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  #11  
Old 01-02-2010, 08:14 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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We are just having fun with perks. We don't intend to debate what it is, we just want to keep communicating and try and figure out a way to make this work
This is an awesome outlook! I have a friend in a similar situation and they are approaching it maturely as well...very cool!
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  #12  
Old 01-02-2010, 08:44 AM
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Good! Life is boring when everyone agrees on everything!
Awesome.

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I do agree that when you're describing three+ people in some combination of romantic relationships, it makes more sense to talk about "the relationships" being, as a whole, poly... but I think when you're just talking about one couple of individuals who both self-identify as poly, and may or may not be "expressing" their polyamory, it makes more sense to talk about the people being poly than the relationship itself... IOW the collection of relationships become polyamorous as a whole, but no single pair-wise relationship is, by itself, poly...
This is an intriguing line of thought. I’m interested to see where it leads.
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  #13  
Old 01-02-2010, 08:45 AM
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I like how you've put this Quilla. Identity and actions are two different things. Your identity is who you are on the inside whereas the relationship structure(s) you have are what is seen by others. Who you are doesn't change but how you are living your life at any given time might.

I guess in a way it's similar to being bisexual. If you are in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender it's a heterosexual realtionship and if you are in a relationship with a partner of the same gender it's a homosexual relationship. Either way it doesn't change the identity of the individual in either realtionship as bisexual.

It's late and I'm rambling...hope I'm making some sense

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  #14  
Old 01-02-2010, 08:49 AM
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It's late and I'm rambling...hope I'm making some sense

-Derby
Made sense to me..nicely put Derby I feel like I have some clarity to use when discussing things with my non-poly community friends and family. Break through!
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  #15  
Old 01-02-2010, 12:19 PM
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But I'm pretty sure the mono people here would say that there ARE some very real differences between themselves and their poly partners. And the differences are innate to the people, not a product of the relationship structure.
Sure there are differences. Monogamous people fall in love with one person at a time and polyamorous people can fall in love with more than one person at a time. Are there more differences than that?

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I guess it's a "chicken or egg" situation... if you say "I'm in a poly relationship, therefore I am poly" it's much different from saying "I'm a poly person, and I'm in a relationship, therefore the relationship is poly" ... Yet, neither statement is true. It's not like the poly person is going to say "you identified as monogamous when we started dating, so you have to stay monogamous throughout our entire relationship" (unless they're a hypocritical jerk). Nor is the poly person going to say "You're all I desire at this point in my life, but I identify as polyamorous, so I have to go find another girlfriend."
I suppose that's an issue if you let the relationship structure you're part of define your identity. I just don't see the need to do that. For me, those words describe my relationships more than they describe me. However, like I said, that doesn't mean that identity isn't part of the equation. It's just a matter of what's driving what.
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  #16  
Old 01-02-2010, 03:58 PM
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I do think that I have a polyamorous nature, and that I'm not inclined toward monogamy. This wasn't always the case. I've changed. After my first love relationship crumbled, something fundamentally shifted in my heart and soul. I'll never again expect that any single person or relationship can fulfill all of my needs for intmacy and loving. So far as I can tell. And that is in no way suggestive that I can't love fully. I can.

I'm capable of monogamy. It's just not my preference. Is it an orientation more than a preference? I suppose it is. Hmm.

So, yeah, I think I'm a poly person. And I'm not sure it matters so much that we all agree on how to use language to define or describe our relationships. That is, if there is a poly person and a mono person together in a relationship, I'd say let them decide whether the relationship is poly or whatever. For some, it will be important to define the relationship as poly. Great! Let 'em. Others won't define it that way because some member/s of the grouping are mono. Fine. Whatever.

I'm willing to be persuaded that I'm missing some important point in my response. I'm just trying to find the most respectful approach to the question -- and, frankly, I'm not sure it matters much how folks settle it.

One thing does seem clear enough to me, however. Some people are poly -- whether or not they are involved in "romantic" relationships and whether or not they have multiple partners. I'm definitely poly, but I have only one partner! At the moment.
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  #17  
Old 01-02-2010, 04:35 PM
StitchwitchD StitchwitchD is offline
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I have to say the woman my wife and I are involved with could identify. While we are still working on building this relationship, and I haven't opened up a lot here yet, we go out, hang out, cuddle, have sex and truly care moving to love for each other (heck she is even talking of moving in with us in the near future).

However she is "searching" for a mono relationship and wants kids etc.

She is adament against calling what we have polyamourus, or even a relationship. We are just having fun with perks. We don't intend to debate what it is, we just want to keep communicating and try and figure out a way to make this work
Kind of my situation in reverse! I identify as poly, I live with a couple who identify as having an open marriage, and who are currently functionally monogamous. At one point, I had a relationship with him that he labeled as FWB, but that I wanted to be more, and she became progressively less comfortable as my emotional involvement became more obvious.

If it was up to me, we'd be in a V, and be able to make long-term plans for me being part of their life, possibly even including me having another child if it was economically feasible.
But she's not okay with poly, she just likes having a 3rd adult helping run her household, but she knows it's not fair to expect that of me long-term. Still, in a lot of ways we do function more like we're in a poly relationship than like we're just housemates, and I know it'll be difficult for the whole family when I leave- of course we'll still be friends, but I won't be invested in their daily life to this degree.

When I finally manage to get out of this mess, I'm going to only get involved with people who have the same long-term relationship goals as I do, which means that we'll all have to know what our goals are, or at least what we would and wouldn't be okay with.
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  #18  
Old 01-02-2010, 06:09 PM
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When I finally manage to get out of this mess, I'm going to only get involved with people who have the same long-term relationship goals as I do, which means that we'll all have to know what our goals are, or at least what we would and wouldn't be okay with.
That's definitely one of the lessons I have learned, too, Stitchwitch. If goals aren't compatible, then eventually it's going to lead to tension which brings in lots of other negative things.
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  #19  
Old 01-02-2010, 06:51 PM
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goals aren't compatible, then eventually it's going to lead to tension which brings in lots of other negative things.
Goals are probably the most influential part of relationship success. I think this is probably the area that sometimes causes confusion between people as they discuss success in relationships. At it's very simplest we can say that a monogamous relationship was successful if both partners live there lives with the general principles of monogamy; sexual exclusivity and then death LOL! This is a very simplistic take on success but is the core of traditional vows and the overall concept of monogamy.

Multi-partner relationships are much more fluid and diverse in individual expectations I find. There is no one simplistic criteria to base a successful relationship. The "time" factor is very different for people. A two month relationship can be completely fulfilling, a lifelong network of loves can also be successful, a polyfi group that raises children and builds finances and homes could be successful.

Goals are the foundation of any relationship. What does each person want out of the relationship, is it possible and are the differences within the individuals surmountable by the mutual desire to achieve goals?

Yet again I find myself having one of those moments where a simple concept is re-awakened. Through this I find renewed acceptance and a sense of community...nice thread.

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  #20  
Old 01-02-2010, 07:07 PM
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Goals are the foundation of any relationship.
This hardly seems to be the case with either myself or my partner of 14 years. We both have goals, but not so much goals for our relationship. We share common goals -- like going backpacking in spring..., but the word "commitment" seems more fitting as foundational in our relationship than "goals" does.

We're committed to being honest with one another, loving one another, trying to be kind and loving as much as we can.... We're committed to staying open to growth and evolution. To trusting one another. Stuff like that. Goals are not so much the ruddder or the guidance for us. Our commitments are. Focussing on goals overly much can get in the way of the unpredictable nature of life's natural unfolding.
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