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  #31  
Old 11-13-2013, 12:37 AM
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I do understand your hesitance to hide your past. I won't lie to anyone. Of course, I generally don't get upset if someone gets his / her panties in a wad. And I have told numerous acquaintances, wondering what their reactions would be (curiosity), and found it to be a big shrug. They knew me, liked me, and really didn't find the info pertinent. One guy would date me - however, over the long term, I don't see us as being compatible, so I don't go there.

That said, I don't feel ashamed of my past. Have I learned things? Oh hell yeah. Some of them hurt a lot. But all of those experiences made me who I am today. I like myself. That shines through more than anything else. Hell, I am a 49 year old female and I have a 23 year old male who just likes to hang out with me from time to time - talk about life, the universe, and drink some wine.

While I can see how things look from your perspective, and I do apologize for commenting that your concerns seemed shallow given the additional information, I have to wonder: do you like you? Are you comfortable in your own skin? I am sensing shame. And while you do put out a somewhat logical basis for some of your ideas, I think your logic is preventing you from getting at the root of the real issue.
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  #32  
Old 11-13-2013, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipwrecked View Post
You need to either bring it up early on, or else EFFECTIVELY lie about it, precisely BECAUSE most people find polyamory so repugnant: failing to disclose and then getting found out would only mean a relationship-ending barrage of "WHAT ELSE ARE YOU HIDING FROM ME?!? I CAN NEVER TRUST YOU AGAIN, AND I WOULD HAVE NEVER HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU IF I KNEW YOU WERE INTO THIS SHIT!!!! PACK UP YOUR CRAP AND GET THE FUCK OUT!!!!!!"

So the first choice is to be honest, which usually drives the person off but at least if they accept your reasons why polyamory no longer appeals to you then you don't have that particular Sword of Damocles hanging over you for the rest of your life. The second choice is to lie, but if you either lie about or fail to disclose something which impacts whether most people would want to be in a relationship with you in the first place, then you obviously need to be 100% sure you won't get caught, and yes I think it's reasonable for that to include purging old emails and anything else that proves you had a poly past.
Honesty-yes.
repugnant-I have to wonder where you are.

Because, as I said-the poly's I know are primarily OLDER than we are and we're 37, 38 and 41. Quite a few of the ones I know are in their 50s and 60s.

Furthermore; I haven't met anyone who found poly repugnant. Of ALL of my mono friends (of whom there are many) and my religious friends as well- NO ONE has given a hot damn one way or the other...
In fact.... we haven't lost any friend, family etc to finding our we're poly.


I tend to think you are choosing a circle of people who feel that way as your social group...
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  #33  
Old 11-13-2013, 02:28 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by Natja View Post

It's nobody flaming business is what it is.....
This raises the question, what is the business of a prospective spouse?

To most people--which goes exactly to Ship's point that we're talking about numbers in the dating pools here--the main goal of dating is to develop a lifetime relationship.

To most people, developing such a relationship involves emotional intimacy, closeness, sharing thoughts and ideas, sharing lives--which is quite naturally going to involve talking about one's past and the people who have been important in their lives.

I may not go around asking specific numbers of people someone has slept with, but I'd think in the normal course of discussion, unless it's being deliberately hidden, two people who are growing closer and more emotionally intimate are going to discuss things like, "I never slept with anyone but my husband," or, "I love casual sex, have it all the time, lost count of how many guys," or anywhere in between. This is not entirely about sharing numbers, or being nosy, but about sharing life philosophies, which tell people, for better or worse, something about how we've lived.

Some people will decide that a person who has dated married men or women is not a match.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Honesty-yes.
repugnant-I have to wonder where you are.

Furthermore; I haven't met anyone who found poly repugnant. Of ALL of my mono friends (of whom there are many) and my religious friends as well- NO ONE has given a hot damn one way or the other...
In fact.... we haven't lost any friend, family etc to finding our we're poly.

...
I think sometimes it's the notion of open marriage in general, and yes, people do find it repugnant. I think there's also a difference between rejecting a friend or family member of many years over poly, which doesn't directly impact the potential rejecter; and someone you've just met not wanting to have a romantic relationship with you. These are entirely different situations, with different impacts on the people in question. Also, one is breaking off an existing relationship, whereas the other is a decision not to pursue a romantic relationship that hadn't yet existed, anyway.

Interestingly, I have found my liberal friends have a lot more negative comments about BF and his open marriage than do my conservative, religious friends.
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  #34  
Old 11-13-2013, 02:48 AM
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And of course, people probably talk behind your back.
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  #35  
Old 11-13-2013, 03:11 AM
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I'm starting to feel like I'm taking up too much of everyone's time; after all this is a polyamory discussion forum, and there are pending questions from people who have a variable number of partners rather than being permanently flatlined at zero

A few last thoughts though:

1. Bringing up e-mail confused things, and I shouldn't have done it. The only point I wanted to make was that you essentially have to disclose your poly past early on when dating mono people, assuming you want to avoid living in constant fear of your new partner finding out and breaking up with you much more viciously once he or she can claim to have "wasted years on you." From there I only brought up deleting old e-mails to illustrate that even if you take the most extreme measures you don't get 100% certainty that your partner won't find out, hence you don't get 100% freedom from this fear by lying, and hence lying isn't a viable alternative to early and honest disclosure. And the only reason I wanted to make the original point was to illustrate that since a poly past is something you have to be honest about early on, and since doing so will immediately kill some potential relationships, a history of polyamory does permanent damage to your ability to find non-poly partners in the future (and consequently any partners once there's nobody left in your ever-dwindling poly pool).

2. I've carefully read what everyone has had to say, and I still just don't believe there is any way out of the trap I'm in. Even though living multiple decades of the last part of my life in isolation, and then dying alone, has always been one of my biggest fears, I think the best thing I could do at this point is simply do what I can to face this fear, since it has demonstrably come to pass. There are plenty of professions and spiritual practices (not to mention punishments like solitary confinement) which involve being deprived of human companionship, so perhaps there are some coping skills I could learn from people who have survived those experiences and subsequently written about them. At least that's something I could put my time and energy into which is more positive then continuing to dwell on how I ruined my life's endgame by sticking with polyamory longer than I should have.

3. I don't think I'm depressed, but let's say I might be wrong about that. If I am depressed, then inflicting myself on someone else wouldn't be ethical, and as such getting into a new relationship would be wrong. But if I'm not depressed, and therefore my judgment is sound, then I must also be right about not being able to find any more new partners, and as such getting into a new relationship would be impossible. Either way, I shouldn't be looking.

4. When writing my original post I tried to think everything through carefully, but in reading one person's comments above I realized there was something I missed. It concerns my last point in that original post, i.e. the one with with the Burning Man example. Basically, if being mono can be better than being poly (or more specifically non-closed poly) at least when it comes to enjoying most other aspects of life, then for the same reason being partnerless should enjoy the same advantages, provided you're so completely certain of your inability to attract people that the thought of flirting with someone literally never crosses your mind. And now, I think I can honestly say I'm finally at that point.

Anyway, thank you for all your help. I didn't come here to argue for arguing's sake, and was honestly hoping there might be some way out of this trap I'm in. I'm still not seeing one, but as a result of talking things through I did have the insight described in the paragraph immediately above , which is at least a sort of consolation prize.

P.S. A number of people asked about my age and location, questions which in reviewing this thread a few minutes ago I've realized I failed to answer. Anyway, in case you'd still like to know, I live in Seattle and am in my early 40's.
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  #36  
Old 11-13-2013, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipwrecked View Post
Anyway, in case you'd still like to know, I live in Seattle and am in my early 40's.
Awww, you're a young'un! Early 40s! I wish I could say that - try starting over at 53 like I am!!! Hahaha. You have so, so, so-o-oooo-oooo much life ahead of you! It puzzles me how you can be so dejected and miserable, talking as if life is over for you simply because you are unpartnered at the moment. You paint a picture as if you are living in a parched desert with no hope of ever finding water. Are you the type that feels you have no value if not in a relationship? I think you might benefit from reading some books on co-dependency.

And you live in a city that is pretty poly-friendly, so I don't understand your pessimism about that!

Perhaps it is depression - you may want to talk to a professional about that. Seems you're really down in the dumps. Some therapy could really be helpful.
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  #37  
Old 11-13-2013, 03:59 AM
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Havent encountered anyone disgusted by the idea of dating one of us either. Quite the opposite.
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  #38  
Old 11-13-2013, 05:32 AM
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Wow, early 40s? Prime of life, dude. God I thought you were like 68 or older, all creaky and withered. You're young and strong! Or should be. Are you terribly out of shape? Do you have a nasty porn-stache? Do you have a bad haircut? Are you chronically unemployed? Are you a hoarder living in a filthy environment covered in mouse feces?

I can't believe this.

Giving up on life and love at age 40 definitely sounds like depression to me. But then again, I have met men of that age who sound just like you. Well off white guys complaining all the day long how miserable they are. Perhaps you need medical attention?
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  #39  
Old 11-13-2013, 06:55 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Maybe you should carry on writing to us? This forum is a wonderful source of help and support. It is polyamory forum but there are plenty of regular posters who have always been mono and now have a poly partner, others who have been poly and are now living monogamously and others who just are poly. Plus loads of people who are very experienced at dating. Lots of perspectives and support to be found here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipwrecked View Post
This, despite the fact that I'd assured her from our earliest conversations that I was no longer polyamorous and furthermore now deeply regretted my past participation in polyamory.
Maybe it was this way of communicating as much as your poly relationships that put the person you were dating off.

I find your way of talking about being mono quite off putting and I don't have a problem with poly. The way you have phrased it you only want to be mono because you don't want to be alone. So far you've written lots on here and none of it has expressed anything about what you feel would be the benefits of being mono (other than not being alone). I wouldn't want to feel that any important relationship I was in was contingent on the other person feeling like they couldn't get anybody else - and I guess lots of other people wouldn't either.

It could very easily be your delivery rather than poly itself that is the problem at least some of the time.

It might be worthwhile spending some time writing down what you feel the benefits of monogamy are and why you would choose it freely even if you didn't feel lonely. If you can't do that, I'd guess that's at least some of the reason you are struggling to find women to date you.

Or maybe it had nothing to do with poly? She broke up with you by text so is maybe not up to heavy conversations and so maybe it was something else and she felt that blaming poly would be something you were expecting and so there would be no argument about it.

Who knows? And I'd guess it doesn't matter - she doesn't want to date you for whatever reason. Not to worry. You live in a city filled with people - the chances are there are a few of them who'd love to date you. I'd guess that there will be a number of them who are like you - have been poly and have decided that they prefer monogamy. Even from your own experience, there must be lots of those people around and those people are not likely to have a problem with your past.


I'd guess that you might well be depressed too. I'm in my early 40s too and I feel none of what you feel. You and I are still very young - especially for well fed and cared for westerners. We could both be fit, healthy and active for another 40 years easily. So - if you feel as if you now have no chance of making connections now and feel trapped and lonely, I'd guess that you are at least a little depressed. Maybe you should see your doctor or look online for help?

You've written lots here but nothing about what makes you excited. What things you enjoy doing? Is there nothing at all that you love to do? Who are your friends too? Who do you spend time with having fun? It would be good to hear about some of the things that you enjoy.
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  #40  
Old 11-13-2013, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post

I may not go around asking specific numbers of people someone has slept with, but I'd think in the normal course of discussion,
I don't think there is anything normal about it, if anything I think it is over sharing, I have never liked hearing about the romantic life of any of my partners, I never ask about it and will never ask about it. I just want to make sure that they are free to be with me ethically and that is all I need.

If prospective partners want to ask more than that of me (I am happy to talk about who fathered my children and whether I have been married and how long ago that ended but that is it) I am perfectly within my rights to say - The past is the past and I would rather not talk about exes, most of the time they are exes for a jolly good reason". If a person cannot accept that and thinks it means I am super whore from Whoreland, well that is not my problem, I don't want a person like that in my life.....

btw, many people have made a great impression on me both positive and negative. I do, and have, talked about exes when it is relevant to the topic at hand i.e. "I went out with a guy who turned out to be xyz...never again!!!" Doesn't mean I have to give out TMI does it..."Oh yes and that guy was married, had blonde hair, green eyes and 6'4" it was because he was polyamorous you see? Yes that is where.....

Who needs to know?

I think there is a sickly tendency, especially amongst women (sorry) to want to spill your guts out to someone as soon as NRE sets in, starting with "I was born at....."
I really hate that and I couldn't care less where someone is born, who their parents are, or how they lost their virginity.

I have managed to have perfectly, honest and deeply intimate relationships without the over share.
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