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  #1  
Old 02-08-2013, 07:43 PM
Pyuvii Pyuvii is offline
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Default Primaries, secondaries, tertiaries, what?

Okay!
So, there's something I just don't quite get with a lot of poly relationships.

What's with this having heirachy and ranking in people you love?

Now I'm just going to be frank, and I honestly want to understand the other side of this, so please don't be offended, but to me the whole situation of having a lover set higher than another, seems rather unfair, and honestly unloving ):

So! Conversation go!
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:47 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Hi Pyuvii!

Have you tried the tag search here? If you click "Search" and then click "Tag Search" you can click on any tag there and pull up any thread that's been tagged as having to do with that topic. Yeah, it's a LOT, but you'd be able to get a really broad view of what many people think about hierarchy, among other topics. You could also click the tags for "primary", "secondary", "secondaries" and "primary/secondary" if you wanted. And resurrecting a thread is TOTALLY fine here, since there's always new people around to contribute to it.
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2013, 07:49 PM
Pyuvii Pyuvii is offline
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See, but I can't do that because that would make too much sense XP

I will do that then! thanks =D
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  #4  
Old 02-08-2013, 08:37 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Different open relationship models appeal to different people.

People have different polysaturation points too. For those who enjoy a heirarchy type model -- it doesn't have to stop at "tertiary" for some. For others out to "secondary" is all they may have time/desire/other resources for.

HTH!
GG
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  #5  
Old 02-08-2013, 11:55 PM
AJ1 AJ1 is offline
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For me, my primary is my husband. We are life partners, first and foremost. He has made it clear that he does not want anyone else to share that place, in my life or in his. No matter how important another man becomes to me, he will never live with me, or share finances or major life decisions. That is out of respect for my husband's preferences. That does rule out any potential partners who are looking for that deep of a relationship - but I am upfront about what I can and can't provide in a romantic partnership.

My secondary is my boyfriend. He is a very independent man who has never been married and never wants to be. He needs a lot of alone time and personal space, and is a major commit-a-phobe. It can be hard for a man like that to find a suitable partner in the regular dating scene, since most people have the standard expectation of a monogamous relationship that builds to living together and marriage. He prefers his "secondary" status, because he doesn't have the emotional skills or energy to devote himself fully to a relationship.

None of the people involved find the situation unloving or unfair. In fact, none of us would want my BF to hold the same position as hubby. BF doesn't want that responsibility (dealing with family drama, taking care of me when I'm sick, etc.) He just wants some companionship, some sex, someone to go out with and have a good time.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:38 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Really it is how you make it. I get the sense people who were already married when they decided to try poly are more likely to "do hierarchy", and people who were being poly before they got into cohabitating or life partnerships are somewhat less likely to do it. Each person using primary/secondary probably means a slightly different thing, it's hard to find common language with uncommon things, in many cases its for convenience. Lots of those people don't mean ranking loves at all, though sure, some of them do.

My husband (who was poly for two decades before we met) uses hierarchy language, because for him it is his truth at this time - he believes that I will always come first and he wouldn't love anybody as much as he loves me. I pretty much just use it in "quotes" in threads as a descriptor - married/boughtahouse/raisingkids sortsa relationship vs notgonnadothat ones. My partners aren't primary/secondary etc, there's just currently the person I love and am married to/live with, and the person I love who would be incompatible to live with. The person I live with is the one who affects my day to day life most, so it is much more likely for more decisions I make to be based on how they'd affect my home life than my non-home life. There's the understanding that I don't want to live with any females (no matter who's partner it is) that might want to try to fuck my awesome interior decorating up, and my husband doesn't want to live with any of my male partners, so that is a realistic limitation for what future relationships can likely become, but I'd never assume if somebody said they did X or Y or Z that it was the same as my X Y Z unless I discussed it with them.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:27 PM
Pyuvii Pyuvii is offline
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I see... it seems like a lot of people are more using the tiers as sort of ways of describing what state their relationship with a person is in, instead of picking a state and putting a person in that position.

I'd really misunderstood it before, I guess the word 'Heirachy' just has bad connotations XD

I think I get it now
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:08 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyuvii View Post
I see... it seems like a lot of people are more using the tiers as sort of ways of describing what state their relationship with a person is in, instead of picking a state and putting a person in that position.

I'd really misunderstood it before, I guess the word 'Heirachy' just has bad connotations XD

I think I get it now
Hierarchy comes in two flavours. Some people use the terms "descriptively" (as in "This is my Spouse, so she's in a more Primary role. This is my boyfriend, so he's in a more Secondary role.") and others actually do use them "prescriptively" (as in "This person is my Primary so I will always put her needs above those of my Secondary").

I've always been turned off by the prescriptive model in terms of what would work for me. I'm not judging people for whom it works, as long as all parties involved are on board and no one is being taken advantage of. Some people, believe it or not, actually prefer an officially secondary role. There is some advantage to that. You get all the fun of the relationship, with none of the crap like bills, housework, and in-laws. Many people see their work or school as their "Primary" and don't want a relationship to interfere with that. An officially Secondary role helps make it clear for both people that the relationship is something you do in your spare time, and not necessarily something you make time for.

I struggled for a long time with using the terms descriptively. I never liked the sound of it, but The Poly Authorities kept on saying "If it's just descriptive and not prescriptive then it's ok" so I tried to accept that. It still never fit right, and I've recently rejected those labels for myself, even descriptively. I figure "husband" and "girlfriend" are descriptive enough without emphasizing the fact that one of them has a more central role in my life.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 02-11-2013 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:00 PM
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Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
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Looking at things, I've always been a more descriptive than prescriptive girl. Prescriptive is typically knowing what types of relationships you want and then looking to fill that role. While descriptive is just describing what types of relationships you happen to have right now.

I'm married, we just hit our 18th anniversary. We ventured into poly about five years ago and like most relationships, still working on it. A lot of married couples going into poly get a bad rap. They are only interested in unicorn hunting or are putting restrictions on what other relationships could be and that gets looked down on. While we've never been unicorn hunters, and many single poly people also put restrictions up, it seems, to me anyway, that married couples get that reputation before they even open their mouths.

Now for us, we don't use the terms primary or secondary often. The few times we have discussed it has been when DC has mentioned he's not really for that kind of relationship. He wants to get settled into his own life and career before being a husband or father or being that fully responsible to and for someone. Or when hubby and I discuss it often it's to discuss that we both understand that feelings have nothing to do with it. I don't love either one more or less, though the relationships are in different places.

There's more established with hubby, we talk about how if something more serious were coming, like DC living with us or that kind of thing, it's farther down the road, like years. That's not out of a sense of hiearchy, more just that I am not comfortable with that for a while. (When I'm thinking out of NRE state!)

For us, at least, the terms secondary and tertiary are about where the relationship is now, not what the relationship will always be or is allowed to be. Hubby has actually gotten pretty comfortable these days about the fact that I feel for them both in the same amount. Even going as far as asking me if I've sent the same pics or cards to DC, or while we were out today for hubby's bday and v-day, if I was sending something to DC or had picked him out anything yet. Because the love isn't limited, just time and visits and mostly that because of it being long distance still.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:27 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixtoria View Post
Prescriptive is typically knowing what types of relationships you want and then looking to fill that role.
Not necessarily. Prescriptive can also be applied to existing relationships to impose limits on how those relationships are [not] allowed to progress.

Quote:
A lot of married couples going into poly get a bad rap. They are only interested in unicorn hunting or are putting restrictions on what other relationships could be and that gets looked down on. While we've never been unicorn hunters, and many single poly people also put restrictions up, it seems, to me anyway, that married couples get that reputation before they even open their mouths.
I don't think it's got anything to do with being married. If they are unicorn hunters, or if they are putting up unnecessary restrictions (i.e. rules rather than boundaries, or limitations on how other people may behave), then we call out the unicorn hunting or the restrictions themselves, not the fact that they're married. We call out non-married couples the same way.
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