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Old 10-03-2010, 10:44 PM
WildCard WildCard is offline
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Default part-time poly?

My first attempt at having multiple romantic relationships was very rewarding but also a huge commitment in terms of time and emotional energy. I'm not giving up on poly, but I don't know if i can sustain it on a full-time basis, so to speak, but wondering if there might be other options.

I know that some folks in open relationships generally only have sex with each other, but open things up when they are on vacation, or when one of them is on a business trip in another state, or during some sex-positive festival or event, etc. Is there an equivalent in poly circles?

Such as a long-distance relationship with someone that you only see a few times a year, a local friend that you don't have sex with except when you go on vacation together, or a girlfriend/boyfriend that you only spend time with when your spouse (or theirs) is out of town. Provided of course that all parties involved are happy with the arrangement!
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:06 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Those are all possible in a poly tangle--provided all parties are happy with it.
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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 10-04-2010, 01:42 AM
Jade Jade is offline
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It may work for some. It wouldn't work for me. I'd have difficulty dealing with someone who only wanted my love and attention when it was "convenient." To me there's no room for growth in that. That sounds more to me like swinging or friends with benefits, rather than poly. To me, love does put a demand on your time and energy. It doesn't always have to take a lot, but it does require some consistent commitment. The arrangement you describe seems to lack both. But maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:39 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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I have a man in my life that I have known for 12 years now that comes in and out of my life in different ways. Sometimes as a friend, sometimes as a lover; shared with my husband and I or not. It depends on what is going on and where we are at in our lives. We have grown very close in this arrangement and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Our commitment to each other is that we are always connected and that is is. I don't demand his time and energy and he doesn't demand it from me. I have learned some good boundaries from this and respect for a persons privacy and time. I have also learned how to wait and be patient, because good things always come from that one way or the other. Sometimes the passage of time with someone moves slow and sometimes fast. I don't see how a slow moving, sometimes love is any less valid than one that is everyday and constantly there.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:48 PM
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Currently my gf and I see each other about 5 days a week, traveling back and forth 20 miles between our apartments. My 2 other longest term relationships are with men who live even further away, in 2 different states from me. I don't get to see them more than once a month or less. It works. Not ideal, but still nice.

I've spoken with some poly people who only see other lovers when one or the other of the primary couple go on a business trip. It's their way of handling jealousy.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:27 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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I think this is a very viable possibility for many people just because of the times we live in, as well as the very valid reasons you mentioned (effort required).

It's realistic ! And I think you would find polyamory practiced more AND more successfully if everyone involved was honest, as you were, about how to deal with the reality rather than trying to enforce some philosophical ideal.

A loving connection - at least to me - does NOT require full time, live-in or time consuming reinforcement to be special and valuable and maintainable.

The heart knows. The physicalities can be dealt with. I know I have seen several otherwise beautiful relationships sour and die because of trying to force them into some mold that they really didn't fit. In other words - "we get along wonderfully and cherish the special times we share together - but simply can't be in each others faces ALL the time because of annoying differences that can't be avoided on a daily/frequent basis. Or in the same household etc."

Acknowledging our differences as well as our connection is really a requirement of a healthy, loving relationship.

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Old 10-04-2010, 03:46 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCard View Post
I know that some folks in open relationships generally only have sex with each other, but open things up when they are on vacation, or when one of them is on a business trip in another state, or during some sex-positive festival or event, etc. Is there an equivalent in poly circles?
100 mile rule or any equivelant. I have read about it, but haven't seen it in practice. Wasn't there a movie that had the precedent. With Alan Alda, meeting the same woman, once a year for some 30 years. Quite a good movie. It was cheating and not poly until the end. But none the less its a story that fits what you are looking at.

The problem with this romantic view is it actually ignore human feelings. It owuld be difficult for this type of relationship to remain in good standing. One of the two would end up breaking the agreement or in general, just not have it work

That said, I think it works better in an open relationship type setup. Without the love. I am pretty confident my father-n-law and mother-n-law have this type of agreement.

[edit]

Movie is - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078199/ - Same Time Next Year

Last edited by Ariakas; 10-04-2010 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:15 PM
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Derbylicious Derbylicious is offline
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Any kind of way of structuring a relationship can work as long as everyone agrees to that arrangement. Although even if everyone is on board when a part time poly relationship starts, once emotions get involved there aren't any promises that the originally agreed upon structure could be maintained.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:06 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I don't feel that emotions can be controlled easily, or at all, really. So, to apply that to poly would mean "I'm emotionally involved with you for that amount of time, then we stop loving each other"... That wouldn't work for me.
Now, knowing you get to see someone only once a semester, or once a year... that might work, but the feelings won't go away. I'd want to contact them in the meantime. I'd suffer from not being allowed to. I'd need to really, really love them to accept it, and that also means the time apart would be that much harder.

But I do think it can work, with the right people. Not sure how you'd set it up, though.
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