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The assumption of monogamy; being polyamorous at a party March 14, 2009

Posted by shaunphilly in religion, atheism, polyamory, culture.
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So, I’ve noticed that when people are at parties, meeting people, flirting, etc, there is a time in the conversation when it becomes clear that the person you are talking to is involved in a relationship. At this point, I have noticed that the flirting dies down, and often the physical distance increases. You suddenly see the person going into “respectful distance” mode or something.

Now, it isn’t that I’m looking for hookups, or that I’m interested n another relationship or anything, just notice that in almost every situation (except polyamory meetups, of course), someone being in a relationship somehow automatically throws out the possibility of continued flirting. And if it doesn’t stop, the tone of it always ends up as being playful, at most. I wonder if this is an indication of how many people still may harbor desires that would be compatible with polyamory. I also wonder if this is a way to test the possible waters of an affair or to see if, just maybe, they may not be particularly happy with their relationship and may be thinking about establishing some chemistry in case things don’t work out. The next time they see the same person at a party both flirting interlocutors may be single; then, well, nature takes its course.

I bring this up because of a particular situation. I was at a party with one of my lovely ladies last night when I noticed that a guy was apparently flirting with her. He may have just been friendly, but she’s an attractive woman, and I wouldn’t blame him for being interested. Now, at some point, he asked about the nature of our knowing one-another, and asked if we were together. When he found that we were, his demeanor changed slightly, probably not enough for her to notice, but I did. Now, I appreciate the respect that is most-likely intended here, but I could not help but think that it was based upon the assumption, shared by most people for fair reasons, that we were monogamous. I suppose I’d rather live in a world where the next question would move towards figuring out if we were monogamous or not, rather than assume it.

I don’t know if it’s ever happened to me in particular, but what happens if two polyamorous couples (or two swinging couples) meet at a party (just a regular party, not at a swinger’s club) and they both just assume the others are, well, “normal?” Well, what happens is that everyone may be thinking about something that won’t come up. Oh wait, that’s why there is alcohol and the “swapping” jokes that lots of couples say with one another, sometimes to test the waters or just because it tickles them the right way.

I just wish people could be more direct. Yes, I now that this will intimidate people who have not found comfort in these non-normal ways of life, and that some who may be interested will become defensive and react as such, but that’s their problem, right?

In any case, I just sort of wish that monogamy was not assumed. Hell, if my lovely lady and this gentlemen liked one-another, and both wanted to pursue a possible relationship, I might have been OK with that. He seemed lie a nice guy and (while I’m not bi) he was attractive, so it may not have been necessary to discontinue the flirtation. But, in the end, nothing came of it. And what’s worse, for me, is that I was unable to even educate people about this lifestyle of mine. I think that there are more potential poly people out there who just don’t think that anyone else thinks about things like this, thus they remain monotonous…sorry, I meant monogamous.

And then there was this girl there that I thought was interesting…but, like I said, I’m not looking….

😉

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