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  #21  
Old 03-22-2011, 12:42 AM
preciselove preciselove is offline
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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I think people who think with that mono perspective tend to forget that you already give some of your time and/or attention to other things and people. You spend time at work, you spend time sleeping, you spend time enjoying your hobbies. You spend time with your family, with your friends, or on an Internet forum. It's quite possible to be mono and have much less time and attention to give your one partner than a poly person does with each of theirs.
Yeah you've hit the nail with the hammer here I think. Mono people just immediately jump to some romantic notion in their head, like you're always on the beach at sunset sipping wine with your loved one and a new person is taking time away from that.

But as you say, you don't really WANT to spend every living moment with one person. Most people need alone time to formulate their thoughts. I think anyone that was so needy and attached that they would get the shakes if I went to the toilet and was away from them is someone with some issues.

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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
And then sometimes there is a quality aspect to it as well. When you're together, especially for a long time, not all time spent together will be quality time. It could be spent doing the laundry while your partner is in the next room, or things like that. Yet when you have more partner, it's possible that the quality time is simply condensed. You spend less time with each partner, but it's also much more intense than it used to be. Things like that.

Ultimately, it will depend on the situation, the people involved, the type of relationship, but it's not as easy as "dividing" the amount of love by the amount of partners.
There are a lot of activities in life which are just "group" activities that won't matter if you're doing them with one or two people. Once it goes past two people though, I can see where people can realize it can take things away from you.

An example would be watching a movie. I can hold two girls on me when watching a movie and they both feel loved. I couldn't fit a third. Some poly people would say "yeah but one of the other girls could cuddle the third" and that would be true, however if someone wanted to cuddle me they couldn't in all group activities. This is never a problem with only 2 partners. I can also see where quads can work here, but they suffer from the needing to swap rather than the group being able to be contained within itself at all times if it wanted.

But there are many group activities where you could have say 3-10 loves actively involved. Eating. Talking. Playing sport. Sex. Driving. Cafe. Bars. etc.


I'd like to know how many "serial monogamists" there are in the poly scene compared to people like myself that are actively involved with more than one person at all times. Because I think a lot of "love is infinite" talk comes mostly from the serial monogamists. Where you have one or two partners you see most of the time (with boundaries), but have a boyfriend/girlfriend every month type situation.

Once you live the nitty gritty of handling multiple people at the same time you realize that there is no way you could handle an infinite amount of it on anything approaching a close relationship.


*HEAVILY OPINIONATED GENERALIZATIONS FOLLOWS*

To me at least, people that compartmentalize their relationships and are only with one love at a time aren't poly people as I define them as you're only using monogamous skills in the relationships. In essence it's all about finding base partners that are ok with their addiction to NRE. I can see how people that constantly taste NRE can think thoughts similar to that of other drug users. A NRE addict "love is infinite man" . A 1960s hippy on LSD "make love not war man".
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  #22  
Old 03-22-2011, 12:59 AM
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No, one can not handle an infinite number of partners. That would be absurd.

I have two lovers, a kid, and some close friends. I don't have the time or energy to fuel any more than that.
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  #23  
Old 03-22-2011, 01:58 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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The comparison of one love to another is like apples to oranges.
That's a very good way to put it. If I eat an orange, it doesn't mean I like apples any less. And I can eat a fruit salad that has both. But fundamentally, apples and oranges both have something the other doesn't. And people are all different, but it's not really a "lack". I can love how one of my partner is tall, and I can love how another partner is short. Neither could be both at once, even though I love both things. In cases like that, it's not about one or the other not being enough, but how they both have good things about them.

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Originally Posted by preciselove View Post
I'd like to know how many "serial monogamists" there are in the poly scene compared to people like myself that are actively involved with more than one person at all times.
Well, my ideal relationship would involve several live-in partners with the possibility of other partners. Right now I only have the boyfriend I live with. I used to have two primaries, my husband and my boyfriend but one living in Canada and one living in the US meant that I pretty much didn't see both at once, except on some trips and over the Internet.

I can see how it's completely different if you never see your partners at the same time. Then your time is much more "divided" between them, as time with one of them requires time away from another. But as you pointed out, it's possible to spend quality time with several partners at once.
This being said, I would personally also want one-on-one time with each partner, as I think time spent as a group and time spent one-on-one can have different dynamics to them.

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Originally Posted by preciselove View Post
*HEAVILY OPINIONATED GENERALIZATIONS FOLLOWS*

To me at least, people that compartmentalize their relationships and are only with one love at a time aren't poly people as I define them as you're only using monogamous skills in the relationships.
I think it's about different types of poly. There is that book that explains that different kinds of poly can be as different from one another as they are from monogamy. If I recall, it spelled "polys" this way:
P: primaries that have secondary partners, similar to serial monogamy but with a steady primary partner on top
O: a group that all lived together and form a loop, could be a triad (A dates B who dates C who dates A) or something longer (...C who dates D who dates E who dates A). Could also be four people who each have two partners out of the three others, or people who are all involved with all the others, etc.
L: a vee (L and V are basically the same shape with a different angle... although I like how in V both branches are the same length)
Y: more networky configurations (for instance one person has 3 partners, making them the middle of a Y, these partners have other partners as well, etc)
S: Like an O that's not closed or crossed, so could be an N for instance.

It seems to me it's mainly the P form you think isn't really poly. I would say that to a mono person, it definitely isn't mono! But I would take it as it not being your poly. I still think it's polyamorous and I still think it requires poly skills. I think it's rare for it to be a complete double life with metamours never interacting, for instance. And compersion is definitely a poly skill.
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  #24  
Old 03-22-2011, 02:29 AM
RobFire RobFire is offline
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Default Supplement or Complement.... Or Both?

I would say both.

But wait, you cry, does that make your soul-mate lacking??!!???

No, and I'll explain.

Everyone's different. There's music my wife likes that I generally don't see the appeal to. There's books I read that she doesn't care to tackle. There's certain sexual activities that one or both of us could care less for, both the other can't get enough of.

This doesn't make me love my wife less. In fact, the idea that it would be a problem to the relationship, because we have differences, or because we've developed different interests over time, is the reason many people jump into serial monogamy.
OMG, I found this chick that likes to play WoW, and my sweety doesn't. I must have made a terrible mistake!
I prefer to focus on the enduring love we have, and take those differences as being inevitable, and they are usually trivial compared to our groovy long term love.

There's a guy, for instance, she had been smitten with not long ago who was a heavy duty rockabilly enthusiast. There's a guy who she's attracted to now that is way heavier into native American spirituality than I, which she digs. I know that they'd have a lot more to share on those topics that I would. Doesn't make me less important to her.

The one thing that we have that never is lacking is love and affection for each other, and that's a hole that doesn't need filling. It also doesn't mean that if she were to receive more love and affection that it makes what we have somehow less. I would hazard to venture that it would actually make it more.

Then there's the occasional business trip I might take, or project that consumes most of my time, or worst case my untimely death or serious illness. In those situations there's definitely gonna be a dent in the romantic love and affection department. Nobody could replace me, but it would be a good thing if romance didn't decrease to little or none.

So as far as romantic love and affection, I'm in the Complement camp in most cases.

But there are assuredly many supplementary bonuses to the poly lifestyle as well.
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  #25  
Old 03-22-2011, 03:01 AM
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Isn't this discussion more a matter of what everyone's personal description of love is for them? At least some of it anyway?

rpcrazy wrote something on that awhile back.

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2901

Here is another good thread on love that GS started.

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2162

both deal with the definition of love and peoples description of love.
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Last edited by redpepper; 03-22-2011 at 05:45 AM.
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  #26  
Old 03-22-2011, 04:27 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by Beodude123 View Post
The love that you share is immense. If anything, others that come in will be more of a supplementary relationship.
Interesting....can you explain that more? When I think of supplements, I think of something that we need because we are missing it. It is something that needs to be added because we are lacking in it.
As a college student, quite often I have had textbooks that also came with a supplementary "workbook" volume. Usually, the textbook is all that's required to meet the goals of the course. The supplement is often optional and simply gives the student more opportunity to work on specific exercises, and grasp certain concepts from another perspective. It's not that the main textbook is lacking, but that the supplementary volume rounds out our studies or gives us different ways to think about the topic. Our learning is increased.

So, to correlate, to say that an additional relationship is "supplementary," one could mean that it is like that workbook. It augments (ie., intensifies, grows, enlarges) the totality of the person in relationship with him or her, but does not signify a lack, necessarily, in any other relationships with which one is involved. Like another viewpoint or perspective; it is just another path to the heart. A supplementary relationship can fulfill the same needs, or different needs, as a primary or established relationship, but in a way that just offers another viewpoint, experience, etc. and rounds out the person in often unexpected ways.

So... basically, as I see it, allowing in love from multiple partners potentially enriches one's life, but need not be a replacement or at the expense of any of the other partners.
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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; 03-22-2011 at 04:29 AM.
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  #27  
Old 03-22-2011, 05:11 AM
dragonflysky dragonflysky is offline
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Well I'm one who definitely got burned on this concept of infinite love....love begetting more love...when it comes to poly. A guy I met through an online site introduced me to the idea of poly. I'd never heard of it before. At first I was "No way! Fine for others. Not for me!" One of the concerns I had expressed was that I had always found it challenging enough to find time for my former husband, my children (when they were young), my job and my "self", much less trying to add anyone(s) else to our lives. (I'm currently divorced, single and my children are now adults.)

He was living with a female partner at the time we "met". He and I are heterosexual and she is bi-sexual. They were raising her 8 year old son from her prior marriage. They had the idea that they eventually hoped to form a poly family of sorts. He sought to reassure me that there was enough love to go around...that love was infinite.

I did a lot of reading and discussing of poly with him. Eventually I moved to live closer to him and his partner. (We had lived 7 hours a part) This move was agreed on by all 3 of us. I lived with them the first month until I found my own place...which had been the plan all along. We all did activities together as a "family" and separate activities as a "couple" occasionally. I met some of their friends and became friends with them. The one glitch was that I often felt like I was being treated as a "secondary" when it came to decision making, etc. and had told him that more than once. He told me more than once that he didn't mean for me to feel that way and that he didn't see me that way.

After moving into my own place, I saw less and less of him. We lived an hour a part, so I certainly didn't expect to see him daily. But, he had said prior to my moving that he thought we'd be able to see each other a couple of times a week/on a weekend. I was willing to make the drive to where they lived and to include other family members as part of "our" time together. (I had already gone out with him, his other partner's son and her mother to various events when his other partner had to work, so that wasn't anything new. I even babysat for her son when both of them had to work on a Saturday one time.)

Three months after I moved into my own place and after several discussions, he tells me that he's very busy with his new job, he's tired, busy co-parenting, she's busy finishing up college and starting a new job, etc., and that "No" he couldn't commit to seeing me once a week. But...he still loved me and wanted me as a part of his life...and so on and so on. (The only factor that had changed since we had discussed my moving to live near them was him getting a different job. All the other factors were the same.) He said he was willing to see me and spend time with me "whenever it worked out". (He didn't like it when I expressed it as "Oh, so what you're saying is that you still love me and want me in your life, and that you'll see me if and when it's convenient for you?" )

I broke it off at that point in time. I had said from the beginning that I would consider being in a poly relationship with him as another "primary", but that I had NO interest in being a "secondary" with him. I recently heard that he and his partner are mono for the time being until things get settled down better in their lives. I wish they'd figured that out before he involved me in their lives! It would have saved me an immense amount of pain and loss. "Love" in theory is infinite....but "Love" is also an action....a verb...not just a noun. In my situation, "love" wasn't infinite in terms of an action. It's been 3 months since I broke it off with him...and I still cry myself to sleep some nights over this loss.

Last edited by dragonflysky; 03-22-2011 at 05:37 AM.
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  #28  
Old 03-22-2011, 05:24 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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dragonflysky, I think it's a sad and unfortunate situation, but it seems to me it's an example of how time isn't just used on other partners, since apparently he stopped having time to see you due to his job and parental obligations and not due to "using up" all his love on the one partner.

My boyfriend has only me currently, but he also has a very demanding job. He gets up at 7am and has been at work as late at 4am at times, although the usual is closer to 11pm. When he gets back home, he doesn't have much time to do anything other than sleep, and if we didn't live together at the moment, I wouldn't see him at all during the week.
Then during the weekend, everything that he has to do catches up with him since he couldn't do any of it during the week, and I tag along but here again, we probably wouldn't be able to make plans for dating if we didn't live together.

I'm sure some people have a much less demanding job that takes less time out of their schedule, and they can give their partners more time and attention, even if they have more than one, even if they don't see them at the same time.
I'm satisfied with the situation as it is because I'm someone who also likes having a lot of alone time, and I always fall for the busy guys, so I know if he stopped being busy it might work less well between us. But I can see how that wouldn't work at all for some people, and it doesn't have much to do with polyamory. If your friend didn't have his current girlfriend, it's possible he would have told you the exact same thing.
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  #29  
Old 03-22-2011, 09:38 AM
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It happens often that the new person, the "secondary," gets the shitty end of the stick timewise. It's a bit the opposite in my relationship because of my husband's stupid work schedule.

With my boyfriend, he knows the kid comes first and that I have obligations that I can't avoid.

After taking care of life business and the kiddo, I have to make sure that I spend enough time with Thumper and T-Rex individually, both to meet my needs and theirs.

Thumper's work schedule tends to make our alone time difficult. T-Rex keeps me company twice a week when Thumper works overnight. We spend Thursday nights and Sunday morning and afternoons together, all three of us.

Theoretically, Thumper has the rest of the time, but too much of that gets eaten up by life stuff. We are trying to work out a better schedule of date nights and times for sex and cuddles alone together.

Time management is hard. Sometimes Thumper is bothered that he gets more sex and cuddles when there's the three of us together than when it's just he and I alone. and that's a legitimate beef. We're working on it.

Still, our relationship has grown closer since we opened our marriage. We communicate better, are more intimate and loving, and have more and better sex. We still need to work on some stuff... can't be together for 11 years without picking up some baggage...

Which is another point... being with T-Rex is teaching me, slowly, how to jettison the baggage. I have been with Thumper long enough, it's like I need remedial loving lessons. With T-Rex, it's a fresh start with no baggage. I learn how to love and be intimate without all the baggage, with a fresh perspective on it and able to bring into it everything I've learned over the years. Then I am able to bring that fresh perspective on loving back into my relationship with my husband, which enriches it.

Being with T-Rex unblocks me emotionally so I can be a better wife to Thumper. It's not an instantaneous thing. The lessons take a while to transfer over because they are very different from each other in many ways, but Thumper and I are feeling much more hopeful and connected. There was never any question of us ever breaking up, but entering into poly has given us experiences that have shown us how we can make our relationship better.

We are learning to see in what ways we are blocking and sabotaging our intimacy and working hard to dismantle the barriers that have grown up over the years. I credit poly with much of this. The emphasis on open, honest communication and how poly forces you to monitor your relationships and tend to them rather than just letting them grow wild... this builds skills that have benefited all my loving relationships.
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Last edited by Penny; 03-22-2011 at 09:43 AM.
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  #30  
Old 03-22-2011, 04:10 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Originally Posted by preciselove View Post

Once you live the nitty gritty of handling multiple people at the same time you realize that there is no way you could handle an infinite amount of it on anything approaching a close relationship.

Nicely put and completely agree.
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