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  #11  
Old 12-29-2013, 03:44 PM
Becca Becca is offline
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I very much appreciate everything that y'all have said so far-- thank you!

In my situation, I'm not altogether sure exactly how I'm wired. It took me some years to determine that I'm pansexual, though mostly lesbian (I came out as gay as a teenager), so I'm used to letting go of identity politics to recognize that my sexuality is multi-layered. That is, when I started dating men in my mid-thirties, I had to shift the way I saw myself, focus on just being me, rather than fitting some label.

I know that I can feel love for multiple people, and that I am pretty good at managing my own jealousy, talking about things, all the skills that make for good poly. I'm just... not really sure I want to do all that work, and not sure that I feel a compelling drive to live that way.

But I do have some very strong ideas about wanting to live my life on my own terms, and not the terms dictated to me by social conditioning. I'm paraphrasing, but Chuck Palahniuk said something about-- everything you want, you have been trained to want. So, I've been wanting monogamy, marriage, a house with a white picket fence. Is that because it's really what I want, or am I just giving in to social pressure to conform?

Since I'm questioning the personal desire (and I'm not going into all the details here, but there are a lot of different things that are going into that conversation in my heard), I'm trying to look at the wider picture, the political arguments for poly, etc. For example, some of the principles of anarchy (as a social justice movement) really support a poly approach to relationships.

And really, I'm looking at this at all the angles I can find. So thank you, everyone!
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2013, 04:49 PM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca View Post
I know that I can feel love for multiple people, and that I am pretty good at managing my own jealousy, talking about things, all the skills that make for good poly. I'm just... not really sure I want to do all that work, and not sure that I feel a compelling drive to live that way.
Indeed, poly, properly managed, is far more work than monogamy (if you think about how you have to care for MULTIPLE relationships just as much as most people have to care for ONE). I don't blame anyone from shying away from it....I would, myself, except for it's truly worth it for me.

I just wanted to make a quick comment...you've been getting a lot of (natural) blowback for implying that one would choose poly for political reasons. But, truthfully, many people choose monogamy to fit social norms, rather than because they desire it. Sooooooo, yeah, I'm sure some poly people do it for political agendas, or some other bizarre reason, like rebellion against parents. :-p
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2013, 05:09 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Two of the three serious relationships I have had thus far have been poly, and both were poly-fi. My current relationship is monogamous, despite our poly pasts (a reconnect from the last poly-fi that didn't succeed) but he and I don't know if it will always be so. Right now, we are both terribly time constrained, so poly is a moot point.

I tend to enjoy the unity of a close family configuration offered by poly-fi with live-in arrangements. I like the security of it. I like not being forced to divide my time, which isn't required because we all live together. When it works, the group energy (and I am not speaking of sexual energy here) is amplified and the daily work is diminished. Fantastic! It has never made sense to me why that family unit cannot consist of as many adults who are willing, able, and compatible. Granted, I am not a jealous person, and it is rare to find like-minded individuals. However, my first poly-fi vee lasted until the death of our hinge. My co-wife and I are still very close, but wanted different things afterward, so we no longer live together.

All of that said, I am really about what works. I have no major preconceived ideas about how relationships "should" be. If it turns out my current relationship remains mono and we are both happy with that, that will be okay too. I don't really self identify as either poly or mono. I don't really give a rats about labels or feel the need to adhere to one or the other. It's never an either / or situation for me. I am adaptable to either.

So in answer to your question as to why I have chosen poly, I really didn't. It is just what worked at the time. Likewise I never chose monogamy either.

Last edited by bookbug; 12-29-2013 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Clarification
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2013, 06:52 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I'm in a poly dynamic because I happen to be in love with two men.
I was in an open relationship for years (before marrying) because I liked the freedom to go with the flow.
But honestly-I am not inclined to "date" or try to find new partners. Even if one of these relationships or even both of them ended-I wouldn't do that.
IF I meet someone and it works out-great. But looking for them? No way.
More days than not, I find poly annoying.
I live it because I am keeping promises.

But more and more I find that there is so much more time and attention I would prefer to devote TO MYSELF instead of to partners.
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  #15  
Old 12-30-2013, 01:12 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca View Post
In my situation, I'm not altogether sure exactly how I'm wired.
Lots of folks don't buy the theory that people are wired one way or another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca View Post
I am pretty good at managing my own jealousy, talking about things, all the skills that make for good poly. I'm just... not really sure I want to do all that work . . .
Relationship skills are relationship skills are relationship skills - poly or mono, the same skills apply. Monogamous relationships are not, in and of themselves, always easier nor automatically less work than polyamorous ones. All relationships need mutual respect, caring, good communication, managing difficult emotions, and a willingness to be honest in order to thrive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca View Post
But I do have some very strong ideas about wanting to live my life on my own terms, and not the terms dictated to me by social conditioning. I'm paraphrasing, but Chuck Palahniuk said something about-- everything you want, you have been trained to want. So, I've been wanting monogamy, marriage, a house with a white picket fence. Is that because it's really what I want, or am I just giving in to social pressure to conform?
If one is happy with monogamy, marriage, and a house with white picket fence, does all that really matter? It would make me sad to think that my happiness depended upon any particular relationship structure - happiness is an inside job.
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Last edited by nycindie; 12-30-2013 at 01:16 AM.
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  #16  
Old 12-30-2013, 12:19 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyinPractice View Post
Indeed, poly, properly managed, is far more work than monogamy (if you think about how you have to care for MULTIPLE relationships just as much as most people have to care for ONE). I don't blame anyone from shying away from it....I would, myself, except for it's truly worth it for me.
I couldn't disagree more. For me, poly (with compatible people, as I currently have) is far LESS work than trying to force myself to be mono with a very jealous husband. Some poly people are just less jealous, more supportive and compersive, more skilled at communication, have better self esteem, than the typical mono person who isn't motivated to do the work, or like my ex, just unbelievably "stuck" in certain patterns that make them really hard to live with, even monogamously.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I'm in a poly dynamic because I happen to be in love with two men...

More days than not, I find poly annoying.

I live it because I am keeping promises.

But more and more I find that there is so much more time and attention I would prefer to devote TO MYSELF instead of to partners.
Wow, that's pretty sad, LR. But you have more than 2 loving men to deal with; you've got about 100 kids and grandkids running around the place. And Maca, according to what I've read, isnt all that skilled at communication, and not 100% on board, never has been, with sharing you with GG. And he didn't handle a recent other relationship of his own very well.

So, I guess my point is, poly isn't necessarily more work than monogamy. It all depends on how you do it, on what kinds of partners you find and keep. We do see lots of people here with horrible problems practicing polyamory (jealousy and horrible issues with communication, lying, and lack of self integrity being most common problems), but there are other poly people, I am sure, who do not seek help for their problems, because they are really doing OK.
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  #17  
Old 12-30-2013, 12:51 PM
london london is offline
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Quote:
I couldn't disagree more. For me, poly (with compatible people, as I currently have) is far LESS work than trying to force myself to be mono with a very jealous husband. Some poly people are just less jealous, more supportive and compersive, more skilled at communication, have better self esteem, than the typical mono person who isn't motivated to do the work, or like my ex, just unbelievably "stuck" in certain patterns that make them really hard to live with, even monogamously.
What about compatible mono person vs compatible poly person?

My answer is that a compatible mono person wouldn't need a rule in place saying that neither of us can have other relationships. Even if life went in a way where we were situationally monogamous, it would be due to a lack of resources rather than enforced monogamy on me. That's the only way I could be fulfilled in a monogamous relationship.
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  #18  
Old 12-30-2013, 01:02 PM
Nadya Nadya is online now
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So, I guess my point is, poly isn't necessarily more work than monogamy. It all depends on how you do it, on what kinds of partners you find and keep.
Agree. 100%. My life is easier, better and more in balance now as I have two relationships than it was when CJ was my only partner. CJ has noticed this, too, and hence is very supporting to my and Mark's relationship. And the other way round: Mark acknowledges the happiness CJ brings to me and supports my and CJ's relationship. Of course I have to consider the wants and needs of two people instead of just one, but it is not hard because I am happier and have more resources now than before.

As for the original question:
Quote:
What are the principles on which you base your decision to be poly?
My basic values behind poly philosophy are freedom and honesty. I want to be free to make decisions over my life, my body and my relationships and want to give the same freedom to everyone, including my partners. I have never really understood monogamy, so for me personally the only way to be honest is to be open for several loving and / or sexual relationships. Also, I firmly believe that if my partners have this same freedom to feel whatever they feel and have sex with those people they want to, it promotes honesty in our relationship. We do not need to hide parts of ourselves.
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  #19  
Old 12-30-2013, 07:13 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
So, I guess my point is, poly isn't necessarily more work than monogamy. It all depends on how you do it, on what kinds of partners you find and keep. We do see lots of people here with horrible problems practicing polyamory (jealousy and horrible issues with communication, lying, and lack of self integrity being most common problems), but there are other poly people, I am sure, who do not seek help for their problems, because they are really doing OK.
Oh-I agree. I also think it matters how you personally manage relationships (not just hte other people). I don't do relationships that aren't full time. I wouldn't be willing to have a poly dynamic where my partner lived elsewhere for example. If we can't live together, I'm not screwing with it. But that puts a LOT more onus on me.
Not to mention school (mine and the kids since I home school).
On a side note; Maca got a clue with the last go around (it's been over a year now). He figured out that he has a skill set he needs to learn before he tries to go having another relationship. He has opted to not date. In the last year, having made that choice, he's done a lot of growing up and learning about himself, which in turn has resulted in great benefit to everyone else in the household. I think having so much time away on his own (for work) helped too.
He's been unbelievably supportive and positive about poly in the last year.
But-as you said; it makes a difference if you go in with people who are already capable of the necessary skillset (which he was definitely not) and want to be poly (which he definitely did not).

I don't think POLY is bad.
I just find that it's not always any better.

I think some people do mono REALLY well. Some people do poly REALLY well. Some people just do really well.
But the majority of people are learning in some area or another in their life that negatively affects their relationships currently. Doesn't mean that they aren't a good partner, but it may mean that they aren't RIGHT NOW.

I think I am one of those people who is currently in a learning place about myself that makes me not a good partner.
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  #20  
Old 01-06-2014, 08:40 PM
ShpaceEchsplorer ShpaceEchsplorer is offline
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The main thing I like about poly is that I'm responsible for making myself happy. Sure, maybe my partners will go out of their way from time to time and surprise me in fun ways... But when they are all busy and I'm by myself, I'm not completely lonely and helpless inside. I used to completely rely on my SO when I was mono. I realized over time that I was disrespecting her greatly by placing her in the soul responsibility of 100% of my happiness. I found it better to ask her to take care of herself for me and I'll take care of myself for her. She no longer relies on me for happiness either. We rely on ourselves for that. The outcome is that our time together is more enjoyed. We have strong relationships, endless amounts of confidence and love everywhere we go. Some of that stuff might work out fine between 2 mono partners, but I've yet to meet such a couple.
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