Specialness in polyamory

Question or thought experiment for the OP (StrawberryMoon):

Regarding the "specialness" of thinking only of one sex partner when you're with them sexually. Plenty of people who are in relationships (whether mono or poly) still masturbate on their own, look at porn, read erotica, etc. Do monogamous people only fantasize about their partner when masturbating? Probably not, right? Does having an orgasm by yourself mean you are disregarding your partner in that moment or treating them like they're not special?
 
I think a lot of you here are trying to make someone feel something that they can't. While you may be able to feel special without exclusivity, some people just can't. That's why they are better suited to monogamy.

It doesn't mean they aren't considered to be special, it just means they can't feel very special under those conditions.
 
I think a lot of you here are trying to make someone feel something that they can't. While you may be able to feel special without exclusivity, some people just can't. That's why they are better suited to monogamy.

It doesn't mean they aren't considered to be special, it just means they can't feel very special under those conditions.
I think that goes without saying. A person coming here with an open mind asking these questions probably wants answers, or at least informed experienced opinions. A person open to the idea of changing their perspective or of holding space for their dissonance deserves to get what they ask for.

I think what’s most important, from my recent reading at least, is that people (and their partners) need to give themselves permission to feel and be. If they feel like they “just can’t” a certain thing or situation, then they need to give themselves permission to be that. If they’re monogamous, they should allow that. If they aspire to grow beyond that, they should give themselves permission to abandon old paradigms and try on new ones.

At the same time, I don’t think it’s wrong to encourage growth by offering a new path.
 
I think a lot of you here are trying to make someone feel something that they can't.
Isn’t one of the great poly mantras: you can’t make someone feel anything? If your partners are having negative thoughts or feelings of jealousy, it’s on them manage their emotional responses.
While you may be able to feel special without exclusivity, some people just can't. That's why they are better suited to monogamy.
Maybe, as individuals, the curve of special/not special is totally relaxed in open or poly dynamics. Monogamy sort of makes the investment and chip count higher. People might want something higher on the “special curve,“ if it’s to be a one-and-only thing vs adding partner 5 or 6 to the line-up, where punctuality becomes a real factor and quality.
It doesn't mean they aren't considered to be special, it just means they can't feel very special under those conditions.
It depends on what the goal is, or how people want to define special. Back when I was introduced to the poly dynamic, my wife thought that I needed or wanted to hear that I was her “primary," and that any dating partners would be secondary or tertiary. In those early moments, post the blast going off, that might seem comforting and imply some sort of special status. But in my case, on a day-to-day basis, fuck this, I’ll switch. Primary WHAT? Primary means what? More work, more responsibilities, being able to file a joint return?

AND THEN you quickly figure out/learn what it doesn’t mean. If people are practicing nonhierarchical polyamory, does legal wife or husband mean anything, other than a history lesson or something to do with insurance or a green card? There is no status or specialness associated, other than maybe youthful memories, right?

I’ve talked with dozens of poly members here on the forum who openly admit they have a much deeper connection/greater bond/greater passion/more love, if you want to say it that way, for an outside partner, or one of their outside partners, than for their legal spouse.
 
This is a fascinating thread to me, maybe because words are my love language. I’ve been guilty of feeling diminished “special,” when there’s a plurality of “special,” though in retrospect, maybe that’s had more to do with decreases in partner resources (like time). I agree that uniqueness more accurately captures how we are all special, but I think the extent to which that uniqueness is valued (or how we perceive it is valued) is what makes us external validation seekers feel special.
 
but I think the extent to which that uniqueness is valued (or how we perceive it is valued) is what makes us external validation seekers feel special
True. I just dont think being monogamous is a validating factor. I know plenty of monogamous people that never feel special because their partners don’t go out of their way to show them that they are special. You are either special to a person or not, or somewhere in between. I have an Aunt that’s very special to me and she makes if clear how special I am to her. Monogamy not needed.
 
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