If you ever reach a point where you are able to live life with that total freedom
I believe I've reached it... have been there for a while now, in fact. But, you know how self-perception is (or maybe that should be "self-deception" ). It could all be just wishful thinking.
and find others who share your same attitude
Ah, there's the rub. I'm not interested in group orgies, drugs, S&M and so on, but my experience has been that the ladies want one of two extremes: either monogamous commitment, or uninhibited nonstop partying. How to find someone who'd be interested in a warm, easygoing friendship that includes occasional sex, but not leather and whips?
Keep us posted on how it works, and let us know if your attitude or any of your partners' change at all.
We'll see. My attitudes are always subject to change. It's part of growing and learning.
I have also seen some long-term relationships that do work.
Me, too. My grandparents were a sterling example of how to do it right.
Well, that may be true, if all you are seeking is sexual gratification. What about the aspects of a relationship that take time to develop, such as trust, intimacy, and a deeper kind of love?
Why are trust and polyamory mutually exclusive? When you trust a person, you grant them access to a part of you that can be hurt, hoping that they will treat that vulnerability with respect and care. In the kind of relationship I'm describing, sex with someone else does not constitute betrayal of trust; it's just an activity they engage in, like the examples I gave of going shopping with friends or being in a closed business meeting. These things do not involve you, but they are no threat to you; your relationship continues during and after them. No trust is breached.
Intimacy: intimacy exists apart from sex; they aren't inseparable. I'm as hetero as it gets, but I share intimate secrets with male friends. So also with female friends with whom I have sex; I can build intimacy with them or not, as their personalities and the course of the relationship allow. I don't see why sex affects it.
Regarding "a deeper kind of love": in my mind I can picture a love relationship in which your level of assurance is so great, the bond so strong, that neither has any fear of losing the other; they know, with all certainty, that they are partners for life. Now, one may play tennis, and the other may play piano. And so at times they go their separate ways: she amuses herself alone while he is busy on the tennis court with acquaintances from that aspect of his life. He busies himself about the house while she forgets him in the intoxicating company of Mozart. Throughout these times there is no doubt on either's part that their relationship continues intact and that they will be together again shortly. He has doesn't play piano and doesn't like Mozart, but he understands that she does, and is glad to see her uplifted by the session with her baby grand. She doesn't play tennis, but she knows how much he loves it, and she's always happy to see him come home with blood pumping and cheeks rosy from the fun and exercise. Is it so great a stretch, then, to imagine sex with someone else as an activity that each partner would view as bringing their life-mate happiness... keeping in mind that their lifetime bond is already a fact and that each knows the other will be returning to them after this indulgence in a temporal pleasure... in truth, has not even left, emotionally?
I can at least envision it. I honestly can't say whether I could live it. But then, I wasn't speaking of this deeper love in my post above which started this thread. I was speaking of living alone, and of spending time with good friends; time that occasionally includes sex.
he will be special enough to make me think twice before taking a chance of hurting him or losing him.
In the scenario I drew, there is no such special person, and you live alone. What you are describing is not the same.
If you have to give up casual sex to be with a person who can make you happy in many ways, it would be worth the sacrifice.
If I found a person who could make it that desirable, then giving up casual sex would not be a sacrifice; I'd do it without a second thought. I'm just staring reality in the eye here, reflecting on more than half a lifetime spent failing to find such a person. As with the wish for an all-powerful benevolent father-figure, the longing for a life-mate remains even after my acceptance of the way it is. If God revealed himself to me, I would believe. If I found that elusive wonderful partner, I would pair with her. But, in the meantime...
I have kids in the house... I want to be an example to my kids to not be sexually promiscuous, and to be smart about their lovelife.
I applaud you for that, TR. I did make the distinction between a person raising a family and a person living alone. I agree with you: children need the stability of a solid, traditional family. I'm not saying that such a family should be altered or dissolved afterward, either. I'm speaking from the standpoint of an already single guy whose children are adults and capable of understanding adult choices and situations.
the only reason they were together was to keep the family together. I fear though my parents had good intentions, they may have done more damage than good by doing this.
I didn't mean your kind of situation, though, mommy. I said that about kids to make it clear that I wasn't advocating this free-love type of lifestyle as a good one for raising children. I meant the real thing there, the solid, Ward-and-June-Cleaver style family with genuine love commitment and security and a feeling of being anchored against storms.
I like Somebody would really like to know how all parties involved feel about the relationship.
Well, obviously it isn't going to work for long unless everyone involved feels the same way. Understand, please, that this isn't something I'm trying to live at present. It's just a concept that I have of how things ought to be, or could be.
They pledged that they were willing to maintain the status quo... Things didn't stay mild and pleasant for long, and that's why I say that your prognosis isn't very good, either.
You may well be right. I know there are people who claim to make a go of it... Exuberant Potato Grrl, for example (although their extramarital sex is always homosexual, to my knowledge). But in my experience even the ladies who loudly proclaim their independence start expecting the trappings of commitment before long.
As long as people are like bagels or waffles or bacon and eggs - absent of any possibility of emotion - then your outlook makes sense.
Wait, now, that isn't what I said. Emotions are welcome, and are to be considered all around. The success of such an arrangement depends on the inner conviction of each party. If one doesn't want it to stay as it is, or changes his/her mind, then it's time for frank discussion and a decision on where to go from there.
Some of my women friends even have a term for it: all they want is a f*** buddy, someone safe to be with when they feel the need. No strings attached, two consenting adults.
Exactly. I had a girlfriend who used that term in reference to herself and me, at the beginning. Then she got serious. :-\
I personally do not think I could get what I need out of a relationship like that
Well, that's the thing, see... I don't need anything.
ROFL! That was naive and presumptious, wasn't it. Let's put it this way: at this point in my life, I have learned to be self-sufficient regarding my emotional needs. It works well for me, I have become comfortable and happy this way, and I'm not aware of any overbearing emptinesses in my emotional self. I often imagine myself living the rest of my life alone, and the prospect does not seem sad or depressing. As I said to wasasister above, the wish for a special person so perfectly matched to me as to become my lifetime partner still exists. It's like the wish for Santa Claus to bring me a Harley Davidson. Life goes on, and mine is going on rather well as is.
The key to success with such a plan is that the non-commital feelings are mutual. If and when that changes in one of the parties involved things could go horribly awry.
Yes. As I mentioned to think41self above, I had such a thing happen once before. I suppose it must be even worse if you are the person who changed.
The upside is that I can enjoy communicating with women for it's own sake, there are no other agendas operating.
I gotta learn how to do that, E. I always
have an agenda working in the presence of a woman. If she's committed, I just shelve the agenda out of respect. But it's still there, throbbing on the shelf. Go figure.
But women, except for some of the up and coming younger generation, seem to be more tied to the "old men" in their lives due to finances. I think many would make a run for the hills if they could live alone financially.
I'm sure of it, Lindy. I've known many who would have shown their taillights to the old man if they'd had the cash. Fortunately for such folks, programs to assist are commonplace now, at least here in the states.
I haven't seen that movie, but I'll keep an eye out for it now that you guys have provided me the name. Thanks!