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  #11  
Old 02-21-2011, 12:02 AM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
.........
As a clarification; to go unicorn-hunting, does a couple need to hold on to each other as primaries no matter what? In other words, is unicorn looking for a couple to have a primary relationship with in for a rude awakening?

Also, maybe this sounds a bit naive and lame (and maybe I am both!), but what about love? Can a woman fall in love with a couple? There are different kinds of love, and maybe falling head over heels for two people who happen to be coupled and looking at the same time is a bit of a far stretch, but maybe falling for the other and being loving friends with the other?
I think there are two confusing "labels" involved here - and ones that get used a lot - not always to our own advantage.

First is "couple".....
Is there REALLY any such thing ?
I ask this with an open mind as someone in a long relationship with the same person. The whole idea that we are so tight and are "labeled" as a "couple" has absolutely overshadowed the potential relationships with both of us. Because people CHOOSE to see us as one unit, they frequently miss the fact that in reality, we are two INDIVIDUALS. In coming into our lives you would be forming (likely) very different bonds with either of us. To me the line is very gray about where you have a relationship with BOTH of us and where you have individual relationships with either of us. Because from experience, there is going to be some of each. We often refer to the 4 relationships that exist in such situations but I wonder how much thought goes into really understanding that rather than just parroting it.

So you ask can you "fall" in love with a couple ? I suppose you can - technically. The particular chemistry that gets developed between you all as a unit is unique in itself, as are the chemistries that develops with the individuals. So I suppose anyone could "fall in love with the structure" as well as the individuals. But somehow I struggle to call that "love" - as much as maybe comfort. Maybe to me "love" is reserved for entities rather than concepts. Falling in love with a concept is something I've seen bring much heartache.


The other term I think that has to be handled carefully is "primary". I think the assignment of primacy is not a fixed thing in many cases. It has to be looked at in the context of a particular element (connection) of a relationship. You might be my primary hiking partner but not my primary reading partner. So who is REALLY primary ? Depends.

In the context that we most often find in the couple/unicorn realm, often the couple is married (legally entangled), has children, financial ties and dependencies etc. For a new person coming in, you don't become a part of this whole web overnight. And maybe you simply shouldn't even desire to ! So I kind of scratch my head when I hear potential unicorns crying about how they can't get all this entanglement ! It's like duhhhhhhhhhh......you get the love, you get (double?) the affection, you may get part of the shelter and other life necessities often at little or no cost to you, you get your freedom to choose how much or how little you want and STILL you don't get what you want ??

Oooooooooooooo-k ! Whatever.

But I can see where a unicorn might choose to say that her/his PRIMARY commitment is to the two individuals as well as the triangle it forms because of the love and respect that exists for them (hopefully). So any outside considerations might have to be filtered through the impact it would have on the existing relationship. But again, that's no different than the filters we have to apply in all poly relationships. It's not unique to the realm of Unicornia.

Ok - sorry for long rambling. But this whole topic has been a sore spot with us for a long time - as it has for countless others. Holding the views we do and having the experience we have, being "invited in" to an existing relationship would be a no-brainer. But because we're a "couple" (at least - maybe a tribe) nobody can seem to see the trees (individuals) for the forest (couple/tribe). They ASSUME it's always an all or nothing package deal. Granted, you'll always have to SHARE, you'll always have to get at least a drop or two of the big picture even if you want only the center. But that, like so many things, is an unfair and unrealistic view. Whenever you engage with another individual you ALWAYS get a little more than what you want from their whole life, whether it's work, family, pets, you name it. Really - it's no different.

Oh well..........

GS
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2011, 12:12 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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. . . the realm of Unicornia.
Haha! Sounds like it should be somewhere on Franklin Veaux's map of the Lands of Human Sexuality!
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 02-21-2011 at 12:25 AM.
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2011, 12:17 AM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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......... They may love her, but at some point it seems to be just a fantasy. It seems that most of the time they have a naive view that the woman will do as she is told and she has the naive view that the couple will not struggle with the pulling apart that seems to happen for them. At some point it isn't the couple and their unicorn any more. It's three people loving each other. That is a huge and painful process for most couples no?
RP,

"Just a fantasy " ????? Why do you say that ?

I think this is typical of the stereotypes that have developed over the years. Has this type of thing happened ? You bet !
Should it have happened ? Absolutely not.

We all likely have had "utopian" fantasies on a variety of levels but it wasn't always the concept that was a failure as much as it was the execution.

What's the difference/solution ?
Education.

Like the one we are all involved with who participate here.

A triad or other number absolutely has all the POTENTIAL for a much more stable, fulfilling life. But like so many other things with potential, if you don't do it right it can blow up on you - despite all the potential and best intentions. And if you have no idea what's really involved going in, any success has more to do with luck than the right/wrongness of it. And until the last few years, there's been very little in the way of education and communication available for people who want to try.

So this CAN change. But NOT if everyone continues to spout the same old stereotypes born of the horror shows of ignorance. I can't count the number of individuals that still BELIEVE these stereotypes and consequently cut themselves off from something that would actually offer them much of what they are crying out for but can't find via the mono worldview.

So we go forward with the response that it IS possible, and it CAN be beautiful, but you have new skills to master. Get to it !

GS
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2011, 07:00 AM
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@GS- After a time, often a couples "fantasy" becomes something that is just not workable because they had a "fantasy idea of what reality is" to begin with that is not reality. When the NRE is over, does it not usually follow that when the pieces fall into place the couple comes out together and the unicorn is abandoned? Why does this happen... I'm asking, is it because couples often have a "fantasy" that was different from what really is? It sounds like what you are saying is that with education a couple can come through that "stereotyping" as you are calling it. I think I would call it "fantasy" over "stereotype," but whatever... and find ways to work out healthy triads. I just want to make sure I understand that that is what you are saying.

Maybe unicorns are the production of peoples stereotype for the most part. Isn't that where these terms come from? A stereotype?

Well, here it is then, the education. I love that. Maybe in five years or less when people come on here saying they want a unicorn, or when I go to my poly meet or meet people on a dating site that say they want a unicorn, they will be looking for what we know of triads that work, rather than the fantasy version that seems to be mainstream poly. never know.
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  #15  
Old 02-21-2011, 09:05 AM
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Default How to be a healthy, happy and long-lived unicorn?

Sort of.

Below my shopping list for successful couple hunting. It might still all go to hell but hey, no pain no gain.

1) Stay away from married couples with children, mortgages, in transition. They have already made a primary commitment to each other that is the one society recognizes. Should push come to shove, married couple always comes first. So you love their kid and they say you can never see them again? Tough luck, shoulda seen that one coming.

Also very young couples (lived together for less than 2 years), couples in a major crisis, be it rebounding after infidelity, moving in together, buying a house, getting married, getting pregnant, contemplating ending the relationship, are a risk. Proceed with caution or not at all.

2) Keep seeing other people for love, friendship and sex.

3) Be very cautious about offers to move in with them. What if you want to entertain friends or relatives there with a moment's notice? What if the three of you keep to very different hours? Would you be doing three people's laundry instead of your own? And how secure is your hold on the apartment anyway?

4) Invest in cultivating a relationship with both members of the couple separately. Go out on dates, take a room in a hotel, travel separately. Not everybody needs to be included in all conversations/activities/sex that takes place.

5) Why not go long-distance? The couple (especially if still somewhat closeted) can hold on to their couplish life and you get all the independence you crave.

Also, entirely off-topic: Facebook users, is it possible to be in a relationship with multiple users at the same time?
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  #16  
Old 02-21-2011, 04:02 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
@GS- After a time, often a couples "fantasy" becomes something that is just not workable because they had a "fantasy idea of what reality is" to begin with that is not reality.
Yea - I think we are saying a similar thing using different terms. The point I'm trying to address is that this language itself carries with it the danger of furthering the stereotype that 3 (or more) way relationships that start with an existing two are almost never workable (successful).
Has that been pretty accurate in the past ? You bet it has !
But WHY ???
Because the people involved had no experience, no guidance and a generally poor understanding of human psychology and sociology. In other words, they had a dream (fantasy) which was NOT UNREALISTIC, but lacked the knowledge and skills to build a finished product. How often do we see this phenomenon all around us. Great idea - poor implementation = failure.

Does this make more sense ? That fact that it turned out "not workable" as you term, had little or nothing to do with the concept and it's validity and everything to do with their ignorance (in the true sense of the word).


Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
When the NRE is over, does it not usually follow that when the pieces fall into place the couple comes out together and the unicorn is abandoned?
Yep, this has happened, and can. But emphasizing this as a drawback is really unfair. It's more than just about the NRE, it's about having sufficient time to really see the insides of how the relationship will develop. This isn't unique to Unicornia. it happens in every type of relationship. In fact some might say it's already happened inside the original pairing and therefore the unicorn search ! Something is finally acknowledged as missing. And in some cases the only thing hold the original pairing together is the list of legal entanglements/advantages. The relationship has already shifted - in some cases to a point it would evaporate lacking the binders.
So in some ways the couple has little choice but to "come out together". And the unicorn at this point has likely seen enough that they are quite willing to disentangle themselves from the mess. It's NOT their mess !
And this speaks directly to the ADVANTAGE of of the unicorn. As painful as it is sometimes, making the right choice to walk away is much simpler.

So this separation gets all the press and nobody mentions the beautiful parts that were experienced ! It's like there's this attachment (still) to 'happily everafter or broke'. Nobody focuses on what was learned, all the special times and feelings experienced. All the beauty. Because it didn't last 'forever' ! I call BS on this - sorry. No beautiful sunset lasts forever but that doesn't make it less beautiful.

I say - "forget the whole happily everafter BS. Embrace the moment and what you have in front of you ! Be fully there. Everything and everyone deserves no less. Let go of the 'agenda'.




Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Well, here it is then, the education. I love that. Maybe in five years or less when people come on here saying they want a unicorn, or when I go to my poly meet or meet people on a dating site that say they want a unicorn, they will be looking for what we know of triads that work, rather than the fantasy version that seems to be mainstream poly. never know.
Yes - it COULD be that way couldn't it !
It's as simple as understanding you need to sharpen your people and life skills and that mistakes may be made along the way. Learn together. Forgive & love more.

Don't condemn the model, only the implementation.



GS
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  #17  
Old 02-21-2011, 04:19 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
Sort of.

Below my shopping list for successful couple hunting. It might still all go to hell but hey, no pain no gain.

1) Stay away from married couples with children, mortgages, in transition. They have already made a primary commitment to each other that is the one society recognizes. Should push come to shove, married couple always comes first. So you love their kid and they say you can never see them again? Tough luck, shoulda seen that one coming.
YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!

See - here is EXACTLY what I'm talking about regarding stereotypes being projected forward.

"Stay away" ! Period. Point blank.

Why ? because you're afraid ? Lazy ? (not speaking to the poster here but the mindset in general)
Why not UNDERSTAND the complexities of multi-partner relationships, families, finances, living arrangements etc. And understand the benefits. At least CONSIDER the trade-offs ! Nothing worth having comes free they say. And that's obviously true when it comes to love & relationships. Acknowledge that what you have in the end is what YOU BUILD !
Ahhhh, but you really want a 'free ride' - right (again not speaking to the poster but the concept) . You want to bait the hook, lay the line and then sit back and reap whatever reward your agenda pushed forward with certain built in securities preventing any easy exit if it turns out less that what everyone needs for happiness. Too damn bad. You got yours- right ?






Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
Also very young couples (lived together for less than 2 years), couples in a major crisis, be it rebounding after infidelity, moving in together, buying a house, getting married, getting pregnant, contemplating ending the relationship, are a risk. Proceed with caution or not at all.
Ok - some good caution signs up here. Same ones that would be caution signs in ANY potential relationship - right ? People with complications in their lives - proceed slowly. But you may STILL proceed as the complications may pass or you may help resolve them. Nothing automatic here. Every case deserves it's own fair analysis.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
3) Be very cautious about offers to move in with them.
Hell yeah ! Living together (anyone) is no piece of cake and requires it's own skill set. Better work on that one anyway.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
4) Invest in cultivating a relationship with both members of the couple separately. Go out on dates, take a room in a hotel, travel separately. Not everybody needs to be included in all conversations/activities/sex that takes place.
Absolutely agree. Independence is an important part of healthy relationships.

Ok - enough............

GS
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  #18  
Old 02-24-2011, 10:23 PM
hurricandrunk hurricandrunk is offline
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speaking as a single bi girl...

I feel i would get quite a lot from joining an existing relationship.
personally what im looking for in a relationship is something caring and loving but not all encompassing. the idea of joining a relationship where i am not the primary focus appeals to me because i have an incredibly hard time being the sole focus.
possibly it appears somewhat selfish?

when i first peeked around here i was expecting the opposite tbh, that there would be a more singles looking to join couples than the other way around...

perhaps its just personal preference? everyone has their own desires and reasons...
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:36 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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perhaps its just personal preference? everyone has their own desires and reasons...
ABSOLUTELY!

I'm not looking to join anything-as I'm in a relationship with two.

If I were a single woman with no kids, I think joining a couple would be cool. I could keep my own place, have my personal space, not feel so "tied down", still have great times with my lovers without feeling guilty about them being "alone" whilst I was gone... Yep, I can see your point of view.
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  #20  
Old 02-25-2011, 09:23 PM
pollyshari pollyshari is offline
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Default Poly bi wife speaking here.

My writing skills are not as eloquent or cultured as many are here so I will do my best.

I can't speak for my sweetheart on this, but I hope that she has benefits.

The obvious would be that she is also bi and having a male and female available for sexuality is great.

I hope that she feels equal to me and our hubby. I would never want to bring someone into my life and make them feel second class. I could go into the details of my upbringing in a Patriarchal Mormon home but that is another discussion. I struggled to break away from the damage done to my self worth from being taught that I was second class and that is just how God wants it. I never ever ever want to be the one who creates that situation for another human being. Thank the Gods for a loving husband who's love helped me find myself as a whole and important valued individual.

If she did come to us with a low self esteem, hopefully we can help change that through being loving and considerate support of her needs, desires and dreams. I would definitely want her to grow and flourish. I doubt she is too insecure being that she is a former Marine and has a Master's degree she is much more accomplished (and younger)than I am. (which makes me feel insecure sometimes).

I would be a liar if I don't point that we are still working on the primary secondary thing. For instance when we get into hubby's car to go somewhere she looks at me to see if I want the seat next to hubby. This is actually progress however because initially I couldn't get her to sit next to him, anywhere, unless there was room for me directly next to him on the other side. I think she doesn't want to make me feel less important.

Hubby and I have a more matured relationship which may make it seem more primary, but the NRE that she brings often out shines it. She has expressed to me that sometimes she feels like hubby and I have each other and she is a third party, on the side. Wow how did that happen? I try so hard to avoid it and will continue working on it. Perhaps moving in together would help, but she is not ready to give up her apartment. We sure miss her when she is not with us. She has changed our couple relationship, we will never be the same again, with or without her.

She is getting two people who have had to learn to negotiate in order to keep our relationship a loving and fulfilling experience. We carry that into the changing dynamic of our new threesome.

Comprises? some are easier because we can take a 2 out of 3 vote in many situations. Hubby might not find this a fair solution as it is 2 women against 1 man .

I also want to point out that we are talking about poly relationships and isn't it possible to have a primary secondary in any poly relationship? Some mono wives often express feelings of being secondary to a mother in law, or her husbands buddies. Someone might think that a wife who stays with a husband that wants another woman must have some self esteem issue, Right? Maybe I am the one with the low self esteem.

I came to this forum searching for answers and I learned that love is not monogamy-dimensional. Being here at this forum helped me to open my mind. When I opened my mind my heart got bigger. Isn't that what makes poly so awesome?

I would love input. This thread has given me a lot to think about since yesterday.

Last edited by pollyshari; 02-25-2011 at 09:38 PM. Reason: Forgot to say something important.
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