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  #21  
Old 05-23-2012, 03:24 AM
mostlyclueless mostlyclueless is offline
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I think so. Now that it's come up here, I'll be sure to post back when we start seeing someone and let you know how it goes.
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  #22  
Old 05-26-2012, 01:11 AM
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I think some important things, at least that I've learned from asking and some not so great experiences, is that it's about expectations.

In the idea of unicorn hunting or couples wanting to date on person, expectations are typically the issue. If the couple expects the unicorn to want exactly what they want. If the expectation is that the couple is the 'base' of the relationship and therefore more important. It leaves the unicorn in a very vulnerable situation!

The same thing can be said about hierarchy. DH and I have personally been flamed more than once for using terms that relate to hierarchy. However, we aren't prescriptive about it. We simply understand that every relationship is different. They move at different paces, they have their own ebb and flow. So it's not a matter of telling someone they have to fill a role in the hierarchy or that they are limited to a certain role or roles. It is about where things just naturally fall.

Labels are misleading, they always will be. They are nothing more than a shorthand to the truth. No two poly people go by the same definition any more than two straight men, gay men, bi women and so forth. The labels are just wider definitions to give you a starting point.

Personally, I love the first post. I thought it did a great job of short handing the different umbrellas that relationships with three can fit under. From there, yes, define it better for yourself. I didn't feel that any of the definitions were derogatory. Yes, there are inherent issues with the unicorn hunters, but by laying them out, perhaps people that truly want a triad can make their expectations a bit more realistic and it will help them find not only what they want, but what works for them!

So many couples decide the best way to start into poly is a triad. I get it, I do. It's safer, at least it seems so. After all, it makes no changes to the 'core' relationship. it's still those two. They just added in! That is a problem however, because I can tell you, each relationship you have changes you as a person, changing as a person will of course change how you work in any other relationship! So it's honestly not any 'safer' for the 'core' relationship then one of you dating separately. That, IMHO, is the part that most couples have the hardest time with. Redefining their own relationship in order to have other relationships.
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  #23  
Old 05-26-2012, 05:21 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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To explain my issue with a lot of unicorn hunting, I drew this little graph:



My problem is simple. A lot of unicorn hunters want their unicorn to only date both of them at once, and have sex with both of them at once. Not just one of them. Oh, but they can date each other or have sex with each other without the unicorn present.
They want the unicorn to be their subordinate, not their equal. Looking for someone knowing from the start that you want to give them different, inferior rights bugs me. If it somehow falls into place that way because they meet someone who isn't interested in one-on-one sex or dating, but is fine with them having one-on-one sex or dating without them, it's one thing. But looking for it, demanding it, and then complaining that you can't find it... that bugs me.

On top of that, they're often thinking of someone who would be hidden (we can't have people know we're dating her), would babysit their kids when they're off on dates without her, and is disposable if things go wrong.

All of that bugs me. Imagine a single guy making similar demands ("I want a young girl who will depend on me financially, who will be willing to hide the fact that we're together, who will take care of my apartment while I'm out alone but who will not be allowed out without me present") it's obvious that there is a double standard, it's obvious that the demands are abusive.
Yes, it can work, in this case it would be a dom/sub relationship, but a lot of unicorn hunters don't seem to realise they're basically asking a woman to be their sub. They think they're being so nice and generous and that women should rush to them. I just want them to take a good look at what they're asking and understand why it's hard for them to find someone who fits the bill.
And if they could be a little bit more flexible and give the woman a bit more leeway, it would be nice too.
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  #24  
Old 05-26-2012, 05:51 AM
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Love the graph Tonberry! I do so much better with visuals.

The tag you would be looking for on unicorn hunting would be "unicorns" "unicorn" "unicorn hunting" and sometimes "triad" brings threads up.

Its hard to get all the answers in one thread. Reading lots can really help get a grasp on the bigger picture and how much people have been struggling to understand what the issues are with unicorn hunting.

Really, it makes sense to me that couples would start out that way. Its seems like the best deal ever! Don't have to worry about someone being left out, don't have to worry about going it alone, don't have to worry about the person having their own thing going on. Sounds awesome on paper. Thing is that it leaves out what the person might be thinking, feeling, doing in their lives. Its all about emathizing, compassion, consideration.... for me that is one of the pillars of poly (tag "lessons" "foundations") that makes a poly relationship strong. Without that then I have known few situations that have worked. The triad situations that seem to work are those built out of friendship first and the surprise of love becoming romantic.
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  #25  
Old 05-29-2012, 12:50 PM
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Extremely good graph. Wish I had seen it years ago...LOL.

I shared it with the gay polyamory group on facebook I'm a member of. I don't know if I'll ever try doing a triad again, but there are quite a few couples there that probably really need to see it!!!


Also, I suppose a good graph for a quad would be a big X inside a square box, with points labeled as A, B, C and D.
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  #26  
Old 05-29-2012, 07:18 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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And yet, some quads wouldn't have the "X" inside the square! (For instance, if everyone is hetero and there are no same-sex pairings) There's just SO MANY possibilities!
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  #27  
Old 06-03-2012, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Poly can work in many ways. One common way that polyamorous relationships develop is for one or both members of a "preexisting" couple to get involved with a new person (by preexisting, I mean that their relationship predates the relationship(s) with the newer partner). We can call these 2+1 relationships. In another thread, I attempted to outline a few major types of these relationships. What do you think of these categories... do they make sense, and reflect what you've seen? Are there any you'd add, change, or subdivide further?

- The unicorn hunters.
- The serendipitous triad.
- The hierarchical vee.
- The egalitarian vee
I am new here, but this thread caught my interest and I would like to offer my opinion on the classification of poly relationships. My apologies if I repeat things that might have been said on this topic in the past.

I certainly agree with the four-way classification so beautifully elaborated by Annabel More. There may be other models, but I judge them to be quite rare.

In my case, I don’t see how I could possibly enter into any poly relationship that is not in the hierarchical vee mode. This is not because I am, deep down, a committed monogamist, or because of some dreadful social conditioning by the mono-obsessed world. It is simply for the pragmatic reason that a 30-year old relationship, built around the raising of two children to adulthood and any number of career/residence changes, is bound to take precedence over any other relationship, no matter how affectionate and companionate it might be.

How could any outsider participate in the loving parent-child relationship that we enjoy? How could I expect my children to treat any person I may introduce into my life with anything but polite reserve? After all, when my father remarried after my mother died, I never considered his second wife as anything even close to being my mother. Good for my father (she was very loving to him), but to me she remained a stranger.

Is this unfair to secondaries? Not if they think through what their position is in the poly scheme of things. After all, I can imagine myself to be a “wing”: the poly partner of a woman married (or otherwise solidly bonded) to another man. I would expect her husband/partner to be politely accepting of me, but not anything more. I would not wish to be his buddy. Neither would I expect participation in her family life in any way. Would I be “less empowered” in such a situation? Yes, and I would expect it to be like that. Any further expectations in that area would be unrealistic.

What if my wife entered a relationship with another man? Would I wish to be his buddy? Not unless he was the kind I would normally want to be buddy with. My time is precious - why should I spend it with someone I don't have much in common with (aside from the affections of my wife)?

This is not to deny the possibility of a hierarchical relationship evolving into something else, like an egalitarian vee. But this would require an amazing level of compatibility between the two “wings”, and how likely is that?

As for the unicorn situation, it would be extremely unfair to the new partner, in my opinion. My wife likes to joke when the topic of a possible girlfriend (or co-wife) comes up: “Does she do windows?” (Because neither of us likes doing certain domestic chores). But this points out the obvious danger: that the unicorn person is there to do things that neither of the couple likes to (or can) do. Without any long-term security, of course.

No, it’s best to keep relationships separate, and the newcomer has to assume that she (or he) just cannot participate in the family life of the couple.

All this comes out of simply thinking about polyamory, as well as talking about it with my wife. What would happen if either of us actually entered into a poly relationship, I simply do not know. Experience is the mother of invention, they say.

Last edited by PolyLinguist; 06-03-2012 at 08:02 PM.
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  #28  
Old 06-04-2012, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyLinguist View Post

In my case, I don’t see how I could possibly enter into any poly relationship that is not in the hierarchical vee mode. This is not because I am, deep down, a committed monogamist, or because of some dreadful social conditioning by the mono-obsessed world. It is simply for the pragmatic reason that a 30-year old relationship, built around the raising of two children to adulthood and any number of career/residence changes, is bound to take precedence over any other relationship, no matter how affectionate and companionate it might be.

How could any outsider participate in the loving parent-child relationship that we enjoy? How could I expect my children to treat any person I may introduce into my life with anything but polite reserve? After all, when my father remarried after my mother died, I never considered his second wife as anything even close to being my mother. Good for my father (she was very loving to him), but to me she remained a stranger.

Is this unfair to secondaries? Not if they think through what their position is in the poly scheme of things. After all, I can imagine myself to be a “wing”: the poly partner of a woman married (or otherwise solidly bonded) to another man. I would expect her husband/partner to be politely accepting of me, but not anything more. I would not wish to be his buddy. Neither would I expect participation in her family life in any way. Would I be “less empowered” in such a situation? Yes, and I would expect it to be like that. Any further expectations in that area would be unrealistic.

What if my wife entered a relationship with another man? Would I wish to be his buddy? Not unless he was the kind I would normally want to be buddy with. My time is precious - why should I spend it with someone I don't have much in common with (aside from the affections of my wife)?

This is not to deny the possibility of a hierarchical relationship evolving into something else, like an egalitarian vee. But this would require an amazing level of compatibility between the two “wings”, and how likely is that?

As for the unicorn situation, it would be extremely unfair to the new partner, in my opinion. My wife likes to joke when the topic of a possible girlfriend (or co-wife) comes up: “Does she do windows?” (Because neither of us likes doing certain domestic chores). But this points out the obvious danger: that the unicorn person is there to do things that neither of the couple likes to (or can) do. Without any long-term security, of course.

No, it’s best to keep relationships separate, and the newcomer has to assume that she (or he) just cannot participate in the family life of the couple.

All this comes out of simply thinking about polyamory, as well as talking about it with my wife. What would happen if either of us actually entered into a poly relationship, I simply do not know. Experience is the mother of invention, they say.
Isn't it up to the hinge of a vee to figure out what is going on for them and confirm for themselves if there is a primary relationship there or not. Some might have a more primary relationship with their bf than their husband. Others might find that they are in love with both evenly, what does it have to do with the relationship that the two men have with one another? (using the vee of two men and a woman hinge because that is what I am in)

Really, when it comes down to it, poly relationships have a degree of separation involved with partners. People who have been monogamous to their partners for years, have been their everything and they have been everything to them would find it very hard to understand the autonomous feeling that comes with poly I would think.

In poly there is far more feeling of being our one and only in the world, yet surrounded by some really great people to love and who love us. The sense of being everything to anyone or someone being everything to us revolves more around ourselves being everything instead. "I am my primary" no one else fills that spot.

Hope that helps as any of the scenarios you discuss could exist quite well if all involved are interested in filling the roll they have decided to become. Why? Because it is their choice and they are their only responsibility.

I could get into why poly people aren't completely self centered people that care nothing of others and only think of themselves, but you can read the threads tagged "foundations" and "lessons" to understand that.
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  #29  
Old 06-04-2012, 11:04 PM
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Thank you for your comments, redpepper. They give me some insight as to how some poly people think, and since I am new to this community, every insight is valuable. But remember, I do not come from the same "place" as you do, or probably where most people come from. Let me elaborate:

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Isn't it up to the hinge of a vee to figure out what is going on for them and confirm for themselves if there is a primary relationship there or not. Some might have a more primary relationship with their bf than their husband. Others might find that they are in love with both evenly, what does it have to do with the relationship that the two men have with one another? (using the vee of two men and a woman hinge because that is what I am in)
Of course it is for the hinge to have the major responsibility for his/her well-being. But if I am in a responsible relationship with a hinge, I too have some responsibility: I can't just wash my hands of her emotional situation and say, oh, just deal with it. Maybe some people do that, but I wouldn't be me to behave in that fashion.

In any case, the most likely situation for me, if I ever get there, is to be a hinge: in an established relationship with my SO, and in another with someone else (or, much less likely, with more than one), who would be, for want of a better word, my "secondary/ies". My relationship with my SO is not on the line here: if a possible secondary can't accept it, the relationship will not happen. That's part of the deal I made with my wife, and I don't renegue on such deals (and why would I want to?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Really, when it comes down to it, poly relationships have a degree of separation involved with partners. People who have been monogamous to their partners for years, have been their everything and they have been everything to them would find it very hard to understand the autonomous feeling that comes with poly I would think.
I see comments like this in the poly world, but I think it is a bit of a caricature of the mono world. I and my wife are not everything to each other, we have our own hobbies, interests, friends in addition to what we share. We are autonomous human beings already, and would find it stultifying to be chained together for all activities, the way some monogamous couples seem to be. Maybe this is why it is easy for us to envision outside relationships - but at the same time, this means that we do not see ourselves particularly as rebels against an evil mono world.

Last edited by PolyLinguist; 06-04-2012 at 11:07 PM.
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