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91
Poly Communication / Re: Being Honest With Ourselves
« Last post by Administrator on April 28, 2013, 02:55:21 PM »
Great responses.  I've heard that people have changed their minds after entering relationships or after being a part of one for a while. 

What do you do if the other individuals in a poly relationship aren't willing to renegotiate?

NOTE:  I am not talking about myself.  I am perfectly happy in my current V relationship with Antony  at the V and Jadez and I at the arms of 15 years. 
92
Poly Communication / Re: Being Honest With Ourselves
« Last post by Natja on April 27, 2013, 08:44:04 AM »
Great conversations so far.  Some great points brought up too.

Here's a question though.  What happens when you continue to have these conversations with yourself, and you find that over time what you want changes, but you are already knee deep into a poly relationship?

Thanks,

Steady

One would hope that you can discuss possible changes to your relationships to better meet your needs.  Of course your needs might require an end to a casual relationship (or two or three, depending on the kind of Poly practised). There is an interesting post I read today about this very thing, a man questioning whether he simply has the time to put into other relationships due to the obligations he has at home. I admire the fact that he is questioning this before he gets involved and makes further promises and commitments  to others.

Once commitments have been made, just the same as in Monogamy, one has to be aware of the emotional pain it causes to change the expectations of relationships, like Monos who are told their partners want to be Poly, like OPP couples where the woman falls for another man, like the triad where one dyad breaks up, like one partner who changes their mind and demands a relationship close.

There is no way to know what will happen, it all depends on the people involved and how well they communicate, how strong their bonds and how flexible their thinking.

Natja

93
Poly Communication / Re: Being Honest With Ourselves
« Last post by Deorccwen on April 27, 2013, 08:41:11 AM »
'What happens when you continue to have these conversations with yourself, and you find that over time what you want changes, but you are already knee deep into a poly relationship?'

My opinion (and it is only my opinion) is this.

In that case, you have to be honest with yourself and your partners about what it is that you want now. 
And you have to accept that what they want may not have changed at all. 
And then you have to accept that you have no right to expect or force them to change to suit your new wants.
And then you all have to talk and negotiate until you can come up with a solution which, while not being what everybody wants, is something that everybody thinks they can accept and live with.

Take, for example, the situation I suggested above, where a person has been very happy as one arm of a V while she was working, but wants monogamy once the deadline is met.  Let's assume the person is a woman, in a hetero relationship.  She has to accept that her partner and his partner are whole human beings with needs and emotions of their own involved, not simply there for her convenience.  She *cannot* (or at least, should not) ask or expect her partner to give up his other relationship.  It exists as a separate thing from her own relationship, and she has no business interfering in it, and no business trying to break up her metamour's relationship.  She can, however, ask her partner if it is possible for him to start spending more time with her, and they can all negotiate that need together, but she will have to bear in mind that if he starts spending more time with her, he will probably be spending less time with his other partner, and that may be difficult for his other partner to accept.  Or it may be that he will give up a hobby in order to spend more time with her instead.  Either way, she should recognise and appreciate any sacrifices made, and especially any sacrifices made by her metamour.  Honestly, as Antony said above, it would be better if she could recognise from the start what her long-term needs are, because then she could have made it clear to everyone from the start that she would need more companionship after her deadline was met, and negotiated that need from the beginning.   

Or a triad situation.  Say, for example, that there is a triad of one man and two women, and the man wants to end his original relationship.  One dyad breaking up need not (and probably should not) result in the whole relationship breaking down, only the part which is not working.  If the two women are still happy together, then there is no reason why their relationship should end or be undermined by the ending of the relationship of one dyad.  If they have all been living together, then the situation is more complicated, but it should still be negotiated with the assumption that the women's relationship should continue.  Perhaps they may end up living in two homes, with the point of the V spending half her time in each, or maybe they will have to simply try to get along in one home, making sure that each arm of the V has their own bedroom.  Either way, each arm of the V will have to respect the other's space and autonomy if it is to work well.  The woman whose relationship with the man has broken down will be in particular need of support if she would have preferred her relationship with the man to continue: he will need to accept that, and that his partner will need to spend more time with his metamour than with him, at least for a few months.   

In all cases, I think it is important to remember that every person in the relationship is a whole human being, worthy of respect and consideration, just as we want respect and consideration for ourselves.  It can be particularly difficult to remember this and to behave appropriately in times of change, when tempers may be high and there can be a tendency to demonise the person who is trying to push an agenda we don't want, but we should do our best.  It is important to behave in an adult manner, and not descend to childish name-calling or abuse, sulking, drama, threats or one-upmanship.  It is not a competition to grab what we can from the situation.  It is not a win-or-lose situation.  It is a co-operative venture to try to make sure that everybody's needs can be met as effectively as possible within the limits of the situation.  Everybody will gain in some ways and lose in others, and nobody can expect to get all of what they want.  To assume otherwise, and to resent not having it all, is to behave like a child who wants Mummy to buy her a cake and refuses to understand that Mummy simply does not have that much money right now.  It comes down to justice, to doing our best to recognise other people's needs and to treat them fairly, and also being fair to ourselves.   
94
Poly Intimacy / Let's be Real and Blunt
« Last post by Administrator on April 26, 2013, 08:12:58 PM »
Some people think they are poly because they've had group sex or sex with several different people within the same time frame.  Having group sex or a threesome, or sex with Dan on Tuesday and John on Wednesday does not make you polyamorous.  It only means you've had sex with multiple people. 

Being polyamorous means we've emotionally committed ourselves to loving relationships with more than one person. Obviously, investing ourselves emotionally to one person is already difficult enough, but doing so with more than one person is even more taxing. 
95
Poly Communication / Re: Being Honest With Ourselves
« Last post by Administrator on April 26, 2013, 07:58:35 PM »
Great conversations so far.  Some great points brought up too.

Here's a question though.  What happens when you continue to have these conversations with yourself, and you find that over time what you want changes, but you are already knee deep into a poly relationship?

Thanks,

Steady
96
Poly Communication / Re: Being Honest With Ourselves
« Last post by Deorccwen on April 26, 2013, 03:09:43 PM »
A great post, Antony, thank you!

I would add to your list of what people want, that some actively want to be with a partner who has other partners, but do not want other partners themselves.  There can be a lot of reasons for this, but the main one I have come across is people who want a relationship, but also need a lot of time to themselves, for personal, emotional, health or career reasons.  In these cases, the person may not have the time or energy to devote to someone who wants an exclusive relationship and expects them to be their only - or main - source of companionship and emotional support.  In this case, I would suggest that the person concerned needs to be particularly careful to be honest with themselves and any possible partners about whether this is an arrangement that they want long-term or permanently.  E.g. For someone who wants this type of relationship for career reasons, is the career demand a relatively short-term thing?  Are you likely to want something different from that partner or from your relationship once the deadline is met?  It's important to look to the long-term, and to be absolutely honest with yourself and your partner, rather than drop a bombshell months or years after you have got together.  'I want us to be monogamous now, honey!' or 'I'll be looking for additional partners myself now!' when the possibility has never before been discussed between you is likely to lead to unnecessary pain all round. 

Often, people assume that polyamory means that every person in a poly relationship should have, or want to have, multiple relationships.  This is just not always the case.  A person can be poly in that they are not just tolerant but happy for their only partner to have other relationships, and can genuinely delight in the joy their partner experiences in other relationships (compersion) even if they don't especially want more than one relationship themselves.  This was certainly the case for me throughout most of my adult life (although, unlike the people I describe above, it was never an actual goal for me).  I never felt that I lacked anything in having only one partner while Kester had more than one.  But I said from the start that I might one day want another partner myself, so that option was always on the table, and so it was not as much of a shock to him when I did meet someone else I fell in love with.
97
Poly Communication / Re: Being Honest With Ourselves
« Last post by Natja on April 26, 2013, 09:00:33 AM »
Excellent post!  With loads to think about.
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I don't mean standing in the corner talking to yourself or wandering down the street talking to the air.  I mean being honest with your self about how you feel about poly and living a poly life.

Aaaah this strikes home,  I have always been very good at fooling myself, especially when it comes to matters of the heart,  I feel that for me it has been a constant evolving journey of self discovery between what I like, what I want and what I am capable of.  I think when you first start out in a Poly relationship you are so consumed with aspects regarding managing your jealousy it can be easy to lose sight of what you actually want and need out of your relationship/s.  I found I was doing things that were counter to my needs in a desperation to stave off the green eyed monster. 

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Poly is not for everyone. 

I think at this point it is good to separate out Polyamory and Poly sexuality, there are plenty of people claiming to be Polyamorous whereas their behaviour is closer to poly sexual in that they donít really have the capacity to truly love more than one.  So we usually use Poly in a relationship sense but do we exclude those who have relationships that are less emotional and more sexually based? I donít know but I know the situation is more complex than just Poly vs. Mono.
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There are those in the poly community that would have you believe that being poly is easy.

I have never seen that statement made by anyone who isnít invariably new.  Honestly, it is as classic as that man who accused me of not being as evolved enough to have a Polyamory (lack of jealousy) gene like he did (most of you will know who I am talking about) the fact that he was looking for Polygyny and did not even have to confront his own jealousy was totally lost on him.

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It's important that we reflect on ourselves. 

I have been doing this a lot more recently, as it is only up to each individual how they wish to structure the shape of their futures and bring about happiness, I needed to stop acting like a victim of circumstance and take control.  It is only with experience can you know what works for you and what doesnít, learning from our mistakes hopefully makes us not only better partners but also better people.  I feel so fortunate to have had the time to reflect and be more radically honest with myself, to realise/reaffirm my needs which I had ignored for a long time.  This was an aspect of me not being honest with myself and causing me to be very sad and probably not the best I could be, because I devalued my own needs.   By being dishonest with ourselves we can hurt ourselves far more than anyone else, it is so important to continue being honest with yourself as we grow and change and discover new things about ourselves also.

Natja
98
Poly Communication / Being Honest With Ourselves
« Last post by Admin on April 25, 2013, 06:42:54 PM »
You hear a lot about communicating with your partners.  There is another aspect of communication that people should be aware of. 

Communicating with yourself.

I don't mean standing in the corner talking to yourself or wandering down the street talking to the air.  I mean being honest with your self about how you feel about poly and living a poly life.

Poly is not for everyone. 

There are those in the poly community that would have you believe that being poly is easy.  That anyone who is open minded and willing to try can be poly.  Some say that if you can't be poly, there's something wrong with you. 

Poly is not for everyone.  Some people are happy in life single.  Others have to be with someone.  Some want to be the one and only for someone.  Others can and want to love many people.  There are a few who don't know what they want.

Who are you?

It's important that we reflect on ourselves.  Be honest.  What do you want?  Where are you emotionally?  Mentally?  Is polyamory for you?  It can be scary embarking on a new poly relationship or discovering that your partner wants you to consider the idea of poly.  It can be even a little disconcerting to discover you want to be poly. 

No matter what you may feel it's important you are honest with yourself.  Self reflection is important.  Examine your motives.  Examine your feelings.  Know why you choose to act in the way you do.  Good or bad, honesty is the best policy with ourselves.  Knowing your own motivations can help you.

It can be painful.

It can be scary.

It can be exhilarating and freeing.

"To thine own self be true."  Being honest with yourself is a good first step finding happiness with in your life and relationships.

Be honest.
99
Poly Intimacy / Re: "The New Normal Sex" by Dr. Marty Klein
« Last post by Administrator on April 25, 2013, 06:29:44 PM »
It's definitely a cultural mixed with religious situation here.
100
Ethical Scenarios / Re: Privacy
« Last post by Administrator on April 25, 2013, 06:28:16 PM »
It is horrifying, deeply so.  Becca, that was a great example.  Thank you!
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