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Old 07-12-2010, 12:13 PM
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Erato Erato is offline
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Location: Massachusetts, USA
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Hi guys,

So I've been doing my best to put talk of poly-amorous relationships with my monogamous boyfriend on the back burner while he is recovering from his panic disorder, for which he is receiving treatment presently, but it seems to keep cropping up.

We were talking about something completely unrelated today and he ended up bring it up (to do with how hurt he would be if I happened to flirt with someone else in his presence).

I'm just going to put this out there: I don't understand monogamy or people who desire it. For me, monogamous relationships have just been me trying to fit myself in a position which I was unsuitable for - letting myself and others down because I either cheated, almost cheated, feared cheating or wanted to cheat the majority of the time. Now, I call it cheating because that's how I considered it! I didn't know poly existed. When I found out it did, well, once I understood a bit about it on an ethical level at least, then I was very relieved to know that I wasn't just faithless and evil. Just poly.

But that's just my experience of relationships.

In the conversation with my boyfriend today he asked if I would be willing to try to adapt to monogamy. This confused me so much that I realised that I haven't been really working with him, I've just been watering down my desires to try to get it to a level he can be comfortable with. To him, relationships are exclusive. And he feels that he would be denying a part of himself to accept a relationship with me which was not exclusive.

But if I can't adapt to being completely exclusive and he's willing to try to adapt to a vague form of slight polyamory then is he just sacrificing himself or am I being selfish? He seems to think the latter is the case.

Honestly, I don't want the version of poly which we have been negotiating (shared girlfriend, for example) and I feel like I would be just repeating history futilely trying to go back to exclusive relationships. He feels that perhaps, because I have said before that our relationship is very different from those from my past, that if we are local I will feel fulfilled enough with just him. I have tried explaining that it's not that my partners in the past were not enough, it was not that I was unhappy with them, but that I can/am/have/will fall for people other than him and want to have them as lovers.

I know everyone is different but I would really appreciate anyone who is monogamous, or feels that they understand a monogamous lover/friend/family member, could please share with me their understanding of it.

I want to try to see things from his view point better so that I can get out of the selfish mindset that I have been falling into every time we talk about this.

I'd be especially interested in hearing from monogamous people with poly-amorous partners (especially especially any monogamous people who are the primary).

I just wanted to add a bit about how he's explained his feelings on poly to me even though I don't really grasp it very well.

He talked about it in terms of hearts.

He gave his heart to me to carefully hold and he has mine.

If we introduce someone else into the equation it would have to be someone who he could trust because he feels he would be opening up to them in some way by sharing me as a lover (even if they have no sexual contact).

So, in that case, I would be holding his heart and someone else's. He'd need reassurance that I could be just as careful and gentle with his heart while holding another's as I would be with just his.

To quote him: "I gave you my heart to handle carefully, and I need to trust they won't make you drop it while handing mine, for one"

Which is slightly ambiguous but I gather that he means that if they hurt me that it will hurt him. And that he needs reassurance that I won't leave him for them, perhaps? I'll have to clarify later.

He also said: "they [my other lover(s)] have to know me emotionally and be close to me" - which I can't understand. I understand him wanting to be on good terms with them and trust them, he's trusting them to care for the love of his life after all, but to know him emotionally and be close to him is a strange idea to me.
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Last edited by NeonKaos; 07-12-2010 at 07:55 PM. Reason: merge posts
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