels superficial, shallow, almost as if I, as a woman, just need a pretty toy to distract me and keep me out of trouble and uncomplaining until the great Man is ready to have sex with me again.
Well, thank you at least for taking me seriously, and not calling me names.

On "baubles", I get the impression that it's the word you object to. I am sorry, let me call it "jewelry". Is that better? Is it against PC thought to point out that, by and large, women like and wear jewelry more than men do? Come on, I live in Vancouver, I see a lot of men wearing jewelry - but they are not the majority. If married, they (mostly) wear a wedding ring, I do too, but that's all. With women, yes they mostly wear jewelry.

OK, if you want to discredit me, go out, take an unbiased survey of the human world out there, going past trendy metropolitan centres like downtown San Francisco or Manhattan, and prove it to me that, at least among younger people, jewelry is as common (or who knows, more common) among men as women. Within the right probability margins, of course.

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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
It just might be that I, despite being a mere woman, would like heavy tomes full of great knowledge just as you would; that I might pass up a bunch of sparkly diamonds for the chance to study multiple languages and philosophy; perhaps I'd be more thrilled to receive a harpsichord and a pile of Bach manuscripts and develop a real talent with my hands, rather than use them to clap at a pretty Swarovski shooting rainbows in the sunlight.
Come on, don't give me that. One of my best friends is a woman whom I have known for longer than I've known my wife. In my humble opinion she is smarter than I am. She is knowledgeable, competent and successful at anything she puts her mind to. I can discuss virtually anything with her, and I do. As an aside, she is as dismissive of what both of us call "psychobabble" as I am. As of the unfortunate tendency to ask "how you feel about something", rather than "what you think".

Nevertheless, once, when on a business trip, I bought a nice little pendant for her. Not flashy, not very expensive, but not a $10 piece of junk either. She accepted it, she smiled, she thanked me, and she made a point of wearing it whenever I saw her next.

Now, this is an intelligent woman who knows me well. She knew that I would never, in a million years, buy a gift like that for a man. (In fact, I don't normally buy gifts for men, except my sons and my (now dead) father.) She knew that there is only one conceivable cultural context for what I did: a gift by a man to a woman whose company he appreciates and whose friendship he values. I also find her attractive, although not so much that I would forsake other attractions for her.

So, if she understands all that, and does not consider me a MCP (or worse), how come it's so difficult to explain this to others? Is it really because I called it a "bauble"?

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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Any time is quality time? No, not at all. That point has been well-illustrated by others, though. I'll leave my own examples aside except to say there is a huge difference to my kids between me taking the time to watch a movie with them, read a book with them, say family prayers with them, play a game of chess with them, go on a walk or bike ride with them...and me buried in my computer...wanting them to leave me alone. I think I repeated with them a lot.
Ok, I won't get into a deep argument here. For all I know, our basic approach to child raising may be quite similar.

But if people object to some of the words I use (and then misrepresent what I mean), I too react badly to some words. I don't like to be preached at, a trait I share with my wife. We used to get communications from the school my kids went to preaching "quality time". Who were these people preaching, what special knowledge do they have? Half the kids in school come from broken homes - hey, half the teachers (maybe the ones composing the well-meaning message) had left their spouses or been left by them. Who are they to tell me how to spend my time with my kids?

Your example I don't think has ever happened in my family. It doesn't matter what I am engrossed in, and I can be pretty engrossed with things, my children always knew that they could come to me if they needed help or company. The problem was more the case of tearing them away from the Nintendo. Which we did, but not overmuch. I too was a child once, and would have spent a lot of time on computer games, had they existed.

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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Feelings being involved in you sampling different restaurants--being somehow akin to a person...hm. True that no analogy is perfect, but I think that is still far off base. Even to do so, you had to bring in a person. And a chef will never have a relationship with the diners at the restaurant where he cooks anything like as personal and intimate, anything like as important to his life, as the relationship between two people.
Fair enough, but I can't think of a better analogy.

I don't really have to, because my wife understands me, and that is what matters. This is how she puts it: "I married an interesting, intelligent and adventurous man. It is perfectly natural that he would like to explore the joys of sexual relationships with more than one person."

That the feelings of any person I get involved with should be taken into consideration should go without saying. But I always try to respect other peoples' feelings, probably too much in fact.

I am not sure what more I can do than what I do now in order to protect this (so far imaginary) person's feelings. I don't hide the fact that I am married, and not unhappily either. I don't hide the fact that I am very attached to my children. I don't hide the fact that spending birthdays, Christmas and New Year with my nuclear family are absolutes. I can be affectionate, tender and understanding, but it's not in my nature to spend hours cuddling up with someone, doing nothing. I am utterly without religious or spiritual feelings. I am resentful of anyone trying to change me - I am what I am. I am extremely open about all this - so, if someone still likes my company and wants to enter a relationship, what more would they expect that I can reasonably give?

If it's love (i.e. something significantly more than friendship and affection), this is not something I can give just like that. It develops, and is outside conscious control. It might happen, but it might not happen. In any case, I am extremely careful about using words of such emotional impact. I would never tell someone "I love you" unless I meant it. And to say "I may love you one day" sounds to me like leading the other person on.

And if I don't find a suitable poly companion, and it's because of the various factors making up my personality, so be it.

Last edited by PolyLinguist; 12-07-2012 at 08:54 PM.
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  #62  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
I've hightlighted the bits of the postings I wanted to discuss. First, you seem to have an odd, from my perspective, reluctance to discuss relationship type issues with women (or perhaps anyone). Of course you can talk about it! Why not? A friendship is a relationship. And friendships come with expectations.
I don't quite agree. In my experience, friendships are easy-going relationships whose expectations need no discussion. If I live in the same city as a friend, we get in touch with each other once or twice a month, we get together for coffee or a meal, we go for a walk, we talk. If I am in trouble and can't solve it easily otherwise, I'll go to friend for help, and (s)he will give it if possible - that's what friends do. Of course this is reciprocal. This kind of thing doesn't happen very often though - I am reasonably competent and so are my friends.

Now, if a female friend sleeps with me, on the spur of the moment, what exactly is there to talk about? Do I want to redefine the friendship? Probably not - if I was in love with her, I would have told her already. If I wanted her as a girlfriend, love or no love, I would have said so too. If she started to have feelings for me, and was too proud or shy to say so (unlikely in this particular case), why would it be good if I explained that sex is all very well, but I do not want to be in a position where I have to be in any way accountable to her? None of this would improve our friendship, and it could easily damage it. People do not like to be said "no" to.

In all probability it was a case of instant lust, and why not? All a man can say, hey this was great, let's do it again some time. Then smile at being thrown out the door because the other party doesn't want you to be there at breakfast time.

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Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
I respect and understand your desire not to infringe on boundaries, and your wish not to be creepy. But the way to non-creepy WHILE also possibly leading to lovely sexual interactions with friends is to talk about it with said friends. I do not get why people are so reluctant to talk. I do, my friends do. Yes, it is hard and awkward and weird. But it is necessary. You might have missed out on some opportunities because of not talking about the possible attraction.
Well, this may come up in the poly world, thanks for the advice.


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Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
Read the Five Love Languages book. Take the test. See which ones you score highest in. See if your spouse and maybe your children will take the test and see what love languages they use. If they won't, do the experiment by yourself. (There are several free online tests for the Five Love Languages. Just google the book title. The book is readily available in most library systems or via Amazon or local bookstore.) Suspend your disapproval and distrust of such psycho-babble while reading and testing.

Now, behave like you have bought into the Five Love Languages analysis. Notice when and how you most feel loved and when and how you show love. Notice when how they react to when you show love to your spouse or children. Do they notice you were showing them love? Do they thank you? Do they respond similarly? Do they respond more positively if you show love in one way versus another (i.e. spending time with them vs. gifts vs. doing something for them)? See if applying the five love languages provides any insights into how you send out and receive love back from others. See if applying it provides insight into how your loved ones perceive getting love and how they show others love.

Now you may not get much out of the concept. But I challenge you to give it a sincere try.

I have found it to be an incredibly useful set of concepts. Using it has provided me with useful explanations of other's, and my own, behavior.
This I will do, thanks for the suggestion. I am a sucker for all kinds of questionnaires and surveys. I'll post my results.
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  #63  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:56 AM
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To my mind, most (not all, but most) people date with the intention of finding a life partner. A poly man who is upfront about loving his wife takes away that promise and hope.
[...]
Maybe they don't want a life partner for various reasons.
Do you mean an exclusive life partner?
Different people want different things of course, and mono or poly, there are people who don't want life partners, or want some of their partners not to be life partners. No matter what that means to you (and it could mean that it's intended to be short term, and not for your whole life. Or it could mean you don't live together. Or it could mean something else altogether, I'm not sure exactly what YOU mean when you use the phrase).

But for me, I have a life partner right now (serious relationship, we live together and I hope to spend my life with him) and when I meet someone else and we hit it off, I definitely want him to be a life partner as well. At least for the "serious relationship that has no end in sight" aspect, living together might be harder depending on the circumstances (how many other partners does he have? How many other partners do my other partners have? Can we all live together or not?) but we can live close-by and/or have changing living arrangement (I live with one husband some of the time, with another one some of the time, etc, still see all of them for dates and hanging out).

I don't think polyamory necessarily means something less committed or more casual than the "classic" monogamy we're shown on TV as an ideal. Not do I think monogamy has to be that, either. Can be more casual. So can poly. Can last a lifetime with less commitment, can be just as committed but for less long. People can live together or not. They can have children or not. I've known people who were married and lived apart, or people who had children and lived apart, and all of them were fine because that's what worked for them.

So, I don't deny the idea that some women don't want a life partner (or don't want an extra life partner, if they have one already) but that doesn't seem to be a requirement to be polyamorous. I'm polyamorous because I want more than one life partner. Since I'm not into casual sex, if I didn't want more than one life partner, I wouldn't want more than one partner.
Sure I don,t expect relationships to ever start that way, moving in on the first date and calling ourselves husband and wife, relationships evolves and it takes years to establish that kind of connection, but I would be clear that it's what I want.
If the relationship evolves differently (I believe in letting them evolve organically), I'd have to see if I'm fine with it or not. Maybe it would end up working for me, which I didn't expect. I can't know. But I'm definitely not going into it with the goal of something less "serious".

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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
And here's one of the problems with poly: how far can you go in making one person happy when ultimately what gives one peace is upsetting to the other? Sooner or later, in trying to juggle two relationships, there will be such conflicts. How will you resolve such conflicts if you have a girlfriend you've fallen in love with and value, and what she needs directly conflicts with your wife's wants or needs?
In my opinion, that's not the problem with poly, that's the problem with being human.
People do point out often that you might end up with conflicting commitments if you have two partners. Sure, you might. You also might if you have one, or even none.
You can have your mom require you to give her a ride to the doctor, and your soon having a big game at the same time.
You can have to work late at work one night and risk being fired, but it's your anniversary, or to keep partners out of it, your best friend's birthday party. Or the one time that friend you haven't seen in ages is in town.
You might be offered a job in a different country but your roommate couldn't afford the rent or their own. Or you'd need to leave pets behind because the job provides a pet-free housing only.

We have conflicts between commitments ALL THE TIME. Work, friends, family and partners are the main ones. Sometimes it's a conflict within the same category (you have two kids and they both have something important on the same day; you have two different job offers and they're both tempting, but
whichever you choose the other will be closed to you in the future; you promised to do something with a friend you see all the time but all of a sudden, a friend you never see is available, and you don't know when that might happen next).

With the exception of situations involving children (depending on how old they are), the solution is always the same: talk about it.
Your friend that you see all the time will understand if you have to cancel for the other friend. They might be disappointed, but they'll understand. You can figure out something with your roommate before you move out, or ask your job if different housing arrangements can be made. You can drop off your mom to the doctor, and then go see the end of the game, and arrange for someone else to drive her back.

These are all random examples and random solutions. Different people will make different choices. But when it's between adults, you can talk it through. Your metamours aren't your enemies, dead set on doing anything to make your life horrible. They're people who love your partner as much as you do, and that gives you something in common. In the end, everyone in the relationship has the same goal: finding a solution to make the relationship work in such a way that people don't feel used, taken for granted, taken advantage of or mistreated. Since everyone has the same goal, it only makes sense for everyone to work together.

I don't get the assumption that my partner's other partners will dislike me or not try to help me get along with him, or not try to adapt to make things easier for me. I definitely do my best to make it easier for them and it seems like common sense to me. They're happy, he's happy, I'm happy.

Now, I get that some people have bad experiences, and I would direct them to Franklin Veaux's articles, notably the one about fixing your refrigerator. I think he has a lot of great advice and I pretty much share his views on polyamory 100%.

I would also direct people to his poster of relationship principles

I don't think you should ever make anyone feel like they're second best, be them your partner or your metamour. They'll always be the best at being them, and that's something nobody else can do. People aren't interchangeable and cannot be rated on a fixed scale.
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  #64  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:52 AM
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Polylinguist,

I hope I will never call names. Yes, I think it is the word baubles that rubs me so wrong and calls so many images to mind. I agree with you that women are more likely than men to like jewelry.

And interestingly enough, especially when you clarify some of your thoughts on quality time, we may well be on the same page on that. I, too, have some objections to how the phrase quality time has been used--often in the context of saying parents don't need to spend quantity of time with kids as long as they spend quality time. Around here, they get both. A parent with them most of the time, and some of that time is the kids off playing with their Legos or a card game or doing homework or visiting with friends, and me doing my think. But I'm HERE. They know they can come to me. But I think it's also important to set aside time to be together.

Tonberry, yes, I believe most people dating are looking for an exclusive life partner--at least eventually. And obviously not everyone is looking for that, but I believe most are. And although I personally have no interest in any life partner at this stage of my life, if I wanted that, I wouldn't look for it in a married man.

I agree there are always conflicts, but I see the husband/wife relationship as something above and beyond other relationships, where they put one another first, obviously not in every detail, as in the instances you mentioned, but in the big things. I see the wants, interests, and needs of two partners potentially competing in a very different way, with greater impact, with deeper meaning, than do the wants and needs of two children or a child and a parent.

I've seen such situations on this board, where two partners want two mutually exclusive things from the hinge, and the hinge must choose, knowing that one person will feel slighted, or that their feelings were put second, or that their needs went unmet, in order to satisfy the other person.

I'm currently watching such a situation play out in real life, and believe because the two opposing desires are mutually exclusive, eventually one relationship or the other will give, out of necessity, because he simply cannot meet both of those competing needs. Deciding between driving your son to sports or your mother to a doctor's appointment is competing needs, but not on the same level as those between husband and wife, the deeper ones I'm talking about.

I have no doubt there are hinges and Vs where these things rarely come up. But I also think it happens often enough that it certainly is worth mentioning and considering on the road to polyamory.
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  #65  
Old 12-08-2012, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by PolyLinguist View Post
Now, if a female friend sleeps with me, on the spur of the moment, what exactly is there to talk about? Do I want to redefine the friendship? Probably not - if I was in love with her, I would have told her already. If I wanted her as a girlfriend, love or no love, I would have said so too. If she started to have feelings for me, and was too proud or shy to say so (unlikely in this particular case), why would it be good if I explained that sex is all very well, but I do not want to be in a position where I have to be in any way accountable to her? None of this would improve our friendship, and it could easily damage it. People do not like to be said "no" to.
This is, again, all pre-conceived notions you have about what "most" people, and especially women, want.

It is useful to talk, it is healthy. Even if you are in a situation where you must tell someone they won't get what they want, it is always better to be honest and let them know! Earlier this week I was on a first date with someone I'd met through an online dating website and at the end of the evening, he said, "I had a great time, but I didn't feel any chemistry, so I don't think I want to pursue this." I was undecided about my feelings for him, but I thanked him for being honest and wished him well. How can honest direct communication be a bad thing, if said compassionately?

And about "baubles" - your arguing that women like jewelry missed the point and doesn't address the fact that you obviously have this idea that all women want gifts or jewelry when in a relationship with someone. While many, but not all, women like jewelry, most women I know do not expect nor want that sort of thing. They'd rather have someone be there for them in more important ways, not appease them with trinkets. Just believe me when I say that if you are always giving jewelry to a woman with whom you only have a sexual relationship, she will start to feel like she's being treated like a prostitute. Sure, there are certainly superficial, shallow bitches out there ready to soak you for all you're worth, but they are not in the majority! It is almost 2013, man. Start thinking differently about women and you will have more luck meeting some who will want to be with you.
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An excellent blog post against hierarchy in polyamory: http://solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-i...short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 05-01-2014 at 05:54 AM.
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  #66  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:30 AM
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This is, again, all pre-conceived notions you have about what "most" people, and especially women, want.
And where exactly did I say that this is what I think most people want? I never said that - I said that in this particular case, which I used as an example, talking about it would not have had any beneficial effects. Beneficial for whom? For me? No, I didn't feel the need to talk, I can be quite talkative if I choose to be. For her? I doubt it. But if she did, what stopped her from doing so? Who has the preconceived ideas about gender roles here? She initiated the sexual episode, if she wanted to talk about it, or our relationship, she could easily have started such a conversation. We have been good friends ever since, and I have never detected the least amount of resentment on her part.

More generally, I am not a tongue-tied person, and neither is this lady. If I want to talk about building a better (or more lasting) relationship, I will do so. I had no such intention in this case.

It is a myth, in my opinion, that everything that happens between people must be discussed. Sex is its own reward (for both participants, I hope), and if neither party wants particularly to repeat it, it's best to just go on as if nothing has happened.


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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
How can honest direct communication be a bad thing, if said compassionately?
It is not a bad thing, if you have something positive to communicate. And why the need for being compassionate? Two healthy people have a joyful roll in the hay (my favourite word for it), then go their separate ways. What is there to be compassionate about?

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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
And about "baubles" - your arguing that women like jewelry missed the point and doesn't address the fact that you obviously have this idea that all women want gifts or jewelry when in a relationship with someone.
I am getting a bit sick of this harping on baubles and stuff. I wish I never added it to the story. The only reason I did was to emphasize the fact that the relationship is based on complete equality, which may be hard to achieve if the partners are in significantly different income brackets.

The writer Jerzy Kosinski, in his novel "Blind Date", describes a story, based on events in his own life, where a poor man, a recent immigrant to the US, meets a very rich woman, a billionaire, whom he mistakes for a secretary when he falls in love with her. She is obviously a poor communicator, by the standards of the "let's communicate at all costs" movement, for at first she neglects to inform the hero of her enormous wealth. Anyway, she also falls for him, and - in order to keep the relationship as one of equals - they keep their finances separate, and refrain from giving each other gifts of significant value, where she could obviously outspend him greatly. It's not a matter of people wanting jewelry or whatever, it is a question of equality.

I am sorry I don't have the eloquence of Jerzy Kosinski, but all I wanted was to make the same point.

Last edited by PolyLinguist; 12-08-2012 at 08:44 AM.
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  #67  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:40 AM
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Polylinguist,

I hope I will never call names. Yes, I think it is the word baubles that rubs me so wrong and calls so many images to mind. I agree with you that women are more likely than men to like jewelry.

And interestingly enough, especially when you clarify some of your thoughts on quality time, we may well be on the same page on that. I, too, have some objections to how the phrase quality time has been used--often in the context of saying parents don't need to spend quantity of time with kids as long as they spend quality time. Around here, they get both. A parent with them most of the time, and some of that time is the kids off playing with their Legos or a card game or doing homework or visiting with friends, and me doing my think. But I'm HERE. They know they can come to me. But I think it's also important to set aside time to be together.

Tonberry, yes, I believe most people dating are looking for an exclusive life partner--at least eventually. And obviously not everyone is looking for that, but I believe most are. And although I personally have no interest in any life partner at this stage of my life, if I wanted that, I wouldn't look for it in a married man.

I agree there are always conflicts, but I see the husband/wife relationship as something above and beyond other relationships, where they put one another first, obviously not in every detail, as in the instances you mentioned, but in the big things. I see the wants, interests, and needs of two partners potentially competing in a very different way, with greater impact, with deeper meaning, than do the wants and needs of two children or a child and a parent.

I've seen such situations on this board, where two partners want two mutually exclusive things from the hinge, and the hinge must choose, knowing that one person will feel slighted, or that their feelings were put second, or that their needs went unmet, in order to satisfy the other person.

I'm currently watching such a situation play out in real life, and believe because the two opposing desires are mutually exclusive, eventually one relationship or the other will give, out of necessity, because he simply cannot meet both of those competing needs. Deciding between driving your son to sports or your mother to a doctor's appointment is competing needs, but not on the same level as those between husband and wife, the deeper ones I'm talking about.

I have no doubt there are hinges and Vs where these things rarely come up. But I also think it happens often enough that it certainly is worth mentioning and considering on the road to polyamory.
Thank you WhatHappened for your kind words, and for not misinterpreting what I am trying to say.

And you clearly understand what marriage is about, even if we take out the absolute fidelity provisions from it.

Last edited by PolyLinguist; 12-08-2012 at 01:41 PM.
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