Polysaturation and heartbreak.

GalaGirl

Well-known member
In a few more words, can you help me understand what 2 partners does that 1 or 3 partners does not.

At its most basic? It adds another partner to relate with. But not so many as 3.

Is it a time thing, where if you have the spare time or energy, then you keep adding partners and if you are too busy with kids or work or looking after an ailing parent, then no more additional lovers for you?

It's going to be personal to the individual. Sometimes it is a time thing. Other times, it is an inclination thing. Or maybe something else. One could even have all the time and energy in the world and still choose not date right now. Mono or poly.

In that case, is (identifying as poly but living monogamously) similar to (identifying as poly and being polysaturated)? In both cases, the thought of new lovers might cross your mind, but the effort required exceeds your time available and so you put the opportunity on the shelf for the time being?

Sometimes, the poly person has their plate full at 0 partners or 1 partner. It depends on what else is going on for them in their life. No different than a monogamous person having their plate full at 0 people or 1 partner depending on what else is going on in their life. Both can notice attractive people in the world. Both can have the thought of a new lover cross their mind. Both can choose not to pursue or develop something there.

I wonder if what you are struggling to understand is more about

  • "If my partner were happy with me, and if I were a good partner/spouse/lover/etc., my partner would be so satisfied that (s)he wouldn’t want to get involved with anyone else."

than about trying to understand when one's plate is full/saturated? Is that it? :confused:

Galagirl
 
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Lea

New member
I think that fulfillment has a unique definition for every person, whether in relationships or life in general, poly or not.

That being said, for my wife it is more fulfilling to have the possibility to explore other relationships. If it never amounts to anything, fine. If it does amount to something, great. But it is not that she needs another partner(s) to be happy.


I like this comment a lot. I feel that's how I am as well. And NRE is awesome don't get me wrong, but it has it's downsides too. The high might be great but the crash sucks too. Stability is just as much a good thing :)
 

Marcus

Well-known member
In a few more words, can you help me understand what 2 partners does that 1 or 3 partners does not. Is it a time thing, where if you have the spare time or energy, then you keep adding partners and if you are too busy with kids or work or looking after an ailing parent, then no more additional lovers for you?

As I was reading this I was envisioning one of those sushi bars that have plates on a conveyor belt, but they are poly partners.

In both cases, the thought of new lovers might cross your mind, but the effort required exceeds your time available and so you put the opportunity on the shelf for the time being?

Love may well be an infinite resource, but time and energy are not. There is only so much time and energy to dedicate to any one person or activity. Once a person takes on too much they either drain their energy and resources until they become miserable, or they take care of themselves and reduce what is on their plate until it is a manageable amount.

This is the same with all things and relationships and is not an issue created by polyamory.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
Your question doesn't have an answer. Poly people are not the borg; everyone has their own individual reason for why they do things the way they do them, and continually asking for someone to provide you with an explanation of The One True Way is an exercise in futility.

1000x this - I've seen this for years on this and other poly boards - the only relationship style that is right for you is *the one that is right for you*, whether it's poly or mono and whatever parameters you and your partner(s) put on that.

In a few more words, can you help me understand what 2 partners does that 1 or 3 partners does not. Is it a time thing, where if you have the spare time or energy, then you keep adding partners and if you are too busy with kids or work or looking after an ailing parent, then no more additional lovers for you? In that case, is identifying as poly but living with monogamously similar to identifying as poly and being polysaturated? In both cases, the thought of new lovers might cross your mind, but the effort required exceeds your time available and so you put the opportunity on the shelf for the time being?

There's another point you're missing here, and that's one of *choice*. Being poly is as much a mindset as a lifestyle, and at its most base level the difference to me is in the *possibility* of other people in my life, whether or not I have them.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I don't think there's a "perfect number of partners," for anyone. Some may pursue what they think is their "perfect number," and for some no number is large enough. But I think it makes more sense to just accept new love if and when it comes into your life. Of course, I'm not interested in looking for new partners. I cut my ties with OKC a long time ago. So I am biased.
 

Spork

Active member
Also, I think that some of your preconceptions about how people go about the whole business are coming from a place that is kinda...I dunno, doomed to inaccuracy? And it's not just your monogamy perspective, I think your experience with dating is limited, too.

So when you've been in a long term mono marriage, the thrills of "freedom" and dating and NRE sound like loads of fun. For women, it's usually more easy to find interested parties, who are eager to stroke our egos and buy us stuff. But more fun than that, is the thrill of getting to know a new human, seeing if there are sparks, watching for signs of interest...oh, the thrills and chills to be had.

But talk to anyone who has been doing that for a little while, and they'll tell ya. Dating is kind of a pain in the ass. Trying and failing and trying and failing, disappointments and dick pics, rudeness and incompatibilities. Most of the time, only one person, not both, will fall in any kind of love at all. It's a search, and it's kind of exhausting, emotionally.

But some people enjoy doing that for a while. Especially if they are young, or if they are recently out of a mono situation and the way I described the feeling was:

The universe asked me what I wanted. I replied, "I dunno. Whaddya got?"

Most "normal" folks who are looking to enjoy NRE, do dating and serial monogamy. They'll have someone new, enjoy them, but when the NRE wears off, they are convinced it's not right for some reason. They either break up, or let the connection fade through lack of nurturing (giving it time and energy.) Then on to hunt the next one. But people don't usually just keep on doing that. Eventually they find some configuration where they are pretty happy and they stick with it for a while. Eventually, whether with one other partner or several, you crave stability.

And what that looks like, is up to you. Maybe you stop at 2 partners because you feel that you're able to give them both plenty of time and attention and all, and they together fulfill you and your world just feels complete.

OK I'm gonna go personal again, but not in a triggery, icky way. Just an illustration of how variable all this is, and how things worked out, and how I (like many) didn't set out with this clear structured roadmap, and expectations of how to structure things. (I really think it's best if you don't!)

In July 2015, I was dating. I hadn't declared myself polyamorous, but I wanted to avoid serious commitments because I'd only recently broken up with my ex and...reasons. So I was just dating around on OK Cupid. I met a man. Started seeing him. He told me he was happy that I wasn't looking for my next husband or anything super serious, and explained that he was non-mono. I had an occasional FWB in my life too, that I had no intention of giving up, at that point. So that BF, Analyst told me he had met this interesting libertarian couple. We got together with Fire and Hefe and started dating in mid-August, 2015.

Now with three people, plus the hope of getting to occasionally bang my sexy sadistic fling, Worm King, you would think that would be PLENTY of partners for one single Mom with a full time job and a demanding ex and a pool team... "The quad" (our group of four) would do fun stuff...ziplining, hot tubbing, massage, escape rooms, fun dinners and brunches...more happiness than you could shake a stick at. Why wasn't that enough?

As things with the Worm King fizzled and I got more into the BDSM scene, I realized I needed a Sadist. Like a real, legit, enjoys giving me what I need and needs it too, doesn't treat me like a fragile flower, and the stuff is more than "slap and tickle to spice up the bedroom" actual honest SADIST.

Hm. Fortuitously, one approached me.

To that point I also thought that what I had with "the quad" was safer, because I did not feel like my heart was in a bonfire of emotion. I felt more like our love was a golden sunny afternoon. It was lovely...but it wasn't OMG.

Guess I wanted the OMG, and to hell with safe.

In September I met Zen. We started doing scenes at BDSM parties. (floggers and canes and paddles and stuff.) 2 months later, we started a sexual relationship. It also felt "safe" emotionally, but I was really getting a lot more of my needs met...and we had more frequent sex, and slowly things began to click into place. The quad...I still saw them fairly often, but sex began to dwindle. There was a bit of communication drama. By July 2016, they felt more like friends with sometimes benefits, where Zen felt like A RELATIONSHIP. I also started to feel stretched thin with time and scheduling, and felt that I was pressuring myself and being critical of whether I was able to give enough (sex, time, energy, emotional investment) as GIRLFRIEND to four people. (The thing with the Worm King had ended back around the time I met Zen.) So. July, 2016, one year after I began dating Analyst, almost to the day, I "broke up" with the quad. I meant to gently dial it back to a mere definition of friends that felt less demanding to me and left me feeling less personal pressure. But they took it as a breakup. And immediately as that followed, my feelings were blowing up around Zen. From about May 2016 to now, I've been arse over teakettle for him.

I consider him my only Relationship now, and he's the only one I have sex with. Though I flirt, befriend, and play with others at parties, they are part of the bigger picture of my social life...Zen is Zen. Singular, with a specialness of place.

And all I can say is that it ain't about NRE and adding new people to keep getting that boost, it's about the very individualized picture of what a person needs to be happy. And I think most of us have no idea what that is, until we have it in front of us. You can't script out what that will look like ahead of time. I think you may be trying too hard to create a (false) sense of security for yourself, by trying to figure out what the end picture looks like, and the roadmap from here to there. I don't think it works that way. At least, it didn't for me.
 

vinsanity0

Active member
Thanks guys, for all your answers.

I'm struggling to understand what being polysaturated with 2 partners adds to life that monogamy or 3 partners doesn't have?

In a few more words, can you help me understand what 2 partners does that 1 or 3 partners does not. Is it a time thing, where if you have the spare time or energy, then you keep adding partners and if you are too busy with kids or work or looking after an ailing parent, then no more additional lovers for you? In that case, is identifying as poly but living with monogamously similar to identifying as poly and being polysaturated? In both cases, the thought of new lovers might cross your mind, but the effort required exceeds your time available and so you put the opportunity on the shelf for the time being?

"Polysaturation" is a thing based on how much time and energy you have. For some people, one person is enough. For others two is enough. Some may stop at 3. I had four partners in various stages of relationships. That was about all I could handle time and money-wise...and emotionally.

This question makes me think you think we are just ravenous relationship machines looking to gobble up as many people as we can. It's not like that. It's different for everybody. My wife only wanted one other partner...maybe two if one was a woman.
 

Shaya

New member
Hi Guys,

I'm really grateful to all your replies. Many of you have helped clarify things for me. I'd like to see if I can reflect back what you're telling me.

Emm / Icesong : Every poly relationship is different. It's hard to answer Shaya's question because it can be answered in so many different ways.

Karen / Spork: Poly is about love. If you love someone enough, love shifts rules, schedules and preconceptions in order to accomodate love. This will be different for each love.

Mockingjay / Spork: Firstly, it's not so much a question about quantity of lovers (1, 2 or 3), but more about quality. Secondly, it's about personal freedom or autonomy. Monogamy will limit you at 1, whilst poly gives the individual the freedom of going beyond 1.


GalaGirl / Marcus / Icesong: Monogamous or poly-minded folk can have 0 or 1 relationship, with life taking up the rest of their time. Poly-folk can always choose to have more than 1 if time or energy permits.

GalaGirl was also wondering if I'm struggling to understand if I could 'improve me' to the point where my partner would want just me, and my answer is, "No. I'm aware that her wanting other lovers is more a reflection of her personality and her needs than it is about me as an individual." My fear of poly is,

"Will it be a never-ending quest for NRE? Given my wife's and my background, we're likely to approach new relationships with the mindset that it has to last for life. We can intellectually tell ourselves this is not so, but our upbringing and life experiences will gear us emotionally to believe that love is love and love is meant to last. Everything else is just a quick fuck. We understand that a break up with a Friends-With-Benefits or some other relationship with a low emotional investment is likely to be less painful, but these are not the sort of relationships we think we will enjoy (though of course, we have no idea). Love, and duration of relationships are so important in monogamy. Poly seems to have the healthier approach to not judge a relationship's value by its duration, but rather by the quality in the given moment. Poly philosophy seems more willing to let go of old relationships whilst monogamy strives to preserve them."

All of these are generalised statements of course. Please don't take them as a personal attack on polyamory. Just me trying to understand stuff. I sometimes laugh at that "senior member" status logo under my avatar because I certainly don't feel like a senior member in anything relationship or poly related! I really don't have the life experiences to help me understand something as complicated as polyamory. I feel pretty n00b actually. I've experienced jealousy only once, reciprocated NRE only once, married once, sex with one person (very vanilla), no kids. I sometimes feel like the most naive person to have walked on this forum. Even the newbies to the forum often come with more experience than me. Doesn't seem to stop me from blabbing on their threads though. ;)

So I'm currently trying to devote my brain to figuring out what adding a second lover to a first actually does, with a blindfold over my eyes and no life experiences to hinge the discussion on. But very, very open to hearing your experiences, both on this thread and on other threads.

Finally, thank you for your time in explaining things for me. If I take a step back from this very narrow issue that the thread is exploring, I'm actually finding the philosophy of polyamory to be a really useful concept for my (monogamous) relationship. In particular, I find the concepts of autonomy and freedom, and understanding the insane levels of jealousy and control in monogamy are really helping to give my wife and I a more ethically sound monogamous relationship than what we used to have. In regards to this thread, as long as you still have the time and energy to explain things to me, I will always be eager to ask and to learn. Thank you.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
My fear of poly is, "Will it be a never-ending quest for NRE? Given my wife's and my background, we're likely to approach new relationships with the mindset that it has to last for life. We can intellectually tell ourselves this is not so, but our upbringing and life experiences will gear us emotionally to believe that love is love and love is meant to last. Everything else is just a quick fuck. We understand that a break up with a Friends-With-Benefits or some other relationship with a low emotional investment is likely to be less painful, but these are not the sort of relationships we think we will enjoy (though of course, we have no idea). Love, and duration of relationships are so important in monogamy. Poly seems to have the healthier approach to not judge a relationship's value by its duration, but rather by the quality in the given moment. Poly philosophy seems more willing to let go of old relationships whilst monogamy strives to preserve them."

Let me repeat that back in my own words to see if I understand it the way you mean it. You are saying something like...

My fear of polyamory is that it will be a never ending NRE quest. (For who? You or wife?)
  • Because I want to know ahead of time that the relationship will last for life. (Which relationship? With wife? The new potential?)
    • Because I don't want to deal in break up pain.
      • Because I value (love, duration of relationship, and preservation of relationship) the most. I value (quality of relationship) less than those.
        • Because...

If that is your train of thought? Maybe listing "because" until there is no more to list helps you get down to the bottom of it so you can lay the fear to rest and can then poly without this bothering you?

Alternately, you could accept the personal limit and not poly at this time. Then there isn't any NRE stuff to contend with and you don't have to be fearful.

Galagirl
 
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Spork

Active member
I don't think I have ever known anyone who was HAPPY doing an endless NRE quest.

And relationships built on the high of NRE, do NOT tend to last and last. Honestly? Lasting relationships like what you hold dear are rare, and special, and precious. If you try and try, and if you let new connections into your life often, one out of many will be ABLE to last for a long time, let alone "forever."

Having a happy, healthy relationship that lasts a very long time (or life) is something that if you are lucky you may get that once, it's like lightening striking, I think. Most of the "for life" relationships I have seen really have not been that healthy, or happy. And for me, and for many, quality IS more important than quantity (or longevity, rather.) I would rather have one amazing year, than 50 grey, blah ones with someone. We should all get to experience "amazing" whether it lasts or not. But chasing it all the time would drive you crazy.

I think that what is needful is balance. And balance, like anything, is in the eye of the beholder.

The scenario you describe...

Humans A and B believe in relationships as permanent things. They only will date others who believe the same. They find more who do, and bring them in, but because NRE is temporary and they want that, too, they bring on humans C, D, E, F, etc to keep the NRE flowing but they don't want to ever do a breakup, so the clan just keeps growing until no one has time for anyone anymore.

That's like saying, as a God, "I think babies are great, so people should definitely reproduce, but death is rather unpleasant, let's get rid of that bit" and then see what happens...

It isn't sustainable and it doesn't work. Also, it's not realistic, unless you're building a CULT. Where people just can't leave. That's pretty much the only scenario I can think of that looks remotely like what you describe, and I think we can agree that's not very healthy, yes?

I am illustrating from the place of "girl who has had many partners, in and out of relationships" to "person who has had one lover, one partner, one wife." You can't just photocopy that relationship into many. What you have done is rare. You might, if you are incredibly fortunate, find ONE other person, or two, who can do a very long term relationship as a polycule with you. But the more you add, the more potential instability enters the program...keep adding more, eventually you either drink the kool aid, or the cart wobbles till the wheels fall off. OK, now I'm just getting silly with the metaphors... No, keep adding more, in a realistic poly situation, you/your wife WILL experience breakups. It WILL happen.

But that is not the end of the world.

Freedom, autonomy, means accepting that relationships can evolve, change, or end, when that is the organic path of them. Personally, I like to morph them into friendships. This works well for me, because I'm a very community based creature, so likely my former lovers will be part of my social sphere and I don't want massive drama to cause fractures. So I continue to behave in loving ways to them as friends, and just gently drift a little further apart until we are not in "Relationships" anymore. I don't like hurting others or being hurt if I can avoid that, I'm very conflict averse.

But we all manage our lives differently. I know many people who don't even want to see the face of a former lover, and think that a healthy breakup happens in a storm of tears and fury, and my way is "sociopathic."

You do you. (Just...try not to drink the kool aid, huh? :p )
 
It's an interesting discussion for sure. :)

There were a couple of things that stood out for me in your response.

Monogamy will limit you at 1, whilst poly gives the individual the freedom of going beyond 1.

Everybody has different opinions but it depends on your notion of freedom. Having romantic relationships doesn't feel freeing to me. I'll have one at a time if the right person comes along but even then, its a stretch and I regularly need time to myself and time alone with my friends and family for it to be okay - anything else, just makes me feel trapped. The notion of having more than one partner to worry about - or my partner having other partners who need to be considered - fills me with a desire to run far away.

We understand that a break up with a Friends-With-Benefits or some other relationship with a low emotional investment is likely to be less painful

I wouldn't count on any kind of relationship as one that has a low emotional investment. For sure there are tons of people who can and do go through their lives without becoming emotionally invested in anybody else but those folk are likely to be in the minority.

Most human beings form very close bonds with the humans they enjoy spending time with. If you add in the additional bonding that comes with sex, it is likely that however you wish to label the relationship, there will be an amount of emotional investment.

There are plenty of people who go into something thinking it won't lead to any emotional investment who find themselves deeply hurt when it ends. Losing friends for some people is just as painful as losing romantic partners -
more so in some circumstances.

Even when it is the best choice all round, letting go isn't always easy.

IP
 

Spork

Active member
Even when it is the best choice all round, letting go isn't always easy.

*nodding with emphatic agreement.*

Which is why I avoid it. I still keep a little sort of tether to past partners, and tend not to sever ties or go hostile. I just can't quite bear to fully let them go, not really. Not entirely.

Might be one of several strong arguments for why I cling to a bit of poly-identity. Because I really do need for even a mono partner of mine to understand that they will never really be my "one and only person." Zen may have a very special singular status with me, but I will not stop talking my my exes, or trying to forge new emotionally intimate and affectionate connections, even if he's the only one I'm having sex with.

I've got friendships that only stop short of actual sex. The main difference between those and my Relationships IS whether they have sexual access to me, and whether I devote significant time to them in a one-on-one way. I expect to spend at least an evening or two a week, with anyone that I am in a RELATIONSHIP with. The others...we see one another whenever it works out.

Conversely I have no interest in emotion free sex, unless it's some very unusual circumstance, like to satisfy my interest in some particular kink at a party or something...and even then, I would need my partner to be the main other participant, and anyone else just an accessory to that.

If I hook up with someone, and have sex with them, and there is then no desire to emotionally bond, I almost guarantee I will never have sex with them again. I won't want to.

But I see tons of mono folk act like it's perfectly fine to have casual, emotionless sex with others...but threatening if feelings get involved. And I can't live like that, or be with someone who thinks that way, and is threatened by my emotionally important friendship connections. Far easier to agree to not have sex with others, than to agree to not love others.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
"Will it be a never-ending quest for NRE? Given my wife's and my background, we're likely to approach new relationships with the mindset that it has to last for life. We can intellectually tell ourselves this is not so, but our upbringing and life experiences will gear us emotionally to believe that love is love and love is meant to last. Everything else is just a quick fuck. We understand that a break up with a Friends-With-Benefits or some other relationship with a low emotional investment is likely to be less painful, but these are not the sort of relationships we think we will enjoy (though of course, we have no idea). Love, and duration of relationships are so important in monogamy. Poly seems to have the healthier approach to not judge a relationship's value by its duration, but rather by the quality in the given moment. Poly philosophy seems more willing to let go of old relationships whilst monogamy strives to preserve them."

Here are some other things that you may have not considered *because* of your background (and as someone who comes from a moderately similar one, and had to learn them the hard way...I rather wish someone had told me or asked me these things back in the day...)
  • Just because you date someone doesn't mean you'll fall in love with them - hell, "in love" is not really a binary. I have to do some math to figure out how many people I've slept with, I've "dated" 8 or 9 in any significant way, I have only been "in love" 3 times (2 of them I'm still with) and they've been very very different each time. The other partners have certainly been people I love and still do, in some cases, but like Spork, a lot of them are still part of my community as tight friends. I mean, I haven't slept with my first girlfriend in a few years, but I was a bridesmaid in her wedding more recently and I spent last evening dying her hair pink. It's a thing.
  • A corollary question for you to consider: do you have long time friends who you've grown in different directions and perhaps don't hang out as much as you used to, but you still love each other as friends and if you DO get together it's like nothing has changed? Romantic/sexual relationships can be that too - the investment is already there, you just aren't interacting ALL THE TIME anymore..
  • Is there anything wrong with a quick fuck? I ask this as an actual question that the answer varies for different people. For some people, maybe especially those on the demisexual scale, the answer is yes, emotional involvement is required. For others, sex CAN be a fun pastime with friends or even strangers. You're the only one who can answer that (well, you and your wife, I mean, and if you have different answers to that it can be an issue - nothing like being slut-shamed by a partner because you're interested in casual sex with others, I've seen that happen too often.
  • Possibly, if it's at all interesting, you should *try* some more casual relationships - back in the day I found it a useful babystep into non-monogamy, though of course YMMV.
  • How much have you considered about the relationship escalator? I think you have an idea that once you have a relationship with someone it has to grow and grow, leaving no room for others, and leaving no room to step backwards gently if that's what is right for both of you *without* being an ending. I'm not dating anyone new at the moment, nor is Artist - but if either of us was suddenly struck by lightning and a new intense relationship with someone else sprung up, we'd adjust our lives to match that.
 

Shaya

New member
Thank you all for sharing your experiences with me. This thread has really helped my view of polyamory to mature. I wanted to summarise my learning to date.

I started this thread with the mistaken notion that doing polyamory meant hooking up with every sexual or emotional interest who reciprocated that interest. It seems such an immature view now in hindsight. Clearly, polyamory merely lifts the constraints of loving just one, but you still get to choose to act on the desire or not. If life is busy, then you don't.

In a private message to me, someone said poly's a bit like a hobby in the sense that if you're too busy, you don't add a new lover. New lovers will involve time, energy, date nights and so forth, chewing up time like a hobby. The analogy probably ends there, but it was a useful analogy for me to grasp because of my lack of similar experiences.

Many here have pointed out that a never-ending quest for NRE in the manner I described is not healthy, and probably does lead to unnecessary heartbreak. Experienced polyamorists here have described choosing their next relationship with care, rather than acting on every sexual or emotional impulse that comes along. In this way, polyamory (and in particular, polyfidelity) shares more overlap with monogamy than I had expected.

Thank you all for your contribution to my understanding. The summary I've given here may seem like an obvious restatement of the obvious to practicing polyamorists, but I can assure you that it covers groundbreaking ideas for monogamists.
 

redpepper

New member
I haven't posted in the forums in ages, but as you asked me....

I haven't read all the responses so excuse me if there are repeats.

I think there are as many reasons to decide on a poly relationship as there are people on the planet. I think that the larger reasons being that at different times of life it can be a viable option for a short time or a long time. I think that people get into relationships because they are NRE junkies or they just want to settle into what happens beyond that. Really poly is quite often situational and can be part of a relationship focussed stage of life. I agree it is like a hobbie to most and with that a lifestyle develops around a community who has the same hobbie. It's like a hobbie that requires another or many to do.

I agree that the time aspect is the biggest deterrent when it all comes down to it. I found it impossible to have a balance between "me" time and partner time over and above two. I struggled to spend time with my child and missed out on that. I had five partners at one point and that was ridiculously to many.

Looking back, if I was who I am today, I'd of stuck it out with my husband and likely seperated when my kid was young. Husband and child was plenty for me. I lost connection with myself entirely due to poly saturation. I will never give "me" up again. I could manage two relationships when my boy is full grown perhaps but only if they are super low maintenance.

I got 7 extra years out of our marriage as a result of poly and that to me was a success. I see nothing wrong with doing whatever it takes to be happy and mentally healthy as long as there is consent... and by consent I mean everyone being honest and agreeing. Unfortunately, that seems to be rare and hard to maintain in any kind of deep and meaningful way that doesn't lead to heartache and sorrow.
 
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Spork

Active member
Another thing I don't think I've said in here about NRE (and my apologies for any redundancy) is that NRE is not all fun, good, and enjoyable...at least for me. Probably for many, from what I've seen.

There is the part that is very exciting and all. But there is also for me a lot of emotional drama (often with no solid reason) and insecurity. It is the feeling where I am beginning to be vulnerable and invested and yet I don't know the person well enough to feel 100% completely safe handing my heart over to them. Along with the joy, there is the fear of hurt.

And all of that stuff is felt at a high degree of intensity to the point where it can consume one's thoughts and be very distracting, almost all the time.

Keeping that going is a little bit crazymaking. I think that most people will not seek to chase a sustained high of NRE, because if nothing else, they'll get completely burned out on it sooner or later, and life often demands more of us than floating around with our heads in the clouds.

Even monogamous people who are in a "dating" phase, single essentially, if they don't find someone who works for a longer relationship and just serial date partner after partner...they usually will reach a point where they just get tired of it, and "take a break." I don't think that NRE itself is inherently sustainable as a state of being, or optimal in the long run.

Now...if we take sex, relationships, commitments, and all the heavy duty stuff off the table...and take the "relationship anarchy" position that even a friendship can be as valid as ANY kind of ship... I don't mind endlessly chasing friendship NRE, which is milder and more fun. I meet new people, to the tune of usually 5-10 a week I would say, and at least one or two are people who make me feel excited. I get all happy thinking about getting to know them, and sharing conversation, food, music...a new friend is a nice, mild, SAFER, form of NRE to chase.

The big difference? Vulnerability. It can take a lot longer, if ever, for me to hand over significant vulnerability to a "just" friend sort of person. I don't owe them anything, either, from the start. And if, for instance, I learn something unsavory about that person, I am still free to back out of the interaction. I'm not heavily invested in that connection. And to speak to what you describe, instead of those connections ending in heartbreak, they usually just fade in and out. Sometimes this friend is very busy and we don't talk for a while, sometimes another friend has more free time and we spend more of it together. No need for heartbreak or upset.
 

central

Member
Thanks guys, for all your answers.

I'm struggling to understand what being polysaturated with 2 partners adds to life that monogamy or 3 partners doesn't have?

In a few more words, can you help me understand what 2 partners does that 1 or 3 partners does not. Is it a time thing, where if you have the spare time or energy, then you keep adding partners and if you are too busy with kids or work or looking after an ailing parent, then no more additional lovers for you? In that case, is identifying as poly but living with monogamously similar to identifying as poly and being polysaturated? In both cases, the thought of new lovers might cross your mind, but the effort required exceeds your time available and so you put the opportunity on the shelf for the time being?

I find that another partner simply intensifies the feelings and connection with all (both) my partners. Another partner complements my original partner to some degree, providing personality, interests, and sexual variety that one person can't. As someone put it in another thread, there is increased "saturation" of experience.

I would prefer to have a long term additional partner, but often, relationships are temporary. My main relationship looks to be permanent, though, so there is some key stability that I truly value and enjoy. Adding to that is wonderful.

Additional partners might be nice, but at some point (which will be different for different people and relationships) you have no more time to spend, and still sustain a deep connection - I don't really want superficial relationships.
 

Nettle

New member
This whole question seems weird to me. This is not how I see my life.

I'm not poly to be poly. I'm poly pecause of the people in my life, because of the specific people and the specific connections with them. I have never been searching for relationships to add something in my life, not even the first one. I just meet people and want to be with them. So what a second romantic relationship adds to my life? This person. If I was monogamous I would still have them as a friend, though. What do friends add to my life? Or any people for that matter? Nothing. People ARE life, they don't add to it.

And additional partners? If my life is full, I will not have time to meet new people and develop new connections, so they just don't exist. Why would I feel left out about something that does not exist?
 
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Rockit49

New member
Hi Shaya

The only ones I'll promise forever to is my kin!... And you are an adult that understands what that truly entails in this life.. tomorrow is a promise to no one!
I only enjoy deep connections! I do like quick rumps now and then....I just don't like them with superficial characters or at least that's where I stand now lol. I Enjoy and understand full freedom.

Shaya ..I don't think there's a need for my next quote but you seem to like everything laid out in definition text style..." It doesn't matter what your relationship style is, mono or poly, everyone has a Saturation point!". What is yours, Shaya? Yes I've read your stuff.. Lol. That's how your questions feel to me... And you know that

Great read from everyone, thanks guys!
Later Shay!
 
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