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Old 04-06-2012, 02:52 PM
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Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
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So, there have been a few things that have just lately driven me absolutely nuts. Now I know, if the flavor of poly is working for all parties involved then good enough! Really, so many flavors aren't mine so that I just shrug and go, 'good for you'. Poly is the fringe of normal. Well, quite often I feel the fringe of fringe. I'm not kinky enough to be considered kinky, I'm not freak enough to be a freak, geek enough to be a geek, so on and so on.

Now, here's the thing that really just gets to me and I'm wondering if someone can explain it in a way that possibly makes sense.

I don't get these ads or requests for people to "Join our Marriage/Relationship" or "Looking for the right M/F/Other to Join our relationship"

My marriage, is my marriage. It's OUR marriage. If I'm dating someone else, or if DH is, then sure, eventually it might even add to our relationship in some ways. Just as my relationship with DH will add to my other relationship. I get the interconnectedness of it all. Really I do. There is no way to have two completely autonomous relationships. Now DH and DC are not buds, friends, they aren't even really acquaintances. They haven't met, haven't talked other than one text while I was incapacitated. So the two relationships are probably as autonomous as they can get, but there's always overlap. With shared time, jokes and other things.

I guess what I'm baffled about is the times, and there are more than I would like, that I'm approached with a 'my husband and I would like you to join us' thing. If they are both interested in me, then fine, approach me. Separately. You are two people. I would have to see if I was interested in you as individuals. I may LOVE the way you interact as a couple, as a unit, but dating a unit just doesn't even seem possible to me. In that unit, there are two distinct people.

I get threesomes, I get the fun of some sexual fun with three people. I am just flabbergasted at the idea of being able to just insert someone into an existing relationship rather than wanting to start a new relationship. It seems to me almost like trying to add a third leg to a person and expecting them to run smoothly.

Any help? I'll be honest, part of me thinks there just is no answer but if there is, it might help with those winks and semi stalking comments of 'WE are interested in you'.
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2012, 07:02 PM
Pheline Pheline is offline
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No help at all but I get your gripe!!!
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:15 AM
km34 km34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixtoria View Post
Poly is the fringe of normal. Well, quite often I feel the fringe of fringe. I'm not kinky enough to be considered kinky, I'm not freak enough to be a freak, geek enough to be a geek, so on and so on.
I totally feel you on this! lol

As for the real question, the vibe I always get is that the couples in question want someone that they can see together mostly, with the one-on-one time not being the main focus so that everyone feels included and all that junk. Is it realistic? Not often, since the person being "added" may develop more feelings for one person than the other. These are the people who are trying to find people to fit the formation instead of just letting things develop naturally.

I kind of understand a triad being the "dream formation" since in theory it would be more inclusive, negate all the issues of one member of a partnership being able to meet people while the other one struggles, etc. but it seems like such a tough ideal to actually live up to.

Would it seem less crazy if the couples said they were wanting to find someone to develop a new, lasting group marriage with instead of saying they wanted to add to their current marriage?
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:43 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Originally Posted by km34 View Post
Would it seem less crazy if the couples said they were wanting to find someone to develop a new, lasting group marriage with instead of saying they wanted to add to their current marriage?
YES! Oh my god yes, that would be a million times better. There is nothing inherently wrong, in theory, with already having one partner and having a preference for a triad. But the way people go about handling such a preference is so frequently just ridiculously problematic and fail-tastic that the phrases Vix is talking about have become like unpleasant triggers for me. Just recently I read an essay that I thought had some great thoughts and advice in it, but it used those phrases once or twice and I just couldn't stand it.

The phrasing you used at least exhibits a set of understandings that all too often seem to elude unicorn hunters. I still would be wary of people who said such a thing, if I were a solo person searching for relationships, because it's structure-focused rather than person-focused and I think that's dangerous (I'd much rather see people describe what sort of person/people they're into and mention their ideal structure as an aside) but I'd be much more open to maybe talking to them.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:00 AM
km34 km34 is offline
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I suppose to me it's all semantics. I feel like what I said means exactly the same thing as "adding a third person," it's just phrased differently.

At the same time, I suppose I could see the connotation being different based on the phrasing. "Adding" or "joining" being terms that seem to associate an innate status as secondary to the already established relationship whereas "forming a new group" seems to entail creating a new establishment where everyone is equal.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:00 PM
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Some gems on the topic from other threads:

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I think that having been in a poly dynamic for awhile and really living the theories behind it, I have come to the conclusion that inclusion is an invitation, not a demand. I invite those to be closer to me, but don't force my agenda on them. Therefore terms such as "bringing someone in" just don't fit for me. I prefer "inviting someone to be with me." The rest unfolds naturally and does so without expectation or assumptions about what will happen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
"Bringing someone in" implies an expectation, which puts even more pressure on an already complicated situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
I wish you wouldn't think in terms of "allowing someone else into [y]our relationship" with your wife.

That is not what it is all about. "It", meaning "poly" (and I don't need to hear "there is no one right way to "do" poly" and/or "my poly is not your poly") is not about "adding" people to your existing relationships. It's about adding RELATIONSHIPS to YOUR life. Yes, they all impact on each other in certain ways. But "adding someone to a relationship" smacks of accessorizing and assigns prescriptions to the "new" person before they even enter on to the scene.
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
..."bringing in" is often used by people new to poly just as "triad" is. I don't have any other way of relating what that looks like other than saying that you are not purchasing a puppy, no one is "brought in" to a relationship, it morphs into something entirely new. It is impossible to MAKE someone love you as much as someone else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
Wording a new relationship as "entering OUR relationship" implies that the new person is of a second-class status. They are not "entering your relationship" they are "starting or having a relationship with you and/or whoever". That's the kind of language construction indicating the subconscious thought-process that leads to "prescriptive" expectations.
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I think a lot of couples seeking a third fail to recognize that adding another person is likely to shake up their dynamic. When they do realize it scares them...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karelia View Post
I obviously knew things would change by adding a third, but I don't necessarily know that I expected those changes to be so... crystallized.

...That realization was significant for me. It showed me just what sort of very real, and sometimes tangible impact blending a third will have on our existing relationship. It sort of threw me for a loop, and scared me a little - at least at first. I thought, if something like that could change so dramatically, and so quickly, what else might change?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Unicorn. I love the term, personally, because I think it's appropriate for what it describes. Yes, there are plenty of beautiful, available, bisexual women. That doesn't mean any of them will be a perfect fit for both people at the same time, in terms of a long-lasting emotional relationship.
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Originally Posted by FormerUnicorn View Post
The married couple had already discussed the inclusion of another partner, they mutually decided I would be a worthy person, and they worked hard to make sure I felt welcome and wanted. This is some pretty powerful stuff! An incredible amount of validation comes out of being approached like that.

I was very happy... and my status was very fluid from secondary to primary and back again as time went on and our needs changed. There were times I lived at the house and participated in the relationships as a primary partner in terms of responsibility, care, and money, and there were other times when I was merely a large part of their lives, secondary in nature but still hugely and intimately connected.

I was very committed... but I was shut out completely when they found out they were pregnant. It was heartbreaking for me, because I lost my lovers, my best friends, my refuge, everything that defined me. I went my own way and picked up the pieces alone. I eventually reconnected with them after the baby was born, but I couldn't trust they wouldn't abandon me again and we grew further and further apart.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
I've said this before: it sounds irksome to me when people speak of "opening up their marriage" or "adding another person to their relationship". It's like saying "here's the deal and you can join too". It sounds like you have a sports-team and you're looking for someone to play a particular position.

...If something is "missing" in one relationship, I don't think the answer is to try to fill the void with another relationship. I think it's about meeting a person or persons that you would like to have a relationship with and trying to fit that into your life.
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Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
Honestly, when I see a couple that's new to poly and seeking a third to "complete them" or to "be an equal partner" I see a couple that feels the need to control the other love that might enter into their partner's life. It's like they're saying, "Sure, my partner can fall in love with someone else, but ONLY if I am explicitly involved so that I may have control over my partner's love and so that love will always have something to do with me too, no matter what." Now, I know this isn't always true for every couple, but I do believe it to be true for many, if not most couples that are seeking this dynamic. One need only to see the vast number of unicorns who have been burned by such situations to have an inkling that perhaps this isn't the best way to go about things. We've all heard it before and every couple seems to say the same thing. "we want you to be an equal partner in our relationship", "we just have so much love to give, we have to share it with someone else". Etc, etc. Most of them end the same way- the unicorn is cast off with burn scars and everyone is off licking their wounds. And I've yet to meet a single poly bi female who's been through this (and I've personally known quite a few) who gets up after the experience and says "Wow, I want to try that again!". This is why unicorns are so rare.

So I guess I'm saying that the first step to finding a solution to this is to LET GO of the idea that there is only one way this relationship can be. Maybe it need to evolve into more of a V situation, maybe there's a whole other structure that nobody's seen yet. If you are really committed to being poly in this, there are all sorts of alternatives to just either being a triad or a back to a couple with the third cast off. If all the talking you're doing is in order to try to protect and restore the triad, then it's only going to generate more hurt and anger. Just let it go and let it flow to where it belongs.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2012, 06:38 PM
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Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
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I suppose that's where I get confused. It's like saying there is a square hole and will only accept a square peg. So no changing or evolving as a person into a triangle! Only square pegs! I don't know ANY relationship that would survive like that. Who goes dating and says, "Oh sorry cant date you, you seem great, we click but you don't fill the EXACT hole I am looking to fill."
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2012, 07:00 PM
km34 km34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixtoria View Post
I suppose that's where I get confused. It's like saying there is a square hole and will only accept a square peg. So no changing or evolving as a person into a triangle! Only square pegs! I don't know ANY relationship that would survive like that. Who goes dating and says, "Oh sorry cant date you, you seem great, we click but you don't fill the EXACT hole I am looking to fill."
That's probably why you don't hear of many triads that were formed on purpose! lol

I think the most successful stories I've heard of groups of 3 having healthy, functional relationships have always been accidental - the couple just happens to meet a person who they both fall for, the other person falls for both of them, it wasn't expected so nobody's disappointed if the individual relationships aren't perfect (because really, what relationship is PERFECT?) but as a whole they are happy together and are able to figure out a system where everyone gets their individual needs met and everyone feels fulfilled and equal.

Usually the couple stops thinking of themselves as a couple along the way, though, and I think THAT is the step that scares people.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:09 PM
Nudibranch Nudibranch is offline
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You've hit on two gripes of my own, Vixtoria. First, the issue of being "too queer for the queers." And second, the idea that a polyrelationship is something you order from a catalog.

This is why I stopped thinking of myself as poly; my experience in the Aughts was that there was more of that consumerist/acquisitional thinking, than the "let things flow and grow" thinking of the Age of Punk to the 1990s.

I don't have much to offer except that I never dated in my teens and 20s. I just did things with like minded people. Friendship and intimacy (of all sorts) grew out of that. I was never shopping. For me polyamory was a way to make sure that warmth, creativity, love, and respect were allowed to grow as they were capable of growing. A tolerance of the best of humans, and a refusal to let that be dragged into the dirt of competition, greed, etc.

I came very close once in the early 1990s to running a personal ad. I showed it to one of my best friends. He became my sig.other.other...then my best other...and we now have been together for 23 years, 10 of that married, with a very strong possibility that a friend of ours for 10 years is going to become part of our family.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:16 PM
Nudibranch Nudibranch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixtoria View Post
I may LOVE the way you interact as a couple, as a unit, but dating a unit just doesn't even seem possible to me. In that unit, there are two distinct people.

I get threesomes, I get the fun of some sexual fun with three people. I am just flabbergasted at the idea of being able to just insert someone into an existing relationship rather than wanting to start a new relationship. It seems to me almost like trying to add a third leg to a person and expecting them to run smoothly.
Vixtoria, this is very perceptive, I'd say.

IME sometimes when people have been together for a very long time, and particularly have been radically honest and battled through issues and events together, they tend to become, or think of themselves, as a sort of meta-human. No we, no I...just this other larger entity.

That is a greatly different footing to relate on than being the third party coming in. That issue is the one my h and I are grappling with, with regard to our friend, who has stated his affection for and attraction to us both individually AND to us as a meta-being. To "bring him in" from our perspective means NOT that he the appliance to fix some set of needs or expectations we have. To "bring him in" means simply delighting in the fact that between the three of us, there are at least 14 different new relationships.

To me, that is the poly in polyamory. Not just tacking someone on simplistically, but being hugely sensitive and celebrating of the fact that 1 + 1 + 1 can equal all sorts of numbers...and sometimes can yield whole new equations on the other side of the = .
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