The Big Relationship Thread

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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby 2stepz » 03 Nov 2010, 10:11

Logically I understand the concept and merits of polyphilia. Emotionally... I don't share well. I would have to go back to kindergarten. However, that doesn't keep me from befriending people in poly relationships (ask Dmitri). I have been asked to participate in them before, too. Just... not my cup of tea.

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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Alja-Markir » 03 Nov 2010, 10:36

I understand where most folks are coming from. If it ain't for you, it just ain't. Nothing wrong with that.

Really, this is just as much me getting stuff off my chest and sort of talking to myself as it is me trying to start a meaningful discussion.

Regarding Jester's comments on platonic and romantic love, I (at least personally) find those terms do not really fit my own understanding of my heart and its whims, so I tend to not use them. Moreover, I find their etymological roots poor as well. "Platonic love" stems from a single popular interpretation of a mere segment of the philosophy of Plato, an interpretation I disagree with. Meanwhile, "romance" stems from the Old French romant, which meant "text", or by extension "story" or "fable", thus telling us that "Romantic love" quite literally is "storybook love". (And taken further back, romant comes from the Vulgar Latin rōmānicē, meaning Roman, or in the manner of Rome or Romans, which again ties into the "storybook" aspect of it all, as in both Medieval Vulgar Latin and Old French, the Romans were a legendary people known only through books.)

Anywho, I view all love as being the same thing - a sliding scale that measures just how much one is willing to sacrifice for the happiness of another. The only difference between my love for one person and my love for another is in the degree. So yes, some people I have a more "Platonic" love for, and others I have a more "Romantic" love for, to make it simple. But I see no reason why I can't or shouldn't have "Romantic" love for multiple people. If I am willing to make great sacrifices for the sake of one person's happiness, what is to stop me doing the same for another?

"Ahh," you might be thinking though. "You did mention something in your previous post about your adopted family. Is it not possible that the loves you have for these people aren't "romantic" ones, but rather familial ones?" And to that I ask, what distinguishes the two? In my experience, the common difference is physical intimacy - namely, one does not go beyond certain boundaries of sensuality within family, but one does in romantic love.

And therein is why I label my love more "romantic". Were the occasion to arise, I would be more than comfortable with sensuality among certain of my loves. And why not? There is nothing intrinsically wrong with multiple lovers, is there? Oh, naturally there are practical concerns, such as maintaining harmony and happiness among everyone involved (often enough a difficult task, given the complexities of human emotions), but surely there isn't anything inherently improper about the notion? So long as there is sufficient communication, understanding, empathy, and mutual joy to go around, the endeavor most certainly can work out in the end, and even thrive (even if it does takes a great deal more effort than most ordinary relationships).

I dunno. Maybe I'm an idealist. Maybe I'm naive. But in all my life, I've settled for being mediocre or average in most things. I'd like to think that of all the things I could have chosen to attempt to master in life, loving others was at least the most noble choice, even if it may ultimately be out of my reach.

Although sometimes it feels even more simple than that. When I think hard about it, I really simply decided to stop fighting my heart. I remember when I first realized that I was falling in love with someone other than my own dear lass. I was scared to the point of delirium. Not only because I'd been told by society for my entire life not to allow such a thing to happen, but moreover because I didn't want to hurt either of these wonderful women.

So I told them. I told them I was in love with them both, I told them I was afraid, I told them I just wanted them to be happy. We talked and we communicated and we strove to understand each other and to be fair to one another. And in the end, it was better for us all. We were all happier, because we took the time to work it out.

S'not to say it wasn't hard, or wasn't painful. There were some moments where I felt like the world could come crashing down around my shoulders at any moment. But those two wonderful women understood, they accepted my love for both of them for what it was, and they told me there was nothing to forgive, or for me to be afraid of.

And that was when I realized all the pain I had been feeling was my own fault. I had been denying my heart, lying to myself, trying to convince myself that I wasn't in love when I clearly was. And that pain and uncertainty was needless. My heart was going to love whoever it loved, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with that. So long as I loved carefully and honorably, with lots of patience and trust and communication, everything would work out.

And in the years since I first realized that, it somehow has, in the most wonderful of ways.

~Alja~
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Evil Jim » 03 Nov 2010, 12:51

Theremin wrote:NO IT ISN'T.

Good talk.

I believe Fayili is referring to this T-shirt.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Theremin » 03 Nov 2010, 12:52

Ah. I see.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby The Jester » 03 Nov 2010, 12:57

I'm not fussed about etymology affecting the current meaning of a word. I'm fascinated by etymology, don't get me wrong, but I don't feel it needs to have such a bearing on the modern useage. Language evolves, and meaning changes. Gothic (in relation to architecture) used to mean barbaric, or "like the Goths", but now? It alludes to a past time of high art and enlightenment. It's connotations in the minds of it's modern users are not to savages in forrests, but to grand, awe-inspiring architecture or a particular style of romance novel. Hell, it has other meanings too, of course, none of them tied to pre-medieval Germanic tribesmen.
You know what I mean when I say Romantic and Platonic, and I don't see any need to mince words or try and come up with synonyms when originals will do.

To me? Platonic love can be just as intense as romantic love, it just doesn't involve sex and physical intimacy. You can love someone platonically equally as much as you love another romantically or perhaps moreso, you just wouldn't have a physical relationship with them too.

I suspect my reasons for prefering a monoamourus model for romantic relationships would be lost to you, but I feel like sharing them anyway. It's not because of the old ownership culture that was the basis for marriage waaaay back when the practice started. It's got nothing to do with more recent (but still old and out-dated) beliefs about the proper structure for a family and the defined gender roles that went with it.
No, it has everything to do with an exclusive romantic relationship making the comitment all the more significant. Romantically, I actually coudn't share my love, nor be shared. It's to do with how the physical relationship shows ultimate trust in the partner, and a desire to be with them and only them. To me, if someone wants to then run off to another for any kind of romantic relationship it de-values their statment and would shatter my trust in them.

I can't really put this simply because it's tied in so closely with my whole view of love and physical relationships and there are parts of that which I don't honestly think I could verbalise... I hope you can understand where I'm coming from, though, and respect my view.


In relation to your original problem? Unless you really want, as you put it, a physical relationship with everyone you love who's above a certain level on your sliding scale of feeling then I don't really see a problem with assuring your sweetheart of the fact that she's the only one you're intimate with and that that won't change. It sounds like maybe her view of love and relationships is closer to how mine's structured than to how yours is, so that assurance should work to allay her fears and soothe her qualms.
If you simply cannot help but want to express your love physically with everyone that'll let you then maybe you need to evaluate your relationship with your ladylove, because if your desires make her unhappy then, well... there's your answer right there. The happiness of a loved one comes first.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Alja-Markir » 03 Nov 2010, 15:18

I seem to be making my situation a little unclear, it seems. Lessee if I can fix that...

My lass has no problem with who I am or how I feel. She herself calls her fears irrational, and she knows full well that they are. She trusts me, knows I'm not actually going to do anything to harm her or anything else for silly reasons, and actually she is the driving force to get me to stop holding in my feelings and open up to others.

As far as my own romantic desires, I see sensuality and intimacy as one of the strongest forms of trust possible between people. As an extension of that, only those I trust most would ever be romantic loves.

Currently? I have only my one romantic love, in that I am only sensual and intimate with my darling. There are others for whom I currently have platonic loves of similar potency, but among them are a few with whom I share a mutual interest in the possibility of romantic developments. And then, among that select number are another select number whom my darling herself finds attractive in her own ways.

My "problem" is less a problem and more a growing pain. My lass and I do see the world differently, do come from different backgrounds and have somewhat different values. Yet for all that, we agree on all the truly important things. We both value love itself, although how each of us express our love does differ a tad. We both rather enjoy sex as well (and I happily blame her for my corruption from a once-disinterested gentleman). And we're both very interested in striving to develop both matters, not only between ourselves, but fostering it among others as well.

That said, I will admit I have conceptual blind spots. I'd like to work on that fact, and improve a bit.

For example, Jester makes a good point about how many people value the "exclusivity" of a relationship. For whatever reason, to me, that seems strange. I'd like to understand it better though, so here are a few questions that come to mind.

  • What does exclusivity have to do with trust? If I trust someone fully, that means I will put my life into their hands; that I will allow them to be entirely responsible for my well being. How, then, does trusting more than one person diminish that trust?

  • Why is exclusivity valuable? Is love a commodity, something which has a rarity and a value? Or is love unbounded, and limited only by our own choices, emotions, and desires?

  • Why can't multiple relationships be exclusive in their own ways? Is it is unreasonable to love one person for one set of qualities and another for an entirely different set?

Perhaps a better question, one that sums up most of my concerns in one package, is this - "Why do we not value exclusivity in other forms of love?"

Think about one's friends. We may like some of them better than others, we may trust some of them more than others, but we don't show exclusivity in who we befriend. In fact, it's quite the opposite - people tend to want to introduce their friends to each other, to build relationships among them, to interconnect and share their friendships all around.

Think about one's relations. Sure, we may not be terribly close to our great aunts or second cousins, but we still typically treat them like family. Strengthening familial ties is seen as valuable and important, a form of community and harmony.

Think about one's children. It's almost unthinkable for someone to love one child above the rest. In fact, if you ask most parents they will say they love their children equally, despite any differences between them. To say otherwise is almost monstrous, even.

So why is romantic love different? Logically there's only one major difference that I see, and that's sex.

So what is it about sex that makes us value exclusivity? Well, one answer (but not the only one) is hereditary tradition. Sexual exclusivity makes hereditary transitions of wealth and power possible. If a mother has three active lovers, it gets a little tricky to figure out which one is legally responsible. And if history teaches us anything, it's that power and wealth (and who ends up with them) is a very touchy subject.

Still, it probably isn't quite that simple. Another answer might be... health concerns? Exclusivity greatly reduces chances of illness, as well as ensuring better general health by giving a greater measure of control over when pregnancies occur.

What else? Well, sex is a very personal endeavor... there's a lot of trust involved, and lots of little psychological factors. Sex makes you vulnerable, and exclusivity provides a certain measure of psychological comfort and perceived control over that vulnerability. Yet, what exactly does exclusivity prevent? Does truly trusting multiple people make those people any more likely individually to break that trust? Or is that we almost never actually completely trust anyone, so having only one lover limits the potential for betrayal?

There must be other reasons. I imagine my blindspot is keeping me from picking up on them, unfortunately. So, what other reasons can folks think of that we have for valuing exclusivity in romantic love, but not elsewhere? I'm curious now.

~Alja~

Edited for typos.
Last edited by Alja-Markir on 03 Nov 2010, 19:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Theremin » 03 Nov 2010, 15:27

I'm going to ask you a question, and, be honest.

Did you sketch out a short plan for that post beforehand, or did you self-edit as you wrote?
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Alja-Markir » 03 Nov 2010, 15:29

I almost always edit as I write.

In this instance, I did sit for about half a minute to organize my thoughts, but once I had a vague notion I just plowed forward.

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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Theremin » 03 Nov 2010, 15:32

Ah, okay. It's just nicely ordered, is all.

I'd totally have to plan something like that.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby The Jester » 03 Nov 2010, 16:23

I think, upon reflection, that it's more that I value order and balance. In my view, spread romantic affection over a lot of people and it's significance is reduced. Sure, maybe you don't think that more lovers lessens the virtue of the bond, but I would wonder just how easy it was to win.
I think that exclusivity creates a contrast by which one may more easily measure the worth of a romantic bond. I don't believe in free love for all because I think that we need bounds to live by, created by ourselves or by the sociteis we live in. I prefer defined limits and bounderies over unbounded chaos. I don't believe that personal limits can dim emotional acuity.


You mention sexual health, and that is a factor. Having one partner whom one trusts significantly reduces the chances of infections etc. but what with all the precautions one can take these days it's not as big a deal as it was, say, even sixty, seventy years ago.

You don't address why men in Western culture don't have harems of wives. I've not studied it myself so I can't answer why, and it's late so I won't investigate, but if the points you make in relation to the hereditary tradition of sexual exclucivity were taken on their own, well, it would make sense to have as many mates as possible to ensure as many male heirs as possible, right? In fact, the more children in general the more possiblity for political and social alliances to be made through marriage, right?

Personally I don't think tradition has as big a role in deciding the format for romantic relationships as you think. Sure, it influences people and some more than others, but if it were as simple as a social convention I rather suspect it would have been shaken off as easily and quickly as taboos over acceptable clothing to be worn in public. Now, sure, there are people who indulge in a "one night stand" culture, but they're still monoamourous relationships, albeit in rapid succession.

The psychalogical reasons are easier for me to expand upon. For me, there is that elament of trust... but it's tied to how I see myself and my self worth. If my partner were to want to go off and share herself physically with another, or some other situation were to arise where we weren't just faithful to one-another then I'd start wondering, well, what's so bad about me that I can't fullfil you on my own? What more do you want? If I can't make you happy enough on my own, why stick with me at all? Fuck it, you know what? If I'm not good enough then I'll just leave and find someone like you, but who I can make happy... I'm sorry, it's just, it's hard for me not to get worked up over this.
It's the trust thing mixed with self confidence issues, really, I guess. Maybe it wouldn't be the same for people with more self confidence than me, but I still believe that even if you've got a lot and you're with someone who for whatever reason isn't satisfied with just you, well, that self confidence may well take a dive, you know?

It's my view that self confience is actually remarkable fragile, especially when you make yourself as vulnerable as you do when you're with a sexual partner. It's not just your physical health that you trust them with, it's your mental health too. If the person you're with is like "you're good... but someone else could make me happier" well... only the most psychotically self-devoted wouldn't wonder what it is about themselves that isn't quite good enough.


Oh, and I am exclusive about the friends I make, because who wants to be friends with assholes that you can't stand or trust? I'll be plenty generous with my friends, but not with whom I become friends.



Um, I think that's everything I wanted to say... on longer posts I tend to forget some of the points I wanted to make when I started, and even re-reading previous posts doesn't help me remember. :?
Sorry if it's a bit messy.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby iamafish » 03 Nov 2010, 17:04

Alja-Markir wrote:What does exclusivity have to do with trust? If I trust someone fully, that means I will put my life into their hands; that I will allow them to be entirely responsible for my well being. How, then, does trusting more than one person diminish that trust


This actually got me thinking about a personal conundrum that I'be been wrestling with a little lately. I'm sorry is the following is only tangentially related to the discussion at hand, but I'd rather like to get this off my chest.

As I'm sure most of you are aware I'm currently taking a GAP Year in Australia and am attempting to maintain a long distance relationship with my girlfriend, who has just started her first year at uni.

Obviously with being so far away there is a great deal of trust. We have both agreed to monogamy (we didn't even need to say it, we both assumed that would be the way things would be), but being so far from each other means that we can't satisfy the physical element that is present in any romantic relationship.

Both of us have experienced paranoia whenever the other mentions perfectly innocent, friendly encounters with members of the opposite sex. It's incredibly hard to trust someone when they're so far away. Males who aren't me are spending far more time around my girlfriend than I am and that makes me rather uncomfortable.

I think the issue here stems from the element of ownership that is present in any relationship. This is not some shallow, misogynistic claim that males own their women, because I feel that it's mutual. When you have a physical and emotional relationship with someone I feel that it is akin to giving them a part of you. I feel as though, in some way, my girlfriend belongs to me and that I belong to her.

I don't think that this is a concept that works very well in the context of polyphilia, because I think ownership implies exclusivity. I do not want to belong to two people at the same time and I certainly don't want to have my girlfriend belong to someone who is not me.

It seems like it would be easier, given the long distance nature of our relationship to agree to have an open relationship and allow ourselves to seek physical and emotional fulfilment from others while we're so far from each other, but I think we both feel that such actions would violate the unwritten terms of our relationship. Even if we agreed to do I don't think either of is would be terribly comfortable.

On a related note I often feel terribly guilty for going on a GAP year and putting the woman I love through the stress of a long distance relationship. I shouldn't because made it clear that she could end the relationship before I left if she wanted and I would not hold it against her at all, but i still do and it bugs me a little.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby allison » 03 Nov 2010, 17:27

maybe polyohillia is scary because people are afraid of being compared to their lover's other lovers.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby JustAName » 03 Nov 2010, 17:36

I think most of what I'd want to say has been said already, so I'll content myself with saying that most of my views align with The Jester's. Well, that and the fact that I'm *remarkably* selfish, and I feel that this is the one instance wherein it is justified.

The fact that my sweetheart is *mine* is for some reason very important to me, and the fact that I am his is as well. Part of it comes from that ever-present urge to be really, truly, deeply understood by someone else. I feel that if someone would pick me above all others, he must understand something in me with which he agrees, or that he finds important or admirable or beautiful - take your pick of adjectives; none is quite right but I hope you see what I'm getting at.

And part of it is that look. The look they give you that says that you are so very, very important. I want to be the only person getting that look. I want to be the most important to someone. It's selfish, but it's the truth.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Alja-Markir » 03 Nov 2010, 17:40

@Jester

Actually, that was a wonderful post. You came across well, and you managed to speak seriously and passionately about a very difficult subject to discuss.

Thank you for that. I can't tell you how good it feels to be able to fairly and reasonably discuss something so controversial that personally affects me so deeply. It's a nice change from a lot of discussions I've had from the less popular side of the fence, and it means the world to me.

You do make some interesting points, and as it is fairly late already, hopefully I can address some of those tomorrow. Always nice to sleep on things, and gives me some time to look up a few things as well.

@ iamafish

You bring up something I've wrestled with myself. I agree wholehearted with the notion of giving a piece of yourself to those you love. It seems the best way to describe the feeling one gets for those one loves. Yet as much as I like the imagery, I do still find myself at odds with all the baggage of "ownership", just as you mention.

Regarding long distance relationships, I know your pain. Four long years of it, seeing each other for only a quarter of each year. Being apart is an ordeal, and one that often takes a heavy toll, but it can be done, and done well. Elsewhere on these forums I've given advice from my own experiences, so I won't reiterate here, but it does tie back into the notion of ownership, somewhat.

For myself, at the least, when I first went away from my darling I knew full well we might fail. Sometimes people change, sometimes situations change, and sometimes all the love in the world might not be enough to keep a relationship tenable in the face of overwhelming circumstance. But I knew she'd always have a part of my heart with her, for as long as I loved her, even if we stopped being together.

That's just the thing. In my eyes, loving someone has absolutely nothing to do with being with them. Love is your desire for their happiness. It is your drive to find a way to better their life, even at your own detriment, if necessary, and maybe even without them ever knowing. So when your heart gives a piece of itself to someone, that gift is forever. It lasts for as long as you wish them happiness, even if you never see them again.

And that's the trouble with giving your heart away. You are giving up something for someone else, not the other way around. Your loving someone puts them under absolutely no obligation toward you whatsoever. They can still hurt you, willingly or no. They can still disappoint you, still make the wrong decisions, can still never even realize you exist, or ever love you themselves.

If the two of you are scared of losing each other, it might help to ask why. If things go wrong, who are you more afraid of being hurt? The one you love, or yourself? If you both are afraid of hurting the other, then what do you have to worry over? Neither of you will do something knowingly to hurt the other, if you can help it. But if you are scared of being hurt yourself, then it makes sense to fear them finding another lover. The fear is that they will trade your happiness for their own.

And that right there? That's the ultimate test of true love. Letting someone go. Letting them hurt you, betray you, and bring your world crashing down around you - and then to forgive them, and wish them the best.

Most people aren't ready for that. Many never will be.

@allison

I think you're absolutely right.

I think polyphilia is incredibly scary, because loving people is incredibly scary. Because so many of us, even me, are so confused, and hurting, and lonely. It's hard enough just managing a single relationship, much less a complex and delicate web of relationships.

And as iamafish mentioned, self confidence rules the day. Humanity is good at being scared. Fear keeps you safe, teaches you how to avoid being vulnerable. Fear helps you survive.

...but it can never help you to be happy.

@fayili

Such profound words.

Selfishness is the foundation of modern romance. This is why my blind spot is so very bad - I've fought for years to tear the selfishness from my heart. I can't say I've succeeded, but compared to where I once was? I've come a long way indeed, and I guess sometimes I simply can't allow myself to comprehend the things I used to epitomize so very much.

~Alja~
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Telaril » 03 Nov 2010, 18:13

Alja-Markir wrote:Selfishness is the foundation of modern romance. This is why my blind spot is so very bad - I've fought for years to tear the selfishness from my heart. I can't say I've succeeded, but compared to where I once was? I've come a long way indeed, and I guess sometimes I simply can't allow myself to comprehend the things I used to epitomize so very much.

~Alja~


I have a longer thing I'm working on, but I want to respond to this first.

If you weren't being selfish, you'd be focused EXCLUSIVELY on your partner's happiness, rather than your own. This wouldn't have come up at all if you weren't being selfish. Now, she's being selfish too.

This is a GOOD thing. They've actually shown that a moderate amount of selfishness leads to a positive relationship. But don't think that desiring exclusivity is any more selfish than desiring openness. They are two sides of the same selfish coin.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Metcarfre » 03 Nov 2010, 18:17

Quite frankly, as a married man I can't imagine the logistics involved. Not to mention having two - or more! - women to nag at you.

Somewhat more seriously, I think that by extending ourselves to another 'romantic' relationship necessarily lessens the original love. The one thing that is truly finite in this world is time; so if we choose to keep it (partially) in the arms of another, how can it do anything but lessen the amount reserved for our original lover?

I had a hell of a time with verb tense in that paragraph.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Theremin » 03 Nov 2010, 18:25

Why would the love be lessened?

It's not like it's a finite, or even a quantifiable resource.

If anything you'd have twice as much.
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Telaril » 03 Nov 2010, 18:36

I believe that this video will answer your question, Theremin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDqrW85RECE
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby iamafish » 03 Nov 2010, 18:36

Alja-Markir wrote:If the two of you are scared of losing each other, it might help to ask why. If things go wrong, who are you more afraid of being hurt? The one you love, or yourself? If you both are afraid of hurting the other, then what do you have to worry over? Neither of you will do something knowingly to hurt the other, if you can help it. But if you are scared of being hurt yourself, then it makes sense to fear them finding another lover. The fear is that they will trade your happiness for their own.

And that right there? That's the ultimate test of true love. Letting someone go. Letting them hurt you, betray you, and bring your world crashing down around you - and then to forgive them, and wish them the best.

Most people aren't ready for that. Many never will be.


This is the frustrating thing. I know it's irrational, stupid and pointless because I know that I would never cheat on her and I know she would never cheat on me. There's no reason to fear that someone else might come along because even if they did, we'd both have the self control and maturity not to just jump on that straight away. And if we did we'd probably talk to each other about it.

If it ever becomes obvious that it's not working then we'd be civil about it and probably end it on good terms. Our friendship is really important to us, even if we're not in a relationship with each other.

Every time my stupid paranoia comes up I tell myself that it's irrational and there's no point worrying about it, but I just can't help myself.
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Alja-Markir
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Alja-Markir » 03 Nov 2010, 18:51

Theremin actually touches upon a very good point.

Ever hear of a child whose parents were having another kid, and the child feared that mom and dad weren't going to love them as much as they did before, or have as much time for them as they did before? It must happen all the time, and yet how many parents who want a second child avoid having one for fear they won't have enough love or time for them?

Now, granted, love for children is a platonic love. But that returns to the question of what is so different about romantic love? If you can find the time and love for additional children, why not for lovers? Sex doesn't even make up the majority of a romantic couple's interactions, but rather most of the time lovers spend together is "platonic" in nature.

@iamafish

Well hey, welcome to the club. You seem to know what it is that you're doing just as much as anyone does, it sounds like. You know your own heart and you know hers as well. Bless you both.

That paranoia? That fear that hides in the back of your mind? Over time, I think you just somehow learn to live with it. It never quite goes away, but you can reach a point where you are okay with being scared, where you aren't actually scared by being scared.

Because being scared is a part of being in love, in a sense. It's a part of being human, really. We can never be 100% certain of anything. There's always room for doubt and uncertainty. Everything we think we know might be wrong, and at any moment the world could unravel around us.

But still we have faith. And that's the saving grace.

I believe in you. And it sounds to me like she does too. And some day down the line, I bet you'll find a way to believe in yourself as well.

*grins*

~Alja~
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby 2stepz » 03 Nov 2010, 19:01

I know you believe otherwise... but there are many parents who decide not to have a second for fear they wont have enough love/time/other emotional resources. And yes... parents do have favorites. Society has just made it a faux pas to admit that. Children have favorite parents, parents have favorite children. It happens.

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Alja-Markir
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Alja-Markir » 03 Nov 2010, 19:11

A very valid point.

~Alja~

Addendum: That does soberly remind me that I am influenced somewhat by my own biases as a minority. I feel that while most couples are free to choose for themselves how many children they feel comfortable trying to love and be responsible for, I myself do not have the freedom to do the same with those I love romantically. (At least not openly.)
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Telaril
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Telaril » 03 Nov 2010, 20:42

I posted the "8% of my love" song mostly as a joke. One line in there is sort of relevant, though. "eight hundredths of the time you're the only girl I'm dreaming of."

It's about time being divided and lessened, not love. I have to tell you, as an older child, the love parents have for you may not diminish, but the time they have for you does. As I got older there were a lot of times when my parents were unable to do something I wanted because of something that came up with my little brother.

You already said that "love" is about how much one is willing to sacrifice for the happiness of another. So you are basically telling your sweetheart that there are times when you will make sacrifices for another that may leave you unable to help her in whatever way she requires. If she loves no one else but you, and you love many others, she will always be available to sacrifice herself completely for you, but you will always have other obligations that may leave you unable to do the same for her. To boil this down to abstract numbers, if you've already sacrificed 40% of your day for one person and the second person needs 80% of a particular day, you cannot meet both their needs.

Now I realized that no relationship is black and white like that. I love my family, and if there was a situation where my mother had a problem and so did my theoretical boyfriend, there are times when I would definitely choose to help my mother. That's standard though. Everyone expects to compete some with family and friends. But when you have an equal amount of romantic love for more than one person, you are saying "here is another person who I will sacrifice just as much for as I would sacrifice for you. I have chosen not to prioritize your happiness over theirs."

Now it could be that their needs will never conflict, that you will never have to make the choice between making one happy and the other happy, but the more people you add to the equation, the higher the likelihood that they will both require things at the same time that you cannot satisfy, and their happiness will suffer as a result.

So, logically, the more people you love, the higher the odds that the sacrifices you will be called upon to make will be contradictory or exclusive.

There are ways around this, of course, and most poly couples I know employ them, but it all boils down to one thing: the more people you are trying to please the less you will be able to focus on the desires of any single person. When both partners have a similar amount of other obligations, this all evens out. But if one partner has a lot more "loves" or "obligations" than the other, things may start to feel uneven.

Make sense?
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Metcarfre
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby Metcarfre » 03 Nov 2010, 20:50

Telaril did a far better and more polite job of what I was thinking of saying.
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King Kool
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Re: The Big Relationship Thread

Postby King Kool » 03 Nov 2010, 21:03

I'm just so stoked someone else knew the 8% of my love song... I loved Square One.
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