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 happybunny8
Joined: 4/16/2010
Msg: 76
Would you be in a poly relationshipPage 4 of 11    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

When I tell them I watched many people try but they couldn't sustain it, they point to couples that they say are making it work. But none of them have been at it for more than two years and often they will point to couples who have had these "open" relationships for maybe six months.


Yes, this seems to be quite common on POF. And not just about this topic, but rather about any topic "Oh I know of so and so who did this" and then we all learn that the people in the story are divorced or no longer with that person. There are exceptions, but I like to base my examples on LTR, which means +10 years and in many cases +20.

Since I know nothing about poly couples, I cannot confirm this, but someone talking about so and so "trying it right now" does not really qualify as experienced in a poly relationship per se.
 TDH49
Joined: 8/13/2010
Msg: 77
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/6/2011 9:29:41 AM

Yes, this seems to be quite common on POF. And not just about this topic, but rather about any topic "Oh I know of so and so who did this" and then we all learn that the people in the story are divorced or no longer with that person. There are exceptions, but I like to base my examples on LTR, which means +10 years and in many cases +20.

Since I know nothing about poly couples, I cannot confirm this, but someone talking about so and so "trying it right now" does not really qualify as experienced in a poly relationship per se.


When I lived in Haight ashbury in the early eighties I was involved in such a relationship. I lived in a house with 5 women and two other men, it was never boring for the five years I lived there. Every night there would be a different girl sleeping in my room. No jealousy, no cat fighting involving the women, thinking back on it now it was one of my better relationships(If you can call it that).

The other two men and the ladies are still living that lifestyle right now. So I know for a fact that it can work and I have seen it work. It's just no longer something that I would want to be a part of.
 sweetest
Joined: 10/8/2007
Msg: 78
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Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/6/2011 10:18:45 AM
I don't really see myself in one easily..although I have thought if it were ever likely, this would be the time in my life where it would have the best chance of taking root. I find myself much more open to at least thinking through the merits, more than I ever would have earlier.

I am wondering though, are people involved in successful poly relationships just better at relationships in general?

You'd think that they'd almost have to be. It's all well and good to have what is effectively consensual agreement about non-monogamy, but given all that's in play in a poly relationship, are those who succeed in them, simply better at embracing the philosophy or are they better relationship partners?

Further, no matter how well poly is understood and agreed upon between the participants, the vulnerabilities that pull and strain at this type of thing, are probably the same as those in monogamous relationships or in any relationships. And since a poly relationship isn't about having solely an additional sex partner, but having a full-on relationship partner, whereby sex is just one component, I can see how people can get hurt.

The sticking points for me lie in this area: People can't necessarily gauge where they'll end up emotionally even if they enter it rationally embracing philosophy and ways of being.

Moving forward with several intimate relationships would seem to me to beg for comparisons to be made. How does anyone get around the fallout from that? The other aspect...when faced with choice and complexity, don't we all gravitate over time to creating something that works easier?

And by easier, doesn't that mean the eventual emergence of a 'favorite' or a 'preferred' partner... someone that we get along especially well with, with whom we might find a better meshing of personality etc than with one over the other? Doesn't this kind of basic 'relationship evolution' not eventually tank the viability of the concept?

edited
 TDH49
Joined: 8/13/2010
Msg: 79
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/6/2011 10:28:53 AM

Moving forward with several intimate relationships would seem to me to beg for comparisons to be made. How does anyone get around the fallout from that?


I think drawing comparisons come from insecurity. I don't think such a relationship would work for someone insecure or one who has self esteem issues. It would only work long term for truly confident people, those who would embrace the differences instead of looking at them as a negative. Don't forget the whole concept is based on not being bored with the same thing everyday. So differences would be something welcomed, and viewed as a good thing.
 namrael
Joined: 8/10/2008
Msg: 80
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/6/2011 10:45:51 AM
@sweetest: Good questions!


The sticking points for me lie in this area: People can't necessarily gauge where they'll end up emotionally even if they enter it rationally embracing philosophy and ways of being.


There is definitely some truth to that, and I know a lot of poly folks who have agreements about the practical things (time spent together/date nights, safer sex practices, etc) who don't try to legislate the emotional level for that very reason. Which seems pretty sane to me.


Moving forward with several intimate relationships would seem to me to beg for comparisons to be made. How does anyone get around the fallout from that?


There's only going to be fallout from comparisons if people compare their partners. Different relationships feel qualitatively different; it has not been my experience that poly folks compare relationships, but that they see them as individual entities.


The other aspect...when faced with choice and complexity, don't we all gravitate over time to creating something that works easier?


For some people, monogamy is really hard. I find poly challenging, but I also find the idea of strict monogamy stifling (I'm currently most interested in open relationships, though I may veer poly again at some point). I know many poly folks who find poly MUCH easier for them than monogamy. There are others who find poly hard but worth it, and who learn to work through their insecurities such that is *does* get easier over time.


And by easier, doesn't that mean the eventual emergence of a 'favorite' or a 'preferred' partner... someone that we get along especially well with, with whom we might find a better meshing of personality etc than with one over the other? Doesn't this kind of basic 'relationship evolution' not eventually tank the viability of the concept?


Not necessarily. My preferred situation has always involved the idea of a primary partner, with other involvements that wouldn't be as encompassing and intense. Currently, I have a primary partner and some more occasional play partners, and he has me and some more occasional play partners. In the past, I've had a primary and a secondary a couple different times. That's how I work.

I know other poly folks who have triads or quads where people are involved with each other; others who date multiple people but don't do hierarchical poly (primary, secondary, etc) at all; others with multiple primary partners (where primary refers to the amount of time and energy invested into a relationship); etc. There are TONS of different forms poly can take, and how it's practiced varies based on how the individuals involved work and function. Some of us want primaries, others aren't interested in that. And even with a primary partner, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't have other relationships at the same time. I've dated married people whose spouses were primary partners and I was much more secondary, but that didn't affect the viability of our relationship; it was simply a less intense energetic investment than what they had with their spouses.
 Laha Math
Joined: 7/15/2010
Msg: 81
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/6/2011 2:37:17 PM
"Would you be in a poly relationship?"

Having lots of girlfriends is not being in a relationship so I'm not sure what OP means. Is this a this another question about cheating?

When I was young and athletic I had more than one girlfriend. I also used to swim a mile on my lunch hour, cross country ski alone in the hills, race sailboats, go for long bicycle rides, and so on. Going to bed with girlfriends was part of the active lifestyle. I can tell you one thing, the need was great and the other guys weren't doing their share. Once the girls find out you're willing and know what to do the word gets around. It's not something you talk about. You just meet need, or want, or whatever to the best of your ability. I never questioned it, or thought much about it. It was fun. IMHO, one measure of a life well lived is the number of secrets you take with you to the grave.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 82
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Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/7/2011 7:35:23 PM

We are all primates, we are designed to mate and breed for life.

Do you think all primates mate for life? Because if you do, you are mistaken. Bonobos, our closest animal relatives, are notorious for group sex.
 1234deleted1234
Joined: 10/8/2009
Msg: 83
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/7/2011 8:49:40 PM
I'm cool with open and swinging relationships...... I have no problem sharing sexually but I'm too insecure/possessive to go the polyamory route.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 84
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Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/14/2011 9:48:24 PM

The other two men and the ladies are still living that lifestyle right now. So I know for a fact that it can work and I have seen it work. It's just no longer something that I would want to be a part of.

Because . . . ?

Funny that this very topic has come up for me several times lately. First, through a friend close to my age. She and her husband have defined the boundaries of their relationship differently than most couples and, although they are not sexually active with others, give each other more room than most traditional couples. They think of themselves as polyamorous. Then I was invited to a party with a bunch of young folks the other night. Several of them think of themselves as polyamorous. Three of us stayed late and had a great conversation that covered a variety of topics. Towards the very end, when I was expressing my frustration about being single and defining what I wanted in a man/relationship, one of the guys asked, "Does it all have to come from the same guy?" He put forth the notion that perhaps I should be open to the possibility of a less traditional relationship. We didn't have time to start a whole 'nother discussion (his kids were getting really tired) but I would have liked to explore it a bit more.

What I seem to run across in my life, along these lines:

1) Couples who have decided they'd like to try a threesome. I have no objection to a roll in the hay but I'm looking for a *relationship* and it seems the third person in these circumstances is temporary and disposable. Not what I'm looking for over the long haul. Not what I'm looking for short term, either, though under the right circumstances it could be okay.

2) Guys who are married who say they are in an "open" relationship and they are looking for variety outside of their marriage. They are not much different than any other married guy. They are tied to someone else, they can't/won't host, they're just looking to get laid.

3) Young people who are experimenting. This usually doesn't last.

All of it seems kind of artificial to me. It doesn't seem to develop naturally. I did know a guy who kept getting involved with bisexual women who had girlfriends and ended up in a series of three-way relationships. One of the last communications I had from him was, "It don't work. It don't work. It don't. work. Someone always ends up getting pissed."

All this being said, if circumstances were really right, I might consider it. However, I think it's hard enough just keeping things going with one person. I think the more you add to it, the more complicated it gets. I would like a deep level of intimacy and that's hard enough to build with one person & takes time and commitment. If it naturally developed with more than one person and the people involved were really mature, perhaps I'd give it a try.

Meanwhile, I don't require monogamy from casual lovers.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 85
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/15/2011 8:49:46 AM
I thought about this and although the concept seems reasonable in theory, I think there are some real problems putting it into practice, most notably, that it's hard enough for two people to form a lasting relationship. Adding a third doubles the possibilities for disagreement and irreconcilable differences in the long haul. With three, each person now has two people with whom compromises must be reached. Adding a fourth requires each person to reach a compromise with hree others, an so on. Pretty soon it becomes a bureaucracy. I think if the desire for a threesome with another woman were to ever be indicated by my fiancee (which is unlikely and another guy even more unlikely), it would be best done with the idea that it's just about sex, even if it were an ongoing thing.
 GotAHubCapDiamondStarHalo
Joined: 10/25/2009
Msg: 86
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/15/2011 10:51:56 AM

Would you be in a poly relationship?


I think this calls for some serious reflection of some thought provoking questions.

For example, does she do windows?
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 87
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Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/16/2011 10:37:21 PM

I thought about this and although the concept seems reasonable in theory, I think there are some real problems putting it into practice,


My thoughts exactly. Coincidentally, just last night I had an extensive conversation about this with a married friend who has been married for 20 years. She and her husband have less conventional boundaries in their relationship that others might find a bit much but it has worked for them. She has recently connected with some mostly younger folks in a poly support group and she confirmed that people will define exactly what they mean by a polyamorous relationship differently. However, the one thing that she emphasized was the requirement for ongoing open, honest communication and this is something many couples lack over time. People often get into ruts, take each other for granted, get bored, are afraid to talk about certain things. In her relationship they have purposefully kept the dialogue open and active. In their case, it isn't about having sex with others but there is the freedom to form close emotional bonds with others that some in more traditional relationships might find threatening.

Anyway, it's given me something to think about. The folks in her support group sound like, if nothing else, they engage in a lot of thoughtful discussion about relationship and how to work it out and that sounds like a good thing.

Multiple partners? Hell, I can't find *one*! This is *not* an issue! What if I found a guy who was really right who was into this? I have no idea.
 Argentum Crinis Philogus
Joined: 4/3/2007
Msg: 88
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/21/2011 10:29:51 AM

If it's straight up front with me in the beginning, I have the right to opt to stay and live x, y or z way or to not do so. Maybe if all people were this honest, there wouldn't be so much rampant cheating....just my thought on that note.





It's called intimacy and while people crave it in great depths, they[re terrified of the cost.

Best,

ACP
 Argentum Crinis Philogus
Joined: 4/3/2007
Msg: 89
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/21/2011 11:10:52 AM

I don't know anyone who has ever made it work over a long period of time. All the people I know who have gotten into it have either split up or eventually gave it up.


ACP Writes: When did time become the standard of measure for the success or failure of a relationship? There are many monogamous lifelong marriages that were a living Hell for 50+ years.


"Open marriage" became popular for awhile in the early 70s. Of course, the couple that wrote the book ended up splitting up.


ACP Writes: The O'Neill's book had three paragraphs discussing extra-marital sexual experiences that neither advocate or denied it as an aspect of their concept of Open Marriage. Their focus was on allowing space for each partner to grow, open communication and taking responsibility for one's self. All excellent practices within any relationship configuration. Further, they were married for 37 years. They're divorce had nothing to do with the premises of their book.

Polyamorous relationships are currently being researched. As a relationship professional, I work with several poly relationship configurations and assisting them establish a strong foundation for the functioning of the relationship and mechanisms through which to address dynamic nature of such relationships. They are progressing nicely. Some of these have been together for over five or more years and have experienced life-transition difficulties that have lead them to develop newer ways of being within the relationship.

It is certainly clear that strong feelings of ownership (the root of jealousy) over another have no place within poly relationships. If these exist and cannot be managed, it is best not to enter a poly relationship and to seek someone with whom one will be emotionally and physically monogamous and they with their partner.

Best,

ACP
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 90
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Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/21/2011 12:09:34 PM
People are people, generally. What I am referring to, is that, at least from all I've seen, there are all kinds of people doing all kinds of things, some doing it well and successfully, others not so. That has included the VERY few people I have known who have attempted 'poly' situations.
Special note to whoever postulated that successful 'poly' folks might simply be better at relating in general, I would have to disagree. There is more than one reason why people get into such situations, and more than one reason why it can work out. Some of them work well,because the sexual hunger is actually quite WEAK in all the members. They don't suffer jealousy, but it isn't because they are all especially good at relating, or sex, it's more because they just don't care about it one way or another. I have certainly seen plenty of monogamous marriages that lasted a long time, NOT because the two were deeply in love their whole lives, but rather because neither one especially gave a damn one way or another about each other, or how each other felt, etcetera, and just didn't bother to break up, because the living arrangements were comfortable.
I can imagine that a poly relationship could work well in any situation where all of the members have simply reached a condition within themselves, through whatever means, where sex isn't actually tied to emotional love, or to really anything other than the experience of the act itself. That seems to be the case with the couples I've witnessed who were comfortable with what gets called open marriages.
I would be skeptical of poly's that were based on carefully arranged agreements about sleeping together, time with each other, and that sort of thing. My experience with people who have such specific concerns about ANYTHING, is that they get upset at the slightest apparent misstep or loss of complete balance in a situation, and things fall apart.
In another side of this, I've begun to suspect that there are big differences in the time of a person's life, as relates to these kinds of relationships. I would expect that they are much HARDER to make work, when the participants are younger. Both because the participants are less likely to really know themselves well enough ahead of time to be able to predict how well they can handle the challenges, and because people in that age group tend to have more dynamically changing lives, that would simply make it too complicated to maintain a multi-mate household. In contrast, people who have reached retirement age, might find it much easier because they AREN'T likely to have members being drawn in different physical directions by opportunities or challenges. In addition, people who have been through enough relationships that they no longer fear being alone, might be less likely to experience jealousy. Heck, maybe jealousy itself has more to do with the combination of anger at betrayal and fear of being left, than with being an entirely separate emotion unto itself.
People who manage not to be in any way financially or emotionally dependent on anyone else, might also be more able to choose 'poly' situations.
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 91
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/21/2011 12:28:20 PM

It is certainly clear that strong feelings of ownership (the root of jealousy) over another have no place within poly relationships. If these exist and cannot be managed, it is best not to enter a poly relationship and to seek someone with whom one will be emotionally and physically monogamous and they with their partner.

I find it very interesting that you use the term "ownership" here because that is the word that seems to ruffle the feathers of many that don't believe in terms used in the BDSM community. As some here know, it's not at all uncommon for a Dom/Domme/Master to use the term "ownership" of their submissive(s.) I'd never thought in terms of ownership in a non-lifestyle context, but it's quite clear to me, that is indeed an appropriate label (should labels ever be 'appropriate') for the root of jealousy (which seems prevalent all to often in monogamous relationships.) JMO
 english lass
Joined: 11/14/2007
Msg: 92
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/21/2011 1:57:51 PM
No I wouldn't. For me an intimate relationship means intimacy on many levels and I would want to keep that intimacy just between the two of us.
 femaleconnection
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 93
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/23/2011 5:34:41 AM
When I am asked these type of questions, I try to think of the worst case scenario outcome and ask myself if I could seriously handle those issues.

The one issue I cannot resolve in this type of relationship, is the protection legally, of anyone who joins a couple already married.

Just because people may be 'enlightened' sexually, and poly, doesnt mean greed would not set in if a split were to happen. Poly people can be just as selfish about money as anyone else. Being dumped and then having to prove in a court room that you were part of thier marriage to get back your assets afterwards and not just a tenant paying rent would be hell....and expensive. Seeing as these types of relationships dont seem to last forever (like mono's), anyone getting into one should really see about how protected they are legally if things dont work out. Will the married couple keep the house and toss you? If you have invested in any home repairs/upgrades while being with them are you entitled to equity of the home? If I have bonded with thier children, am I entightled legally to see them again? Will the laws in my region work for me or against me, even if I have a contract signed by all parties in the event the married two change thier minds?

I dont think it is a smart arrangment for anyone joining after the first two have legally married. Yeah, the married couple benefit big time. A third person to help with THIER life. But what is in it for the third, in the way of a protected future? Laws wont help you as laws are written for traditional 2 people marriage.
 Out_of_the_Ash
Joined: 3/1/2009
Msg: 94
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Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/23/2011 11:20:02 AM
On a purely physical level, it sounds like fun, but I know women, and dealing with one dyslexic personality is enough craziness for me!!! Multiples would be positively mind-numbingly confusing...


How's that misogyny working out for you?

Anywho, no, I could not do polyamory. I am far too jealous the type, with my heart comes my vagina and vice verse and I most certainly ain't playin' second fiddle to nobody.
 Cdn_Iceman
Joined: 12/1/2010
Msg: 95
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/23/2011 12:18:30 PM

with my heart comes my vagina and vice verse and I most certainly ain't playin' second fiddle to nobody.
there's that vagina quote again love it

OT: I would never been involved in a Poly relationship because I dont like to share, I will share my food, investment tips etc, things in life I dont share, my woman, my skates, my jock or my bucket in hockey
 Out_of_the_Ash
Joined: 3/1/2009
Msg: 96
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Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/23/2011 2:21:33 PM
I find it very interesting that you use the term "ownership" here because that is the word that seems to ruffle the feathers of many that don't believe in terms used in the BDSM community. As some here know, it's not at all uncommon for a Dom/Domme/Master to use the term "ownership" of their submissive(s.) I'd never thought in terms of ownership in a non-lifestyle context, but it's quite clear to me, that is indeed an appropriate label (should labels ever be 'appropriate') for the root of jealousy (which seems prevalent all to often in monogamous relationships.) JMO


I am glad you brought this up, it had come to mind but you worded it better that I would've.

Mind you, while I am not part of the BDSM community, I do have a submissive side, but it's not where I take orders in bed or like to go through pain or humiliation so much as just a couple kinky fantasies I have that wouldn't really go too far outside the bedroom, aside from roleplay if I found the right person for the part. Collars are kinda cool, in the right environment.

That all said, I do enjoy the idea of being owned and owning that whom I am with on equal levels, not a sub Dom thing as much where the sub only worships the Dom, but the Dom worships the sub as well in their own way which is what is often actually the underlying theme in such relationships, for it is the sub who is truly in control (it is a gift to their Dom/Master) and gets a lot of power in the situation, unbeknownst to a lot of people who just think the sub as some kind of doormat for the Dom to take their aggression out on.

So for me, the being owned thing kinda makes me hot. w00t! :D


there's that vagina quote again love it


*curtsies*
 Cdn_Iceman
Joined: 12/1/2010
Msg: 97
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/23/2011 2:25:07 PM
oooops I should proof read my posts, I meant I would never consider a poly relationship and for the same reasons I dont like to share.
 Laha Math
Joined: 7/15/2010
Msg: 98
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/24/2011 6:45:22 PM
I've read that 95% of humans are superficial.
This site seems to attract the other 5%.

I've heard of fishermen who a have home in the south and another up the coast during the season. Truck drivers, sailors, commercial travelers and others can have the same arrangements. I don't know if that counts as polyamourous because they don't all get together to discuss and analyse the situation. It seems to work better if the women are separated whether or not they know about each other.
 namrael
Joined: 8/10/2008
Msg: 99
Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/24/2011 8:43:58 PM

It seems to work better if the women are separated whether or not they know about each other.


That's less poly than cheating in most instances.

The best and most stables poly arrangements I know of are the ones where everyone gets along well socially. Often people really enjoy the company of their metamours, but if people can't at least get along with their partners' partners, it's likely to be problematic.

I've always done much better in poly situations where I've really known the other people involved.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 100
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Would you be in a poly relationship
Posted: 3/29/2011 9:10:54 PM
ACP Writes: The O'Neill's book had three paragraphs discussing extra-marital sexual experiences that neither advocate or denied it as an aspect of their concept of Open Marriage. Their focus was on allowing space for each partner to grow, open communication and taking responsibility for one's self. All excellent practices within any relationship configuration. Further, they were married for 37 years. They're divorce had nothing to do with the premises of their book.


You are right in that the O'Neill's only wrote briefly about the possibility of non-monogamy but that is what everyone seized on. Really, their focus on couples giving each other room to be themselves was revolutionary at the time and still is for some people. However, many of us now take it for granted.

The legal questions brought up, if one were living in a situation with multiple partners and sharing possessions, are certainly significant. And if there are kids involved, it's another question. I don't know.


In another side of this, I've begun to suspect that there are big differences in the time of a person's life, as relates to these kinds of relationships.

I think you may be right on this. I'm open to possibilities now that I certainly wasn't when I was younger. Under the right circumstances, I might be open to the possibility. However, I don't see any potential prospects in my life so it's entirely theoretical.
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