Solo poly people - what's your ideal?

strixish

New member
I've enjoyed reading through this thread. I am somewhat solo, I suppose. For almost three years, I have spent my weekends with a M/F couple, and we go on vacations together. I am close to both of them individually, but he is the person in my life who is the closest to something primary-ish. He doesn't really follow the hierarchal model. Although, we don't live together, won't live together, and only see each other over weekends, except for rare occasions.

I also have a boyfriend I see once a week, who himself lives with a primary girlfriend (he ascribes to the hierarchal model). This is also a long term committed relationship. (Committed? Well, we feel loyalty to each other, and an ongoing intention of maintaining and protecting the space we have in each other's lives, and a desire to do some work if needed to take care of each other's needs... sounds like commitment, anyway).

I'm also dating. There are a couple long term former girlfriends who sort of come and go, and a new friend.

I live alone and intend to do so for the foreseeable future. I'm definitely not a free agent, though, as dating someone new requires discussions all around. Lots of discussions, sometimes, and a great deal of attention paid to how everyone feels, whether it challenges their sense of security. I'm committed to doing whatever work is needed to hold up my end of the relationships I'm in. I don't trample over anyone's feelings. There are no vetoes, no rules of engagement for what I do on my own time, nothing like that, but I care about my people. So yes, the "free agent" definition really isn't something that resonates with me.

Sometimes, this structure makes me wonder if I'm missing out, since I don't have a live-in domestic partner primary type person. Aren't I supposed to want that??? I've been married before, though, and I am worlds happier now. This really suits me, in more ways than I could name.
 
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Songbird

New member
commitment & intimacy

Strixish, I very much like your definition of commitment: "we feel loyalty to each other, and an ongoing intention of maintaining and protecting the space we have in each other's lives, and a desire to do some work if needed to take care of each other's needs." I'd add being open and honest about our feelings and needs, which seems implicit in your post.

So the notion that we're supposed to want the live-in partner ... I feel conflicting tugs. The delight of being with my sweeties makes me want to spend more time with them. I also think there can be a depth of intimacy from living together that can't be had another way. At the same time, living on my own is centering, and living together risks the dead weight of all the "supposed to"s.
 

AnnabelMore

Active member
Strixish, I very much like your definition of commitment: "we feel loyalty to each other, and an ongoing intention of maintaining and protecting the space we have in each other's lives, and a desire to do some work if needed to take care of each other's needs." I'd add being open and honest about our feelings and needs, which seems implicit in your post.

So the notion that we're supposed to want the live-in partner ... I feel conflicting tugs. The delight of being with my sweeties makes me want to spend more time with them. I also think there can be a depth of intimacy from living together that can't be had another way. At the same time, living on my own is centering, and living together risks the dead weight of all the "supposed to"s.

Seconded, excellent definition of commitment. And your others thoughts struck a chord with me too. Lately I've been wondering if I might not be happier solo. I don't want to leave my bf but I'm having a lot of trouble with the idea of moving in with him, which he wants. Is my problem with him, or do I actually just like my independence? Currently I live with roommates and we support each other, but we're not as deeply involved with each other's lives as live-in partners are.
 

FrankLee

New member
Solo Poly wish list

Just being on this forum is about all the commitment I'm capable of at the moment. This is hard work, and has sapped my reading time from my general diet of histories and biographies. I haven't even had time to read the newspaper or The Nation on my Kindle.

But, I'm very happy to have found the term, Solo Poly and to realize that a thread in this forum can extend for a couple of years. Guess Solo Poly suits me perfectly. I would have to add, that I'm so involved in my own responsibilities, that I have limited time. If I met one partner, once a month, I'd be happy. That's just talk, of course. At the moment, there are no partners in my life.

What I think I might like as an ideal situation? Well, there's a friend in Baltimore, I've been through a lot with for 35 years. A tryst with her a couple of times a year would be heaven. She is glorious in bed (I know), but she has little appreciation for the poly concept. She has remained alone for most of the last 20 years, and it's a true waste of good "lovin." I have to add, that I can only handle her in small doses. Her self-absorption and compulsive talking are more than I can bear for long. The only way to get her to shut up, is to kiss her. But, if she were in trouble or sick and needed a friend, I'd be there in a minute.

Then, I'd be a happy puppy, if my lover of the last three years would take me back, even as a secondary to her new boyfriend. Doesn't look promising though.

And, on another, very personal, and private note, almost too sensitive for me to mention here, there's a special and attractive friend here in town in a unique situation. We have been lovers in the past. She is now barely able to walk with progressive multiple sclerosis. She has hinted recently at a desire to have sex with me. And, I wonder that poly doesn't have a place for acts of generosity and compassion in unusual circumstances. She, I'm sure, would very much appreciate it, and I, though not inspired by heights of passion, would find it a moment of warmth and friendship.

Probably, the reality is that I have yet to meet my next Solo Poly Lover Partner. Possibly, on this forum, who knows? Or by some twist of fate, around the corner.

I am not looking for a long list of lovers (or partners.) I would like the list to be short enough that I could send all present and past companions a Christmas card each year. I would want to know if any one of them were in pain or personal angst, and I would want to be able to do what I could to help.

I don't foresee sharing a home with a woman again. My grief over losing my marriage was unbearable, and I couldn't stand that again. And, I don't want to confuse my son with any more people in his life than he already has to deal with. Having been adopted from South America, and having divorced parents, he is already dealing with more abandonment issues than one person deserves.
 

FrankLee

New member
In NYCindie's defense....

...not that she needs it or asks for it, or that I have any interest in combative banter in this forum, but 9inchtongue's comment is way beyond the boundaries of courtesy, decency, and helpful exchange of ideas.

Not to mention, the name itself is a poor face to present to the forum. Methinks he may belong somewhere else, or learn some manners.
 

nycindie

Active member
I'd like to steer this thread back to the original topic. Here are some highlights:

nycindie said:
...for anyone out there who is unattached or considers themselves a solo poly person... What is your ideal situation? Are you already there or hoping to get there?

...I created this thread for solo poly people, since the married folk looking for a "third" are a much more vocal and common contingent here.

...There comes a saturation point for me, every now and then, where I can't read anymore about married couples opening up their relationship.

The whole idea of solo poly people who are happy to remain so sort of defies the idea that absolutely everyone needs a steady primary partner to cohabit with.

I am also a rare "solo poly person" who is not seeking a primary partner. (And I too have found that NYCindie's posts really speak to me!)

I need a lot of solitary time to work on my writing. I don't want to live with anyone or be one half of an intensely bonded couple. I need a lot of space, physically and mentally and emotionally.

I'd like to have a number of regular lovers that I consider good friends and am emotionally close to. But I don't think relationships need to be "serious" or permanent. For me, dating and sex and love and friendship are all about exploration and getting to know oneself and others.

...it isn't as easy to find men who will hear me say I want non-exclusivity and be willing to commit to something deeper than just a casual and primarily sexual relationship. I... don't see the need to ask for a commitment right away, nor to set aside the need for companionship and sex until that happens for me, but it does get frustrating at times. I do not, however, see the need to make any adjustments to the ideal I seek.

...in the "real world," nobody seems to want what I want, or to be sympathetic to it at all. It's better in the various poly communities I've joined, but even there, I still feel like a very marginal minority.

There are a lot of resources for how to have committed coupledom with more than one person, but almost nothing at all for how to have happy, healthy, NON-committed relationships.

Yes... it's surprising how even some poly peeps will view the solo person as not serious enough for more than only casual or primarily sexual liaisons...

I've always felt that relationships don't need the goal of being permanent to be successful... Basically, I see commitment as an allegiance between people who are moving toward the same goals... Wait, strike that. They may not have the same goals but at least, for a time, their goals are not at odds -- and they are supportive of each other as they move forward in life.

...I want multiple, ongoing, committed, loving relationships. I just don't want any life partners moving in! ...for me, being solo is sort of straddling both worlds -- something committed and more substantial than open/casual, but without any pressure to make it forever.

And yeah, this is really important to me -- eventually, I'd like to know that someday there will be one or two people I am in relationship with, that can be on my list of emergency contacts. Now that I've entered my 50s, I think about being alone as I get older. I may not want to live with someone again, but I still want some boyfriends I can count on, and be counted upon by them if help is needed.

Even if all relationships are kept separate, it is very difficult to compartmentalize one's life and not be considerate of all partners.

I live alone and intend to do so for the foreseeable future. I'm definitely not a free agent, though, as dating someone new requires discussions all around. Lots of discussions, sometimes, and a great deal of attention paid to how everyone feels, whether it challenges their sense of security. I'm committed to doing whatever work is needed to hold up my end of the relationships I'm in. I don't trample over anyone's feelings. There are no vetoes, no rules of engagement for what I do on my own time, nothing like that, but I care about my people. So yes, the "free agent" definition really isn't something that resonates with me.

Sometimes, this structure makes me wonder if I'm missing out, since I don't have a live-in domestic partner primary type person. Aren't I supposed to want that??? I've been married before, though, and I am worlds happier now. This really suits me, in more ways than I could name.

So the notion that we're supposed to want the live-in partner ... I feel conflicting tugs. The delight of being with my sweeties makes me want to spend more time with them. I also think there can be a depth of intimacy from living together that can't be had another way. At the same time, living on my own is centering, and living together risks the dead weight of all the "supposed to"s.

For me the definition of Polyamoury is the answer to your question. Many Loves. Love being the operative word here...

I've discovered that being open to whatever comes---well, amazing things happen.

I also don't want to co-habit with anyone, and I really like and value my alone time and space...

I don't really have any fixed ideas about what potential relationships would look like...other than the usual - honest, open, caring, respectful, fun etc. My aim would be to build relationships on those foundations....rather than a picture of what they may look like. I like the idea of relationships being purely about the people involved not a bigger picture or script. The idea of marriage and settling down is not appealing to me...and I find if someone tries to put me on that path I feel instantly uncomfortable. It feels much more refreshing and real for me to have relationships about the here and now, and the bond or connection...rather than a predetermined path or script. It's a little hard to describe...but If I feel like someone is interested due to "potential long term partner" or "potential wife", it starts to feel less about me and more about the role I'm expected to play in someone else's life or a script that was written long before I arrived.

I'm not an actress....I don't want to play a role ! :) Just want to be me...

Cultures do change over time, and individuals do have the power to change "culture".

I just did a cursory look around the 'net and it seems that a person practicing solo poly is generally understood to be someone who does not have primary partners, or for whom all partners are equally important, and does not cohabit with them. I found these two quotes by Tristan Taormino, (her book Opening Up is where I first found the term):
"In American culture, monogamy isn’t the only norm when it comes to relationships; it’s expected that everyone wants to and should be part of a couple. The fact of the matter is that some people who identify as non-monogamous or polyamorous prefer not to be in a “partnered” relationship, however they define that for themselves. In general, people who practice solo polyamory may date and have non-primary partners, but they don’t want to co-habit, mingle finances and resources, raise children, or make important life decisions with a partner."
and:
"Just as polyamory flies in the face of the traditional pairing model, choosing to be a non-primary partner contradicts all the rhetoric we learn about finding "the one," making a commitment, and being the most important person in someone's life. Choosing to be farther down on the food chain immediately has people thinking you have commitment issues, low self-esteem, or something else wrong with you. In fact, these critiques echo comments often made about the "mistress" in a cheating relationship, but the difference here is a big one: choice.

...For some folks, there is no food chain: They eschew the concept of primary/non-primary altogether because they don't believe in the hierarchy it implies..."

...maybe you could view your partners not on a hierarchy basis but as having different needs for the type and amount of interaction with you, where some would be content with biweekly dates with no overnights and others would want to wake up next to you on as many mornings as possible?

So, here's a shout-out to solo poly peeps!

What has been your experience in trying to meet potential partners? How separately do you keep your relationships? What do you see are the biggest benefits from being solo and, if applicable, not having designations of primary, secondary, etc.?
 
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strixish

New member
Meh, don't feed the trolls.

FrankLee, your post resonates with me. One thing that polyamory has done for me is that it's given me space to really honor the relationships I have with those two people I see rarely, the long distance occasional lovers with whom I have *history*. It's good to recognize that they have staked some territory in my heart, that they're "more than friends," even if the relationship doesn't fit any conventional pattern.
 

Emm

Stealth Mod
I probably qualify as a Free Agent except for the bit about not considering the potential impact of new relationships upon existing relationships.

I live with two cats in a 4 bedroom house. I've had live-in mono partners a few times, and while it was nice to wake up with them every morning I did miss having the place to myself at times.

My current situation: One married boyfriend (P) and one otherwise unattached boyfriend (D) who—despite my expressing a distaste for hierarchical terminology—considers me his primary. I have a regular weekly date night with the married one and see the other between once and three times per week. The two of them knew each other for quite some time before I came along and are somewhere between friends and acquaintances who run into each other a lot. I'm not actively looking for anyone else, but I wouldn't complain too loudly if someone LDR or FWBish came along.

My ideal situation would be similar but in closer geographical proximity. I'm about a 45 minute drive away from either of them, which is just long enough to be annoying. If I had a magic wand then a block of detached or semi-detached units would be perfect. I could have one, D could have one, P and his wife T could have one. Everyone gets their own space in their own house but are still close... until T's boyfriends D2 and M want one each for their families and so on because at some point it all starts getting a little silly.
 

TreeStar

New member
It’s been fun reading through everybody’s posts. This thread is pretty interesting, because as a noob I‘d like to look back on it one day and see how much reality changed my ideals, if at all. I have two, actually. The first is what I want now, as a solo person, and the second is something I see happening in the distant future.

Right now I’m kinda leaning toward the whole free agent approach. So, ideally, I want to keep building on this and get to a point where I’ve got a small network of trustworthy, caring people. The kind of friendships you can count on outside of the bedroom.

Eventually, (but not any time soon) I would like to fall in love, and have a more committed structure with two or three males. There's definite appeal to having loves who will stick by you, through thick and thin. I've got a few married friends in open/poly relationships, and they're so bonded, it's incredible. The only think that works for them that I don't think could work for me is hierarchy. I appreciate why it matters for so many, but it's not for me. Equal, but different loves, please! That's my ideal.
 

LotusesandRoses

New member
I'm a solo poly person, and new here, but this is my first post.

Ideally, I'd have a queer/bisexual primary partner who didn't fit along the gender binary. I find some effeminate men very sexy, and being able to really share my feminine side with a partner, not just bear it, but share it as an active process with a male partner and enjoy that feminine energy that's unique from a man, would be wonderful.

I'd also like a nerdy/intellectual partner who isn't overwhelmingly masculine or feminine, just a regular guy, someone I can play D&D with, who has the same life goals, is as career-oriented as I am, someone who is moderately into fitness like I am, a heteronormative guy - I don't care if he also sleeps with other men, but I'd prefer he just sleep with women. Can't explain it.

I'd love to date an FTM, a hypermasculine fitness freak man, a nice tall slender woman. (I'm obsessed with the tall and slim beauties. As a 5' 6" size 4, I really have this strong desire to experience the body of a 5' 11" size 6 woman.) On the other hand, I'd love to date a woman who wears my shoe and clothing size. That would be pretty useful. :)

I can see myself with two primary partners, probably male and a secondary partner, male or female (more likely, female). It might work with the right woman living with me, but I don't know. I definitely feel my desire sparked by sleeping with more than one person, it makes me more sexually driven, if that makes sense. I definitely need the security of not having to use a condom with primary partners, so I need them to be in committed relationships with their other primary partners and sleeping with a ton of people.

In short, I'm not really sure what I want, but I do know what I'm attracted to, and I know one partner probably isn't right for me.
 

nycindie

Active member
Our poly interest began through a d/s lifestyle - Im a dominant with 2 very submissive partners. Im wondering how many other poly relationships have some aspect of a power exchange present in any part of them?

Very much look forward to your comments.

DreamerS, can you talk a bit more about being a solo poly person? Have you read this thread? In general being solo means either being unpartnered or single, not living with any lovers, and not subscribing to hierarchies like primary and secondary, and this thread is a place where we solos can fantasize about our ideal situations for remaining solo. So, I'm not sure if you posted in the right place.

PS, there are plenty of polyfolk into D/s.
 

BlackMagicBlonde

New member
Our ideal depends on how fortunate we are to find other Poly people that we are also lucky enough to care deeply about and it is reciprocated by them. That in itself is a minor miracle.
So long answer longer, our ideal would end up being wherever our hearts take us.
IThink.​

i'm new to the practice of polyamory, although not to the idea. this last part takes the words right out of my mouth.
 

BlackMagicBlonde

New member
i'm new to the site and everybody here...and still in a mono relationship with my (male) best friend, Z (my long and dragged-out current story is on the Personal Summaries thread), who wants to keep it that way, while i do not.

at this point...because i have a suspicion that "ideals" will change with the flow of life and time and experience...my ideal relationship would be to live as a solo poly, living alone (as i already do) in my awesome cabin shack, with the options of spending time with him as suits us both; as well as with J (my ex), and also with anybody else, male or female, who moves me to do so, who intrigues me, or with whom i feel myself developing a bond or connection...and for anybody i am connected with in any way to feel free to do the same. we would all spend time connecting regularly, keeping abreast of what's goin on with each other, what's in each other's heads/hearts/guts, hanging sometimes together as a group and sometimes in smaller intimate groups or one-on-one....

i love playing house - but only for a few days at a time, max! i feel i need as much alone time as i do time with anyone else, and as much time with one of my closest partners as i do with another. there's no one at this point with whom i want to have that "primary" committed relationship, even with the option of having other lovers or partners.

i found a line in "Opening Up" (Tristan Taormino) that pretty much sums up how i feel right now:

"i consider myself to be my primary partner. this is a very real label for me, not something that i adopt while waiting for 'The One' to come along. i am my own husband and wife."

i want and need love, support, encouragement, cuddling, sex, intimacy, shared vulnerability, and a lot of other very human things as much as any of us does...but i don't feel like one human can (or i should expect them to) meet all of my needs, and i don't expect myself to be able to meet all the needs of anybody else. we all connect in different ways, and each touch different parts of us, nurture different aspects of each of us....

i'll ramble if i'm let. thanks for listening!
 

BlackMagicBlonde

New member
update:

Z and i decided to pull the plug on the partnership this past friday night - we were both sick of the cycle, the emotional rollercoaster (on & off, back & forth) - while letting the friendship remain. (that's the quick rundown of it.)

i've had the best weekend in a LONG time, and when we got together for drinks and music for a few hours last night, turns out he has too! and we had a really great evening with friends.

*big sigh of relief*

"each tiny step in the direction of freedom will eventually get you there."
- dossie easton & janet hardy, The Ethical Slut
 

piquant

New member
It's been refreshing to read through this thread and everyone's reasons for being solo. I am somewhat new to living a poly lifestyle (though I'd suspected for years that I'd be happier allowing my relationships to develop naturally, rather than needing to fit them into friend/significant other categories). I've always felt fiercely independent, and worked hard to find the right balance of autonomy in my previous mono relationships.

My desire for independence is what I believe has ultimately led me to change the way I develop and seek relationships. What makes me need to be solo is the same thing that makes me poly.

I identified with what Meera said about needing space:

I don't want to live with anyone or be one half of an intensely bonded couple. I need a lot of space, physically and mentally and emotionally.

I desire intense emotional connection, but feel overwhelmed when it's every day. I don't need to be in constant communication with the important people in my life, and shy away from using facebook or texting as anything more than a means to get in touch with friends and make future plans to meet.

By connecting on varying levels with my network of friends and lovers, I am able to find that space I need. To me, not having a primary relationship means that each relationship has a chance to breathe and evolve naturally, and I don't get caught up (feel suffocated) in any one relationship. After a wonderfully intense weekend with a lover, for example, I am likely over the following week to make plans and reconnect with friends or lovers I have less serious relationships with, or to go on a date with someone new. It's all about balance.

I'd like to have a number of regular lovers that I consider good friends and am emotionally close to. But I don't think relationships need to be "serious" or permanent. For me, dating and sex and love and friendship are all about exploration and getting to know oneself and others.

Again I can relate. I enjoy having relationships that vary in intensity and frequency, and that are allowed to evolve as they will. It is important that I feel valued and loved, and that I know the people I care about feel valued and loved.

Thanks for reading my first post :)
 

alicesmiles

New member
I am a solo poly person. I don't have anyone in my life right now. I have interest in a few people, I am just seeing how things develop.

I can't imagine being married again. I don't feel ready for that at all. I also can't imagine having someone living with my son and I. I am horribly selfish when it comes to him, and want him all for myself. My personality is the type that needs, well, craves my own space. I need to be alone at times for my mind to recharge and regroup. It would be bliss for me to see someone occasionally, and have my own quiet space to go home to.

What is my ideal? I don't know yet. I want a partner(s). I want affection, and love. I have an interest in being in a V or a quad. When I read about those I find myself drawn to those definitions.
 

constlady

New member
I haven't read all of the pages of this thread but from the ones I have, it would seem I have a different view.

I have been solo and poly for 10 years now. I've been involved in various configurations of connection throughout that time but since I have not lived with another adult in that time, I consider myself solo.
I definitely am not solo by choice or preference but by logistics at this point.

I have been frustrated by the couple-centric versions of poly that abound in the real world. Because I did not open up an existing relationship but came to poly as a single person, I am expected to tolerate the hierarchical model that insists on protecting the "primary" relationship at all costs.

At the moment I am having a poly crisis of faith; I know what I want from relationships but it seems that the poly folk I become involved with want to relegate me to a lesser status rather than build a partnership with me.

My ideal relationship(s) would have someone(s) for me to come home to, someone to go to bed with, to wake up with, to grow old with, to build a life with, to feel that I am a priority in their life and to let them know that they are a priority in mine. Partners in all senses of the word with love and support without restriction.

I have a long term love who does his very best to not make me feel secondary but the logistics of our relationship and the realities of both of our lives mean that we can't be under the same roof for more than a decade and I am simply not willing to be alone for another 10 years. I'm also not sure I want to be the one who has to move in with him and his other partner, as that scenario by its very nature places me on a lesser-than status.

This is one relationship of two in my experience that have wanted me to move in but it was made clear that the existing couple would continue to share a bedroom and I would have my own. That model to me felt inherently unequal and was not the version of poly that resonated with me.

My ideal relationships are completely equitable, in word, thought, deed and feeling.

After 10 years of active poly living, I've not been able to find that ideal and I am beginning to wonder if it truly exists.
 
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