Polyamory.com Forum  

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

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 01-19-2010, 10:49 PM
CielDuMatin's Avatar
CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 1,456
Default

Labels are adjectives. They describe what a person is in broad ways. They are useful only so far - to get a broad-brush approach of a person. But that is all they will do. If you want to get to know someone, I believe you absolutely need to dig beneath the meanings of the labels.

Not having a label (or series of labels) that describes you is also Just Fine, IMO.
__________________
Please check out The Birdcage - an open, friendly Polyamory forum for all parts of New York State
http://www.thebirdcage.org/

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-19-2010, 10:55 PM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,425
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyjools View Post
part of the reason i will never marry in the traditional legal sense is because i don't want tht inbalance and so if i ever do decide to have some kind of wedding it won't be legal it will be more spiritual and i will commit myself to them both,
far of in future though

Jools
That is true for me for future. IF something ever (God forbid) happened to Maca, I won't remarry in the legal sense, unless the kids were still little.
THEN I would-because it would give GG the ability to add them to his medical insurance at work.
But generally speaking I think the technicality is a pain in the ass.
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-19-2010, 11:16 PM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,425
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
The "secondary" term I see as being absolutely applicable in SOME situations/times (as Booklady explained) and not in others. The fact that it carries a negative tone is unfortunate - but education CAN overcome that.
It kind of reminds me of a term I've heard a lot - "3rd wheel". Arrgghhhhh
How many times have I heard people say "I'm not being anyone's 3rd wheel" ! Have you guys heard that ? It's so negative ! That 3rd wheel is a critical component of a tricycle !

But in any case - it "seems" to me that the full & equal role of everyone in a relationship is kind of the holy grail that everyone would strive for - IF the conditions permitted. But sometimes they don't and someone plays a "secondary" role. But like the tricycle, that role can be critical and not to be demonized.

GS
GS-I agree, I DO have secondary relationships (they don't HAPPEN to be sexual at this time in my life, none the less they exist).
I just think it's frustrating to have others consider someone who is PRIMARY in my life my "secondary" simply because he's not my husband.
I don't have an issue WITH having secondaries, I have an issue with having my TWO primaries ..... not being acknowledged for the level of responsibility they BOTH take in our family. It's not really about the ME part of it, it's the family.
They both put all of their time, money, priority, commitment into this family and household. They both take full responsibility for the kids, the bills, the chores, the health crisis'...

I do very much dislike labels-for me it's a defensive "don't try to put me in a box" thing-spent a LOT of my life in someone else's box trying to get out.

But they certainly have their place, especially when talking to people who aren't "close enough" to you to motivate you to give them detailed explanations.
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-20-2010, 02:34 AM
ladyjools's Avatar
ladyjools ladyjools is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: scotland
Posts: 175
Default

I think the problem is not with the terms and more with peoples perceptions of those terms,

Originally Posted by Derbylicious
I don't know if the lables are a good idea in the long term, but when starting up a new relationship when you already have an established relationship(s) it can be a good idea to use the labels so that everyone has the same understanding of what's going on.

This isn't to say that the primary/secondary relationship structure is written in stone but it does allow for a starting point from which the relationships can grow and develop.

-Derby


I actually disagree and think that primary secoundary labels are bad way to start out. We almost did this and i am glad that we did not. The point is not everyone has the same understanding of what those labels mean anyway and so it has to be explained regardless and it is so easy to fall into the pitfalls of what those labels could mean. When starting out on a new relationship i would rather explain what i am looking and what i hope to develop before informing someone that they will be my secondary partner. And i am even more wary of telling people who are not polyamorous that one of my partners is a secondary because garenteed many monogomous people will presume that means the secoundary partner will always come secound and be valued less.

I truely believe we can make our expectations clearer if we avoid those labels.

LovingRadiance
That is true for me for future. IF something ever (God forbid) happened to Maca, I won't remarry in the legal sense, unless the kids were still little.
THEN I would-because it would give GG the ability to add them to his medical insurance at work.
But generally speaking I think the technicality is a pain in the ass.


It is having kids that makes me worry about the legalitys because here in UK only a married couple have same rights when raising a child. We are already exploring ways around this so that when I do have a child both partners will have equal parental rights and there are safegaurds inplace incase something happens to one off us,

I object the idea of legal marrige anyway because i do not feel it nesesery at all that the state give me a piece of paper to tell me that i am in a relationship. For me marrige will be purly a spiritual commitment between me and my partners and will have nothing to do with the law.

Jools
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-20-2010, 03:12 AM
MonoVCPHG's Avatar
MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: In Redpepper's heart
Posts: 4,742
Default

Just to stir things up a bit:

For me primary and secondary labels are merely a way to describe the impact of relationships. Some people may contribute emotionally and physically to a relationship and others may contribute emotionally/physically/financially/parentally/every day chore-ly, and do the the laundry. To think that one will not have a greater impact than the other is naive. Therefore I have no problem identifying one as primary and one as secondary. I identify as secondary in this way and am secure enough to recognize why and the limits of my contribution. I have less impact across a broader spectrum of actually day to day functioning.
Love and connection are extremely important in a deep realtionship...but it takes a lot more than those to raise children and run a home. If people are dedicated to performing the day to day functions of life as a team, no matter how many are involved, than that is the primary structure in my opinion. Those that contribute on fewer levels will not impact the overall structure as severely and therefore are secondary.


Contribution = commitment
Commitment = impact
Impact = importance
Importance determines primary or secondary

Here's a quick exercise - imagine what would happen if you removed each of your relationships from your life one at a time.
Which one would affect your life and the life of those around you most? Which one would cause you the most stress across a broad spectrum? Which one might cause you to lose your house, might disrupt the lives of your family members? Which one might make maintaining your property a greater burden? Would one in particular would cause your children distress if you have them?

Emotional impact is one thing, but it is hardly the only thing. That is how I see the determination of primary and secondary relationships.
__________________

Playing the Game of Life with Monopoly rules.
Monogamy might just be in my genes

Poly Events All Over

Last edited by MonoVCPHG; 01-20-2010 at 03:49 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-20-2010, 04:59 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 900
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbylicious View Post
Ok...not what I meant. I was trying to say that the labels have definitions that come along with them that can make expectations of the people involved in the relationship clearer to everyone.
Why not just lay out what each person is looking for and hoping for and what boundaries there are around that? Why the need for a label to provide a definition in order to make expectations?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-20-2010, 05:04 AM
Derbylicious's Avatar
Derbylicious Derbylicious is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 1,603
Default

It's a discussion of pros and cons. I was just offering up my view. My feeling is that sometimes it's easier to use lables for things to have a common language to fall back on. Of course there has to be more discussion on what the relationship expectations are for everyone involved but if you are clearly looking for someone to have the occasional date with due to time constraints ect. why not be upfront when meeting people saying that you are looking for a secondary? Seems to me that it's a good way to avoid crushing people's expectations if they are looking for more from you than you are able to provide.

-Derby
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-20-2010, 05:38 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 900
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Contribution = commitment
Commitment = impact
Impact = importance
Importance determines primary or secondary

Here's a quick exercise - imagine what would happen if you removed each of your relationships from your life one at a time.
Which one would affect your life and the life of those around you most? Which one would cause you the most stress across a broad spectrum? Which one might cause you to lose your house, might disrupt the lives of your family members? Which one might make maintaining your property a greater burden? Would one in particular would cause your children distress if you have them?
I get what you mean by this, but this exercise would severely fall down in my life as it stands. Aside from the fact that I don't like to measure my relationships in terms of negative impact, if any of my flatmates decided to leave or change something in our terms, my life would be severely disrupted. In some cases they could disrupt my family. The will most certainly have a huge impact on my finances, my living situation and my ability to maintain my living space. Yet I am not in any kind of primary relationship with them.

Quote:
Emotional impact is one thing, but it is hardly the only thing. That is how I see the determination of primary and secondary relationships.
I don't think that's the point for people who don't want to use hierarchical models of relationships. If it's a descriptor for how the relationship naturally exists and those words feel right for you then great. Other people would probably use words that don't imply rank because they don't feel the need to rank, but rather fit people into their lives as they will fit. That doesn't mean they are applying some naive view that they are all equal. It means they are applying a system by which each relationship is measured on it's own merit rather than being compared to one another. I personally prefer the latter to the former.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbylicious View Post
It's a discussion of pros and cons. I was just offering up my view. My feeling is that sometimes it's easier to use lables for things to have a common language to fall back on. Of course there has to be more discussion on what the relationship expectations are for everyone involved but if you are clearly looking for someone to have the occasional date with due to time constraints ect. why not be upfront when meeting people saying that you are looking for a secondary? Seems to me that it's a good way to avoid crushing people's expectations if they are looking for more from you than you are able to provide.

-Derby
That makes sense to have common language and if those terms work to describe the dynamic for some people then there's nothing wrong with that. However, to answer your question from my personal perspective about why not just say that you're looking for a secondary: From my point of view, if I was approaching a relationship and the person said to me that they were looking for a secondary, what that says to me is that they will be measuring the relationship we have against his or her primary relationship. It also tells me that terms have been set about the dynamic that directly impact the relationship I'd be in and that I never get to have a say in. While that may work for some people, that has absolutely zero appeal for me.

If a person approached me for a relationship but was clear about what other relationships they may have at the time and what those relationships meant and what boundaries are there for them, but also with the idea that building a relationship with me is important to them and wanted to explore a partnership with me, I'd be much more interested.

I recognize that there are plenty of people out there that have no problem with the label secondary or primary. And there are plenty of people who have no problem entering into a relationship that carries the label "secondary". I'm just not one of them.

However one thing I would ask those people who are in primary partnerships and looking for "secondary" partners: If you didn't have that primary relationship and your only choice in partnerships was to be someone else's secondary, would that be satisfying to you?

Edit: And just to address the first couple of sentences. Yes, this is a discussion of pros and cons and you were just offering up your views. My questioning of the views you offered was not a questioning of your right to offer them or the validity of those views. My questioning was a continuation of the discussion of the pros and cons, which also involves examining the views that are offered.

Last edited by NeonKaos; 01-20-2010 at 01:27 PM. Reason: merge posts
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-20-2010, 06:58 AM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,425
Default

Mono-
that is why I say that Maca and GG are both primary in my life. If either of them left/died it would have a MAJOR impact on our family and I could very seriously lose our home, the kids would DEFINATELY lose their education system and we'd likely have a great struggle trying to rebuild our lives...
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-20-2010, 03:03 PM
Derbylicious's Avatar
Derbylicious Derbylicious is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 1,603
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post


However one thing I would ask those people who are in primary partnerships and looking for "secondary" partners: If you didn't have that primary relationship and your only choice in partnerships was to be someone else's secondary, would that be satisfying to you?
.
I can only answer this question in the theoretical sense as I've never been in this position. I think if I were to not have a 'primary' relationship I might enjoy being a secondary to 2 or 3 people (at least for a while). It seems to me that in that role when I was with my SO's it would be all about 'us' without all the day to day stuff that gets in the way of truly focusing on being together.

-Derby
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boyfriends, definitions, defintions, descriptions, equality, equanimity, family, girlfriends, hierarchy, importance, labeling, new dynamics, new relationships, poly singles, prescriptions, primaries, primary, primary/secondary, relationship dynamics, relationships, secondaries, secondary, terminology, unicorn

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 10:14 AM.