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Polyamory -

2002-10-22 20:18:55+00 by ziffle 8 comments

I have been reading about this lately - and its interesting...

So I was all gung ho then I read this very nice committment ceremony -

" XXXX my darling:

What I promise you now is not new. It has been true in my heart for a while now. I promise it here, before our friends and family, so that they will know how I feel, share in the happiness these feelings give me, and remind me of my promises if I ever need reminding.

I love you. My life, while separate, is linked to yours.

I will be there when you need me. I will give you space when you need it. Sometimes I will get the balance wrong, and when I do that I will redress it with the minimum of fuss. I respect that you are an independent person with your own beliefs, interests and points of view, and I will celebrate those differences, not dedicate my life to removing them.

Because I am committed to you, I am committed to those people and things in your life that are important to you. I support you in your relationships with Giles, Dave, Simon, David, and the many other people whose lives intersect with yours in some way. I will be there for B, C and R when they need me, and will help them grow up as any parent would. Your job, your degree course, your beliefs; all these and anything and anyone you become involved with in in the future, I promise to support.

I cannot promise that the person I will be in twenty years will still love the person you will be in twenty years, but I can promise that the person I am now very much wants that to happen.

I love you, and I want us to grow old together. "

The part about 20 years form now sets me to thinking - the part about Giles, etc. makes me hesitate - how about you?


[ related topics: Ziffle Interactive Drama Invention and Design Space & Astronomy Sociology Heinlein ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-10-22 21:24:31+00 by: Dan Lyke

On the 20 years from now subject, I've long stayed away from marriage because I think it's unreasonable to expect that two people will grow the same way for decades. A nice thing if it happens, but if it isn't happening trying to make those two people conform to each other makes Procrustes look like a really nice guy.

On the Giles, Dave, Simon, David, Brad, Janet and Rocky issue I see two sides:

  1. I always want to reserve the right to say "I think that person is a schmuck, and I'm not going out of my way to help them". A rephrasing that's closer to "because I am committed to you, I'll consider helping in the communities and causes you deem worthwhile, but I reserve the right to say 'you're being used' and let you make your own decisions."
  2. If the things that are dearly important to my partner aren't important to me, perhaps we're going different ways and need to reconsider our committment.

I think every couple which has enough of a disparity that one is compensating for the other will have to answer this question; if it's not about another lover it'll be about a relative or friend who's hit rough times or whatever.

#Comment made: 2002-10-23 01:15:20+00 by: Larry Burton

My wife and I have been married for 25 years. Over this time there have been moments when we were really angry with each other and those moments haven't always been synchronous. On the whole the relationship has been worth enduring those moments. Throw in Giles, Dave and the rest and I don't think it would have been worth those moments of anger. But, that's me.

#Comment made: 2002-10-23 06:06:38+00 by: Shawn

The part about 20 years makes perfect sense to me - and I feel like it always has. The part about Giles, et al doesn't bother me in the slightest. The Poly idea struck a cord with me the first time I heard of it and that cord has not yet ceased to vibrate. Unfortunately, I... well, I suck at establishing new relationships - of any kind, much less romantic ones. So I'm firmly Poly - just not practicing :-(

#Comment made: 2002-10-23 08:40:38+00 by: topspin

ziffle, what about Giles, etc. makes you pause? Supporting a partner having deep personal relationships beyond the one with me is perhaps my biggest challenge in a relationship. Is that what you're alluding too?

In my notion of love, there's a desire to support the endeavors of someone I love. That ain't always easy when I'm insecure, or I don't agree with the behavior, or I question the companions of the journey. For me, that's when it comes down to the core of love.... faith and trust.

When things are good, all is well. When things are bad, I try to trust and have faith that my partner sees something I don't or will see something I do see soon. I try to be honestly supportive, which might mean being warily supportive.... at least for a period of time.

As for the 20 year portion, that's just being honest about the nature of human growth and development.

#Comment made: 2002-10-23 12:04:01+00 by: ziffle

The part about 20 years -- I want to feel that time would not hurt things, but make them better - but -- reading that it makes me realize that often - at least so far -- reality does not always conform to my best hopes -- that having been acknowledged, it makes me question marriage at all like some of you (at least the legal kind) , cause its such a hassle getting unmarried - ouch ouch ouch

The Giles stuff - I suppose " I'm firmly Poly - just not practicing" too! -- maybe I do not understand poly well enough yet, but it appears to me that inside the 'family' everyone sleeps - as in sex - with everyone - and I wonder about the health and emotional aspects of such a large number of participants. Maybe I'm only up to the polygamy stage - and my personal growth needs work.... Of course in Mayberry, I am already a radical!

Does anyone else have problems typing with the keyboard on your lap in the (almost) dark ?

#Comment made: 2002-10-23 16:52:06+00 by: ammy

That is a really great commitment promise. On the subject of the others - Giles, Dave, Simon, David, etc. - it may be a poly thing, or it could just be that this person is acknowledging close friends. Among one of my circles of friends, you don't just get the person you're dating, you get the entire community with them, and that has all the ups and downs that any family has. If I were to marry my Rick, I couldn't do so without acknowledging Ian and Thomas.

On the other hand, it probably does refer to a polyamorous situation. And if so, I love how it acknowledges the importance of these other relationships. There is no hint that by loving another, it lessens the importance of this relationship. Functioning polyamory is rare in this world, but when it works, it's the most beautiful thing ever.

#Comment made: 2002-10-23 19:19:38+00 by: ziffle

ammy: I love the way you write - and the way it makes me feel about poly.

#Comment made: 2002-10-24 03:39:23+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

maybe I do not understand poly well enough yet, but it appears to me that inside the 'family' everyone sleeps - as in sex - with everyone

I'd say you don't understand poly well enough yet. (And I say that with a friendly smile. I don't know poly well enough either :-) There are many flavors of poly - and a goodly portion of them do not involve all parties having sex with all other parties.