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  #61  
Old 02-21-2012, 01:33 AM
strixish strixish is offline
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I've enjoyed reading through this thread. I am somewhat solo, I suppose. For almost three years, I have spent my weekends with a M/F couple, and we go on vacations together. I am close to both of them individually, but he is the person in my life who is the closest to something primary-ish. He doesn't really follow the hierarchal model. Although, we don't live together, won't live together, and only see each other over weekends, except for rare occasions.

I also have a boyfriend I see once a week, who himself lives with a primary girlfriend (he ascribes to the hierarchal model). This is also a long term committed relationship. (Committed? Well, we feel loyalty to each other, and an ongoing intention of maintaining and protecting the space we have in each other's lives, and a desire to do some work if needed to take care of each other's needs... sounds like commitment, anyway).

I'm also dating. There are a couple long term former girlfriends who sort of come and go, and a new friend.

I live alone and intend to do so for the foreseeable future. I'm definitely not a free agent, though, as dating someone new requires discussions all around. Lots of discussions, sometimes, and a great deal of attention paid to how everyone feels, whether it challenges their sense of security. I'm committed to doing whatever work is needed to hold up my end of the relationships I'm in. I don't trample over anyone's feelings. There are no vetoes, no rules of engagement for what I do on my own time, nothing like that, but I care about my people. So yes, the "free agent" definition really isn't something that resonates with me.

Sometimes, this structure makes me wonder if I'm missing out, since I don't have a live-in domestic partner primary type person. Aren't I supposed to want that??? I've been married before, though, and I am worlds happier now. This really suits me, in more ways than I could name.

Last edited by strixish; 02-21-2012 at 02:18 AM. Reason: fix typo
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  #62  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:14 AM
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Omigosh, Strixish, what you have sounds so perfect to me! It doesn't sound like you're missing out on anything. Thank you very much for sharing. It made me really happy and hopeful to read it!
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  #63  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:35 AM
Songbird Songbird is offline
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Default commitment & intimacy

Strixish, I very much like your definition of commitment: "we feel loyalty to each other, and an ongoing intention of maintaining and protecting the space we have in each other's lives, and a desire to do some work if needed to take care of each other's needs." I'd add being open and honest about our feelings and needs, which seems implicit in your post.

So the notion that we're supposed to want the live-in partner ... I feel conflicting tugs. The delight of being with my sweeties makes me want to spend more time with them. I also think there can be a depth of intimacy from living together that can't be had another way. At the same time, living on my own is centering, and living together risks the dead weight of all the "supposed to"s.
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  #64  
Old 03-03-2012, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Songbird View Post
Strixish, I very much like your definition of commitment: "we feel loyalty to each other, and an ongoing intention of maintaining and protecting the space we have in each other's lives, and a desire to do some work if needed to take care of each other's needs." I'd add being open and honest about our feelings and needs, which seems implicit in your post.

So the notion that we're supposed to want the live-in partner ... I feel conflicting tugs. The delight of being with my sweeties makes me want to spend more time with them. I also think there can be a depth of intimacy from living together that can't be had another way. At the same time, living on my own is centering, and living together risks the dead weight of all the "supposed to"s.
Seconded, excellent definition of commitment. And your others thoughts struck a chord with me too. Lately I've been wondering if I might not be happier solo. I don't want to leave my bf but I'm having a lot of trouble with the idea of moving in with him, which he wants. Is my problem with him, or do I actually just like my independence? Currently I live with roommates and we support each other, but we're not as deeply involved with each other's lives as live-in partners are.
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  #65  
Old 03-19-2012, 12:04 PM
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Default Solo Poly wish list

Just being on this forum is about all the commitment I'm capable of at the moment. This is hard work, and has sapped my reading time from my general diet of histories and biographies. I haven't even had time to read the newspaper or The Nation on my Kindle.

But, I'm very happy to have found the term, Solo Poly and to realize that a thread in this forum can extend for a couple of years. Guess Solo Poly suits me perfectly. I would have to add, that I'm so involved in my own responsibilities, that I have limited time. If I met one partner, once a month, I'd be happy. That's just talk, of course. At the moment, there are no partners in my life.

What I think I might like as an ideal situation? Well, there's a friend in Baltimore, I've been through a lot with for 35 years. A tryst with her a couple of times a year would be heaven. She is glorious in bed (I know), but she has little appreciation for the poly concept. She has remained alone for most of the last 20 years, and it's a true waste of good "lovin." I have to add, that I can only handle her in small doses. Her self-absorption and compulsive talking are more than I can bear for long. The only way to get her to shut up, is to kiss her. But, if she were in trouble or sick and needed a friend, I'd be there in a minute.

Then, I'd be a happy puppy, if my lover of the last three years would take me back, even as a secondary to her new boyfriend. Doesn't look promising though.

And, on another, very personal, and private note, almost too sensitive for me to mention here, there's a special and attractive friend here in town in a unique situation. We have been lovers in the past. She is now barely able to walk with progressive multiple sclerosis. She has hinted recently at a desire to have sex with me. And, I wonder that poly doesn't have a place for acts of generosity and compassion in unusual circumstances. She, I'm sure, would very much appreciate it, and I, though not inspired by heights of passion, would find it a moment of warmth and friendship.

Probably, the reality is that I have yet to meet my next Solo Poly Lover Partner. Possibly, on this forum, who knows? Or by some twist of fate, around the corner.

I am not looking for a long list of lovers (or partners.) I would like the list to be short enough that I could send all present and past companions a Christmas card each year. I would want to know if any one of them were in pain or personal angst, and I would want to be able to do what I could to help.

I don't foresee sharing a home with a woman again. My grief over losing my marriage was unbearable, and I couldn't stand that again. And, I don't want to confuse my son with any more people in his life than he already has to deal with. Having been adopted from South America, and having divorced parents, he is already dealing with more abandonment issues than one person deserves.
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  #66  
Old 03-19-2012, 02:52 PM
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FrankLee FrankLee is offline
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Default In NYCindie's defense....

...not that she needs it or asks for it, or that I have any interest in combative banter in this forum, but 9inchtongue's comment is way beyond the boundaries of courtesy, decency, and helpful exchange of ideas.

Not to mention, the name itself is a poor face to present to the forum. Methinks he may belong somewhere else, or learn some manners.
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  #67  
Old 03-19-2012, 04:25 PM
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I'd like to steer this thread back to the original topic. Here are some highlights:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie
...for anyone out there who is unattached or considers themselves a solo poly person... What is your ideal situation? Are you already there or hoping to get there?

...I created this thread for solo poly people, since the married folk looking for a "third" are a much more vocal and common contingent here.

...There comes a saturation point for me, every now and then, where I can't read anymore about married couples opening up their relationship.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
The whole idea of solo poly people who are happy to remain so sort of defies the idea that absolutely everyone needs a steady primary partner to cohabit with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
I am also a rare "solo poly person" who is not seeking a primary partner. (And I too have found that NYCindie's posts really speak to me!)

I need a lot of solitary time to work on my writing. I don't want to live with anyone or be one half of an intensely bonded couple. I need a lot of space, physically and mentally and emotionally.

I'd like to have a number of regular lovers that I consider good friends and am emotionally close to. But I don't think relationships need to be "serious" or permanent. For me, dating and sex and love and friendship are all about exploration and getting to know oneself and others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
...it isn't as easy to find men who will hear me say I want non-exclusivity and be willing to commit to something deeper than just a casual and primarily sexual relationship. I... don't see the need to ask for a commitment right away, nor to set aside the need for companionship and sex until that happens for me, but it does get frustrating at times. I do not, however, see the need to make any adjustments to the ideal I seek.
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Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
...in the "real world," nobody seems to want what I want, or to be sympathetic to it at all. It's better in the various poly communities I've joined, but even there, I still feel like a very marginal minority.

There are a lot of resources for how to have committed coupledom with more than one person, but almost nothing at all for how to have happy, healthy, NON-committed relationships.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Yes... it's surprising how even some poly peeps will view the solo person as not serious enough for more than only casual or primarily sexual liaisons...

I've always felt that relationships don't need the goal of being permanent to be successful... Basically, I see commitment as an allegiance between people who are moving toward the same goals... Wait, strike that. They may not have the same goals but at least, for a time, their goals are not at odds -- and they are supportive of each other as they move forward in life.

...I want multiple, ongoing, committed, loving relationships. I just don't want any life partners moving in! ...for me, being solo is sort of straddling both worlds -- something committed and more substantial than open/casual, but without any pressure to make it forever.

And yeah, this is really important to me -- eventually, I'd like to know that someday there will be one or two people I am in relationship with, that can be on my list of emergency contacts. Now that I've entered my 50s, I think about being alone as I get older. I may not want to live with someone again, but I still want some boyfriends I can count on, and be counted upon by them if help is needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Even if all relationships are kept separate, it is very difficult to compartmentalize one's life and not be considerate of all partners.
Quote:
Originally Posted by strixish View Post
I live alone and intend to do so for the foreseeable future. I'm definitely not a free agent, though, as dating someone new requires discussions all around. Lots of discussions, sometimes, and a great deal of attention paid to how everyone feels, whether it challenges their sense of security. I'm committed to doing whatever work is needed to hold up my end of the relationships I'm in. I don't trample over anyone's feelings. There are no vetoes, no rules of engagement for what I do on my own time, nothing like that, but I care about my people. So yes, the "free agent" definition really isn't something that resonates with me.

Sometimes, this structure makes me wonder if I'm missing out, since I don't have a live-in domestic partner primary type person. Aren't I supposed to want that??? I've been married before, though, and I am worlds happier now. This really suits me, in more ways than I could name.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Songbird View Post
So the notion that we're supposed to want the live-in partner ... I feel conflicting tugs. The delight of being with my sweeties makes me want to spend more time with them. I also think there can be a depth of intimacy from living together that can't be had another way. At the same time, living on my own is centering, and living together risks the dead weight of all the "supposed to"s.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithink View Post
For me the definition of Polyamoury is the answer to your question. Many Loves. Love being the operative word here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by clairegoad View Post
I've discovered that being open to whatever comes---well, amazing things happen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bella123456 View Post
I also don't want to co-habit with anyone, and I really like and value my alone time and space...

I don't really have any fixed ideas about what potential relationships would look like...other than the usual - honest, open, caring, respectful, fun etc. My aim would be to build relationships on those foundations....rather than a picture of what they may look like. I like the idea of relationships being purely about the people involved not a bigger picture or script. The idea of marriage and settling down is not appealing to me...and I find if someone tries to put me on that path I feel instantly uncomfortable. It feels much more refreshing and real for me to have relationships about the here and now, and the bond or connection...rather than a predetermined path or script. It's a little hard to describe...but If I feel like someone is interested due to "potential long term partner" or "potential wife", it starts to feel less about me and more about the role I'm expected to play in someone else's life or a script that was written long before I arrived.

I'm not an actress....I don't want to play a role ! Just want to be me...
Quote:
Originally Posted by bella123456 View Post
Cultures do change over time, and individuals do have the power to change "culture".
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I just did a cursory look around the 'net and it seems that a person practicing solo poly is generally understood to be someone who does not have primary partners, or for whom all partners are equally important, and does not cohabit with them. I found these two quotes by Tristan Taormino, (her book Opening Up is where I first found the term):
"In American culture, monogamy isn’t the only norm when it comes to relationships; it’s expected that everyone wants to and should be part of a couple. The fact of the matter is that some people who identify as non-monogamous or polyamorous prefer not to be in a “partnered” relationship, however they define that for themselves. In general, people who practice solo polyamory may date and have non-primary partners, but they don’t want to co-habit, mingle finances and resources, raise children, or make important life decisions with a partner."
and:
"Just as polyamory flies in the face of the traditional pairing model, choosing to be a non-primary partner contradicts all the rhetoric we learn about finding "the one," making a commitment, and being the most important person in someone's life. Choosing to be farther down on the food chain immediately has people thinking you have commitment issues, low self-esteem, or something else wrong with you. In fact, these critiques echo comments often made about the "mistress" in a cheating relationship, but the difference here is a big one: choice.

...For some folks, there is no food chain: They eschew the concept of primary/non-primary altogether because they don't believe in the hierarchy it implies..."
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
...maybe you could view your partners not on a hierarchy basis but as having different needs for the type and amount of interaction with you, where some would be content with biweekly dates with no overnights and others would want to wake up next to you on as many mornings as possible?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
So, here's a shout-out to solo poly peeps!

What has been your experience in trying to meet potential partners? How separately do you keep your relationships? What do you see are the biggest benefits from being solo and, if applicable, not having designations of primary, secondary, etc.?
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Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 03-19-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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  #68  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:17 PM
strixish strixish is offline
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Meh, don't feed the trolls.

FrankLee, your post resonates with me. One thing that polyamory has done for me is that it's given me space to really honor the relationships I have with those two people I see rarely, the long distance occasional lovers with whom I have *history*. It's good to recognize that they have staked some territory in my heart, that they're "more than friends," even if the relationship doesn't fit any conventional pattern.
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  #69  
Old 03-24-2012, 02:34 PM
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I probably qualify as a Free Agent except for the bit about not considering the potential impact of new relationships upon existing relationships.

I live with two cats in a 4 bedroom house. I've had live-in mono partners a few times, and while it was nice to wake up with them every morning I did miss having the place to myself at times.

My current situation: One married boyfriend (P) and one otherwise unattached boyfriend (D) who—despite my expressing a distaste for hierarchical terminology—considers me his primary. I have a regular weekly date night with the married one and see the other between once and three times per week. The two of them knew each other for quite some time before I came along and are somewhere between friends and acquaintances who run into each other a lot. I'm not actively looking for anyone else, but I wouldn't complain too loudly if someone LDR or FWBish came along.

My ideal situation would be similar but in closer geographical proximity. I'm about a 45 minute drive away from either of them, which is just long enough to be annoying. If I had a magic wand then a block of detached or semi-detached units would be perfect. I could have one, D could have one, P and his wife T could have one. Everyone gets their own space in their own house but are still close... until T's boyfriends D2 and M want one each for their families and so on because at some point it all starts getting a little silly.
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  #70  
Old 03-31-2012, 02:47 PM
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Itís been fun reading through everybodyís posts. This thread is pretty interesting, because as a noob IĎd like to look back on it one day and see how much reality changed my ideals, if at all. I have two, actually. The first is what I want now, as a solo person, and the second is something I see happening in the distant future.

Right now Iím kinda leaning toward the whole free agent approach. So, ideally, I want to keep building on this and get to a point where Iíve got a small network of trustworthy, caring people. The kind of friendships you can count on outside of the bedroom.

Eventually, (but not any time soon) I would like to fall in love, and have a more committed structure with two or three males. There's definite appeal to having loves who will stick by you, through thick and thin. I've got a few married friends in open/poly relationships, and they're so bonded, it's incredible. The only think that works for them that I don't think could work for me is hierarchy. I appreciate why it matters for so many, but it's not for me. Equal, but different loves, please! That's my ideal.
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