Autonomy and Other Things

I am solo poly. I’ve always been very independent, and generally never fantasized a whole lot about marriage. When falling for guys, I have fantasized about going up the relationship escalator, though when not caught up in the amazingness of NRE, I’ve never wanted to give up the freedom to be independent. I don’t think I’m especially promiscuous, but I do like being able to flirt. Recently, I read a blog on Solo Poly, which I totally identified with.

I do feel constantly open to the possibility of erotic or intimate connection. That feels supremely liberating, regardless of how many or what kind of relationships I happen to be in at any given moment.

I really agree with that. I don’t follow every crush that comes along by any means, but there is a real liberation in being free from the restrictions of monogamy.

As far as the dating “numbers game” is concerned, I am willing to date men who don’t specifically identify as poly or open, since there are plenty of them and they often are pretty hot. However, it’s unlikely that I’d engage in a significant relationship with a mono-identified guy.

I haven’t really identified as poly for long, but I have generally (at least in more recent years) been attracted to guys who are reasonably open to non-monogamy. Few people I’ve dated have specifically identified as poly, but then again, neither did I until fairly recently. Relationships I have gotten involved in with guys who identified more strictly as monogamous never developed very much, though generally for reasons other than expectations of monogamy.

I’m also unlikely to emphasize or conceal various aspects of my life, appearance, values, interests or preferences simply to appear more attractive or intriguing to a potential partner. This unwillingness to “play the game” immediately eliminates me from consideration for many people seeking monogamous partners, since part of the “fine print” of social monogamy (and also for various types of poly “unicorn hunters“) says “you should be willing to mold yourself to my tastes and expectations.”

I have “played the game” a few times before, and with more experience, I have become increasingly unwilling to do it anymore.

I just saw a post that is perhaps my favorite analogy for primary/secondary relationships, and for solo poly. Maxine compares primary relationship to indoor cats, and secondary relationships to outdoor cats. This analogy obviously has limitations, but I pretty much completely agree with her. Currently, I am an outdoor cat with a couple homes. I think I would really like at some point to try being an indoor cat with someone I love, but never to the full extent of never being able to roam much again. I want to be (so to say) fully spayed, vaccinated, and with my claws, able to take on the world whenever I choose.

What is love anyway? I used to try to determine if I loved someone by thinking, if they died, what would I do? Only more recently did I realize: that has nothing to do with love; that’s about interdependedness. If my parents died, sure, I’d be super sad, but I’d move on, keep on living my life. I’m independent; I don’t see myself ever letting “me” become a low enough priority that it comes below a partner, as diagrammed in this post. I also don’t ever see myself getting into a relationship where any of my lovers holds any power over any of my other lovers. I’ve never been in a relationship with explicit monogamous or primary expectations of the variety in this post and I honestly don’t think I would ever let that happen.

I love waking up in bed with someone; I love morning sex, just like Minx. However, I’m not really sure I could truly see myself living with anyone else. That would be nice, no doubt, but I would need to maintain enough autonomy that it would have to be a pretty ideal situation to not each keep separate apartments, even if we actively lived together. I need novelty in my life. That need can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, but currently I’m feeling squeamish, and want to move out of my comfy little studio. I’ve only been here 2 years, but aside from growing up with my parents, it’s the longest I’ve lived in the same place. What if the person I’d want to live with doesn’t have a hint of wanderlust? What if they have equal, or more; but if their ideas of what comes next don’t match mine?

While I’m pretty much living the solo poly life now, I don’t necessarily see that as my permanent ideal (like Maxine in the cat post)…but I need so much autonomy and ability to make independent decisions that I’m not sure really how far from solo poly I’ll really be able to comfortably go.

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2 Responses to Autonomy and Other Things

  1. theologyofcats says:

    I don’t know where I fall on the mono/poly spectrum yet, but I do know that I also like having my own space. I’ve heard of people getting like a two-unit townhome and having separate but connected living spaces, and that sounds pretty good to me!

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