Traditional Relationships from Dungeonplace.com

My friend Tutivillus over at Dungeonplace.com posted the following ideas of his regarding traditional relationships after a polyamory post he made a little while back.  Read what he’s said and if you have any ideas or opinions be sure to comment on Dungeonplace.com.

The post about Polyamory sparked a bit of a debate…and some attempts at abuse. But hey! That’s what opinions are for, correct? Now it’s time to turn the spotlight onto “Traditional” relationships.

Q: First, are they any better than non-traditional relationships?
A: Hell NO! Human beings have this incredible ability to destroy everything good and precious in their lives. We love instant gratification and can rationalize *anything*! Our “Traditional” relationships take a large part of this beating.

Q: Will God punish you or reward you for your choice in relationships?
A: Come on…PLEASE tell me you (as a reader of this blog and listener of the DungeonPlace podcast) don’t give any credence to “God’s” opinion when it comes to your happiness? You’re considerations should be applied to the people (tangible people) in your life; don’t worry about a bipolar old man in the sky.

Q: But the Bible says!….
A: The Bible is a great literary work…that is all. Don’t take it literally.

Q: Divorce rates are going down now that we’re focusing on “Traditional” relationships, right?
A: Divorce rates are going down in the U.S. – (CDC website), Cohabitation is climbing, success of these relationships is still about the same…although higher for people involved in a “marriage”. So…if that’s the case, why not just BLOW MARRIAGE OPEN TO ALL? (I’m just applying a model here).

This is opinion. All of it, with a few facts sprinkled in for good measure.

If “Traditional Marriages” are so great, why don’t we all apply that “Tradidtional” model to other relationship types? Wouldn’t that benefit us all?

You can go directly to the comment section here.

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Society’s ideas of other people’s sexuality

I think the general attitude in our society regarding other people’s sexuality and lifestyle is: “Of course you can do whatever you want to do, so long as it is something I would do. If not I’ll judge, scorn and marginalize you.”

What do you think, and why?

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First Time For Everything: A Polyamorous Relationship

This is a repost of an article in The Frisky, written by Anya James from about a year ago or so, but an excellent article about a polyamorous triad and how it’s worked for them.

I really didn’t know what polyamory was until I fell into it at 27. I was arguing one day with a couple I’d been sleeping with for about a month, when BAM! I ended up in a three-way relationship.

I’ve always been open-minded as far as sexual relationships were concerned and was sleeping with a male/female couple. That day, Dan was being overly critical of Ellie. I told them the nit-picking was bothering me, but it really wasn’t my business how they treated each other, since, you know, it was their relationship.

That’s when they looked at each other and asked me, “Well, aren’t you kind of… with us?”

Hmm. “Fine,” I said to Dan, “Be nice to my girlfriend then.”

And just like that, we became a triad. It was easy and natural and we had such a good time! There was twice the energy and convenience of a normal relationship. We all had a lot going on, but when one of us was busy, the other two were still able to spend time together. Jealousy just wasn’t there. We didn’t have to ration out love. It multiplied.

On the negative front, our problems turned out to be really the same as anyone else’s. Dan did dumb boy things and I did dumb girl things and Ellie just watched calmly and loved us like a true negotiator. Our situation felt totally normal to us, so much so that we often forgot that people didn’t expect to see a man out for Valentine’s Day dinner with two dates, or three people snuggling together on a plane.

The only real trouble with being a triad came from the world around us. Dan and Ellie worked together and were known as a couple to a very large network of friends and colleagues. Our close friends knew the truth – that the three of us were together— but there were uncomfortable situations in which I felt like their dirty secret. It really sucked that we couldn’t be too open or affectionate without inviting gossip and discrimination. With as many strides as we’ve made in terms of social acceptance of various lifestyles, the general populace isn’t used to seeing three people holding hands at the movie theater.

And just like that, we became a triad. It was easy and natural and we had such a good time! There was twice the energy and convenience of a normal relationship. We all had a lot going on, but when one of us was busy, the other two were still able to spend time together. Jealousy just wasn’t there. We didn’t have to ration out love. It multiplied.

On the negative front, our problems turned out to be really the same as anyone else’s. Dan did dumb boy things and I did dumb girl things and Ellie just watched calmly and loved us like a true negotiator. Our situation felt totally normal to us, so much so that we often forgot that people didn’t expect to see a man out for Valentine’s Day dinner with two dates, or three people snuggling together on a plane.

The only real trouble with being a triad came from the world around us. Dan and Ellie worked together and were known as a couple to a very large network of friends and colleagues. Our close friends knew the truth – that the three of us were together— but there were uncomfortable situations in which I felt like their dirty secret. It really sucked that we couldn’t be too open or affectionate without inviting gossip and discrimination. With as many strides as we’ve made in terms of social acceptance of various lifestyles, the general populace isn’t used to seeing three people holding hands at the movie theater.

You can find the article at http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-first-time-for-everything-a-polyamorous-relationship/

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More on compersion

I came across this passage from the Bhagavad Gita today, and of course it is translated slightly differently depending on who’s translating it, but I felt this translation from Eknath Easwaran was related in the most plain of English:

When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he has attained the highest state of spiritual union.

Bhagavad Gita 6:32; Easwaran, Eknath; May 31, 1985

Sounds a lot like compersion to me.

Honest rates of relationship failures

I read and hear all the time: “Every polyamorous relationship I’ve ever known failed.” or “Every couple I’ve known that started swinging got divorced.”

Question: How many monogamous relationships fail?

I’m not simply talking about marriages, but all monogamous relationships, including those leading-up to the marriage.

For example, if someone has five long-term relationships (say of a couple of months or more) and then gets married to the sixth long term relationship they had, than 83% of their monogamous relationships failed. If their marriage fails they have a 100% failure rate of monogamous relationships.

Now I’m no math wizard, but doing the simple math if 100 people average 5 real relationships before they marry their 6th, and 50% of those marriages end in divorce, than the math looks something like this:

5 relationships X 100 people = 500
1 marriage X 100 people = 100
50% of those marriages end in divorce means 100 X .50 = 50

So we have 550 failed monogamous relationships to get 50 successes, or about a 91% failure rate of monogamous relationships.

So how can anyone really hold up monogamous, one man one woman relationships as the benchmark by which to measure alternative relationships, like polyamory, swingers, other styles of open relationships and same-sex relationships?

So when I hear people like 2012 presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee say things like:

“I don’t have to prove that marriage is a man and a woman in a relationship for life, they have to prove that two men can have an equally definable relationship called marriage, and somehow that that can mean the same thing.”

Based on the numbers above, I think Mike Huckabee has to prove that one-man-one-woman monogamous relationships should be the yardstick that all other types of relationships are measured with.

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