Polyamory.com Forum  

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

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #231  
Old 02-11-2020, 07:51 AM
vinsanity0's Avatar
vinsanity0 vinsanity0 is offline
Spaminator
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Florida
Posts: 2,585
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
A relationship is not a failure if it ends. All relationships end, sooner or later.

A person, whether poly or mono, is not a failure if they aren't lucky or savvy enough to be in one relationship, much less several concurrently, that last (happily) until the death of one of the partners.
I don't agree that people can't fail at relationships. I do agree that the end of a relationship isn't necessarily a failure.
Reply With Quote
  #232  
Old 02-11-2020, 07:54 AM
vinsanity0's Avatar
vinsanity0 vinsanity0 is offline
Spaminator
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Florida
Posts: 2,585
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Good one hedgehog.

Re (from vinsanity0):


And what if a polyamorous person has two partners and then breaks up with both? Does that person therefore become monogamous? How about if that person only breaks up with one of those partners?

Just some additional thoughts I had on that subject.
This is why I've always viewed it as more of a mindset than being defined by practical application.
Reply With Quote
  #233  
Old 02-11-2020, 10:42 AM
Wishfuldreamer Wishfuldreamer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 20
Default

Can I butt in? I like this question - is polyamory a nature state, or orientation, or a choice. One of my partners and I talk about it often.

I was monogamous for a long time...but at various points I've been attracted to other people, but didn't act on it (until towards the end of my mono relationship, I did, and felt very guilty about it).

One of my partners definitely struggled as a young person to understand why it wasn't ok to just date multiple people. The social convention had to be pointed out to him, and he really, genuinely didn't get why people got hung up on it, but kind of 'learnt' it and put himself in a box, until it all came tumbling down in his early 30s. My other partner/lover (not sure what the right label is...) is poly because, in part, he has a lot of trouble staying faithful...and this is the way he deals with it. But he's less comfortable with the idea of having lots of people he's 'in love' with. He has much more conflict within himself as to the 'traditional' part of himself and the less conventional one.

For me, I can't confess to ever thinking that monogamy itself was pointless. But i didn't ever believe in lifelong monogamy. I understood that relationships often ended, and i didn't think it was a personal failing when people changed, and moved on. And I definitely understood that it was possible, and that I was, attracted to other people even when i was in a monogamous relationship. I just understood it as a 'sacrifice' that one made for the benefits of a monogamous relationship. But my relationship was long distance, and we weren't very entangled in terms of finances or life in general, and I liked that. So in many ways, I'm 'accidentally' suited to polyamory - especially the non-nesting, solo-ish poly that i'm currently practicing as a baby polyamorist. But I don't know that it's an orientation...I think maybe I could be monogamous again. But I don't really *want* to be. But I can't say that this is something I've always known about myself, or that it's an identify I've been fighting.

I also don't know about the whole 'people aren't meant to be monogamous'. I kind of think it's a choice. People get attracted to other people, but they decide they want a different kind of life. And for some people there is consciousness in that decision.

Hmmm...food for thought.
Reply With Quote
  #234  
Old 02-12-2020, 10:19 PM
kdt26417's Avatar
kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
Official Greeter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Yelm, Washington
Posts: 18,611
Default

My personal theory is that polyamory (the orientation) exists along a continuum, where you can be 100% polyamorous, 100% monogamous, or anywhere in between (e.g., 80% poly and 20% mono). Someone who is 50% poly can live comfortably either as a mono or a poly, someone who is 80% poly can tolerate a mono life, but not so easily. (Hopefully this description makes sense.) Also I think the percentages can change over the years, at least in some people. So you could start out as monogamous (e.g., 80% monogamous), and then gradually evolve into a polyamorous orientation.

That's all theory though, and I've had people strongly disagree with me.

Another theory (that some people hold) is that everyone is (potentially) polyamorous, but not everyone puts that orientation into practice. I also have a theory about what's called "poly-saturation." Poly-saturation is when you have the largest number of poly partners that you can satisfactorily maintain. If you exceed that number, one or more of the resulting relationships starts to suffer. Everyone has a different "saturation number," some people can be satisfied with how they maintain a large number (five? ten?) of partners, others are, say, highly quality driven, and as such, are poly-saturated at just two or three partners. I adhere to that theory, and, I posit that a monogamist is actually just a polyamorist whose poly-saturation number is one. One partner. They are saturated at one.

It's impossible to say how many people have this or that saturation number, or how many have this or that percentage number, especially with all the mononormative brainwashing (indoctrination, conditioning, programming) that occurs in mainstream society. My guess is that the numbers are skewed towards monogamy, for example someone could believe they are 100% monogamous (apparent percentage) whereas deep down, they're much closer to 80% monogamous (actual percentage). But when looking at saturation numbers, I tend to think that lower numbers are more common than higher numbers. For example a V seems to be the most common type of poly configuration; that is, the hinge seems to have a saturation number of two (two partners). If so, then one might venture that one partner (monogamy) is an even more common saturation number. But who knows, maybe it's a bell curve that peaks out at two partners. Then the apparent numbers are skewed (by indoctrination) towards (a saturation number of) one partner.

As I said, all theories and guesses.
__________________
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
Reply With Quote
  #235  
Old 02-14-2020, 05:58 PM
Al99's Avatar
Al99 Al99 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,522
Default

Wishfuldreamer wrote:

Quote:
I like this question - is polyamory a nature state, or orientation, or a choice......

I was monogamous for a long time...but at various points I've been attracted to other people, but didn't act on it...
....

and that I was, attracted to other people even when i was in a monogamous relationship. I just understood it as a 'sacrifice' that one made for the benefits of a monogamous relationship. ...... But I don't know that it's an orientation...I think maybe I could be monogamous again. But I don't really *want* to be

I also don't know about the whole 'people aren't meant to be monogamous'. I kind of think it's a choice. People get attracted to other people, but they decide they want a different kind of life. And for some people there is consciousness in that decision.
(Italics, bolding, and ellipses are mine)

And Kevin wrote:

Quote:
Another theory (that some people hold) is that everyone is (potentially) polyamorous, but not everyone puts that orientation into practice.
I think Wishfuldreamer very succinctly makes the point - that virtually everyone can be attracted sexually or romantically to more than one person at a given time. I would go so far as to say that this is the natural human condition. (See "Sex at Dawn" by Christopher Ryan for an in depth discussion of this topic). And I actually see this as more of an observation of human nature rather than just theory - as I would suspect that even the most devout monogamist would not at some point at least feel some sort of sexual or romantic attraction to someone else - even if they never even remotely entertained the notion of acting upon it.

And to reiterate Kevin's point - it is the choice to act upon the attraction and be open to multiple partners in an ethical manner that makes one polyamorous - not the simultaneous attraction to more than one person itself - that is simply the human condition. Those who don't act on these attractions have chose to be monogamous.

I certainly would not call poly an orientation in the sense of a sexual orientation - as virtually everyone experiences multiple attractions at some point - again it seems to simply be the human condition. If there is an orientation - it might be that some would be more inclined to choose for monogamy while others might be more inclined to choose for polyamory - when confronted with multiple attractions. But, even then, I would contend that these preferences are far more likely to be culturally based than biologically based.

Just a few more cents worth.... Al
__________________
Dramatis Personae:
Me: Al99, poly, heterosexual male, 50's
Becky: married to Al99, poly, heterosexual female, late 30's
Bouncingbetty: ldr girlfriend to Al99, poly, pansexual female, mid 30's
Jill: local fwb to Al99, heterosexual female, early 50's.
Sam: Becky's boyfriend, heterosexual male, 50's.
Ben: Becky's long time friend and former partner, heterosexual male, 40's


_________________________________________


My Introductory Post - An Unexpected Introduction to Poly.

Last edited by Al99; 02-14-2020 at 06:20 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #236  
Old 02-15-2020, 11:24 AM
hedgehog's Avatar
hedgehog hedgehog is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 56
Default

FWIW I think poly people tend to overthink things. What reason would we have to think that only some humans ( poly people ) have the capacity for multiple concurrent romantic relationships? It seems to me that it can happen to any biologically normal person regardless of their beliefs. It's probably happening right now to a bunch of people who swore before their God, country, and a room full of friends and relatives, that they were only going to love one ( and only one ) person forever. Are we supposed to believe that some magical force came along and suddenly endowed them with the capacity to love more than one? Or is it more reasonable to suggest their capacity was there all along, but repressed by layers of socialization, usually since childhood, until nature simply took its course? Believe whatever else you want, but put me in the latter category.

Last edited by hedgehog; 02-15-2020 at 11:38 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #237  
Old 02-16-2020, 09:46 PM
kdt26417's Avatar
kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
Official Greeter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Yelm, Washington
Posts: 18,611
Default

And then there are those who remain contentedly monogamous throughout their lives. Among these, are those who would be sick at the thought of their spouse having another partner. There are those who are polyamorous themselves (and have multiple partners), who do not want any of their partners to have other partners. A harem, if you will. There are those who have no partners at all, and never will. Among these are the aromantic/asexual, but it could also be people who find any relationship to be too much of a hassle, and not worth it. There are those who are nonmonogamous but not polyamorous, such as swingers, and such as those who prefer casual sex over relationships, and have one or even zero relationships (zero partners), while having casual sex with multiple people. NSA/ONS. Fuck buddies. And there are many other possible types and varieties.

Of the people described in the paragraph above, many defy categorization. Many are not polyamorous. It is hard to make a blanket statement saying that everyone is polyamorous, or even that everyone is nonmonogamous. Having said that, there are people who are polyamorous who don't realize that they're polyamorous, such as those who think they're monogamous but only as a result of mononormative indoctrination. But there's always an exception to every rule. Humans are the cousins of both bonobo chimps and of non-bonobo chimps, and there's a vast diversity of individual types of humans, of preferences, tendencies, and desires. Having said that, the vast majority are probably polyamorists who think they're monogamists, although that is sheer conjecture on my part. I am basing that on the widespread mononormative indoctrination that characterizes this world.

No, there's no magical force that comes along and suddenly endows people with the capacity to love more than one. But people can and do change. People develop capacities and skills that they did not have in the beginning. That is a part of the human condition, the capacity to learn and grow. As Sylvester Newel (Pardner -- Clint Eastwood) says (in between vigorous swigs of whiskey) in Paint Your Wagon: "I'm changin'!" and while a change does speak to a potential for polyamory, it is only a potential. It's like me saying I could become an astronaut; technically I could, but I probably never will, and right now I have very few of the required capacities. I have potential capacities. Meanwhile, preferences can definitely change. I can prefer monogamy during one part of my life, then change and prefer polyamory during the next part. Just some thoughts ...
__________________
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
Reply With Quote
  #238  
Old 02-19-2020, 01:10 AM
Al99's Avatar
Al99 Al99 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,522
Default

Quote:
No, there's no magical force that comes along and suddenly endows people with the capacity to love more than one
Really excellent post, Kevin. However, I would differ somewhat here. I suspect that - based on my personal research (including notably, "Sex at Dawn, but a lot of other sources as well) and observation, that virtually everyone has this capacity - or at the very least, the capacity to be attracted to more than one. But really, I would guess that almost everyone experiences romantic attraction/feelings for two or more people at the same time at some point in their adult life - although not often acted upon.

But this hardly makes one polyamorous. And as you also noted, if these attractions are acted upon, there are many ways this can express, both consensually and non-consensually.

We see so many come to this board and post in their intros "I think I've always known that I am poly" or something similar - but, in reality, most mean that they've always been attracted to or had feelings for multiple individuals at the same time. But that's not poly - that is simply the human condition, even if one prefers to ignore these attractions and practice monogamy. Polyamory is the specific practice of having multiple romantic partners with the knowledge and consent of all involved. And while those who are polyamorous may not actually be practicing poly at any given time (or even has yet to have the opportunity) - I suspect that many of those who believe they aspire to poly because they want to have multiple lovers, really would not have the capacity to do all of the work that goes into full knowledge and consent.

A few more cents worth.

Al
__________________
Dramatis Personae:
Me: Al99, poly, heterosexual male, 50's
Becky: married to Al99, poly, heterosexual female, late 30's
Bouncingbetty: ldr girlfriend to Al99, poly, pansexual female, mid 30's
Jill: local fwb to Al99, heterosexual female, early 50's.
Sam: Becky's boyfriend, heterosexual male, 50's.
Ben: Becky's long time friend and former partner, heterosexual male, 40's


_________________________________________


My Introductory Post - An Unexpected Introduction to Poly.
Reply With Quote
  #239  
Old 02-19-2020, 11:34 PM
kdt26417's Avatar
kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
Official Greeter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Yelm, Washington
Posts: 18,611
Default

Polyamorous, then, is, "having both the intention and the ability to consensually handle multiple romantic relationships," and in some cases, "currently consensually engaged in multiple romantic relationships."
__________________
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
Reply With Quote
  #240  
Old 02-20-2020, 01:59 AM
Al99's Avatar
Al99 Al99 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,522
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Polyamorous, then, is, "having both the intention and the ability to consensually handle multiple romantic relationships," and in some cases, "currently consensually engaged in multiple romantic relationships."
Yes, but the ability aspect is probably implicit in the definition without having to state it specifically? Just my initial reaction - but would have to think about it. But certainly many people who believe that they are poly undoubtedly find that they cannot really manage the ethical aspects - and may even have issues with their partners having other partners. They really just like the idea of having multiple lovers and think that this is "being poly".

Al
__________________
Dramatis Personae:
Me: Al99, poly, heterosexual male, 50's
Becky: married to Al99, poly, heterosexual female, late 30's
Bouncingbetty: ldr girlfriend to Al99, poly, pansexual female, mid 30's
Jill: local fwb to Al99, heterosexual female, early 50's.
Sam: Becky's boyfriend, heterosexual male, 50's.
Ben: Becky's long time friend and former partner, heterosexual male, 40's


_________________________________________


My Introductory Post - An Unexpected Introduction to Poly.
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 03:52 PM.