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11/08/2010

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Geo Quinn

Thanks Arden for the brilliant insights!

Calico

Wow... I have nothing to argue here. Practical and brilliant.

Arden Leigh

Woot woot I got the Calico seal of approval! No sarcasm there - I wasnt sure how the poly folks would interpret this, though I do hope the implicit distinction between polyamory and nonmonogamy is clear here. So Im glad you dig. :) (I miss you, missy. Drinks soon!)

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Will

and it's fun too.

Will

On a deeper note, I think that the tendency is for most people - whether they know it or not - to treat each other as property or accessories or whatnot. Just look at the lingo of introduction, my boyfriend, my wife, my lover, my mate. I think that for more evolved people, their partner's general happiness is what takes priority which is why I have observed that they tend to stay away from labels and just use names instead. Because once you stop thinking of your partner as an extension of yourself, your very persona, your way of thinking about yourself even, it becomes hard to, like, tell them that they can't do some of the things that they want to do, well, just because.

Like, say someone tries to paint your into a behavioural corner and you decide to proceed with a behaviour. From your perspective the question that you are putting to the person whom you have decided to disregard can be summarized as follows: "What are you going to do about it. Cry?"

Hammer

Doesn't the fact that you want to see other people and "weigh your options" mean that none of your options are really that awesome to begin with? That's been my experience.

Maybe I'm just inclined toward monogamy in a way that others aren't, but when I've been in committed relationships, temptation isn't there, because I just don't really see it that way. I'm not really attracted to other people. When I do start to see it that way, it's time to break up. I expect the same level of integrity from anyone I commit to.

Arden Leigh

@Hammer - Thats exactly what I describe in #6. The difference is that even when deep in #6, I allow for #2, and that rather than break up when things go sour as you suggest in your comments, I resort to #3 instead. There have certainly been times in my life Ive chosen to be fully monogamous. But they havent, in the end, necessarily been a reflection of how good the relationship is. A good relationship is a good relationship, no matter its parameters.


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Colleen

This is an interesting discussion, and I'm glad you're bringing it up in your blog. Non-monogamy in its many forms is a valid way of relationship-ing (er, yeah, I just made up a word :p)

Regarding #2... most of the poly and monogamy-flexible folk I know tend to define "cheating" as breaking the agreed-upon rules of the relationship for seeing other people.

bea

#2 really bothers me. monogamous or non-, cheating is cheating. it's doing something dishonestly, breaching trust, and is as damaging to an open or poly relationship as it is to a monogamous one.

Will

woteva. cheating happens and if the relationship is strong we'll deal or that's at least how i see it. nobody's perfect.

payday loans

Really nice work and I also thought that, If you are always in a relationship with one wife is that it is better, but if you're going to whine that your partner is selfish because she is sick and not looking after your needs and I would like to hazard a guess that you're probably better off single and able to sleep at any time on.

AwwSkeetYouCheat

I have a theory about about women who are players. It's really the same theory that women have about men who are players. They lack integrity and have an insecurity that makes them constantly crave acceptance from the opposite sex. My recent experience with a female player resulted in nasty run-ins with other guys and her stealing my identity. A crooked woman walks a crooked mile. Watch out guys. The same moral relativity that allows a woman to go out with you and sleep with other guys without a twinge of guilt probably extends to other areas of her life. You won't be able to trust her in any situation.

MrZebra

awwskeetyoucheat, i'd love you to explain exactly what it is about honest, open non-monogamy that lacks integrity.

Arden Leigh

@Awwskeetyoucheat -- Because honest, mutually agreed-upon non-monogamy is the same as theft?

@bea -- By "cheating" I meant vanilla, monogamy-defined cheating. Of course in a healthy relationship both partners will abide by the parameters they've agreed upon, but in a non-monogamous relationship the act of having sex with another person is not necessarily a betrayal.

Devilzbabe

Question regarding the "cheating" concept in #2 - does this mean in a non-monogamous relationship one should refrain from telling each of her partners that she is seeing someone else? How much information would you actually advise revealing to a partner?

Arden Leigh

@devilzbabe - I think that definitely depends on the individuals involved, and that at some point thats a talk you have to have outright. For me, I know if it got back to me that my partner was with someone else and I didnt know about it, that might bother me, so if its someone close to our social circles Id probably want to know first. But if hes on tour in other parts of the country and he wants to bang some groupie one night, I probably wouldnt care since its highly unlikely that it would affect me socially. But everyones different. A lot of people subscribe to the just dont let me find out about it philosophy. My only problem with that is, what if I DO find out about it?


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Pyr

As a polyamorous person, I feel a bit weird about this post for several reasons. Most seriously: ethical non-monogamy means that if your man also wants to have multiple partners, he can have them too. But then you write "after a while you will probably end up being monogamous in practice with him anyway, because you simply won't have a desire to be with anyone else around you" - which is something that *few* practicioners of non-monogamy experience.

Why limit yourself all of a sudden? You have an abundance of love, there's really no reason to give it up. But even if *you* should decide that this man is "enough" for *you* - what if he doesn't feel the same way? What if he wants to continue seeing multiple partners? It's important to know that he isn't suddenly invalid in seeing other women. And then what?

Another thing: hurtful cheating is still possible in non-monogamy. If you don't follow the rules you laid down together with your partner(s), then this can still cause all kinds of discomfort for everyone involved, which is of course often sufficient to end the relationship.

Your post sounds like an advice to women that are in the end only searching for "the one" to step into the world of non-monogamy as a temporary measure to reach their goals sooner. This is *really* bad advice, I think.

Arden Leigh

Well, its worse advice to jump into monogamy too soon, in my opinion. And my blog is not written specifically for polyamorous people, so your audience might be a bit different. Good communication should solve most if not all of the issues you mention however. And yes, I agree that a mono person should not try to convert a poly person, and also agree that in most circumstances (unless its say, a cuckolding relationship), both partners should be entitled to multiple partners so there is a balance on each side.

Karen

My husband and I are at the talking stage for partnered non-monogamy and looking for resources. Do any kind of support organizations exist for talking to other people to have alternative relationship styles? Karen

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