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Author Topic: Polyamory and Me  (Read 3074 times)

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Online MintprincessTopic starter

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Polyamory and Me
« on: August 30, 2016, 07:32:58 PM »
Iíve spend my life as a unknowingly polyamorous person in a monogamous world, wondering why I was happy with my relationship, but still unhappy in general.   As in, I love my partner, being with my partner and spending time with my partner and yet, constantly feel like something is always missing.  For most of my life, I just assumed something was wrong with me, that I was one of those people that just couldnít be content with what she had.  I spent my life in daydreams and buried myself in roleplay with characters who were always a little part of me.  I walked the line of cheating, had relationships on the internet, and dreamed of other lives than the one I had.

Maybe a lot of that is normal.   Itís hard to know, because most of us donít talk about those things that arenít in line with the Ďnormí.  And while the world has become more and more accepting of alternate lifestyles, sexuality, and gender-identity (even though we still have a long way to go), statistically there isnít a lot of acceptance of polyamory.  It isnít openly talked about (yet) and in my opinion, is highly misunderstood.

So the thought of this blog crossed my mind as a place that I can talk about and others can talk to me about if they wish.   This blog is open for all comments, but no judgement of those who comment or what lifestyles they choose.  I am no more opposed to monogamy than I believe people should be opposed to polyamory, and believe that just like sexuality and gender identity, what you do in the bedroom and who you love and how you want to express yourself are personal choices that should be celebrated and not criticized.   

When I came to E, I labeled myself as monogamous, bi-curious heterosexual, but stated that on E I was polyamorous and bisexual.   What I was really saying was that I was living in the real world one way, and able to be myself on E, but I hadnít quite connected that the person I was being on E was always who I really wanted to be and hadnít realized it or allowed that realization to be understood.  Now I know that Iím fully 100% bisexual in romantical, sexual, and emotional sense and experiencing polyamory and forming true committed relationship outside of monogamy has satisfied me in a way that Iíve never felt in my entire life. 

And looking back for the past 20 years, I can see the signs like blinding headlights now.   The things I did, the lines I walked, the justifications I made, the needs I had but never allowed myself, the desires that constantly plagued me and the feeling of being so trapped in a cage that when I broke, I broke.

I am no expert on poly, so donít expect me to be.  I couldnít tell you how to be success in poly short of what Iíve always considered to be obvious - honesty, respect, and communication - but this is new territory for me as well.

What I am, if not an expert on, very knowledgable on are the emotions and experiences of a woman who traveled through life unsatisfied and finally came to understand who she was, who felt caged and trapped in a life that just wasnít exactly what she needed and yet one she couldnít imagine ever giving up, and how she finally came to understand who she was and what she needed.  This journey spans twenty years, although the bulk of the changes have happened in the last two, since I came to E.  In truth, E has really opened my eyes to who I am and given me a chance to understand myself better.  And for that Iím grateful.

Iíll link all future entries here so feel free to comment and ask questions.   I know I want to write about looking back, what I see now that should have been red flags, and how I came to realize that being part of a polyamorous relationship is what I needed.  I also know other things will strike me that I have to put down.    What I wonít write about are personal details of my relationships or aspects that I donít feel comfortable sharing.   I wonít be an advice column or therapist but I will try and answer questions about my experiences that could help others if they feel they need it.   I know Iím not the only person in life who has struggled to understand why being happy with one person has always been so difficult. 

And hopefully Iíll find writing about this to be enjoyable and so will you!


Entries
Transition Question Answered
Red Flags
More than Two
A Very Long Reponse


Notes

1. I am 100% open to comments or questions in this blog.  Feel free to drop whatever positive, encouraging, open or constructive feedback you have.
2. I am 100% open for the same in PM, if you don't feel comfortable making your comment here, given the blog is public.


Resources
https://www.morethantwo.com - A website with Articles on Polyamory
More than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory - A book I'm reading


« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:04:55 PM by Mintprincess »

Offline CuriousEyes

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 11:54:41 AM »
If I'm reading this correctly it sounds like in real life you've been transitioning a monogamous relationship into a polyamorous one?

I'd be interested in hearing about that - if your partner was/is resistant to the idea, how the topic was broached, any anecdotes about the triumphs or difficulties along the way. As someone who quietly struggles with the idea of monogamy himself, I can imagine it must have been very difficult to try to get a partner who engaged in a relationship with the expectation of one thing to be told you need another.

Offline CuriousEyes

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 11:56:20 AM »
Oh, bah. I just realized I might not have read deeply enough - these may be things you aren't comfortable discussing. Apologies and disregard if so.

Online MintprincessTopic starter

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2016, 12:51:23 PM »
Oh, bah. I just realized I might not have read deeply enough - these may be things you aren't comfortable discussing. Apologies and disregard if so.
i don't mind answering those questions. I'll do my best, and I can always pm for anything I think is too personal. Yes I have transitioned in real life completely to poly. It was about a year Journey with my SO to reach that point and still one we are working on. 

Give me some time and I'll work on those answers :)

Online MintprincessTopic starter

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 07:35:50 PM »
Transition Question Answered

Quote
I'd be interested in hearing about that - if your partner was/is resistant to the idea, how the topic was broached, any anecdotes about the triumphs or difficulties along the way. As someone who quietly struggles with the idea of monogamy himself, I can imagine it must have been very difficult to try to get a partner who engaged in a relationship with the expectation of one thing to be told you need another.

Yes my partner was resistant to the idea.  Extremely, and understandably so.  As you said, you engage in a relationship with certain expectations, especially one that is long term.  My partner and I have been together over 17 years and these are issues of mine that I've suppressed and struggled with sometime consciously, sometimes unconsciously since before we got together.

This was not some overnight switch that was flipped. Itís been two years of struggling, containing, messing up, compromising, fighting, and talking.   Initially, when I finally confessed to being poly and needing other people in my life, we compromised on internet relationships. Iíd already been having them anyway, so we just continued on with that, except now my partner knew and it was uncomfortable and weird to have them looking over my shoulder all the time or getting angry or avoiding talking about in some days while others asking how my Ďboyfriendí was.  We kinda shifted back into a donít really talk about it mode, but Iím not sure that made it worse.

It came to an interesting place when he woke up at six am and I was on the phone still with my girlfriend.  We had some very deep and strong talks and at that point I was very honest that I didnít think I could stay with the internet thing.  I needed to be at the next level.  And I thought we ended with him being ok with that.  But it was still a lot of struggle to move forward into the place where I was meeting my partners.

Regardless, while I believe there are days he struggles, we are working on keeping our relationship strong.  One always has the choice to stay or go, and as long as we continue to be honest about what we need and want, if he choose to stay itís a part of me he has to accept.

That might sound selfish, but one thing Iíve learned is that if you arenít happy, you canít make others happy and I was growing more and more miserable.   Not being able to be me was bringing DOWN my relationship. Being able to me makes it stronger. 

Iím happy my partner accepted me and decided that our relationship was important enough to continue even though I needed to explore other ones too.   I love him, just like my other partners, just like I have loved many many people in my life and expect that I will probably love many many more.   

I hope that answered your question. Feel free to ask others.


EDIT: I'd like to add that clearly my original partner was male.  He is far far far more comfortable with my girlfriend - hearing about her, talking about meeting her, etc - than my boyfriend.   
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 07:41:25 PM by Mintprincess »

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 04:44:51 PM »
Red Flags

We all know what 'red flags' means.  Those things that should have been obvious at the time, waving in our face, "see me, see me, look at me, hello I'm right here" and yet we don't see them.  We ignore them.  We justify them.  We come up with all the other reasons they might be waving. And then we look back and and they're still brightly color indicators of exactly what we now realize to be so true.

The most brightly colored flag is looking back and realizing I was always looking.  There was never a time in my life where that need to be with someone else was off, except when I was with someone else (emotionally rather than physically).  It was like my mind was always open the possibility of a life with other people, other places, doing other things, with other options. 

That doesn't mean for a moment that I didn't want what I had, because if I didn't want what I had I wouldn't be here with what I have.   And that was the confusing part right?  I don't want to leave, but I want other people.   The thing with that red flag is that it's not quite as red and bright as specific incidents can be.

Behaviors are a lot easier to point to.   In my early years, I never had a boyfriend long.  I usually broke up with them.  That, by itself, isn't really a flag for me, but an indication that even early on I wasn't ready to settle down just to have a relationship.   The one for me that's a biggest flag happened when I was 18.   I had a boyfriend over the summer before college.  We spent a lot of time together.   I slept at his house a lot.  We enjoyed each other's company.  We were intimate and physical and still virgins.   At the same time, I started to like another guy in our group.  I started to enjoy his company and time.   And I did stupid things, like when we all went to the circus I held both their hands.  But I didn't want to NOT hold my boyfriend's hand.  I just wanted to hold the other guy's TOO.   And when I visited the second guy and he wanted to have sex, it felt right and natural and I lost my virginity that day.   And my boyfriend found out.   And while he was hurt, he also wanted to have sex because you know, young guys.  And it felt right to sleep with him too.   I stayed with my boyfriend for awhile, went off to college, didn't want to be tied down (imagine that) and then later slept with and dated the other guy for a time as well.

But looking back, I could have been both of their girlfriend.  And loved it.  And enjoyed it.  And made them both happy. And I would have been happy.  I would have been very happy dating both of them at the same time.  And now that I'm older I feel like that was my first big red flag that poly would have been so much better for me in the long run than monogamy.

My sister even says "Mint when you get drunk you are such a slut."  Because deep down me wants to meet people, flirt, form bonds and let what will happen happen. 

I had many online relationships over the years, a number of which involved the words "I love you." and plenty that included cyber sex.  I told myself, right or wrong, that it was just online, and that while I had feelings and such, I wasn't ACTUALLY getting physical with them.   We wouldn't ever actually meet.   In a pattern I noticed that most of the people I had relationships with lived over the pond, as though that was a safety net so I wouldn't cross more lines.

But that isn't to say that I haven't been physical up to a certain line either.  How close can you push to that line and say it isn't cheating? How close to go and justify it to yourself?  Because I did that.  I can admit that.  Does it count if you and he stare at each other and say all the things you WOULD do if you could?  Does it count if you spent the night and cuddle on the couch and watch a movie but you never actually get physical?  What exactly is the definition of intimacy? What is going too far? If you don't feel like you could tell your SO, does that make it wrong?

Probably.

But we still justify, because finding happiness with someone on the internet to satisfy that 'broken' and 'wrong' and 'unexplainable' side of you seems like a good solution compared to all the other alternatives!

Looking back, I wish I had had more information, more understanding of polyamory. I could have made better choices and been more honest with myself and others around me.  Even after I broke, I still lived with this illusion of all or nothing, of monogamy, of one person, one choice, must chose...

I don't know exactly when poly clicked for me.  I know it was a journey to realize that maybe it was just me and my needs that kept me in this cycle of constantly opening myself up for more.  Looking is probably not the right term, because I don't really feel like I 'look' so much as I leave my door open and if the person who walks in resonates with me romantically and intimately I don't want to have to close them out. 

Monogamy means that door is closed.  Stand outside. You aren't coming in. And for some people that's exactly what they need.   But poly people have that door open and while everyone isn't allowed into the room, we aren't closed off to the idea of letting them in either. 

I think the most important message is that if you're seeing red flags or justifying things, there isn't something wrong with you.  You aren't broken.   Poly isn't a new concept, but at the same time it's not a prominent one or a well understood one.  It doesn't have a model to follow or rules or a lot of things established.  I just wish I had understood my red flags twenty years ago.

But I'm glad I'm finally free to explore them now. 

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2016, 07:39:00 AM »
I love reading about your journey. <3

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2016, 09:22:50 AM »
Thank you Wisti! Any comments or insight is always appreciated. <333333

Online Al Terego

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2016, 07:25:58 AM »
But looking back, I could have been both of their girlfriend.  And loved it.  And enjoyed it.  And made them both happy. And I would have been happy.  I would have been very happy dating both of them at the same time.

So basically you are saying that polyamory is not having to choose.

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2016, 09:12:48 AM »
Everything in life is a choice.  Polyamory is the choice to allow yourself to express love for more than one person romantically. It's the choice to provide for the needs of more than person.  It's the choice to shoulder the emotions of more than one person. It's the choice to handle conflict, experience joy, share special moments, trust and appreciate and experience more than one person.   Like all choices, there are benefits and drawbacks, and like all choices, one must make the choice that works best for themselves.

I firmly believe that like many things there is a scale to poly/mono where at the extreme ends, the people are hard-wired one way or the other.  My Aunt and Uncle are not only monogamous, but they truly enjoy being in each other's company ALL THE TIME.  Short of work and family commitments, I really think they do everything together. You can see that need when you're with them.  It's beautiful.  People who are hardwired to be monogamous -NEED- that bond between themselves and that one person.  They are the type who feel that draw to the 'one'. It's like a craving for them.   (I assume, as I'm not like that.  But I can often hear that in the voices of those who talk about it).

On the other end are those who are hard-wired to be poly.  Who don't feel like there is the one, but rather so many opportunities for love, that leaving that open is a Need.  And while I don't expect anyone who isn't poly to understand that, not having those opportunities feels akin to being caged, being bound, having your heart and soul trapped and unable to break free. 

In the middle there are people who could probably go either way.  They're happy being monogamous - being with multiple people isn't a need - but they could also do it. They could 'be poly'.   They don't have an innate need to be monogamous either. 

I'd compare that to the D/s spectrum, where you have some who are hard-wired to be dominant and cannot be any other way, and trying to be another way is both unsatisfying and personally caging.   Same with being a submissive.   Then you have those in the middle who are neither, both, some variation of dominant with the occasional desire to submit and vice versa, or if not the desire, at least the ability.




I would like to reiterate that my blog is for expression and learning, but not criticism or debate.  I'm happy to field any question, but I do not feel the need the need to 'defend' or 'debate' my choices.  Please use the PROC forum for that purpose.   I am free to live my life as I choose and those who are involved with me as my partners openly know who I am involved with and how. 

Thanks!   

Offline Dwarfvader

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2016, 11:58:25 AM »
Quote
In the middle there are people who could probably go either way.  They're happy being monogamous - being with multiple people isn't a need - but they could also do it. They could 'be poly'.   They don't have an innate need to be monogamous either. 

I've been thinking about myself and where do I fall. And I think this describes this rather well for me. So thank you for putting the words together!

Online Al Terego

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2016, 12:00:13 PM »
Sorry Mint, that was not meant as a criticism, and I failed to convey my point.

What I meant is that poly is not being forced (or forcing yourself) to choose between being with this or that person but rather allowing oneself to be with both (or more).
This gives me, as a monogamous person, a starting point from which I can begin to understand this viewpoint.

I would like to apologize if my poor choice of wording offended you, this was never my intent.

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2016, 12:27:17 PM »
I've been thinking about myself and where do I fall. And I think this describes this rather well for me. So thank you for putting the words together!
I'm glad I can help! I think that applies to a lot of things in life. We have some things we can be, and some things that we are.  And that's ok!  If you have any more questions or thoughts, let me know <3

Sorry Mint, that was not meant as a criticism, and I failed to convey my point.

I would like to apologize if my poor choice of wording offended you, this was never my intent.


Accept and very glad to hear!  There is that negative connotation that 'well you are being greedy or selfish and just want an excuse to do whatever you want!' Or don't want to commit or don't want to actually have to be accountable to people.  I think I read the phrasing as that way. 

Where as I completely disagree that poly is any of those things.  Being committed to multiple people takes time, effort and communication.  It means understanding that your partner may not always be able to spend time with you because they are with their other partner(s) or that you may have to sacrifice something to ensure you are meeting their needs.   There is a huge amount of understanding and care that goes into the feelings of everyone involved.  There is as much commitment to my partners as my original relationship and I'm accountable now to all of them.  I have to consider all their needs when I make a decision about how and where I'm spending my time. 

This is no different than considering the needs of my children, the needs of my workplace, and the needs of my family and friends when I"m deciding how to spend my time, and no different than accepting that there are plenty of times my partners will need to commit their time to jobs and family and friends as well.  There are times when I know one of my partners needs the other partner and I step back and out because I'm not strong unless we're all strong. 

Being greedy or selfish would imply that what's good for the goose isn't ok for the gander, that I wanted to have more than one boyfriend/girlfriend, but they had to be committed only to me.  I didn't want to have to choose, but they had to choose to me.   But I don't consider myself greedy or selfish, for sharing myself with more than one person and equally receiving joy in the fact that they share themselves with others. 

Quote
What I meant is that poly is not being forced (or forcing yourself) to choose between being with this or that person but rather allowing oneself to be with both (or more).
This gives me, as a monogamous person, a starting point from which I can begin to understand this viewpoint.

And yes, being poly allows me to love them all without restraint.  Choosing to leave one partner for another is as painful and unappealing as choosing to stay and give up the chance at love with the newest people in my life.   

Thank you for the comments!!

Online Al Terego

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2016, 12:47:24 PM »
This is no different than considering the needs of my children

I believe this is the best explanation I have heard about polyamory.

Thank you!

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2016, 01:12:28 PM »
You know it's funny, because I use the kid analogy a lot to talk about poly. 

Some people need no children.  They are extremely happy sharing their lives with adults and doting on nieces and nephews but never having their own.  Others are one and done and extremely happy to devote 100% of their parental love to a single child.  Others seem to never stop having children, becoming the parents of large families with love and joy in having multiple children to raise and cherish.   How many children we want is, in my opinion, tied to our need for sharing parent/child love.  How many we have may be influenced by other factor, but I think people 'feel' when they are 'done'.

I know I thought I only wanted two children, but I didn't feel done when I had my twins.  I still didn't feel done when I had my third.  My body has decided I'm done, but emotionally, I am not done.  How many you have is also dependent on the couple, as there are two parents after all.   And the number of children is one of those things they say you need to talk to your partner about before you end up fighting about it later.  It doesn't work very well if someone wants 10 kids and the other wants none.

No one ever says that parents of one child are more loving or more committed than parents of multiple children.  No one is criticized for their choice to have a second child.  No one says "What's wrong with your first child that you need another one?  Why don't they meet all your needs?  Don't you love them enough? How could you hurt them by saying you wanted another one to go with them?" 

Parents equally have a different level of involvement need with their children.   You all know those parents who spend more hours taking their children to sports games and practices and parent meetings and coaching and PTAs and room moms and the like. You know the ones who can't bear to be apart from their kids even for a weekend.  The ones who truly enjoy spending ALL their time with their kids/family.   And you know the parents, like me, who are quite happy when Saturday afternoon the kids run up and down the street with their friends, hit the park, or bury themselves in their bedrooms to play legos or dolls.  I can go off on a trip for a week and while I miss my kids, I'm not -dying- inside either.

There are plenty of people who feel that way with their relationships as well.  They enjoy time with their partner(s) but they equally enjoy time spent doing other things or being with other people. 

Basically I feel like it comes down to society has said that love can be freely given for children, for family, for friends.  You can have more than one job, more than one hobby, more than one interest.

But you cannot have more than one lover/SO/spouse.

 

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2016, 07:06:11 PM »
I just wanted to say I'm enjoying reading your blog and you have a lot to say that's spot on.

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2016, 08:34:19 PM »
I just wanted to say I'm enjoying reading your blog and you have a lot to say that's spot on.
Thank you Amber! I really hope both to enlighten and be enlightened by others who might have another way of looking at things.  Feel free to ask me questions, otherwise I'll probably come up with another random entry soon!

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2016, 03:28:00 AM »
Do you have kids?

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2016, 05:26:40 AM »
Enjoyable reading, Mint.  I'm happy you've taken the steps you have in your journey.

It sounds like to me that, being poly isn't so much a 'choice' per se, but rather, we are forced into the monogamy mold.  Those who are poly then realize something is 'wrong' when they are in that mold, and choose to explore options of breaking out of it or not.  It's a similar sequence to many non-normative human aspects.  These kinds of journeys should be shared in order to move them from the non-normative to the normative and thus get rid of the societal 'molds' we have.

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2016, 11:18:11 AM »
Do you have kids?
Yes I do! Three amazing wonderful children I'm very proud of. <3


Enjoyable reading, Mint.  I'm happy you've taken the steps you have in your journey.

It sounds like to me that, being poly isn't so much a 'choice' per se, but rather, we are forced into the monogamy mold.  Those who are poly then realize something is 'wrong' when they are in that mold, and choose to explore options of breaking out of it or not.  It's a similar sequence to many non-normative human aspects.  These kinds of journeys should be shared in order to move them from the non-normative to the normative and thus get rid of the societal 'molds' we have.

Thank you Ryven!  It's been a long couple years, but so worth it.  I've never been happier than I am right now.   I really appreciate your support and completely agree with you. We need to start opening and sharing these journeys both to show that 'non-normative' is still completely normal and good and so that others can gain both information and support to do the same.  There is nothing worse then feeling like 'something is wrong with you', a feeling that I'm sure a lot of those with non-normative needs go through.   The day I realized there wasn't something wrong with me was an epiphany that I needed so badly.   

And you word that so well.  I don't think 'being poly' is a choice for me.   However, expressing poly was what I meant by we have a choice.  I could have chosen to continue on monogamous and unhappy the rest of my life.  I'm certain that there are many people who make the choice of unhappiness to suppress who they are because they are afraid of societal norms. 

I hope that in time we can continue to expand minds.  I feel society has come a long way with the GLB culture.  We are slowly opening eyes to understanding Trans-gendered needs.  We need to continue to grow on those areas as well as not stigmatizing sex, ending the slut/stud double standard, and accepting that love is love is love no matter what form or number it takes.

<3



Online MintprincessTopic starter

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2016, 09:14:54 PM »
More than Two

More than Two is a book by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert about Ethical Polyamory.   I was recommended this book by my GF.  She was recommended it by a poly friend of hers.  I've read through chapter six and the book is not only insightful about polyamory, it helps lay a foundation for relationships.   Because how can you possibly have multiple relationships if you can't even handle one?   I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in polyamory, and honestly even those who are monogamous, but perhaps open to the ideas or simply curious about the thought processes behind relationships and poly living.   

Anyway, each chapter of the book has questions for thought at the end.   I've worked on answering a lot of them and I discuss them with my trio.  The open communication has been amazingly helpful.   I thought I would share some of the questions and answers that pertained only to me.   Chapter one was introspective, delving into whether or not you might be poly.  Here were my answers. 





Have I ever felt romantic love for more than one person at a time?
This is an easy yes.  I've been feeling love, romantically, for multiple people since as early as 18 years old.   I've struggled with this attraction and need for others all my life.  The romantic feelings of love are usually coupled with sexual desire as well, although typically I have feelings for the person before the sexual desire, not the other way around. 


Do I feel there can only be one "true" love or one "real" soulmate?
No. The world is filled with 7 billion people. If one of them was meant to be your one and only, the chances you would meet them would be so damn tiny it would never happen.  There are plenty of people in this world that would fit romantically and sexually with me, just as that applies to anyone else.   For me, life is about meeting people and enriching myself through those connections, whether they be romantic, platonic, or familial love. 


How important is my desire for multiple romantic relationships?
For me, the desire is strong and always has been.  Thus, I feel it's not only important, but a key and fundamental part of who I am. The book talks about how there are many reasons to practice or engage in polyamory, however it makes a point to say for some its' part of their identity.  I feel I fall into this catagory that it's a deep piece of me.  And not understanding that has led to a lot of emotional stress in my life. 


What do I want from my romantic life?  Am I open to multiple sexual relationships, romantic relationships, or both?  If I want more than one lover, what degree of closeness and intimacy do I expect and what do I offer?
Romance and sexual attraction tend to go hand in hand for me.   I desire sex with those who I am romantically attracted to.   And I desire the non-sexual aspects of a relationship just as much.  Words are very important to me, as is appreciation, and I like to have both from anyone I have relationship with.   I don't want to prioritize my relationships or say that I'm ok being this close to one person and that close to another.   Intimacy and openness and closeness should be 100% with someone who I've committed to and I want to feel that they give me just as much. 


How important is transparency to me?  If I have more than one lover, am I happy with them knowing about each other? If they have other lovers, am I happy knowing them? 
My preference would be that all my lovers were at the very least aquanted.  While I can't and wouldn't expected them to get along, I don't want to hide them or feel I can't talk about them or that I can't share things that are going on between us.  I'd like to meet and be friends with anyone my partners were with.  I feel like love means supporting your partner's happiness and if someone makes them happy, as long as that person isn't actively detrimental to the other relationships, I would want to be supportive and positive about my lover's happiness with them.   


How do I define commitment? Is it possible for me to commit to more than one person at a time, and if so, what would those commitments look like?
Commitment means keeping your word.  Being there for the other person.  Supporting them emotionally, spending time with them, ensuring that your action contribute to positive growth for their person and your relationship. It means doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it.   I fully believe that it's possible to hold commitments to more than one person, no different than we hold commitments to many aspects of our lives.  We are commited to jobs, friends, family, activities, and more.   There is no reason to think that we can't be romantically commited in more than one way the same as we are committed multiple times over in many facits of our lives.  Balance is always key, and the more commitments we have, romantic or otherwise, the less time we have to commit to each person/activity.   Ensuring open communication about time avaliable and when needs can be met is also critical.


If I am already in a relationship, does my desire for others come from dissatisfaction or unhappiness with my current relationship? If I were in a relationship that met my needs, would I still want multiple partners?
The easy answer is no.  Because I've desired multipled partners before my current longest relationship, and during my current when times were up and down.   Knowing how I feel as part of a trio, and knowing that I've desired to be part of a trio for some time now, testing the waters without the full commitment, I feel that wanting and being with multiple partners is a part of who I am.  I believe I felt dissatisfaction with my partner because of the caged feeling of monogamy, of feeling like I needed to reach out and make those bonds and form those relationships and not being allowed to because I was married.  Thus, I feel the unhappiness came from a lack of multiple partners rather than the unhappiness driving me that way.

I also feel that relationships should be able to evolve to where they will naturally go.  Monogamy places a limit on what my potential could be with someone.  It draws a line that cannot be crossed, which can lead to conflict, dishonesty, stressful emotions and a loss of someone that could otherwise be important in my life.   

Offline CuriousEyes

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2016, 07:43:31 AM »
A random question - do you have any thoughts on legal issues surrounding poly individuals? Things you'd want to see changed, what consequences or benefits might be involved, etc?

Off the top of my head I had been thinking of how hospitals very recently restricted end of life decisions (or even the right to be in a room to hold a hand) to gay couples under the argument they weren't legally married. I don't know that you personally want to be legally married to multiple people, but it obviously isn't possible in most of the world.

Online Giantmutantcrab

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2016, 08:32:03 AM »
Hello MintPrincess.

I'm not sure what word to use when speaking of this thread. "Congratulations" seems out of place, as you did not win a race or a competition. It is a good thing to be able to express yourself and to be able to put down words coherently and correctly to express a situation, especially a personal one. So... Bravo, I guess, would be the best word to use in such circumstances.

I'm dipping into this pool because of what I've lived through, many a years ago.


.....



I was with someone, in a one-on-one relationship. And everything was cool. And then... After a long while of being together... She told me she wanted to see and be with other people. Shocked, I asked her if she was breaking up with me. She said that no, no, it was nothing of the sort. She was polyamorous and that she had been suppressing this aspect of her ever since she started her relationship with me. She needed to see other people. Other men, other women. I asked her if she basically wanted an "open" relationship, where intimacy and sexuality was not reserved to one singular individual. She said that no, it wasn't exactly like that. She just... Needed to feel that intimacy with others, too. She had spent a lot of time online and had developed relationships with others. Intimate relationships, quasi-sexual relationships.

To say I was shocked, baffled and dumbfounded would be an understatement. My entire universe had been flipped upside-down. Nothing made sense anymore. Because I loved this person and wished for her happiness, I accepted what she was asking me. We had fights over this. A LOT of fights. Harsh words were shared. But in the end, I understood that this was what she wanted, so I gave in and said yes.

First came the self-blame. What did I do wrong? How did I mess up? Maybe I wasn't attentive enough, or maybe I didn't make her feel cared for correctly. So I tried different approaches. Being more careful, more kind, sweeter, more understanding. Saying yes more often, saying sorry more often, trying to be "better". That didn't work.

Second came the paranoia. The creeping, needle-in-the-back-of-your-skull sensation of what is she doing... right now. Where is she? With who is she? What are they doing right now? Is she safe? Is she happy? Is she... making love to him? Or her? ...Is she even thinking about you in any way, shape or form?

Third came the anger, which is often in the passenger's seat of the paranoia. She dosen't care. She's just using this "polyamorous" bullshit as an excuse to go cheat on me. To go fuck around with whoever she wants, however she wants, and get away with it. And I'm sitting here, on the couch, stupid weak little cuckhold that I am, while she's out wining and dining and doing whatever she damn well pleases.

Fourth came the sadness. She saw this more than the other aspects. She was so happy and free, like a beautiful little butterfly fluttering about freely. Free to do whatever she wanted, free to truly be herself. But I remember one specific evening that she had put her hand on the doorknob and suddenly froze, and looked at me. The television was on, but I was not looking at it. I was sitting on the middle of the couch, looking down at the floor. I could see her from the corner of my eye. She asked me what was wrong. I was unable to actually form words. I wasn't capable of reacting correctly to the situation. I noticed that I was crying, right there and then. She asked me why I was crying. As if she did not know the answer to that question. She immediately countered herself, trying to defend herself. She told me that I had accepted this, and that I had accepted her all that time ago. That this was a part of her as much as all the other parts of her that I had accepted and chosen to love. In mid-sentence she choked up and stopped speaking, moved to sit down next to me and told me she was sorry, that she didn't mean to hurt me. But that this was who she was, deep down inside. That she loved me but that she loved him. And her, too.

I hadn't spoken a word in any of this.

For a while after that, I tried. I pretended that it did not bother me. And some days it didn't. But some days it did. I once told her that she spent so much time with him and with her that she barely spent any time with me. She seemed saddened by this and asked, innocently, if I would like to spend time with him, or with her.

I said that no, I did not care to meet these two other people. I knew of them. She did not hide their identities from me. But I did not want to know who they were or where they lived or what she did with one, or the other. I told her that when we met and began to be together, there had been a tacit understanding between the two of us. That it was the two of us. Her and me. No third party or fourth party involved. That we were together and this was our relationship. She replied that these things could change and that since it was our relationship, we could do whatever we wanted. I corrected that SHE was doing what she wanted. All I wanted was her and to be with her. This was making her happy but was making me unhappy. I did not enjoy the idea of her spending time with others like she spent that time with me. I tried to be understanding, I tried to be open. I really, really did.

She left to see her girlfriend that day. When she came back, I was gone.

I don't know what happened to her after that. I don't know if she stayed with them, or moved on, or got married, or had children. I don't know. All I know is that I left her a letter, not unlike this one, where I explained how everything went from being a happy and sane relationship into this insane, unhappy mess that I was living with daily.


.....


I was once that person that the polyamourous person opened up to. I was once that individual who tried to be the understanding one, the open-minded one, the one that loved this other person and wanted that person to be happy... But who ended up unhappy in the process. And who ended this relationship, suddenly and brutally, because I just had to leave that situation. I do not claim to know you or your partner in any way. I lived a similar situation, only I was not one of the actors on stage but the one sitting down and watching this all unfold, front row and center.

I hope this commentary was not seen as negative, because it was not the goal.

Thank you for your time.

Offline Wistful Dream

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2016, 08:54:04 AM »
A random question - do you have any thoughts on legal issues surrounding poly individuals? Things you'd want to see changed, what consequences or benefits might be involved, etc?

Off the top of my head I had been thinking of how hospitals very recently restricted end of life decisions (or even the right to be in a room to hold a hand) to gay couples under the argument they weren't legally married. I don't know that you personally want to be legally married to multiple people, but it obviously isn't possible in most of the world.

As someone who's been poly for nearing eight years now there's a lot of things I'd like to change on legal issues. I think that poly people should have the right to marry those that they love certainly, and some people have done legal documents that can give most of those benefits but it takes a lot of time and money. I personally don't want to be married, though I'm incredibly committed to both of my men. All three of us feel the same way about it, so that works for us.

I have more than once worried about what might happen if we needed to make choices at a hospital or the like, though as we are a triad relationship as long as rights are given to one of us the other one will get a voice as well before a decision is made.

Online Al Terego

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2016, 11:50:26 AM »
General power of attorney maybe?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_of_attorney