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Polyamorous Permaculture People

 
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Who is polyamorous?

This could be a place to discuss it!

I have been in a polyamorous relationship with my partner for a year now.

After much contemplation between all of us - we're realizing that this type of dynamic can't be forced.

It must come naturally.  It is no different than love.  It is love expressed in a manner outside of societal norms.

Seemingly quite appropriate within the permaculture spheres in my humble opinion...

What are your experiences with polyamory?

polyamory.png
[Thumbnail for polyamory.png]
 
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It’s been great for me, after the initial learning curve.  It has definitely been a growth catalyst.  It’s helped me communicate better, and analyze the reasons why I feel certain things, and adjust accordingly.  I’m married and have one other partner.  I think the key is for all parties to be supportive and open with each other.
 
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I have been in poly relationships and was involved with the poly community in the SF Bay Area. While I like poly relationships, the community I experienced was troubling. I don't know how to reconcile these things. At this point, I'm reluctant to bother with relationships, they seem more trouble than they are worth.
 
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Stacy Witscher wrote:...While I like poly relationships, the community I experienced was troubling...


Can you elaborate on "troubling"?
 
Stacy Witscher
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There were numerous issues. Most poly relationships involve a lot of agreements. Some of the people I knew were manipulative with these agreements, many of these people just didn't keep their agreements. I knew several people that had children with other people that were the result of these broken agreements, not good.

It seemed like everybody was so concerned with dating that they had time for little else in their lives, not really my style. It didn't seem balanced to me.

But I really like the idea of not needing to be someone else's everything or vice versa.
 
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I've seen a few poly relationships in my social circles, and they seem to fall into a few categories.  TLDR, relationships are hard & communication is critical to every kind of relationship.

The healthy ones generally involve a LOT of communication.  The day-to-day, the boundaries, the expectations, the stuff that's fun, the stuff that doesn't have to do with the partners.  Discussing metamours is a coin flip.  The healthy types usually have been 'full of love', being able, willing, and wanting to share as much emotional affection as they can.

I've seen less healthy situations where there wasn't enough communication.
I've seen less healthy situations where relationships were opened up 'to keep things interesting' when what was needed was better communication and couples counseling.

Polyamorous homesteading scenarios are very plausible and doable.  It makes a lot of sense from the 'many hands make for light work' perspective as well.  Just keep focusing on the relationships...
 
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Perhaps premies tend to be highly independent??  With that said, a rule of thumb to remember may be 'to not hold others accountable for your happiness.'
 
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Hi! Poly girl here. It can be a challenge to find like-minded people...who get as excited about chickens, gardens, sustainable living...and polyamory. To be honest, haven't found many like-minded people in my area. That can be difficult, as I'd love to connect with other people who are in the same boat. A few years back I purchased 10 acres on a south-facing mountainside in Lake Lure, NC. Someday, I dream of building sustainable community on that mountainside with likeminded people.
Until then, I rub shoulders with people that either a. love to garden and commune with nature but don't understand my lifestyle, b. are poly or kinksters who don't in the faintest understand my love of nature/sustainable living/etc, or c. don't fit into any of these categories.
My dream? Find another partner to is into all of the above in equal parts. That would be so cool.
 
Stacy Witscher
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Laura - I'm right with you. It's very difficult to find people who share your passions. Oh well, such is life.
 
Jamie Kennedy
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ME TOO.  I thought I found someone that fit those categories and then some a couple of weeks ago, but he ending up ghosting me the day we were suppose to meet.  He seemed too good to be true, and I guess he was🤷🏼‍♀️


 
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That's the reason why most people have one couple and many friends. One for the sexy things, other for the horizontal exercise.
 
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Are sexy things and horizontal exercise are they not the same thing haha
 
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Stacy Witscher wrote:There were numerous issues. Most poly relationships involve a lot of agreements. Some of the people I knew were manipulative with these agreements, many of these people just didn't keep their agreements. I knew several people that had children with other people that were the result of these broken agreements, not good.

It seemed like everybody was so concerned with dating that they had time for little else in their lives, not really my style. It didn't seem balanced to me.

But I really like the idea of not needing to be someone else's everything or vice versa.



It seems to me that in any dating scene wether monogamous or polyamorous your going to have recreational daters.

Monogamous or poly relationships both require the same things wich is communication,  agreements and commitment to the agreements.

I think there are people out there who are not necessarily polyamorous, but maybe think they are, but in reality they are just noncommittal type who can no more commit to their poly agreements than they could to a monogamous one.

Maybe it's a fine line or maybe the fine line does not exist and I am just projecting the need for commitment to polyamorous relationships. Polygamy which not polyamorous certainly does require commitments and those relationships do have agreements/rules.
 
Jamie Kennedy
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You’re right, there are always those non committal types, but I think with poly, they have a chance to be up front and honest about it.  Sure, some are toxic and not going to hold to agreements, but if both parties are up front, honest and safe...they can do their thing with minimal harm to themselves or others.  

That’s not my preference-My stomach turns at the thought of sex without emotional connection, trust, and at least a little commitment.  But I can understand why some people prefer that.  Personally (I could be wrong), I think people that have that mindset may be damaged, and should probably get therapy, or find a spiritual practice to help them.  But that’s just like, my opinion, man.
 
Matthew Nistico
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Seth Gardener wrote:Monogamous or poly relationships both require the same things wich is communication,  agreements and commitment to the agreements.

I think there are people out there who are not necessarily polyamorous, but maybe think they are, but in reality they are just noncommittal type who can no more commit to their poly agreements than they could to a monogamous one.

Maybe it's a fine line or maybe the fine line does not exist and I am just projecting the need for commitment to polyamorous relationships. Polygamy which not polyamorous certainly does require commitments and those relationships do have agreements/rules.


@Seth - I think you are precisely correct.  I don't think you are projecting at all.  And I think that is why most poly relationships ultimately fail - or at least ultimately end - just like most monogamous ones.

I don't mean to suggest that a majority of people identifying as polyamorous are really just commitment-phobes.  Maybe they are, maybe not; I have no idea.  What I do mean is that the same human failings are challenges to poly and monogamous relationships alike.  And while some commitment-phobes who fail at monogamous relationships may flock towards poly relationships, they are most likely kidding themselves that it will make any difference.  Their poly relationships will fail for precisely the same reasons.

I have only limited experience in non-monogamy, and I hesitate to generalize from my own experiences and values.  Nonetheless, it is simply a fact that ALL relationships involve SOME expectation of the other person/people that they will honor certain agreements.  We call that "commitment."  What precisely those agreements are can range all over the map.  But regardless of what has been agreed, the relationship will start heading off the rails if one party feels those agreements aren't being honored.  I feel pretty safe in saying that this is universal.

Even in the most casual relationships - such as just roommates - there is an expectation of shared commitment to certain agreements.  They agree to pay the rent on time; to respect the others' boundaries, however those boundaries are defined; to be considerate, in whatever way consideration is expected, etc.

With more serious relationships - such as lovers living together - most of these agreements will reman in place, though the details might be renegotiated.  And there will be new agreements added on top.  In addition to being good roommates, lovers agree to being affectionate, to dedicating a certain amount of time to shared activities, often to some commingling of their finances, etc.

The details of the agreements in every relationship are unique, but the process of reaching an agreement is the same.  If it is done well, it involves lots of communication, the ability to express oneself, and honesty with oneself and one's partner(s).  And just the same, it implies the expectation of disappointment if one party fails to live up to the agreement.  If it is done poorly, then the communication is imprecise or clouded with emotions, assumptions are left unspoken, or else what is spoken only misleads because the speaker isn't being honest about what they really want or are prepared to do.

I really don't see how these basic facts are any different within a polyamorous dynamic or a monogamous one.  The only difference is that polyamory expands the possibilities of unique agreements lovers might decide to adopt.

It is usually only monogamous types discussing poly lifestyles who would say things like "oh, polyamory, that means relationships without rules or commitments."  If they only thought about it for a few seconds, they would realize what an absurd simplification that is.  To start with, since those same people are usually obsessed over the agreements involving sex in particular, just consider all of the possible permutations there.  Who is allowed to have other lovers?  How many?  Alone?  Together?  Spontaneous, or announced in advance?  Lovers for physical gratification only, or for romantic attachment as well?  Lovers who cohabit, or not?  Lovers who will also be co-parents, or not?  Etc., etc.

Each possible permutation equals an understanding of what can be expected from the other person/people involved.  Once expressed by all, that understanding equals an agreement to which you expect the other(s) to commit.  No matter how "open" an open relationship may appear, it doesn't take much delving to uncover the layers upon layers of commitments on which that relationship is actually based.
 
Stacy Witscher
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I think that the language we use says a lot about where we are coming from. I don't necessarily think people changing their relationship is a failure, it can be just a change. The relationship worked for a period of time and now everyone can be adult enough to admit that it isn't working anymore for whatever reason. I don't regret all of my relationships, my marriage for sure, but not the rest of them.

Jamie - I find your last paragraph somewhat offensive, but poly people can have similar thoughts about monogamous people, like if you were only as evolved as us you wouldn't be so insecure and jealous. But aside from that, most poly people are in relationships with their lovers, just as primary, secondary or tertiary ones. And there are asexual poly people. It's not generally just hookups, that's more like swinging or sex parties.
 
Jamie Kennedy
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I did not intend to offend.  I was just sharing my opinion based on my (limited) experience and perspective.  Like I said, I could be wrong, and probably not EVERYONE that has casual sex without emotional investment has past trauma that influence their actions and attitudes, but in my experience, that’s been the case. And I’m totally ok with finding out I’m wrong and adjusting my opinions accordingly. There are very, very few opinions I’m completely attached to.😏
 
Stacy Witscher
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Jamie - I didn't know if you were trying to be offensive, just pointing out how it could be misconstrued. But again, why assume these are casual relationships? I wouldn't call a decade long tertiary relationship casual. I consider it far less casual than serial monogamy.
 
Jamie Kennedy
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Stacy, I think I should have posted Seth’s statement before mine.

“I think there are people out there who are not necessarily polyamorous, but maybe think they are, but in reality they are just noncommittal type who can no more commit to their poly agreements than they could to a monogamous one.”

I have a 2 year tertiary relationship in addition to my marriage that’s committed and anything but casual.  I’m sorry for the confusion😳
 
Stacy Witscher
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Fair enough, nice discussion.
 
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Hello, Permies, and thanks, Rob, for making this thread.
First, let me say that if I had a superpower that allowed me to brainwash anybody I talked to, and I could only choose one or the other:
Wipe anti-polyculture bias (when it comes to landscape and food production)
or
Wipe anti-polyamory bias in relationships,
Then I would choose the former. In my experience, putting a mirror up to the system of toxic conveniences that is modern life makes the subject of multiple partner relationships seem like light conversation.
Ok, now on topic,
It's obvious that no two people are quite the same, thus relationships between people have even more diversity and complexity! In the mono/poly dichotomy, we see what strengths one mode has over the other. However, when it comes to what causes broken relationships, it's never the presence of a third-party or a lack thereof. Focusing on the two extremes can be helpful, but to grow in how we live with respect to others, we must navigate what lies between. Right livelihood is an expression that says "hey there's something just not quite right about how we've been doing things!" It encompasses everything we need to live, including love. I hope to sow seeds for fruitful discussion on how to facilitate multiple partners and address the issues that derail us from experiencing a continuous reciprocal flow of love with our kind.
Polyamory just means, to me at least, many loves. Here's my just-thought-up application of the permaculture zoning technique to where you get your loving:
Zone 0 = yourself, the source of your love
Zone 1 = lovers with whom you are co-creating life, family, business, community, etc.
Zone 2 = serious romantic partners or close kin such as family and dear friends
Zone 3 = support system of relatives, friends, likeminded people, local businesses, and any other mutually beneficial relationships
Zone 4 = broader community of neighbors, townfolk and internet people whose approval you may welcome but, do not rely on for support
Zone 5 = anything that takes much and gives back very little
 
Rob Kaiser
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Jamie Kennedy wrote:It’s been great for me, after the initial learning curve.  It has definitely been a growth catalyst.  It’s helped me communicate better, and analyze the reasons why I feel certain things, and adjust accordingly.  I’m married and have one other partner.  I think the key is for all parties to be supportive and open with each other.



Exactly, my girlfriend is married.  

We dated years ago...I didn't want to commit and then she began dating someone while we maintained a very strong friendship.

When I attended their wedding, I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life!

Turns out I am friends with her husband now.

I help him throw hay bales.

He helps me with projects.

Together we are building our collective homesteads and have a back up plan if one of them should fail (long story).

We have come to realize that it does indeed take a village, and we are creating our very own.

It's working for us.  It's challenging at times, but the pros far outweigh the cons.

Our communication across the board has improved tremendously.

I'm still shocked this is my life.
 
Jamie Kennedy
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That’s awesome Rob!  I love the mutual aide network poly is able to provide, both materially and emotionally.  

Grey, I love your idea of permaculture polyamory zoning!
 
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