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View Poll Results: Do you actually have open relationships without any kind of limits?~
Yes, no limits at all.~ 6 14.29%
I have open relationships, but there are some limits.~ 26 61.90%
No, I have closed relationships.~ 4 9.52%
I'm not sure.~ 3 7.14%
Other.~ 3 7.14%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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  #11  
Old 10-25-2013, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ColorsWolf View Post
.~ Alone time?~ If have an opportunity to be with someone and someone else at the same time, of course I'm going to involve them both:why wouldn't I?~ ^_^
My children each need "alone time" with me from time to time. It isn't that I don't appreciate the time all together with them, but I recognize that they each need time to bond with me one-on-one.

My metamour and I also each need that "alone time" with our partner. I would not want to share every available moment with all of us, simply because *I* don't love her. I don't want to spend my time with her like I do with him. And while I do enjoy the time we spend together, I'm not looking for more "together time".

I suppose if our needs were incompatible, then we wouldn't be in a relationship, but he appreciates the alone time as well, and it works for us.
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Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids, two cats, one house with many projects.
Chops (previously 'P'): My partner of ~3 years. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena (previously M1): Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa (previously AG): Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

My navel-gazing blog thread:
A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2013, 01:36 AM
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I really vacillated between, "I have open relationships, but there are some limits," and "No, I have closed relationships." I almost should have said, "I'm not sure," or, "Other," but I didn't want to be that vague.

You see, "open" and "closed" have a number of different definitions in poly vernacular. Let me share with you the three that I'm aware of:
  • Open = any responsible non-monogamous relationship.
  • Open = it's okay to have sex outside our committed poly circle.
  • Open = we are open to the idea of adding a new person to our committed poly circle.
Or:
  • Closed = monogamous relationships.
  • Closed = we limit sexual activities to within our committed poly circle.
  • Closed = we will never add another person to our committed poly circle.
Some people even use multiple definitions of the word. And of course, as per the dictionary, there are already lots of meanings for "open" and "closed." Open could mean "open-minded," for instance. It could mean "willing to try something new." It could mean "frank and candid about one's thoughts and feelings." It could mean "outgoing."

In the end I picked "I have open relationships, but there are some limits," reason being, my V is open to the idea of adding a new partner to our committed circle, however, we are "closed" to the idea of having sex outside our committed circle. Sometimes this is called "polyfidelitous."

Usually, I associate "no limits at all" with the idea of "relationship anarchy." Works great for some, just not for my particular V. Sorry if that offends, but we are rather conservative compared to a lot of polyamorists.

We definitely don't have a hierarchy. All three of us are primary partners. And if we added a new partner, they'd be a primary too.

We don't consider love to be a limited commodity; we're just cautious/conservative about having sex. No limitations against falling in love with new people though.

I largely based my "limitations" on the limitations that my partners wanted. I could probably be more "free-spirited" if I wanted, but I guess I prefer to live harmoniously with my two V companions.

We had various kinds of struggles in our early years together (as a poly unit). Perhaps the biggest thing we worked out is that if someone does start seeing someone new, they keep the whole V in the loop and, for example, emails aren't really secret, they are rather "carbon copied."

As for time limitations, everyone has time limitations of one kind or another. My V doesn't make a big deal about that problem, not yet, anyway. If we added someone new to our circle, I guess we would want to work out our schedules so it seemed fair to everybody.

Love sounds like such a wonderful thing; why put limits on it? I guess I'm somewhat of a pragmatist. Human beings are a particular species that do put limits on virtually all aspects of their lives. Does that make us a stuck-up, neurotic species? I don't know.

In practical terms, there are some benefits to being careful about how one spreads around one's time or one's sexual activities. So I guess that's why we agree on limits to such things.

As always, I can easily talk more, but at this moment I'm due to go get dinner.
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2013, 01:53 AM
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I'm sorry for before, but now I realize that whether or not you have open relationships without any limits what so ever is completely up to your own perspective.~

"Preferences" for one person person can be seen as "limitations" by another.~

Sorry for confusing the words with each other.~

I wonder if there are people who have relationships and they actually consider their own preferences as "limitations"?~
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Last edited by ColorsWolf; 10-25-2013 at 01:58 AM.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2013, 03:42 AM
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The things that many of you are saying I don't consider "limitations" but "circumstances".~
That was the reason I asked my question. Because so many people consider our "circumstances" to be "rules" that limit the option for a "new partner". The reality (to me) is that these are our circumstances. We are open to the option of new partners. BUT that doesn't mean that they are open to our circumstances.

Quote:
I don't see emotions especially love as having any kind of "limit" or "running thin" or "running out" as if they were some kinds of commodities, so I don't believe in a "limit" to the number of people I may fall in love with.~
I personally dislike "in love" as terminology (no offense to you) because it's so vague. I also don't equate the chemical dump that happens (which is so commonly referred to as NRE in poly circles) to love. I think that is a drug induced haze. Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's a nightmare. All too often it's a lead in for a bunch of drama (just like getting drunk on alcohol).

But-if we simplify to "love". Even if we keep "romantic love" but don't NECESSARILY include sex (can be sex but not necessarily). Then I would say I definitely love many. I retain love for all of my exes. Every single solitary one. They dwell somewhere inside of my heart and I think I dwell in theirs as well. We wander in and out of each others immediately current social circles and it's always a warm fuzzy experience. If any of us has a crisis-we know we will be there for each other.
I also certainly love Maca and GG.
I also love other people like my bestfriend "Mr. LR" (in real life we share hte same first name and we affectionately refer to each other as Mr. or Mrs. our first name. The kids and Maca refer to him as my "non sexual boyfriend". We've been close for 25 years. We've never consummated a sexual relationship. But we flirt and hug and cuddle and love each other to pieces.

Quote:
What ever circumstances happen, happen.~ I'm not going to "frazzle" or stress myself out coming up with countless HUGE "daily planner" schedules for "quality time" as I don't like schedules I take things as they come.~
Which is great. But-understand the limits that this also places on you. In order to make this functional and healthy-this also means keeping joint responsibilities to a controlled minimum.
It's not feasible to have 5 kids varying in age by 4 years between each consecutive one; not have a calendar or planner AND meet all their needs educationally and socially. If it is possible-I have LITERALLY never met anyone who can do it. I have seem plenty of people try. But it just doesn't work. Their needs are too varied; but they all have one similar need and that is your time and attention.

NOW-if you then add romantic partners- it could be wholly disastrous even with one child who felt like they don't matter at all because you "take things as they come" and you manage to miss meaningful events because you were enjoying the moment with a lover. I have also seen that done. It's not pretty.

ALL OF THAT to say-that it IS possible to live the way you describe. But it does mean considering how THAT choice limits your ability to juggle the needs of CERTAIN people.

Quote:
What I mean by "limits" are things like, "Oh I can't get involved with you because I don't have the time to be alone with you.".~ Alone time?~ If have an opportunity to be with someone and someone else at the same time, of course I'm going to involve them both:why wouldn't I?~ ^_^
Because THEY are not ok with it and your needs/wants dont trump the other person or persons needs.
I would LOVE to spend time with the two men I adore. But they don't find that comfortable very often. It's not reasonable for me to expect that they have to be open and agreeable to group time all of the time.
Furthermore; another comparison with kids. There is a certain amount of opening up that happens in a duo which doesn't *as easily* occur in a larger group. (feel free to look up studies regarding the changes in behavior of groups of 3 or more in social psychology-LOTS of great info there)
This isn't theoretical. This is evidenced-based knowledge that has been collected regarding the general behavior of people.
With one child, one on one, I learn MUCH MUCH more about them personally than if I am with 2 at one time. I enjoy my time with the kids in groups of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, even 9 at times.
But-the deeper trust and intimacy is built when I spend time with them one on one.

So for my romantic partnerships-and my friendships-and my mom-and my dad-and each of my siblings-and my kids:
I ABSOLUTELY want to be able to spend one on one time with them SOMETIMES because we connect more deeply during those times. It is different.
I have a BLAST when I go out with all of my siblings. But when I go for a drive with ONE of them-OMG it's like we are connected as twins. It's so deep.
I want both options and because I want it-it's my job to ensure I get it. THAT means-I have to keep the option open to have time for that in my life. Which in turn means that I don't tie myself up in a relationship with someone who demands that they be at my side every minute of consciousness.
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2013, 03:46 AM
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Do you mean ... for example..

Maca PREFERS not to have roommates; so if he said "no roommates" that is a limitation he is putting on the rest of us?

Or

Maca prefers not to have roommates and so our agreement to not have roomates is a limitation we have agreed to?

Or?
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  #16  
Old 10-25-2013, 04:22 AM
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Love and time - one is finite and one is infinite.

I have self-imposed limitations that certainly double over as preferences. I preferred not to be in more than two relationships at a time. Right now, my limit is one, and it looks like that is going to be permanent.

I have no interest in dating, but my DH created a list of boundaries, if that were to change. They are not fear based. He has about 25-30 different ones, and some of them have sub levels. Compromise was not an option because those were his needs. The list ranged from no PDA in front of our children to refusing to be out to him wanting no contact with a potential metamour to time stipulations on overnights and so on.

Even without his arsenal of boundaries, I had preferences that rivalled his. His were more relaxed, and my list was more rigid. I would prefer not to have another co-primary, secondary, or date anyone nearby. I am not willing to spend a week or weeks wherever they are either. I prefer not to have entanglements like finances, shared holidays, or being anyone's only relationship or single primary. I would never have time to see them if they were around, and if I was there one and only, I know it would cause problems. Tertiary would be ideal. I now prefer not to have overnight visits. I prefer not to miss any time with my DH, children, or opportunities for family bonding. I would prefer not to bring that person around my children. DH and I mutually agreed that being closeted would be the only option. I prefer not to have someone involved in the day to day aspects of my life. My list goes on.

I just outlined the past several weeks of my life in my blog, and what it boils down to is, if I was in a relationship outside of my marriage right this minute, the last time that person would have seen me, would have been the middle of September. Three out of four weekends this month have been locked down due to my travelling, recovering from long haul flights, vow renewals, family time, and attending funerals. If I was in a relationship, at best, that person might see me once a month. My life is just that structured.

I hated living by a calendar, and heaven knows if I ever had to do it again, I would scream. Now, I am like, "Forget what the calendar says. I want to eat Tahitian vanilla ice cream, cuddle with my DH, and watch Four Weddings until The Golden Girls come on." Before, it was like, "I would love to stay, but I have to go to xyz with Si." Never again. We have a pretty good balance. From 7-9, we pretty much do what we want. Hobbies, dance classes (me), going to the gym, hanging out with friends, going to the casino, having drinks, or whatever we want. We return home to get our children ready for bed, and sometimes the one who was out might go back out. We both value our alone time and now that we threw the calendar out, we are enjoying good old fashioned spontaneity. We went out on a date Wednesday night, and it was not planned. Nanny J wanted to take the little ones to a pantomime show, and we had drinks, dinner, and went to a live jazz club. It was nice just to talk and enjoy each other's company. Before? That would not have been possible because it would have been my ex's night with me. What a world of difference these recent changes have made.

I bond better with my children and pretty much everyone when in a one on one setting. It feels more intimate. I prefer to confide in DH when we are in private. I prefer to set aside blocks of time for bonding with my little ones.
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  #17  
Old 10-25-2013, 04:53 AM
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FullofLove and LovingRadiance,

thank you for sharing your beautiful experiences and lives with us!~ ^_^

I think, as this thread is showing, that each person and the relationships and that connect them have their own unique lives and prespectives.~

And that's beautiful!~ ^_^

ColorsWolf
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  #18  
Old 10-25-2013, 06:10 AM
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In the church, it was always, "Give up what you want, otherwise you'll be a bad person." Whereas in my little poly circle, it's more like, "I freely choose to do what you were hoping I'd do, because it's a way I can show that I love you."

Guess it partly depends on how big a thing is being asked, but if someone loves you with a pure heart, you can generally count on them to want things of you that aren't very hard or costly to give. Not that people don't sometimes show their love by making big sacrifices. Things that are truly given voluntarily (not just by being pressured into it) are not impingements upon freedom, in my mind. Just decisions.
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  #19  
Old 10-25-2013, 10:16 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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I voted for not sure because I'm not entirely clear about how to answer.

My view is that we all have limits. Limits of our own and we are also limited by the others around us - even if we freely choose to accept those limits, they are still there.

I choose to wear flat soled shoes pretty much all of the time, to leave my hair to dry naturally and to almost never put make up on my face. This makes me feel more free. It makes it very unlikely I'd ever find myself being close to people who feel that it's important for their friends or lovers to wear heels, makeup and visit the hair dresser lots. Their limits mean that I can only have limited contact with those sort of people. My limits mean that I maintain those barriers. This isn't an issue to me at all - in fact, I see it as a benefit. I don't want to hang around with people who talk about hair, shoes and make up all the time so making myself unattractive to those people is a good thing for me. There is no doubt, however, that it does limit the number of people I have open to me as friends and lovers.

Quote:
I'm not going to "frazzle" or stress myself out coming up with countless HUGE "daily planner" schedules for "quality time" as I don't like schedules I take things as they come.~
To me, this is a limit - one as strong as my own decision to avoid makeup, hair dressers and heels on my shoes.

I have a number of acquaintances who absolutely live their lives as you describe. They take things as they come, don't schedule in time in advance. You see them when you see them. Some of these people are folks I like lots and get on well with. It's often a pleasure to see them but I don't consider them to be friends and there is no way that a relationship between me and somebody like that could ever be anything other than a very casual thing. I have no problem with having a few casual acquaintances in my life who I see sporadically.

But - I very much enjoy having close, long term relationships. I like seeing those that I love develop over time and remaining in their lives. I gain a massive amount of joy from knowing that there are people in my life who've seen me grow over time. So for me, I like to set up my life to enable me to have the relationships that I feel most comfortable in.

I'm busy. I have a job, voluntary work, a family to visit, lots of friends, a partner and a massively important relationship with a dog. A full and happy life. This means that if I'm going to have the sorts of relationships I want, I need to schedule in quality time. Especially as many of those close to me have busy lives too. If we didn't text and agree to meet a week on Saturday for lunch or get together after a meeting to set up a weekend to spend together, it just wouldn't happen.

For me, when I meet somebody new who makes it clear that they prefer to take things as they come and not deal with schedules, the relationship tends not to develop into anything terribly important to me.

For me, seeking our own freedom usually means that we are limited in some ways. It isn't a problem in itself, just a thing that happens.

I think that recognising and being aware of the limits can help deal with some of the unpleasant emotions that go along with them. I used to get very upset if I met somebody who seemed interesting and who was engaging with others but who would just dismiss me. Until I noticed that very often the people that happened with would be folks who very clearly take time with their appearance. Wear make-up, shiny shoes, ironed clothes and the like.

Easier to deal with people who value those things not wanting to talk to me when I realise that I present myself to the world as somebody who does not. It's my choice to have those limits and knowing that helps me deal with the rejection of people who don't want to talk to me.

IP
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  #20  
Old 10-25-2013, 07:24 PM
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IP-wish there was a "like" button! Loved your post and explanation.
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