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  #41  
Old 11-18-2013, 05:02 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by Dagferi View Post
Murf is my husband just as much as Butch is.
It doesn't sound like your relationships adhere to the primary/secondary model?
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  #42  
Old 11-18-2013, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post

But I'd be curious to know how many here go into a secondary relationship thinking, hoping, expecting, or planning that it might last a lifetime, that you might grow old with this person.

I would further point out that in the typical primary or mono relationship, actions are taken that require commitment, that show that expectation of building a life together, that entwine lives: buying a house together, getting bank accounts together, having children together.

This is much less likely with a secondary relationship.
I've gone into dating with no expectations, and so far (starting as a newly non-monogamous married person) out of the maybe fifteen or so in a decade first meetings/coffee dates with people, found 1 husband and two long term partners. One of the two long term partnerships, from early on, gave the impression it could last a lifetime, I did not go in expecting it, but I really think I would like it to last until I'm old and wrinkly. The other one, we are very different, and I thought it would be my first short term relationship in the last two decades, but it surprised me and is going on three years.

I'm guessing if I didn't meet compatible people as easily as I seem to (thank you OKCupid - for all three of my current relationships, actually) I might have a different take. I am open to short term relationships and actual friends with benefits, just like I am open to living with another partner, though that's probably not workable in my current situation for a number of reasons. Most first dates, it just becomes apparent we aren't compatible right away, so I don't end up with short term relationships.

On a side note, I do sometimes wonder why people in large metropolitan areas have trouble with OKC, but I guess my profile was very specific about who I was and what I could offer, and what I was open to, so although I've gotten creepy stuff in the past, its probably in equal parts to messages from decent guys, most of them non-monogamous. I think a lot of it is careful wording.
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  #43  
Old 11-18-2013, 09:05 AM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
It doesn't sound like your relationships adhere to the primary/secondary model?
No I do not.

I know I would not be happy having my wants and needs seen to second to someone elses. Ie having to change my plans with my partner because something came up with my metamour. Health problems, family emergencies and kid issues not included. So I do not play the whole primary secondary game. I do not believe in treating others as a back up plan.
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Murf my monogamous second husband has been with me since May of 2012.
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  #44  
Old 11-18-2013, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
I think the difference here is that in general, people date with the intention and expectation of finding a spouse, with whom to grow old together. Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule. Obviously, it doesn't always work out that way. But there's some expectation and goal of that.

In secondary or outside poly relationships, it's much more likely that there's an expectation of impermanence, or at least little hope for permanence. Again, obviously there are exceptions.

But I'd be curious to know how many here go into a secondary relationship thinking, hoping, expecting, or planning that it might last a lifetime, that you might grow old with this person.

I would further point out that in the typical primary or mono relationship, actions are taken that require commitment, that show that expectation of building a life together, that entwine lives: buying a house together, getting bank accounts together, having children together.

This is much less likely with a secondary relationship.
Well, I was never one to think that any relationship will or should last a lifetime, even in my white-knight-seeking single monogamous days. Now, especially while dealing with my divorce, I have less faith in that ideal than I ever did, though I know it's very possible.

I don't subscribe to the primary/secondary hierarchy myself. No matter whom I would become get involved with, if I had several relationships that develop into deep caring and love, I would treat them all as equally important to me. That does not mean they couldn't have widely different needs or schedules, but no one would be less important, and I would hope the relationships continue as long as we are both enjoying and benefiting from them.

If I were to get involved with someone who went along with the primary/secondary hierachy, I would be extremely cautious. If he viewed me as a secondary, I would express this to them and let him know that I never want to feel that I am secondary nor treated as less important. Basically that would mean that our relationship dynamic is nurtured independently, my needs are met, I feel respected, valued, and heard, and treated in accordance with being respected, valued, and heard. I suppose I would want to have a good understanding of his relationship with his primary, and discuss these issues with my metamour, to know where I stand. I would never just blindly accept the role of "secondary," no matter how infatuated I might be.

I doubt I will ever want to get married again, and it will probably be a long time before I ever cohabit with someone or want a partner-type relationship (that doesn't mean I don't want something for the long term - it just means I am not into total entwinement). But I totally think it's possible to have long-term partnerships with multiple people, or with someone who has multiple partners even if I don't.

At Polymatchmaker's forums, I remember reading a thread about a member who had passed away surrounded by all her loves, current and former. It was a beautiful tribute. She had been poly many years, from what I recall, and reading it made me think about how you can have multiple loves and move into old age together. I think a large part has to do with giving up childhood fantasies we have about marriage and relationships.
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"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 11-18-2013 at 02:31 PM.
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  #45  
Old 11-18-2013, 04:49 PM
Spock Spock is offline
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Originally Posted by bofish View Post
I feel you! And this question has been in my mind for awhile.

For me, personally, as a near middle age woman has been:

1. Married men wanting to cheat.
2. Youngsters who want to eventually get married.
3. Poly people already in a relationship.
4. Older men who are single (but there is a reason they are single! They tend to be quirky.)
5. Poly single people.

So, the only possible combinations for lasting relationship SEEM to bee someone who is young, single, and open to poly coming into our family. Or an older man who has been there done that and wants a lover wihtout a partner or an already married poly guy. (I actually only met one person like this).

Many of these combination seem hard to obtain. I think organically people want more of their lovers.

Yes. people break up and die. But there is a huge difference say with frieds - you expect one day they will die or break up...but the relationship is solitified in a different way that creates less anxiety. I guess I would ask (both OP and others) what the combinations might be?
The flip can be asked too; who only wants a short term relationship?

1) You don't want to invest a lot of effort into the relationship
2) You don't need a lot out of the relationship
3) Your circumstances will force it to be temporary regardless of what you want

So if you're in high school but plan on going to college 900 miles away? Or you're in college and you plan on moving four states away?

Or even as a young adult and you don't know what you want, who you want, etc, and the dating seen is an all you can eat buffet!

The last category is if you're unrooted, moving from job to job, state to state, career to career, and you don't know what you want to do with your life yet, and don't want to be tied nor want to tie up someone else.

Yet in all those situations, you still need affection, love, sex, etc.
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  #46  
Old 11-23-2013, 09:44 PM
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ICanBeStunning ICanBeStunning is offline
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Honestly at this point in my life intense relationships aren't so viable.

I don't know why you would start a relationship with the idea it will end (unless it's casual from the onset). I don't subscribe to that mentality anymore. I pursue people whom I admire and want in my life. I'm often happy to know those people however brief our relationship.

I'm a full time student, I work, I have a super close relationship with my family, I'm active in my alternative lifestyle communities, I try to be a good friend, I volunteer a lot. I write at least a novel per school semester and once I graduate from this program, I'm planning on pursuing an even more intense program. I often don't have the time to deal with a partner's needs the way they may want me to. It's nice to know that they can rely on someone other than me.

Even with all this, I see secondary relationships as having potential for forever. It's unfortunate that some people see the potential secondary relationship as disposable from the onset. I don't know why this should be the expectation.

When my lovers ask me to compare them, I say that they're each unique and I just love them for who they are and who they are in my life. IMO secondary is a status/role not an identity. I find it best to see people for who they are rather than what they do for me. (Which isn't to say that I never have selfish motives when pursuing another. Just not my primary outlook).
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  #47  
Old 11-23-2013, 10:35 PM
Norwegianpoly Norwegianpoly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkling View Post
Good evening,
even if we weren't monogamous, I would prefer that our marriage was the primary relationship for both of us. I'm afraid of risking that. I also have lived in the mono-get-married-and-stay-together-for-life model that it seems really strange to entertain the idea of pursuing another relationship knowing that it will end at some point. Maybe mutually and gracefully, and maybe not. Why would I sign up for a relationship that has a shelf life from the start? It sounds painful. Does this concern make sense to anyone? Does everyone really end up with a loving extended family of ex-lovers? Or do they end up with a collection of uncomfortable exes that pop up periodically to cause problems?
~darkling
I started out with that, too. I never thought I would have another primary, neither did my husband. But the important thing is that our bond is stil IMPORTANT. It is just that another person has become important, too. It does not feel imposing. I would never enter a relationship with a shelf life. Even when I thought our other relationships would be secondaries, I never thought if would be like "fun for a while". I really belive in cherishing people - and no relation ever end unless at least one involved want it to!

Living poly in a predominantly mono environment is not easy. Oh, people will fall in love! That part is not the problem. The freaking out about falling in love-part is problematic, though. We have had our share in that. Still we keep in contact with everyone; they are our friends and aquaintances. There might be resentment, but there is no hate. We make it our businiss to work with ourselves and leave it up to others to do the same.
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  #48  
Old 11-24-2013, 01:37 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ICanBeStunning View Post
I don't know why you would start a relationship with the idea it will end
I can't speak for the OP, but from my perspective, it's not an expectation so much acknowledging reality. I read over and over that secondary relationships don't typically last more than two or two and a half years. Given that, it's a reasonable thing to ask, Is there a point to starting all these relationships knowing they're likely to end within a couple of years? What is the point? Is it worth the constant cycle of heartbreak and endings? Maybe to some, it is.
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  #49  
Old 11-24-2013, 05:32 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Is there a point to starting all these relationships knowing they're likely to end within a couple of years? What is the point? Is it worth the constant cycle of heartbreak and endings? Maybe to some, it is.
From my perspective it is still the "expectations" that trip things up - which is why I generally don't have any.

For instance:

I am never "looking" for a relationship so I never think about "starting" one. I sometimes find myself IN relationships of various forms (friendships, familyships, romanicships, sexualships) but the "form" doesn't define the relationship - the people and their interactions create the relationship. It is what it is - it doesn't have to "go" anywhere to be successful - it only has to be satisfying to the people involved.

Having said that, I am very, very "emotionally reserved." I have never experienced the "heartbreak and endings" that are referenced here - but I wouldn't make myself that emotionally vulnerable until it was already clear that the relationship was already "committed" (by this I mean that it is the intention of everyone involved to address problems as they arise, communicate needs/wants, and find solutions that work for everyone - not just run off when the going gets tough or a "new shiny" person comes along).

For me, to reach that level of comfort (to let down my emotional guard) doesn't happen until after the NRE wears off...
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (22+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
TT: poly male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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