Coming out as polyamorous is hard

Isaiah990

Member
And that is why polyamory is not possible without feminism. Of course women needed to be married to feel secure in the present and for their future. You don't have to go back that far, maybe to the 1950s-80s, where every woman was taught that she HAD to hook a man to be safe. Whether she loved him or not. It was about the wallet. And this was true because we were paid such low wages, we could not support ourselves financially, much less support any children we may have had. Now that we have reliable birth control, smaller families, and now that women have fought hard for more equality in jobs and wages, and made some progress there (not enough), we can feel more financially secure even if we don't "catch a man."
That's what I don't like about the monogamous community. I realized our values didn't align together. The monogamous community seems to hold sexist views. Men seem to like the idea of marriage because they like owning women. They might also be pressured to prove they're "real men." They slut-shame any women who have relationships outside of marriage but cheat behind their spouse's backs. As for women, they're conditioned to depend on women for money and love along with the security of their kids.
 

AlwaysGrowing

Well-known member
That's what I don't like about the monogamous community. I realized our values didn't align together. The monogamous community seems to hold sexist views. Men seem to like the idea of marriage because they like owning women. They might also be pressured to prove they're "real men." They slut-shame any women who have relationships outside of marriage but cheat behind their spouse's backs. As for women, they're conditioned to depend on women for money and love along with the security of their kids.

I know a lot of open/polyamorous people who get legally married because it's so much easier to get health benefits, tax breaks, etc with the paperwork done.

Marriage has a lot of issues beyond its rooted history in the patriarchy, perpetuating gender roles, etc. I think it's totally valid to have no interest in it, but it's also not accurate to assume all marriages are rooted in some sort of stereotypical ownership/control thing.

I associate a lot of the things people are mentioning in this thread with religion over marriage. Lol
 

Inaniel

Active member
I know a lot of open/polyamorous people who get legally married because it's so much easier to get health benefits, tax breaks, etc with the paperwork done.

Marriage has a lot of issues beyond its rooted history in the patriarchy, perpetuating gender roles, etc. I think it's totally valid to have no interest in it, but it's also not accurate to assume all marriages are rooted in some sort of stereotypical ownership/control thing.

I associate a lot of the things people are mentioning in this thread with religion over marriage. Lol

I agree with this. I have come into conceptual roadblocks for my own relationship with marriage, in my country, my local laws, my family ect... However marriage as an institution cannot be painted with a broad brush. As Evie pointed out, it works differently in her country than in the USA, ect... I really enjoyed reading that because maybe change is on the horizon elsewhere for legal multiple partner marriages, and I think would be really neat.

I can basically see where everyone is coming from on this topic, including how marriage can be a bit archaic in terms of modern alternative relationships. There is no one right answer or perspective.

With that said, if OP is in a discovery phase and re-evaluating relationships; a critical look at marriage should probably be included so he can reach his own conclusions. There are many failed marriages, however also many successful and happy marriages; in monogamy and in polyamory.
 

Isaiah990

Member
Fear (of loss) tends to happen when you see your partner as a commodity in some way. We can only really lose what we perceive to own. So in healthy monogamy as well as healthy polyamory, it's good practice to see a partner not in a possessive way, but a complementary way. Seems like common sense except we're often not taught it so it's not that common.

Right, it feels like no one wants to explain the difference between a healthy relationship and unhealthy relationship. They expect to just magically figure things out.
 

Isaiah990

Member
It's quite an endeavor, and it's even more intense depending on your social surroundings. By the time I identified as non-monogamous I had already been in a number of monogamish associations, so it wasn't as huge for me as it would be for someone who has always lived a traditional life.

I would focus my energy on examining what makes an association healthy, and worry less about how many people you are dating. This is true for all relationship types (including monogamy).

People fear and reject things that they don't understand, and this is doubly true when they live inside a traditional system that explicitly rejects everything outside of it.

There are plenty of reasons to stay monogamous, and fear of how your fellows treat you can be one of them. However, when we make decisions based on what we are afraid of, instead of what we love, we make shit decisions.
I used to be afraid of polyamory long ago when I still had the monogamous mindset. I assumed polyamorous just wanted orgies. That was until someone explained "no, that's actually not what polyamorous people do. They get in relationships like monogamous people do." Once I heard that, it resonated with me. I felt relief. I think at that point, I realized there was a better way to relationships than just monogamy.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Right, it feels like no one wants to explain the difference between a healthy relationship and unhealthy relationship. They expect to just magically figure things out.

Some high schools and colleges try to do better sex ed / relationship ed. They distribute things like the wheels.



There's resources online like https://www.loveisrespect.org/ and books like S.E.X., second edition: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties.

However some of it IS on the individual to figure out. Nobody else can tell you your own preferences for relationship models or who you are and are not attracted do. One has to figure it out for themselves. And what a person wants in their 20s might be different for what they want in their 30s, 40s, 50s, etc. So they have to figure that out too.

Ultimately, they were all deeply hurt that I would never be exclusively theirs.

And that is their emotions to manage. One can be disappointed when a dating thing doesn't pan out. It happens. You break up with them because it's not a match and you expect them to deal with their emotional management. You deal with yours.

I felt really bad seeing them hurt, but they deserved the truth.

Yes, they do deserve the truth. So do you.

That's HOW you each figure out in dating what lines up or not with a potential.

How are you going to find what you are looking for otherwise? It's what dating is FOR. To find the compatible ones.

Don't settle for matches that just aren't really matches.

Galagirl
 
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HaloOnFire

Active member
Don't settle for matches that just aren't really matches.


Honestly, this is good advice for either poly or mono. And thank you for the reminder, btw! :)
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
Marriage has a lot of issues beyond its rooted history in the patriarchy, perpetuating gender roles, etc. I think it's totally valid to have no interest in it, but it's also not accurate to assume all marriages are rooted in some sort of stereotypical ownership/control thing.


I completely agree with this assessment. Speaking for myself and no one else in the room, DH and I have a "traditional" marriage only in the aspect that he can't cook and I can't do math on account of dyscalculia. ;)

He's never wanted to keep me barefoot and pregnant and it would never have occurred to him to even suggest it. He also knows I would have died laughing at the mere suggestion. :)
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Isaiah,

I think it is necessary to be honest with the people you date about your relationship preferences/orientation. It does no one any good to pretend that you're monogamous just to hang on to a particular relationship. Let people know the real you, so that you can find out whether they can love that person.

It can also be hard to come out to friends and family. See

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Isaiah990

Member
Hi Isaiah,

I think it is necessary to be honest with the people you date about your relationship preferences/orientation. It does no one any good to pretend that you're monogamous just to hang on to a particular relationship. Let people know the real you, so that you can find out whether they can love that person.

It can also be hard to come out to friends and family. See

Sincerely,
Kevin T.

Right, It's been hard because the women i talked to grew up in a culture where monogamy was the norm. I want to talk to them about polyamory partially because I hope they'll be more open-minded to the idea. It's also to educate them on other types of relationships. What I noticed is they're jealous and afraid I'll leave them for other women. I think that's the biggest reason they're against polyamory.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
What I noticed is they're jealous and afraid I'll leave them for other women. I think that's the biggest reason they're against polyamory.

It's the reason anyone is firmly against polyamory, a mixture of the fact that they have no idea what it is, and what they do know goes against what they've grown up assuming is true. This is the same with anything really. It's not something that non-monogamy created, it's just something that shines a bright light on the underlying fear of the unknown and rejection of everything that isn't strictly traditional.
 

Isaiah990

Member
It's the reason anyone is firmly against polyamory, a mixture of the fact that they have no idea what it is, and what they do know goes against what they've grown up assuming is true. This is the same with anything really. It's not something that non-monogamy created, it's just something that shines a bright light on the underlying fear of the unknown and rejection of everything that isn't strictly traditional.
Right, I think I was always polyamorous. The issue was I didn't know how to be anything other than monogamous. Society constantly put out the idea of finding "the right one" and taught you only about monogamy. Anything outside of that was frowned on and seen as "abnormal." When I looked at other women while I was in a relationship, people suggested there was something wrong with me. They suggested I didn't love my girlfriend. I had to stop and wonder "what if there's nothing wrong with me? What if I'm in the wrong kind of relationship? What if polyamory is right for me?"

By the way, are you polyamorous?
 

Marcus

Well-known member
By the way, are you polyamorous?

I am non-monogamous, with a lean toward relationships where autonomy and respect are the guiding principles. I don't usually refer to myself as polyamorous, but it wouldn't be an incorrect label.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
The issue was I didn't know how to be anything other than monogamous. Society constantly put out the idea of finding "the right one" and taught you only about monogamy. Anything outside of that was frowned on and seen as "abnormal."
That might be more human nature and less society urging you to find the right one because who looking for the wrong one. The system was to lock down a choice so when the music stopped you had a chair. AND id say poly allows you better search for the right one. It provides a real side by side test drive or tastes test in some cases to see who s long term compatible and who’s not.


When I looked at other women while I was in a relationship, people suggested there was something wrong with me. They suggested I didn't love my girlfriend.
people seem to like and want to inject their opinions onto others in an effort to help. I think the way to interpret that is you don’t love your gf the same way or same intensity as they think you should or would under the circumstance.



I had to stop and wonder "what if there's nothing wrong with me? What if I'm in the wrong kind of relationship? What if polyamory is right for me?"
yay for self discovery ....welcome aboard 🎉👍
 

Isaiah990

Member
That might be more human nature and less society urging you to find the right one because who looking for the wrong one. The system was to lock down a choice so when the music stopped you had a chair. AND id say poly allows you better search for the right one. It provides a real side by side test drive or tastes test in some cases to see who s long term compatible and who’s not.



people seem to like and want to inject their opinions onto others in an effort to help. I think the way to interpret that is you don’t love your gf the same way or same intensity as they think you should or would under the circumstance.




yay for self discovery ....welcome aboard 🎉👍

Right, are you polyamorous by the way? What problems do you see with monogamy? I think the biggest problem with monogamy is the idea there's such a thing as "the right one" that's going to fulfill all of your needs. Such a person doesn't exist. I also didn't like the idea of sacrificing to keep your partner happy. Let's say you have feelings for a friend and you're tempted to cheat. The monogamous approach is to limit contact with your friend and invest more in your relationship. If you can't do it, you have to choose your friend or your partner. I thought "why should you have to pick sides? Why should you have to sacrifice a friendship over a relationship? Is it even worth it? What if your friend is a potentially good partner?" With monogamy, you're not even allowed to ask those questions. Monogamous people would say "well if you're that curious, break up with your partner and date your friend." The problem is it's almost impossible for monogamous people to do. Are you really going to sacrifice years of marriage and a family to be with a friend you've only known for 1-2 years?

That's why I love polyamory better. You don't have to make many sacrifices. You're free to explore possibilities.
 

Isaiah990

Member
I am non-monogamous, with a lean toward relationships where autonomy and respect are the guiding principles. I don't usually refer to myself as polyamorous, but it wouldn't be an incorrect label.
What do you think are the problems with monogamy? What are the advantages and disadvantages of non-monogamy?
 

Marcus

Well-known member
What do you think are the problems with monogamy? What are the advantages and disadvantages of non-monogamy?

If I had to elevator pitch it, I would say that monogamy requires an exchange of power between the two parties. This power prevents the members from experiencing what are perfectly natural feelings and desires regarding the people around them. When the contract says "I will love and fuck only you, for the rest of my life" it is an exchange of autonomy (I'll hold your autonomy over here, and you can hold mine over there).

Polyamory does not include this specific restriction, so by default is more geared toward autonomy. That shouldn't suggest that polyamory is autonomy focused as a general rule, but simply because it does not have the base restriction of power exchange, makes it more palatable to me.

It's a complex conversation, but that's my sum-up.
 

Isaiah990

Member
If I had to elevator pitch it, I would say that monogamy requires an exchange of power between the two parties. This power prevents the members from experiencing what are perfectly natural feelings and desires regarding the people around them. When the contract says "I will love and fuck only you, for the rest of my life" it is an exchange of autonomy (I'll hold your autonomy over here, and you can hold mine over there).

Polyamory does not include this specific restriction, so by default is more geared toward autonomy. That shouldn't suggest that polyamory is autonomy focused as a general rule, but simply because it does not have the base restriction of power exchange, makes it more palatable to me.

It's a complex conversation, but that's my sum-up.
Right, that's why I don't like monogamy. Humans are hardwired for polyamory. When I was monogamous, I felt like I had to fight against my own nature just to be loyal to my girlfriend. There's little to no room for change in monogamy. The relationship is based on exclusivity and a set of expectations. Once those change, the relationship is damaged and on the verge of a break up.

With polyamory, there's loads of room for growth. If you're not happy with one partner, you can get in a relationship with another one. If you want to change your relationship, you can discuss new expectations with your partner. Your partner doesn't have to be in a relationship with multiple people. There's little to no room for compromise.

How did people react when they found you were non-monogamous?
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
Humans are hardwired for polyamory.

That's just as absolute a statement as "humans are hardwired for monogamy"... and just as absolutely wrong. _Every single human_ isn't wired for ANYTHING - some of us are naturally inclined towards non-monogamy, sure, but others are inclined towards monogamy and yet others can be happy either way.

(I fell into the "assuming everyone would be happier if I could just Show Them The Way" trap too when I first started exploring polyamory, so I get where you're coming from - no one is as zealous as a fresh convert! - but it really is far better not to make assumptions.)
 

Evie

Mod
If you're not happy with one partner, you can get in a relationship with another one.
Generally, "relationship broken, add people" is not a recipe for successful polyamory.

Someone may expand on this, but I'm just about to dash out the door to work.
 
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