ZAPoly Discussion Topic : Being a poly secondary
many forms of polyamory - one of them is called hierarchical polyamory.
Hierarchical polyamory is further divided into prescriptive and
descriptive hierarchy. People who practise hierarchical polyamory have
primary and secondary
partners. Why would you want to be a secondary partner?
Relationships are close relationship types; by definition they are
given less in terms of time, energy and priority in a person's life
than any primary relationship. Includes aspects of primary relating,
such as sexuality and emotional support but usually involves fewer
ongoing commitments as evidenced by fewer shared values, plans or
financial/legal involvements. May include a desire for a long-term
future together. Being a secondary does not say anything about how much
one is loved.
One person's experience of being a secondary:
far as being a secondary - the fact that we're a LDR changes the
dynamic a bit. There isn't much in the way of pressure regarding your
time, and when we are together things are great as D has been wonderful
with everything. I think your partner's SO, and how they involve
themselves and to what extent in how things run, is tantamount to a
successful relationship from the secondary's POV. (When I say 'involve'
themselves, I meaning more in line with their projecting of their
influence more than a direct involvement).
Clarity has been a
very big help for me as far as being a secondary is concerned. I'm made
well aware of what is what, how things work ... I guess communication
is the underpinning key to everything, and it works here. Jealousy
would be a big issue, however I've now learnt that it's caused by other
reasons - once these were discussed, then it's easier to deal.”
you're in a ldr, being a secondary works out quite nicely. There isn't
much in the way of pressure regarding time. When you visit, you get
lots of attention.
If you already have some sort of primary level
commitment (a demanding job, a postgraduate degree, small children, a
primary) then you might not have time for another primary level
The relationship is successful as it is but the people involved have
reason to believe it might not be at a primary level
If you're a secondary and you want to be a primary _now_... this is a
you're a secondary and you want to be a primary in this relationship
eventually but your partner doesn't want that ... this is a bad
If your partner’s primary just tolerates you.
Couple privilege exists and can be damaging.
Useful Book chapter
The Polyamory Handbook: A User's Guide by Peter J. Benson, Section 2.10
and Section 2.11
-- South African Polyamory http://www.polyamory.co.za
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