Philisophical Musings

of an agnostic polyamorous heterosexual artistic soul

Archive for the ‘Monogamy’ Category

Pendulums and Fountains – Poly vs Mono

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I have spent the last year learning the hard way…the only way(?)…that people who are ‘wired’ for monogamy really do see love in a different light. In the last year, my Butterfly and I have tried to establish a relationship 4 times. Each time, our efforts, as hard as we tried, were frustrated by some difference in the way we envisioned that a loving relationship should be. Our expectations, which somehow are very deeply grounded within us, were simply too different. Today I was reading a discussion on one of my Yahoo lists, and I came across this description of the different approaches between Poly and Mono outlooks on love:

I think I made the “pendulum” analogy in another post, so I’ll just summarize it
here. For me, the amount of romantic love that I am able to give is limited.
Like a pendulum swinging, if I devote all I can give in one direction, it’s not
going in any other direction. If I try to balance that pendulum in multiple
directions, it moves more toward the center, never really becoming too close to
either direction.

This is what romantic love for me feels like – that I have to dilute it if I
want multiple partners.

We all see things through the filters of our own experience. For someone who
feels this way, it stands to reason that when you are seen dividing your
romantic attention among multiple partners, no partner is getting a high level
of devotion and intimacy.

I realize now that for Poly folks like my partner, he doesn’t have a pendulum,
he has a fountain. And just like I can’t take the amount of romantic love I have
available and “turn it up” to a level where I could share it with multiple
people, he can’t “turn it down” without feeling like someone’s thrown a bucket
on top of the fountain to try to turn it off.

I realize pendulums and fountains are apples and oranges, but that’s the point.
We love SO differently, that it’s not even the same type of animal, and that is
a very hard thing to come to understand. It means understanding that what you’ve
been taught about love your entire life isn’t always correct, which then means
that any assumptions you ever had about loving relationships get turned on their
heads. You have a road map in hand because that’s what “happens”. Except now,
for the person you’re with, it doesn’t. Now what? You’re in unfamiliar territory
with a map not worth a darn, and it’s frightening. It takes a lot of will to
grab that machete and make your own path forward, rather than turn around for
the comfort of the familiar.

Sometimes, I am not really completely sure if I love like a pendulum or a fountain. I would expect that I, in my most ideal state, would at least want to be a very large fountain. At this point, I can still often be a ‘selfish little fountain’. But then I just think of myself as the ‘selfish little fountain that could’…could become very large and selfless. Makes me think of the song by James Taylor: Shower the people you love with love.

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Written by Philoman

October 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Couples in Conflict

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Love without limits by Dr. Deborah Taj Anapol

Written by Philoman

March 9, 2011 at 10:09 am

Security in relationship

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“Security for me comes not from being #1, whatever that means; but rather from trusting that I do care about my partner’s happiness, I am committed to seeing those relationships grow in ways that enrich everyone’s lives, and I am not going to pursue new partnerships that are destructive to my existing partners.” – Franklin Veaux in a dialog which offers insight into both polyamorous and monogamous world views.

Written by Philoman

August 31, 2010 at 9:01 pm