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  #71  
Old 02-20-2013, 02:29 AM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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I'm glad you are feeling better. I love your stance on romance.

Also, I'm glad you spelled out on another thread that your live-in partner C is a dog! I thought so, but I didn't want to ask, in case he is just a very quiet boyfriend who enjoys running, can't drive himself, and falls asleep during TV time.

I have a border collie. She can certainly be considered a committed partner of mine, in terms of the amount of time she takes up in my life and the amount of affection we share.

My other partner is a cat. She and the dog are not involved with each other, although they are cordial. They do have to deal with some jealousy issues.
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  #72  
Old 02-20-2013, 02:46 PM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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me too! I always thought C was a person! And now I went back and read some parts of your blog and it seems pretty obvious he's a dog and I'm like 'how could I have been so stupid'
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  #73  
Old 02-21-2013, 07:20 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Sorry. I didn't mean to be confusing. For clarity:

My old love who died in December was a dog. Also one of the loves of my life. He and I went through things together that gave us a bond I've never experienced before. If I believed in souls, I would describe him as a soul mate.

C is a dog too. His mum was a border collie, MeeraReed. C is my love, best friend, running companion and the individual that I shape my life around.

My SO is a human being. He is a romantic partner and a great love of mine. He was a close friend and lover when I was a student in my late teens/early 20s. Then we didn't see each other at all for about 15 years. In 2010 I had a conversation that reminded me of my SO and I wondered how he was getting on. I found him on facebook and sent him a message - turned out that we still got along and we became romantic partners. It took me ages to get over not being single any longer and the people I work with still tease me about it.

IP
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  #74  
Old 02-24-2013, 08:25 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
I'm glad you are feeling better. I love your stance on romance.
Thank you for this.
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  #75  
Old 03-01-2013, 06:33 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Default On Dogs and love

I have been thinking a bit recently about how relationships with dogs can be similar in some ways to romantic relationships.

Not to all people and dogs, of course. To some people, dogs are tools to carry out part of their job or pets who become disposable if circumstances change (including in some cases, if a new carpet is purchased and the dog doesn't match the new colour scheme).

To others - myself included - committing to a dog means developing a close, emotionally intimate relationship with a sentient, communicative being who has their own wants, needs and opinions. It means sometimes doing things I'd rather not do because it's what the dog wants to do or changing plans so that they become more dog friendly. It also means an ongoing commitment to spending time learning how to communicate with any dog I'm in a relationship with (dogs understand humans way better than humans understand dogs so I see the onus as being on us to keep on learning about them if we choose to have them in our lives).

With that in mind, the choice to develop a committed relationship with more than one dog has some parallels with choosing to develop a committed relationship with more than one adult human.

It is very common for people sharing their life with just one dog to agonise over the decision and worry that another dog will disrupt the relationship they have with the first dog. Discussions around whether or not that might happen fill internet forums. As do discussions about how to handle introductions between dogs and ways to set things up so that the human can develop a good relationship with the new dog and the resident dog can also develop a good relationship with the new dog. Many of the discussions are unbelievably similar to some of the discussions I read on here about worries over existing relationships and over metamours not getting on.

In some households there is open hostility between the resident dogs. I know many people who live very divided lives because they have 2 dogs that don't get on. Their lives are often filled with stress and anxiety about not providing enough love and attention to each dog. People maintain both relationships out of love. The dogs may not like one another but they love both dogs and are willing to work with it.

Sometimes the situation can be resolved. With work, some dogs can learn to put their differences aside and co-exist peacefully with each other.

Sometimes the dogs not getting on is enough to end one of the relationships - one of the dogs is found a new home or given back to the person they came from.

In some mixed households, the dogs co-exist but don't tend to interact much with each other. They can be fine, loving their humans and being pleasant to each other but never developing a close friendship with each other.

In other households, the dogs love each other and the humans. C and my old love adored one another. They never argued and regularly sought each other out for play and affection. They had a relationship all of their own based on love that didn't include me. I had a relationship with each of them too as individuals. All of the relationships were worked on including the one between the 3 of us.

These dynamics don't just exist between dogs, of course. It is not uncommon for dogs to be less then welcoming to new humans. I used to know a girl who's bullmastiff was not at all impressed when she got a new boyfriend - the mastiff showed his displeasure by being openly hostile toward the new boyfriend. With patience and work they were able to resolve their differences and the dog eventually accepted the new dynamic in his life.

I know lots of houses where one human is preferred way more than any other. Some dogs will sit by the door and wait patiently for the return of their favourite person, refusing any interaction with anybody who is at home.

Those situations can cause intense feelings of jealousy from the human and sometimes these situations can result in the end of one or other of the relationships. Sometimes a dog becomes homeless - I also have at least one friend where the husband became homeless. He and the dog had a tense relationship and when he couldn't stand it any longer, my friend broke up with him and continued to live with her beloved dog. (I doubt very much if she is alone in having done so).

Some people seek monogamy from their dogs - there are a great many people who will proudly describe their dog as a 'one person dog' - and point out that the dog loves them to distraction while just tolerating other humans and dogs. Those people can become visibly upset if the dog does show affection to somebody else - much of the time the dog doesn't (not many dogs like to see their humans upset).

Other people don't feel such sadness if their dog loves others. In fact, some people encourage the dog to develop close relationships with others that don't necessarily include them and encourage the dog to seek out new connections when they wish. C has human and dog friends that I don't know very well - he and my SO have a relationship all of their own and regularly spend time together. My old love just adored my SO. My old love had a real preference for men and was over the moon when my SO started visiting - and even more happy when they started spending days together while C and I were out.

I'm constantly fascinated by the parallels between what I read here and what I read on dog forums. I wanted to write some of it down as I think it will be useful later.

Dogs love so thoroughly and with such generosity that I think considerations of how they love and develop relationships are worth looking into.

IP
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  #76  
Old 03-01-2013, 08:58 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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IP,

I learned more about living with someone, and loving them regardless of faults, from one of my dogs - the first dog I got as an adult.

She was a Boston Terrier who had been abused. As a result, she had 'issues'. She would attack with little to no warning if she felt threatened. At first, she was not safe for children to be around. If she had been any bigger, I would have had to put her down. She disliked men (so much so a lesbian household with no kids was pretty much her only adoption option). She had bad separation anxiety.

She was also one of the smartest dogs I've ever encountered. She had a huge personality that impacted everyone she interacted with (sometimes this was negative but usually not). She had the strongest will to live I've ever seen in anyone. She lived fiercely and well with a severe heart murmur and then cancer for years. She had a ridiculous sense of humor - she enjoyed mocking me. She grew to trust and love me and Beaker, and then my parents and Beaker's parents. After much mellowing, she tolerated another Boston Terrier who joined our family and later on, my current dog, a chihuahua.

She was hard and difficult to deal with. I spent much of my thirties learning to cope with her issues. I adored her and miss her every day - she's been gone 3 years. I learned more from my relationship with her than any other relationship - the exception being with Beaker.

So I get it, long story short.
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  #77  
Old 03-02-2013, 09:51 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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That was a fascinating post IP - thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
...
I'm constantly fascinated by the parallels between what I read here and what I read on dog forums. I wanted to write some of it down as I think it will be useful later.

Dogs love so thoroughly and with such generosity that I think considerations of how they love and develop relationships are worth looking into.
For the first time in my life I have a "poly-dog" dynamic going on in my household, and have been fascinated to watch the dynamics between the two of them (they seem to have some D/s thing going on ) and the different people in the house.

JaneQ
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MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #78  
Old 03-20-2013, 07:38 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
I learned more about living with someone, and loving them regardless of faults, from one of my dogs - the first dog I got as an adult.
Your dog sounds wonderful - an individual to go on a real journey with.

Funnily enough, it's knowing about how I relate to dogs that makes my cautious about poly. Of course I know I'm capable of loving more than one person romantically and more than one dog.

There is a big difference between knowing that the potential exists and being willing to start a new relationship or being willing to be supportive and friendly toward a new romantic relationship that my partner may want to start.

For the moment, poly is interesting to think about but I'm not at all sure that I want to practice it. Maybe one day. It did take me years and years of research, effort, life changes and thought before getting my first dog. I am cautious about starting anything that involves me becoming an integral part of an other individual's life. I need to be reasonably sure that I'm not going to find it overwhelming and give up.

My partner and I discuss it fairly regularly but for the moment, he knows that if he wishes to be actively poly again, he and I will have to work to shift our relationship to one of friendship to allow him to pursue that. But that I'm open to the possibility that my feelings may shift in time.

IP
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  #79  
Old 03-22-2013, 08:58 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Sometimes you just want to hug the world.

I'm having a weekend away with some friends this weekend. Need to leave for the airport at about 5am on Sat morning.

Tonight I'm seeing a friend for a couple of drinks and then meeting my SO and some of his friends for a couple of drinks. I have told him that I'll probably leave him with his friends and go back to his early so I can get enough sleep.

He rang this morning to tell me that he'd tidied his kitchen up in case I wanted a cup of tea when I got there, that he'd left his laptop out with some episodes of a series we've been watching on it and had left a book by an author I love there too in case I wanted to read and forgot to bring a book with me. Such sweet things to do. I feel all warm inside.

IP
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  #80  
Old 03-22-2013, 10:53 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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And this is a massive rant! I work on a very part time basis with teenagers who are having a tough time. Also work on a very part time basis with dogs who are having a tough time.

In both cases, the individuals are challenging and often very antisocial in their behavior. Often very stressed, miserable and not optimistic about their futures too. What seems to cause much of the problems is being brought up in families that just didn't have time, energy or the inclination to help them feel safe and give them outlets for the things they want to do.

Not having time, inclination or energy to learn about dogs and kids isn't at all a problem to me - I have no intention of having kids because I have 0 interest in the life that doing so would present me. What is a problem is having a kid or getting a dog in the hope that they will enhance a boring life and with having no or little intention of learning about them and their needs. And having no intention or ability to make the changes necessary to help them be happy, secure, loving individuals.

And so often when I read these boards I read the same sorts of stories as I hear about with kids and dogs. We're married and our life is boring and we want to start having new relationships. Or I'm not good at making friends but here's a list of things I want from my relationships. Or - my husband/wife feels like they want more people and I'm trying to understand but they already don't have time for me. Or - I felt more jealous than I thought I would so my husband split up with his girlfriend. Or - it's just not what I thought so I've dumped my partner and am hoping my wife will do the same so that we can go back to being monogamous.

To me these are all part of the same problem. And can have the same consequences. People can be damaged - sometimes irreparably by a bad experience in a romantic relationship.

I think that just as with kids and with dogs, before starting a romantic relationship, everybody should be thinking about what it is they can do. How many changes are you willing to make for the ones you love? How can you be sure if somebody close to you is ill or your work is stressful that you will not neglect your romantic relationships? What plans are in place? What from your past experiences make you think you can cope when things aren't going well?

If you aren't reasonably sure, leave people, kids and dogs alone. Don't become an important part of another individual's life and then stop just because your life isn't the way you wanted it to be.

These actions have consequences for the one that's cast aside. To me it just isn't good enough to put the onus on those people to fix themselves and to see what's happened as part of a 'learning experience.'

Anyway - rant over. C and I are setting off for a walk in the snow and I'm sure that will help.
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