Definition of Polyamory   15 comments

I hate it when my brain gets stuck on a topic.   I have a number of things about which I want to write, but apparently this post needs to be written, so here goes:

Everybody does polyamory differently.  Even the people who appear to be practicing it in the same fashion have some differences…and how wonderful is that???  Imagine Stepford Poly – everyone doing the same thing in the same way for the same mindless nonsensical reasons.

I don’t purport to have enough readers to get a major discussion going here, BUT I think one needs to be opened so the different polys can be examined and, ultimately, accepted as in “Your poly is not my poly…and THAT’S OKAY!”

So, here’s how polyamory works for me:

I have a husband, with whom I live.  We love each other and are intimate emotionally and physically.  We’ve raised a child together.  We’re both polyamorous – we shared a girlfriend at one time with whom he is still involved as lovers.  She and I are friends.  We don’t have rules about our conduct, other than being courteous, using common sense, and being honest with each other.

I have a good male friend, whom I see anywhere between one and three times a month.  We are intimate physically, but there’s an emotional component as well.  It’s not the same as the one I have with my husband, but it works.  As he said to me once, “We care about each other and would drop things to help out if needed…and that doesn’t change, even if we don’t speak for years.”

I’m open for dating, although I’ve not seen anyone new since having dinner with someone back in the beginning of August.  New relationships, if they form, will rise to the level they reach.  No possibility is ruled out.

So, if you’re reading this, and you’re polyamorous – how does it work for you?


Posted September 17, 2012 by veggiewolf in Polyamory

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15 responses to “Definition of Polyamory

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  1. I’m really new to poly, so I’m not totally sure how it works for me. I’m a married bisexual woman, and have been with my husband for 12 years. We are very happy together and happy with our open relationship. He has one other partner, his girlfriend I call Roller Girl. I am also dating Roller Girl, but separately so far. I have two other partners currently, one I call Kinky Boy and 1 I call Great Date. I have no idea what level my relationships are on with the people other than my husband, and I’m okay with that. I am spending time with them and learning more about them, but my plate is really full and I’m not dating any new people right now. I’m working on making friends.

  2. How is this different than having an open marriage? Or is an open marriage a form of polyamory? You speak that you are friends with your husband’s girlfriend, is your husband friends with your male friend?

    You mention that you had dinner with another man in August. Is that relationship still going or didn’t that work out? I guess I’m questioning the dynamic of the relationships and how they work with one another.

    In my situation, my husband and I have an open marriage. He is free to see others, as am I, but we frequently swing with other couples who are close friends. But there are no emotions involved.

    • Okay.

      In my brain, open marriages and polyamory are both forms of consensual non-monogamy but they’re not necessarily identical. (Note that I said “in my brain” – just because I categorize something in a particular fashion doesn’t mean I’m right). For me, polyamory includes the potential for relationships to reach whatever level is appropriate for them – there aren’t constraints on where a relationship can go.

      For example, I tend to have friends-with-benefits type relationships with my partners. However, if they grow into romantic love, that’s awesome. If they don’t, that’s also awesome. If I someday meet the woman I want to marry, I can do that (outside of the legal ramifications) without automatically jeopardizing my marriage to my husband.

      The relationships don’t really intersect, honestly. My husband and I were involved with the same woman but it wasn’t a threesome relationship. It was more like two dyads – the two of them had a relationship, and she and I had a relationship. Sometimes we all hung out together, but we weren’t a triad. My current FWB will meet my husband at some point, because I think they’d really get along, but they don’t have to like each other or hang out. The guy from August, well, currently we’re trying to schedule to meet up again and, honestly, he may never meet any of my other partners…and that’s okay.

      Does that help at all?

      • I totally see what you mean by poly meaning different things to different people.

        I just re-read your original post and realized that you never said the person you met in August was a man. We are straight, so I automatically assumed… sorry. That would be wonderful if you could meet and marry a woman and still keep your relationship with your husband. Has your husband (or another girl you were dating) ever expressed an interest in a triad?

        For us, it is typically only about the sex, so it is rare for us to develop a relationship. Relationships we have developed have been mainly with another couple.

        Do you give your partner the option to meet and get more involved in your life, or do you keep them at arms length and you decide if they should meet anyone?

        As I said, for us, other than our couple friends, it’s just about the sex. How long does it take for you to progress a relationship to that point? We usually meet the person and the second “date” is where it progresses. That’s not to say I have never hit it off on the first date. We aren’t interested in going to the movies or other date-night things. OMG, I’m reading this and I sound like a total slut…. We get to know them first, then it progresses. We will see them again, but it usually doesn’t last long enough to become a relationship. Sort of like dating for real, LOL.

      • My dinner date in August was with a man, but it could have easily been with a woman. I’m pansexual – gender orientation doesn’t enter into my attraction to others at all.

        Yes, interest has been expressed about having a triad but it isn’t something I’m currently up for. Even when I was dating the same woman my husband dated, our relationships were separate dyads rather than a triad… and that worked for me.

        My partners have the option of being as involved in my life as works for the relationship. I tend to default to arms’ length with a physical component, but things don’t always stay there. I also have sex-only relationships that work fine but there’s nothing preventing the relationship from moving beyond that point…except for the dynamics of the relationship itself. Not all relationships are meant to be romantic, or involve sex, or be friendships, etc.

        Progressing to sex depends on the person(s) involved. With some, it is immediate. With others, it never gets there, and it’s all okay.

        There’s nothing wrong with being a slut, as long as you’re an ethical one. Wear the label proudly; I do!

  3. To me (only to me) poly is different than swinging because though swingers may become friends or even may care about the people they associate with as swingers, generally the point of the relationship seems to be sex. With poly I may have sex with a partner (usually do) but I also might not. The point of the relationship is connection and allowing the relationship to be what it is, up to and including love. I am not looking to marry anyone else, but I am open to the possibility of either me or my husband or any of our partners doing so. Everyone is different, but I like my partners to know each other if possible and so far they are generally friendly, if not friends. I don’t think I personally would date anyone that hated my husband or my other partners though.
    I don’t keep partners at arms length exactly, though I do limit how often I see them at first in order to be sure infatuation (or New Relationship Energy NRE) doesn’t make me too involved with someone that is a bad fit or make me neglect my other relationships. I generally see people once a week or so max at first, though over time that can be more often and/or more involved. I also tend to spend the entire night with a partner, having sex, doing activities or having dates, cooking, eating, showering, sleeping and such together.

  4. I have two husbands (one legal, the other obviously not), and live with them, their other wife, and our children. One of my husbands has a long-distance partner, who has her own web of relationships. I have a secondary (read: more casual, less life-entangled, whatever) relationship, also long distance, which happens not to be sexual. The other husband has expressed that he wouldn’t mind having a casual relationship but no time. I have no knowledge of my housemate’s preferences on the matter, as it is several levels of not my business.

  5. I love this conversation!!!

    The man you had dinner with, I’ll call him Mr. August :)… where do you anticipate that being, ie… is sex close? I know you said you haven’t seen anyone else since, but are you still looking? And if things do progress with Mr. August, will you still look for other suitors?

    For me, I can only deal with my husband and one other guy. I couldn’t imagine 3 or more 🙂 I just don’t have the time. Surprisingly, I have found that finding a guy who is patient and willing to work with my schedule is rare. They are usually up my ass (yes, pun intended) to get together.

    My husband is pretty much the same way, his work schedule kind of prohibits any more than me and one other, but he has had 2 “girlfriends” in the past.

    Seattle…. I can see your point in regards to swinging. When we start “dating” new men and women separately, yes it’s all about the sex. But when we are with our swinging friends, we are truly friends. They come over for dinners, we babysit for them (which gives us the appreciation for not having kids, LOL). They are truly friends, not just sex partners.

  6. I have another question, for anybody really….. remember when you were single and you first met someone new? And you had that excited feeling where you couldn’t wait to see that new person again? Do you still get those feelings when you meet someone new now?

    • In the poly community, that’s generally called “New Relationship Energy” or “NRE”.

      I call it “the pink fluffy stupids”.

    • Some people do – it’s called New Relationship Energy (NRE), as previously noted.

      I…get it about 10% of the time. Actually, I have more of the “sparkly shiny” about my husband and my FWB than I usually get with new people.

      • I tend to get NRE whenever I meet someone new. It wears off, but when it kicks in, I don’t know, the sky seems more blue, the air fresher… LOL.

        If things work out with Mr. August, do you plan on seeking out other suitors? I assume he knows about you being poly.

      • …maybe? It’s hard to say. I don’t usually actively seek people out – they seem to find me and it is at that point that I figure out what, if anything, I want.

        That probably wasn’t helpful, was it?

  7. Pingback: Polyable Moment | Eating Monsters

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