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  #11  
Old 05-24-2014, 07:33 AM
london london is offline
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I think the quote I gave clearly showed that bluebird questioned the authenticity of someone else being poly based on their practices differing from hers.

As a poly person who probably doesn't practice the same way as her, I have every right to pick up on that, particularly as she went onto say that she doubts she could be happy about her partners dating others. Many of us believe that the crux of polyamory isn't having multiple partners, it's accepting your partner(s) having other loves.

So introspect away, but when anyone starts to question the validity of someone else's polyness, especially hypocritically so, it becomes something that I, personally, cannot let pass. Mainly because I'm one of those people who absolutely see my liking for a bit of random and spontaneous sex, casual short term relationships and not quite boyfriend's as me exercising my freedom to form multiple simultaneous loving relationships with the consent of all involved.
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2014, 12:19 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
All I've ever known are ticking clocks and ultimatums. I feel like I've been stigmatized and ostracized on account of my polyamorous nature. I feel like I've accepted this quietly, knowing that most people don't understand it and aren't okay with it. I feel like it's been a closet. Is this common?

Comments welcome.
You and I are roughly the same age - I'm 41.

I have been talking to my partner about some of this stuff for the past few years. I think that people often go through quite profound changes from roughly mid 20s to start of their 40s that I think have a powerful impact on romantic relationships.

My experience with folk who are in their late teens/early 20s is that on the whole they are more open to differently shaped relationships and much more accepting of concepts like multiple loves. I remember being at a poly discussion once where a girl who was probably around 19/20 commented that when she'd told her family about her being poly, they'd all laughed at her and said that there was nothing unusual about her. They'd all done that when they were young.

Then it seems that for a lot of people a change comes. They seem to become more closed down, more worried about appearances. They often want marriage, children, they worry about their house and want a better car.

I've found myself having utterly bizarre conversations with friends who I'd always thought of as quite free spirited about how important it is to have a conservatory built or to drink the "right" wine or to buy your fish from the "right" fish monger. I have even sat at a dinner party and listened as some of the other guests debated the best cannabis to use and the best device to ingest it.

My experience is that friends going through those sorts of changes tend then to start being quite patronising toward anybody who they see as living an alternative lifestyle. I find that the friends who go through that start to ask me if I think I'll be lonely in my old age because I don't have children. Sometimes they will suggest that I'm a bit daft for being okay with my partner having female friends. I'll find myself in conversations where those friends look down on anybody who doesn't work lots, earn lots of money and spend it on better houses and cars. These are people who know that I work part time by choice, drive an old van and live in a small house in a rough area and spend my spare money on social activities and on my interests.

I haven't had the experiences you've had of being cut out of people's lives because I spent my 20s in a mono relationship with a man who I am still in loose contact with. Then most of my 30s I was single and very happy to be so. For the past few years I've been in a mono relationship with a man who identifies as poly and who thinks that everybody should have open relationships.

I haven't asked him to change his views or made attempts to control him but what I have said is that if he wishes to live that way then he and I should switch our relationship back to one of friendship. I am only willing to deal with one romantic relationship in my life. I find them a lot of work and the thought of having to juggle more than one (or accommodate my partner doing so) makes me feel trapped and tied down. Things work between us. My partner loves me utterly and tells me he's happy with the way things are. He has tons of women friends (women adore him) and several of them are friends of mine now. He has great taste in women.

For me the heartening thing in all of this is that not everybody goes through the sorts of changes I see so often. My life contains some shining examples of people who haven't ever changed. Who live alternative lifestyles happily and openly and who don't patronise me about my choices. Those friends almost all have different lifestyles than I do and are alternative in different ways but we are able to appreciate and accomodate each other (in the same way as my partner and I are).

I remain hopeful that maybe once I reach my 50s I'll find that romantic relationships become less work and then I might be more open to allowing more of them into my life.

You are not alone in what you're experiencing. I have noticed it going on in my life too.

I hope this forum is helpful to you. It has been for me.

IP
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2014, 02:47 PM
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@london

Wow, your posts to me come across as super hostile. WTF?

Uh, yeah, I feel I can accept labels that I like. I just reject ones I feel are negative and not moving me forward on this journey of life, that others try to put on me. Funny. I just got the poly heart/infinity symbol tattooed on my left hand. So yeah, I consider myself poly.

I never said I practice the pinnacle of poly. That is laughable, and it is ridiculous that you suggest so. I was just saying, upon examination, their practices were different. Hell, in January, I gave swinging a try because I was questioning if it would work for me or not. It didn't. That doesn't mean it doesn't work for others. I never said that someone who doesn't have a lifelong relationship is bad at poly. That's you making something up. I have yet to have any sort of lifelong relationship, myself, mono or poly. (I am 36.)

As far as my partners dating, it isn't something that has happened, and not does it look likely to happen. I bring it up from time to time to them, because I am asked about it constantly. Has DarkKnight decided to date? Will PunkRock eventually want another girlfriend? Sometimes I feel I am a real-life daytime talk show for people. My partners always say no. *shrugs* They both say they are mono.

However, I don't feel that me being hesitant now means I would be unaccepting then. I don't know though. It's hypothetical. To answer your question, I don't feel it would be very poly of me if I were only tolerant of them dating. The way that I personally define my poly, it wouldn't be. I would want to feel compersion - the joy that my husband has when I am with my boyfriend - his happiness is very apparent, and I would want to be able to feel the same.

If I broke it down, I would actually say that I could feel that for my husband. Our foundation is secure and strong and I think I would be perfectly ok.

With my boyfriend, right now I don't feel the same. Our relationship is still young, we are still learning about each other. I do not feel as secure with him. If he suddenly wanted to date, I would have to do some work with my personal needs list and share with him what I am having to work on. But it would have a lot to do with the timing right now. - he is in the process of moving in with my husband and I. Adding someone to our vee at the present time would stress the poly math considerably. He realizes this, but it doesn't matter. He has repeatedly said he is mono. So, I will keep checking in with both my guys, and I will see if longevity in my relationships is the thing or if it is something else.

You are free to PM me if you want, but this is pulling away from the topic-starter. I am not the focus of this thread. Nor do I care to be, especially when your questions read as attacking and hostile.
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2014, 06:03 PM
Nadya Nadya is offline
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I was browsing through some old threads on this forum, and found this one: "Stop me if you've heard this one" - clichťs we've heard from non-polys

Jesse, I hope you do not mind me posting this link in your intro thread... you are not alone with your problem!
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2014, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
I'm grateful for everybody's comments. We should be as supportive as we can, I say, so long as progress is being made.
Um, so isn't an ongoing conversation in a discussion thread exactly that - "progress?"
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2014, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebird View Post
Adding someone to our vee at the present time would stress the poly math . . .
The term "poly math" is very specific lingo written about by Serolynne and adopted by a small percentage of people, and it certainly isn't a standard term nor a given that all people engaged in multiple relationships know what you mean by this. I know I could look it up, and I have in the past but it meant nothing to me, so would you explain what it means to you?
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-26-2014 at 07:37 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-26-2014, 09:43 PM
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Poly math: To me it means that every new person brought into our world also adds in issues of some sort. Not always negative, but definitely discussions are going to be had surround scheduling, sharing time, etc. I have dated other poly people - and even the most non-invasive metamours can bring stress. Right now, for us, we are dealing with two terminal illnesses in the extended family - which are in the process of coming to a quick close - the moving in/relocation of my boyfriend into our home, a sibling dealing with addiction needing cared for while he waits for rehab, as well as various other outside day-to-day stressors, like one vehicle suddenly needing both new back brakes & radiator and being undrivable while the other still needs new tires. One of my mono partners suddenly deciding that he isn't mono would be an adjustment, and given all the other stressors going on at the present time, adding that in could be rough when emotions are already high. So to me, in the context I was using the term, I was saying one more person to add to the three in our group to worry over could quickly send me over the edge. And, knowing my guys as well as I do, they would not be able to handle me introducing another partner right now either. Especially since most of those issues are in their extended families, not mine.
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  #18  
Old 05-27-2014, 09:41 AM
london london is offline
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I never said I practice the pinnacle of poly. That is laughable, and it is ridiculous that you suggest so
What you said is that some people claim to be poly. If you say someone claims something, it means that although they and others may believe that thing to be true, it is debatable. So you're saying their poly identity is debatable and you go on to say that their practices differ from yours as some sort of explanation to why their identity is a claim and not a fact. This basically implies that your practices are the practices of a poly person and their different practices mean their poly identity is simply a "claim". Something that is disputable.

If you said "some poly people practice very differently to me", there wouldn't have been the same implication that your poly is The Poly and other forms are disputable.

As for the poly math stuff, I think it is useful, however, it could also be used as an ongoing excuse not to handle one's insecurities whilst simultaneously possessing and consuming copious amounts of cake.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
If you said "some poly people practice very differently to me", there wouldn't have been the same implication that your poly is The Poly and other forms are disputable.
I have no idea why picking apart what I said is something you think I want to discuss with you. The OP found it helpful and as it was directed toward him and not you, I have no desire to have you attack me further. I've said my intention wasn't to say that my poly is the best ever and everyone else sucks, yet you seem to want to make me say that? Again, that wasn't my intention and I am done discussing it. Please don't address me any further.

Quote:
As for the poly math stuff, I think it is useful, however, it could also be used as an ongoing excuse not to handle one's insecurities whilst simultaneously possessing and consuming copious amounts of cake.
Meh. Sure. But that isn't the case here. I've dated married guys, guys in LTRs, guys just casually dating...all with different flavors of poly. My insecurities weren't overwhelming. *shrugs* I'm not looking for assistance with my situation.
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  #20  
Old 05-27-2014, 09:04 PM
TSFairyPrincess TSFairyPrincess is offline
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So much truth. I sympathize with your written sentiments.

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Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
Maybe I shouldn't use the term Closet. The LGBTs use it, and for good reason. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent trying to change natural LGBT predisposition, to "fix" them, to suppress them, to keep them out of view. Polyamory hasn't been the target of grassroots political movements, or Judeo-Christian church sermons denouncing my nature in such absolute terms as "an abomination in the eyes of the Lord." Maybe I'm just a whiner for speaking of closets. Maybe I need to "check my privilege" again, particularly since I am a straight white male. But I do feel persecuted, I really do, and I'm mad as hell. I've looked at a handful of these other posts, and they're so positive, so upbeat. Am I the only one who feels cursed?

Before I figured out that the infantile interpersonal dramas we see in movies and on TV are quite representative of all levels of our culture, before I realized that jealousy, insecurity, and possessiveness over people are not seen by society as quirks or foibles, but as virtues, you bet your ass there have been people who have stepped up to me with violent intentions due to my socially aberrant nature, before I got good at hiding and blending. I have sat through church sermons denouncing my nature, though not with all the fire and brimstone the LGBT community endures. I have been blasted with hate, accusations of betrayal, with fundamental, apocalyptic condemnations of my character, from people I trusted, people I loved, people I thought wanted to understand me. Out of purest paranoia they dismiss my deepest and most enduring love as shallow fancy, ex-lovers burn me from their hearts and from their memory, somehow counting as a blessing and a strength their reptilian ability to do so. And I've dealt with this in secrecy and in silence, because I have met, in person, not a single soul who is truly polyamorous. I have only heard of them, on the internet. And so here I am. Am I the only one who's angry?

Am I the only one who didn't consider coming out, going public as poly, until half his hair turned gray? Or even come fully to terms with it himself? They called me a horndog, they called me a flirt, they've even called me a "player." Compared with my friends, I suppose I was, by their definition. Naturally monogamous women have found my honesty charming, at least at first, and buddies were mystified that a woman would even temporarily entertain a romance with me while knowing full well she was not the only one. But in the end, everybody was rolling their eyes. Everyone but me. They said I was immature, but I'm far too old to listen to that now. They said Iíd be gripped with the need for monogamy one day, that it would just happen, but it never did. They said Iíd stop "playing" after somebody played me, they said I just needed to know heartache, and Iíd change, but I have been dumped more than any of them. Women I still love today, who once told me they loved me, now say they do not. I know far, far more of heartache and loneliness than any of them, Iíve spent far more time alone, and celibate, than any of them, and frankly, I passed them all up in this department at least a decade ago. Iím done shrugging shyly and chuckling gamely at the comments. Iím done with the back slapping and the winking and the nudging and the whatís-your-secret. There is no secret. There are no secrets. Thatís the secret. It was never a game for me. Never. Not ever.

Not Ever. Not ever did I ever play a ďgameĒ with a human being.

I've always given the truth to lovers, even though itís always thrown back in my face before long. I've committed to monogamy on several occasions, sometimes for years at a time. I've never, ever broken such a covenant. Nevertheless, my freely admitted indifference toward monogamy has been a constant source of suspicion, accusation, resentment, and fighting. Each lover eventually begins demanding that I forsake every alliance I've ever forged with members of the opposite sex, hating me bitterly for my refusal to do so.

But eventually, each successive partner's insistence on equating jealousy with love has driven them, one after the other, to break contact with me, so as to avoid detonating the mutually assured death-grip of fear and insecurity they share with their current partners. There really is room in most peopleís hearts for only one person at a time. Because my love is not so limited, they cursed my love as something less than theirs, and now, as the ashes of their love cool into dust, I continue to bear love eternal. My eyes would surely light if I happened upon one of them by chance, but upon seeing that light, these exes would likely experience only awkward discomfort and pity, as if I harbored some delusion, as if I were less than fully aware of what I can expect from them. After all, they seem to wonder, why would I still love them after the romance has run its course? Why would I still love them it were not reciprocated?

Why indeed?

A practical question. But there is no practical answer. I simply can't help it. When I come to love a person, it would seem to be a permanent phenomenon, so far as I can tell from the evidence thus far. There are five of them now, and I will always think of them "that way." Most folks seem to operate their relationships with a series of ropes and pulleys; pull one closer, and some unlucky other drifts away, with a repetitious squeaking of gears. What the hell is the deal with all this machinery? How the hell do these people look at me and see complication? What planet am I even from?

I'm pretty sure I'm polyamorous, though I've never met a self-proclaimed poly, and I've never been in a standing, indefinite poly relationship, or even used the word until this last year. All I've ever known are ticking clocks and ultimatums. I feel like I've been stigmatized and ostracized on account of my polyamorous nature. I feel like I've accepted this quietly, knowing that most people don't understand it and aren't okay with it. I feel like it's been a closet. Is this common?

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