Re: Question about polyamory [was: Re: Obstacles to Communication - Shame]
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Note to Max and others concerning formating.
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snipped portions not responded to
Note that since the above meta remark has no preceding level indicators and its not enclosed in square brackets, it must necessarily be from the writer of this message, Max.
Kitty Antonik Wakfer wrote:
> Maximus Peto wrote:This sounds reasonable to me.
>> Kitty Antonik Wakfer wrote:
>>> Maximus Peto wrote:
> No, I do not think there is something "wrong" in doing such *searching*
> in the sense of violating another person or necessarily working at odds
> to one's own best interest, and most often the former would come under
> the category of the latter. I think I explained this below. This
> *searching* is what most people are doing before and between romantic
> relationships, though I contend most do not do so with full
> understanding of evaluating human characteristics to better ensure a
> valuable relationship. I did not myself for a great many years,
> though I did gradually improve through the 90s from my earliest
> romantic relationships in the 1960s.
>>> The fact that my husband, Ed,
>>> and I had in our first 2 years of marriage discussed the acceptability
>>> to both of us of loving more than 1 person at a time, did not translate
>>> at any time into my actively looking at others with this possibility.
> [I might note that the above (not actively searching) did not imply
> any inconsistency on Kitty's part, since at the time she was both
> satisfied with her current relationship and too busy building a
> life/family to have a need for anyone else. Presumably the same was
> true for Ed, although he has since shown himself to be far less
> consistent than is Kitty. --Paul]
>>> However in both cases that developed, I discovered that someone I hadThe reasons why I was happy about Kitty experiencing this situation were
>>> met and come to know added immensely to my life.
>>> The first instance was when I had been married just over 10 years (with
>>> a 6 year old son) and had started taking pre-engineering college courses
>>> part-time. (Initially I had intended to simply better my 3 year diploma
>>> school nursing RN education by getting a BSN but found myself during the
>>> first required science course interested in the fundamentals rather than
>>> merely health related application.) Of my several classmates with whom I
>>> often studied and sometimes played cards (the latter during certain
>>> class breaks), one in particular came to interest me because of an
>>> intriguing combination of lightheartedness, seriousness, inquisitiveness
>>> and even sadness. I was not at all searching for an additional romantic
>>> relationship to the one I had with Ed, whom I loved very much and who
>>> was quite supportive of me returning to school and changing careers.
>>> The second time was in October 1999 - my relationship with my husband,
>>> Ed, was still good and, though Greg did live several states away, he
>>> stayed with us for 1 or more lengthy visits each year, and I made
>>> several long weekend trips to be with him yearly. On a few occasions we
>>> 3 made trips together to our adjoining properties (for future personal
>>> development) in MT. It was a mostly comfortable arrangement that had its
>>> ups and downs; in which I knew I would not be happy with only one or the
>>> other in my life because of certain qualities/characteristics important
>>> to me and possessed by one but little by the other.
>> It makes me happy that you experienced this situation, and that it made
>> you more "comfortable" than having only one of these people in your life :)
> [When I first read the above, it struck me as a somewhat strange
> emotional expression. When reading it again here I realized the
> reasoning behind my initial response. I am convinced that it is
> irrational (because inconsistent with reality) to be happy about
> some *past incident*, particularly relating only to another person
> whom you did not even know at the time. The irrationality occurs
> because there is no logical grounds for such happiness. This is
> even more strongly the case because while Kitty herself has
> memories of happiness regarding those experiences, the persons
> involved are no longer regarded sufficiently to have any further
> experiences. So this aspect of her life and the experiences with
> these individuals wrt to any increase of lifetime happiness are
> totally in the past. --Paul]
(1) that Kitty is aware of the fact that each person had characteristics
valuable to Kitty, and that they supplemented one another (each one had
valuable characteristics which the other did not). Her being *aware* of
this fact caused me to consider the possibility that it was a good
learning experience for her (which I, and I presume Kitty, appreciates).
(2) The fact that Kitty was able to experience the valuable
characteristics of both people, rather than only one (i.e. that she was
fortunate to have both, rather than only one). I think this last is that
I assumed that this experience of Kitty's is kept in consideration by
her when making her present choices. In other words, because she has
such an experience, it seems reasonable that, to Kitty, such a
relationship appears more possible or likely, (i.e. she may be more
optimistic than say, I, about it happening again should it be desired,
since I have had no similar experience). Finally (3), I find that I
enjoy reflecting on some of my past experiences, (i.e. I'm glad that I
had the opportunity to have them) and I thought this might be one of
those types of experiences for Kitty. Perhaps I am wrong about all of
> [In regard to Paul's comment on "further experiences" with "personsmeta
> involved", Ed would need to change considerably from his last
> interaction with me (just 2 years ago) for there to be any type of
> voluntary association by me. The situation with Greg is less negative
> but change is still needed on his part for any level of friendship.
> However, both would likely say that the "change" is needed on my part :) **Kitty]
snipped portions not responded to
>>>> That is, is there something wrong with searchingI think I understand. I understand Kitty to be saying this because there
>>>> for another person who has desirable qualities, particularly if the
>>>> second person's valued-qualities are different than those of the first
>>> I would not say that there is "something wrong" with the situation you
>>> describe, but would instead ask the following. Is it only 1 party in a
>>> relationship who would like to broaden the relationship to include
>>> another or others?
>> It took me a few minutes to understand why you were asking me this: but
>> from your description below, I think I understand. You ask because, even
>> if the 2nd person (the one not initiating a search for additional people
>> for the relationship) agrees that it is reasonable, if they are not
>> actually *welcoming* and clearly *positive* to the idea, that friction
>> will result, which will make everyone unhappy.
> I think the likelihood of everyone being less than "happy" is strong "if
> they [2nd person (the one not initiating a search for additional people
> for the relationship)] are not actually *welcoming* and clearly
> *positive* to the idea".
> [By "everyone being less than "happy"" Kitty effectively means that
> the lifetime happiness of all parties will be reduced from what it
> could be. --Paul]
could be some circumstances where the 2nd person is only *accepting* of
the idea to be understanding or permissive to the 1st person. And this
is much different than actually being positive, welcoming, encouraging,
or even helpful in the search for valued others. In the latter case,
happiness is higher for all parties, compared to the former.
>>> Polyamory is when all parties in a romanticAgreed.
>>> relationship are welcoming to each other's presence. (It does not mean
>>> necessarily that all are sexual with each other.) If there is not this
>>> welcoming, then there will be friction, unpleasantness of some type that
>>> lessens the current happiness and reduces total lifetime happiness
>>> potential of all.
>>> Another question: Has the "searcher" brought to the attention of hir
>>> current partner a lack of particular "valued-qualities"? Maybe it is a
>>> situation that the current (sole) partner would also like to
>>> acquire/improve, and would therefore welcome assistance in doing so by
>>> way of another person. In any case I see it as an area for discussion.
>> Excellent point, and I agree with this entirely. I think to some extent
>> this has happened for Lisa and I. I have discussed my valuing certain
>> qualities in people who are in my life on a constant basis, and
>> explained why. I also explained that Lisa didn't seem to have these
>> qualities to a very high degree (note it's only a few qualities I felt
>> she didn't have - she's quite extraordinary for me on the whole). After
>> I explained this, I think she thought about it for a few months, and I
>> now find her interested in learning about these qualities and trying to
>> develop them in herself - something which I find enjoyable to coach her
>> about and watch her development. I note that this wouldn't have been
>> possible if I hadn't *discussed* this with her. *She* also needed to be
>> open-minded enough, and have a high enough degree of self-esteem to not
>> be discouraged by the idea, both characteristics she had (and continues
>> to have) :)
> This all sounds good, that this discussion has been beneficial for both
> of you individually and your relationship together.
> I had no "disinterested party" to discuss these ideas with back in 1981Wow. My being accustomed to Lisa's open-mindedness and understanding,
> or even 1999, so I am pleased that you both have found value in this
> exchange. (And at the latter time, Ed was stubbornly silent refusing
> to actually discuss at all.)
I'm surprised to hear that Ed was refusing to discuss at all. This
further illustrates to me the large variability in people's
thoughts/feelings/behavior (i.e. Lisa's thinking about this is likely
very different than Ed's).
Max, Did you see/read my several comments within the text below, that my following meta note indicate were placed there *after* Kitty's signature ending *her* responses? Perhaps you did and did not wish to make any response to them. If you did not and/or wish to respond then please do so to the original as a second reply message, in order to keep the leveling straight.
> See additional comments from me below.
> /meta --Paul]
>>> But before any *real* discussion of "valued-qualities" can take place, I
>>> think it is essential that they be defined and all parties agree. Then
>>> the importance level of a list of these needs to be determined by each
>>> individual, followed lastly by an evaluation of its presence in the
>>> rating individual hirself prior to (or at least following) assessing it
>>> in others. A person can easily create a computer spreadsheet with
>>> defined human qualities/characteristics and importance levels for each;
>>> then "grade" hirself and others for the amount of presence of each of
>> I really think this is a wonderful idea (which you suggested to Lisa and
>> I some months ago). I think it would provide a rational, systematic
>> basis for which *any* (new or already known) person is evaluated by one.
>> We haven't done this yet, but it did come up in our conversations during
>> both of the last two evenings. So we're definitely thinking about it!
>>> [To me there is a major difference between "searching for" versus merely
>>> being totally receptive about and open to finding another highly
>>> valuable person. If one person in a relationship unilaterally begins to
>>> actively search for someone else, this most definitely sends a message
>>> to the current friends/partners that they are not adequate in some
>>> manner to satisfy the social needs of the searcher.
>> Agreed. And this can be disappointing to the one who is supposedly not
>> meeting the social needs of the other.
>>> Whereas the second
>>> (being totally receptive about, open to and even making oneself clearly
>>> available for the possibility of a deep and even romantic relationship
>>> with another person) is something that any rational person should be
>>> doing at all times. The reason this last need not be seen as any
>>> rejection or inadequacy of one's current partner(s) is because people
>>> are highly unique and someone else will always have some characteristics
>>> which are more valuable than the similar ones of the current partner(s).
>> I think this is well-said Paul, and I agree: this reason as to why
>> rejection or inadequacy need not be felt.
>>> The important point (and this strongly relates to what Kitty wrote
>>> above) is that the particular characteristics that one is searching for
>>> are also valued by the other partner(s) or, at least, not disvalued by
>>> Searching is totally appropriate when one has no valuable friends at all
>>> or gains only minor values from the friends one has, as was my situation
>>> before I found Kitty.
>> This was also my situation, before I found Lisa. My brother Tony was,
>> and still is, an important friend to me, but we also have enough
>> life-perspective differences to make it difficult to understand one
>> another sometimes.
>>> I had been searching for decades and had in fact,
>>> long ago quit actively searching while never ceasing to be receptive and
>>> open. However both the searching that I had done and much analysis
>>> particularly related to my own individuality and major social divergence
>>> from the vast majority of other people had strongly convinced me that I
>>> would be extremely unlikely to find any one person to satisfy all the
>>> requirements of a complete best friend and lover.
>> About two years ago, I had considered this to be the case with myself,
>>> My solution was to try
>>> to find many people with each supplying part of my requirements so that
>>> all were eventually met.
>> Although, I hadn't yet tried to do as you did (immediately above).
> [But effectively that *is* what you are trying to do by searching
> for other people who have enhancements of certain characteristics
> that you value, but which Lisa (and even perhaps yourself) do not
> have sufficiently. But you should also be aware that any such
> persons are probably unlikely to also have many of the other
> characteristics of yourself and Lisa that you also value highly. It
> is extremely hard to find anyone with a complete bundle of great
> characteristics including all the essential ones. --Paul]
>>> This was related to my long held notion of a
>>> "tiny perfect relationship" - one in which the parties can exchange
>>> value in a narrow sphere and totally ignore the thoughts and behaviors
>>> of the other in all other spheres. The few friends/acquaintances that I
>>> had fulfilled only a few of these needs and even with some of them, I
>>> was later to find that I had been not sufficiently perceptive and
>>> analytical about their characteristics (probably subconsciously in fear
>>> of losing them if I should find what they really were and then to have
>>> no friends at all). So is was a complete surprise to me when Kitty did
>>> actually turn out to be such a complete match for my friendship/romantic
>>> requirements, that there has never been any thought of really *needing*
>>> anyone else
>> Lisa and I just talked about this feeling between us last night: that
>> both of our feelings of *wanting* others in our life has lessened
>> considerably over the past month. I suggested that it is because we both
>> feel as if all (or nearly) of our emotional, intellectual, and romantic
>> needs are being fulfilled by the other.
> [While this can be so in the best of romantic relationships, there
> will always be additional gains from relationships with many other
> people and it is totally reasonable to actively seek such additional
> relationships. If romance naturally becomes part of any of them
> then that is a bonus, because it proves the high quality, depth and
> happiness increasing nature of the relationship. --Paul]
>>> - even though I remain open to the value to be gained from
>>> relationships with others and that if close enough some of them might
>>> even involve romantic love.
>>> In fact, if Kitty had earlier understood the shallowness of her
>>> relationships with Ed and Greg, as she later came to realize within
>>> several months after she met me, then it would also have been totally
>>> reasonable for her to be searching while still fully relating to both of
>>> them. As I understand it, the main reason that she was not "searching
>>> for" during the years before we met, was mainly because she also had,
>>> somewhat sadly, decided that what she had was likely the best that she
>>> could get. In that sense her thinking was similar to my own about not
>>> thinking that one fully complete person would be possible for me.
>> Considering how unique individuals are, I wonder if many people think
>> this, and conclude similarly to what Kitty concluded: that one's current
>> relationships are "the best one can hope to get".
> [I would estimate that this is likely true in at least 90% of all
> married-type relationships. --Paul]
>> The misunderstandings
>> that happen in a less-than-wonderful relationship may be each person's
>> failure to see that their relationship is actually a "moderately-sized,
>> perfect" one, rather than an all-encompassing, totally fulfilled one.
>> When each person has the expectations of the latter, but the
>> compatibility of the two people only enables the former, I think it
>> creates a lot of misunderstanding, dissatisfaction, frustration, etc.
> [Absolutely true for a majority of couples, IMO. --Paul]
>>> [Paul is correct in the above, that I was not *searching* for an
>>> additional partner to Ed and Greg because I truly thought at the time
>>> that I had the best situation I could hope to have. He is also correct
>>> that I came to realize that my relationship with Ed had not been of the
>>> depth I perceived it to be, similarly but to a considerably lesser
>>> degree with Greg - but this took longer than "several months" to become
>>> fully clear since I attempted for well over a year of my joining Paul in
>>> August 2000 to retain a true friendship with both of them. **Kitty]
>>> Whether or not such "searching for" is appropriate in other situations,
>>> is highly dependent on the reasons for the searching and the views of
>>> the current partner(s) concerning those reasons. In respect to this
>>> last, and bearing in mind the application of the principles of Social
>>> Meta-Needs and the maximum lifetime happiness purpose, any such
>>> searching will optimally be an action desired and decided upon by all
>>> partners (even if only one does the work of it) because each wishes to
>>> help all together maximize their lifetime happiness.
>> Agreed: this makes sense to me.
>>> Remember that the
>>> "All for One and One for All" slogan (my summation of the principles of
>>> SMN theory)
>> I can see how this slogan can summarize the principles of the SMN
>> theory. I see the first part, "all for one..." referring to the aspect
>> of the SMN theory which posits how important it is to have the freedom
>> of individuals to optimize hir lifetime happiness. This can only be done
>> if individuals agree to not Violate others.
>> The second part of the slogan "and one for all..." refers in my mind to
>> the ideas of specialization and division of labor. A society in which
>> individuals can specialize in some value-producing work enables
>> individuals to trade their goods and services for those created by
>> others, thereby optimally increase the happiness of all members. "One
>> for all" refers to the fact that one's productive work is often (but not
>> always) designed (by the worker) to be of value to others, so that s/he
>> can trade these for valued goods and services. Note that I understand
>> that one's work is not *always* designed to be of value to others: it
>> may be something that is only of value to the producer (or at least, of
>> relatively little value to others), who produces it for hir own
>> happiness and no one else's.
> [Your description above of the meaning of "All for one and one for
> all" as a summary of SMN theory is far too narrowly related to
> non-violation and to efficient material production and exchange.
> Rather it means that on the one hand everyone ("all") should be
> working to enable a given person ("for one") to optimize hir
> lifetime happiness, and on the other hand each person ("one")
> should be working to enable others ("for all") to optimize their
> individual lifetime happinesses. The trick, of course, is to effect
> both of these consistently at the same time. Your narrower
> description would be part of these enabling methods, but places far
> too much emphasis on only two aspects of them. --Paul]
>>> applies most importantly and most intimately to romantically
>>> involved, best friends and full partners in life. SMN theory is not merely
>>> a basis for a *political* philosophy, but for a total personal and social
>>> philosophy involving every kind of human relationship. --Paul
>> Your statement above reminds me of this essay:
>> http://selfsip.org/focus/personalcommodity.html because, just as one's
>> lifetime happiness is optimized by the trading of materials goods and
>> services (i.e. in the "market"), it is also optimized by the trading of
>> value in relationships (which is the topic of the essay I linked above).
> [Yes. Which is why your description above was far too narrow, as I
> stated. --Paul]
- View Sourcemeta
I have deleted everything except the one part which needs a response.
Maximus Peto wrote:
> Kitty Antonik Wakfer wrote:There is nothing illogical/irrational about being happy that someone you
>> Maximus Peto wrote:
>>> Kitty Antonik Wakfer wrote
>>>> However in both cases that developed, I discovered that someone I had
>>>> met and come to know added immensely to my life.
>>>> The first instance was when I had been married just over 10 years (with
>>>> a 6 year old son) and had started taking pre-engineering college courses
>>>> part-time. (Initially I had intended to simply better my 3 year diploma
>>>> school nursing RN education by getting a BSN but found myself during the
>>>> first required science course interested in the fundamentals rather than
>>>> merely health related application.) Of my several classmates with whom I
>>>> often studied and sometimes played cards (the latter during certain
>>>> class breaks), one in particular came to interest me because of an
>>>> intriguing combination of lightheartedness, seriousness, inquisitiveness
>>>> and even sadness. I was not at all searching for an additional romantic
>>>> relationship to the one I had with Ed, whom I loved very much and who
>>>> was quite supportive of me returning to school and changing careers.
>>>> The second time was in October 1999 - my relationship with my husband,
>>>> Ed, was still good and, though Greg did live several states away, he
>>>> stayed with us for 1 or more lengthy visits each year, and I made
>>>> several long weekend trips to be with him yearly. On a few occasions we
>>>> 3 made trips together to our adjoining properties (for future personal
>>>> development) in MT. It was a mostly comfortable arrangement that had its
>>>> ups and downs; in which I knew I would not be happy with only one or the
>>>> other in my life because of certain qualities/characteristics important
>>>> to me and possessed by one but little by the other.
>>> It makes me happy that you experienced this situation, and that it made
>>> you more "comfortable" than having only one of these people in your life :)
>> [When I first read the above, it struck me as a somewhat strange
>> emotional expression. When reading it again here I realized the
>> reasoning behind my initial response. I am convinced that it is
>> irrational (because inconsistent with reality) to be happy about
>> some *past incident*, particularly relating only to another person
>> whom you did not even know at the time. The irrationality occurs
>> because there is no logical grounds for such happiness. This is
>> even more strongly the case because while Kitty herself has
>> memories of happiness regarding those experiences, the persons
>> involved are no longer regarded sufficiently to have any further
>> experiences. So this aspect of her life and the experiences with
>> these individuals wrt to any increase of lifetime happiness are
>> totally in the past. --Paul]
> The reasons why I was happy about Kitty experiencing this situation were
> (1) that Kitty is aware of the fact that each person had characteristics
> valuable to Kitty, and that they supplemented one another (each one had
> valuable characteristics which the other did not). Her being *aware* of
> this fact caused me to consider the possibility that it was a good
> learning experience for her (which I, and I presume Kitty, appreciates).
> (2) The fact that Kitty was able to experience the valuable
> characteristics of both people, rather than only one (i.e. that she was
> fortunate to have both, rather than only one). I think this last is that
> I assumed that this experience of Kitty's is kept in consideration by
> her when making her present choices. In other words, because she has
> such an experience, it seems reasonable that, to Kitty, such a
> relationship appears more possible or likely, (i.e. she may be more
> optimistic than say, I, about it happening again should it be desired,
> since I have had no similar experience). Finally (3), I find that I
> enjoy reflecting on some of my past experiences, (i.e. I'm glad that I
> had the opportunity to have them) and I thought this might be one of
> those types of experiences for Kitty. Perhaps I am wrong about all of
know and like is more knowledgeable/experienced and has more lifetime
happiness capability because of some information about hir past which
you have just found out. However that is *not* what you first stated
above and to what I took exception. Rather your statement was all about
the *past* (except for your own happiness) - you wrote "you experienced"
(not "you have experienced") and "it made you" (not "it has made
you") - rather than about the current psychology of Kitty as a result
of these past experiences (as you have now explained is what you really
meant). Perhaps this mis-expression is related to your weakness in
English grammar - specifically tenses in this case ("you experienced" is
past tense, whereas "you have experienced" is present perfect tense -
"used to express a past event that has present consequences"
In this regard, both I and Kitty have virtually no regrets about past
events in our lives in the sense that we would want some to be changed
or even want some to never have happened. This does not at all imply
that we view all past events with joy. Instead we both think of the
past as being a necessary determinant of what each of us is today. And
since we like what we are we would not want to change anything about how
we got to where we are.
[If I were generally unhappy with myself, it would be logical that I
would bemoan some decision(s) of the past. Spending much time
dwelling on past situations is unlikely to improve that
self-assessment. I would need to understand what ideas held and
actions taken in the present would correct that situation.
I can easily recall a few experiences that at one or another time in
the past I thought briefly that it would have been better if they had
not occurred. But holding and following that thought I quickly
realized that most of what resulted in my life would not have taken
place and consequently I would not be the person I am. So I, like
Paul, do not regret the experiences I have had, most resulting from
my own choices. **Kitty]