An Alternate Point of View

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We have horrific double standards when talking about polyamory vs. monogamy. relationship issues in polyamory get blamed on the poly; relationship issues in monogamy dont even get processed as being caused by monog

Aella @Aella_Girl
Tweeted on August 29, 2023

This was sort of mind blowing to me. What a difference an alternate point of view makes!

The majority of people in this country probably see many problems with all the variations of consensual non-monogamy even if they do see the potential benefits. But can those same people see the exact opposite of that. That is, can they see many problems with monogamy even if they do see the potential benefits?

Now apply that logic to gun control and the advocates on the alternates sides of that debate.

Rationality is a just a very thin veneer over our emotional brains.


10 thoughts on “An Alternate Point of View

  1. Ya, but that’s mostly because we humans are shallow creatures that blame everything/one but ourselves when things aren’t going well.
    No problem with poly, till you bring home VD. Or someone gets jealous. No problem with monog. Till you get bored, tired, or frustrated.
    The problem in dealing with sex is that there is always some kind of emotions involved. Upon which rationales rarely work.
    Either way, generally the problem is you. Not the circumstance.
    Man’s worst enemy is boredom. God gave us battle to help us passed those hard times created by it.
    Most of that war is inside us. And we rarely take the punches well.
    So we blame everything else.

  2. “Man is not a rational animal. He is a rationalizing animal.”
    – R. A. Heinlein

    • And that video’s description is far more likely in the modern, secular world than most guys’ occasional fantasy of a virtual “harem” of attractive females at his beck and call.

      On another note, hot coffee does NOT feel good coming out one’s nose, and I now need a new monitor. Thanks a lot. 😉

  3. (Apologies in advance for this thesis/dissertation.)

    What Ms. “Aella” is saying is true, but like most things you find on Twitter/X, it’s drastically over-simplified into ridiculousness.

    I don’t claim to be a relationship expert, but here goes….

    Psychologist and philosopher William James pointed out, “Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.”

    Or, as expanded by another psychologist: there’s each person, how each person sees the other, and how each person thinks the other sees them.

    In a monogamous relationship, it’s you and one other person, but still those six “personalities”. Any problem with any form of intimacy — be it emotional, intellectual, or physical/sexual — can be traced to one or more of those “personalities”.

    Now add a third person. Instead of “six people”, you have:
    – Each person (3 total)
    – How each person sees the others (6 total)
    – How each person thinks each of the others sees each person, including themselves (12 total)

    Adding a third person took the total number of “personalities” from 6 to 21 — and that’s just individuals; we’re not even getting into collective units/pairs and each individual’s relationship with the other two as a unit.

    Mathematically, for every new member of a polyamorous relationship, the number of “personalities” present rises exponentially. Adding a fourth person takes it to 52 “personalities”; 4 + 12 + 36, using the categories above. And again, that’s just individuals, not counting collective pairs/trios/etc.

    (For us math geeks, the formula is P = x + x(x-1) + x(x-1)^2 — or simplified, P = x^3 – x^2 + x — where P is the total number of “personalities” and x is the number of people. To say the complexity rises exponentially with each additional person is not hyperbole; it is literally exponential.)

    Ergo, when there’s an interpersonal problem in a polyamorous relationship, diagnosing and remedying it is vastly more complicated than in a monogamous relationship. Even describing the problem in a polyamorous relationship becomes so much more complex because of all the “personalities” involved — even more so in the context of a character-limited format like Twitter/X — that most people will just chalk it up to “polyamory” rather than try and dig through the weeds.

    So Ms. “Aella” is correct, but not for the reason she thinks. She’s claiming discrimination against polyamorous relationships in favor of monogamous ones, because most people would rather just attribute any issues to “poly” itself. That’s true, but not without good reason; determining the root cause of a problem really is exponentially more complex, and as such, the odds of a successful and smooth-running “poly” relationship is exponentially less likely.

    • One additional thought:

      Ms. “Aella” said: [R]elationship issues in polyamory get blamed on the poly; relationship issues in monogamy dont [sic] even get processed as being caused by monog[amy]

      Also true, not only for the reasons I stated above, but also because if the problems in a monogamous relationship were caused by monogamy itself, then the solution would be to either add another person to make it a “poly” relationship, or to end the relationship entirely.

      Thinking back to each of our own experiences (and be honest), nobody’s perfect, and we’re all flawed people, right? So after any breakup, if you carried on without any personal growth — keeping all your flaws — did your next relationships fare any better? No?

      Then simply ending the monogamous relationship did NOT fix the problem; you had to fix some of the flaws within yourself before you could successfully connect with another person.

      And since that is the case, does anyone seriously believe that “the solution” to a struggling monogamous relationship between two flawed people, is to add a third flawed person?

      Monogamy is never considered as “the problem”, because monogamy itself is almost never the real problem; most of us understand that at an instinctual level. The real problem is that we’re all flawed individuals and we bring those flaws with us into any relationship we form.

      That means that “poly” isn’t “the problem”, either, but the more people bringing their unresolved flaws into a relationship, the more complicated it will be, and the less likely that relationship will be successful. Thus, it is highly unlikely that a struggling monogamous relationship can be “fixed” simply by adding another person and transitioning it to a “poly” relationship.

      IOW, monogamy is not the be-all problem, so polyamory cannot be the end-all solution.

      Again, Ms. “Aella” is correct, but not for the reasons she thinks.

  4. When comparing apples and oranges, don’t forget that both are fruit.

    Take the set of mono relationship problems that exist because one member dabbled in poly (usually in secret) and subtract them. Now subtract the problems caused by one member desiring poly but prevented by the mono arrangement. What’s left?

    Yes, there will be additional issues. The author is really pointing out scapegoating of poly as causing relationship issues when the actual issues are those of resentment, trust, communication, negotiation, and respect. (Issues that surely also exist in poly arrangements… but the relationship skills around which are probably better exercised!)

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