Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-06-2011, 09:31 AM
rory's Avatar
rory rory is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Europe
Posts: 496
Default Loving freely or controlling emotions?

I stumbled into poly sort of accidentally. I did know some people in polyamorous relationships but hadn't really considered one myself, mostly because I thought it unlikely to be able to find someone compatible who would be ok with me having a husband. However, I met a woman and ended up in one, i.e. with a girlfriend and a husband. After that, I have been doing a lot of reading about poly, here and elsewhere, and it has somewhat changed my perspective.

It seems there are different ways of "living poly". Some people seem to be open to letting relationships become romantic if they feel like it. Something like not limiting one's love, even if it is not reciprocated. In the other end there are people who (or whose partner) happened to fall in love with somebody new, and they are working to make poly work, and not considering additional partners. And then everything in between.

I guess what I'm wondering is where do I fit, or, more specifically, what do I want and how do I want to live. I'm not expecting anybody here to have the answer for me.

I'm having some difficulties with wrapping my head around the concept of letting oneself freely love other people. On one hand, on theoretical level it sounds sort of fabulous. And it feels like it might be "the most natural way" for me. But on the other, on practical level I find the idea somewhat scary. I mean, it differs so much from what I'm used to. I've had a few strong crushes on my friends, and usually I've worked on getting over them by "talking myself out of it". I've sometimes tried to spend less time with them, othertimes I've sort of tried to find reasons why a romantic relationship wouldn't have worked for us anyway.

As I write that it sort of doesn't sound healthy to me. I guess a lot of people do it somewhat like that in monogamous relationships. You're expected to come to a conclusion that there could not be a person out there who was as (or more) compatible to you as your current partner is; if something contradicts that it may mean you've made the wrong choice, and you can deal with that only by breaking up or by settling because you're committed. Does anybody else feel this is how mainstream culture views crushing on or falling in love with someone else while in a relationship?

How is it then I want to perceive love? Is it what I want to do, to let myself fall in love with somebody even if there is no future for us? Should I just accept my feelings for somebody as they are? Does it have to hurt (as we are taught) to have somebody you love not love you back? What if the feelings are mutual but the situation doesn't allow a (romantic) relationship, e.g. one of you has a monogamous relationship or a polyamorous relationship to multiple partners and has no time for another relationship? Can you still accept the feelings and yet be able to move on (i.e. not hurt)?

The questions above are rhetorical; I'm just pondering. Feel free to comment any thoughts that come to mind.

Last edited by rory; 06-06-2011 at 11:43 AM. Reason: to clarify my situation
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-06-2011, 11:07 AM
HappiestManAlive HappiestManAlive is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 348
Default

Have you ever fell for someone - maybe a crush, but lets limit it to a longer-lasting, more "meaningful" kind of feeling - while in a committed relationship - that in no way lessened or detracted for your feelings toward your current SO?

If so, that's being poly. Whether you act on it or not determnines whether or not you're "living" poly.

I have come to understand that many people fall for someone and it "flips a switch"; they no longer have meaningful attraction or interest in other potential partners. I guess that's being "mono".

I honestly thought that the former was normal and that white-knuckling your way through a relationship with all these other feelings flying around was just how it was - that's what commitment was, and it was a sacrifice everyone made in order to be with the "chosen one" as it were. I didn't know there were people for whom this was never a problem until I was introduced to poly - and came to learn that MY way of living was the unusual one (according to something I'm sure).

Once the possibility of not limiting my love arose, I have found it very difficult to concieve of living otherwise. As far as actual relationships go - well, they can be difficult, especially in such a "mono-centric" society. And the pain of loss is in no way mitigated - at least not for me - by having others (though it is nice to not go through it alone), something else I find that many "mono" types don't grasp; "but you have backups". How insulting on sooo many levels...

Anyway - if you feel you're limiting your love, you're a poly person "living mono". As I have come to see and understand it, mono's who've found their "one" don't seem to feel this way.

My loose change...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-06-2011, 12:00 PM
rory's Avatar
rory rory is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Europe
Posts: 496
Default

I realised right now that my previous post was a bit confusing since I didn't really describe my situation, so I edited a bit. I am in a polyamorous relationship now (only 2 months), a N between my husband, me, my girlfriend and her husband. What I wrote in the first post about having crushes was referring to "the time before poly", i.e. when I didn't regard poly as a viable choise for me (before meeting my girlfriend). Back then I was married and I used to try and control my feelings for others.

Now the situation has changed in that I know that poly definitely can work for me. But I don't feel that, at least for now, I would have the energy or time for a third partner. Thus, I'm still not really able to act on it if/when I like somebody in the future (unless it seems that they do fit into my life at that point). Thus, I wouldn't consider myself available. Therefore, I'm pondering if I still should use my old techinque of trying to control my feelings if/when I meet somebody in the future whom I love, but whom I can't be in a relationship with (for any reason).
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-06-2011, 12:10 PM
rory's Avatar
rory rory is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Europe
Posts: 496
Default

I'll still add some thoughts. I don't think it would be very healthy to try to control the feelings, but I find the thought of letting myself love freely a bit scary. I'm afraid of hurting myself if I let myself love somebody who doesn't love me, for example.

But that's just it. I don't KNOW it will hurt, I just assume it will. But now that I think of it, I don't know. I mean, when I had a big crush on one of my friends (who didn't feel romantically towards me, and didn't know about my feelings) and he was seeing someone else I felt only a little hurt and jealous, and the feelings passed fast. After that I was just happy for them, even though I still had strong feelings for him. I think it's very similar to what I might experience if my partner found somebody new. It doesn't really make much difference if I am romantically involved with them or not, I can still feel happiness in their happiness and be confident that I am important to them in other ways.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-06-2011, 12:14 PM
Gecko's Avatar
Gecko Gecko is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 29
Default

First up, I liked your post.
It reminds me of some of my own thoughts on love, especially ones i was having before i knew "poly" was something going on in other peoples lives and not just in my head!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
I'm having some difficulties with wrapping my head around the concept of letting oneself freely love other people. On one hand, on theoretical level it sounds sort of fabulous. And it feels like it might be "the most natural way" for me.
Me too! Thats how I love. and often i can see in people that deep down they feel that too, but our social norms/rules are so embedded that it is often never even mentioned let alone allowed to bloom into its full expression.
Monogamy will even have people rejecting ones they love just because they see that the person will not suit a broad enough range of situations to be exclusive with.
it saddens me; love heals, but all the rituals, rules and circumstances around it mean it often mean we often go without it where it may be needed, and the isolation causes much pain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
But on the other, on practical level I find the idea somewhat scary. I mean, it differs so much from what I'm used to.
To have the trust in your own heart that you are ok, that you can let down the barriers that protect you from rejection; is a beautiful thing. But you will still dealing mostly with people who have brickwalls surrounding there hearts. I'm not Christian, but I think Jesus' life is a great example of someone being true to themselves, not matter what the cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
As I write that it sort of doesn't sound healthy to me. I guess a lot of people do it somewhat like that in monogamous relationships. You're expected to come to a conclusion that there could not be a person out there who was as (or more) compatible to you as your current partner is; if something contradicts that it may mean you've made the wrong choice, and you can deal with that only by breaking up or by settling because you're committed.
Yup.
I love my wife so much, but when i try to explain my views on love, it violates this norm that she is supposed to be my everything...if not she must not be good enough for me somehow.
The way I'm forced to settle or go, is by making me choose whether to be free to love and live fully, or ignore a significant part of myself in order not to lose my wife.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
How is it then I want to perceive love? Is it what I want to do, to let myself fall in love with somebody even if there is no future for us? Should I just accept my feelings for somebody as they are? Does it have to hurt (as we are taught) to have somebody you love not love you back?
Yes! Just accept your feelings as they are

Love is love. It doesn't plan for the future or consider long term viability.
I absolutely love losing myself in wonder of the natural world, of being able to "feel" the elements, the line blurring between duality and oneness. But i can't choose when those experience come (apart from seeking it within sex), nor can I prevent them from ending (again its a bit different with sex lol ).

I wonder how that is different to the love experienced between people? I don't have the answer, but we fear losing lovers like we fear death. We put up illusions in our minds that the world is static, permanent, that if we can just get to that next part we'll finally be ok. But realty is constant change, so when we get there its not only different than we planned it, but the next change is already coming.

I think we put walls up around hearts to protect our ego's plans and dreams, we fear letting the love of others in because deep down we know that reality is different than our ideals. We will be hurt when it doesn't turn out the way we "planned"

I'm sorry, that was a very long winded way to say; that yes your right, just accept your love as it is, in the present moment.
Maybe you'll have a great convo, maybe youll get married and have kids, maybe you'll have a night of the most spiritually connected mind blowing sex you've ever had and then crash your car on the way home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
What if the feelings are mutual but the situation doesn't allow a (romantic) relationship, e.g. one of you has a monogamous relationship or a polyamorous relationship to multiple partners and has no time for another relationship? Can you still accept the feelings and yet be able to move on (i.e. not hurt)?
Thats reality. Not hurt? Would take a true saint! Doesn't mean its not worth it. The times I've regretted a loving experience is when its been deceptive to others and people get hurt.

Things end, thats natural. I think that adhering to the pillars of the poly philosophy of "honesty, communication and love" go along way to helping one follow red peppers advice to "live in a way that leaves a positive wake were ever you go"


Sorry for rambling!


Gecko

Last edited by Gecko; 06-06-2011 at 03:06 PM. Reason: wasnt reading back the way i meant it to sound
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-06-2011, 12:27 PM
Gecko's Avatar
Gecko Gecko is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 29
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappiestManAlive View Post
Have you ever fell for someone - maybe a crush, but lets limit it to a longer-lasting, more "meaningful" kind of feeling - while in a committed relationship - that in no way lessened or detracted for your feelings toward your current SO?
Thats exactly how it is for me! Thanks for the post. Reading this forum makes me feel validated for feelings and silent struggles that i thought I was wrong for having for so long, because my partner is totally mono and doesn't struggle at all in our relationship (apart from putting up with me haha).

It doesnt mean that she isnt perfectly fine herself, theres nothing wrong with mono, but I really have no idea of how to get through this with her, without just suppressing it.

Last edited by Gecko; 06-06-2011 at 12:41 PM. Reason: people dont need to see his whole post twice...short quote still does the trick ;)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-06-2011, 03:18 PM
Erosa's Avatar
Erosa Erosa is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Earth
Posts: 138
Default

One of the quinessential qualities of romantic love is the risk of getting hurt.

Granted, loving more people makes the odds of getting hurt go up, mathematically speaking.

But from what you are saying about your relationship contraction and exploration of who you are emotionally, I think you shouldn't push yourself in any direction. Just let yourself feel.

You will find your balance. *hugs*
__________________
With all my heart I will love and not fail,
With all my soul I will fly and not fall.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-06-2011, 03:32 PM
Gecko's Avatar
Gecko Gecko is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 29
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
Therefore, I'm pondering if I still should use my old techinque of trying to control my feelings if/when I meet somebody in the future whom I love, but whom I can't be in a relationship with (for any reason).
I don't think you should be suppressing your feelings. Like Erosa said, just let yourself feel. If your not able to be with that person 'for any reason', then its probably a circumstance outside of your control anyway, so it might be easier to allow your self to feel love for that person without needing to act on it?

I find it hard when there is a possibility, but i can't act because of my own relationships boundries (which in theory i do have some say in). If I like someone but they are the ones who cant break the rules i find it easier to let sleeping dogs lie, as I don't want interfere in others stuff.

This makes me ponder something else...but ill start a thread instead of hijacking yours
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-06-2011, 05:19 PM
rory's Avatar
rory rory is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Europe
Posts: 496
Default

Thanks a lot for all the answers! You're really helping me think this through.

I'm thinking, why do I have the assumption that loving somebody and still not being able to have a relationship with them will hurt (and not just a little but like your world is going to end). I mean, what is the underlying assumption? I'm thinking it goes something along the lines of "it is only worth it to love somebody if you can have them all for yourself". That's just so far from what I think and feel.

I wrote in some of my first posts here that I don't really identify as polyamorous (so much as I just happen to be in a polyamorous relationship). But I think this is beginning to change. It does seem that this is how I am and how I feel. Doesn't mean I have to have a (romantic) relationship with every person I may love now or in the future, only that I can connect lovingly to many people at once.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-06-2011, 05:33 PM
rory's Avatar
rory rory is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Europe
Posts: 496
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappiestManAlive View Post
I have come to understand that many people fall for someone and it "flips a switch"; they no longer have meaningful attraction or interest in other potential partners. I guess that's being "mono".

I honestly thought that the former was normal and that white-knuckling your way through a relationship with all these other feelings flying around was just how it was - that's what commitment was, and it was a sacrifice everyone made in order to be with the "chosen one" as it were. I didn't know there were people for whom this was never a problem until I was introduced to poly - and came to learn that MY way of living was the unusual one (according to something I'm sure).

Once the possibility of not limiting my love arose, I have found it very difficult to concieve of living otherwise.
I think you are right in this! And I'm starting to feel more and more like you describe in the last sentence. I do think I have had some permanent changes in thinking which cannot be undone (not that I want to).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
I wonder how that is different to the love experienced between people? I don't have the answer, but we fear losing lovers like we fear death. We put up illusions in our minds that the world is static, permanent, that if we can just get to that next part we'll finally be ok. But realty is constant change, so when we get there its not only different than we planned it, but the next change is already coming.
I think you are spot on with this one! I have quite a few thought processes which I think have been going on for a while; and many of them are coming together. I have thought a lot about how a person must find true happiness inside them, and not let it be dependent of one's circumstances (e.g. relationship status). Definitely, reality is not static and relationships are not static. One should accept it and not try to control everything. And by one I mean myself, since I totally feel the need to control most things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
Sorry for rambling!
No problems, I loved to read your thoughts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
I don't think you should be suppressing your feelings. Like Erosa said, just let yourself feel. If your not able to be with that person 'for any reason', then its probably a circumstance outside of your control anyway, so it might be easier to allow your self to feel love for that person without needing to act on it?

I find it hard when there is a possibility, but i can't act because of my own relationships boundries (which in theory i do have some say in). If I like someone but they are the ones who cant break the rules i find it easier to let sleeping dogs lie, as I don't want interfere in others stuff.
I think I agree with all of this.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:51 AM.