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Old 04-24-2010, 04:15 PM
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Default Too Young To Poly?

I've been reading around a lot on the net and every so often I come up against articles/posts/discussions that refrence age in one way or another and the general idea seems to be that only people who have lived for a few decades and really experienced life and have either a family or a very longterm SO can truly be poly. It almost seems like there is an opinion that if you're younger you're not really poly, you just haven't settled down yet, or you're experiencing your youth.
So my question is: Is there a certain age at which point you can officially call yourself poly or can anyone at any point in their life assume the position?
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Old 04-24-2010, 04:19 PM
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That is really interesting-because I've never encountered that where I live (not diss-ing you AT ALL).

I don't think that there is an age that one could be defined "poly".
I do think that because society isn't "pro-poly" a large majority of the people living some sort of mono life are going to come up with any excuse possible to keep from labeling you poly.

It's like a parent who says their child is"just a normal little boy, that's why he's so distracted and hyper" when in fact he's ADHD. They don't like the connotation of the label.
It has NOTHING to do with the child in particular-everything to do with the parent's fear.

In the case of mono/poly I think it's a case of fear from poly's that you might REALLY BE only testing the waters (which often DOES occur in youth-but not always) and a fear from mono's that labeling you poly will mean approving of it and that might make them less than they think they are as mono's.
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Old 04-24-2010, 04:47 PM
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I think one knows at an early age if they are poly...although often the tools and as LR said the "labels" aren't known. I think we all try when we are younger to fit in the mold of what is accepted but eventually (like in your 30s and 40s) break free from the need to be part of the pack. I know over the last couple of years I have been trying to find peace with who I am and what I really want in life. In the past I have given up on a lover in order to explore a new lover's world because usually the previous lover wasn't okay with allowing me to develop another relationship concurrently, so I thought there was something wrong with me... because one person didn't make me completely happy and although I still loved former, I also loved latter and traditionally speaking this must mean you haven't found The One. So a strange and fast-moving cycling of people into and out of your life (although I have remained good friends with most of my formers) happens. So in your 20s/early 30s you decide family is the next step (well for women this is kind of biologically forced on us) and so you must find the most compatible of souls who you think will be a good parent to your children. The next decade or so you live somewhat blissfully in the business of raising kids together. Then once the kids are more independent and you have more Me Time you both start to rethink life and direction and self-happiness. With all the self discovery as a focus that also means any kind of suppressed parts of yourself have a chance to resurface often for the first time as open and public. If you are poly that means discovering new relationships. If you are mono in a relationship with a poly I guess that means you find your own inner-strength and ability to love unconditionally. Either way the older you get the more open you become with who you are. But really, if your are a confident introspective youth then you know from the beginning. Just one girl's opinion!
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:12 PM
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Mono and I are sitting here together and so write this together. We just talked about this last night!

Mono thinks that age plays no part in whether a person is poly or not. But it does effect how your approach to poly. There are different external influences and goals depending on age and stage of life.

I agree with him but would add (and I am realizing I have much more to say than time allows right now) that there are different values to up hold in poly than there are in just dating for younger people. Of course this is true for a 40 year old who is single, childless and dating too. Poly seems to value respect, communication, compassion, honesty, and independence highly. More so than the regular dating scene where people don't know about each other.

I don't think that there is a certain age. I am 40 and only identified as poly about 5 years ago. I always knew I was not able to be monogamous though and called myself non-monogamous.

I really think young people have it made today. I struggled dating in my 20's with being called a slut and having to hide and lie about dating many people. Young people don't have to do that now and can call themselves poly. However, I later in life decided I was a lesbian and then had a traditional mono relationship and then tried a mono marriage...

I think younger people need to know that its okay to try everything until something fits. What I find is that some younger people think that because they identify as poly that that's it for the rest of their lives. My wish for them is that they realize it might not be. And that's okay. I have several friends who used to identify as lesbian who are now married with kids. A lot of them were *die hards* at the time. There is nothing wrong with any of it, just take it all with a grain of salt, sit back and enjoy the ride, without taking it all so seriously. I dunno, youth is all about taking stuff seriously sometimes though. I remember being in university and being a Lesbian Avenger (does that exsist any more), activist, boot stomping, ass kicking dyke. I was very present and out. I was embarrassed when u met and started dating nerdist and lost a lot of friends. I was probably one of the only lesbians that had a long term girlfriend. People looked up to us for that and then I went and fucked it up by marrying a man. People were not happy. I felt a fool, but went with my heart.

Anyway, the thing I'm saying is... Just go be yourself and do whatever, that's my motto. Things change, life brings new things and who cares if you identify as poly or not. Just don't show off about it I say you never know what changes will come and you may just end up feeling the fool as I do now.

Now off to spend the afternoon with my two men! (life is so fucking weird isn't it? Thanks for the trip down memory lane).
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:20 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandra View Post
So my question is: Is there a certain age at which point you can officially call yourself poly or can anyone at any point in their life assume the position?
I don't see any difference between doing poly when you're young and doing poly when you're old. I can't say as I've ever met anybody who thought age made any more of a difference in poly relationships than in mono relationships, either.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:20 PM
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I'm 26 and identify with poly the more and more I learn about it. But unlike most people my age I value honesty and trust. I've struggled with mono dating. I'd be dating one person and find someone equally as amazing and not know what to do because they couldn't share me. I'm actually feeling more peaceful now that I know about a support system that I can turn to. I know that there are people who understand and that no matter how many names I'm called that none of it is true. Don't let a number tell you what to be. be yourself.
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Now off to spend the afternoon with my two men! (life is so fucking weird isn't it? Thanks for the trip down memory lane).
Yes, life is very weird but it's wondeful too! And you're welcome.

These are probably the more positive posts I've read in regards to age. I agree with the fact that when you're younger you try on lots of different hats (I like this term better than labels) and some fit and some don't and some fit for awhile but then get old and tattered and fall off. I can't really speak from experience but it sounds like as you get older you get a better idea of what hats you want to wear for a longer time. I also think that sometimes you're very sure of things and it doesn't matter what age you are.
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:44 PM
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I feel in love with a guy when I was married in my early 20's. I am just a couple years from 40 and I still love them both vary much. Love does not know age.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:39 PM
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Cool When I was little, my Barbie dolls were polyfi nudists!

'Nuff said.

Seriously, my personal theory of lovestyles is that there's a spectrum for poly-to-mono, just like the Kinsey scale for hetero-to-homosexuality. Some people are so far one way or the other that the far side isn't an option-- even if society happens to condition people the other way. Others are more moderate; they could go either way, and so what they do winds up depending on who they meet and how their community reacts and what they consciously decide is a good idea.

The experience that comes with age can play a role, but I don't think it's a primary determinant. Be who you are, and enjoy it.
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:51 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandra View Post
Yes, life is very weird but it's wondeful too! And you're welcome.

These are probably the more positive posts I've read in regards to age. I agree with the fact that when you're younger you try on lots of different hats (I like this term better than labels)
To paraphrase one of my favorite book titles (A Hero Ain't Nothing But a Sandwich): A label ain't nothing but a description. It describes what you do. If you change what you do, change labels. It's just like changing a hat.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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