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Telecaster68

Should your partner be the most important person in your life?

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Float On

That's you being too possessive though, as you say yourself.

but it's not that far of a leap from "my partner is the most important person in my life" to "my partner is mine alone, and I theirs", and the latter is as possessive as possessive gets.

Well, sexually, that's exactly what monogamy is - exclusivity.

But apart from sex, it is a big leap, because it's the difference between being controlling and not being controlling, and I think that would be very clear to most people.

How is exclusivity not controlling?

if one partner says, "hey, lets be exclusive" and the other partner say "yeah, I like that idea" then it isn't at all controlling. it's two people agreeing to a certain social agreement.

I guess you're both right, there. What is good for one partnership is not necessarily good for others. I guess I have a chip on my shoulder over certain aspects of monogamy because of how much monogamy has been shoved down my throat, and my own discomfort in forcing myself to live up to that standard. I've said that the only time I was ever truly "in the closet" in the sense of knowing who or what I was, and being in denial about it/forcing myself to act a different way than I felt was in terms of being polyamorous. Being ace, genderfluid, and panromantic, I legitimately did not know those things applied to me until I figured them out. Being poly, not so much.

yes, if someone does not like monogamy, and it is shoved down their throat anyway, then it is definitely controlling. but what is controlling is not monogamy itself - it is the person who is forcing monogamy on the other.

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JAKQ7111

That's you being too possessive though, as you say yourself.

but it's not that far of a leap from "my partner is the most important person in my life" to "my partner is mine alone, and I theirs", and the latter is as possessive as possessive gets.

Well, sexually, that's exactly what monogamy is - exclusivity.

But apart from sex, it is a big leap, because it's the difference between being controlling and not being controlling, and I think that would be very clear to most people.

How is exclusivity not controlling?

if one partner says, "hey, lets be exclusive" and the other partner say "yeah, I like that idea" then it isn't at all controlling. it's two people agreeing to a certain social agreement.

I guess you're both right, there. What is good for one partnership is not necessarily good for others. I guess I have a chip on my shoulder over certain aspects of monogamy because of how much monogamy has been shoved down my throat, and my own discomfort in forcing myself to live up to that standard. I've said that the only time I was ever truly "in the closet" in the sense of knowing who or what I was, and being in denial about it/forcing myself to act a different way than I felt was in terms of being polyamorous. Being ace, genderfluid, and panromantic, I legitimately did not know those things applied to me until I figured them out. Being poly, not so much.

yes, if someone does not like monogamy, and it is shoved down their throat anyway, then it is definitely controlling. but what is controlling is not monogamy itself - it is the person who is forcing monogamy on the other.

It's not just one person. It's the culture that implies, if not outright says, that monogamy, preferably leading to marriage and family, is the One True Way to do the whole romance thing that I meant when I said that monogamy was shoved down my throat.

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nanogretchen4

I don't have a partner right now, but I actually have quite a few friends for an introvert. At present there are over a dozen people I spend quality time with once a week or more. Obviously I make friends with people I have regularly scheduled activities with and I socialize in groups rather than trying to schedule a ridiculous number of individual meetings. Because of the demisexual thing I don't date, so making a lot of friends is really my only strategy for hopefully getting a partner someday. But on the other hand, if I end up being single for a long time or even for the duration, I'm pretty happy as I am. Most of my social needs are getting met by my friends. Because of the way my orientation works, if I do get a love interest it will probably be someone who does some of the same activities as me and is friends with some of the same people. So hopefully I will be able to keep up a lot of my current friendships if I do get a partner.

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Notte stellata

The way I see it re: monogamy and controlling:

"You're free to have close friends and spend alone time with them, because I trust that you truly want monogamy and won't cheat on me." - Not controlling.

"We both agreed to be monogamous, so you can't get too close to opposite-sex friends in case you become attracted to them." - Totally controlling.

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Telecaster68

I don't have a partner right now, but I actually have quite a few friends for an introvert. At present there are over a dozen people I spend quality time with once a week or more. Obviously I make friends with people I have regularly scheduled activities with and I socialize in groups rather than trying to schedule a ridiculous number of individual meetings. Because of the demisexual thing I don't date, so making a lot of friends is really my only strategy for hopefully getting a partner someday. But on the other hand, if I end up being single for a long time or even for the duration, I'm pretty happy as I am. Most of my social needs are getting met by my friends. Because of the way my orientation works, if I do get a love interest it will probably be someone who does some of the same activities as me and is friends with some of the same people. So hopefully I will be able to keep up a lot of my current friendships if I do get a partner.

LIke a lot of demi things, that's a ramped up version of how sexual/romantic relationships tend to work. Partners tend to come from a pool of friends, and both continue with those friendships during the relationship; or online, there's the matching of interests etc that means partners tend to share the same attitudes and interests.

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Snao van der Cone

Poly people can be controlling too, of one or all their partners. Monogamy isn't inherently controlling and polygamy isn't inherently liberating. One would imagine they'd be different, based on the principles often associated with them, but I (perhaps cynically) don't really believe that's the case.

I can definitely understand the viewpoint that a culture of monogamy forces this upon people, in the sense of an individual's moral obligation. Perhaps more people say their partner is the most important person to them than is actually the case, or would be the case if we didn't have this expectation of people. Individuals deciding this by their own volition is fine. Individuals expecting this from a partner is fine. People generally being expected to feel this way by society as a whole is not fine. Ace/aro/poly frustration over this comes from how prevalent that expectation is.

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ace11

In my idea of the perfect marriage, yes they would be the most important. Not saying that's how it should be for anyone else, but that's the kind of relationship i would seek out.

The person who gets the most of my attention could vary, just as it does outside of a marriage relationship, depending on who is in need and whose company I've been enjoying, my priorities at the moment, and whatever else.

But I think of a spousal relationship as a merging of two people, but i don't think of any other relationships (friendships, family, etc) in that way. I think that a spouse should be a teammate who is both a best friend and someone who you face everything in life together. A friend or family member might help you through something difficult but in the end they're not in it with you, and that's where i think a marriage relationship should be different. With a spouse your problems, victories, etc. all become shared with that person as if they were happening to both of you. I'm not saying that you have to spend all your time with that person (i certainly wouldn't want to) but just that there would be a whole new level of shared empathy in an ideal marriage.

I also think that in a certain sense the spouse should be more important than the kids. Obviously the kids are number one in the sense that you have to commit your life to taking care of them and keeping them safe as they are growing up. But that kind of "merging" i was talking about only applies to the spousal relationship and not the parent/child relationship, because it would be harmful to the kids who are growing up and developing their own identities.

Just my two cents...Oh and just a note....i'm not married, so this could be totaly idealized and unrealistic. And this is just the kind of relationship i want, not saying it works for everyone.

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Float On

IMO it takes an individual or a direct identifiable organization to be controlling. when it's in the culture, it's oppressive, sure, but it isn't really controlling - there is no identifiable unit that is enacting control.

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Salted Karamel

Without reading any other replies in this thread—

I think it's more about the family unit. And by "family unit," I mean whichever people fill the role of "family" in your life.

For some people, that's the family they were born into. For others, it's the person they've married and the children they have together. For others it's a domestic partner, or best friends, or whatever. Polyamorous groups fit in here, too. Whoever your "family" is, which doesn't necessarily mean marriage and blood. But humans do tend to group into "family units," and even if/when we don't, I think we can usually name who is the next most important person or people in our lives after ourselves.

What I think isn't healthy is when someone just starts dating someone and immediately designates them "Most Important Person In My Life." It takes time for someone to truly reach that level of importance, and if you feel like someone who you just met is more important to you than your actual family, that indicates a problem. (Like maybe you're feeling obsession more than affection.)

The same can easily be said of new friends and such as well, if someone is that obsessed with a brand new friend... It's just that it's an unfortunate part of the heteronormative script that we're fed this idea that our significant other must always be the most important person in our lives, to the exclusion of all else. That's an unhealthy script to act out blindly.

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Tarfeather

What I think isn't healthy is when someone just starts dating someone and immediately designates them "Most Important Person In My Life." It takes time for someone to truly reach that level of importance, and if you feel like someone who you just met is more important to you than your actual family, that indicates a problem. (Like maybe you're feeling obsession more than affection.)

Again, I think it's up to each person to decide what constitutes a problem for them and what does not.

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Snao van der Cone

What I think isn't healthy is when someone just starts dating someone and immediately designates them "Most Important Person In My Life." It takes time for someone to truly reach that level of importance, and if you feel like someone who you just met is more important to you than your actual family, that indicates a problem. (Like maybe you're feeling obsession more than affection.)

Again, I think it's up to each person to decide what constitutes a problem for them and what does not.

That doesn't really make sense with what Katy is saying. She means it's a problem in that the person's behaviour is likely to damage their life because of a whimsical emotional reaction. Because it affects family and friends so much, I think it's within their rights to say it's a problem. If I'm just an acquaintance or observer or passerby I'm not in a place to evaluate another person's choices, but if I'm close to someone and they make this decision after the first date with a new person, I think I'm in a position to say it's a problem.

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Tarfeather

That doesn't really make sense with what Katy is saying. She means it's a problem in that the person's behaviour is likely to damage their life because of a whimsical emotional reaction. Because it affects family and friends so much, I think it's within their rights to say it's a problem. If I'm just an acquaintance or observer or passerby I'm not in a place to evaluate another person's choices, but if I'm close to someone and they make this decision after the first date with a new person, I think I'm in a position to say it's a problem.

Mhm.. Fair point. I agree, not being aware of the nature of the feelings is a problem to one's friends and family, if you end up acting on it in an unfiltered manner. But, "feeling that someone you just met is more important" is not in and of itself a problem, it's just a feeling.

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Snao van der Cone

If you rationally know that you're overly excited with something new, and that you should not make life decisions based on this buzz, that's fine. Something or someone feeling like the most important thing to you in that moment, like me when I meet a new dog, is quite different than when I think it through and make a balanced decision, like that my own dog is more important to me. We need to keep the context in mind, if someone's exaggerating out of momentary bliss or if they're evaluating their lives.

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El-not-so-ace

Yes. It doesn't mean that everyone else is forgotten or treated badly... It just means that there's a certain priority for them in general. Family and friends do get to win out in terms of the time and attention, but it's usually the partner that you're expected to go home with (if you both live together, I mean). :)

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AceInhibitor

I accept it, because it's the way society is, and I know that all of my friends (except possibly one, if I'm lucky) will eventually get into romantic relationships and they'll all leave, because that's just how it goes, and that's fine. Personally, I'd put my parents and siblings above any partner, and seeing as I intend to have children whether I'm in a relationship or not, I'd put my kids before them as well. And at the moment, because I'm not in a relationship with anyone, my friends are the next most important thing to me, after my family. I mean I guess it's natural that people would want to put their romantic partners before everyone else because the world has it in their head that you leave home, eventually get into a romantic relationship, and spend the rest of your lives with them. But really, the most important person in your life should be whoever you care about the most, and that might be multiple people. If you want to live with your two best friends in a house together then that should be something you can do. But seeing as the majority of people are romantically inclined that tends to mean that people just end up living with their romantic partner and their children (if they have any) and that's it. I dunno I think it's pointless that that seems to be the way everyone's expected to be, but that's probably because the kind of relationship I want isn't the kind of relationship most other people are looking for, plus my friends and family have been in my life for a lot longer than any romantic interest would be so I don't see why they should expect to be more important than my family.

Basically I think the assumption that everyone will eventually end up in a monogamous romantic relationship and that relationship should be more important than all their other relationships is bullshit, because it completely ignores the possibility of other relationship dynamics. I guess it's kind of like when I was little and people were like 'You only have one best friend' and I have several close friends who I care about equally, so I wouldn't be able to choose between them. And I just feel really uncomfortable about the prevalence of the idea that if you had to choose between your partner and your best friend(s) or your parents then you should always choose your partner. I think it depends on the person, and the relationship. I just don't feel right about the expectation that if I end up dating someone, they'll have to be more important than anyone else in my life by virtue of the fact that we're in a romantic relationship. But I've never dated, so I don't know. I think I'm also scared of being that invested in one person over anyone else. I guess when it comes down to it, if I ever married anyone (and I'm not really sure I'm the marriage type, as much as I like to talk about weddings), they'd have to accept that if I ever had to choose between them and my family, I would choose my family.

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AceInhibitor

Without reading any other replies in this thread—

I think it's more about the family unit. And by "family unit," I mean whichever people fill the role of "family" in your life.

For some people, that's the family they were born into. For others, it's the person they've married and the children they have together. For others it's a domestic partner, or best friends, or whatever. Polyamorous groups fit in here, too. Whoever your "family" is, which doesn't necessarily mean marriage and blood. But humans do tend to group into "family units," and even if/when we don't, I think we can usually name who is the next most important person or people in our lives after ourselves.

What I think isn't healthy is when someone just starts dating someone and immediately designates them "Most Important Person In My Life." It takes time for someone to truly reach that level of importance, and if you feel like someone who you just met is more important to you than your actual family, that indicates a problem. (Like maybe you're feeling obsession more than affection.)

The same can easily be said of new friends and such as well, if someone is that obsessed with a brand new friend... It's just that it's an unfortunate part of the heteronormative script that we're fed this idea that our significant other must always be the most important person in our lives, to the exclusion of all else. That's an unhealthy script to act out blindly.

Ah, you put it so much better than I ever could. I get what you mean though. I mean for a lot of people, they grow up and marry or get into a relationship and possibly have children and that relationship becomes their family unit. And I'd put my family first, personally. Your family can be whoever you want it to be, but I agree that it's not right when people push aside their current relationships because they get distracted by someone new that they like. Most of my friends aren't like that, thankfully. My baby brother, on the other hand is pretty smitten with his girlfriend and has kind of put that first. I'm letting him off because it's his first girlfriend though. If he does it with any other relationships I'm probably going to get angry with him though.

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AceInhibitor

I would agree only if it is clearly impossible to do both. Situations can easily arise where a person is obligated to care for more than one sick person and then they have to do the best they can. But if it's something like donating a kidney, the order of priority is children, partner, family of origin, friend, stranger in my opinion.

I'd swap that for children, family of origin (especially because my siblings are the ones I'm most likely to be compatible with anyway, and there is not a chance in hell I would choose any romantic partner over my siblings or my parents), I don't want to consider a scenario where I'd have to pick between my partner and my best friend, especially if it's my current friends, seeing as I'll have known them for longer, and I honestly don't know what I'd do, and then stranger.

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Guest

I can easily see how poly isn't inherently liberated/liberating, and how poly structures can have pretty damn bad elements of control involved ("veto power", anyone? Ugh. <_<)

However, I simply can't imagine how monogamy can ever be not controlling. Mutual control and surrender of autonomy is a neccessary component of monogamous relationships - without it, they would immediately become open/poly, even if neither of the partners ever actuates dating/loving/boinking others. Naturally monogamous people are just folks who are happiest with a pretty sizeable degree of both being controlled by their partner, and controlling their partner in return. I've come to accept that these people exist, and I suppose I'm as alien to them as they are to me... :D Even the most liberated monogamous relationship is by its very nature far, far too controlling for me to ever touch it with a ten-foot pole.

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Sally

Well, Mysticus, what if both parties sincerely agree that they just can't deal with two close/intimate relationships at once? You could call them risk-averse, or you could call them too low-energy to want to spend the time necessitated by that complex a life, but why would they be automatically controlling?

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Guest

Well, Mysticus, what if both parties sincerely agree that they just can't deal with two close/intimate relationships at once? You could call them risk-averse, or you could call them too low-energy to want to spend the time necessitated by that complex a life, but why would they be automatically controlling?

Heh. I've read someone on a polyamory site speak of that as "being polysaturated at one". :D

If they're generally open to and okay with the partner being with other folks, but both agreeing it's not worth the bother going out and seeking someone else to be with, yeah, that's not controlling... but it also isn't monogamous. They are in an open/poly relationship that just happens to never de facto involving more than two people.

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Sally

Well, Mysticus, what if both parties sincerely agree that they just can't deal with two close/intimate relationships at once? You could call them risk-averse, or you could call them too low-energy to want to spend the time necessitated by that complex a life, but why would they be automatically controlling?

Heh. I've read someone on a polyamory site speak of that as "being polysaturated at one". :D

If they're generally open to and okay with the partner being with other folks, but both agreeing it's not worth the bother going out and seeking someone else to be with, yeah, that's not controlling... but it also isn't monogamous. They are in an open/poly relationship that just happens to never de facto involving more than two people.

But I didn't mean that they are open to their partner being with other folks; I meant neither of them wanted two relationships, and THUS they both happen to be monogamous. They don't think polygamy is wrong, or sinful, or any other negative; they just don't want it. Monogamy needn't be restricting; it can also just be restful. -_-

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Philip027
However, I simply can't imagine how monogamy can ever be not controlling. Mutual control and surrender of autonomy is a neccessary component of monogamous relationships - without it, they would immediately become open/poly, even if neither of the partners ever actuates dating/loving/boinking others. Naturally monogamous people are just folks who are happiest with a pretty sizeable degree of both being controlled by their partner, and controlling their partner in return. I've come to accept that these people exist, and I suppose I'm as alien to them as they are to me... :D Even the most liberated monogamous relationship is by its very nature far, far too controlling for me to ever touch it with a ten-foot pole.

I think the main thing you're overlooking here is that it's not really "control" if it's a situation both people actually want to be in, which is probably the case for most proper / functioning / non-abusive relationships.

The way you're categorizing monogamous partnerships is rather... vilifying, in a sense they don't necessarily deserve. I am in one, and I honestly don't think there is any sense in which one of us is exerting control over the other >_> Part of what makes our relationship so satisfying and fulfilling to us in the first place is that we both feel more free to be ourselves with each other than the Real World has typically allowed us to be.

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Guest

Well, Mysticus, what if both parties sincerely agree that they just can't deal with two close/intimate relationships at once? You could call them risk-averse, or you could call them too low-energy to want to spend the time necessitated by that complex a life, but why would they be automatically controlling?

Heh. I've read someone on a polyamory site speak of that as "being polysaturated at one". :D

If they're generally open to and okay with the partner being with other folks, but both agreeing it's not worth the bother going out and seeking someone else to be with, yeah, that's not controlling... but it also isn't monogamous. They are in an open/poly relationship that just happens to never de facto involving more than two people.

But I didn't mean that they are open to their partner being with other folks; I meant neither of them wanted two relationships, and THUS they both happen to be monogamous. They don't think polygamy is wrong, or sinful, or any other negative; they just don't want it. Monogamy needn't be restricting; it can also just be restful. -_-

If they're not open to it, they are controlling their partner because they're forbidding them a certain path of action. There's simply no way around that, and it has nothing to do with whether the partner wants to be with others or not - if you don't respect their right and freedom to be with other partners on principle, you are controlling and restricting them*; it just happens to be a chain they bear meekly because they have no impulse for the pull-and-yank routine. A prisoner doesn't magically turn into a free man just because he happens to like being in jail.

Monogamy simply cannot exist without this exertion of control. Even if they don't actively want to ever act on it - in order to be non-controlling, you must 100% respect and support them in their right to do so should they ever change their mind about it. Therefore, a non-controlling two-person relationship obviously has to be an open relationship that just happens to keep involving only the two of you in practice; it cannot be a monogamous couple.

Like I said above - I have learned to live with the fact that some people are apparently naturally wired to want this degree of mutual control. As long as they don't try to involve me in their relationships, I can let them be. But I won't pretend that what they have wasn't controlling, because it is.

* To a degree I personally would simply never consider acceptable in a relationship - someone who isn't open to it just isn't partner material in my eyes (i.e., they have no chance to ever get out of my "friendzone", regardless of how much I may otherwise like them), because they clearly either cannot or will not respect my rights and freedom, and would try to restrict and control me. I can't see a healthy relationship built on that base, so I just won't bother considering going mono/closed with anyone, ever.

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Tarfeather

Mysti, there is nothing controlling about stating that if ever the other person falls for someone else, the terms of the relationship are null and void.

Of course, myself I don't understand that attitude, because if my love and desire to be with another person depended on the lack of that person's desire to be with someone else, I wouldn't really feel like I loved them at all. However, as you say, there are different people who function differently, and it's not my place to judge them on that.

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Philip027
If they're not open to it, they are controlling their partner because they're forbidding them a certain path of action. There's simply no way around that, and it has nothing to do with whether the partner wants to be with others or not

Sure it does. Control is a subjective thing.

Say you've got a parent that does not allow their kid to climb trees. If the kid is someone that has a tendency to want to climb things, that would possibly feel controlling to the kid.

But if my mom tried doing that with me, there would be no sense of control enacted, because I never wanted to climb trees in the first place. Whatever sort of restriction I got placed on me is a moot point because no adjustment of my behavior is required. It's like telling a kid to go to his room and thinking it serves as a punishment, when, say, the kid *wanted* to go to his room anyway, perhaps because all his toys are there, or something. You (as the parent) might think you're in control, but in reality the kid just has you wrapped around his finger and he's still getting what he wanted anyway.

Likewise, there's no real control being exerted over reach other in my partnership in this regard, because neither of us wants to be in a relationship with other people anyway. Even if one of us did, neither of us is forcing the other to stay. We don't have to do that, because we are both here because we want to be; because we've found the person that we want to be with for the rest of our lives. We don't think there's anything controlling about that. You might think otherwise in my shoes, but that's exactly why I say control is subjective.

I see it as something akin to the whole "it's not a problem/disorder if it doesn't negatively impact your life" argument that often gets thrown around here regarding nonlibidoism or asexuality.

if you don't respect their right and freedom to be with other partners on principle, you are controlling and restricting them

I'd *hope* most monogamy-minded people are just fine with the other person having the right to see other people, by the way. They just won't want a part in it themselves, and would stop feeling like they had any sort of stock in the relationship if it happened, which may or may not end up with them wanting to terminate the relationship.

If you still would refer to this sort of thing as controlling behavior, then I would go on to say that pretty much any sort of interaction anyone has with another human is an attempted form of control, because it means they are trying to exert some degree of ownership over the other person's time/freedom to hear out what they have to say, acknowledge it, and possibly form some sort of response. Personally though, I don't feel like that line of thinking is any comfortable way to go through life. Maybe it's my depression talking, but I periodically have a hard enough time dealing with the prevailing sense that I afflict myself upon people where I'm not wanted, as it is :/

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Guest

I see it as something akin to the whole "it's not a problem/disorder if it doesn't negatively impact your life" argument that often gets thrown around here regarding nonlibidoism or asexuality.

Bad analogy.

I agree that asexuality or non-libidoism indeed isn't a problem if it doesn't negatively impact your life. However, that doesn't mean that it isn't there - even without problems caused, the person in question is still asexual/nonlib.

Same thing with control. If you like a certain degree of control in a relationship and it doesn't impact your life negatively, it's not a problem. But it still is exertion of control.

If I took a stance analogous to yours and actually correctly applied it to asexuality, it would have to be that someone who is happy and free from problems in their life despite not having sex cannot be asexual. You have to suffer from asexuality, or it's something else.

Which, obviously, is a thesis flawed as can be.

Say you've got a parent that does not allow their kid to climb trees. If the kid is someone that has a tendency to want to climb things, that would possibly feel controlling to the kid.

But if my mom tried doing that with me, there would be no sense of control enacted, because I never wanted to climb trees in the first place. Whatever sort of restriction I got placed on me is a moot point because no adjustment of my behavior is required. It's like telling a kid to go to his room and thinking it serves as a punishment, when, say, the kid *wanted* to go to his room anyway, perhaps because all his toys are there, or something. You (as the parent) might think you're in control, but in reality the kid just has you wrapped around his finger and he's still getting what he wanted anyway.

Likewise, there's no real control being exerted over reach other in my partnership in this regard, because neither of us wants to be in a relationship with other people anyway. Even if one of us did, neither of us is forcing the other to stay. We don't have to do that, because we are both here because we want to be; because we've found the person that we want to be with for the rest of our lives. We don't think there's anything controlling about that. You might think otherwise in my shoes, but that's exactly why I say control is subjective.

If your mom forbade you to climb trees, yes, that would absolutely be controlling, regardless of the circumstance. It's ridiculous to me to think otherwise. And that goes regardless of the question of whether you want to climb trees or not - if she forbids you, you are no longer free. You just happen to be a person who doesn't mind that chain and wears it comfortably, because you happen not to be a puller/yanker.

I'd *hope* most monogamy-minded people are just fine with the other person having the right to see other people, by the way. They just won't want a part in it themselves, and would stop feeling like they had any sort of stock in the relationship if it happened, which may or may not end up with them wanting to terminate the relationship.

But they're really, really not. In my experience, most have a "You Are MINE" attitude about the person the're with. And frankly, I find that attitude horrifying.

If you still would refer to this sort of thing as controlling behavior, then I would go on to say that pretty much any sort of interaction anyone has with another human is an attempted form of control, because it means they are trying to exert some degree of ownership over the other person's time/freedom to hear out what they have to say, acknowledge it, and possibly form some sort of response. Personally though, I don't feel like that line of thinking is any comfortable way to go through life. Maybe it's my depression talking, but I periodically have a hard enough time dealing with the prevailing sense that I afflict myself upon people where I'm not wanted, as it is :/

Possibly yes, and it's a big reason why I can't deal well with people. Most are as horrified of the thought of true freedom as I am of both wearing chains, and of putting chains on others; they think that the question of exerting control is one of the right degree, while I am disgusted with myself if I don't push towards absolute zero with all my might.

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Tarfeather

Likewise, there's no real control being exerted over reach other in my partnership in this regard, because neither of us wants to be in a relationship with other people anyway. Even if one of us did, neither of us is forcing the other to stay. We don't have to do that, because we are both here because we want to be; because we've found the person that we want to be with for the rest of our lives. We don't think there's anything controlling about that. You might think otherwise in my shoes, but that's exactly why I say control is subjective.

I believe Mysti's point is that this does not constitute monogamy by their definition of the word. And you know, rightly so. According to your definition, my relationship would switch between "monogamous" and "non-monogamous" constantly, depending on whether either of us currently interested in someone else or not.

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Philip027
I believe Mysti's point is that this does not constitute monogamy by their definition of the word. And you know, rightly so. According to your definition, my relationship would switch between "monogamous" and "non-monogamous" constantly, depending on whether either of us currently interested in someone else or not.

I don't really feel like I have some different definition of monogamy than what everyone else is using, tbh. Would you mind clarifying what you think my definition is, so I can tell you if you're right or wrong?

I agree that asexuality or non-libidoism indeed isn't a problem if it doesn't negatively impact your life. However, that doesn't mean that it isn't there - even without problems caused, the person in question is still asexual/nonlib.

Are you not aware of the vast scores of people out there who do indeed think nonlibidoism/asexuality are serious health problems, regardless of whatever people with those conditions think about them? Because that was more of what I was getting at -- we know that they aren't problems if they aren't problematic. It isn't something you have to go see a doctor about.

Likewise, "control" that doesn't actually control you in any way isn't anything to write home about, either.

If your mom forbade you to climb trees, yes, that would absolutely be controlling, regardless of the circumstance.

Maybe to you, not to me. I would be completely unaffected. As far as I'm concerned, if there is no effect, no change in what was going to happen anyway... nothing is actually being controlled. If I actually did want to climb trees, then a conflict of interests appears, one in which I'll likely emerge the loser because I'm the kid and she's the parent. Control is being exerted there.

If you are viewing and sensing this sort of artificial sense of "control" upon every sort of monogamous relationship that you see... well, it's no wonder that you view them as too constricting and suffocating. Trust me, they aren't all like that. They definitely aren't supposed to be like that, because that degree of control you're thinking of is actually abuse. It's unfair to paint them all with the same brush.

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Snao van der Cone

Mysticus, do you believe that the level of control exerted in the average monogamous relationship is abusive or manipulative? Where do you draw the line on when it should be a concern for the safety and well-being of people in these relationships? Most monogamous people don't see it as controlling until it gets to a damaging point.

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Notte stellata

I used to think the same as Mysticus that monogamy is inherently controlling, but now I can see other people's point that monogamy doesn't have to be controlling. To me, a non-controlling monogamous relationship means the partners don't enforce any rules to prevent each other from falling in love or having sex with other people. i.e. They don't say "no one-on-one time with an opposite-sex friend", "no being friends with your ex", "no checking out attractive people", "update me every hour where you are and who you are with", etc. They completely trust each other to be faithful. Of course, the only catch is if one of them does form a romantic/sexual relationship with someone else, the relationship is likely to end. But I think you can say that's their deal breaker rather than being controlling. They still have the right to be with other people, but that just means they can't stay in the original relationship at the same time. It's like childfree people often hear "you're taking away your partner's right to be a parent", which isn't true at all. If the partner wants to have kids, they can have them, just not with the childfree person (not a very good analogy, I know, but I think at least the "taking rights away" part is comparable).

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