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  #11  
Old 02-07-2011, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMMark View Post
Sunday, February 06, 2011 19:27 EST
. post #5

* I'm using the word "connections" in the sense presented on pp 23-24 of the book Love Unlimited:
Interpersonal connections

1. Emotional
2. Physical
3. Recreational
4. Economic
5. Family
6. Spiritual
7. Intellectual
8. Passionate
9. Cultural
10. Esthetic
Sorry to get off topic. I initially got all excited by this, thinking it would give me another way to describe relationships rather than primary, secondary etc. But once I started writing it down I realized it still doesn't work. A relationship can be "lightly connected" in terms off number of connections but they can be felt very deeply, i.e. ultra passionate. So how does that work? I was very connected to my husband in terms of financially, family, physically but it meant squat to me in the end.
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2011, 02:24 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by MMMark View Post
Harriet loves Arthur, but finds that he tends to interrupt her during conversations. She allows him to do this, preferring not to be confrontational. Harriet meets Andrew one day and these two also form a relationship. Andrew is a superb conversationalist and listener, and he never interrupts Harriet. She finally sees what good conversation really is, and the next time Arthur interrupts her, she admonishes him. She is no longer willing to put up with Arthur's rude interruptions. So, Harriet's relationship with Andrew has affected her relationship with Arthur.
Nope.

Seriously, poly relationships are simply relationships. Place your example in the context of friendships. Harriet and Arthur are friends because they like each other's company. Harriet and Andrew become friends. Do you really think Harriet is going to go all schoolmarm on Arthur because Andrew approaches conversation in a different fashion?

I suspect not. Harriet is Arthur's lover despite his conversational habits. She likely has plenty of friends (and this is directly applicable) who don't interrupt during conversations and that hasn't affected her relationship with Arthur. Her getting involved with Andrew is absolutely no different than her being friends with Alex (who also does not interrupt) when it comes to conversational styles.

The only way your examples--and underlying question--make sense is if one posits that Harriet has no other relationships of any sort and the arrival of Andrew is earthshaking because it provides her with sudden understanding that people can relate in a wholly different fashion. As she *already* has friends who don't interrupt, it's obvious that Arthur's tendency to interrupt isn't much of a hindrance in that relationship, so getting involved with Andrew isn't likely to change much.
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2011, 02:41 AM
TruckerPete TruckerPete is offline
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I find that my relationships do affect each other, but in positive ways. Different partners show me different aspects of myself, which I am then able to apply to my other relationships.

For example, suppose Harriot is the one who interrupts Arthur, but he always lets it go. Then Harriot meets Andrew, who doesn't tolerate her interruptions. Harriot realizes what she is doing because of Andrew, and is able to apply these changes to her relationship with Arthur.

Of course, this example is overly simplistic, but when I notice that I'm behaving differently with one love versus another, whether that behavious is desirable or not, I try to figure out why and then apply the better behaviour to both relationships.
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2011, 06:05 AM
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I find it really useful when having issues in one relationship my other partner reminds me that they are similar in a way and that this is what would work for them.
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Originally Posted by MMMark View Post
Read this several times, but I don't follow. Could you please rephrase it for me?
I meant that because my partners are similar in some ways, when I talk to one about an issue I am having with another they can tell me what they think would work for them because of those similarities.
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  #15  
Old 02-07-2011, 03:43 PM
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Mon. 11/02/07 10:43 EST
. post #6

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Happy or no-doesn't impact if I fall in love again-that's impacted by the person with whom I am potentially falling in love with having something about them that I fall in love with.....
Yes, I understand this, and it makes sense to me. I suspect this is true even for "monos," but perhaps in mono relationships these feelings cause "guilt" and are hence suppressed or denied.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage View Post
A relationship can be "lightly connected" in terms off number of connections but they can be felt very deeply, i.e. ultra passionate. So how does that work? I was very connected to my husband in terms of financially, family, physically but it meant squat to me in the end.
Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. On the other hand, I'd question your use of the adjective "very." Clearly, you were connected to him in Financial, Familial and Physical terms, but "very" connected? The fact that "it meant squat to (you) in the end" seems to suggest that these connections were NOT "very" strong or passionate. But, doesn't the situation becomes more complicated when comparing two passionate relationships? For example, let's suppose that Harriet and Arthur share Emotional, Physical, Recreational, Economic, and Cultural interpersonal connections, all of them passionate, while Harriet and Andrew share only a Spiritual connection, albeit also a passionate one. Or, let's make it even trickier: Suppose Harriet and Andrew share just a passionate Physical connection. Isn't it at least possible that (for example) Arthur might become uncomfortable with Harriet's passionate Physical connection to Andrew? If so (and really, is this example so far-fetched?), then wouldn't you say that Harriet's relationship with Andrew has affected her relationship with Arthur? Take it a step further: Arthur might ask Harriet to terminate her Physical connection with Andrew. Now Harriet is faced with the prospect of having to choose between two passionate relationships. How does she decide which one is "worth more"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
Do you really think Harriet is going to go all schoolmarm on Arthur because Andrew approaches conversation in a different fashion?
Well yes, because that's the assumption I made in this example. Now, you can say that this assumption is unrealistic, which is a different thing. Or, you can say that this is a lousy example, which is fine, because I'm not wedded to it. But, are you willing to say that you can't think of a SINGLE example in which Harriet's relationship with one person might affect her relationship with another person? This is tantamount to saying that ALL relationships are ALWAYS independent and unaffected by any other relationships.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
The only way your examples--and underlying question--make sense is if one posits that Harriet has no other relationships of any sort and the arrival of Andrew is earthshaking because it provides her with sudden understanding that people can relate in a wholly different fashion.
And yet, compare your statement here with that of LovingRadiance:
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
What I get from each relationship is TOTALLY different.
Now, is it reasonable to posit that she "has no other relationships of any sort"? My assumption is that she has MANY other relationships. Yet, this does not prevent her from relating to a new lover in "wholly different" (or, in her words, "TOTALLY different") ways.

Again, if you don't like my example, trashcan it and invent another. All I'm suggesting is that formation of a new (additional) relationship or connection will, by directly affecting the common partner (the hinge), will (at least, potentially) INDIRECTLY affect the existing relationship. Exactly HOW and TO WHAT EXTENT will vary tremendously, I would think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckerPete View Post
I find that my relationships do affect each other, but in positive ways.
Sure, yes, and why not? I did not mean to suggest that influences have to be exclusively negative.
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Originally Posted by TruckerPete View Post
Of course, this example is overly simplistic, but when I notice that I'm behaving differently with one love versus another, whether that behavious is desirable or not, I try to figure out why and then apply the better behaviour to both relationships.
Hmmm. You know, I don't really understand this. What it seems to suggest is that you are constantly adjusting so as to reduce the differences in the ways you behave with different lovers...and yet, that doesn't sound right. If you didn't behave differently with different lovers, what would the attraction be? I'm sure I've misunderstood you here, so please provide some personal examples.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I meant that because my partners are similar in some ways, when I talk to one about an issue I am having with another they can tell me what they think would work for them because of those similarities.
Okay, yes, I understand you now. Thanks. I hasten to add that this would be a clear case of "one relationship affecting the other."

Last edited by MMMark; 02-07-2011 at 03:46 PM. Reason: Corrected a typographical error.
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  #16  
Old 02-07-2011, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMMark View Post
I thought it was possible for the hinge's relationship with one arm to affect (her) relationship with the other arm, because people naturally perform comparisons and (re)evaluations. My friend asserted that this would never happen with HER, and any change in her feelings toward a lover would be dependent ONLY on that lover.
I kind of see that both can be true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMMark View Post
How could we not notice differences (and, for that matter, similarities)? And is it reasonable to expect that such knowledge would have no effect whatsoever on us? . . . Because YOU are affected, anything connected with you is ALSO affected. This seems logical and inescapable to me.
It seems inescapable to me, too. I do think people naturally have a tendency to, if not compare, to categorize their relationships. We form opinions about people and how we relate to them and it seems impossible, to me anyway, to relate to one intimate relationship as if in a vacuum without any influence or, at the very least, any thought of another.

I was recently out socializing with a poly guy who is involved with a number of sweeties, and he brought up a few conversations or characteristics of those relationships while we were discussing something that was going on with me. If we were intimate, I am sure it would aso have happened in the bedroom or in non-sexual interactions that other people in our lives could and would naturally pop into our heads and impact our relationship in some way.

Perhaps "impact" is a better word than "influence?"

Even in my platonic friendships, when I converse with one friend I am often reminded of a conversation I had with another. When I get together with friends, we will reference other friends and discussions with those other friends, when a topic comes up that brings such to mind. We are usually influenced by the most recent interactions we've had, but lots of times I will be reminded of stuff that happened when I was a young kid.

So how could I not also be impacted or reminded (and indeed influenced on occasion), of one lover, when I am with another lover?

However, I do see that what your friend stated is also true. I think it's important to acknowledge the comparisons that can happen and might even be unavoidable, but not necessarily to let the comparisons dictate how I conduct each relationship, because they are all unique and deserve evaluation on their own merit. Comparisons can lead to questioning behaviors but I always think comparison can be dangerous. I call it the "compare game," and I think it's important to know when it's appropriate and when it's not to let comparisons affect us. I think it's still possible, even if I'm comparing two intimate relationships, for an introspective or more objective inquiry into the nature of one of them. And perhaps comparing even demands that we separate ourselves, to some degree, from those comparisons -- in other words, try to step back and see the differences or similarities as tools for understanding and not weapons, which is also a way comparison can be used. I would always hope to assess a relationship in a fair manner that considers all the pros and cons, and allowing comparisons to just be a jumping-off point, and not always a standard for judgment. Does that make sense?

[I will clarify here that I am just starting out with my journey into polyamory, so I'm not experienced by any means, but am sharing my responses to the points you made, based on how my logic works and what I've observed thus far]
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2011, 08:39 PM
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MMMark, thanks for starting such an interesting thread.

I like you. You seem like a very intelligent, analytical guy who is trying very hard to understand his girlfriend and polyamory. I'm analytical too but my process was much more emotional.

In many ways polyamory defies analysis because each connection is unique. My metamour is deeply spiritual, vegetarian, celibate, artistic, thirteen years older than my partner and long distance. Her relationship with my partner is ten years old and pre-dates ours. My partner is atheist, a confirmed meat-eater, very sexual, and techy. Their only connection is probably recreational (although that doesn't do it justice at all) but she's coming for a visit in a few weeks and he's like a six year old a week before Christmas.

I've given up trying to analysis it. All I know for sure is that real love only makes people better people and we shouldn't be afraid of it.
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  #18  
Old 02-07-2011, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
However, I do see that what your friend stated is also true. I think it's important to acknowledge the comparisons that can happen and might even be unavoidable, but not necessarily to let the comparisons dictate how I conduct each relationship, because they are all unique and deserve evaluation on their own merit.
Comparisons can lead to questioning behaviors but I always think comparison can be dangerous. I call it the "compare game," and I think it's important to know when it's appropriate and when it's not to let comparisons affect us.

I think it's still possible, even if I'm comparing two intimate relationships, for an introspective or more objective inquiry into the nature of one of them. And perhaps comparing even demands that we separate ourselves, to some degree, from those comparisons -- in other words, try to step back and see the differences or similarities as tools for understanding and not weapons, which is also a way comparison can be used. I would always hope to assess a relationship in a fair manner that considers all the pros and cons, and allowing comparisons to just be a jumping-off point, and not always a standard for judgment. Does that make sense?
VERY GOOD!

Yes, What I get from each of my relationships (and this is true of each relationships, not just each LOVER, but friends, children, siblings etc) is different.
Some of them don't happen to be WHOLLY or completely different.
Obviously there is somewhat of an exaggeration when I say that is true of GG/Maca as well; because they both give me sex, which is somewhat the same; and yet it's got a completely different "feel" to it.

The thing is, going back to all relationships-I do notice their individual strengths and weaknesses. My 19 year old I would ask to drive somewhere. My 11 year old, only in a SERIOUS emergency (that I can't imagine) and my three year old, no way. My brother is the one I always call if I have a logic and reasoning question, my sister regarding health issues. Different people are better at different things and I appreciate that about them.

BUT- I don't terminate friendships/loves/relationships because one person is better than another at one thing or another....
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  #19  
Old 08-01-2011, 04:05 PM
FredBurkle FredBurkle is offline
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I personally feel that relationships with partners in a V are separate and in my experience people I know are with different people BECAUSE of the differences between their partners, they fall for people who are different, not the same.

I agree with the fact yes these differences may cause overlap, but isn't this similar with friends? When you have one friend who behaves one way and one who behaves another - do you change your behaviour then?

I think it depends on the sort of person you are ultimately ...
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  #20  
Old 08-03-2011, 12:39 PM
morethan1 morethan1 is offline
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Mmmark,

I am the (brand spanking new) hinge in a V and I've thought about this question a lot recently.

Because both relationships are very new, I was initially treating them as separate entities that don't affect one another, but I realized that I was wrong.

Both affect me.

If I grow and change because of my interaction with one, then two will see/feel/experience that growth and change. But I think you can take the whole concept out of a poly framework and realize that we all continually grow and change as a result of the friendships, relationships and interactions that we experience. None of us exist in a vacuum.

So, yes, your second example scenario wherein Harriet recognizes that she really dislikes being interrupted can certainly be true. But so can the converse as TruckerPete pointed out. That comes down to how we choose to process what we learn as a result of interaction with others, whether they are close intimates or merely acquaintances.
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