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  #11  
Old 05-11-2010, 08:19 AM
capricorny capricorny is offline
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Default At least 3 categories of rules

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Originally Posted by rpcrazy View Post
THE 5 RULES OF POLY!
The presented steps are in a hierarchy from top to bottom. Do not do skip ahead :P

1. oh snap?! you love another person, or you discover you're a hippie!!??? Figure yourself out. Take a hike, go soul searching for however long it takes until you figure that IS true and undeniable...you can like, and love more than one person. Once you do...learn SELF-CONTROL, and don't continue until you do!!!

2. Learn to communicate (click on link) with your partner. However long it takes. When you find that your partner understands you, and you understand your partner, go on to #3...

3. Tell you're partner your poly. THAT'S RIGHT, go right ahead be HONEST! "honesty? what's that? is it safe/convenient?" IT DOESN'T MATTER!!! MWHAHAHA! If you've learned to communicate, you should be able to tell your partner that you're poly and discuss the dynamics of you're future relationship. woohoo!

4. PRACTICE! That guy or girl, who've you've been all "O.M.G i want to touch and you feel you, and be wrapped/wrap myself around your EXISTENCE BECAUSE I LOVE YOU" about? Well now's the time to release that NRE and use it! well...maybe not fully. But release it(hehe) under the conditions of your new, open, and versatile relationship! yay!

5. "i feel jealous and un-loved " OH NOES! You're loved one or many of your loved ones are hurt because of jealousy. WELL, jealousy is alot like fear in that the best to deal with it is HEAD-ON! This last step is rough, and will probably takes months to YEARS...TO LIFE! but hey it'll be the most fantastic journey you'll ever go through(besides maybe having a baby, and climbing some stupid high mountain in china)
Concepts to familiarize your with are: In order...
Unconditional Love<br>
Jealousy <br>
Compersion
Have a taste, maybe? The proof of the poly pudding lies in the....?

I wonder if it may be fruitful to discern three types of "rules":

1. Rules as in commandments. Completely useless for poly, methinks.
2. Rules as in grammar rules enabling communication. Hard to avoid, methinks.
3. Rules as in rules of thumb. Might be useful, depends.

Instead of category 1, we have our inescapable mantra
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
That's more than enough of that sort.

I have tried to elaborate on cat 2 elsewhere.

Rules in cat 3 come in several groups. One is "works often, could or should be tried". Another is the "shit happens, but you don't have to produce it" set. A third, that possibly is closest to what is sold as "poly rules" is related to cat 2 principles: If I violate them, I am likely to disregard or overstep some de facto dividing lines. Giving my language of love bad grammar, more prone to misunderstandings, not the least by myself.

Some possible cat 3 examples.
Group 1: I never make long-term poly decisions or strategies when I am immersed in NRE.
Group 2: I should be very conservative in risk assessments, and careful about my tendency to optimistic methodology. Using others' disasters for meta-analysis.
Group 3: The right to negotiation is irrevocable.
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  #12  
Old 05-11-2010, 12:47 PM
EugenePoet EugenePoet is offline
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Interesting.

(MonoVCPHG, I think if you are a sheep you are in a self-constructed pasture with consciously evaluated boundaries? You chose your personal landscape and know that if your self-understanding changes you can revise your boundaries? Is that true?)

Rules for making rules, aka meta-rules...Absolute pronouncements are probably not useful. Situational guidelines or suggestions for consciousness are better.

Damn, I have to go to work, can't finish the thoughts now. Later.
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  #13  
Old 05-11-2010, 02:59 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Originally Posted by EugenePoet View Post
Interesting.

(MonoVCPHG, I think if you are a sheep you are in a self-constructed pasture with consciously evaluated boundaries? You chose your personal landscape and know that if your self-understanding changes you can revise your boundaries? Is that true?)..
That is true. One could revise thier boundaries or "change your pasture" so to speak. But that would require you to believe that the world outside your pasture is better or more enlightened. I do not believe that at all. The grass is not greener outside the traditional pasture most live in..it is only different and it is this different pasture that the woman I love runs in...therefore I have followed. She is what grounds and keeps me here..I am like a man on a long elastic stretching form my more traditional pasture into the pasture of non-monogamoy. If I let go of her or she lets go of me, I will spring back into my old pasture...not that I think this will happen
Make no doubt..I am her bcasue of her and no other reason.
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Last edited by MonoVCPHG; 05-11-2010 at 03:13 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2010, 01:47 AM
EugenePoet EugenePoet is offline
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Mono, this interests me because I am several steps behind you but may be similar in some respects (only some). So I'm looking at my own field and attempting to understand where my natural boundaries lie. (And trying to learn from your experience...) From one side I am poly: I feel no discomfort with my lover having other men and women to love. From the other side I am not so poly: I am uncomfortable with myself having other lovers. That may change if I meet the right woman, but it seems a remote possibility. So my boundaries are odd, uneven, and not yet very definite. Thanks for your feedback.

But as to principles?
  • Be true to yourself: Don't force yourself (or let yourself be forced) to do things that hurt you psychologically, spiritually, or physically.
  • Be true to your friends and lovers: Don't ask them to do things that hurt them in any of those ways.

I suppose these are simply loving and self-loving behaviors? And so they should be a life-rules and not restricted to poly. Maybe poly makes them even more important, though, since interactions are likely to be more complex than in other cases.

But these behaviors require a measure of self-understanding and understanding of others -- and communication to maintain that understanding. So I suppose a foundation principle is to seek understainding and awareness.

Quote:
Redpepper: In fact, keeping my emotions in check at all times is a must... analyzing them before I speak and act is very important.. more so than any other area of my life.
Yes...understanding when an emotional response may hurt someone, and analyzing things before speaking and acting? That seems exactly right to me.
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  #15  
Old 05-12-2010, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by EugenePoet View Post
From one side I am poly: I feel no discomfort with my lover having other men and women to love. From the other side I am not so poly: I am uncomfortable with myself having other lovers. That may change if I meet the right woman, but it seems a remote possibility. So my boundaries are odd, uneven, and not yet very definite.

But as to principles?
  • Be true to yourself: Don't force yourself (or let yourself be forced) to do things that hurt you psychologically, spiritually, or physically.
  • Be true to your friends and lovers: Don't ask them to do things that hurt them in any of those ways.




We have a little difference in thinking. I'm in a non-monogamous relationship but I am not poly at all. Not a drop. I am monogamous but I do not have a monogamous relationship. The concept of having sex with multiple people (not at the same time though) is easy to consider because I have done this when I had an affair. The difference is one partner was intimately loved and the other was not. I just don't have the ability or the desire to "love" more than one person. There is no discomfort at all in this or sense of loss..just self awareness and certainty. I'm 100% comfortable in this aspect of myself.

I love those two principles!! They apply to all relationships and are clear and simple.
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  #16  
Old 05-12-2010, 06:28 AM
capricorny capricorny is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
We have a little difference in thinking. I'm in a non-monogamous relationship but I am not poly at all. Not a drop. I am monogamous but I do not have a monogamous relationship. The concept of having sex with multiple people (not at the same time though) is easy to consider because I have done this when I had an affair. The difference is one partner was intimately loved and the other was not. I just don't have the ability or the desire to "love" more than one person. There is no discomfort at all in this or sense of loss..just self awareness and certainty. I'm 100% comfortable in this aspect of myself.
Pardon me, but I have a question about that "intimately loved". I think that is a central issue here. "Poly wired" people seem to lack some constraints there that "mono wired" have. But is it all that simple? To me, "love" seems to be an extremely ambigous concept, as it is normally used. And if we start from other aspects of love than the sexually entangled ones, like love of children and friends, that kind is naturally "polyamorous". Approaching a classical poly situation from that angle, I'm not so sure that you are not poly at all. I think you can extend love to more than one partner, you just have no inclination to link it with sex - for your own part.

I wonder if that may be the real difference between "mono" and "poly": "Real" monogamists can't stand sex being linked with love outside the relationship at all.

BTW, if you had an affair, you aren't completely monogamous either. "Monogamous, but not fanatically" sounds a lot like "virgin, but not fanatically" to me
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  #17  
Old 05-12-2010, 12:41 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by capricorny View Post
I wonder if that may be the real difference between "mono" and "poly": "Real" monogamists can't stand sex being linked with love outside the relationship at all.
So you mean a monogamous person could love other people, or have sex with other people, but not both?
I'm not for blanket statements: just like poly people aren't all the same, mono people aren't either. But I'm intrigued.

Because even if I was in a mono relationship, I would still be poly. Falling in love with other people. Not have sex with them, not even try and get closer to them as "friends", or whatever, but the feelings would pour in anyways.
I definitely don't think it's just keeping the two separate. I sincerely think you don't love your siblings, parents or children the way you love your spouse, even if you remove the sex. For me, the feelings are different.

With a partnership, you're on the same level, with the same projects, either shared because it's a common project or shared because you support each other. You are creating a link that is very strong, and while family ties are strong too, the difference is that you have created this tie yourself. And while friend ties are strong too, the difference is that this one is closer.
I wouldn't consider someone my partner if I contact them every so often, when I think of it. Even if I know they'll never forget me and will be there for me after years without a contact. They're not a partner, they're a friend.
If I go and see them after years of contact and we have sex, they're still not a partner, they're a friend I have sex with.

For me, a big difference is that a partner - someone you are in love with, whether the relationship is happening or something you are hoping for - is part of your life every single day. Constantly. You see something, you think of them, because they'd like it, they'd hate it, or they said something about it someday. You walk by a store, you're going to think "oh, they'd like this, I should get it from them".
Your lovers are never away from you. It's different from a friend. In a way, you can live days, weeks or months without a friend's existence affecting your life. You might not think about them for all that time. You know they exist, just like gravity exists or trees exist or something, but you don't think about it much.

When you are in love, you think about that person every day. You think that they exist, not just as a fact of life, but as a blessing. They're just a complete part of your life.
There is a level of involvement that differs. I think there are emotional levels that can vary, with kinds of investments that are different. And sex is another issue, for me.

So you have friends, and you have friends + sex. You have people you are in love with, and you have people you are in love with + sex. And even, you have strangers, and strangers + sex.

Having sex with someone, I feel, doesn't make them switch from "stranger" to "lover" or from "friend" to "lover". Feelings do that, regardless of whether sex is happening or not.

I think someone who is monogamous is wired for one "lover" type of emotional connexion at a time. They can have more than one of the others, but only one at a time of this one. It's not something I fully comprehend since I am different, but to me it's not about whether they separate sex and feelings. Because for me, sex and feelings are different things anyways. They can have friends, and they can have friends they have sex with, they can have "strangers", and they can have "strangers" they have sex with (I use quotation marks, because I'm talking about an emotional level, you might have known the "stranger" for a bit but feeling wise, they're a stranger, if you lost them your life wouldn't really change, that's what I mean). But they can't have a second "lover", be it with or without sex.

That's the way I personally see it. But as I said in the beginning of my post, I do think people don't all work exactly in the same way, so I realise it might not apply to everyone.
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  #18  
Old 05-12-2010, 02:22 PM
capricorny capricorny is offline
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So you mean a monogamous person could love other people, or have sex with other people, but not both?
I'm not for blanket statements: just like poly people aren't all the same, mono people aren't either. But I'm intrigued.
I put it as a question. There are so many aspects, so many configurations here.

First, any sex outside the primary couple would make you, per definition non-monogamous. But the swinger variety of non-monogamy, the pure form being sex, but nothing else, could be considered as a form of emotional monogamy. And it's the inner that counts most. Love, without sex, has to be tolerable within monogamy to some extent - surely there must be limits. But one of the good things with polyamory is that I don't need to try to define that acceptable extent

Second, the actual context here was a delf-declared monogamous man with a non-monogamous woman. (If I have understood it right.) I wonder if you can be declared totally monogamous, or more precisely monoamorous, if you can live well with this.

My intuition about this is that there may be way more polyamorous individuals around than we think, as they don't really conform to mono criteria. But they have no urge to practice polyamory, so they seem to be monogamous. And the question about "practicing" polyamory is - in the end - a practical one: In the right context, and if they meet the right person(s) they might go all the way.

I tend to view humans as generally polyamorous, "specializing" into monogamy for lots of different reasons. One of them very simple: Pair-bonding occurs, institutionalizing and regulating it could seem to make a lot of things easier - for some.

Otherwise, I'm with you in most of your considerations.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:36 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I guess I see what you mean, but the fact that I have always felt polyamorous even without practicing it, even when completely single for instance, leads me to believe it's about more than what you do, it's also about the way you feel.
I don't feel that someone in a poly relationship is necessarily poly. That relationship is probably not their first choice, ideally they would want it monogamous, but first of all they want their partner to be happy, so when they can go past the fact that they work differently, it might start to work.

When I first came out to my husband about being poly, I thought that everyone was poly, some people were just kind of formated to frustrate themselves, or something. So at first I tried to make my husband feel that he was completely free to see other people. But now I have realise he can't, it's not him, it doesn't work for him, he can't conceive it.

While he has to make a lot of concession for me to be able to remain polyamorous, I realised I have to make some too. I realised that I had been feeling extremely pressures and stressed out due to his getting all of his emotional and physical needs from me only, like I had to perform 100% of the time, to always be there, to always want him when he wanted me or he'd be frustrated, etc.
I realised was hoping he'd be poly so I wouldn't feel as pressured. But that was wishful thinking. That's not how it works. Just like he has to work on not feeling jealous and realising I do love him and am not planning on leaving him for someone else, I have to work on not feeling pressured and realising that he's not going to resent me if I'm not in the mood.
After all, it's not like when he's not in the mood I go see someone else instead, so I don't know why I felt like that to begin with.

Anyway, to me a mono/poly relationship is poly, but the mono partner is still mono, and I don't think it's him being poly but holding out. In my opinion, while there are probably more polys that one could be led to believe from the societal norm, there are definitely monogamous people as well.
I feel it's important to trust these people when they say "I'm mono" and not try and convince them they're polys on the wrong track or something, because I wouldn't want them to tell me I'm a mono who's lost her tracks, either.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:37 PM
capricorny capricorny is offline
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Anyway, to me a mono/poly relationship is poly, but the mono partner is still mono, and I don't think it's him being poly but holding out. In my opinion, while there are probably more polys that one could be led to believe from the societal norm, there are definitely monogamous people as well.
I feel it's important to trust these people when they say "I'm mono" and not try and convince them they're polys on the wrong track or something, because I wouldn't want them to tell me I'm a mono who's lost her tracks, either.
Yes, that trust is important! It's not an option to question anyones' self-identification. It may, however, be important to try to look more exactly into what it is. And there is no doubt that a huge fraction of all people are sexually monogamous. While, in principle, this could be seen as conditioning, most behavior could be seen as that - so it should be taken as a basic phenomenon, I think.

It seems to me that it is this sexual behavior you use as the basis for declaring you poly and your partner mono. It's perfectly natural to do so. But is it possible to be polyamorous and still sexually monogamous? I would tend to say yes, and here is where the borderlines seem less clear to me than in the case of sexuality.

My partner through 30+ years is sexually monogamous, but still very interested in polyamory principles, and she has (lots of negotiations) accepted the way of life we have now. So at the very least, she is not a typical monogamist. Is she poly or mono?

To me, accepting your orientation makes your husband appear a lot less monogamous than he had been hadn't he accepted it. And while not questioning the sexual part at all, an approach along the lines of general exploration of the aspects of love might uncover, for example, that he is not that "mono" oriented in general, just emotionally and sexually. We have had this kind of dialogues at home, and they have been quite fruitful.

And when you mention how the situation with having to cater for his needs has stressed you, to me that's an illustration of the need for air, some distance, and maybe some alternatives. Monogamy has a tendency to be self-destructive in this respect, but that does not mean sleeping with others has to be constructive, most often the opposite, I would believe. Unless the whole situation is more resolved. There will often be a need for opening up in such situations, but I think the most important element in this is just getting fresh perspectives on the situation, like you exemplify. I think polyamory can often help with fruitful perspectives, but only if used with understanding and great care.
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