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Old 05-20-2010, 12:28 AM
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Endicott Endicott is offline
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Default What is polyamorous love?

Is it different from the love found in a monogamous relationship?

We recently attended a poly conference, and I found it interesting that Love was a word readily bantered about, much like what is done in vanilla society.

-I love pizza
- I love ya, man!
- I love you Mommy

But when I asked about romantic love, the conversation went sideways. Clearly we all understood eros , but romantic love was a challenge. And the poly world is not alone. I really donít think there is a good definition. Like pornography; you know when you see it, but its tough to define, as it is so subjective.

Does polyamorous love for your partners differ between partners, or is it all the same? One person explained to me that he felt physical and emotional love for his parter that he is sexually monogamous with. And he felt emotional love for the rest of his family. He even would give a kidney for them (and I do believe this). Others nodded in agreement, indicating they understood, but frankly, Iím not so sure.

Maybe its cynical me, but I am really confused about what the difference is between love in a polyamorous context and a monogamous context.

No answers, just a huge number of questions.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:43 AM
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vandalin vandalin is offline
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I don't see that there is a difference. There may be in the way society has made mono love out to be; the happens once in a lifetime, if you are in love you don't need to/can't be in love with anyone else, that when in love your mind ignores outside possibilities. The only difference is that poly people feel that they can share that love with more than one person at a time.

I agree that the word is thrown around like a bad penny, but since there are so many different kinds and degrees of love that all of them are valid in one way or another.

The problem with the more particular question of "What is polyamorous love?" is that without being able to truly define "love" it is hard to come to any conclusion as to what poly love or mono love is. As you said, you know it when you see it.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:44 AM
EugenePoet EugenePoet is offline
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Love is hard to define. Here's one reason.

We all know what gravity is: it makes bricks fall on our feet when we drop them. It works the same for everybody -- it is an objective reality.

Love does not cause bricks to fall on our feet, and we can't weigh it. It is completely inside the mind -- it is a subjective reality.

Therefore, you define love inside your own mind and only in your own mind. I define it in my own mind. Your love is not my love.

So asking whether poly love is different from mono love is almost crazy! We don't even know if George's mono love is the same as Fred's mono love, or for that matter from the love of one turtle for another turtle.

It's like asking whether someone who thinks Beethoven's music is beautiful has the same feelings as someone who likes Beethoven and also Brahms. First you have to figure out the subjective concept of beauty, and it's just not the same for different people.

For myself, I love my poly girlfriend as much as I have ever loved any woman. If and when I find another lover I expect I will love them both in much the same way as I have loved anyone.
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:42 AM
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idealist idealist is offline
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Originally Posted by Endicott View Post
No answers, just a huge number of questions.
Hahaha....the problem (not having consistent agreed upon answers) is not about whether poly love is different from mono love.....the problem is (in my opinion) that Love itself can not be defined in any type of agreed upon way.

What does it mean when someone says "I love you, but I'm not in love with you" What does being "in love" mean???

I have no answers to these questions.

However- I do consider that I am in love with 4 guys. That said- I am not living with any of them and don't plan on it. I've never been married and don't plan on that either. But I do expect these to be long term relationships......except maybe one of them because he will probably move away and we'll lose touch.

I deeply love a female friend that I have known for about 15 years. She is very important to me. I would not say I am "in love" with her since our relationship isn't romantic or sexual.

Sometimes....being "in love" means the initial infatuation you feel for a person. Once the infatuation phase dies out (usually around 6 to 8 months) you get to see if there is any actual love there or not.

Just my two cents. I'd like to hear what others have to say about love and being "in love"
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:25 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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I agree with everyone else that minus any real objective, agreed upon definition of the term Love, it's tricky even getting into these types of discussions.

For me - my personal definition of love seems to have always been a recognition that my concern for someone else's happiness and well being equal or surpass my own.

Because this understanding has a tendency to define what action will take place in a given circumstance. When this level of caring exists (love?) it seems to always carry with it a certain amount of self sacrifice.

Idealist - you raised the question around the common term "in love" which we hear so often, which is intriguing. My gut tells me that if we could interview enough people we would discover that what's truly being referred to is that infatuation (NRE) phase we go through when we newly connect with other people. The time in this phase seems to vary but generally it does pass. I've heard so many people make statements like "I 'love' my partner but I'm not 'in love' with them" where the perceived intention (or feeling) is that there's something now 'missing'. And off they propose to go in search of the Missing Chord. Like some "high" - some addiction. And all too often it seems that this search (and maybe even find) leads to much of the same crash and undesirable consequences as any addiction.

Interesting topic..............

GS
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:51 PM
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Endicott Endicott is offline
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Default Some great comments

I appreciate the comments; some great food for thought.,

But how about different members of your extended poly relationships. Aside from the sexual side, is there a difference in your love with your various partners.

With the audience I was with this weekend past, while they said no, behavior suggested otherwise. My cynical side also said, given they were in audience, there was some group think going on, but again, I am new to this and am naive to the model.

From my perspective, my love would vary, as it is conditional upon the parties involved.

Again, no judgement or answers, just questions .

Thx all, once again
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Last edited by Endicott; 05-20-2010 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:13 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endicott View Post
.........

From my perspective, my love would vary, as it is conditional upon the parties involved.
Yea Endicott,

And I think this 'variation' you speak of is not really well and clearly understood. I'm going to assume (and hope) that when you say this, it's not that you are holding some measuring stick in one hand.
I feel love 'varies' because the people who are engaged in it are unique. And at least for myself, I don't see that variation so much as some 'level' as much as how the best expression of it may play out/be required.

It's like chocolate. It's all good and it's all different. But it's still chocolate. Some we eat, some we drink. Some we gobble down, some we take slowly and savor. Some we can only handle in small doses because of it's richness. But life wouldn't be the same without it.

GS
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:31 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endicott View Post
Does polyamorous love for your partners differ between partners, or is it all the same? One person explained to me that he felt physical and emotional love for his parter that he is sexually monogamous with. And he felt emotional love for the rest of his family. He even would give a kidney for them (and I do believe this). Others nodded in agreement, indicating they understood, but frankly, Iím not so sure.
I think it can be different, time with a partner, attraction etc can all influence the degree and type of love. How to definite it?...good luck with that haha
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:53 PM
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Endicott Endicott is offline
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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
Yea Endicott,

And I think this 'variation' you speak of is not really well and clearly understood. I'm going to assume (and hope) that when you say this, it's not that you are holding some measuring stick in one hand.
GS
Grounded Spirit...no measuring stick, just an honest question to understand how others feel. I grok that love is subjective since we are not telepathic and have to rely on language to exchange thoughts.

I am driven by curiosity - its who I am - and am always curious as to how others view the world, or in this case, love in a poly world.

Thx for the comments.
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by idealist View Post
What does it mean when someone says "I love you, but I'm not in love with you" What does being "in love" mean???
In my experience I have only ever been "in love" once. I felt sooo much love toward this person that it felt like I was swimming in it. Maybe because I was 16 and overrun with puberty and emotions, but thats how I felt at that time.

Having said that, I do love a number of people. I love my family cuz they are my family. I love a couple of my friends because of the caring help and support that we give each other. and I love my gf. All of these people I love in a different way and for different reasons.

"There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand different versions." -Francois de La Rochefoucould
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