Tag: polyamory

Sex and Relationships: Monogamy or Polyamory?

Most people are attracted physically to someone first, then get to know the individual later. Depending on the circumstance and the will to establish an ongoing relationship, the sexual need to be close will lead to a mental and emotional bond that somewhat sustains the relationship. This may or may not last long enough for a commitment to occur. This is the general way most people, especially males, enter into relationship and why the rate of divorce is so high.

However, as shown in the Rozenberg Quarterly, (Knud S. Larson, et al.) speaks of “Attachment and Relationship” with a much deeper idea:

Most people will experience the delirious feelings of infatuation and love sometime in their lives. What is love? How can we achieve love? And how can we build these feelings into lasting relationships?

Are there ways we can improve our chances for satisfying long-lasting and happy relationships? This essay will show that there are behaviors to avoid, but that we can also contribute much to lasting attachments. Long-lasting romance depends on positive illusions and bringing novelty and renewal to our intimate relationships.

Continue reading below.

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Continued from above:

In my studies of Attachment Theory, I understand that though most of us think we are attracted to someone by looks, we are most often attracted to a person on a much deeper level (their attachment type—secure, anxious, or avoidant).

Yes, that’s correct. The most recent studies show that the reason why most relationships do not work is because insecure people are dating other insecure people with a need to pacify each other’s problems. The general story of marriage and relationship is more about codependency or a symbiotic need to satisfy one another’s deficiencies.

Larson goes on to identify two different forms of loneliness that draws us to those physical encounters that may or may not turn into relationships:

We all need at least one significant other with whom we can share intimate thoughts and feelings, whether in the form of a friend or spouse. An emotionally lonely person may be well connected, but still feel the gnawing disquiet even in the midst of a crowd.

…our childhood experiences predispose us toward a variety of relationship problems or enjoyments of life. Children of the divorced are at risk for loneliness, and may develop shyness and lower self-esteem (Brehm, Miller, Perlman, & Campbell, 2002). On the other hand, being in a satisfying relationship is a primary guard against feelings of loneliness, this is especially true for those who commit themselves to lifelong relationships (e.g. marriage) (Pinquart, 2003).

  1. The basis of Attachment starts out as a primal need to get back what you think you don’t have—Anxious Attachment.
  2. In the Avoidant Pattern there is not enough trust to sustain a relationship even though this is desperately needed in the subconscious mind.
  3. In that ever so rare Securely Attached, we find that this person can enjoy time by him/herself, but understands the necessity to form at least one close bond or intimate relationship to satisfy the deeper needs of the heart and the physical needs of the body.

As I progress toward the date of my own marriage, I have clearly noted and discussed in depth with my fiancé the need for us to find the clearest path of love NOT dependent on sex. We are also keenly aware of the need of intimacy. Our need is based completely on a secure model of trust. Our marriage simply is a symbol of our commitment to sexualize just one intimate relationship during the remainder of our lives together.

This is our ultimate goal. We understand and are clear about human nature. We don’t take it personally, but, in fact, discuss openly and honestly our lusts and fantasies. Our relationship, so far, has been more like the model of two close friends who have realized a strong desire to be physically intimate. We are transparent with each other, which has led to the deepest sense of trust I’ve ever known in my 56 years of life.

Though both of our models of Attachment lean toward Anxious, we have committed spiritually and mentally to help each grow in this arena through the security of monogamy.

This model of relationship in the study above has the longest lasting commitment of the 30% of relationships that last longer than 15 years, according to Larsen.

I have clients that are polyamorous (loving more than one person). Some seem to truly love their partners and enjoy the freedom of having sex outside of relationship. I don’t ever see the sense of security and honesty, though, that I see in monogamy.

I find that these open relationships tend to lead to more desire to fulfill the needs of the flesh rather than to respect the boundaries of a secure, loving relationship. This is my opinion. However, it is an opinion based on 30 years of stories, friends, and clients who have spoken open and honestly about both kinds of relationships.

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You don’t get to this voice if reason or recognize it unless you spend time with yourself in silence, asking yourself important self-talk questions. This is like dating. You must get to know the voice of the Spirit by spending time in meditation and silence. This is the only I know to clearly download the power of wisdom and recognize the voice—IN TIMES OF TRAUMA—that is always directing YOU into safety!

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Deciding on and living by your core values is a tenuous challenge. My many years of spiritual coaching and life coaching can help you with this. I have helped many people in this situation see light and overcome the darkness of the past. Give me a call: 954-253-6493. SKYPE sessions are available. http://www.bosebastian.com/client-praise/

 
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Polyamory

Polyamory is often described at “consensual, ethical, and responsible nonmonogamy.” The word is sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to sexual or romantic relationships that are not sexually exclusive, though there is disagreement on how broadly it applies; an emphasis on ethics, honesty, and transparency all around is widely regarded as the crucial defining characteristic. This is what Wikepedia says about Polyamory.

My thoughts about it are based upon watching many couples either discreetly or nondiscreetly having multiple partners and the burden it puts on the relationship.

First of all, I must admit that I have felt love for two people at once. I have dated somebody and was still in love with the person that was in the past. I understand that loves sometimes has no bounds and the issues around love get convoluted. But acting on nonconsensual polygamous feelings affects the one acting on his/her feelings just as much as it affects the person you are in relationship with mentally, emotionally, and physically.

I guess it all comes down to one’s definition of relationship. Many heterosexual couples would consider monogamy the norm; where a large percentage of gay couples consider polyamory to be the norm, especially in larger cities.

Let’s start with monogamy and move from there. What happens when a person who is supposedly in a monogamous relationship occasionally falls into nonmonogamous situations? These types of people must hide their proclivity from their partners and hope that it never gets discovered.

If you hide something from the person you love, the first thing you must do is distance yourself emotionally. Two people can’t love completely unless there is total transparency. When one person is hiding something, there is always a feeling of a wall between the couple.

We then have the case of a relationship that allows for consensual polyamorous outings. When you carefully examine this type of relationship, you either find two people who are bored with each other sexually or need something more than each other to make the relationship work. Again, I’m not judging anyone, just examining the issues.

When two people relate in a polyamorous way, you usually have avoidant attachment issues involved. One or both of the couple may love the other, but needs to have a certain amount of distance between them, perhaps to protect himself from past hurt. Either way, relationship becomes more of a business and less of an intimate space for perfect trust. There is never a time when one person feels he or she is the “most” special person in the mate’s life. If you can bare that feeling (I can’t), then this would be the kind of relationship you would seek.

I have often watched some “couple” friends in situations where they share a partner. It seems to be that one person gets along with that extra partner more than the other. There are also times when one person wants to pursue something with an extra, and the other doesn’t. The one who doesn’t usually ends up acquiescing in a way where he or she relinquishes control completely and lets the partner do as he or she may. Or if anxious attachment is involved, the other may just go through the motions to satisfy the one needing the sexual involvement.

When you look closely at any of these polygamous scenarios, you hardly find secure attachment or deep intimacy. Of course, with deep intimacy comes vulnerability—with vulnerability, hurt. So, I could certainly understand why someone would choose to stay at a distance emotionally. It’s a safer place to be in the long run, one would think.

But a true secure attachment feels as if the other person is completely trustworthy and is not afraid that emotional problems will dissolve the relationship. So, when you think about it, the only thing that is really lacking in polygamous relationships is secure attachment. One or both of the couple involved has to be avoidantly attached.

(If you are confused by the terms of Attachment, take a look at some of my other writing with that heading on the side panel of the blog.)

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.

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