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Polyamory

So as to not take over the other thread.

I do have emotional relationships.  If something happened and I or my partner wasn't able to have sex, I could work around that.  If our emotional/intellectual relationship diminished, it'd be over.  For me, the "connection" is the most important thing.  Sex is important to me, but it isn't defining - although bad sex will end a budding relationship.  I can usually tell by kissing styles.  I tend to work on the "connection" with people who I think will be good sex partners, so it goes hand-in-hand.  In a relationship, for me, what makes us "us" is the overall bond.

I avoid casual sex.  There's a high probability of first-time sex being bad because partners aren't in tune with what the other person likes.  I'm likely to be sexually monogamous, because for sex to be good (for me) it takes a few times with the same person and that wanders into emotional monogamy space.  However, I don't feel necessarily tied to either casual sex or monogamy.  

I dunno why I don't have a problem with open-ish relationships.  If people continue this dicussion, it may help me put it in words.  

what is a "close knit healthy family" here? are you talking about the normative understanding of a family? i can see there being different KINDS of families and as long as they are healthy in their relating, i don't see how there is a difference. except for the social values/expectations.

Well, by "close knit, healthy family," I mean just that...I don't care what kind of "family" it is. No, I'm not saying there must be a mom, dad, a brother, and sister, if that's what you mean. I mean a family with close bonds, who sticks together, communicates, and has healthy relationships. Family members don't usually exit relationships from other family members, but relationships (polyamorous ones, at that) are much more transient. That's what I mean. Like, a grandmother, aunt, and brother raising a child is different than the "mom" and "dad" (biologically) of the child, and the 8 other lovers. I am definitely not saying that there must be a mom, and a dad, and whatever. You all should know me better than that!

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just wanted to make a note about the kids, secure/insecure relationships, close knit "healthy" family thing.

regardless of people passing through (which happens in ALL families... what, as soon as you have kids you're not going to have friends or coworkers come around anymore?), there will still ALWAYS be steady relationships.  the kids didn't appear out of nowhere.  they do have at least one parent.  and from what you say, relatives are okay... and just because you have a "different" kind of family situation, that doesn't mean you won't have relatives.

and i'd like to know how a large family is automatically cast out of the category of "close knit healthy family" status?

what about single parents?  are they not allowed to look for love, too?  do they have to wait until the kids move out?  or can they look for love and date as long as the kids never meet these people?  

and regarding the "having a large family would be confusing comment wasn't an argument" thing... wasn't it an argument against poly parents having multiple relationships around kids?  how is that not an argument?  and i still feel it was poor because there is no reason why it would be confusing to have more than two parents and there is nothing to back that statement up.

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what is a "close knit healthy family" here? are you talking about the normative understanding of a family? i can see there being different KINDS of families and as long as they are healthy in their relating, i don't see how there is a difference. except for the social values/expectations.

Well, by "close knit, healthy family," I mean just that...I don't care what kind of "family" it is. No, I'm not saying there must be a mom, dad, a brother, and sister, if that's what you mean. I mean a family with close bonds, who sticks together, communicates, and has healthy relationships. Family members don't usually exit relationships from other family members, but relationships (polyamorous ones, at that) are much more transient. That's what I mean. Like, a grandmother, aunt, and brother raising a child is different than the "mom" and "dad" (biologically) of the child, and the 8 other lovers. I am definitely not saying that there must be a mom, and a dad, and whatever. You all should know me better than that!

i should, your right. but i wasn't sure and i wanted clarification that definition. however, it seems that your definition/explanation continues to maintain a normative standard. are poly relationships that involve children more transient? is this research or a hypothesis? a lot of traditional families are highly transient (divorce, absent parents due to work, military service). i think we don't give children enough credit for being able to handle change in their lives. i think there is a continuum of change we can talk about but i think it is completely going to be disconnected from whether or not the family is normative or non-normative.

the more i think about this thread the more i wonder what the original question/issue was. i guess this started in chit chat but i'm not going to go over and hunt it down b/c i have to go teach and because i'm lazy. i don't think the primary issues have been resolved, i think a few of us are talking about different topics/different ideas of what we understand poly to be. not that this is bad, but it is frustrating to me at this point bc i am not sure how to exactly respond in a productive way.

i teach a class on marriage and my dissertation/research is in family studies with interests in heteronormativity in relationship/family processes. i guess it is hard to reference/source out what i've spend the last few years of my life working on and i am also fairly theoretical in my work, which doesn't work in posting here since most of you are not up on family/sexuality theories. which i don't intend as a put down by any means, but my input/knowledge base doesn't seem to facilitate this. we're working on different levels.

shit, i have to go to class.

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I'm not sure if this is available anywhere, but in one of my sociology classes in college, we watched a documentary on polyamory, and I'm almost positive it was this one: "When Two Won't Do." That was about 6 years ago, so I don't really remember any specifics anymore - though I do remember it was really interesting & we had a great class discussion on the topic.

I did a search for "documentaries about polyamory," and this result also came up: "I Love You. And you. And you." It doesn't look like it's available on Netflix, but I wish I could find it somewhere because it sounds interesting!

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Ok, I think a lot of my points are being taken out of context, and I agree with bp that we've really danced around the original question, and it is lost. (which is fine, but I would like to come away with some understanding on the basic topic)

MY original question is this: What is the reason for the desire to have multiple romantic loves?
I still do not understand it, other than wanting to be able to have ALL of the things that multiple people can offer.

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Ok, I think a lot of my points are being taken out of context, and I agree with bp that we've really danced around the original question, and it is lost. (which is fine, but I would like to come away with some understanding on the basic topic)

MY original question is this: What is the reason for the desire to have multiple romantic loves?
I still do not understand it, other than wanting to be able to have ALL of the things that multiple people can offer.

'
i think the same logic of trying to explain the color red to a blind person applies here.  It's not "reason" it's "emotion".  If one is not wired to understand (to "see") the emotion, no amount of logical rationale would help that.

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Ok, I think a lot of my points are being taken out of context, and I agree with bp that we've really danced around the original question, and it is lost. (which is fine, but I would like to come away with some understanding on the basic topic)

MY original question is this: What is the reason for the desire to have multiple romantic loves?
I still do not understand it, other than wanting to be able to have ALL of the things that multiple people can offer.

'
i think the same logic of trying to explain the color red to a blind person applies here.  It's not "reason" it's "emotion".  If one is not wired to understand (to "see") the emotion, no amount of logical rationale would help that.

I understand the point you're trying to make, but I don't think it's entirely accurate... I think those of us who find monogamy appealing could list out (at least some) reasons why. The desire to have a relationship (whether a monogamous one or a polyamorous one) isn't based entirely on emotion. It might come from a desire "deep inside" that can't be pinpointed as to WHY a person is "wired" that way - but surely someone who identifies as poly could say WHAT about that appeals to them...

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most everything will have * a reason*. 

question: why did the cat eat?
reason: because it was hungry

question: why was the cat hungry?
reason: because it's body said so

question: why did the body say so?
reason: because it needed nutritents

question: why did it need nutrients?
reason: to sustain life

question: why does it need nutrients to sustain life?
reason: the f*ck if i should know

question: why did so and so have sex last night?
reason: they were horny

question: why were they horny?
reason: because they were just in the mood

question: why were they in the mood?
etc... ... ...

it's cyclical - most everything has *a reason* that can then be broken down into further reasons.  Logic is great at the top level - but the further you dig into the layers of deeper reasons - the less and less "logic" may apply.

my continued perception, imho, is there continues to be a search for this "logic" on a level where that logic simply doesn't exist.

heck, i don't love animals because i chose to - it chose me, i've always been that way.  why do i love animals and someone else hunts and kills them? i don't agree w/their actions but i also recognize that they're simply a "different" person and i don't have the same thoughts in my head as they do in theirs.  That doesn't imply anything wrong with them or that anything is missing from their lives or that they had a bad childhood, etc etc - it just means they're different.

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Knowing why we understand and believe the way we do does has merit.  Saying that it's just the way it is doesn't expand our self-reflection or help others consider ideas beyond their understandings and beliefs.  It's taking internal concepts and finding words to express them to others.  Communication is not a wasted exercise.

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Knowing why we understand and believe the way we do does has merit.  Saying that it's just the way it is doesn't expand our self-reflection or help others consider ideas beyond their understandings and beliefs.  It's taking internal concepts and finding words to express them to others.  Communication is not a wasted exercise.

Precisely!

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Knowing why we understand and believe the way we do does has merit.  Saying that it's just the way it is doesn't expand our self-reflection or help others consider ideas beyond their understandings and beliefs.  It's taking internal concepts and finding words to express them to others.  Communication is not a wasted exercise.

HH - i agree w/you - knowing and understanding does have merit.  At the same time, i also believe resolution to the fact that certain things are inherent also have merit.

It's great to have discussions to better understand various concepts, but some things go beyond the surface level of conversation. If someone was to ask you why you love animals, you tell them, you explain your feelings - but at some point comes the law of diminishing returns - where you realize you're up against a wall, you have explained everything you could possibly explain, and the rest really has to be either "experienced" or not.  You can't make someone "feel" what you feel for animals.

Another example might be NDE's (near death experiences).  You have many groups/scientists trying to determine exactly what an NDE *really is* (whatever that means) - all of this studying done by, people that - for the most part, can not identify with the experience themselves.  They can use all the logic and science to rationalize what they believe a NDE is, but when all is said and done - they really know no more then when they started.  Does it mean the effort was wasted, maybe.  Maybe not.  That too would be a personal perception. 

So, without someone having the actual experience, having the actual wiring, the actual feelings that are associated with people that do have this - all the discussion in the world will only take them so far and then they'll hit a wall - because experience is unique to the individual.  Even then, for people who are not against "poly" - their experiences and insights will further differ amongst themselves.

So, going back to the NDE reference - no matter how much someone tries to explain their NDE to me, no matter how many facts/visions/insights they may offer - it's not something i'll ever understand unless i experience the same.

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Hrm....I've been following this discussion pretty closely, wondering/contemplating if I should throw my hat into the ring so to speak.... I have been involved in a few poly type situations, both as the additional/secondary lover and as a person who has a 'primary' plus....

In order for me to feel I'm being clear and coming across as understood as possible through this rather muddled medium, I'm want to define the following terms as they pertain to me/my situation(s).

Primary partner: Person(s) you see most often/live with/married to, and have the stronger feelings for. If put into a situation where you'd have to choose between being poly or being monogamous, you'd more than likely choose to be monogamous to this person. To use another term, this person would be considered your significant other. When it comes to deciding who you'd want to accompany you to a family get-together, they'd be the one to come along. They take priority in the personal needs. If children are in the picture they are parental figures/units.

Secondary partner: Person(s) who you're still committed to. However there is less pressure/expected of the relationship as opposed to the primary. More than merely fuckbuddy's but less than SO status. If female identified, this person would be your mistress. In situations of bisexuality, they are the ones who would be 'added' and possibly shared by both Primaries. When you get together, you tend to also do 'couple-esque' type things (ie dates, go to movies, or concerts with one-another, cuddle while watching TV, cook together, etc). If children are involved, they tend to be 'aunt' or 'uncle'.

Tertiary partner: Fuckbuddy, one night stand, or long-distance lover who if they lived closer could be considered a secondary. When you get together emotional needs are a very low priority, if they even exist. Your primary room is the bedroom.

Where/when I've found such situations beneficial is when one tends to be very needy yet diverse/quirky in their needs where 98.2% of the time one person doesn't have ALL(or even a majority) the similar likes/needs/wants they do.

NOTE: All of these aren't required (ie you can skip the secondary, and only have primary and tertiary relationships). You can also have only a few Secondary relationships without a Primary. (This is often practiced by many who even consider themselves to be monogamous. They just consider it 'dating' as opposed to being in a relationship.)

ATM, for me G is my primary, and Gnome would/could be considered my secondary. G and I share similar spiritual, philosophies, and over are the most compatible with each other when it comes to food, music, life-style, etc. G shares my logic side/right brain activities...both of us are artists, so we 'get it' when the other will lock themselves away in a room or stay up all night to complete a project or vision when the muse strikes. He reads mainly non-fiction and user manuals and is my primary sci-fi partner in geek-out sessions. As most of you know, I live with a emotional/psychological disorder/disease that requires medication and at times tons of understanding and space.... G has never experienced this before and doesn't understand or really accept that this is a part of my life that I have very little control over. (My case is very much chemical, hormonal, and hereditary. My mom was most likely Bi-polar (she completed suicide when I was 11); and my dad, more than likely, lives with either Borderline Personality disorder or classic Depression.) Most of our problems have revolved around this issue. Sex is good between us, yet isn't as frequent as I'd necessarily like it to be, however I refuse to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Gnome and I are more compatible in the hobbies, fantasies, literary, and activity areas. He and I will cook and go to concerts together, we discuss books, and recommend novels to each other. Several times we have attempted the SO relationship, but it really just doesn't work for us as a unit. We can go for months/years w/o sex. We are kind of like best friends who occasionally have sex with each other. My emotional needs and desires that G doesn't meet/share I get from Gnome, we cuddle when watching TV and over all share an emotional bond and history that really cannot be severed. He lives with Dysthymic Depression/Disorder, has bad knees, a history with going to various doctors/specialists/counselors/etc, and likes to play games. Gnome is my TV/movie partner. When we get together, we will play a game of cards or yahtzee, watch TV/movies, talk about our day(s) and families, sometimes cook dinner together and listen to music. I try to hang out with him on a weekly basis. He is an art enthusiast and shares my passion for the theatre.

When I have my mood swings and depressive phases, G will often push me towards Gnome's direction, because with our history and similar mood disorders (not to mention the fact Gnome is a pharmacist), Gnome knows how to handle me and is more willing/capable to fulfill what I need in a partner at that time.

I have considered adding a tertiary relationship for my sexual needs, but my ideal partner's schedule requires more effort than I'm willing to put into a purely sexual situation.

Other forms of Poly relationship I've seen in practice are:

Closed Multiple Partnerships: This is when three or more people are involved with each other and are in a committed Primary relationship, to one another without the desire to seek out others. They will often do shared activities with each other and can often live with each other. This is where bigamists lie. If children are involved, this is often where they will have multiple 'mommies' or 'daddies'.

Closed Primary Partner Swapping: This is different from the Multiple Partnerships, in that couples will date each other. They are more like a Primary and Secondary combo.

Swingers: Open Primary Partner Swapping. These are the people that go to 'sex parties' and clubs who will partner up with some one other than the person(s) they came in with. (This is often the one that closed couples tend to dip their toes into first, without the real knowledge of the other forms existing. It tends to lead to jealousy and break-ups. I've only seen one or two couples able to handle this one.) This is often the form of 'Polyamory' that most people use as an example against it. In my view this isn't really true Polyamory in that there is typically no love involved in the extraneous relationship(s).

Links that may be beneficial for those trying to understand this lifestyle:

The Polyamory Society

Polyamory Resource Guide

Alternative Lifestyles Guide/Resource for Polyamory

Hope this helps to clarify a few things!

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MY original question is this: What is the reason for the desire to have multiple romantic loves?
I still do not understand it, other than wanting to be able to have ALL of the things that multiple people can offer.

okay, coolness. i'll put my thoughts as resident (closest to an) expert. first off, i'm gonna focus on poly by choice, not institutional forms of poly (multiple wives as norm, this kind of stuff) because i think they are worked/conceptualized differently.

i think desiring multiple romantic partners at one time - and how curious it seems - comes from our social understanding that love (at least how it is conceptualized right now in the US) is something rare, between two people, fueled by desire, etc. as such, monogamous relationships are normative, championed, and reproduced in a way that delegitimates other forms of relationship "doings." the result is then that anything outside monogamy becomes identified with the queer/other. for me, the ability to have and accept open relationship models stems from my queerness - i can't be against heteronormativity if i also practice basic parts of it. this issues has been explained in previous posts, so i wont bore you all with it more. for others, they might accept that it is possible to love more than one person at a time and they allow their relationship to "work" how it does be cause it works well that way.

why would someone want to have more than one love at a time? beats me beyond my own guesses. this might be a sociological research question that we could explore. i think some have already made a case for why they have/do practice poly (and/or sexually open relationships). its tricky because we're talking about different things (loving someone vs. having sex with someone). a good question would be "what would hurt you more - finding out your lover (love + sex relationship) LOVED someone else or that they had SEX with someone else that they didn't love?" i think this helps in some ways to either clarify the issue OR to make it more muddy. but with monogamy, we expect a lot out of the emotions/behaviors of our partner. perhaps a lot of people just don't want to invest that kind of energy into more than one relationship at a time (esp if they have others, like kids, they are involved with on a highly emotional level)

on that note, having multiple loves is different from having multiple sexual partners. my earlier self-example isn't really an example of polyamory in the sense of there being more than two people "involved" in my current relationship.  (but i clarify all this with a) i know LF reads my posts from time to time and will likely see this b) LF and i have only known each other a few months and while i'm aware we have some level of care-work involved in our relating, i don't think/know if it is "love" and c) i imagine her other sexual partner isn't very primary - at least my impression isn't that they get it on all the time but instead are more casual/if it happens it happens, but whatever relationship LF has with her other person is only a guess to me. i think it is more fwb vs romantic). but i think if the situation was that if LF had some kind of romantic inclining feelings for this other person, i would venture to say that that isn't something that is conceptualized as something she can control (the whole "you can't help who you love/desire/feel connected to"). from my position as her gf (or whatever), i guess i can't really allow myself to be upset by those feelings she has. i know my own feelings i have towards others aren't really under my own control (and i also understand that this ideology of love is a relatively new social construction, just to toss more gas on the fire). i can control my doings, and if we agreed that it was okay to sex it up with others, that is a lot different than saying, for example, that one or both of us might have other gfs. while i'm okay with the openess of how we can "do" our relationship, i've also told her i don't have the emotional time or energy to seriously date someone else. i already think dating is like having a part time job and i can't imagine having 2 girlfriends at one time. however, i don't have a issue with it and i can understand why someone might want to.

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aww, hanashi, nice guide!

it does a good job at showing how diverse poly situations can be.

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i think my frustration is because kmk and ac keep saying that we are not answering the original question of WHY someone would want to love/be with/have sex with more than one person.

i feel that i have answered this, several times. 

love: i've said that i'm capable of loving more than one person and i will not put a limit on my love.
be with: yes, everyone has something different to offer, but that doesn't mean the other person is incomplete.  i can appreciate entire individuals as a whole instead of bits and pieces that sorta fit together like a puzzle to create the perfect person
sex: i do not connect sex with love or love with sex.  i don't understand that connection at all.  like, why does touching someone's genitals mean anything?  that just blows my mind when you think about it in the sense of what is literally going on.  you're bumping body parts.  why does that mean something special?  so because i do not connect love with sex or sex with love, i will never care if my partner gets this outside of my relationship with her as long as she's honest with me and safe.  (i have suggested this to her many times since she has a high sex drive and i do not provide her the sex she desires and i don't feel i should have sex when i don't want to have sex simply because my wife wants it)

i have said all of this.  i am not sure how else to answer this question.

i will have to agree with sirdidy that maybe you're not finding these answers satisfactory because you're looking for logic in the realm of emotions (with the exception of the sex part in which it seems i view it with more logic and no emotion where you view it with more emotion and less logic).

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AC always asks why would someone want multiple loves.  I always wonder why people wouldn't want multiple people to love and loving them.

I am of the opinion that personally, for me, a closed multiple partnership would be heaven. 

Lets look at it this way; four people in a stable, loving and long term relationship. A likes cooking, B likes housework, C likes mowing the lawn and D loves to grocery shop.  Rather than A and B living alone and unhappy at having things they have to get done but dont like they open their hearts and lives to C and D who fill in the spaces to complete the relationship.  I know its oversimplified and pretty silly comparison but I feel people rarely find the other half that completes them totally happily.  If someone has then bravo and congrats, but if you have the ability for everyone to love one another without drama or crap, why not? 

That explanation sucked but its the best I can think of right now.  All partners get as much out of the relationship as they put in.  Loving 3 people and receiving the love from the 3 in return.  Openly, honestly and lovingly.

My feelings and definition wont work for everyone just as monogamy doesn't work for everyone.

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AC always asks why would someone want multiple loves.  I always wonder why people wouldn't want multiple people to love and loving them.

I am of the opinion that personally, for me, a closed multiple partnership would be heaven. 

Lets look at it this way; four people in a stable, loving and long term relationship. A likes cooking, B likes housework, C likes mowing the lawn and D loves to grocery shop.  Rather than A and B living alone and unhappy at having things they have to get done but dont like they open their hearts and lives to C and D who fill in the spaces to complete the relationship.  I know its oversimplified and pretty silly comparison but I feel people rarely find the other half that completes them totally happily.  If someone has then bravo and congrats, but if you have the ability for everyone to love one another without drama or crap, why not? 

That explanation sucked but its the best I can think of right now.  All partners get as much out of the relationship as they put in.  Loving 3 people and receiving the love from the 3 in return.  Openly, honestly and lovingly.

My feelings and definition wont work for everyone just as monogamy doesn't work for everyone.

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is probably not the explanation that everyone has, or the way that everyone else feels, but this is the explanation I was thinking! I understand this! 

I guess I feel that I have (or at least always have the capability of having) a complete relationship with my one person. If we feel we have something missing, or have a disagreement, we find a way to complete/resolve it. For me, this way works better for me, but I understand that others might want to have other people to fill the missing pieces, and to share life.

At least I hope I understand you correctly. This is what I was trying to say.

I also want to say that I do want multiple people to love/loving me, just not romantically (eros). You know, all the different types of love.

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The idea of "meant to" or "predisposed to" is kind of weird, especially when applied to something that's basically a social choice. It has a connotation that fate or God or whatever has made us in a specific way, a way that means we're meant to behave a certain way (and if that's what you believe, that's cool, but it seems like a lot of naturalistic type people use that reasoning too). Basically, if you have a group of people making a consistent choice of behavior over a long period of time - absolute monogamy, serial monogamy, polyandry, polyamory, whatever, eventually (theoretically) only the kids who could adapt to this well would have their own successful kids, and so on... and the society would be adapted to this practice. After a while these types of changes become so ingrained they're pretty hard to go against - like mammals (and other animals) and caring for their children (human babies would never survive left alone, whereas some non-human babies would). I dunno if one type of relationship or the other has been practiced long enough that it's psychologically difficult/impossible to go against. Obviously a lot of people have trouble with monogamy, with something like 60% of marriages having "infidelity" in them, but it's not impossible. Maybe it's harder for couples to stay together now that women are a bit more free to leave (socially, financially), or just because people live longer and so while "till death do us part" meant about 20-30 years before, now it could be around 60. People live well past their kids growing up, moving out, and getting married, so they might feel less obligated to stay together for the sake of the kids. I think that if there is a physiological reason for monogamy, it's the kids. Hell, I think the reason for romantic love and whatnot is for the kids. But maybe that's just the cynical biologist in me...

On the other hand, I don't think we can assess how well-adjusted the children are of any type of relationship until the children grow up. It's not just a matter of the kid still being alive after 18 years and not seeming depressed. Additionally, even if there's no evolutionary reason to favor any type of relationship as long as the kids have a supporting, loving group of people raising them, I think it will put a strain on the kids of the type of relationship goes against the social norm. It might totally be healthy for a kid to be raised by several parents/step-parents, even living in the same household as one another, but if that kid is the *only* one in the larger community with this set up, it's going to be pretty awkward trying to explain this to friends. And what if, when the kid grows up, s/he falls in love with a person who expects monogamy?

I wonder if the growing interest/incidence of polyamory is a sort of backlash to how individualistic society has become. We move away from our families, keep to ourselves... maybe we're just lonely? For some people, the only truly "close" relationships they have are with romantic partners.

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fb, i agree with a lot of what you said, except towards the end.  i don't necessarily think that if a kid had a "different" family that he or she would grow up awkwardly.  and just because that kid grew up in a poly household, that won't make them more inclined to poly.  just maybe more understanding of it.  they might prefer monogamy.

my example from before of my friend, sarah, who's parents were all in a poly relationship together, is currently married to one person and they are expecting their first child.  i believe they are monogamous and i've never really known her to practice anything other than monogamy (i dated her for a while, but we were just dating and so not monogamous... but the girl she was with after me was with her for three years and it was monogamous).  she totally understands and agrees with polyamory, but she seems to be more inclined to be monogamous, herself.

and i don't know if polyamory could be a backlash.  maybe?  i agree that for a lot of people they might feel the only truly close relationship they have is with their romantic partners (i think brittney feels this way).  but i also think that poly relationships have always been around, but more behind the scenes.  maybe they are just now being more accepted here (a society that is predominantly "monogamous").

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i was thinking about something the other day that i wanted to add on here but it seemed the thread might have died and i didn't want to just talk to myself in every post...

but i know a lot of people who have loved someone in the past but are currently in love with someone different.  when i ask them if they still love that past person, they tell me, "there will always be a place in my heart for so-and-so" meaning they currently love the past person AND the present person... they just no longer attempt a relationship with the past person.

in fact, a lot of people i've dated have told me this, too.  and these were monogamous people (such as brittney).  it doesn't bother me that she will always love one of her exes.

have you (ac, kmk, anyone else who is wanting to understand) ever heard someone say this?  or have you ever said something similar?

what do you think of this?  loving the current person but still having love for the past person/people even though you've stopped attempting any sort of romantic or physical relationship with him/her/them?

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