Shi-chan (zimarra) wrote in bipolypagangeek,

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What is Love?

(Baby don't hurt me.. no mo')

As I previously stated in my prior journal entry, I am a writer/roleplayer with a poly character. So I apologize if some of these are stupid questions, but I'm trying to make a realistic character and there are a few points I wish to know more about. Thank you in advance! Maybe I can even liven up this forum too. :)

Navigating Relationships
I guess my first question would be something along the lines of this: How do you deal with jealousy? In most cases you can't be with two people at once while on a date. Folks have to 'share.' How do you deal with that 'second or third wheel' syndrome?
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The first of these is a good response to your question, as well as being the first of a series of comics about being poly:

Some more examples of what poly is actually like:

(I also presume you're asking the Googles, because it's really not hard to find more answers to your question that way. . .)
Thankyou for the links. I am using Google, but I wanted to hear a personal touch, too :)
Jealousy is a warning sign that I'm being fucked over. I'm not being fucked over when a partner is spending time with someone else, so there is no jealousy; no reason for it. Why would there be?

Frankly, the idea that someone would be "sharing" - spending time with multiple people rather than giving each partner their own space and time together - strikes me as a prime recipe for people feeling fucked over. I'm glad I don't do it that way even though I live with both my primary partners.
Thankyou! That thought of sharing would be bad, actually! What about say if they went to a public concert or something like that all together? My character performs and she invites them both to her performances at the nightclub. She kind of sits in the middle of them both when she's not. (2-act show.) I guess that's probably a different situation since it's public spot.

That was another question I had too, what makes folks primary/secondary, etc? xD. I apologize if these are silly questions.

What about if you go to a concert with a bunch of friends all together? It's not like a romantic relationship is hugely different from any other close relationship.

As to how people do hierarchy - or for that matter whether people do hierarchy, as not everyone does - people do it differently. Me, I learned the hard way that just because I love someone doesn't mean they're compatible as a spouse. So I distinguish between the people I'm married to/want to marry and the people who it would be a terrible idea to marry, but that's not a good reason to not have a working relationship.
A great question I still haven't figured out, though my wife is the primary, despite how much I hate those labels. Usually the one you live with is the primary, but not always.
Jealousy stems from fear. There are usually 2 fears that primarily show their faces in poly dating (although other types make appearances as well). The first is:
~ I'm afraid my partner will like the other better, or get something they've been lacking from me and didn't know how to tell me.. and they will be happy with the other and leave me". This one comes around a lot in newer poly relationships, where stability and grounding haven't settled in yet. The second is:
~The other partner is getting something that I want, but am not getting. This is actually envy speaking.. and envy is natural.. and not a bad thing if you deal with it by communicating with your partner, and working together to make certain all the parties involved are getting their needs fulfilled to the best of the others abilities.
A responsible polyamorist doesn't deny jealousy exists.. instead they recognize it can come up, and that the best way to deal with that green-eyed monster is communication, honestly, and trust between partners. I've been poly for 12 years, married for 25 years, and have tow long term "secondary" partners.. and still sometimes I get a twinge. it happens. I talk it out.. and we are all going stron!
It's important to keep in mind that everyone is different... but personally, I *like* being a second or third wheel. I don't *want* to be someone's only, or even someone's primary... it's too much responsibility to be their everything, and I'd worry about the same in reverse (I worry about burning people out if I don't have anyone else to turn to with big things, like hospital visits or helping me through trauma etc). Sharing is a way to spread out the responsibilities of relationships, and it can work out really well when somebody's different SOs have different strengths that compensate for each other's weaknesses. Like in a well-working company, everyone has a role, and the different roles work well together. Personally, I don't have big relationship needs. I don't like to see SOs a lot, and I don't like to be physically intimate a lot. I am close to ace/aromantic (though not quite...I also identify as poly), so if my SO is also seeing someone else, they can have their needs met when I'm not around or interested in being intimate (physically or emotionally). I feel happy for them when they are happy. :-)
In most cases you can't be with two people at once while on a date. Folks have to 'share.' How do you deal with that 'second or third wheel' syndrome?

Why not? It's not hard to hold hands with two people at the same time if you're not missing a hand. One of my most cherished memories is sitting between my husband and my boyfriend at a movie. Group hugs and sandwich hugs are lovely, too. :)

If I go out to dinner with my husband and one of his girlfriends, I usually make a point of seating him beside her if we end up in a booth, since most of our significant others are long distance relationships. When we get a table, he sits between us.