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  #11  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:42 AM
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What of the term "next generation" that is being used by under 30's? There is a bit of a divide that distinguishes between styles of poly and age/stage. There was some discussion on this before here but I would love to hear more. Perhaps it will indicate more of why the difference has come about.

I am beginning to see however that perhaps knowing ones intent, rather than assuming, is a big part of dating now. As ray says, the term poly is used at 20 and 40 by some shmucks. Yet some of those who identify as poly do use it to find more than one to be loved and connected to. Maybe for some its a matter of educating and talking about it more?
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2011, 05:07 AM
meinsb meinsb is offline
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Hmm I wanted to start a similar post on this but with a slightly different spin. I am new to poly and new to this forum and some of you who posted on this topic, includig redpepper who started it, knows a bit about me.

I am 24 and married with a three year old. I just graduated college. My wife and I had our found out about our son going into sophomore year, and got married last summer.

Now, I went to school at a smaller state school and joined a fraternity. The last year and a half I served as president and held many positions before that. Its interesting to see what other 20 somethings feel about dating. Since I was engaged I didn't 'play the field' but it was somewhat ironic since (even though I didn't identify with it yet) I was poly all throughout college. I sat a listned to numerous fraternity brothers talk about all their different "relationships" hooks-ups, one night stands bla bla bla, and kept wondering, why am I so weird for wanting to be actually with multiple people if all these guys feel it is completely normal to just basically do whatever they want.

I've talked to a lot of people my age about sex, and have always been listening for people who might be like me. I know of maybe one where I went to school, but have a long term high school friend who I know is poly or different, and recently found out another college friend is more than typical.

Anyone who said google will yield poly with the right keywords and people my age like to find out what the meaning of what they are doing is I believe is hitting the nail on the head. I don't want to be misunderstood myself though, because I did the same thing at first, only I knew for a long time I was different.

Good Topic.
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2011, 11:20 AM
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This is a really great question! About the difference between poly and dating.

Me and my partner (mid 20s) went to quite a few poly meetings in Melbourne over a year ago, and met heaps of people who identified as poly. We'd both felt a familiarity with the philosophy behind polyamory - intimacy, openness, honesty. But realised that a lot people seemed to interpret it as simultaneous dating, which now we know wasn't what we were looking for - though we gave it a shot with pretty shitty results. Felt like we'd opened our relationship only to be shut out by new people each other met. It took us a while to work it out because poly people are much more approachable and honest about it, but just because you say it out loud doesn't make it any less the case.

I was thinking back to what attracted me to the idea of an open relationship - it was because we both had friends that we really loved, and we wondered what it would be like to be more intimate with them. Sleeping in the same bed or going away together, or living together, or showering together. Sex and kissing didn't seem a big step from all that, though it seems to cross over some kind of boundary. But the difference with our friends is that they don't try to shut anyone out. I arrange to meet up with them, but if we bump into someone we know or someone else wants to come they can. Which is the same relationship I have with my partner.

We've decided to take sexual stuff really slow, because of some complicated past experiences where it messed with a friend, which then messed with both of us. But I really like exploring everything before that boundary, spending honest, open and intimate time with people. Sitting with a friends head on your lap, sharing beds and skinny dipping, massages, and having an open lounge room where people feel free to come and hang out and stay. Polyamory isn't supposed to be all about the sex, but I haven't met too many people who identify as poly who act that way.

So are we poly or are we something else? I've stopped labelling it, but if pushed I say we have a more open relationship
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  #14  
Old 03-28-2011, 02:56 PM
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My daughter is 25 and IDs as poly. She had a poly relationship with her first lover. Altho she didn't take other lovers for a few years, her gf did.

About 4 years into their relationship, she had a couple other gfs. But then she broke up with her primary, found another one, and decided to quit being actively poly and focus on the 2 of them, because she felt she didn't know herself well enough, and the young people she was seeing didn't know themselves well either. So the relationships were stormy and full of petty arguments and jealousies and whatnot.
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  #15  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:00 PM
meinsb meinsb is offline
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stitch, I am in my mid twenties as well. Figuring out where poly ends and sex begins has been difficult for me to figure out so far too. I am a very sexual person in my monogamous relationship so I figure I will be the same in my poly ones? I thought for a long time being poly was an excuse to be promiscuous, but I could see quickly that poly people (not the ones just saying they are poly) real poly people talk about being in love with multiple people.

I spent a lot of time looking at that aspect, do I believe I would really love two people. Is love a valuable resource which only has enough capacity to fill one other persons void? Or, is it like the poly concept, an unmeasurable resource. Some poly people seem to say the more you give the more you get.

The sexual part is something I have a lot of research to do, of course I am married to a mono girl who is struggling with the whole concept, so focusing on the love part will make more sense at first.
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  #16  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:04 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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I have been thinking on this... and I think where I see the split is on level of commitment.

When I date, if I date multiple people... my commitment to them is... surface level. I am dating, thats the feeling out stage of a relationship. Are we intellectually and emotionally compatible. Are we sexually compatible. Are you going to be a total biatch in 3 months.

Poly is the "in a relationship" stage I suppose. You know you like each other, maybe even love each other, and you hit a certain level of sincere commitment.
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  #17  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:49 PM
TruckerPete TruckerPete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariakas View Post
I have been thinking on this... and I think where I see the split is on level of commitment.

When I date, if I date multiple people... my commitment to them is... surface level. I am dating, thats the feeling out stage of a relationship. Are we intellectually and emotionally compatible. Are we sexually compatible. Are you going to be a total biatch in 3 months.

Poly is the "in a relationship" stage I suppose. You know you like each other, maybe even love each other, and you hit a certain level of sincere commitment.
Ding ding ding!

26, BTW.
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  #18  
Old 03-28-2011, 06:44 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I turned 26 recently, too.

I definitely would agree that "being poly", if it's an action, means many relationships, so anything that is not considered a relationship for whatever reason wouldn't apply.

I guess I never really though about having a date with someone you're not in a relationship with. There has always been a disconnect for me with people in US TV shows for instance, who seem to date often, and sometimes people they have never met until the date, sometimes people who have just met. I used to think it was incredibly unrealistic and never happened in real life, but I've realised since that it does happen.

As for me, I never dated someone without considering myself in a relationship with them. The first date would, for me, be the point at which the relationship becomes "official" (prior to that, it's me liking someone and wanting a relationship with them, but not being in one yet). However it seems that dating for many people is some sort of screening process or interview in which you decide if you want to go further or not.
Never really happened to me, I have the screening process beforehand, which is what leads me to ask them out in the first place (or say yes if they ask me out). I have had times when I said no, then became friends, and upon getting to know the person better, only then told them I was willing to date them now.
Well, him. It only happened once. I haven't had many relationships.

True, I've had casual sex as well, but never dated any of these men, specifically because they were casual sex and not relationship. I have had "dates" with my ex FWB, but they were as friends, not as lovers, and were similar to outings I've had with any other friends, except that sex sometimes occurred before or after them.

So, "dating around" isn't a concept I'm familiar with first-hand. I basically agree with what seems to be the consensus here, though (that is, poly requires actual relationships, if you're dating around as part of the "screening process" it's not poly. However, it has the potential to become so.)
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  #19  
Old 03-29-2011, 01:57 AM
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@ meinsb - me and my partner have had lots of chats about whether we could love more than one person, and realised we loved heaps of people. My family I guess was where my mind started to bend around the idea - I mean, surely it's not a different kind of love? I think that void you wrote about comes back to not feeling alone and also having people you can create a life with not just live alongside. When you're close with someone, where the wall between you is gone and you feel you can be exactly who you are and they love you and you love them, well I guess there aren't many people who you can feel like that with. Whether it's because you haven't met them yet, or you're keeping them at arms length because it's a grey area if you already have a partner. Personally, I think it's the latter. I was talking to a friend of mine, who's in a mono relationship, and she said that even without the sex and kissing it's still a really big thing to let other people in, she said she has lots of close female friends but she'd be really nervous to be close with a male. I think that would be quite common. So for me, for us, we think it's a good place to start, re-start . Like I said, it didn't work so well when we kissed first and asked questions later. We found it more helpful to think of jealousy as a word for all the emotions in the too hard basket, so it did lead to a lot hard basket emotion. Especially from our friend, who wanted to spend alone time with my partner which was hard, since we were travelling at the time and I was left out by my travel buddies. And it was weird too because we were all good friends, but once they'd crossed that physical boundary I was "just" a friend, and she was something more with my partner. But we let it go on too long because that's the only paradigm (?) we knew. I'd like to do more reading about it, I have my own theories why it is people only feel close with someone after they've had sex with them. I reckon mono dating and poly dating follow the same rules, it's hard to go against the grain especially when the only thing you know is what you don't like.

Will keep my eye out for poly poly people
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  #20  
Old 03-29-2011, 01:25 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
.............

So what has changed? Is the term "Poly" just different for younger generations? Is there a change in dating? Or is there no change and its really just the same as when I was young with the word poly given to it?
RP,

One possibility I see is that a new term has appeared that seems to be a better fit for where people are wanting their love style to go.
I think there's has been in the past a certain guideline/assumption that when people are just 'dating', i.e. going through that checking each other out phase, that any discussion about who else might be in the picture and at what level (emotional,physical) is avoided. Kind of an extension of the don't ask / don't tell approach if you will.

But there's a certain discomfort with that approach - for everyone. On the self side it can seem less than genuine and honest, and I think everyone realizes the danger in that to even a 'potential' relationship. Where does that line cross between what's been 'hidden', 'lied about' etc. and what was expected to be avoided. Way too much wiggle room here to cry foul later.

So I think there's this attraction to this newly discovered (?) model that looks like it can cut through some of that. It's like......"ok - let's all be open and honest about everything" ! Ok ! <huge grin> Define EVERYTHING !?
Now the fun begins.........
By 'claiming' poly, you could basically be stating that you have every intention of having multiple people in your life that you intend to really care about and have sex with etc. And anyone new needs to understand that about you. A lot said in a word.

But I think that most people who have 'studied' poly potential see a lot of the good possibilities in comparison to the way it previously went in establishing and maintaining relationships so there's a natural attraction to at least 'try' it. And to advertise that you ARE trying it. Therefore the latching on to a new label.

Is it likely a bit less than accurate in many/most cases ? I suspect so.
But that seems how usage of terms and labels evolve.

GS
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