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Old 07-21-2011, 05:06 PM
serialmonogamist serialmonogamist is offline
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Default life long commitment

In my experience, many women are interested in dating to find a life companion to grow old with. As a divorced person, I question my ability and desire to commit to life long companionship again. When I am honest about this with potential dating partners, they seem to take it as giving up on the relationship before it begins. I don't want to use women or waste their time and energy in pursuit of a life long companion, but that seems to be practically inevitable in monogamy if one is not willing to commit and exclude the potential of becoming interested in new people. I am curious what polyamorists would have to say about this issue. Can you identify enough with monogamy to understand why some people want exclusive, committed relationships and, if so, can you think of any way to respect this without committing to sacrificing all other potential relationships for as long as you honor the commitment (without cheating)? I.e. is polyamory the only way to be honest without hurting feelings? BTW, no need to explain that some people are naturally monogamous because I've heard that enough and I don't really believe it anyway (otherwise serial monogamy wouldn't be possible, imo).
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:43 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
in monogamy if one is not willing to commit and exclude the potential of becoming interested in new people. .
You don't seem to understand the concept of true monogamy from the stand point of a truly monogamous person. If a person is truly monogamous then they don't need the "will" to do these things..it just happens naturally and unconciously. That being said I don't automatically tie life long commitments with the idea of monogamy. I see monogamy as "only forming a connection with one person at a time". Serial monogamy is much more common than life long monogamy.

Wow I used the monogamy a lot in this comment!!
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:40 PM
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I don't see why it has to be inevitable in monogamy to commit for life. Why not just tell them that? Why not just say you don't want life long companionship. Poly and mono relationship dynamics have nothing to do with this choice. You can want something for life or not and be either.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:26 PM
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Why are you so opposed to a life-long relationship? I think this is the big question here? While I wouldn't go into a relationship with it having to be life-long, if someone was completely against the idea from the outset how could I open myself up emotionally to that person knowing that I had a finite time to be involved and then he would be moving on?

If after a certain period of time being in a relationship one party is wanting serious commitment and the other isn't that's when you address the issue. I don't think you can definitively know how you will feel after giving yourself honestly and lovingly in a relationship.

If all you want is a casual relationship (or relationships) that's a different matter but I would have thought there would be others out there looking for something similar.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:24 AM
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. . . I don't automatically tie life long commitments with the idea of monogamy. I see monogamy as "only forming a connection with one person at a time".
I was thinking the same thing! Monogamy doesn't automatically mean "forever." It just means one at a time. A forever/life-long relationship can be either poly or mono, and monogamy can be either life-long, or not. What does one have to do with the other?
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:43 AM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Lots of people assume that monogamy equals a lifelong committment. Sure, if that assumption is examined, the two are not automatically connected. But it's a common idea in the mainstream. I've also heard many people, some divorced, some widowed, say that they are just not interested in committing to another lifelong, or even long term, relationship.

I think it's a good thing you realize this about yourself. Yes, you may find that being up front about it limits who might respond to you. But ethically, it seems like the right thing to do.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:34 AM
serialmonogamist serialmonogamist is offline
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Originally Posted by sage View Post
Why are you so opposed to a life-long relationship? I think this is the big question here? While I wouldn't go into a relationship with it having to be life-long, if someone was completely against the idea from the outset how could I open myself up emotionally to that person knowing that I had a finite time to be involved and then he would be moving on?

If after a certain period of time being in a relationship one party is wanting serious commitment and the other isn't that's when you address the issue. I don't think you can definitively know how you will feel after giving yourself honestly and lovingly in a relationship.

If all you want is a casual relationship (or relationships) that's a different matter but I would have thought there would be others out there looking for something similar.
Thanks to everyone for thoughtful responses. I used to think that monogamy doesn't have to be for life (maybe why I chose the name 'serialmonogamist') but strangely it disappointed me when my marriage ended. In any case, what sage says to question why I'm opposed to a life long relationship resonates with why potential partners are suspicious of me. I guess I just can't see defining myself with another person the way I once did with my (ex) spouse. It's not that I just arbitrarily want to end any relationship before I get old. I also don't see myself ever definitely saying, "well, there's no one else in this life I could have dated." It seems like there are always potential partners who slip by because of circumstances of some sort or others. So when you commit to a potentially lifelong (monogamous) relationship, you are excluding the possibility of entertaining any other relationship potential. Yet if you don't desire (simultaneous) polyamory, then the question is whether you should identify with polyamory or monogamy. Or can you be both?
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:28 AM
dragonflysky dragonflysky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
In my experience, many women are interested in dating to find a life companion to grow old with. As a divorced person, I question my ability and desire to commit to life long companionship again. When I am honest about this with potential dating partners, they seem to take it as giving up on the relationship before it begins.
I'm someone whose interested in dating to find a life companion to grow old with. I appreciate it when a guy lets me know upfront that's not an interest of his. I don't see it as giving up on a relationship before it begins. Frankly, I don't care why he's not interested in a life long commitment anymore than I feel the need to explain or justify why I am. So, as you noted....why should or would either of us want to waste time when what we want is different and opposite??!! Yes, you or I may lose some potential dates based on either of our stances. But, it wouldn't be a good match to start with because of that basic difference. For me, being polyamorous could make a difference, because as long as I had a primary partner who wanted a long term committed relationship with me, I might be open to having someone else in my life who wanted a more casual "dating" relationship.

Last edited by dragonflysky; 07-22-2011 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
........... So when you commit to a potentially lifelong (monogamous) relationship, you are excluding the possibility of entertaining any other relationship potential. Yet if you don't desire (simultaneous) polyamory, then the question is whether you should identify with polyamory or monogamy. Or can you be both?
Hey Serial (cereal ? )

What are you getting at here ?
What do you mean when you say "don't desire SIMULTANEOUS poly" ?

I think the whole 'commitment' thing is largely cultural and difficult to discuss without evoking gender specific emotions.

I think commitment to ANYTHING has to be much more variable than people want to allow for. Things change. People change. You can't logically make some crystal ball projection indefinitely out into the future as if the future were not subject to those changes.

We 'commit' to something because we see win-win(s) in it and when that stops being the case we do have to reevaluate what makes the most sense (for all). Otherwise 'commitment' is nothing more than a TRAP !

I tend to 'commit' to today - and the start of tomorrow. My vision simply doesn't extend beyond that.

That said - my mate and I have been together since teenagers - but it's always been one day at a time. Or at least - till our 'shared' responsibilities lapsed (kids). That's a mutual commitment.

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Old 07-23-2011, 01:10 AM
serialmonogamist serialmonogamist is offline
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Hey Serial (cereal ? )
"Cereal?" "Serial monogamy" is a self-evident concept isn't it? It's when people have one partner at a time but not one partner (only) for life.

Quote:
What are you getting at here ?
What do you mean when you say "don't desire SIMULTANEOUS poly" ?
In my personal situation, what I mean is that I have been married and divorced and now I don't see myself dating more than one person at a time, but I also don't see myself committing again to a life long relationship the way I did when I was married. So I guess it means I'm poly but can't handle more than one relationship at a time.

Quote:
I think the whole 'commitment' thing is largely cultural and difficult to discuss without evoking gender specific emotions.
I'm not sure what this means or why you're saying it. I'm not trying to evoke emotions. I'm just trying to get insight into relationships beyond my own limited point of view.

Quote:
I think commitment to ANYTHING has to be much more variable than people want to allow for. Things change. People change. You can't logically make some crystal ball projection indefinitely out into the future as if the future were not subject to those changes.
Yeah, that's the way I thought of commitment when I was 20. Gradually it evolved into a stronger concept. I don't think commitment is black and white, i.e. you're either committed or you're not. Someone could commit to a 5 year relationship, but it might be very painful when you end it after 5 years. The whole thing confuses me because it seems like relationships can only work if you live in the moment and avoid planning for the future.

Quote:
That said - my mate and I have been together since teenagers - but it's always been one day at a time. Or at least - till our 'shared' responsibilities lapsed (kids). That's a mutual commitment.
Well, it can be a shock when one person cashes in on their freedom one day to leave. Who knows why people get sick of each other and don't want to be around the other anymore but it happens. How do you not promise you'll love someone forever out of honesty and not ruin what you have with them in the present?
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