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  #11  
Old 11-11-2013, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
But I have come to understand that many people will be turned off by the fact that I have dated a married man. I'm not going to call them names for it--they have every right to have their values, standards, and beliefs. And doing so wouldn't change the reality, anyway. By dating him, I have quite likely, limited the pool of people who will be willing to date me in the future.
Serious question here...

I feel pretty naive reading this... I really have not been in "the dating pool" ever - I had one BF in high school, to my BF in college becoming my husband (and now ex), and now my partner (who is someone I knew back in high school).

Is it really that common for people you're dating to be that inquisitive about your dating history? I can understand wanting to make sure there aren't any psycho exes coming your way with a hatchet, or any STIs to worry about, but why would I even care about the people my prospective date used to have in his/her life?

On the contrary, relationships help build the people we are, and some of them make for great stories.

(Is it maybe an age thing? I'm 43 and expect people to have had some life experience by now... good and bad.)
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Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13 and PokéGirl, 10), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog (external): From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #12  
Old 11-11-2013, 06:11 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by YouAreHere View Post
Serious question here...

I feel pretty naive reading this... I really have not been in "the dating pool" ever - I had one BF in high school, to my BF in college becoming my husband (and now ex), and now my partner (who is someone I knew back in high school).

Is it really that common for people you're dating to be that inquisitive about your dating history? I can understand wanting to make sure there aren't any psycho exes coming your way with a hatchet, or any STIs to worry about, but why would I even care about the people my prospective date used to have in his/her life?

On the contrary, relationships help build the people we are, and some of them make for great stories.

(Is it maybe an age thing? I'm 43 and expect people to have had some life experience by now... good and bad.)
My background is very similar to yours. Married young, divorced a couple years ago, roughly the same age. If I'd dated him once or twice, even for a month or so, I can see it not being quite as big a deal. But two years of my life...for me not to mention J and his place in my life, to simply gloss over what I've been doing for those 2 years, to someone close enough to possibly become a spouse would be tantamount to lying at this stage.

ETA: What I'm trying to say is, at this stage, it wouldn't be a matter of someone inquiring about my dating history, it would be a matter of me deliberately hiding things.
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2013, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
If I'd dated him once or twice, even for a month or so, I can see it not being quite as big a deal. But two years of my life...for me not to mention J and his place in my life, to simply gloss over what I've been doing for those 2 years, to someone close enough to possibly become a spouse would be tantamount to lying at this stage.
Gotcha.

I do have friends who've pretty much turned against P because of his being poly, so I do understand that for some folks, being close to such a situation would be something that would be unacceptable for them. Or it'd be something they made snide comments about once in a while, just to make a point.

Here's to surrounding ourselves with people who recognize that we all come with different life experiences. Vive le difference...
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Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13 and PokéGirl, 10), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog (external): From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2013, 06:55 PM
Shipwrecked Shipwrecked is offline
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are you telling me you're only in your 30s????
I'm well beyond my 30's
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2013, 09:25 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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I'm well beyond my 30's
I misread your mention of the 30s then...I guess you were saying that in one's 30s is when poly starts to be impractical? The dating pool starts shrinking? Whereas in one's 20s, poly is easier?

Your post really did resonate with me. In my case, though, I find that even if my options are EXTREMELY limited, the few options are ALL better suited to me than the many random single people I used to encounter in my 20s. They are better suited to me because they do share my philosophy on life & dating & relationships.

To be honest, I'd rather end up alone than with someone who doesn't want me to be friends with my exes (or who is aghast at the thought that I am friends with my partner's exes!) or someone who would judge me harshly for having non-traditional relationships. I truly am willing to stake my future on that.
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2013, 09:27 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I came to a true poly (as in we identified it and chose it) at 34 years old.... Of the people I know in our community, most are significantly older than we are...
Makes me wonder if it's a location thing?
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  #17  
Old 11-12-2013, 12:46 AM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Shipwrecked, I've been thinking about your post all day.

However, I wonder if there's another way to think about it. Lots of people find themselves alone / starting over / feeling that they made all the wrong choices at some point (perhaps at several points) in one's life. Later in life, it is surely even harder to go through that.

But it's not a problem specific to poly. One of my closest friends had to start over at age 53 last year, when her partner of 15 years left her suddenly. She had already been a cancer survivor and was dealing with residual health problems, chronic depression, and underemployment. Then she was left alone with 3 cats, a sick dog, and a lease that she could not renew on her own.

She and her partner were monogamous. Her partner left her for someone else.

Is monogamy the problem? Would my friend's partner have stayed with her if they had been poly and could have relationships with other people? Maybe. Would my friend be better off if she'd been poly? Maybe, assuming she had other partners who could be there for her when her primary partner abandoned her.

But...that's not the issue. Relationships can go horribly wrong whether mono or poly. It seems that you are questioning your choices to be poly, when you could just as easily have ended up in a long-term monogamous relationship that also ended badly and left you wondering if you'll be alone forever.

Maybe my friend would have been better off if she'd been solo (single by choice) for the last 15 years. She could have been building a life of self-sufficiency rather than expecting to be in a domestic partnership for life.

If she'd been happily solo, then suddenly lost her job of 15 years and realized she had no support system...she could still have ended up in the same place.

The point is, shit happens. Loving relationships can end horribly. A monogamous marriage can end in abandonment. One person's many poly relationships can all end at once. A solo person's house can burn down in a fire.

We tend to scrutinize poly more closely than other life choices (such as monogamy) because it's off the norm. There will always be a little voice in our heads saying, "This was a stupid thing to attempt" when a poly relationships fails. ESPECIALLY when more than one relationship fails at once.

Whereas, when a monogamous relationship fails, we don't automatically say, "Wow, the problem was monogamy, monogamy was a waste of my life, now I've ended up alone because I only loved one person." (Or, if we do say that, it's because we want to try poly instead!)

I sympathize with your pain. If you want to try a different approach than poly, by all means, do so. But poly itself may not be the problem.

And, personally, the fact that so many people are horrified by poly relationships and my dating pool is drastically shrunk...it kinda makes me think I'm onto something good (weeding out the chaff, as they say) and I'm going to stick with it But I'm contrary like that.
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  #18  
Old 11-12-2013, 01:58 AM
Shipwrecked Shipwrecked is offline
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It's true that I might have ended up miserable in a monogamous relationship, but now that it's too late for more relationships of any kind, I wish I'd at least tried.

I suppose I could fill up my remaining decades with reading books, watching television, organizing my photographs, taking care of my pets, and doing all the other things people do for solace when there aren't any other people in their lives, but those decades will go pretty slowly, and I expect my single most common activity will be mentally rehashing the mistakes which consigned me to this permanent state of partnerless isolation, and wishing I'd lived my life differently.
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  #19  
Old 11-12-2013, 02:42 AM
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My grandfather remarried in his 90s...
My father in law found the love of his life in his 60s... and they decided to be swingers.

I have a hard time believing that age (or relationship style) is necessarily a deal-breaker for finding new love.
I think attitude is a much bigger part of it.

The whole believing something is possible makes it possible but believing something is impossible creates a lack of effort to make it happen concept.
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  #20  
Old 11-12-2013, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipwrecked View Post
. . . now that it's too late for more relationships of any kind . . . I expect my single most common activity will be mentally rehashing the mistakes which consigned me to this permanent state of partnerless isolation, and wishing I'd lived my life differently.
Oh come on now, it's never too late! People find love in their 70s, 80s, 90s.

Never give up on yourself, or just how wonderful life can be, just because the going gets rough. I was suicidal after my husband and I split up (I'm not being melodramatic, I was preoccupied with thoughts of death, dying, and often considered howI could let this life go) and I still have crying jags about my marriage ending, and another relationship I am mourning -- BUT I am glad I didn't give in to that negative thinking! We, all of us, ncould become pathetic wretches if we do dwell on the bad stuff, but we mustn't indulge in self-pity and remorse. After what I've been through in the last few years, break-ups, contentious divorce in process, nearly becoming homeless, having to sell almost all my furniture to afford food, losing my business, starting over at a shitty minimum wage job, deep depression... blablabla... and I still have hope. There are people who've been through much worse than I have, and they don't give in to negative thinking, so why should I?

I am in my mid-50s. I know there is at least another relationship or two or three out there for me to enjoy - but my happiness and satisfaction must come from within. I have learned that I can't depend on outside circumstances to nurture me.

Hang in there.
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