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Ever had or seen a successful polyamorous relationship?


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#1
amoret

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I just have to ask this question, even though I risk being criticized.

As a bisexual/queer/omni/whatever, I have always been a serial monogamist. Woman/man/woman/man...pretty much like clockwork. I just don't know that I can get everything I need from either gender, so I've seriously contemplated trying to find a polyamorous relationship. The problem is, I just can't imagine how it would work.

It would seem like no matter what, there would be a power imbalance, hurt feelings, sexual jealousy, etc. I've broached this topic with past (male, sexually sophisticated) partners, and while many people would think they'd be up for it (no pun intended), they were not. Occasional sexual tryst, yes; full-blown relationship, NO.

My female partners were even less supportive. Everyone was open to an occasional, casual sexual encounter, but the idea of having an actual relationship was too threatening. Actually, even talking about the idea of entering into a polyamorous relationship was too threatening.

Has anyone had any experience with making this work?

#2
Nailbunny

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Quote


Has anyone had any experience with making this work?

Nope.

#3
brave_betty

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It seems pretty relevant to me right now as I am in a long term relationship with a man at the moment and am realising how successful it is going but that I, like you, need both sexes for satisfaction. The simple compromise that's been discussed between us is that I'm to find a woman on the side for a physical fling! I was really surprised with my man when he calmly proposed his solution because most people aren't okay with the other person seeing someone else at the same time. Usually it's a one-off thing but, for me it's agreed that I shall have a 'girlfriend' as such! I actually beleive this will work and I'll have few problems because he has decided he wont get involved in my extra relationship, not even for a threesome etc. This should keep the emotional problems such as jealousy outta sight.

I guess I have only to wait and see what happens:)
The poet and the dreamer are distinct, diverse, sheer opposite, antipodes. The one pours out a balm upon the world, the other vexes it. John Keats

#4
Troublemaker

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Yes yes yes! I've been non-monogamous for about 7 years and I wouldn't give it up for anything. It hasn't been all sweetness and light, and yes -- there have been hurt feelings, sexual jealousy, power imbalances... but no more so than in my monogamous relationships. And the good stuff has far outweighed the bad (for me! I'm definitely not suggesting that one relationships style is for everyone).


> The problem is, I just can't imagine how it would work.

don't give up! it's true, like anything, it won't always work out. but it can. Here are my two favourite "how it actually works out" websites:

http://www.xeromag.com/fvpoly.html
- concise, useful, carefully thought out. lots of good questions to ask oneself or one's partner.

http://www.ourlittlequad.com
- sharp wit, too-the-point writing, real-world strategies.

> and while many people would think they'd be up for it (no pun
> intended), they were not.

*laugh* no kidding. it has also been my experience that people who've never tried non-monogamy before overestimate their level of comfort. there's something to be said for getting involved with someone who's tried it and is sure it's for them.


> Occasional sexual tryst, yes; full-blown relationship, NO.

interesting distinction... i've noticed it too. my theory: the core of monogamy is not about sexual exclusivity (as the dictionary seems to assume), but about security... anyone have any thoughts on this?

take care,
Len

#5
Carrie

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I was thinking maybe polyamorous relationships are a bit like communism, good in theory, total disaster in reality. :D
But I am also one of those people who prefers to be involved with both women and men at the same time.
Right now I have a ltr with a man, who understands and supports my bisexuality, and I'm on the lookout for that perfect best girl friend with benefits. Although I have refrained from calling her a "girlfriend" to my boyfriend, someone who you love as a friend who you have sex with can't be that different from love, and polyamory. So I'm on the fence about this one, when (and if!) I find the girl im looking for I hope I can figure out the whole polyamory thing and see if it works for me.

#6
pinktricity

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Define 'success'. I have witnessed polyamorous relationships among my friends that have been wonderfully successful for a while (up to a year, maybe) and have then fallen apart for various reasons. We are young, our relationships do not tend to last for extended periods of time. But if you mean 'success' as in, it made those in it happy at the time, yes, I have seen it in practise. It looked like fun!

Not-in-person I have encountered a number of polyamorous 'families' (how I think of them) on the internet, and they all seem quite successful. Not in terms of never having any problems, just in terms of being well-negotiated, open communication, huge amounts of respect, etc.

I agree that 'monogamy' is mostly about security, and in the polyamorous relationships I've seen work 'security' has been a primary concept. I am not intending to generalise across relationships, but in the one's I've witnessed, they have centred around two or more 'primaries' who form a secure 'core' and then may have other shorter term partners, and/or fuckbuddy friendships, and/or other poly families they shag every now and then. I would be very interested to hear about other people's experiences that expand on or are different to these forms.

I am quite curious about polyamory but seem to orient much more towards short-term-serial-monogamy. I am quite ambitious however, and would very much like to think that it's something I could experience in the future, in one or many of it's various forms.

#7
naughtycowgirljo

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WARNING! The following is a late night rant of some length and questionable clarity read at own risk and remember," change is inevitable, growth is optional......" I have been in several "poly"ships; What exactly is the definition/ degree of "success" we are using as abox to stuff our open selves into??? I will stand by my belief in my own "successes" and degrees of growth i have experienced thusfar. I have had also, my share of serial-monogamy, to an equal degree of "success". all of these successful ships of all kinds have led me to the place i am now, alone. Well, not really alone; in fact:in a committed, long-term (12yrs), completely co-dependant existence with my fuzzy k-9 friend. the fact that I do not presently maintain sexual/intimate relations with each and every lover i have ever had, would define "failure" in many folks' dictionary of ships. However, i, myself have had every single "truth/fact/belief/understanding/assumption/and definition (my entire world as i had experienced and lived so far really) completely challenged, and spun around and opposited even. I am shaking my head and laughing at me even now.
we tend to take ourselves and our immediate needs/wants far too seriously,and base our very survival upon immpossible/unreasonable demands upon other people's responsibility/definitions.....we forget to live/experience/accept/learn/grow/watch listen/feel and trust. We walk around in an increasingly tightening circle around the boxes we buind to guard" the walls we build around them so as that we can become scared, angry and mistrusting, accusing and punishing ourselves and our loved ones for every mistake or unacceptable thing they do "to us" blah blah until we have squashed the beautiful thing we were so "in love/enamoured"with, often, in fact, hating each other and our world of possibility and love fades to black.....but, i digress.....
oh ya, so here iat 33, knowing nothing for sure as the basis for what i know. i am stronger in who i am than ever before, even though i question my very existence daily. I believe that if two people really love each other enough to stand side by each and support each other through all the ugliness and pain that is life, this is a priceless gift. it's strength and energy will attract/create an even greater energy=more draw=more energy...and on to infinity. according to this, the greater your love/connection, the more pull towards it created by it. If we can just trust and be secure enough in ourselves to allow/accept this energy to grow around us and lift us up, it would hurt alot less than fatalistic limited fear based metamorphisis into a buncha crippled up, dark mistrusting victims and martyrs complete with chips on the shoulder, a world of injustice out to get us, and a trail of "failed" relationships with "assholes" whom have "hurt" us and done us wrong We could remember instead to remind each other that we are all just stupid humans, full of possibility and love just trying to make it through life w/o stepping on our dicks we make mistakes, and the whole world does not, as it turns out, end; in fact, it expands. you do not have to have the time/capacity/willingness, or desire to be intimate with more than 1 person at a time. it is alot more work, and requires self-awareness, honesty and clear communication in order to work ("succeed")
I am strongly opposed to folks whom have never been poly, whom do not fully wrap their beliefs around it, or whom are not otherwise inclined towards ships of this sort "trying" to force themselves to "be ok" with being in one for another. it is good to question, and to try for sure, everything once, but not to be something we inheirently are not, for anyone else's acceptance or approval; this, in my experience leads to unneccessary pain and tainted judgemental views of misunderstood experiences......damm i can carry on, sorry, nothin, i really have no opinion on this matter; to each his own; whatever will be will be and stuff, ya, don't rock the boat (as if).whatever you do, do not make people question what it is they think they know for sure or the entire universe as they know it to be could shatter out from under them..... :twisted: :? . and yet we simutaneously limit our possibilities
"Remember, keep yer stick on the ice...and if the girls don't find ya handsome, they should at least find you handy..." - Red Green

#8
Sabeth

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Quote

I believe that if two people really love each other enough to stand side by each and support each other through all the ugliness and pain that is life, this is a priceless gift.

Indeed, I agree quite highly with all of this. The girl I'm committed to and I have only been together for six months, and the first two of those months were heavenly bliss. But at the end of May, life really fell apart for both of us, and we've been struggling tooth and nail against many many things and people that want nothing more to tear us apart. However, we refuse to let go of each other, and even though life has completely thrown a ton of shit at us, we're trying to stay strong.

Quote

If we can just trust and be secure enough in ourselves to allow/accept this energy to grow around us and lift us up, it would hurt alot less than fatalistic limited fear based metamorphisis into a buncha crippled up, dark mistrusting victims and martyrs complete with chips on the shoulder, a world of injustice out to get us, and a trail of "failed" relationships with "assholes" whom have "hurt" us and done us wrong We could remember instead to remind each other that we are all just stupid humans, full of possibility and love just trying to make it through life w/o stepping on our dicks we make mistakes, and the whole world does not, as it turns out, end; in fact, it expands. you do not have to have the time/capacity/willingness, or desire to be intimate with more than 1 person at a time. it is alot more work, and requires self-awareness, honesty and clear communication in order to work ("succeed")

Again, I agree. People need to remember that other people mess up and all that. I have mixed feelings about polyamorous relationships, even though technically, I'm in one right now. I've never done this before, and yes, it is quite hard. I don't think it should be attempted unless you love and trust who you're with very much. Unless, of course, you're not looking for a stable core relationship. But I think a lot of people want that stability that the whole love-and-trust thing gives. She wants me to be with other people, and I want to as well. And we're both really comfortable with it because we believe that we love each other enough to know that no matter who I'm with, I'll always come back to her.

Granted, there's that risk that maybe I will find someone "better" or whatever you prefer to call it, but I personally think that's highly unlikely.

Anyway, I've babbled enough. Thought I'd comment and share my views.

~Sabeth ^_^
I lust for the wind and the flurry of leaves
And the perfume of flesh on the murderous breeze,
The learn from the Dark and the voices Between,
This is my Will . . .

~Cradle of Filth - The Forest Whispers My Name

#9
SBgalaxy

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Yeah... I'm in my second poly relationship, and it is going pretty well so far. My first lasted for about a year and was quite nice but we didn't have any other serious partners, just random flings during it. The success there was definitely based on low expectations and a general committment to respecting each other's choices regardless of the situation.

My current relationship is even more formally "poly" and we're both fully committed to keeping it that way. We've only had minor drama about other "things" that have happened, and it wasn't so much about the events themselves as the way they were dealt with. We made an agreement to be the first to tell each other about our experiences with others instead of letting them filter through other people. It has been interesting dealing with the internet as another method for the person to find out. Say I hook up with a dude and randomly post about it to a group like you guys and then my GF comes along and sees the post prior to us discussing it... not ok. So that's the type of thing we've had arguments about. But we're both learning a lot about communication and the ways in which to deal with each other. I'm liking it a lot so far, as this is the first time I've felt like I can be 100% honest about my feelings for other people.

I'm definitely glad I've evolved into being poly, and it will be interesting to see how this lifestyle ends up working out for me. So far super-pleasurable!!!

Sarah B.
~ queer poly hippie engineer ~

#10
Masuza

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I am a married poly woman. We have been poly from the beginning. When we met I was in a LTR with a woman who was in a poly relationship as well. Four years in and we're still going strong. Not to say that there haven't been jealousies and hurt feelings, but what makes it work is your commitment to your relationships. My husband and I have an agreement between the two of us that is simple. Total honesty. Basically don't ask a question that you don't want to know the answer to. There have been hiccups along the way of course. Example: He began a relationship with a woman that my initial instincts told me to be wary of this one. But I tried to swallow those feelings of she's going to try to remove me from the picture all together. As it turned out, that did end up being the case but we did not have it confirmed until quite a while later. Of course he ended this relationship when that became apparent.
Basically it comes down to the trust you have in your partner(s). That is the fundamentals of any relationship. Do I think polyamory is for everyone...no! It's a struggle and it's definately not the path of least resistence. Is it fulfilling? Absolutely! For me. I've never been a monogamous person at heart and everytime I tried, I either failed or was miserable. It's a personal fit for me.
People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid. -Kierkegaard





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