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  #41  
Old 02-13-2010, 01:08 AM
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Ravenesque Ravenesque is offline
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Originally Posted by Seasnail View Post
I guess, coming from a human services background, I see it more like systems theory, which can be represented by concentric circles.

Innermost is myself. Then there's a ring of people who affect me majorly (spouse, kids0. Then there's a ring of peple who affect me minorly (BF, BFF, parents). Then there's a ring of communities I interact with (work, school, gym). Then there's a ring of local culture. Then politics.... and so on.
Oh that's eerie. I describe my relationships to people and institutions in "concentric circles" as well degrees of closeness.

~Raven~
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  #42  
Old 02-13-2010, 04:07 PM
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Seasnail Seasnail is offline
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Why is it eerie Raven? It's a theory that lots of human services workers use to describe how relationships and other systems affect an individual when considering planned change. It doesn't surprise me that it has passed from there into general use. You can wiki Ecological Systems Perspective to see the "original" idea.
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  #43  
Old 02-14-2010, 12:16 AM
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Cool Seasnail. I might check it out. I'm not a human services worker. It was eerie because I'd never encountered the concept before outside of myself. And I've been describing my relationships in terms of concentric circles for a long time.

But it is said that no idea is really new.

~Raven~
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~Open up your mind and let me step inside.
Rest your weary head and let your heart decide. It's so easy.
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It's so easy. All you have to do is fall in love.
Play the game.
Everybody play the game of love. Yeah...~
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  #44  
Old 02-14-2010, 09:25 PM
saudade saudade is offline
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Red face This is what I do, how about you?

I've taken to referring to both of my 'primaries' (live-in, functionally married relationships) as partners (and husbands soon, as we're planning weddings). The term 'boyfriend' slips in occasionally, and it's often how I hear both my partners self-identify. I would only ever call them 'primaries' in situations that necessitate shorthand (like forums on the internet, or maybe highly enlightened cocktail parties). It's certainly not what we call each other over breakfast!

Everyone else I'm involved with in any way, I just call a friend (and there are a few where the sexual line is blurry right now). There's no one else I'm close enough to romantically these days to necessitate the boyfriend/girlfriend label, though I'd be pleased if that changed.
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  #45  
Old 02-15-2010, 02:53 AM
Vexxed Vexxed is offline
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Default Experience Changed my Views

I learned about polyamory and began to desire being in a poly relationship back in 2005. I didn't get involved in a poly relationship until fall 2009. Before being in that relationship, I always felt that I'd prefer to have one primary, and then one secondary, or two. Now that I've fallen in love with a married woman, I don't like the terms primary and secondary as much as I used to.

On our first two dates, she told me that she doesn't like the term secondary. She said that she preferred to refer to the boyfriend that she already had as one of her partners, or her boyfriend. She pointed out that she lives with her husband, shares finances, etc.. , and that she had no desire to change that, but that she doesn't love her other boyfriend any less.

Since then, our relationship has really deepened. We have fallen in love. At one point, I mentioned that I feel like she is a primary to me, even though, she doesn't view me as her primary. She said that she wondered about that. She didn't disagree with me that night.

Then, two weeks later, while I was being very emotional, I mentioned that I desired that she be my primary "emotionally". She said, "I told you at the beginning that I couldn't be a primary partner to you". We both froze after she said that. We were silent and stared at eachother for 10 seconds at the least. She broke the silence and said, "well atleast you don't have to provide for me". I agreed, and said that I could not afford a live in primary. My mind was reeling though. I didn't mean a live-in situation. I just meant to be a primary "to me emotionally". Well, I didn't bring up that subject again.

Now, I just cling to what she first told me about how she doesn't like the terms primary and secondary, and that she lives with her husband and has no desire to change that. I do like that outlook on her relationships.
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  #46  
Old 02-15-2010, 03:21 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Vexxed,

Ouch! Yeah...I feel ya on that one.

I've noticed that it can be difficult navigating the world of polyamory if you're not part of a strong pair-bond to begin with. As a single poly person, I've often encountered people who say that they don't like the words "primary" and "secondary" yet still have something that resembles that in practice. That's fair enough, but when the majority of poly people that are available for relationships are not available for the kind of pair-bonding that involves living together or building a home and family together, it can feel a bit daunting.

So I just go on, keeping my heart open to the relationships that come my way and intentionally building my life to be one that I want to live.

But yeah, it can be achey at times, huh?

Edit: I should add that not everybody is necessarily looking for a live-in pair-bond or the like. I just know that it's something I would like.

Last edited by Ceoli; 02-15-2010 at 03:32 AM.
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  #47  
Old 02-15-2010, 04:39 AM
Vexxed Vexxed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
So I just go on, keeping my heart open to the relationships that come my way and intentionally building my life to be one that I want to live.

But yeah, it can be achey at times, huh?

Edit: I should add that not everybody is necessarily looking for a live-in pair-bond or the like. I just know that it's something I would like.
Ceoli, it sounds like you have a great outlook on dating when most people around you have primaries.

Yes, it can hurt. She is very sensitive to my feelings though. It could be because she is very well educated on matters that involve the mind.

I actually live in the same home as her other boyfriend. A little off subject, but it makes my poly situation a little tougher. He doesn't desire a live-in primary. Cetainly I do desire one, but I didn't intend for my mentioning the word "primary" to sound like I was suggesting a living arrangement. I just desire to feel like "a primary" to her emotionally, and not "the primary". I totally respect her marriage and her husband. We all get along well.
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  #48  
Old 02-15-2010, 04:50 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by Vexxed View Post
Cetainly I do desire one, but I didn't intend for my mentioning the word "primary" to sound like I was suggesting a living arrangement. I just desire to feel like "a primary" to her emotionally, and not "the primary". I totally respect her marriage and her husband. We all get along well.
I see what you mean. My new partner considers primary connections to be emotional connections, not necessarily a function of who he's living with. He does live with one of his partners, but lives across the country from another partner with whom he has a strong "primary" connection (he would say "strongly pair-bonded"). That connection has nothing to do with living arrangements or shared finances. But what I love most about his outlook is that each of his relationships can develop to what level of connection is right for them, not necessarily to a level that must fit in a hierarchy of already established relationships. That way, there can easily be more than one primary in his life. I tend to see it that way too.
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  #49  
Old 02-15-2010, 05:49 AM
darthsabbath darthsabbath is offline
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My wife and I have discussed this a good bit... although we've barely waded into the poly-waters, the idea of primaries and secondaries just isn't appealing. In some ways, we don't even like referring to ourselves as "husband and wife" in the context of polyamory, because that seems to automatically erect a barrier to any external partners. Certainly they're useful labels in our social/legal frameworks, but frankly we want to stay away from any self induced hierarchies.

My personal preference is "my sweeties" or "my lovers" FWIW.
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  #50  
Old 02-15-2010, 06:30 AM
Vexxed Vexxed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
I see what you mean. My new partner considers primary connections to be emotional connections, not necessarily a function of who he's living with. He does live with one of his partners, but lives across the country from another partner with whom he has a strong "primary" connection (he would say "strongly pair-bonded"). That connection has nothing to do with living arrangements or shared finances. But what I love most about his outlook is that each of his relationships can develop to what level of connection is right for them, not necessarily to a level that must fit in a hierarchy of already established relationships. That way, there can easily be more than one primary in his life. I tend to see it that way too.
That's exactly the way she explained it to me the first time. She pointed out that she didn't like the labels, but that she did live with and share finances with her hubby. I'm not sure if she still holds 100% to that view now. It may have been easier when she only had two lovers. Including me she has 3 lovers now.

Last edited by Vexxed; 02-15-2010 at 07:00 AM.
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