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  #31  
Old 04-28-2014, 03:30 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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I posted in this thread just over two years ago...and my thinking has not changed. I have a husband, boyfriend, a (new) girlfriend and a couple of FWBs as well as a few intimate-but-not-sexual friends. I am "open" to new relationships, of whatever sort, but not "looking" for anything.

I tend to use labels "after the fact" to describe what IS...not to define what "should" be. The relationship determines the labels and NOT vice versa.
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (23+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (4+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi married female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.


My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #32  
Old 04-28-2014, 05:51 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Good to hear from you, MeeraReed. I've missed your voice on this board.

After much thought, consideration, research, talking to friends and reading of people's stories on this board I eventually came to realise that for now at least, I would consider non-monogamy only if I was not in a serious romantic relationship.

My feeling is that too often non-monogamy isn't terribly ethical when it's being practised by couples. People knowing about what is going on and agreeing isn't sufficient to make something ethical, IMO. (I know that there are lovely examples where it all goes well and everybody is treated well but I think those are not all that common).

Behaving ethically and kindly toward people in my life is important to me which means that I'd rather limit the number of romantic relationships I have than risk getting into some of the situations that I read about here, hear about from friends and read about in other books.

I don't see the same sorts of issues with single people being non-monogamous and it is something that would interest me if my circumstances were to change.

Anyway - long winded way of saying. Good to see ya again.
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  #33  
Old 05-16-2014, 10:45 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
Good to hear from you, MeeraReed. I've missed your voice on this board.

After much thought, consideration, research, talking to friends and reading of people's stories on this board I eventually came to realise that for now at least, I would consider non-monogamy only if I was not in a serious romantic relationship.

My feeling is that too often non-monogamy isn't terribly ethical when it's being practised by couples. People knowing about what is going on and agreeing isn't sufficient to make something ethical, IMO. (I know that there are lovely examples where it all goes well and everybody is treated well but I think those are not all that common).

Behaving ethically and kindly toward people in my life is important to me which means that I'd rather limit the number of romantic relationships I have than risk getting into some of the situations that I read about here, hear about from friends and read about in other books.

I don't see the same sorts of issues with single people being non-monogamous and it is something that would interest me if my circumstances were to change.

Anyway - long winded way of saying. Good to see ya again.
Thanks for the kind words, IP. I'm still "around" in the sense that I still read here frequently, especially the blogs. I just don't have time to post much.
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  #34  
Old 05-19-2014, 06:24 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Suggested list of titles for people you have sex and/or romance with, starting with the least emotional/life involvement and proceeding down to the most emotional/life involvement:
  • one night stands,
  • fuck buddies,
  • friends with benefits,
  • lovers,
  • lover friends,
  • boyfriends and girlfriends,
  • steady boyfriends and girlfriends,
  • partners,
  • fiancés and fiancées,
  • spouses and heart spouses.
Yes?

Presumably, anything above boyfriend/girlfriend (on the list) is *not* a relationship, while anything below lover friends (on the list) *is* a relationship.

Would the "relationship titles" potentially be poly (versus monogamous) titles, while all the "non-relationship titles" would necessarily stop short of being poly (though they could still be non-monogamous titles)?

And perhaps, if you're not in a relationship, you're not in love, whereas if you are in a relationship, you are in love?

---

Re: Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart ... is the woman generally credited with coining the word polyamory. In 1999, the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary was contemplating adding polyamory to that dictionary. S/he asked Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart to provide a definition for the term.

Morning Glory and her husband Oberon published their response on their website ...

... as follows:
Quote:
"The practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved."
The clause "full knowledge and consent" suffices to disclude hidden affairs (cheating). However the Zell-Ravenhearts added some comments to their definition ...

... including the following note:
Quote:
"This term is not intended to apply to merely casual recreational sex, anonymous orgies, one-night stands, pick-ups, prostitution, 'cheating,' serial monogamy, or the popular definition of swinging as 'mate-swapping' parties."
You may say, "Screw the so-called coiner of the word. If I want to include cheating and prostitution when I talk about polyamory, then that's what I'll do." And you may do exactly that. The Zell-Ravenhearts have no special authority to punish you (and I doubt they'd use it if they had it). But you should be aware of their definition, since the mother of all English dictionaries deferred to them (before adding polyamory to the Oxford Dictionary in 2006).

(Source: Wikipedia)

I happen to know (from various past threads on this topic, on a couple of poly forums) that more than a few polyamorists do indeed think cheating belongs under the polyamorous heading. I think the majority discludes cheating, but, especially since the "other team" appears to be of considerable size, I will readily discuss polyamory with cheating (and prostitution) included if the person I'm talking to lets me know that they prefer the more inclusive definition. My standard procedure, though, as long as I don't know any different, is to assume that the consensus of the conversing group is to disclude cheating (from the scope and definition of poly).

It is what it is. I can't control how other people define this or that word, regardless of my own preferences, and if I'm going to engage in a conversation with someone, I'd like it to be a coherent conversation. That can't happen if people can't agree on some basic definitions. So, I do whatever I think will add the most clarity to whatever's being discussed.

If you want my official vote: it is to require "full knowledge and consent" to qualify for polyamory. I'll just add that I'm not passionate about that opinion, and I'll even say that "a cheater may be poly at heart."

---

Re: labels ... let's do away with them? I vote no. I believe that every word in every language is a label. Do people misuse labels? Certainly. But sweeping them out of our lives won't solve the problem. As much as I hate nitpicking debates about poly semantics, I think we're going to see more of those debates until we get it right. Getting it right means coming to a consensus about reasonable, workable words and definitions. We can table any discussion that gets too heated, but the issues aren't going to evaporate. Someday, they'll have to be discussed in a way that leads us to some kind of agreement, about definitions that everyone (or darn near everyone) can stand. That may mean we're all gonna have to be willing to compromise on some things. I don't know. We'll have to see. In the meantime, a functional system of poly terminology remains very much a work in progress.

Re (from MeeraReed):
Quote:
"I'm definitely in the latter category! Still looking! Still confused about labels!"
Meera, I think I'm exactly where I want to be as far as (my poly) relationships are concerned, and yet I'm sure I'm as confused about labels as you are (or were at that point in the thread). Some people feel that all the important questions about poly terminology have been answered. But that's not how I feel.

Sorry if this post wandered around a lot. I wanted to respond to a lot of different things in this thread. I don't mean to write Scripture anywhere here, just kind of thinking out loud throughout this post.
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  #35  
Old 05-19-2014, 12:01 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Presumably, anything above boyfriend/girlfriend (on the list) is *not* a relationship, while anything below lover friends (on the list) *is* a relationship.
Oh, I disagree! If people want to use the word "relationship" only to mean a totally entwined and committed, heading for a lifetime kind of partnership, then I understand why they wouldn't view FWBs as relationships - but they would be so wrong to make such a blanket statement like that! If you have a friend, that's a relationship, and if you have sex with that friend, there's still a relationship!

Also, regarding your list, Kevin, I see FWBs, lovers, and lover-friends all at about the same level.
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The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #36  
Old 05-19-2014, 07:59 PM
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RainyGrlJenny RainyGrlJenny is offline
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I agree with NYCindie! Punk is my FWB/lover/lover-friend (I tend to use those interchangeably), but that more describes the level of life-sharing than the amount of love involved. I would never say I don't have a relationship with Punk, it's just different than my relationship with Moonlight.

Just because that relationship is less intertwined does not mean that it is at all casual.

The way I use those terms, one-night-stands and fuck buddies would not be considered relationships for me because the contact is typically too brief for me to build a relationship, but I wouldn't presume to know how other people feel or use those labels. Maybe they love their fuck buddy!

I guess I don't understand the difference between boyfriend/girlfriend and "steady" boyfriend/girlfriend. Going steady makes me think of high school in the 50's, or getting pinned.
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- Moonlight, single, leans monogamous, girlfriend since 6/2012
- Punk, married guy, poly, FWB since 9/2011 with an emphasis on the "F"
- No longer lives with ex-boyfriend Fly (1/2006 - 12/2013, my introduction to nonmonogamy, ultimately amicable breakup), and his 10-year-old son Kiddo
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  #37  
Old 05-19-2014, 09:30 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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What's a lover-friend? I've only been friends with my lovers, and occasionally a friend becomes a lover. And former lovers usually remain friends. I guess I don't get the meaning of the term.

And I consider all of those categories - except the true one night stand - to be relationships. Not committed relationships generally but still relationships.
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  #38  
Old 05-19-2014, 10:38 PM
Eponine Eponine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
If people want to use the word "relationship" only to mean a totally entwined and committed, heading for a lifetime kind of partnership, then I understand why they wouldn't view FWBs as relationships - but they would be so wrong to make such a blanket statement like that! If you have a friend, that's a relationship, and if you have sex with that friend, there's still a relationship!

Also, regarding your list, Kevin, I see FWBs, lovers, and lover-friends all at about the same level.
I agree. The thing with me is emotional involvement doesn't have to be associated with practical involvement at all, and only emotional involvement is the defining factor for my (significant) relationships. I have zero practical life sharing with A and L (nor do we intend to merge our lives), but emotionally they're as significant as G, whom I've been living with for almost 3 years.

Another quirk of mine is I tend to have grey-area relationships between "just friendship" and "romance/partnership," so we don't feel comfortable calling each other bf/gf in such relationships (especially if the feelings are entirely nonromantic). If I had to pick between bf/gf and FWB, I'd rather use FWB, although in our case the "benefits" aren't sex, but emotional and physical intimacy. I'd imagine my grey-area relationships are pretty similar to some other people's "lover-friends" relationships (I just don't like to use the word "lover" because of its sexual connotation): They may look "casual" on the surface, but the emotional connection can be as strong as in a primary relationship.
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Last edited by Eponine; 05-20-2014 at 06:44 AM.
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  #39  
Old 05-20-2014, 12:32 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
What's a lover-friend? I've only been friends with my lovers, and occasionally a friend becomes a lover. And former lovers usually remain friends. I guess I don't get the meaning of the term.
"Lover-friend" is a term that SourGirl suggested a couple of years ago here, after I had complained that I didn't like the term "friends with benefits." I started using it, others followed suit, and it stuck - at least in the context of this forum/community. I also use the term on my OKC profile, and I am sure the term is used in other circles where relationships are discussed. But it is basically a FWB.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

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; 05-22-2014 at 03:01 AM.
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  #40  
Old 05-20-2014, 06:40 AM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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I know I shouldn't but I can't help feeling after having read Kevins list that "I'm doing it wrong". It's really stupid I know. It's just that I feel I have real relationships. Real romantic relationships, but I wouldn't dare call either of then bf/gf-level of relationship. And one of these doesn't even include sex, but the emotions is just so strong and out in the open for anyone to see that it's hard to not feel like it is a relationship. I think the list needs a lot of work still. It's sort of one-dimensional (relationship=sex) and I do think the line Kevin drew is very arbitrary and propably just based on his own values/opinion.

Oh and for terminology… I use love-friend and lover-friend. One is a lover and one is love.

FWB makes me feel like sex is a common hobby, some sort of sport, like bouldering or playing tennis together. Recreational fun. I just don't feel like that about sex. It's fun, but it's not a sport for me.
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