CTF said:As for the suggestion that the individual is more important than the couple... This is not a healthy attitude. I'm not saying that the individual is less important, but in a truly healthy situation, they're as equal as can be. If you're not going to respect your partner as much as yourself, then you don't belong in a relationship.
If you mean that the individual must be healthy and must respect themselves first and then they could respect their partner, just as much as they respect themselves? Because if they aren't going to respect their partner they don't belong in a relationship? I agree.
In some cases, people don't respect themselves much AND they don't respect the partner much. It's as equal as can be. Yet not healthy.
In other cases, people try to respect their partner so much that they lose all sense of self. They make the partner center of all and neglect their self care in favor of attending to the relationship. That is not equal. That is not a healthy situation either.
CTF said:If the poly partner was just honest about him/her not being enough (which is true by sheer definition), then it could save years of heartache by virtue of moving forward in whatever direction necessary.
I agree there too. The poly partner could say "No. You are not enough. You are enough YOU, but I want more than 1 partner, so no. You are not enough partners. You cannot magically be more than one partner. I love you a lot. But not even for you will I stay in a model that does not fit me."
I also think the mono partner could say "No. I love you a lot. But not even for you will I go there to a model that does not fit me. I don't want to be doing poly."
Both sides could be firm of purpose and not drag things out unnecessarily.
To me it just circles back around though. To be ABLE to be firm of purpose? I think one must be willing and able to take care of the individual FIRST. State plain what it is they need.
If the poly person did that, they would spit it out sooner that one partner is not enough. If the mono person did that, they would spit it out sooner that NO. They don't want to be doing any poly things. They would accept it sooner that they do not see eye to eye, are not compatible, and are best disbanding rather than banging heads on wall indefinitely.
Usually what I observe is this "save the relationship!" thing where both are putting the relationship first rather than the people. Not really wanting to be honest with each other because they don't want to lose the relationship. At all costs, the relationship must keep going... even at the cost of dinging their own selves.
Enter heartache and dragging things out unnecessarily.
Until it finally drags out long enough that it takes its toll and one of them finally figures out that that cost? It is too high a cost to pay. One could not subsume themselves to a relationship. And that it is more respectful to themselves and to the partner to part ways with grace and decorum that to make a shit show out of it or be going through the motions of a relationship that is basically dead. Both people deserver better than shit show. Both people deserve better than going through the motions "meh." Life is too short and it is too precious to be spending it like that.
This is why I said to BonzaiBlitz to also talk about how this will end. The foray into poly might end well. Or it might not end well. But to cover all possibilities just in case so there's no surprises. I observe that newbies tend to go into it with a kind of "tunnel vision" -- they can only see the desired outcome. As a result? They neglect to prepare for other possible outcomes and are surprised when it doesn't always go how they think.
BonzaiBlitz, hopefully all this stuff has given you the food for thought you were after and hasn't strayed too far off topic.