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  #21  
Old 01-02-2010, 07:25 PM
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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.
I know this is not going to be a popular statement and I fully believe that it is a function of conditioning and not wiring but I have such a hard time with the concept of "commitment" within non-monogamous relationships. This is probably one of the areas that I feel the least grounded in. I have a tendency to find peace in concepts through internalizing which means my personal work continues.

When I say I have a hard time accepting the term commitment I don't mean to imply that people can't commit to loving each other or caring for each other. I think of it from the perspective of public declarations.

How does this affect my relationship? Certainly in the area of ceremonies or public declarations of our union.
Trust me I know this concept sounds bizarre but I am so "conditioned" to see commitment in the traditional church going monogamous sense that I have a hard time focusing on it from any other perspective and need to hold on the concrete things for stability.

This is a total hi-jack LOL! I have been internalizing the concept of commitment for a long time and continue to look at it as it applies to the external declarations. Hmmm....my hijacking continues LOL!! I think there is another thread about this. Sorry!!
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  #22  
Old 01-02-2010, 09:17 PM
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How does this affect my relationship? Certainly in the area of ceremonies or public declarations of our union.
Trust me I know this concept sounds bizarre but I am so "conditioned" to see commitment in the traditional church going monogamous sense that I have a hard time focusing on it from any other perspective and need to hold on the concrete things for stability.
I hope you will find in your own depths of experience some inborn wisdom which allows you to relinquish the need or desire for external authority in such matters.

There is a common ground of reality and truth in these matters which doesn't require -- or benefit from -- external authority. It is most difficult to point at, but you can find it if you look very carefully and with subtle vision.
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  #23  
Old 01-02-2010, 09:28 PM
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I see where you are going with what you wrote. And it makes sense. But, in my situation I don't know how you would define it. Mine and my husbands relationship started out mon. But over the four that we've been together we decided to change it, we want to add to it. So though our relationship changed we did not. We are the same people, same beliefs we always had. We just didn't realize until we were together that this is something that we would want. It's strange how it all came about, it's even stranger that though we both thought it for a while, neither of us would say it out loud. We were to worried about losing each other, which we never want to happen....and it's never going to!!

So I do have to disagree. It's hardwired into us, that's for sure. It was there all along, but we chose this. Our relationship started mon. and has ended up poly.

But I like what you wrote!!
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2010, 11:09 PM
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I hope you will find in your own depths of experience some inborn wisdom which allows you to relinquish the need or desire for external authority in such matters.

There is a common ground of reality and truth in these matters which doesn't require -- or benefit from -- external authority. It is most difficult to point at, but you can find it if you look very carefully and with subtle vision.
I hope so too River. But it's not the need for an external authority for recognition.It's about the meaning and message. Here is where my traditional conditioning crashes against the idea of declared commitment without exclusivity. (I eloped with my ex-wife because celebrating our union was something neither of us felt required witness - it was internal). Everone around us knew what that meant though.

The big question I will need to come to terms with is determining what the idea of "commitment declared" to others in a non-monogamous relationship means. Not commitment, itself, but the declaration of that commitment. What are we saying to others? Monogamous unions are simple at the core "I am exclusively for you, you are exclusively for me". Everyone in attendance knows what it means in traditional mainstream circles. But what is the message in a non-traditional non monogamous declaration?

This I believe will be the next break through for me in my journey.

Thanks for you thoughts on this River.

Mono
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  #25  
Old 01-02-2010, 11:31 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.
I understand what you've said. Whether it is a preference or an orientation, I know that polyamory is what feels right to me. I'm in a relationship with one other as well at the moment but that doesn't somehow mean that I am not polyamorous. The same would be true is I was solo.

The concept of "I am in a poly relationship therefore I am poly," bases too much of who I am, of what my identity is, on other people. I think this can also lead to an unhealthy mindset at times of "I have had this many poly relationships or had these relationships this long therefore I am poly-er than thou."

How polyamory is attached to one's identity and the form it takes within their relationships is up to that person and those within relationships.


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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.
My love and I have separate goals as well but they are not identical to each other or even similar in some cases. We support each other in our individual dreams and endeavors.

What I do find to be a crucial part of any relationship is the sharing of values. It could possibly be highlighted as a cornerstone of compatibility.

~Raven~
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  #26  
Old 01-02-2010, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by River View Post
I hope you will find in your own depths of experience some inborn wisdom which allows you to relinquish the need or desire for external authority in such matters.

There is a common ground of reality and truth in these matters which doesn't require -- or benefit from -- external authority. It is most difficult to point at, but you can find it if you look very carefully and with subtle vision.

I find the call for external authority which legitimizes a certain view and form of polyamory and polyamorous relationship tends to also exclude other views on polyamory. It does not forge bonds within the poly community. I believe if laws were ever created based on this mindset many within poly relationships would be disadvantaged because their perspectives and relationships differ and therefore their relationships would not be recognized.

~Raven~
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Rest your weary head and let your heart decide. It's so easy.
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  #27  
Old 01-02-2010, 11:47 PM
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What I do find to be a crucial part of any relationship is the sharing of values. It could possibly be highlighted as a cornerstone of compatibility.

~Raven~
There definitely has to be similar core values in order for a relationship to even get off the ground in my experience. Otherwise all the work to overcome other differences would seem too much I think. Good point.
Differences are healthy and intriguing in most cases but fundamental differences like the presence of racism or the value of emotional involvement would not be.
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  #28  
Old 01-03-2010, 01:24 AM
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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.
Wow. Kind of had to reread to be sure I hadn't written this myself and forgotten! So true in my life!

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I'm capable of monogamy. It's just not my preference. Is it an orientation more than a preference? I suppose it is. Hmm.
Hmm, good food for thought here. I have to say I think my being poly is much like my being bi. As someone else said-even if I am currently not in a relationship with a woman-I am still bi despite my two heterosexual relationships.

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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.
Agreed agreed agreed.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
I am editing this just to add I am actually a little blown away by how simple and yet personally "perfect" I find your idea to be. WOW! Hope you don't mind me steeling this train of thought!
Don't mind at all, in fact, I'm flattered!

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Originally Posted by River View Post
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.
You're right there. It's one of those quirks of english that something can be non-gramatical and still perfectly able to convey an idea. I'm actually not suggesting that people stop using the phrase "polyamorous relationship." It's useful to convey, quickly, which type of non-exclusive relationship it is. But I think reframing our perception as people being poly rather than the relationship helps clarify confusion for some people.

Ironically, I totally think that it makes sense to say a "non-monogamous" relationship, more than it makes sense to say a polyamorous relationship.

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Originally Posted by River View Post
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.
I agree. Goals change, but commitment doesn't (ideally). We might one day decide together that we don't like our current life path and therefore we'll change our goals, but that doesn't affect our commitment to one another. We also both have personal goals, and our commitment means that we will do what we can to help each other achieve their own personal goals, even if it sometimes means putting our own on hold for a while.

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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
I know this is not going to be a popular statement and I fully believe that it is a function of conditioning and not wiring but I have such a hard time with the concept of "commitment" within non-monogamous relationships.

When I say I have a hard time accepting the term commitment I don't mean to imply that people can't commit to loving each other or caring for each other. I think of it from the perspective of public declarations.
I have to confess, we were lazy when we planned the wording of the ceremony. Even though the commissioner read us the "Do you take so-and-so to be your husband [blah blah blah] and forsake all others?" line before hand, we didn't even bother taking it out. We were both willing to say "I do" and ignore that part of the promise forever more :P The "standard ceremony" in our province has three separate places where you make "vow-like statements" ... We used the canned "I do" and "with this ring" vows, and then we wrote our own "I promise to ..." vows. Those were the only "real vows" and the rest was "legal stuff" :P

I've never felt that commitment equals exclusivity. I'm committed to doing well at school, paying the bills on time, and feeding my cats before they get hungry. I'm committed to understanding and supporting my husband, helping him grow as the person he wants to be, and putting his emotional needs on equal footing with my own. We were committed to one another long before we got married, the wedding just put that commitment in writing...

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Originally Posted by jennjuice View Post
I see where you are going with what you wrote. And it makes sense. But, in my situation I don't know how you would define it. Mine and my husbands relationship started out mon. But over the four that we've been together we decided to change it, we want to add to it. So though our relationship changed we did not. We are the same people, same beliefs we always had. We just didn't realize until we were together that this is something that we would want.

So I do have to disagree. It's hardwired into us, that's for sure. It was there all along, but we chose this. Our relationship started mon. and has ended up poly.
I think your situation is the PERFECT reason to reject calling relationships themselves as poly... As individuals, you were both always poly. When you got together, your relationship started out as exclusive, and now it's non-exclusive.

For the record, I see no reason why someone's identity can't change. Someone can grow up monogamous and only desire one romantic partner at a time, and then wake up one day feeling bored with her 30 year marriage, and want something more. I wouldn't say that she was "poly all along" because up until that point, she may never have wanted more than one love, which means until that point, she was a monogamous person. But people change.
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  #30  
Old 01-03-2010, 05:15 AM
StitchwitchD StitchwitchD is offline
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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.
Being committed to each other is one thing, wanting the same things out of the relationship are something else entirely.

In the situation I'd previously mentioned, they're very committed to their marriage, and we're all committed to being friends and supporting each other.
That's not even an issue.

However, there's some conflict over the details. She'd like to have a mostly monogamous (and completely monoamorous) marriage, have sex when she feels like it (every 2-3 months) and have 3rd adult in the household to help with chores, kids and finances. He'd like to have sex on a regular basis (at least a few times a week), not hurt anyone's feelings and stay married to his wife, and he'd like more help with housework than she normally provides. I'd like to have a poly relationship with him, and not hurt anyone's feelings in the process. So, is there any way that commitment will help resolve this situation in a way that we'd all be okay with?
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