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Friday, May 21, 2010

I want what I want and I want it now!!

Do you know what you want from Polyamory? Maybe a nice poly household with another couple and a few kids? Maybe a regular set of relationships but not a community household?
And if you know what you want, how are you going to get it?

I talk to quite a few folks who have an idea of what they want but often they can't be specific. They know they want a poly family, but not exactly the components of that family. Or they want multiple relationships, but aren't sure how it would look when completed. I'm used to those answers. So I was caught a bit off-guard by a couple I was talking to recently who know exactly what they want.

They have an idea how to achieve it. A plan for exploring relationships and determining if they have potential. A guide to how and when they will discuss rules, sexual relationship design, household integration, etc. When meeting a couple, which they are trying very hard to do, they quickly assess the situation and try to determine potential fit. They are hard pressed to let the relationship develop slowly and prefer to start having conversations right away. They also feel a need to have regular communication with a potential couple so they know there is progression of the relationship.

The problem here seems to be, they know what they want and they go after it. That intensity to find what they want and go after it aggressively is apparently to much for a lot of people. Many of their attempts have resulted in failure for a variety of reasons. Maybe because things are moving to fast, maybe the other couple doesn't feel as if they are in a 'dating' situation yet, maybe the energy just doesn't develop. Pick a reason, they have probably seen it. The result is that they continually feel as if they have 'failed' finding what they want because the relationships never develop or dissolve quickly.

I found this very interesting because most of the relationship failures I hear about are the result of someone not knowing what they want, their inability to be clear about what they want, or making mistakes trying to attain what they want. And failures I do hear about are often not considered 'failures' by those involved. Forgetting poly for a moment, even monogamous people can search for years to find a mate and experience a succession of failures.

So I'm curious now how people out there feel. Would you rather spontaneously click with someone and figure it out as it develops? Or would you prefer someone (or a couple if that is what you are looking for) who knows exactly what they want and will actively pursue it?

Does mild aggressiveness scare you off or do you enjoy someone (or a couple) who is a bit more aggressive?


  1. I think one of the reasons people do not know what they want or have trouble verbalizing that is because marriage and monogamy are the norm.

    I always knew I was "different" not really fitting well with the whole monogamy concept. I could not even fathom the concept of polyamory much less put it into words.

    My second husband and I totally botched up trying to bring others into our relationship. We knew what we wanted, but due to years of socialization and expectations we were unsure how to proceed. There are very few how to books on poly.

    We probably did appear aggressive. However, through trial and error we have, somewhat, figured it out.

    Nice post.

  2. Shelly,
    Thanks for the comment and compliment!

    I agree with you that marriage, monogamy, and social expectations are part of the problem. Those things often get hard-coded into people's brains and although they may realize there are other lifestyle options, the hard-coding is very difficult to rewrite. The result is someone who has an idea what they want but may not know how to get it.

    Great points, thanks!