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  #21  
Old 03-12-2014, 03:43 PM
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Back to Dan Savage for a minute. 2 things:

Much of the gay community is anti-poly. Gay men seem to think one committed couple, both having NSA sex on the side (or sex-only 3somes) is OK, but actual feelings/love between outside sex partners is not OK. Men struggle to identify, express and work through feelings.

Many lesbians are extremely couple-centric. Younger ones may play around on the side, but rarely seem to be actually polyAMORous.

As far as Savage saying he's never been invited to a 5 year poly relationship anniversary, what does that even mean? A triad's or quad's anniversary?

My bf Ginger has been with his wife for 25 years and it's always been an open relationship. He's poly, she's free to date too, but has no interest, so it's basically a mono/poly relationship.

My gf miss pixi and I have been together 5 years and we have both had multiple partners over the years.

Ginger, pixi and I are pretty happy with the way we do relationships (we have our speedbumps, but work them out). But in contrast, when I was with my ex h for 30 years, monogamously, that may look like a success Dan Savage would approve of. However, we had more problems communicating than you could shake a stick at, despite having seen 3 or 4 therapists together and separately over the years.
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  #22  
Old 03-12-2014, 05:47 PM
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The context of the quote was "I've been invited to poly weddings, but I've never been invited to a poly 5-year anniversary". I assume that it referred to the anniversary of said wedding. Thing is, though, I've never been invited to a 5 year anniversary ever. Mono, poly, whatever. People tend to invite you to their wedding and have their anniversaries on their own. So that seems like a weird thing to say.

We all know people who've been in long-term poly relationships (be it only on these forums) so we know it happens, but I can see how, since long-term mono relationships are rare already, and long-term poly seems to mean (according to the people commenting, at least) time spent in a relationship with ALL partners, well, that's going to be rarer, just because there are more variables. But yeah, it happens. And someone who is poly all their life and has several 10-20 year long relationships isn't suddenly non-committed just because they only overlapped for 5 of them, or something.
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  #23  
Old 03-13-2014, 12:16 PM
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Thing is, do we really measure the success of a romantic relationship by its duration? Isn't "til death do us part" a monogamous patriarchal structure anyway?

And in this day and age, with the way people travel, pull up roots to follow a job, for school, to care for a relative, or just to see the world, there's a chance not all people in a polycule will be able to move when one partner wants to or needs to.

What is more a measure of success? A relationship that lasts for 3 or 4 years, brings both partners joy and personal growth, ends on a good note, or a miserable marriage with minimal intimacy and respect, that lasts 30 or 50 years?
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  #24  
Old 03-13-2014, 12:39 PM
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Everyone is bringing up such good points!

I think that part of the confusion comes from mononormative culture where, yes, the success of a marriage is measured by it's length and stability.

Part of the poly lifestyle is to be flexible and adapt to change. Sometimes you have to let a partner go because their life takes a different turn.

How would I measure success in polyamory?

I haven't thought of it but I recall some examples from The Ethical Slut about how relationships come and go and how there doesn't really have to be any pain or loss. Maybe you haven't seen a partner for ten years for whatever reason, but you can still pick up where you left off. Or you can break up with someone and maybe 5 to 15 years later try again.

I think that it's inherently misleading to measure the success of a single poly relationship. I think that shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the lifestyle. I'm only seeing one person right now, but I'm living with her and her husband! Does that mean I'm not a good polyamorist? Since I'm only seeing one person? But everyone is happy and healthy, so I'd call that a success.
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  #25  
Old 03-13-2014, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
I think that part of the confusion comes from mononormative culture where, yes, the success of a marriage is measured by it's length and stability.

Part of the poly lifestyle is to be flexible and adapt to change. Sometimes you have to let a partner go because their life takes a different turn.
I would certainly agree that trying to measure success of a relationship by how long it lasts or how bullheaded the members are about their commitments to one another is misguided, at best.

We could all be better off if we continue or end relationships based on the healthy exchange of positive things (happiness, encouragement, stimulation, etc). This is as true for mono relationships as it is for poly. There is nothing inherent in poly which necessitates this flexible approach toward longevity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
I think that it's inherently misleading to measure the success of a single poly relationship. I think that shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the lifestyle.
Are you suggesting that if one wanted to measure the success of a poly relationship that they would need to somehow take an average of overall success of multiple relationships?

Each relationship I have with a person is individual, whether I'm dating multiple people or just one (it's the same with friendship). Mono folks do it the same way, they're just having one of these relationships at a time. So, one could make the same argument for mono, that it is misleading to measure individual relationships and that an overall average should be kept in mind to measure success or failure... which would be silly.
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  #26  
Old 03-13-2014, 04:45 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I agree that length alone is not a good way to determine how successful a relationship is. I do believe it can be a factor depending on the goals and preferences of the people involved, but that important shouldn't be applied by people external to the relationship. In other words, some people might want long-term relationships and therefore a short-term relationship might bring them less satisfaction. However it's for the people having the relationship to decide.

At any rate, I'll definitely support breaking off a relationship before it goes sour over keeping the relationship despite it being the people involved miserable. I think people tend to put the sake of a relationship over the sake of the people who are inside that relationship, which in my opinion is utter madness. A relationship is meant to serve the people, not the other way around.
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  #27  
Old 03-13-2014, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
Are you suggesting that if one wanted to measure the success of a poly relationship that they would need to somehow take an average of overall success of multiple relationships?
No, I meant to say that one should not measure poly relationships at all. I would simply look at how happy someone is in the poly lifestyle versus another lifestyle. Or any other basis of comparison.
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  #28  
Old 03-15-2014, 03:25 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
No, I meant to say that one should not measure poly relationships at all. I would simply look at how happy someone is in the poly lifestyle versus another lifestyle. Or any other basis of comparison.
You make it sound like all polyfolk lead the same kind of lifestyle. There are numerous kinds of lifestyles in which people can incorporate the fact of having multiple loving relationships. That does not mean there is a definite common denominator among them, other than the fact of having multiple relationships. And it definitely doesn't mean there is any such thing as "the poly lifestyle."

See: What is this "lifestyle" you mention?

In addition, there are plenty of people out there involved in multiple, loving relationships, conducted openly and with transparency, who do not identify with nor use the term polyamory.
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  #29  
Old 04-18-2014, 01:40 AM
spicytictac spicytictac is offline
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a few random thoughts for you:

i have had several experiences with counselors who were a terrible fit for me.had i let them be my go to source of what to do with my life i would've been sorely misguided.

while i do think we all work out issues. i think as long as we aren't really hurting anyone to an extreme point we will be okay. your journey is unique and you are too.

sometimes i feel i am teaching my counselor and she should be paying me. haha.

two of my best friends became counselors. they did so because they were the most fucked up of all my friends and wanted to better themselves, but i loved them deeply and they were the two friends that helped me grow the most.neither of them have had successful longterm relationships. one of them is too far out and super creative. the other has very unrealistic standards and believes in never ever compromising. i've found many counselors are either super straight- laced or really fucked up. it's hard to find the middle ground.

i try to boil things down to what matters. but sometimes over analyzing ruins the magic. so....

if i'm stuck in my mind, i focus on my heart and what feels right. feeling my soul residing behind my heart. i put my chin to my heart and focus on what feels right. (not everyone uses emotion the same way though)

i think poly can make it, but all relationships struggle.

maybe find a therapist that is more open?

still, i wouldn't want to be paying someone just for what i want to hear to make me feel better.

idk.

life is such an adventure.

i hope you find the clarity you seek
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  #30  
Old 04-18-2014, 05:55 AM
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In mono-normative culture, breaking up with a partner equates to becoming "all alone." Seems reasonable to assume that will make people more likely to hold on to an unsuccessful relationship, defined by "everyone in it is miserable and wants to leave, but they don't want to be alone."

By the time anyone does enough introspection to determine they're poly inclined, they've probably also noticed a whole bunch of other traits they won't put up with. There are bound to be more mono people than poly people who blindly follow the dictates of society, believing that if they're not happy in a relationship it's their fault or something's wrong with them, or simply that it's normal to hate your husband after 10 years of marriage... and not simply that the relationship is not compatible at this time.

I'm inclined to believe that anyone who's been dating the same two people for over 5 years probably has a fairly good handle on relationships, communication, boundaries, and self-identity. Those aren't the kinds of people who generally go see therapists. So +1 on the sample bias.

Gralson's gone through Addictions Counselling certification. The one thing that stands out for him is how incredibly fucked up nearly every person was in his program. Far too many people go into counselling as a way to avoid dealing with their own problems. It's something you really have to look out for.
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