Sure, you can fly, but that cocoon has gotta go!
When we’re newly poly, especially if we’re fortunate enough to have found a poly community in which to participate, it is not unusual to dive into this new community with joy and excitement.
Naw, I’m not gonna knock that. Joy and excitement are good things. Community is good, too.
What I am going to caution you to do is keep your head on straight when you do it. There’s a wide world out there. Some of ’em are poly, but plenty of ’em aren’t.
Being understood is a heady feeling, and goodness knows that being understood and accepted for your sexuality in this crazy society ranks right on up there with one of the great joys in life. It’s a human desire to feel accepted by one’s community, and it’s a fantastic feeling.
I encourage anyone who is involved in various poly communities to keep touch with the wider world. Don’t surround yourself in an enclave and leave the rest of the world behind. It’s tempting, it’s seductive, but don’t do it.
To get a reality check, you have to look at reality — that means your poly world, but it means the monogamous world, too. There’s a lot about monogamy that I actually don’t agree with. The basic paradigms don’t suit my worldview at all. But I keep looking, and I keep watching people. The reason I do this is a little selfish, I admit.
You see, if you keep watching, you may learn something.
You won’t be able to watch if you cut yourself off.
So I have some questions for you, the poly people:
- Are you involved with a polyamory community? Do you make contacts and talk to people who are similar to you? Yes, you’ll need support for being a weirdo from time to time.
- Are you involved with a community that is not polyamory-based? This could be a religious group, social organization, professional org… almost anything? There’s more to your life than your sexuality. What are you into, what do you do that’s not based on romantic relationships that causes your eyes to light up and your soul to tingle to create?
- Are you involved with any charitable work? This could be something as mundane as volunteering at your kid’s school or picking up trash beside the road. It could be something a little more involved. There’s more to life than your own interests.
What I’m saying here is that being poly is cool, but for goodness sake, have a Life rather than a Lifestyle!
Happy, well-rounded people are good “positive press” for polyamory, too, so you could call it a form a community work to show that <grin>
5 thoughts on “Join the Dust of the World”
It’s ironically cool to read this, because one of the first things I realized, in dating a polyamorous man, was that just as he had to balance all the women in his life, I had to balance this new “tribe” with my created family; that I had to not neglect those that I love and have history with for a fun, new discovery.
1. Yes :
The poly community I involve myself with is primarily online, though I do know more than my fair share of poly folk in my state of residence I find more true comradery in the area online as it’s not nearly so limited as my immediate community is.
2. Yes: Absolutely. Many in fact. Most of the people I talk to and associate with on a daily level are my friends who have similar lives due to the nature of our spouses jobs (military). I would say that my closest friends are monogamists
3. Yes: Indeed, I work for free at a consignment shop for zip pay – what we sell benefits local charities and events, and I lead several other local community activities through the Spouses association here on base.
We have friends who got this “Uh-oh” look at us when we told them about my rekindled interest in polyamory. Not because they were weirded out by the concept… but because a friend of theirs had gone overboard into it, became way evangelistic, and said *everyone* should become poly (starting with her friends) or there was something wrong with them. Not a good example. I had some reassuring to do, that I’m not a One True Wayer and that they get very little respect in the community.
My own guess is that, in maybe the 24th century when the world has become as poly-friendly as a Heinlein story and people are as secure and together as Lazarus Long and company (assuming we haven’t blown ourselves up before then), 80 or 90 percent of people will still be choosing monogamy at any given time — if only because it’s simpler.
I decided this from looking at the poly world today. There are a lot more open couples and vees than full-up triads; more triads than quads; more quads than quints. The trend: the more complex the relationship form, the less common it is. Extrapolate this graph in the other direction, and it points to couples being naturally the most abundant.
Although, when you extend the graph to larger numbers I think the curve starts going the other way. Large networks — squiggles or tribes — seem especially stable and comfortable overall and seem to be getting more common around here (pretty urban), even if there’s a fair amount of changeableness within them.
You’re making a great point. I think poly has a way of taking over one’s brain, given both the joys and the complications. One of my best friends (not poly, so she has an external perspective on this) noted yesterday that I talk about it with more excitement than about my work. (Maybe that’s healthy… maybe not :)) So there’s a certain amount of deliberate work required to keep things in perspective.
Well, Olga, I think you’re going to have different things obsess you at different times. There was a time when my mind was on my relationships and I think it was valid.
Right now it’s on my career, and I think that’s valid, too.
But in my “goals for the year” for myself, I try to balance health goals, business goals and relationship goals — with the relationship one being focused on making sure the people I’m close to know I appreciate them.
But the balance is important.