Poly Standards, Theory, and Practice

redpepper

New member
It seems to me that there are not only different ways of having poly relationships, but also different standards for those relationships.

To me it is very important to be respectful, compassionate, and meet people where they are at as much as I can, yet push them a bit to see alternative ways of being. I find that manners go a long way. I find that expressing when I think someone has done a good job goes a long way to them feeling that they are on a positive track. I find that when I express what I feel either "good" feelings or "bad" also goes along way in helping others get to the bottom of their issues.

I have notice with others that facts, prescribed working examples to Poly and "keeping to the program" is far more important than feelings, good manners, and mutual respect and compassion.

I find this on here, and in the community I am in. I realize that this is the same in any relationship really. Poly, mono or any friendship dynamic also.

Anyone else find this? and how can we deal with these differences?

I'm struggling with what I need to say here....I think really its about a good balance between theory minded and emotionally minded and then perhaps how much of both, if that makes sense?

I have a friend that I once thought I could pursue as a relationship that was more than friendship. She has all the traits I like in a woman except she is very guarded with her emotions and never talks about poly dynamics and theory.

While I think that over talking about theory is not so helpful, and being overly emotional is also not helpful, SOME is and I got to the point where I was just not attracted any more. I needed a balance. I needed more and we stopped hanging out, it just drifted.
 
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MonoVCPHG

New member
How do we handle differences?

Acceptance....pure, non-judgemental, non-confrontational acceptance that my poly is not your poly, to quote a friend of mine.

Where we run into problems seems to lie in the inability to remove ourselves personally from the stories of others and the approach they have towards relationships. Yes, it is true that what works for some will not work for others but there is no guide book, no set of principles to enforce, no right or wrong way to engage in a poly relationship as long as the people within those relationships are happy, healthy and fulfilled.

If someone prefers to simply let relationships form naturally then that is fine for them.

If someone approaches relationships very methodically with a screening process and network of potentials, then that is fine.

If the relationships is mutually based on fluid boundaries than that is fine.

If the relationship is mutually based on black and white strict rules than that is fine.

There is no right or wrong. Where people get passionate and defensive is when someone looks at their story and instead of asking how it works simply states that that would not work for them and then goes into endless debates with the intent to convince.

Simply accept that not all poly people follow the same approach.

Simply accept that not all people have compatible approaches and boundaries.

Simply accept that having different views does not make one right or wrong.

Offer opinions, not judgements.

Be compassionate when the need is clear.

Most importantly simply accept that everyone seeks something to fulfill himself or herself and that is an individual thing, not a group thing. It does not take the approval of a community or "subject matter expert" (of which there are none in matters of love, there are only people that claim to be). Each person is their own subject matter expert because only they know what is truly happening inside their heart and mind.

Peace and Love
Mono
 
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Ceoli

Guest
I get the sense that a lot of this is being directed at me and Joreth. If that's the case, I see a lot of assumptions and tacit judgments being made in this post, which I would have a lot to say about. But since it's written very generally, I'm not going to assume that this was the intent of your post. I wouldn't mind seeing more specific examples of what you're talking about. But now I have to head to work.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
Awesome !!!!!!!

Red - that's just awesome !
It's such a simple truth really and simple truths are generally the best.
Life is so complex for everyone these days and there seems to be such a ....push...out there in society for people to find & latch onto some "truth" and turn it into a cause or campaign. There's this whole concept circulating that we have to fulfill our "human potential" - some grand reason we're here - or we're a failure. People don't want to feel or be labeled "failures" !
And all to often, in this quest to fulfill our "human potential" - we can lose sight of our "humanity". I think this is what you're saying ?
So thank you - because it's a wonderful reminder to the world :)
Everyone is doing the best they know how and it's easy to become sidetracked. As I know I must have said before somewhere - passion is a double edged blade. We have to be wary of it and not cut off our humanity.

GS
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Red - that's just awesome !
It's such a simple truth really and simple truths are generally the best.
Life is so complex for everyone these days and there seems to be such a ....push...out there in society for people to find & latch onto some "truth" and turn it into a cause or campaign. There's this whole concept circulating that we have to fulfill our "human potential" - some grand reason we're here - or we're a failure. People don't want to feel or be labeled "failures" !
And all to often, in this quest to fulfill our "human potential" - we can lose sight of our "humanity". I think this is what you're saying ?
So thank you - because it's a wonderful reminder to the world :)
Everyone is doing the best they know how and it's easy to become sidetracked. As I know I must have said before somewhere - passion is a double edged blade. We have to be wary of it and not cut off our humanity.

GS

Sorry to take up so much space quoting your whole comment GS, but I think it rocks!
I am certainly one who has gotten sidetracked by reading too much into threads or making assumptions; this lead to a lot of negative energy for me.

I was some one who looked at different ways of approaching poly on here and in my extensive "real life" poly community for lack of a better word. I was judgemental and still at times have to fight back being confrontational. But I do, I recognized the futility of directing so much energy at trying to convince rather than accept.

Most of the observations I make come from my interaction with people locally, which is where the bulk of examples come from for me although they are obvious throughout these forum threads as well.

I think the real focus of this thread is about recognizing that there are differences, those differences are healthy and normal and should not divide people. They can inform people and perhaps increase the most important key to enjoying life and loving others…acceptance.

Peace and love
Mono
 
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redpepper

New member
passion is a double edged blade. We have to be wary of it and not cut off our humanity.

Thanks for the response GS, I appreciate it... I'm struggling to really put across what I mean. I get so hurt by others and their lack of being able to just "be" in relationships... there always seems to have to be some drama or point made. Is it that people just feel like they have to fulfill their potential, or is it that they just need to be right? Is it that their passion cuts off their humanity like a double edged sword? I don't know?

I find that the path to being more human is to embrace other humans for what they are and where they are at. Nothing more, nothing less. It's about really loving the other for where they are at. Much of what I think is in what Mono says... I'm not saying that I'm perfect at it but I have learned some lessons in the last couple of years that have lead me to really strive to be completely open to who people are. I doubt I would of been able to allow the people that are in my life now in if I hadn't of been through that.

What made me learn this?

Well, I was charged, through Canadian human rights, by a Chinese Canadian woman I worked with with racism and sexism. For two years she battled me in court to get money out of me and blacken my name because she took something I said out of context and decided that I was racist and sexist.

Eventually she was paid off. She had no case, but instead decided that she was going to make it all last as long as possible by getting doctors notes so she wouldn't have to go to court. The letters were legit in that she was very ill.

I was devestated. She was a good friend of mine... hung out with me on my maternity leave with my child, sought my opinion as I sought hers. We were good friends.... and close co-workers.

During that time I became a shell of myself and it effected my family greatly. I lost a child in my second trimester because of the stress. It's in my nature and because of how I was raised that I take these things on more than perhaps I should, she saw that in me and prayed upon that.

Well. Now I consider what happened a huge gift. I am actually grateful to her for forcing me to face up to big issues I had, that of feeling like everything is my fault and that if I don't give EVERYTHING of myself that I am not doing enough.... it's because of her that I was able to face up to my parents this fall and stop taking their shit. It's because of her that I know how real racism affects peoples judgment of others to the point where they can't have a real friend for fear that they are judging them.

I guess my point is, and the lesson I learned was that everyone has stuff they work on, sometimes they are all knowing and self righteous and unwilling to realize that sometimes things are not what they seem and are in fact nothing to do with them. My experience has lead me to believe that everyone is deserving of love, but not at the jeopardy of "me." I also realize that regardless of what I think is wrong, there should always be room for me to say I'm sorry that you feel that way, I didn't mean to insult you... or whatever.

My story about the friend I thought I could be more intimate with was that I seem to be unable to settle for anything less than a balance in people and a degree of depth and passion. I have lived the life of an activist, and completely immersed in the "theory" of things and have had it thrown in my face because I thought I knew something. I have tons of experience in diverse communities of many kinds and pride myself in taking on my own inner racism etc and turning it out so I can make myself vulnerable enough to move forward and learn from others and my own culture, yet was STILL told I was racist.... simply by telling someone who is Chinese Canadian that I thought they looked good in yellow.

There is no where to turn where we will be safe from ourselves and others harm, no where, we are all equally dangerous as we are equally accepting, loving, respectful and compassionate. It's a choice that we all make..... I for one chose to be what I said in my first post as much as I can....

"To me it is very important to be respectful, compassionate, and meet people where they are at as much as I can, yet push them a bit to see alternative ways of being. I find that manners go a long way. I find that expressing when I think someone has done a good job goes a long way to them feeling that they are on a positive track. I find that when I express what I feel either "good" feelings or "bad" also goes along way in helping others get to the bottom of their issues."

I learned this from my friend. I have learned even more from listening to stories and responding on this forum.

Just an addition... I have also learned this from the team I work on... I work with some very strong minded women that are all very different. We tolerate one another on a daily basis and, in time, have grown to love each other. One of my co-worker never talks about her feelings but only facts and details. I can't keep that all straight in my head and she gets frustrated with me when I ask for the third time what is happening when. I, on the other hand, am able to strategize about how to handle situations and can easily empathize with what might be going on for someone and be able to offer suggestions that we quite often go with. Together we make a good team.

I just want to know how people promote/embrace differences in their poly relationships and how they are able to deal with different minded people? Poly theory people and more emotional... if in fact they do? Are they really so different that it is impossible? Of course there is a mix in all of us I realize..

I am hopeful that there can be a balance but at the same time have not heard of any groups in a poly family or poly situation where their is such a diverse group... it seems that like minded people group together.

I hope that gives enough example as to where I am coming from.

Wow that was long, sorry folks :)
 

redpepper

New member
I get the sense that a lot of this is being directed at me and Joreth. If that's the case, I see a lot of assumptions and tacit judgments being made in this post, which I would have a lot to say about. But since it's written very generally, I'm not going to assume that this was the intent of your post. I wouldn't mind seeing more specific examples of what you're talking about. But now I have to head to work.

No direction intended Ceoli or Joreth...
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
I had a good talk with Redpepper about this thread until a light bulb switched on when I could relate it to my own experience with people of our physically local poly community.

We were discussing how people with differences could find common ground to relate and build connections on. I was having a problem with this idea because her and I have different thoughts on the need to connect with everyone we are around despite possible large differences in thought processes. Factor in the added frustration that some people are so hung up on the topics you don’t agree on that they aren’t willing to even let you find a common ground. How do you overcome these differences? How do you work through to the other side of disconnect to achieve connection?

Here is the major difference in her thought pattern and mine…hopefully she will correct me gently if I am wrong.:eek:

She wants to find a common ground to have some form of connection to all around us. She finds frustration in trying to get through to people and work past their differences even though she faces severe resistance at times.

I do not.

When I meet someone I feel something that internally gauges whether I want to connect. I don’t need to just because they are close to me. The person could be two feet from me all the time and if the energy isn’t there I don’t care. There are so many more people who have that something in them that I wonder why I would waste my time or energy trying to break down a brick wall. I look past it, walk around it and put it out of my mind.

This is the case with one gentleman in our poly community. He is anti religion, anti government and anti mono. I don’t mind that he feels this way, but he constantly wants to engage me in topics to debate and convert my opinions. I am very honest with him and last time I simply stated that I would not engage him in these topics because it bread negativity. It created negativity because he is so determined to question relentlessly. I do not tolerate some one essentially hounding me. Because we could not get passed our different views and even explore common ground, which I'm sure we have, we simply don’t engage each other anymore even though we are around each other often. No harm, no foul. I accept that we are not compatible so I don’t channel any energy in trying to create some form of connection. We occupy the same space, nothing more.

There are many others in our community that have different views than me and share this gentleman’s own views. We acknowledge and respect each other’s opinions. I see something in them that makes me want to find common ground though. One person in particular is pretty much the exact opposite of me but I am drawn to him in a friendly way. We ended up talking about lucid dreaming, which fascinates both of us and was a shared experience. Who cares about our politics, our approach to love, our wiring…we have a connection that makes us compatible and injects value into our relationship. We can discuss and debate these topics in healthy ways when we mutually chose; not when one of us demands.

I feel connection first and then look for common ground. I don’t seek out common ground to form that connection.
How do I deal with someone who has very different views than my own?
I accept their opinions and if I feel connection I look for that common ground like a pig looking for truffles…. Redpepper is a major case in point. WOW are we different, but wow are we connected!! There is something in her that is worth all the energy I have to find that common ground. Luckily our energies seem synced even when our opinions often don't :) The biggest part of that common ground is our energy...our love.

If I don’t feel that connection or sense they intend on persisting on moot points of difference…..I just don’t….I move on. There are way too many people in this world for me to get caught up on trying to connect with one of them unless there is that something about them. I don’t feel the need.

Peace and Love
Mono
 
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Ceoli

Guest
I have notice with others that facts, prescribed working examples to Poly and "keeping to the program" is far more important than feelings, good manners, and mutual respect and compassion.

I find this on here

......

I think really its about a good balance between theory minded and emotionally minded and then perhaps how much of both, if that makes sense?

Ok, than can you give me some examples of what you mean about what you see on here? Because I'm still not understanding what you mean.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
Wow!

That's a sad story Red and it exposes all KINDS of issues about being human and trying to navigate our current western culture.
That could take off in several directions !
All I have to toss in is that all we can do is try to live our own lives with integrity and keep an eye on our back. As as you illustrated, even that is not always enough. But I think we can only lead/teach by example.
Most everyone is caught up some way in a struggle of ego and self definition. In heavy pursuit of this people will trample others - even if it's in ignorance. So, I don't feel it's possible to connect on any meaningful level with all people. And when we're forced into situations of having to deal with them we can only offer our views - and/or leave. But not without making it clear why.

GS
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
But I think we can only lead/teach by example.

Most everyone is caught up some way in a struggle of ego and self definition. In heavy pursuit of this people will trample others - even if it's in ignorance. So, I don't feel it's possible to connect on any meaningful level with all people. And when we're forced into situations of having to deal with them we can only offer our views - and/or leave. But not without making it clear why.

GS

Good points GS.
I have extensive training in conflict resolution as well as in the escalation of conflict. Part of my training was provided through the military but the bulk of it was acquired in other pursuits of mine. Ego is the single biggest cause of conflicts escalating to the point of aggression on the street.
A lot of times it is one person who continues talking while the other simply wants to leave the area and carry about there business. A lot of times it is ego that drives the one person to continue, to establish that they are "the man". It is this hounding and cornering that eventually leads to conflicts moving beyond a breakdown in verbal communication. A lot of times it is this that leads to fights and war.

I have felt this in my dealings with some people in the local poly community and honestly if it was not for the calming affects of Redpepper it's hard to say where that would lead too…because you see, I too suffer from ego and sometimes you just want people to shut up.

Peace and love
Mono
 

crisare

New member
When I meet someone I feel something that internally gauges whether I want to connect. I don’t need to just because they are close to me. The person could be two feet from me all the time and if the energy isn’t there I don’t care. There are so many more people who have that something in them that I wonder why I would waste my time or energy trying to break down a brick wall. I look past it, walk around it and put it out of my mind.
[...]
I feel connection first and then look for common ground. I don’t seek out common ground to form that connection.
How do I deal with someone who has very different views than my own?
I accept their opinions and if I feel connection I look for that common ground like a pig looking for truffles….
[...]
If I don’t feel that connection or sense they intend on persisting on moot points of difference…..I just don’t….I move on. There are way too many people in this world for me to get caught up on trying to connect with one of them unless there is that something about them. I don’t feel the need.
Wow this resonated with me.

I used to be a "people pleaser" and wanted to be able to connect in some way with everyone. Perhaps not to the depth that you describe redpepper being, but close. I always felt I had to like and be liked by everyone or I was failing.

Recent changes in my life (in the last 3-4 years) have made me realize that when I'm not "forcing" myself, I'm much more like you, Mono. And accepting that has made me much more comfortable with myself. I don't have to connect with everyone and if I don't, then there's no need to push it. Not everyone is going to be buddies with everyone else and I'm ok with that. But it took me a long time to accept that in myself.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Wow this resonated with me.

I used to be a "people pleaser" and wanted to be able to connect in some way with everyone. Perhaps not to the depth that you describe redpepper being, but close. I always felt I had to like and be liked by everyone or I was failing.

.


I used to feel this too..it used to bother me when I perceived someone didn't like me...now I realize that is an unrealistic expectation and accept that fact...but that doesn't mean I can't find something to appreciate about everyone whether I express it or not. I do it in secret and I feel good about it internally. ;)
 

redpepper

New member
I can't really think of any specific examples on here, but the whole "people pleasing" thing resonates with me too. I was the same way and in moments of forgetfulness I still am, I also get that not everyone gets along. Call me crazy, but what I am talking about is getting past that even. To a place where we all just are... Parts we see eye to eye on and parts we are struggling with in each other.

I'm finding it hard to explain because it seems to be a nonverbal thing for me. Like a form of heightened empathy.

Its almost a spiritual thing for me and I find it hard to totally relate it to poly. I know its what I experience in my "V" but I am trying to accomplish that feeling in my poly community and beyond. I think I have achieved it at work with some of my long term co-workers. I told them just yesterday how much I love and appreciate them and some of us drive each other crazy. They all agreed. Maybe they were humouring me haha! :)

I guess the whole "type" thing is just to complicated in this whole thing. When I think of it all from afar it is making more sense. When I get down to details about more emotional people, or more theoretical it gets too detailed I think.

When I know a persons Myers briggs test results it seem to create the effect I am speaking of in an artificial way. It seems to defuse differences somehow, just in knowing we are all different and here is a test to prove it.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
In the Moment

I think I really do understand your struggle Red. I've often faced the same thing. Actually I think everyone does whether they slow down enough to recognize it or not.
And here's what I often come back to. And this is the kind of thing that takes tremendous discipline in your life in order to really live it.
In our current culture it's VERY difficult to LIVE in the "Moment". Just getting through the day for lots of people means dealing with things from multiple directions from our work/school lives, personal lives etc. So in any given interaction, often we're not "fully present". Part of us is here - part of us is somewhere else, dealing with some whole different situation.
Does this make sense ?
So... any particular interaction is a mishmash of stuff that applies and stuff that doesn't - INCLUDING the attached emotions.
I think if everyone was capable of living fully in the moment - that their full awareness and focus was applied to the circumstance immediately in front of them, that the whole attitude & outcome would often be different. It's often not that people don't like us, that we're not on the same page etc, it's just that one or more of us are introducing pieces of "stuff" that don't belong in the here & now. They're coming from somewhere else.
But we don't often live/interact that way. And it takes YEARS of training and constant vigilance to do so. Not to mention even an awareness of the concept, which we don't even have that.
So, I've just found it seems to help that in all my interactions I try to bring everyone back into the "moment" and this also helps bring ME back !

GS
 
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redpepper

New member
I think if everyone was capable of living fully in the moment - that their full awareness and focus was applied to the circumstance immediately in front of them, that the whole attitude & outcome would often be different. It's often not that people don't like us, that we're not on the same page etc, it's just that one or more of us are introducing pieces of "stuff" that don't belong in the here & now. They're coming from somewhere else.
So, I've just found it seems to help that in all my interactions I try to bring everyone back into the "moment" and this also helps bring ME back !

Pieces of "stuff" I totally get what you are saying here.

I went to a party last night that included many of my poly friends. Thanks to these lovely forums I see several dynamics differently now. My definition of poly is not amongst most of the people in the community I have here. Or at least not the way we are doing it/living it. Because of these forums I am able to live in the moment more and just let all that be. I love the friends I've made for the individuals they are and the moments we share at such events, but I sometimes don't receive that in return.

I realized last night, after several months, different conversations and putting some stuff together that I think I am and we are being judged and that judgment has blocked us from being closer to certain people. I guess it is hard for some people to understand that I prefer to find freedom in being committed to both my husband and Mono. I don't have a need at this point in my life to seek out more relationships and more sexual experiences. I have quality relationships and don't need more quantity. The seeming judgment comes when people think that I am somehow giving up my freedom. Sure Mono and I and all of us have some set boundaries that mean to the outside world I am losing my sexual freedom, and whether or not I can push that is left to be determined under certain circumstances, but I am happy where we are at and I am not giving up anything. On the contrary, I am inviting in relationship depth and more love in that than I have ever known.

The judgment that blocks some people from even talking to me is that they conduct their relationships from the perspective of being an entity un to themselves and they have several partners outside of that. Our relationship is based on "we" are the entity. Does that make sense? I would not want to be an entity on my own with partners. It sounds lonely and sad to me. I love being in a tight nit entity of three. The recent add on woman that my tersiary has found has made me realize this even more. He has found himself a play partner that he can dominate. My feelings about it are varied, but I seem to be unable to be totally okay with his outsideness in my life. I am coming to terms with it and realize that for him it's better and for me too, but I struggle.

sigh.... I'm tired of it all really. I just feel like crawling under a rock with my chosen family and hermitting. I totally can see why some poly families do that and just get on with their lives. I feel misunderstood after last night and the realization that I am judged. :( it makes me weepy, cause I try so hard to rise above that.... others like to steep in it. too much "stuff" is involved.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
I think a lot of the differences in approaches between us and many others in our community are the desire for such a closely integrated unit and the fact that there is a child involved. I think that is often forgotten as most of our friends do not have dependant children and don't want the level of integration we have. Many of our friends have a more inward focus and can focus solely on what they want without the need to consider something like stability for a child.

As far as the perception of control goes, some of this might be attributed to the language we use when discussing boundaries. Hearing someone say, "I can't" do something is a lot different than hearing someone say, "I chose to ".

These are control versus choice statements.

If thinking about boundaries does in fact bring up phrases like "I can't" in our own minds, than perhaps there is a control issue. If that is the case, than the question is, am I healthy in a relationship with that type of control?

To me the words "I can't" imply a desire to do so but not being allowed to; Denial.
Living in denial is not sustainable in my opinion.

When discussing relationship boundaries especially in a possibly judgemental environment it is important to express clearly our thoughts and use words that reflect what we feel. It is also important to be honest in expressing what we feel.

I think it is very important to be honest with ourselves in whether we do something because we want to or because we have to. If we do that than those around us will sense it more than hear it.


Peace and Love
Mono
 
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booklady78

New member
I can relate to wanting to 'please' people, as I have a great deal of difficulty voicing what I want or need. I am at my happiest when others are happy, which has had great rewards as well as downfalls. I would hate to think of myself as a total 'doormat' but the truth is that much of the unhappiness in my life has been because of fear of confrontation and not speaking up when I should have. I have been estranged from my parents, lost friends, and fallen into depression only to surface on the other side a wiser, if perhaps more cynical, person.
This past summer, much to the displeasure of my husband, I embarked on a trip by myself. I have made some online friends in the past year and wanted very much to meet them. My husband and I had also been 'drifting' and although not unhappy, just seemed too comfortable in old habits. I was terribly lonely at times as I travelled through several US states, but I learned more about myself than I ever imagined. When I returned, our previous discussions about doing something to 'revive' our marriage turned to polyamory. We already had a 'swinging' type agreement that had never been acted upon, but now we were ready to discuss what we now understand to be polyamory.
Now that I have a boyfriend in addition to my husband, there is a balance emerging. While some might consider having 2 men to be 'selfish', nothing could be further from the truth as I'm sure many of you understand. Although having them both in my life is something I want, more than anything, I've learned to temper my wants with their needs. I'm speaking up more than ever, while still being very considerate of all concerned. For me, it's been realizing what I want, then figuring out how to make it work. It doesn't always work, and I can accept that. Because I'm happier than I've ever been. I'll take the wins and losses and strike the best balance I can, in life, in work, with family, with every relationship. Out of all the pain and frustration over the course of my life, it's all lead to this time, this moment, with these people in my life. And I wouldn't dare change a thing.
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
The judgment that blocks some people from even talking to me is that they conduct their relationships from the perspective of being an entity un to themselves and they have several partners outside of that. Our relationship is based on "we" are the entity. Does that make sense? I would not want to be an entity on my own with partners. It sounds lonely and sad to me. I love being in a tight nit entity of three.

What you're saying makes perfect sense. The "I" entity seems to be mostly a privilege of the young, unattached, and/or childless. The "we" entity can be a foriegn concept for those who haven't experienced it. Similarly as those who have been a part of "we" long enough might forget what it was like to be an "I".

What you describe sounds strikingly similar to how I expect some mono's would feel talking to poly's sometimes. While poly's might question them about their lack of freedom being 'limited' to only one person for the rest of their life...the mono's, if they've considered the alternatives or not, may be perfectly happy with exploring the depth of their own relationship, rather than the breadth of experiencing others. Particularly the cases of established, long term successful monogamous couples (as opposed to the serial sorts) they may very well understand your "we" better than perhaps some of your "I"-am-poly friends.
 
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Ceoli

Guest
I realized last night, after several months, different conversations and putting some stuff together that I think I am and we are being judged and that judgment has blocked us from being closer to certain people. I guess it is hard for some people to understand that I prefer to find freedom in being committed to both my husband and Mono. I don't have a need at this point in my life to seek out more relationships and more sexual experiences. I have quality relationships and don't need more quantity. The seeming judgment comes when people think that I am somehow giving up my freedom. Sure Mono and I and all of us have some set boundaries that mean to the outside world I am losing my sexual freedom, and whether or not I can push that is left to be determined under certain circumstances, but I am happy where we are at and I am not giving up anything. On the contrary, I am inviting in relationship depth and more love in that than I have ever known.

The judgment that blocks some people from even talking to me is that they conduct their relationships from the perspective of being an entity un to themselves and they have several partners outside of that. Our relationship is based on "we" are the entity. Does that make sense? I would not want to be an entity on my own with partners. It sounds lonely and sad to me.

It's great that you're finding what works for you. However, it might be worth considering that others who are in more fluid or free relationships might also perceiving tacit judgment from you in how you're choosing to frame it. Not specifically referring to you here, I often see such things framed as "I would rather have depth and quality than quantity", implying that those who are in relationships that are more fluid can't have the same emotional connection or depth than other kinds of relationships.

The same can be said for perceiving how others regard their own entity within the relationship, whether it be "I" or "we". Those kinds of perceptions from outside the people experiencing it are often inaccurate and don't do justice to the personal experience of those in it. If someone said that I'm just not at the point where I can understand the "we" entity because of how my relationships are at the moment, I'd definitely be calling out those assumptions. Simply because our state of "we" looks different than your state of "we", it doesn't mean we're not in a state of "we". (this is a general "your" not a specific person)

Saying things like "it would be lonely and sad for me" could suggest to someone who hears it that you see them as lonely and sad people for having that experience when they may not be. This is a natural thing that happens when we start comparing our own experiences to other people's experiences. This is also why I dislike poly communities that declare certain people more "advanced" at poly because of their relationship styles than other people. I've seen such tacit judgments happen on this board fairly often.

It's definitely not ok to be judged for living the life that's right for you and if I was around while that was happening, I'd be calling that out, but I would also consider that while it may be in defense of the judgements you're feeling, you may be offering the same tacit judgments to people who are also living the life that's right for them.
 
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