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Old 08-19-2014, 04:37 AM
MU1991 MU1991 is offline
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Default Polyamory and Segregation of Relationships

One misconception I have regarding the various forms of Polyamory is how the feelings you have for a significant other can be put on hold so to speak.

I realize that this wording is vague and does not accurately describe what I am trying to communicate, but, for argument's sake, I believe this will work.

Within a poly- relationship, I understand how love can be transferred to multiple partners. YouAreHere posted a link (which is listed below) to a blog on another thread I posted. It was very informative and described polyamory as a sort of fountain. This analogy was avery apt. The reason for this thread is hopefully understand how feelings are put on hold.

http://frombaltictoboardwalk.blogspo...-and-love.html

(I recommend reading this external blog. It is well thought-out and very relevant.)

I myself am in a poly- relationship. I describe myself as mono while my girlfriend is poly-. I have started to adept to this situation and am starting to learn how to not be jealous. I know there is a word for this but it has escaped my mind at the moment.

How does one interact with another person without the feelings of another relationship popping into there heads? I imagine something like going to dinner with a partner and possibly comparing the date with other dates with other partners.

I understand how you can love multiple people for different reasons and how it is difficult for one person to fully facilitate all of the needs for an individual. Again, I define myself as mono- and being in a poly- relationship has definitely caused me to redefine my boundaries. I think that this experience, although saying it is an experience makes it sound as if I do not value the relationship, has benefitted me and caused me to grow emotionally.

I guess what I am asking for is guidance and insight into how relationships can be segregated, in a manner of speaking, while remaining relevant. This is probably a very common concern among monos in poly- relationships but I am still new to this and would greatly appreciate help.

Thank you very much for your time and advice. This is my second thread and so far everyone has been extremely helpful and very respectful in regard to my fledgling experience with polyamory.

H
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:48 AM
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I don't put feelings in hold.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:58 AM
Oreadne Oreadne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MU1991 View Post

How does one interact with another person without the feelings of another relationship popping into there heads? I imagine something like going to dinner with a partner and possibly comparing the date with other dates with other partners.

Feelings and memories of other relationships (not just romantic ones) are always popping into my head! And it's not a bad thing at all, to recall things like - oh that reminds me of this thing my mom said, or the last time I was at this restaurant with so-and-so I spilled wine all over myself.

But just like when I am with friends or family members, just because I think of someone else doesn't mean that I am qualitatively comparing them - ie that one is "better" than the other. Its just different. I have had many relationships in the past, and I often remember them fondly, but I don't think "comparing" is the right word, or at least doesn't convey the proper feeling. I have had some partners that are loud and boisterous, or quiet and thoughtful, and sometimes I will think things like "Oh I love how social X is!" or "Wow, Y is just so sweet and considerate!" but never as a side-by-side comparison to anyone else, like "I wish X was more like Y"

Each individual person and situation and relationship is just so different and quirky in its own way. Even if I go to the exact same restaurant with different partners two nights in a row, it is going to be different each time. I might remember something fondly (or less fondly), but I never want the partner I am with to be anyone but who they are, if you know what I mean?
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:59 AM
MU1991 MU1991 is offline
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Default Polyamory and Segregation of Relationships

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyourendo View Post
I don't put feelings in hold.
I am sorry for my miscommunication. I am aware that feelings aren't put on hold but I know of no other way to word what I am trying to say due to my limited knowledge. I don't fully understand polyamory yet and am just trying to, as I read in another thread, undo my monogamous programming and better serve my significant other. Thank you for your response. If it would be possible to expound on how you are able to not put feelings on hold, I would appreciate it greatly and the insight you would be providing would be directly applied to m current poly- relationship.

Thank you again for your time.

H
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:08 AM
MU1991 MU1991 is offline
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Default Polyamory and Segregation of Relationships

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Originally Posted by Oreadne View Post
Each individual person and situation and relationship is just so different and quirky in its own way. Even if I go to the exact same restaurant with different partners two nights in a row, it is going to be different each time. I might remember something fondly (or less fondly), but I never want the partner I am with to be anyone but who they are, if you know what I mean?
I do understand what you mean. I do the same. I look back on previous relationships with fondness at moments in time that remind me of them.

What I am curious about is when a person thinks of significant other while spending time, whether it is out on a date or just hanging out, with the other significant other. I hope this is coherent. I find it difficult to type out the jumbled mess that is going through my mind.

Thanks again for the time

H
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:22 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I don't segregate my relationships so. If i think about GG while out with Maca I talk about it just as i would if I thought about anyone else and vice versa. I am very open about my love for both and that I love them for different reasons. They are polar opposite in so many ways it is almost impossible to compare them, easier to contrast.
But I don't try to box my emotions about one while with the other.

Do you have children or siblings?
I have kids also and the way I feel is similar. I don't box or segregate my love for one child from the other. When i spend time with one or another of the children my focus is on them but my love for the others remains constant, just in the background of my attention. Just as when i am at work or school or having sex with my partner, my love for my kids remains constant but in the background.
The same is true of my love for my partners.
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:58 AM
maxnsue maxnsue is offline
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For us it was simple, or least it was for us. We did not put love on hold. I loved my wife. My wife loved me. We both loved our girlfriend and our girlfriend loved us. She also loved her husband who did not love us but was friends with us. I think you are assuming that you can only love one person at a time. We know for a fact that it is not true.

What is true is that you can love one person more than another. My primary love is my wife and then our girlfriend. For my wife it is me and then her g/f. For our g/f it is my wife, then her husband and then me. Never a problem in the 38 years of our relationship. It just worked out for all and no one put love on hold. Our girlfriend slept in her own room in our home and called her husband every night before she went to bed. It may sound crazy that she is fresh out of bed with me or me and my wife and then talking about normal things with her husband a few minutes after her orgasm. Call us crazy but to us it was just our normal life because it was the way we lived for most of our adult life and knew no other way to live. Only now does it seem strange.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:00 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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The one in the article of
Monogamy: polyamory:: ___________
Is constructed weirdly to me but given that the word "monoamory" is not recognized in a dictionary where "monogamy" is made to do double or triple duty?

I can see why sometimes people get confused as to WHICH definition of "monogamy" is being used in conversation. People do not always take the time to calibrate to make sure they are all using the same definition.

If going with that, it is better written to me as
monoamorous: polyamorous :: monogamous : polygamous
The combos could then be
  • monoamorous and monogamous
  • monoamorous and polygamous
  • polyamourous and monogamous
  • polyamorous and polygamous

To me a linear model is not useful though. Rather than imagining a line analogy to me it is more like a box with toggle switches. The toggles could be
  • Monoamorous or polyamorous?
  • Monogamous shape relationship or polygamous shape relationship?
  • Open or Closed relationship?

Monogamous shape relationship, polygamous shape relationship....those are relationship shapes to me.
  • Monogamous shape thing has 1 other person max.
  • Polygamous shape thing could be more than 1.

Monoamorous loving, polyamorous loving.... That is about desire or capacity to me.
  • Monoamorous person has the desire or capacity to love one sweetie at a time. 1 person IS their personal saturation point.
  • Poyamorous person has the desire of capacity to love one or more sweeties at a time. What they pick is gonna be 1 person, 2, 3... up to their personal saturation point at the time.

But in terms of participating?
  • A monoamorous person could choose to participate in a monogamous shape relationship or a polygamous shape relationship of some kind if they want. Or be not dating right now. That is ok too.
  • A polyamorous person could choose to participate in a monogamous shape relationship or a polygamous shape relationship of some kind if they want. Or be not dating right now. That is ok too.

The author suggests the concept of "monoamorous love is like a pendulum" and "polyamorous love is a fountain" to try to get a handle on it. To me it falls short a bit.

From the article....

Quote:
I'm Monogamous. My love is a pendulum.
When I am fully invested in a romantic partnership, that pendulum has swung all the way in that direction.
When I am casually dating, that pendulum is somewhere in the middle, tending to everyone, but nowhere as intense.
How does this not also apply to a dating poly person? The dating poly person will have the same pendulum. Dating around, not fully vested... til they are fully vested. Their pendulum swings all the way over too. Same as the author.

So much for pendulums then. We all have them.

The author also seems to say that once she is fully invested in her romantic relationship, she is there giving it her all. How is this not her own "fountain-ness" then? When the poly person invests, they are giving it their all too. Doing their fountain thing too. So much for fountains. We all have them.

She seems to be trying to talk about being vested in the relationship. When dating in a monogamous structure, going exclusive IS one cue of being vested/committed. If a monoamorous person is dating in a polygamous structure, that cue is not there. So... what replaces it?

She comes closer with the radius thing. Her radius for her fountain once she is fully vested is 1. She wants to loveshare with the 1 person that is her BF.

Her partner is poly and he wants to loveshare with whoever is within his circle too once he is fully vested. Just that his radius is 1+.( At this time there seems to be another partner so he's hinge to 2 people at this time.)

Ok. People have different size love fountain circles. So... how do these folks know when they are in the dating partner's circle?

The author of the article is monoamorous and has chosen to participate in a polygamous shape relationship of some kind at the time the thing is written. For her, dating no other people is showing that she is fully vested in her hinge.

She feels hurt when the hinge says it is ok for her to date other people, like it diminishes her love or commitment. The hinge may mean it a different way like... "I love you, I am vested in you, and I feel secure and ok if you want to date other people. I feel safe in our commitment."

These people could need to calibrate what they mean then. A ruler can measure in both inches and centimeter. Making sure both people are using the same side... that's calibrating.

I think the dating couple in question could ask several things as they calibrate. Maybe ask the questions more directly of each other
  • What brings us together? How long will this ideally go?
  • How vested/committed are you in our relationship right now? Is that even a thing we are working toward?
  • How will you tell me/let me know you are really vested/committed?
  • How will you tell me/let me know you are no longer vested/committed?

Along with each person asking themselves:
  • Is all that enough for me feel good continuing in a polygamous relationship shape with this partner?

Quote:
How does one interact with another person without the feelings of another relationship popping into there heads? I imagine something like going to dinner with a partner and possibly comparing the date with other dates with other partners
I am going to take it at face value. I go to dinner with my spouse. How do I do that without comparing it to dinner dates I have with X? I just don't.

I might mention X like I saw them recently or they borrowed my movie as part of the initial "how are you? what's new?" Not going on and on about them. We all do that chit-chat thing as we just arrive to the date and settle into the present moment. Once settled, I am present. I pay attention to what he's saying. I share conversation. I am on a date with him to be with HIM. The rest of the flotsam takes the back seat -- work, kids, pets, etc.

Is this about you? You go to dinner and cannot relax because you are comparing in your head? Or you cannot relax because you worry your hinge is comparing you to the other partner on the dinner date? If comparing cranks you up, you can learn to not do that behavior. Risk going to the dinner and experiencing.... Non-doom, and learning to put down your fear/anxiety.

How are you doing with jealousy management? Are thinking you have to learn how to express appropriately when you feel jealous or envious? Just like one learns to appropriately express feeling sad or mad?

If you want to understand your partner and your partner's experience and how they think and would answer that... Could talk to your partner direct.

Quote:
I guess what I am asking for is guidance and insight into how relationships can be segregated, in a manner of speaking, while remaining relevant.
I am confused. You post in poly discussion but I get the vibe you want to know about YOUR situation. Like...
"I need help asking my hinge for guidance and insight into how my hinge handles the two relationships. Because I want to know if I am relevant, valued. I want to know where I stand with my hinge. Is my hinge fully vested in me and our relationship?"
Is that what you mean? Or you want to know how *I* tell my partner know I am fully vested in him and in our relationship? I tell him verbally. Often. And I am here, present in our life together, doing stuff together... so I'm telling him in my actions too. There's back and forth relating going on.

To me relationships are relevant when they are participatory and there is some kind of back and forth relating going on, a mutuality, a fostering of continuing connection.

When a partner checks out? I think most people sense it whether they are in a monogamous structure or a polygamous structure. Whether they want to address it, admit it, accept it... Or not? I think they can tell when it becomes one sided or grinds to zero.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-19-2014 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:11 PM
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SlowPoly SlowPoly is offline
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Wow, GalaGirl. You are so good.

My two relationships are very "vested and committed" to use GalaGirl's phrasing from the linked article. They are also completely separate (happen in different places without interaction between the two guys). But I think of them both a great deal of the time, as well as my kids, and my kid-on-the-way. They're all my family, and the closest beings to me.

A lot of what goes on between me and Mitch is about me and Mitch (and baby). But some is about just Mitch, and that's when I learn more about him. Some is about just me, and that's when he learns more about me. And "me" includes my life with Woof and the kids. To Woof, "me" includes my life with Mitch. Could substitute Woof and kids for Mitch and baby in the above - it's roughly symmetrical.

No segregation, despite complete physical segregation. I'm not comfortable compartmentalizing myself. When I have to hide the poly from outside people, that reinforces the wall between us. I don't want walls between me and my intimate partners, kids, or other chosen family.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:53 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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Sometimes when I'm with Hubby, I'm thinking about Guy or S2.

When I'm with S2, sometimes I'm thinking about Guy or Hubby.

I'm not with Guy enough, but often when he and I have one of our marathon phone calls that fills our need for emotional intimacy with each other, I talk with him about Hubby and S2. (Guy has specifically encouraged me to talk to him about the other relationships; he understands my emotional perspective and how my mental health diagnoses can affect my perceptions and relationships, so he has expressed his willingness to help me navigate by being able to speak from *my* perspective about a *man's* perspective, if that makes sense. In other words, he kind of translates Hubby and S2 for me, because he understands them and understands how I need to hear things to have them make sense.)

I am in three separate relationships, but I am one person, and each relationship is part of me. I have asked each man whether they're uncomfortable with me talking about the other two, and whether they're uncomfortable with me talking to the other two about them. All three have assured me that they recognize that they are *part* of my life, but not my entire life, and that it's okay if I mention the others.

That said, when I am with each one, I focus my attention on the one I'm with. He is my focal point at that time. Yeah, sometimes my mind wanders; but my mind is just as likely to wander to whatever book I'm working on, or to my kids. That's me; my brain goes about a zillion miles an hour. And the men I'm involved with know this and accept it as one of the facets of the woman they care about.

Thinking is thinking. It isn't acting. If I were to *act* distracted when I'm with each man, or to act like he wasn't as important as whatever's on my mind, that would be unfair and rude, in my opinion. But they know me, and they know how my brain goes. I make however much effort is necessary to keep each man my primary focus when I'm with him; each of them recognizes that if I talk about the other two, it isn't that I'm comparing or contrasting or more "interested" in the ones I'm talking about, but that they are all part of my life, and I share my life's aspects with those I care about. It isn't about shutting out the one I'm with; it's about letting him further in, and fortunately, they see it that way.
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Hubby: my husband, 42, monogamous
S2: my "attachment", male, 44, undetermined
Best Friend: male, 38, platonic; the one who keeps me sane through all this!
My daughters: Alt (age 19) and Country (age 16)
S2's sons: Spikes (age 9) and Beads (age 6)
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