On Poly Weekly #132, PolyLizzie asked how other single poly parents found the time to be poly and meet potential partners. What a great question! Listener Jenny was cool enough to respond and give permission for her response to be posted here.
Parents (single and otherwise), what do you think?
‘m a single parent of a school age girl (now 9), and I work full-time as a writer for a computer software company. Although my situation is somewhat different from PolyLizzie (i.e., I’m not a full time student on top of everything else), I know well the feeling of never having enough time to do anything but survive day-to-day. Three years ago, I moved halfway across the US for a great job, leaving behind my parents, friends, and everyone my daughter knew since she was a baby. Where we live now, we have no family and no local support system — we are essentially alone here and I am pretty much the only engine that gets things done.
You asked for poly tips, but I think these could be applied to any relationship, poly or otherwise.
Tip #2: Understand and accept you can’t do everything “right now”. Even though PolyLizzie may want to find poly partners, she’s also has to recognize her limitations in terms of time and work with them. That’s difficult because sometimes we really do need something (like a loving relationship) and we just can’t have it right now because of time. With work, school, and kids filling her time, PolyLizzie may not have any room for “making time” for a poly partner — meaning, at this time in her life she may not be able to arrange things to accommodate being actively poly. That was certainly true for me when I was a bit younger, and I wasn’t a full time student. And it truly sucked to put that off to “later”, but I had to. There were too many other things going on in my life and adding an adult relationship to the mix would have been disastrous for both me and my daughter.
I know for myself, long distance relationships have pretty much been the only way I can have an interesting, worthwhile relationship. The costs in time and effort associated with going out on my own just can’t be sustained for very long, financially and emotionally. And frankly, when you go out on enough truly bad dates, you really don’t feel like gambling your time any more than you absolutely have to. I mean, time spent on a bad date is almost like a personal attack because it’s time taken away from you and your kid. At least with something online, it’s a little easier to figure out who’s worth my time getting to know, and to cut loose those who would waste my time.
Friend of Polyamory Weekly PepperMint has written a comprehensive analysis of mainstream media’s attitude and coverage of polyamory, comparing it to coverage of swinging, BDSM and other alternative cultures. If you want to get caught up on how we’ve been portrayed over the last few years, read this article and click on his links–you’ll be debriefed.
PepperMint maintains that polyamory is usually portrayed with a certain credibility in the press, even a type of tolerance, for a few reasons. He posits that because poly is seen as “new(ish),” “theoretically disconnected from sex” (is this why there is alway some amount of opposition whenever I mention sex? hmmm), “queer- and woman-friendly,” and “the opposite of monogamy.”
I encourage you to read his thoughtful article in its entirety and comment at his blog. Let’s get the conversation going, people!
JRB, a monogamous pal of mine, was musing over the nature of flirting in her monogamous relationship. She’s completed devoted to his partner of four years, but she does enjoy a good flirt now and then. So she asks the poly audience–does that make her a little bit poly?
When we started our romantic relationship, I no longer desired romantic attachments with other people. It’s been like that for about four years now. However, that doesn’t mean I’m dead. I do enjoy flirting with attractive, interesting people. I am always clear that I am fully committed to my partner but I think that flirting with adorable people is just a bucket of fun. (By flirting I mean the verbal dance that signifies attraction) I would be very hurt if my partner became romantically attached to another person, but I certantly don’t mind if he flirts with someone else. I trust in our relationship and our communication that we both understand where the barriers are.
Here’s my question: do polyamorous people consider flirting in this manner to be poly?
What do you think? Personally, I flirted like a maniac when I was monogamous. It wasn’t because I wanted to be with anyone else; it was simply something I did that made me feel sexy and desirable. It still is, in fact. When I come back from a heavy day of wenchy, baudy flirting at a Renaissance faire, I’m always just a bit more randy for my sweetie.
I suppose I could make an argument for that being an early hint of my poly proclivities, but I tend to think of it more as an aspect of my sexual expression that happens to (harmlessly) involve other people. What do you think?
OK, so I’m a stats whore. But hey, it’s proof that I’ve done something with my life, despite my not-so-great job for the last year (and now lack thereof):
Last month, Poly Weekly had 9,999 downloads. This has become typical–about 10,000 downloads a month. It’s actually kind of low for a podcast in the Mature category, but then, as y’all know, I tend to talk about communication a lot more than sex. But it’s something to be proud of and point to as an accomplishment, I think. Or a work in progress, as I tend to see it.
Thanks to everyone out there for spreading the word. Thanks for passing links, for linking back to www.polyweekly.com, for Digging PW, for spreading the YouTube video around, for burning CDs of Poly Weekly for your family and friends. Thanks for reviewing us on iTunes, Podcast Alley, Podcast Pickle and Blubrry. (And if you haven’t, why not give us a review? iTunes only has 11 reviews!) Thanks to our new correspondents, our editor J, our sitemaster Sc00ter and everyone else who’s helped PW grow.
Thanks for your emails, your comments, your questions, your criticism and your praise.
0:00 Introduction and host chat
1:00 Introduction: Alan, Poly Weekly’s new Poly in the New correspondent
3:00 Topics: Poly in the Media
Other articles covered in the Polyamory in the Media blog:
0:00 Introduction and host chat
5:45 Chat with Nobilis: Why get married?
Operational Intelligence: Understanding and Managing our Emotional and Sexual Systems
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 14TH, 6:30-9:30 PM at The META Center
Cost: $30 with pre-registration, $35 at the door
Contact: Nan Wise at 973-632-0625 or TheLoveCoach@aol.com
Nature has given us three brains and seven “minds” which are wired- in executive emotional operating systems–and we can learn how to use them effectively. Each mind system has its own perceptions, memories, moods and motivations. Although we may know what’s on our mind, we don’t always know which mind we are in. As a result, we often fail to do what “works” and keep doing what doesn’t–in love, sex, work and money–because we are stuck in patterns, for example, we pick the wrong partners, make the same money mistakes, trust people who will betray us, sabotage our careers just when things are going well, and hold on to grievances and grudges within our families rather than letting them go and growing up. Join psychotherapist/sex therapist and neuroscience researcher Nan Wise to explore how to identify the behaviors that limit your happiness and success in love and work– and manage your emotional systems and make good choices in love, friendship and work.