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  1.  (11148.161)
    If I were to codify my, uh,...poly-cies...that would fit them pretty well.
  2.  (11148.162)
    I've been thinking a lot about this lately.

    I'm not a jealous person, never have been. (I shocked my friends when at 14 I tried to find ways to help out the guy I'd had a crush on for years to win over the lady he was interested in.) I have always thought that everyone had their own relationships with each other. I suppose this was well fostered by hanging out with musicians in my late teens and early twenties, since those guys may as well be fucking each other for all the fighting that goes on in intra-band relationships. My best friend at that time and I had a number of fellows in common in that crew of musicians; with some she was the primary and I was the occasional abberation, and with some I was the emotional connection while she was the raw sexual.

    I've been thinking about this notion of having an open relationship, and I think the nature of it, which seems to get bogged down in this conversation we are all having, is about being OPEN. That's what it boils down to.

    Most of my relationships have been in-between type things, without official title. I suppose that would be considered "open." I've never wanted anyone to be with me unless they WANTED to, and sexual fidelity, to me, doesn't mean much if the intent isn't there. Being with only one person for forever is only meaningful if both parties want to be there. If one wants to stray, then the nature of that relationship should be addressed, and probably altered. I prefer all parties to be OPEN about what it is that they are feeling and wanting.

    Personally, the only times I've been hurt is when someone "cheats" without telling me. If it was something unexpected that happened one drunken night, ok, I get it, that happens. As long as I'm told. If someone is interested in someone, is actively spending time with someone else and keeps that a secret, that is what hurts me. That hurt is regardless of sex, though if sex is involved the pain might be more severe, but only because that implies a further bond that I was kept in the dark about.

    Of course, the notion of STDs is important as well. I have my tubes tied, so when I have a consistent partner, I prefer for us both to be tested and (assuming we both come up clean) not have to worry about condoms. For a mate to have other partners, I'd have to know that condoms were used with others, and maybe start using them in our own unit.

    At the moment, I'm considering discussing the idea of having an open relationship with my current fellow, for a few reasons that aren't only sexual. There is the sex aspect, because I'm so often sick and hurting, and I don't feel I am sexual as often as is fair to my partner. Also, there are certain kinks that he's not as into, and while he'd indulge me, there is something to be said to be with someone who is totally THERE with you. And also, there's just the emotional. I don't limit myself, and I don't assume that one person is going to provide me with everything that I need emotionally. This also has to do with being ill. I'm a bit of a handful. It's a lot to expect one person to be the psychological/emotional support AND provide the dominance that I prefer. I am not sure, however, that finding the dominant person as a secondary is the kind of balance that would ever end up working out.

    I'm not entirely sure where I am at with this right now, because I am pretty prone to relationship claustrophobia, and separating that fear of connection to my own legitimate desires can be difficult. Especially since we spend almost all of our time together. I think it might be easier to distinguish if I had a more vibrant and close knit friend circle. But.... I just know that as perfect as my fellow is, I don't feel like I'm done exploring and experiencing.

    I think that the general consensus here is that open relationships are usually sought after because of wanting an intimate CONNECTION with others, not just a roll in the hay.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2013
     (11148.163)
    Rachæl
    Personally, the only times I've been hurt is when someone "cheats" without telling me. If it was something unexpected that happened one drunken night, ok, I get it, that happens. As long as I'm told. If someone is interested in someone, is actively spending time with someone else and keeps that a secret, that is what hurts me. That hurt is regardless of sex, though if sex is involved the pain might be more severe, but only because that implies a further bond that I was kept in the dark about.


    Yes! This! Cheating is still bad, and even ESPECIALLY bad when they have your PERMISSION to have sex (and relationships) with others. Someone I was seeing earlier this year (I was hoping we'd be seeing each other still, but I was constantly at the bottom of her list of priorities, so I didn't want to deal with that any longer) had her ex-husband cheat on her despite the fact that they had an open relationship. It's not about the third person, it's about the lies.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2013 edited
     (11148.164)
    Finally, a longer post.

    So history, my first proper girlfriend was really entered into, on my part, because I thought that is what you do. finally when I didn't trust her - she attempted to poison a relationship with a friend who I trusted more than her - I broke it off, it went from bad to worse and a little scary. All my relationships after that ended very very well and I would go so far as to say that I could probably have lived the rest of my life in the company of all of them. An interesting thing I do notice about all of them is that all these relationships started with a known end date.

    I have no real desire to have someone in my life to that extent, and I find sex, though enjoyable in practise, I'd rather talk to someone, learn something or create something, I feel I have a lot I want to do, and my drive to jump in the sack with someone is just not there, I can very easily choose not to do it. Not to say I haven't.

    As I said previously I haven't had a relationship for more than a decade, although I have slept with women, though never had intercourse, just fooled around, generally these events have been me testing the waters, with help from my animalistic sexual urges, afterwards I don't get what I am missing, I really don't get it.

    I understand that there is more to a relationship than sex, in the sharing of your life with another person, someone who your consciousness with merge, play and bond with, this can be multiple people or one other, maybe I am missing that, though I treat all my friends like this. I am getting a little lost thinking about this stuff, I am not sure how to think about this.

    my preference to not have these relationships doesn't come up in conversation much, but it does happen when someone is interested in me and I find them interesting but don't want more of a relationship, this has caused some frustration when attempting to explain my situation to them. It has been interpreted as a slight on the aesthetic of the other party, and a knock to the self esteem, which is so not true, I am a lot more interested in what is going on in peoples heads.

    I have found that some mono-people, definitely no all, have the biggest problem with my standpoint even the very intelligent ones, I guess because they are generally not so open to alternatives then poly-people, the monos who have an problem with this assume I have not found 'that' person yet and I should just keep looking, TBH I find that attitude slightly condescending, I am aware of the fact I may find someone, 'settle down' or whatever that means, but I have found people that I could have lived my life with, I just chose otherwise, and I just don't get what I am looking for.

    anyway that is my bit, comments are welcome.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2013
     (11148.165)
    There is DEFINITELY a huge bias toward the idea of Coupling. We have to find our Better Half, because we're not Complete without a Mate. If you say you're enjoying being single and the freedom it gives you, they look at you with that "of course you think so, dear. Until Mr(s) Right shows up, of course." Like you're single because Your One hasn't been found yet. It comes down to the same thing we've been saying about being in open or monogamous relationships: Whatever works for you is a Good Thing.

    I think especially as we move forward and the Need To Procreate is becoming less and less pressing for a lot of us - and communication technology becomes more and more helpful - we're going to see more and more people living out their lives happily single, though they might well have extensive networks of close friends and acquaintances.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2013
     (11148.166)
    Heh, my wife, when she was still my fiance, asked me if she was "the One". I told her she was "A One". She looked a little bit shocked and I said, "Hey, seven billion people on this rock,half of them abouts are female, chances are there's at least a handful of other women in the world who'd want me." Thankfully, she grokked that and took it for the joke I meant it as.

    My wife and I are monogamousish. I'm poly and when I got together with her I was in a threesome with another couple that mostly revolved around kink. My wife, at the time, wasn't very comfortable with it and so when the couple ended up splitting we decided to call it good between the three of us. Since we've gotten married she's relaxed a bit. She was what is called a list which is basically a group of women who she is friends with who I'm interested in that she feels is safe. There's also a woman who we're both interested in and the three of us get along well.
  3.  (11148.167)
    The idea that there is "the One" for anyone seems toxic to me. It would mean that someone like me – who found someone, then lost him – is out of luck and should just plan on being alone for the rest of my life, or "settle" for someone who isn't quite right for me. Or it would mean that when it turns out that you hooked up with someone who isn't a perfect match (and guess what: that's everyone), it means you got the "the Wrong One" and should dump them to resume looking. No. Some people are better matches than others, meeting different needs/wants. Rather than looking for one person who can be everything for you, you should look for whatever people meet as many of your needs as possible, and that you can help do the same for them. I know people who've found one person who does most of that for them, but they still look to other people for some things, whether it's social, emotional, sexual, whatever. My girlfriend didn't like Indian food or comix so I shared those enjoyments with other people. My later boyfriend didn't care for bondage or recreational drugs, but he was OK with me doing those without him.
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      CommentAuthorFishelle
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2013
     (11148.168)
    Thanks for the response to my last post on the thread. I'm glad I helped answer questions rather than adding more, which is always what I worry I'm doing when I talk about that sort of stuff.

    @allana I'm afraid I don't really know any great resources to send you to. I know what I do through seminary classes in high school and attending church actively all my life (even now as a nonbeliever), as well as various things from the Internet. A lot of what's online about Mormonism is unfortunate heavy handed propaganda, both for and against the church. I like the Young Mormon Feminists group, but that might not be of interest to you particularly.

    In my life, I've gotten a lot of pressure from church culture and my parents to marry early and start a family as soon as possible. While this is problematic, it has led to a lot of pulpit talk about how people shouldn't expect to find their other half, but rather make the relationship you have work no matter what. While this is great, I also worry about the other extreme, that I might end up like my parents one day, constantly at my partner's throat, bickering and attacking them, but holding on because a commitment was made. It may be a loose connection to the discussion on coupling to this, but I am curious to know if people think polyamorous relationships work in a different way than monogamous ones when things go wrong. Or rather, what are the differences? Related, has anyone had problems where you try to fix a broken relationship through polyamory?
    •  
      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2013
     (11148.169)
    In my life, I've gotten a lot of pressure from church culture and my parents to marry early and start a family as soon as possible. While this is problematic, it has led to a lot of pulpit talk about how people shouldn't expect to find their other half, but rather make the relationship you have work no matter what.


    That happens a lot in non-religious culture as well. Most people around me got it hammered in to them that they should be married by 25 at the latest and by 30-31 have a kid.

    Interestingly enough, I've found that the people I know that got married in their early 20s are getting divorced in their 30s (aside from a few who hey, I wish luck).
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      CommentAuthorglukkake
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2013
     (11148.170)
    Aye, if I was in a relationship with someone for over 2 years, my mother would start poking me about getting married. She was the sort who espoused that I should be able to financially support myself before marriage, but then got more aggressive by my early twenties, to the point of offering me money as a wedding gift if we'd just get hitched. Gah.


    Most people will suggest to not open your relationship up if it's on the rocks - and I'm assuming it's going poorly not because one person has a devastating need to explore their poly side. Mostly because, I find, it means that people are seeking intimacy elsewhere, when they should be trying to reconnect with each other. Plus, bringing someone else into your toxic relationship is really unfair. I had met a couple who I was sleeping with for a very short while, who were on the verge of breaking up themselves, and found they were using me to avoid talking with each other, instead putting me awkwardly in the middle, sometimes so one could have a second person to gang up on the third. No. Nonononononono.

    On the other hand, one time someone I was vaguely seeing on the side for a long while (with partner's full awareness) dumped me. And I struggled where I was a tiny bit heartbroken and pouted over the whole thing. I got the 'we'll still be friends' bit, but it's just not the same and I am sad for that loss of special intimacy with them. But everyone told me "well, you still have Primary so why are you upset?" and then changed the subject on me. And it made me feel greedy and selfish about the whole thing even though I know I have the right to be upset over anything I want. Which is basically how he felt and while he's supportive, it didn't insulate me from the heartbreak I still felt.

    I do, however, have *extremely* limited experience, so I'd love to hear the others'.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2013
     (11148.171)
    "Most people will suggest to not open your relationship up if it's on the rocks"

    Back in the days of Livejournal, I was a member of the polyamory comm and once said, "Don't build an addition to the house if the foundation is faulty." A frequent tag to posts was "Relationship broken, add more people."
    •  
      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2013 edited
     (11148.172)
    Yeah, absolutely. Tendencies to think that more people (children, lover, whatever) will fix bad relationships are both completely opposite of the truth and very unhelpful. In the case of poly, I imagine that's part of why opening relationships got the rumor of being the deathknell of a relationship.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2013
     (11148.173)
    @Magnulus

    Often because it was, at least around the areas I grew up in. It let you try out that next monogamous partner before you gave up the security of the current one. Thankfully, I never did that.

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