LJ has this silly 4300 character-per-post limit. I got into a discussion with pierceheart
, I believe on the Ppolyamory
community, and the posts rapidly destroyed the limit.
I can't post directly to his journal, so I'm continuing the thread here. Most of the issues are wider than the immediate participants; maybe we can get a good conversation going.
Joel (original): "Quite possibly you have insufficent data on which to construct a plan. What do you know, and how do you know it?"
Morgan (first response): I know I find them both very attractive, physically, for different reasons. Same with mentally and emotionally.
Joel (Second response): Okay. What does that have to do with planning? Because you find them attractive, you want to integrate them into your life in a more permanent fashion? See below re: “love”.
Part of what I’m trying to draw to your conscious attention here is that if you don’t know *how* you know something, it may turn out you don’t know it at all. If you think you know something, exploring *how* you know it serves as good confirmation that you *do* know what you *think* you know.
Joel (original): "Implying you don't know how old they are *now*? Sizes, ages -- what *do* you know about these people?"
Morgan (first response): Ok, I like the play on words with dating. I feel sure that you knew I meant going out on dates with, seeing them in a boyfriend girlfriend mode. Sleeping with them (one at a time) and having sex with them (one at a time, but maybe with additonal players depending on our wants and comfort levels).
Joel (second response): Yes, I was pulling on your leg for fun. Let me know when/if you want it back, or if you start walking around in very small circles.
Morgan (original): ""And I stupidly told number one (hereafter referred to as Jan) I wouldn't fall in love with number two(hereafter referred to as June).""
Joel (first response): "Yup; major league Dumb. Lesson Number One: Don't make promises you're incapable of keeping. You do not control whom you fall in love with; merely what you do about it."
Morgan (second response): I have learned that lesson about not controlling whom I fall in love with. I am learning how to control what I do with it.
Joel (first response, second level): "Digression: When you say "love," what do you mean? Is it the same thing either #1 or #2 means when they use the same word? Either way, how do you know?"
Morgan (second response): I mean a feeling that is part sexual/physical, part admiration of them mentally, part admiration of them emotionally. A feeling that I am happy to be in their presence, physically, happy to have them in my thoughts, and in my soul (wherever the heck it may be). A feeling that I can trust either of them with ANY secret I have. A feeling that give a nickname to "Kill for, die for, live for, lie for, speak the truth for".
Joel (third response): I wish to draw your attention to the nature of this definition. You are defining love as a feeling, as opposed to defining love as a relationship. The English word applies to both meanings, in the same way that it is right to put the right arm on the right side of the correct manikin. Love can mean *either* an emotion *or* a relationship, but the two words are homonyms. Using one does *not* mean you’ve used both. Having the emotion may cause you to generate a desire to *have* a certain kind of relationship, but the emotion doesn’t cause or evolve into the relationship. You get to build it, instead. More work, but in return you have some chance of getting what you want.
My own take on love as a relationship is that it’s all self-love. We love others by extending our definition of self to include them.
I would suggest you help them learn to love each other, as the most stable way of causing this to develop into a family. Or, as an alternative, have all of yez learn to love yourselves *as a family*, with the familial identity concept superceding issues of individual attraction. This latter approach would make it much easier to add a fourth, fifth, and/or sixth spouse at such time as those made their presences known. I will be most pleased to render any assistance I can in this regard, though I caution you this might take the form of conspiring with them to perform silliness upon you.
Morgan (second response): No, I do not know if it [definition of Love] is the same as what they [Jan and June] mean.
Joel (third response): Well, I’ve just given y’all enough material to keep yourselves busy talking things out for a fair number of cold winter nights. Now all we have to do is provide you with a bunch of cold winter nights, and persuade you not to sell ‘em to the rest of your unit.
Joel (initial response) "Conflation problems, here. Interchangeable at and/or for *what*? When it comes to our skills at mowing lawns, you and I are very likely interchangeable. I do *not* extend this to an invitation to slip into bed with either #1, #2, both, or with you, for that matter; one substitution does not imply another."
Morgan (second response) True. Jan believes, because I said while drunk and more than a little bitter, that my ex wife predicted I would find a woman "with big breasts, liberal, Pagan, who likes Celtic things, and who likes certain sexual activities" that she (Jan) is someone with whom I fell in love because she met a list of criteria. She doesn't want to be thought of as meeting archetypal critieria, she wants to be wanted for herself. I phrased things poorly that night.
Your phrasing seems to have conveyed your meaning with great accuracy. I agree with you it was a bad time to choose to convey that particular meaning.
Jan’s desire to be appreciated for herself as opposed to her good match of a shopping list is entirely reasonable. Problem: What if she *is* a good match to a shopping list? How does she tell for what she is being valued?
As a communications process, this requires both signal generation on your part and interpretation on her part. I suggest that your earlier behavior was perhaps overly trusting for the state your relationship with her was in at the time you ventured it, but that it was fundamentally honest. You love her for both reasons, and both are legitimate, and by being honest about it you can help her to learn how to tell she is fundamentally loved by you. I don’t know you well enough to say how, as yet.
Joel (initial response): "I suggest this may have been as a result of either poor technique on your part, or overly creative interpretation on hers. If I say you've got a good forehand, have I just insulted Andre Agassi? I'd say not, and I suspect the same mistake in logic is at work here."
Morgan (second response): Poor technique on my part. Very poor.
Joel (third response): Don’t beat yourself up more than is useful, unless of course you’re into that. And if such beatings and/or ropework don’t cover the sexual activities list you’d alluded to earlier, you have one very lucky monkey.
Joel (initial comment) "You're only one of three participants in the conversation, so you don't get to make more than about a third of the rules. I suggest that avoiding giving complements is like using starvation to treat food allergies: It'll work, and the supposed cure has a much higher fatality rate than the disorder it's supposed to treat."
Morgan (first response): I understand your point here, and it will bear some discussion amongst the three of us. In discussion with them, it basically came out to compliment them both at the same time works out best for them. One of them feels hurt when she sees me showing affection to the other.
Joel (second response): This leaves out all your opportunities to shower affection on one of them when the other isn’t present. I might also suggest “You’re good, and *you’re* good, and I’m simply terrific!” A reasonable amount of egotism is good for morale.
Joel (initial response)"I submit that the person with the problem is the one who interprets a compliment to another as an insult to theirself."
Morgan (second response): Well, it is more like I was complimenting Jan often, and hardly ever complimenting June.
Joel (third response): A different problem, agreed. Is Jan easier to compliment, or more responsive to compliments?
Morgan (second response, continued): And here is why, and it was the wrong reasoning: Jan seems to be very down on herself, and sees things more in a negative light. June is very self assured, and seems like a rock who cannot be hurt, She tries to portray herself that way many times.
Joel (third response): It seems likely to me this is a serious problem for her, or will become one. Humans are *not* rocks, and if you pound on ‘em long enough and hard enough they break. It’s a positive characteristic that she’s *willing* to give all she’s got; this doesn’t make it a good idea to take her up on the offer, except in extremis. You might point out to her that “I’m tougher than you may think I am” is quite sufficient, where “I’m invulnerable” is simply misleading.
Joel (initial response): "Less specific; you have the rest of your life, which will be something between ten seconds and a hundred and thirty years, inclusive. And it's a moving target; it's not possible for you to ever be all the way there. OTOH, target practice is probably something you're getting fairly good at."
Morgan (second response): Yes, I have the rest of my life on that one. But, more specifically, I figure I will have made some serious progress in learning how to date again, and how to date in a poly relationship, in that general time frame. What are my criteria by which to judge my progress? Don't know, and realize it.
Joel (third response): Criteria may exist, and even be identifiable, without necessarily being quantifiable. Good luck.
Okay, let's see how much I've crushed the limit by.