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  #41  
Old 08-29-2011, 04:43 PM
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JuliaGay JuliaGay is offline
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Originally Posted by River View Post
In my case, when I take on a lover, our hearts are connected such that I'm with and for them utterly. This will be so if one of my partners can't spend as much time with me as the other/s. It's just how I love. I love equally. I really do.
I also believe that I love equally. But I cannot spend an equal amount of resources (time, attention, money, etc.) on each of my partners. And they don't have the same amount to give to each other their partners.

I do prioritize in terms of where I believe my largest amount of responsibility lies -- my husband followed by my other partners followed by my friends followed by acquaintances followed by strangers.

We use the terms primary and secondary because they accurately describe how we function. Yes, some people may take the term secondary to mean disposable. I've experienced this. But I've also experienced situations where it didn't mean that. Until we find better terms, I'll continue to use them....
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  #42  
Old 08-29-2011, 07:07 PM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine View Post

...

I have, willingly, been a secondary. We used that term among ourselves. I don't think it was a negative thing at all. That is, of course, because I WANTED to be the non-primary partner in that relationship. "Below priority of the primary" was what my role in that relationship was, and it's the role I wanted at the time.

...

I think secondary is a good term. It can be a great place to be as well. The term is descriptive of the situation. If the term applies, and causes discomfort, people shouldn't change the term. They should strike at the root and fix the discomfort.
So have I. I was in a relationship with a married woman, and was totally committed to the idea that the married relationship was not to be damaged by my relationship. "Secondary" supplied that idea perfectly, both for myself and even more importantly for my metamour.

In our case, secondary did not mean I was an inferior person; it did mean that if a fundamental conflict arose between the continued existence of both relationships, we all knew which one would end. This being what we wanted, in that situation and at that time, the word secondary was perfect.

Quote:
[taken out of sequence from your post]

There's a lot of input here by people who seem to find the word "secondary" to be negative.

Perhaps those people should really evaluate themselves and their relationships before attempting to put a term to it.
This is unfair. I can imagine other situations where the imbalance was not an important part of the dynamic, yet where calling the two relationships both primary would also be misleading. I think we need other words to convey other ways the relationships can differ: probably not just one new word but several.

NB: please note I am a secondary River on these boards and in this thread, ie not the River who posted several times already
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Last edited by trueRiver; 08-29-2011 at 07:46 PM.
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  #43  
Old 08-29-2011, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by River View Post
Equal treatment means differt things in different contexts, as does fairness.

Some folks here personally object to terms primary/secondary/tertiary (which have been popularized in the poly discourse) because they can easily be taken to rank people in importance, or because they can easily be taken to rank people in love, or in value, or in decision-making power, or... or....
...BUT,..wouldn`t you rather know ?

Let me expand on this for a moment. (slight humour, but still a real cute hypothetical.)

Say you, the poly guy, who wants love equally meets me, the lady who likes heirarchy, believes in primary/secondary.

You ask me ' What does secondary means to you, would I love equally ?'

I can then answer: ' No. I am not looking to love anyone equally to my partner. I can only offer_____________'

You are then in a position of empowerment, and to make the best decision for you.

Where as, a new term gets used amongst polys to help them feel better about being the 'second' person to come into someone they love, life.

People who are going to treat you like garbage, are going to say whatever you want to hear. They will know the right lingo, know the right terms, and say what they think you want to know. It will not matter the catch-phrase, as word travels quickly. There is no invisible handshake or secret code, that only 'true polys' would know the real answer.

So a liar tells you what you want to hear, and you believe their words, only to find out later, their actions dont match.

So for those who want a new word to feel better about things in their own relationships,...that is why I say go for it. If it`s just the word that bothers you due to history,..then tell those you love, what terms suit you better.
As a general population catch-phrase or terminology, I think it`s useless. It wont protect you from liars or jerks. That is why I say that people need to check their brain, and make sure their need for a new word, is for the right reason.

I am perhaps seeing a general assumption made in a lot of these posts ( not just you, river.) that if someone likes secondary, or doesn't want to love on the same level, they are automatically not to be trusted.
That they will hurt and degrade you.
Treat you as inferior.
I can only speak for myself, and the things I am told by others, but most people in the 'pro-secondary' column, are going to be blunt about what they want, and can handle. They DON'T want people at any cost. You are not going to find a higher ratio of liars in the pro-secondary column,..like anyone else, a good person, who is 'pro-secondary' is not going to want to attract the wrong people either.

Last edited by SourGirl; 08-29-2011 at 07:46 PM.
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  #44  
Old 08-29-2011, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SourGirl View Post
...BUT,..wouldn`t you rather know ?
Oh yeah! Tell me the truth, of course!

As for liars? I can only hope I will catch the scent of it and send them off and away. Don't want 'em, don't need 'em. But some folks are good at it, for sure!
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  #45  
Old 08-30-2011, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Second as far as linear time goes, first in your heart...
Exactly my situation. Of course, there is the difference that when I met Moonlightrunner, he was already married and hence I could at best be considered a co-primary, whereas my primary VanillaIce was single when we met.

I think the greatest difficulty with the term secondary is with those people who are, either by conviction or by happenstance only involved with the person who has a primary of their own. If both consider each other secondaries and have primaries of their own, I guess the baggage would be different, too.
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  #46  
Old 08-30-2011, 12:08 PM
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My gf and I have had this conversation because she hates those terms. She typically refers to me as her bf and OSO as her lover. She says she has feelings for him and he does for her as well. If they lived in the same area they would date, but do to the distance and the amount they get to see each other they don't have anything else to call it. I think if it would evolve more OSO would be good to use. I think the traditional titles are good for your "primary" it helps to define and reenforce the bond that is there.
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  #47  
Old 08-30-2011, 03:00 PM
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I'll start by saying, I've never studied polyamory, I fell into a poly relationship quite like I'm sure several of you have, a threesome that turned into more, so a lot of this terminology is new to me, we made up the rules as we went along. That said, it's always been this way for us, I have a wife, we've got a girlfriend, now, the girlfriend has a husband who knows about us, but is unable to participate due to health problems, and has only a couple years to live, at which point the girlfriend plans on moving in with us, she and the wife have recently taken to calling each other wife, which is fine, after 15 years she deserves that much, but for my own reasons, I still refer to her as my girlfriend, since she has a husband, and while physically not there, he's her main emotional tie. We love each other deeply, but that's a line I'm not crossing as of yet.


sorry about rambling, this is the first time I could put this into words, and it sounds pretty crazy to me, but whatever works.
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  #48  
Old 08-30-2011, 03:31 PM
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lucky 7,

That is probably one of the least crazy things, I have read on this site.
Respecting others, is not crazy. Good on you guys.
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  #49  
Old 08-30-2011, 04:28 PM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Originally Posted by lucky7 View Post
sorry about rambling, this is the first time I could put this into words, and it sounds pretty crazy to me, but whatever works.
Friend: this doesn't sound crazy to me. It is lovely and intelligent and sensible.

The idea that it is crazy came from everthing wrong that you were taught about relationships, and you and your 'polyfamily' are replacing that with the Truth you find within yourselves.

Please, continue to follow the promptings of Love and Truth in your heart.

Thank you for a really heartwarming post.
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  #50  
Old 08-30-2011, 04:42 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by River View Post
It seems to me we have here a linguistics question. What connotations does this word actually have in real world usage? That's the question. It seems to me obvious that people use first and second as value terms quite regularly. Some restaraunts / wines / books / furniture are "first rate," while others are "second rate". First generally or often connotes "best" or "most important". These, I think, are linguistic facts. "Nope" doesn't change the facts.
Well, damn, River, I guess Olympic silver medals really are indicative of gross inferiority.

Wait a minute...that's right, the secondary status they indicate is actually a great accomplishment! So much for the notion that being secondary automatically indicates something negative!

Seems that my "nope" was actually accurate, after all, eh? The term doesn't automatically imply anything negative. Negative connotations are baggage supplied by only some of the people.
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