Poly

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Sea
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Re: Poly

Postby Sea » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:43 pm

I might say I'm a polyamorous asexual... hmm... but poly-affectionate is probably more appropriate, as others have said. Right now I'm sticking with aromantic because otherwise the woods become very thick and it's difficult to figure out what's going on.

What made me realize that I might be interested in a polyamorous relationship was that one of my closest friends introduced me to her girlfriend and I, unfortunately, "fell in love" for lack of a better phrase. But I didn't want to break them up -- I wanted to join them. :eh: I think they might've actually considered it if they weren't both more interested in keeping their romance to one person at a time. It'd be a bit more complicated by the fact that we all live thousands of miles away from each other and have never met in person. An online poly relationship sounds like it could be difficult. What I have now is great, anyway, because I've got two good friends and what is actually a rare and awesome situation. Now if I could just get rid of that pesky jealousy... I'm working on it.

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ily
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Re: Poly

Postby ily » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:44 pm

Random question about polyamory...do people see being polyamorous as an "inborn" state, like an orientation? Or would the desire to be polyamourous differ based on the situation?

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Siggy
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Re: Poly

Postby Siggy » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:20 am

Perhaps some people think of polyamory as an orientation, but I gather that this is not very common, not even among poly people. Actually, I once asked a poly woman how some people know they are poly from a young age, and this is how she answered.
Some people (including my husband, according to him), just grew up with the idea that it would be fine to have more than one person to love. Reading Heinlein helps too :-) And I think that a desire for polyamory can spring from the kind of upbringing you had, in part at least. So it’s not a matter of realizing some sort of orientation, just growing up without any existing resistance to the idea as opposed to growing up learning about monogamy as the only acceptable option.

Mind you, not everyone knows from a young age.

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ily
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Re: Poly

Postby ily » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:02 pm

Thanks for the reply...the only poly people I've ever encountered in "RL" were people on a panel about relationship styles. One guy did say that his poly identity somehow came from his upbringing. As a kid, I always visualized getting married, but I don't know if this is social conditioning or a clue that I'm "naturally" monogamous. My follow-up question would be whether "poly" is always your identity, whether you're in a poly relationship or not. Or does it end with the relationship? I'm guessing this would vary, but I have so little knowledge of the topic.

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Dargon
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Re: Poly

Postby Dargon » Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:53 pm

First and foremost, my views on relationships are still similar to what has already been expressed in this thread, but differ a little. I do not see the point in differentiating between friendships and "relationships," and I think each relationship should be allowed to grow as it will. Without the differentiation between a friendship and a relationship, there really isn't need for the label of "polyamorous," but most on the outside looking in may view such a setup as such.

That being said, most would also say I haven't even dated, though they might say a few of my relationships fall into the "complicated" realm (though quite honestly I don't think they're that "complicated."

Take that as you will with regard to whether or not I am polyamorous. As for being born that way or not, I can only speak for myself. When I was a child, I pictured that I would one day grow up, get married, and have children, however, that was simply because that is what people are "supposed to do." As I got into high school, I was fairly confident I had no interest in dating, and furthermore, I was confident I was incapable of feeling "romantic love". There was one person in high school and one in college that triggered thought on the topic, and once I actually spent time thinking about it, I came to the conclusions mentioned above.

My case is probably atypical in every way possible, but I figured I'd share, maybe it might shed some light.

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Re: Poly

Postby fridayoak » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:08 pm

I was going to make a thread about polyamoury but I see there is one so I'll post here.

I've been thinking a lot aout this recently. I'd heard about Polygamy ages ago but never had any thoughts towards, apart from "fair enough, not for me but fine for others as long as they're happy" but I suppose I was generally a little suspicious but mostly it just didn't fit for me (this was mostly documentaries about Polygamous realtionships but I think I still thought the same regarding Polyamoury).

When I was 18/19 I essentially had 2 girlfriends, but that was me having an affair I guess, well I justified it as going out with one girl cos she liked me and I thought ok fine, but then I met another who I fell in love with (they overlapped for about 3 months). And I've not felt Polyamorous for nearly 10 years since.

But now I don't know how I feel cos I really can't summon up any enthusiasm for another typical monogomous relationship, it just doesn't apeal. And now I don't know what to do cos there's 2 girls who I know for a fact have romantic feelings for me, and theres another who I have feelings for but I'm not sure exactly how she feels towards me. I've met them all in RL and although none live in my city they all live fairly close, and they're all asexual.

And for weeks now I've been thinking about what I want from it all, and I have no conclusion whatsever, the only thing that keeps popping up in my head is "well I guess I'm polyamourous but that can't work in practice". But sometimes I think maybe I should explain all this, and see how they'd all feel about it, but that seems kinda like a difficult task to say the least. It's such a massive thing to explain, and I wouldn't know where to start. I know this isn't AVEN (I'm not posting there for the obvious reasons that they might read it, plus the fact that I hate that place at the minute) so I'm not expecting a tonne of relationship advice or anything but if anyone has been in a similar situation in terms of explaining or coming to terms with being polyamourous and how to work it through in practical terms that'd be good.




edit- just realised it's spelt "polyamory" not "polyamoury" but I'm too tired to edit all the mistakes.

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Re: Poly

Postby SlightlyMetaphysical » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:10 am

Hi Fridayoak. I'm in a similar place to you at the moment, in terms of wondering whether to call myself polyamorous, but without the romantic dilemma that you're in. It seems to me that you have four options:
1. Remain single, but involve these three women in your life as good friends
2. Choose one to be monogamously attatched to, and then be friends with the rest
3. Have lots of emotional affairs (not recommended)
4. Float the idea of polyamory

Before you do, it might be worth thinking:
-Why is it that monogamy doesn't work for me? Why don't I want to be in a monogamous relationship?
-If I made my girlfriends accept that I was polyamorous, would I then sincerely and honestly respect their wishes to form other relationships than with me? Would I ever feel compersion ( http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.p ... compersion )
-Do I honestly believe that polyamory is a label I can adopt without feeling guilty about it? You seem very quick to decide that it can't work in practice, how are you going to sell this difficult concept to your suitors without believing in it totally yourself?
-What happens if one of them says no? What happens if one of them is offended?

Bear in mind that my advice is probably worth very, very little. But two more things to think about:
-Try to sell this first off as a personal identity issue, not a request. Talk about different ideas of romance, asexual monogamy, DJ's community-based intimacy, talk about how you've heard sensible things from the poly community and you're questiong if you're poly. Then, if they've accepted your theoretical polyness, you can see if they would like to join you in it.
-Don't confuse polygamy and polyamory. Poly peple might get offended (polygamists might get offended) and it's going to make it much harder to convince your suitors that this isn't just a way of having your cake and eating it too.

God luck. Let me know how you get on.

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Re: Poly

Postby Isaac » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:01 am

The question: are you all romantic? Even being romantic, you may try aromantic relationships like close friendship, with the advantage that friendship is poly by default, contrary to romance. So I would prefer remaining single and forge close friendships with them, but I am aromantic, and there may be something in romantic relationships that does matter to you.

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Re: Poly

Postby KAGU143 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:45 am

I think that my feelings about polyamory have changed as I have grown older, but I don't know if that is due to age alone or if it is due to some of the many things that I learned at AVEN. (It was a very different place a few years ago.)
One thing that I finally realized is that it is not only unrealistic - it is downright cruel - to expect one person to meet ALL of another person's emotional needs. What an eye-opener that was. I have entered into my second marriage with a person who has also learned this lesson and we both give each other quite a bit of slack with what we call (jokingly!) "emotional cheating".

The problem is that this lesson was easy to accept intellectually but very hard to accept emotionally. Jealousy and insecurity cannot be reasoned away, even with the best intentions in the world, and a polyamorous relationship will, I think, always have to include a great deal of re-assurance and, very, VERY open communication. I can't stress that part enough.
It isn't an easy juggling act, but it CAN be done. All of the people involved need to be friends, at the very least, and any attempt at keeping secrets from each other will doom the whole thing. Even accidental omissions which were not intended to be secrets can cause problems. Remember: slight taints of jealousy and insecurity - always present and always need to be addressed.
I thnk that it's worth the trouble, but others might not agree.
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Re: Poly

Postby fridayoak » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:18 pm

Isaac wrote:The question: are you all romantic? Even being romantic, you may try aromantic relationships like close friendship, with the advantage that friendship is poly by default, contrary to romance. So I would prefer remaining single and forge close friendships with them, but I am aromantic, and there may be something in romantic relationships that does matter to you.


Yes I am romantic and so are the other people involved. But the majority of my time I am happy being single but it's been about 6 months since my last relationship and now it seems like i want something romantic but not sure what exactly.

Slightlymetaphysical thanks for the advice, it all makes a lot of sense. The 4 options you mention are the exact same options I've been pondering, and to be honest each one appeals on certain days and then I'll change my mind etc. 3 might not be reccomended but I suppose I have a bit of a history of "emotional affairs" so it might happen, I should point out that in my OP I said "I hadn't felt polyamorous since" but that was misleading, what I meant was that I hadn't considered polyamory/polygomy as a legitimate orientation/lifestyle since, I did have what would probably be termed "emotional affairs". So yeah the line between options 2 and 3 can be very blurry, like what Kagu143 is saying about the whole boundaries and what consitute cheating, it seems like such a minefield, something that I'm not sure I have the skills to negotiate. This is gonna be tricky, that's all I know for now, we'll see how it pans out (or polys out ;) )

God, asexual women are like London buses...(you wait ages for one and then 3 come along at once)

SlightlyMetaphysical
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Re: Poly

Postby SlightlyMetaphysical » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:16 am

fridayoak wrote:the line between options 2 and 3 can be very blurry, like what Kagu143 is saying about the whole boundaries and what consitute cheating, it seems like such a minefield, something that I'm not sure I have the skills to negotiate.


Ok, so analysing someone by a few paragraphs they wrote on the internet isn't exactly infallible, and I may be missing the mark completely, but a little warning sign flashes in my head every time you seem not to recognise the difference between polyamory and emotional cheating, or polyamory and polygamy. The boundaries between these things are not thin and ill-defined, they're big and obvious- if you lie about your emotional involvements with other women, or carry them on even though your partner considers them to be cheating, that's not polyamory. If you lay claim to multiple women, not allowing them to form any other relationships, and silencing their discontent, that's polygamy. Polyamory is not just dating them all because it suits you, polyamory is a mutual, consensual decision between all partners to step outside the rules of monogamy.

What skills do you think you lack for this to work?

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KAGU143
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Re: Poly

Postby KAGU143 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:20 am

I can't speak for Friday, obviously, but just to clarify: I wrote "emotional cheating" because that's what Kæth and I call it, in a joking fashion. I like the term and the way that we use it because it serves as a reminder to both of us. We KNOW that there is no cheating actually taking place but we are also grown up enough to know that the inner voices of fear and jealousy cannot ever be silenced completely. The reminder that a harmless friendship *might* be seen as something else serves as a warning to both of us to keep our communication channels open.
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

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Re: Poly

Postby fridayoak » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:36 am

SlightlyMetaphysical wrote:
fridayoak wrote:the line between options 2 and 3 can be very blurry, like what Kagu143 is saying about the whole boundaries and what consitute cheating, it seems like such a minefield, something that I'm not sure I have the skills to negotiate.


Ok, so analysing someone by a few paragraphs they wrote on the internet isn't exactly infallible, and I may be missing the mark completely, but a little warning sign flashes in my head every time you seem not to recognise the difference between polyamory and emotional cheating, or polyamory and polygamy. The boundaries between these things are not thin and ill-defined, they're big and obvious- if you lie about your emotional involvements with other women, or carry them on even though your partner considers them to be cheating, that's not polyamory. If you lay claim to multiple women, not allowing them to form any other relationships, and silencing their discontent, that's polygamy. Polyamory is not just dating them all because it suits you, polyamory is a mutual, consensual decision between all partners to step outside the rules of monogamy.

What skills do you think you lack for this to work?


When I was talking about the boundaries not being clear I meant between your option 2 and 3, in terms of a monogomous relationship where I would be close friends with other girls, and between being in a monogomous relationship and having emotional affairs. I was saying that for me sometimes having a strong friendship with a girl and having an "emotional affair" can be very hard to disinguish the difference between. There's no universal guideline for what an "emotional affair" actually constitutes as far as I'm aware, so that's why I see it as a blurry line between that and a close friendship between the opposite sex on some occasions.

I know Poylamory means all parties are complicit in the relationship, I was saying that I don't think I have the skill....

wait I see what's happened here I think, the above sentence that you quoted from me; well I was really concluding the previous sentence (about what I talk of above) and then replying to Kagu in the same one, I shouldn't have done that as it reads very confusingly. Sorry. I know the what Polyamory means, that everyone involved knows each person knows about each other, the stuff about "emotional affairs" was me saying that in the past I have had what one might deem "emotional affairs", and it was this that made me think about Polyamory or being Polyamorous, not that it actually equalled Polyamory itself. So I was saying this showed I had Polyamorous tendences/desire for the future etc I wasn't saying I was in practice at the time. I hope that explains things better.

As for skills, well I mean about explaining and bringing it up to people as an idea (so option 4) cos as you can see I'm not exactly good at explaining things of this nature, so I'd find it difficult to broach the issue to people. Like I don't think I have the communication skills cos I'd imagine 3 different girls will have 3 different ideas about all this, so the thought of me bringing al that together in practice seems daunting. Plus even though they've all met each other, it's not like any of them are good friends so I'd be the one who has to take the lead and perhaps engender friendships between them, so that's a lot of work. And then (and I guess this is what I was replying Kagus post) you have the issue over trust and even though they might all no about each other, what happens if I develop stronger (or even just different) feeling for one over the other/s? And even after setting boundaries, I'd imagine it would be hard to self-police, I mean how do you do it? in terms of time spent with each, or emotional involvement? And how do you measure that anyway. I dunno, it just seems like a lot to think about that's all I meant really.

Sorry if I've come off as a bastard, I'm just saying how I feel about it.

SlightlyMetaphysical
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Re: Poly

Postby SlightlyMetaphysical » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:20 am

Ok, I can see where the misunderstandings crept in. My love of numbered lists can be a real pain. And I never meant to imply that you were being a bastard, you're clearly thoughtful and sensitive, just that you might not fully understand the implications of becoming poly.

Yeah, deep friendship/emotional cheating is such a tough line, sometimes.
When I asked what skills you were thinking of, I had an inkling you were going to say communication. The trouble is that all of your options require it. Pretty much every poly resource I read says that communication is the absolute crucial factor in polyamory. You're going to have to develop the ability to communicate really well, whichever option you choose.

I feel like I might as well answer, to the best of my knowledge (which is limited), the points of your last paragraph.
In terms of communication, here's one particularly nuanced tutorial that I recommend, and there are others within easy googling: http://www.xeromag.com/fvpolycommunication.html
Yes, it'll help an awful lot if you gradually get them all to know each other. Yes, this requires effort. On the other hand- you're four asexuals who have a reasonable amount in common within a small area. Even if you had some obection to inviting more than one of them out to dinner at some point, I'm guessing you met up with all or most of them because they're each interested in meeting asexuals in real life. They'd probably react pretty well if you tried to form better bonds.
Issues over trust will be difficult. You're going to have to let your relationships be what they are- there's no way you'd ever give each one 33.3% of your attention, so don't try. The important thing is not that everyone is the same, but that everyone is fulfilled. I can't remember where I read it, but on one of the poly resources, someone said "'I want you to spend as much time with me as her!' is the wrong demand, it should be 'I wan't you to spend more time with me'." If you're going to have three relationships that are exactly the same, what's the point of having three relationships?
Basically, don't be afraid of 'stronger or different' feelings.You can make that work. Don't think about measurement, don't get techical or mathmatical. This is just about what makes everyone happy.
And about self-policing, I recommend the whole of this resource: http://freaksexual.wordpress.com/2008/0 ... y-tips-ii/ , but especially the bit about boundaries, and especially the bit that says, in big, bold letters, "make boundaries specific".

ETA: Just noticed that the first resource has lots of other articles linked to the right, including ones about poly/mono conversations.

disjointed

Re: Poly

Postby disjointed » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:11 am

I wouldn't worry what poly anyone called you...unless it was poly tunnel

the more i learn and spend time on asexual sites the more I feel whatever slot we feel comfortable with..most of us will flex from and into various stages and grades of asexuality..and I don't think thats a bad thing at all

easier to do when single..not so easy when in a couple..but more or less..I'm just happy being me in all my magnificent flawed personalities

fridayoak
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Re: Poly

Postby fridayoak » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:25 am

Hmmm I'm not sure at all now about my polyness. I mean I think maybe it's just something I was contemplating when I was single and thinking about something different that might improve my life rather than a realistic alternative. Perhaps it's just easy to look back at past relationships and think "hey that didn't work perfectly so maybe I should have been this/done that etc".
Last edited by fridayoak on Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BBQPizza
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Re: Poly

Postby BBQPizza » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:20 pm

Hmmm I'm not sure at all now about my polyness. I mean I think maybe it's just something I was contemplating when I was single and thinking about something different that might improve my life rather than a realistic alternative. Perhaps it's just easy to look back at past relationships and think "hey that didn't work perfectly so maybe I should have been this/done that etc".

Right now I've decided to enter a rromantic relationship with an asexual girl and I have absolutely no worries about letting down my polyamouros tendenceis or whatever. I feel calm and being around her makes me completley want a monogomous relationship so I guess I'm not polyamorous at all. Maybe I just like to explore these sorts of issues by thinking about them but currently I'm feeling high as a kite and I don't see that changing.


Aww, really? I was hoping you might get ideas to connect us all, mouth to ass. :P ;)

fridayoak
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Re: Poly

Postby fridayoak » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:36 pm

Ahaha, well if I do then I promise to put you at the front :D

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Re: Poly

Postby Mage » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:07 pm

I do identify as a polyamorous asexual. You can read some of my opinions on polyamory here: http://acefeminisms.blogspot.com/2010/10/friendship-as-polyamory.html

I began to identify as polyamorous when I was 12 or 13 years old. I had a primary relationship with someone who was far older than I was, and she introduced me to the idea. It made perfect sense to me and didn't require a whole lot of explanation. This was probably easier for me to embrace because our relationship took place over the internet. We both had multiple partners, online and IRL. Since then, I've continued to think of myself as polyamorous, though I've found that I generally feel romantically attracted to only one or two people at a time, while needing to be affectionate with many others.

Right now I'm starting a relationship with someone who has only ever been in monogamous relationships, and so I'm entertaining the idea of being monogamous with her. If this happens, I'll be a little embarrassed to admit to my friends that I'm doing this, since I actually talked several of them into becoming polyamorous and convinced them that monogamy is an oppressive institution. :lol: I suppose if I describe the relationship as mono-amory it'll seem more acceptable...

As for jealousy, I honestly don't believe that it can be helped sometimes! I think jealousy is a sign of attachment and is healthy, to a point. Many people find that setting up boundaries and checking in with their partner about the other people they are involved with helps to mitigate jealousy, though.
"If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
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Re: Poly

Postby intern2byv » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:54 am

An anonymous person with a crush once described me as poly-affectionate. I like that.

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CatBunny
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Re: Poly

Postby CatBunny » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:36 pm

Poly is a choice at least that's what I know after years of trying to understand it apparently it's just a social thing humans and other animals figure out what works for them. Apparently being monogomous is even more of a choice and poly is a status quo type deal.

As for me being aro I envisioned I could cheat on finding a queerplatonic relationship (because it's hard as hell to find one) and sneak myself into a poly relationship because it sounds like half the work of trying to be romantic but really you gotta be 10x more dedicated than just a mono relationship and love EVERYONE romantically, friendwise and everything else. You can't just be a bottom feeder, you gotta realize you got 20 husbands and wives expecting you to be involved.
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