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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » the noble pursuit of polyamory

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Author Topic: the noble pursuit of polyamory
Member # 10373

Icon 12 posted      Profile for naughtykitty     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would love any feedback regarding my current situation...
I have never experienced a polyamorous relationship, but I am very interested in the lifestyle, and I want to try it. The person I am currenty interested in pursuing a relationship with originally expressed openess to a poly lifestyle as well, which is part of why I continued pursuing the relationship. Now he says he doesn't think he can do it.
I am now feeling rather stuck... on one hand, I am quite interested in being polyamorous.
On the other hand, I really like this guy.
So I am questioning if it is better to stick with the lifestyle and remember that there are always other fish in the sea... or to give the relationship a try.
I know this is all ultimately my decision, but I would love some feedback...
Has anyone else been in this situation, or seen it, or can anyone shed light on it in any way?
Do you think if I choose to abandon my attempts at a poly lifestyle, I will likely regret it and ultimately end my relationship with him to follow poly feelings anyway?

Posts: 10 | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 5578

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This type of lifestyle is fine if all of your partners consent with it. That wouldn't be fair at all to be dating 2 other people and one not knowing or not consenting!!

So, if it's going to be a sexual thing, make sure everybody knows everbody else's test results from their STDs and STIs screenings!

Click here for everything you've ever wanted to know about Polyamory!

"Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. "
- Frank Outlaw

Posts: 1619 | From: TEXAS | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Something you might want to think about is what you mean when you say a "poly lifestyle." Because heck if I know what that means, and yet, I've worked in sexualuty for years.

People is polyamorous relationships do not all live one type of life, the same way people in monogamous relationships do not all have a "lifestyle."

In fact, of the many, many people I've known over the years who have been in poly relationships, I can't think of a set or two of any of them who have had the same lifestyle.

So, what exactly is it that you are looking for here and wanting?

Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Member # 8067

Icon 1 posted      Profile for logic_grrl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From naughtykitty's post, I got the impression that she was asking whether to be monogamous with this person or not become involved with him and instead seek relationships with other people who would be open to polyamory.

Ultimately, this is something only she can decide.

But here's my personal 2 cents, from my experiences with non-monogamy:

Remember, this isn't something where you have to make a single decision now to cover the entire rest of your life. Many people have monogamous relationships at some points in their life, poly relationships at others. Some people find that a monogamous relationship is right for them in one situation, with one particular person, but that in another situation with other people they will choose to be poly. Some people decide to "open" a monogamous relationship by mutual agreement, or "close" a poly one, depending on how it develops.

So choosing to explore a monogamous relationship with this guy doesn't mean giving up the possibility of having poly relationships at some point in your future (unless you think you'll be with this guy for the rest of your life - and if you do think he could be the love of your life, that's a strong reason to take this relationship very seriously and give it every chance!).

Personally, I'm not really sure that there's such a thing as "poly feelings", to be honest (at least, I'm not sure how they're any different from "monogamous feelings"). Polyamory is a way of dealing with attraction to multiple partners - choosing to be non-monogamous in an ethical way - and it works for some people.

You don't mention any on-going sexual relationships you want to continue, or other people you want to start relationships with, so it sounds as your "poly feelings" might perhaps be more about liking the idea of polyamory than anything else right now.

As Miz S has said, a lot depends on you and what you want.

If what you're saying is "I like this guy, but I personally don't want to be in any sort of monogamous relationship ever and don't think I could commit to that", then clearly getting into a relationship with him wouldn't be fair to either of you - he's made it clear that he doesn't feel he could handle a non-monogamous relationship.

On the other hand, if what you're saying is "I like this guy, and I want to give a one-to-one relationship with him a try, but I'm really kinda attached to the idea of being polyamorous" - then that might be a cue that you might want to re-think your priorities. Might you be in danger of placing attachment to an abstract idea (polyamory as this cool and interesting thing) over your actual feelings and the relationship possibilities actually open to you?

Posts: 6944 | From: UK | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
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I have three long term partners; I guess you could say I'm poly. However, as I'm fond of saying, I don't have a lifestyle. I have a life. I was monogamous, and I could happily be monogamous again if that's how things turned out.

As Heather noted, I'm wondering what exactly yo think the "poly lifestyle" is, and why you want it. Poly relationships I know about span the gamut from single people who are open to more than one relationship if it comes their way, closed "families" who don't have relationships outside of their group, couples who have a primary relationship with more casual relationships, people who have sexual relationships with only one person but who form romantic or intimate relationships with other people, and an entire myriad of other relationships. What exactly are you looking for?

I'd encourage you to read the FAQ Daydreamer posted, and to think about what you want, and to talk with your current relationship interest about what he wants, and why.

Ideals are ideals. People are people. I'm more interested in having relationships with actual people than relationships that fit into some ideal model. So, if you want a relationship with this person, I'd go for it, rather than holding out for someone who fits into an ideal lifestyle that I might not even want or not be sure about. However, if you don't want a relationship with him, don't force it, and don't force yourself to do something that you feel would be dishonest to yourself or dishonest to him.


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Member # 10373

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Thank you all for your replies.
What I mean by poly lifestyle is really just the openess to being with other partners, in any sense.. be it romantic, sexual, any combination, or anything else.
I am not actively *seeking* but at the same time I would like for us to have that freedom.
I have not experienced anything that would fall under that category, and I suppose I mostly just want the opportunity to be there, whether I end up taking advantage of it or not.
Once again, thanks so much for your replies, and Daydreamer24 thanks much for the link! It all gives me [and my potential partner] alot to read and think about.

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Member # 8067

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I'd also suggest checking out the book "The Ethical Slut" by Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt, and sharing it with your potential partner if non-monogamy is something he's still open to discussing and considering.

It's a good guide to some of the issues and problems that can come up, and to how people in various sorts of ethically non-monogamous relationships can negotiate their limits and boundaries together.

Posts: 6944 | From: UK | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 15094

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I'm kind of in a similar situation right now; and I'm kind of nervous myself, seeing as I've seen relationships wrecked by this kind of thing.

Logic_grrl has the right idea: Read The Ethical Slut, and show it to him. (OTOH, I've heard that Love Without Limits is not a good resource.)


[This message has been edited by qitelremel (edited 10-13-2003).]

Posts: 19 | From: California, USA | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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