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Discussion Starter #1
I'm an iNFJ.

I know that without a doubt in my mind and I don't think I need to prove that to anyone (though immediately I want to justify the above statement). Every article I've ever read on INFJ's in love is that they're strictly monogamous, fiercely devoted, etc. I am fiercely devoted, I love very deeply and in my behaviour, I'm monogamous - but in my heart?

The thing is, I have a partner and I love him more than I can ever describe in writing (god knows in spoken words, I'm hopeless!) but I can't help that I can love him and care deeply about someone else at the same time without it compromising my feelings for my partner. It's just natural to me and has happened my whole "romantic" life. I read up on polyamory and though I don't want multiple partners, the feelings that I share with those who call themselves poly are very similar.

I guess all I want to know is whether there are other INFJ's out there that might consider themself "polyamorous"?
 

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Hiyas Jane!

It's an interesting question, for sure.
Biologically speaking, even monogamous species (for example, humans) are very capable of finding multiple members of the species attractive, as shown in the polyamory of humans, and the recent discoveries suggest that even doves are not as monogamous as we once thought. As such, it's not surprising that you are attracted to multiple partners. Even if we weren't a naturally monogamous species (which is still up for debate), it would be unhealthy to be unable to perceive the prowess of other mates. It would lead to being killed, outbred, etc.
Socially speaking, I think the Western culture on the subject is simply wrong and unhealthy. Numerous factors have led to a perception that love can only occur between two particular people, and any match-up of the two with someone else is doomed to failure. As such, I hope you can understand when I say: snap the hell out of that mind set. As I said above, it's unhealthy and simply wrong.

On a more personal note, I think NFs are vulnerable to fantasy in a way few other types are - especially INFJs. There is a lot of ideas (hatebeams Disney films) floating out there of the "Magical Prince who loves only you" or the "Girl who only you can see the beauty of." These are, among other distasteful things, perpetuate a nasty tendency, at least in my area, for NFs to believe in "Happily Ever Afters" with "Prince Charming." It usually winds up with heartbreak. As such, I doubt the reality of the articles saying INFJs are strictly monogamous. It's hard to get into our heads, and very easy to be thrown out, but if one person can, two might as well.

I'm not polyamorous, although I have had interest in multiple people. I'd never say it went beyond romantic interest, however.
 
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When I think about getting myself into a poly relationship my mind is immediately bombarded by cascades of problem scenarios. It's like endless stacks in some huge library. I can walk the stacks and scan through the problems at my leisure.

I don't want to have to take into consideration a third person when I think about my relationship with a woman.

I don't want to have to be in that headspace or feelingspace when there's a problem in the relationship.

How is he (or she) (the third) influencing the situation?

What happens when someone wants babies or someone gets pregnant?

It's still one sperm from one man and one egg from one woman, right?
 

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I think I've always been a loner at heart, but I always had this singular fixation on finding that elusive Soulmate. It really propelled me into being a lot more outgoing and really trying to connect deeply with people because you never know who could be the one. At the time, I had the view that it was Soulmate or bust to me and if it ever came to a point of dating or pre-dating that I realized this wasn't likely the one then I'd respectfully stop it in its tracks. Every moment spent with the wrong person was a moment lost with the right one...

When my search had seemingly ended and I finally found her, it was only then that I realized that my sort of soul searching tendencies I had to use to find her would eventually fuse with who I am and broaden into something grander in scope. I can reflect back on past relationships and think to myself that just because we weren't wedding bells and white picket fences, I don't think it means I necessarily stopped loving them either as we obviously connected and grew together for a period of time -- we're forever a part of one another and I'm actually still close with many of them. Basically, I started to adopt this belief in what I call Universal Love where you may still feel intensely for others, past or present, without it necessarily compromising the love you have for your partner. It's an addition, not a subtraction. It's a kind of love that's similar, yet worlds apart different at the same time.... hard to describe.

I think there are people you meet or dated who you have exchanged the words or felt "I love you" with, only to not have it work out -- and hopefully it was just close, but no cigar rather than some resentment. Then there are people you will meet later in life after you're taken, ones you will never date, but you sort of get this inkling that if you met them say XX years ago then you just may have dated and exchanged those intimate feelings with as well.

Any ways, I'm getting redundant and wordy, but I imagine the primary point of contention people have is really about their definitions of "love" and multiple people. Word choice is really potato potatoe to me and you can swap the word around to describe an intense relationship with someone.

PS props to you @LadyJane for an interesting and likely controversial topic.
 

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I hate to sound callous but there's something I've come to realize, soul mates don't exit.

There is a certain level of compatibility between people and some are more compatible with others. When/if you meet someone and you make the choice to commit to them there is no guarantee for either of you that someone better wont come along later, or at least someone who may appear to be better.

The question to ask is whether the person your with is worth the sacrifice. If so then as painful as it is you have to fight the attraction of possibilities, and there's nothing wrong with doing this. I think NFs are at a disadvantage in this area because we don't have the groundedness of Sensation or the Stoicism/Dispassion of Thinking, this can make us romantically impulsive even to our own detriment.
If you don't feel the sacrifice is worth it then break it off.

I should add, this isn't about "settling", well it can lead to that but ultimately it's about someone who makes you happy. Yeah sure someone else might make you happier, but there comes a point where happy is happy and the degrees of intensity just don't matter.
 

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I hate to sound callous but there's something I've come to realize, soul mates don't exit.

There is a certain level of compatibility between people and some are more compatible with others. When/if you meet someone and you make the choice to commit to them there is no guarantee for either of you that someone better wont come along later, or at least someone who may appear to be better.

The question to ask is whether the person your with is worth the sacrifice. If so then as painful as it is you have to fight the attraction of possibilities, and there's nothing wrong with doing this. I think NFs are at a disadvantage in this area because we don't have the groundedness of Sensation or the Stoicism/Dispassion of Thinking, this can make us romantically impulsive even to our own detriment.
If you don't feel the sacrifice is worth it then break it off.

I should add, this isn't about "settling", well it can lead to that but ultimately it's about someone who makes you happy. Yeah sure someone else might make you happier, but there comes a point where happy is happy and the degrees of intensity just don't matter.
Why sacrifice at all? Why not have both? Only because other people may not like to share, but there is no inherent reason to be confined to one person.

@LadyJane - there is a specific term you're looking for, that can describe a relationship that is between normal friend and partner (albeit it can transcend beyond that as it is mostly about a lack of romance than anything else). A "Queerplatonic Relationship". This should help you. It could be possible that you also want romance with the person and you're only suppressing that because polyamory is not widely accepted presently. But that sounds assumptive and I'm no shrink, so please don't take offense or anything. That's just common with people in your situation.

Sadly, this form of relationship is even less understood than common polyamory and the word itself was coined not too long ago. If you find yourself having to explain to your present partner, it may prove difficult if he isn't open minded. Likewise it may be difficult if the your potential Queerplatonic partner wants to advance into romance.


I myself am in a rather fluid polyamorous relationship with an INFJ. In fact, she was the one whom introduced me to the concept above. We're closest to that, I suppose. We're just really in sync and we try to avoid labels beyond "partners". Some poly people have "primaries", and I am her's and she is mine. I asked her if she had anything to say about the thread. She only had this to say;

"My polyamory really only stems from recognizing the artificiality of the desire for monogamy."
 

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Why sacrifice at all? Why not have both? Only because other people may not like to share, but there is no inherent reason to be confined to one person.
Because 99.99% of the people I would be with would be seriously hurt if I did so, and if I care enough about them to be with them then I would respect that and just formally break it off.

And for those who would be willing to consider an open relationship... I wouldn't want one. I feel like I want to devote everything I have to one person, sure that person may change over time, but still all of my energy is focused on an individual, and only that one.
 

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I don't know about the whole concept. To me it sounds to be too complicated emotionally especially for Feeler types, who usually develop feeling from this stuff, so I would say it's likely for everything to get messed up so fast, you won;t even know what happened, not to mention hurting people or yourself. While I may find the idea of swinging, for example, intriguing due to the fact that it is organized as an adult activity, polyamory seems to go a step back, towards more primitive times.

TL;DR, I would like monogamy, I am an emotionally traditionalist, which does it for me. Somehow, polyamory seems like a whole lot of chaos, one that I am not interested in having. Plus, I am curious what happens when you have a child and you continue this lifestyle, what will happen with his emotions.

PS: I am not into monogamy because of religion. I am not even religious. I do consider myself spiritual.
 

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I don't know about the whole concept. To me it sounds to be too complicated emotionally especially for Feeler types, who usually develop feeling from this stuff, so I would say it's likely for everything to get messed up so fast, you won;t even know what happened, not to mention hurting people or yourself. While I may find the idea of swinging, for example, intriguing due to the fact that it is organized as an adult activity, polyamory seems to go a step back, towards more primitive times.

TL;DR, I would like monogamy, I am an emotionally traditionalist, which does it for me. Somehow, polyamory seems like a whole lot of chaos, one that I am not interested in having. Plus, I am curious what happens when you have a child and you continue this lifestyle, what will happen with his emotions.

PS: I am not into monogamy because of religion. I am not even religious. I do consider myself spiritual.
I have to admit, polyamory just sounds like a lame justification to sleep around with whom ever you want when the mood strikes you.
So yeah I agree, a step back toward a primitive time. After all part of the beauty of being human is our ability to transcend our animalistic predisposition.
 

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Yes! I am currently in a polyamorous relationship. I have a partner, and she has another partner. Initially, we had all intended to be together in what's called a triad, but that fell apart when he and I realized we weren't romantically compatible. I am currently actively seeking out a second partner. My entering into a polyamorous relationship came about as the result of the very INFJ quest for the "perfect relationship", and my subsequent realization that it's incredibly unlikely to find one person who can meet all of my needs, and whose needs I can completely meet as well. It's just very unrealistic. I'm not sure that this relationship will last forever, or that I can or will remain poly forever, but I think what led me into this situation was a very INFJ thought process. It's also worth noting that INFJs have a tendency to LOVE great communication and to be relatively good at it, which is absolutely needed in any kind of relationship, but especially in Polyamorous relationships. So for me, even if I don't do this forever it's been an amazing learning opportunity that I will always be grateful for, and if I do turn back to monogamy the lessons I learned will help in any future relationship and make it just that much closer to perfect.
 

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I have to admit, polyamory just sounds like a lame justification to sleep around with whom ever you want when the mood strikes you.
So yeah I agree, a step back toward a primitive time. After all part of the beauty of being human is our ability to transcend our animalistic predisposition.
That is absolutely not what polyamory is about at all. If that were the case, people would just be sleeping with other people and not bothering with the complex relationship dynamics involved in most poly relationships. Polyamory is about loving more than one person at a time, not necessarily about sex. Many poly relationships don't even involve sex, there are lots of polyamorous asexual people.
 

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Theoretically this idea is appealing to me. Ofcourse you can be drawn to multiple personalities, build bonds with multiple people. For men I can see it can be appealing to have sex with multiple women. For women, building connections with more men and women can be interesting. For some women the sex-part is interesting as well.

The relationship I am in right now.. I wouldn't call it polyamorous (I kind of dislike this label, because in a weird way it works kind of restricting). We call it an open minded relationship. We are the most important factor in each others lives, but are open to situations that are not traditional. In a weird way this makes us more aware of what we feel for each other and that we really choose each other, time and time again.
Truth be told, I have had difficulties with my ENTP having butterflies for a girl that was in our group. She somewhat felt the need to fight/compete and this made the situation slightly harder. She, presumably being an ESFJ, didn't get and therewith did not respect our relationship. She had the idea that there was real potential between her and my ENTP and was disappointed when he confessed he did not want to be involved with her to the extent that he would leave me.

The biggest problem in these kind of relationships seems to be that most people are not on the same wave length as it comes to open(-minded) relationships. People fear to deviate from what is 'known' and choose for safety. On one hand - for what I described - I can understand. So many things can go wrong. Jealousy. Misunderstandings. Fights. But on the other hand - people shouldn't be scared of the unknown. Nothing in this life is really 'known'. Also, relationships fulfill different needs in different persons nowadays. Therefore it seems logical that new forms of relationships exist. Our relationship brings me multiple perspectives, freedom, a deep understanding of and connection with my mate and the possibility to get to know more interesting human beings.
 

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That is absolutely not what polyamory is about at all. If that were the case, people would just be sleeping with other people and not bothering with the complex relationship dynamics involved in most poly relationships. Polyamory is about loving more than one person at a time, not necessarily about sex. Many poly relationships don't even involve sex, there are lots of polyamorous asexual people.
So then it's just a fancy word for having friends...
 

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Oh, I have so many things to say about this. But, damn, I'm at work!

I'm in a monogamous relationship of my choosing, and am content on keeping it that way. However, I understand and am very curious about poly relationships. If I weren't in a committed, mono-relationship, I would consider a poly one.

Steve Pavlina, one of my favorite humans ever, has written a lot about this.

Polyamory Resources

If you go to that link and scroll all the way down, all the Read Related Articles are great.

I think @Liquidlucy spoke beautifully. Theoretically, the idea is appealing to me. I don't want to be inhibited, ever, in my ability to connect as deeply as I wish with any other human being I meet, in any way. I want that type of freedom. However, I'm not blind to the fact that there are many, many obstacles that would make a poly-relationship very difficult. Qualities like open-mindedness, strength of self (avoid jealousy), ability to rest in the unknown, the ability to let go, all have to be held by all parties involved. Not to mention it must be hard to find people who don't mind you connecting with others once you think you want a relationship with them. It's far beyond sex. For me, at least, it would be much more about soul-to-soul connection and finding someone who meets your needs or a need in a deep, authentic way.

It's all about deciding one way or the other. It's a simple, yet complex choice. But the best part is it's all yours to make! :D

EDIT - And to add to that, I can barely keep up with all my friends now and I'm STILL striving for more ME time, more ALONE time. How could I possibly juggle all those people!?! Ah!
 

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Oh, I have so many things to say about this. But, damn, I'm at work!

I'm in a monogamous relationship of my choosing, and am content on keeping it that way. However, I understand and am very curious about poly relationships. If I weren't in a committed, mono-relationship, I would consider a poly one.

Steve Pavlina, one of my favorite humans ever, has written a lot about this.

Polyamory Resources

If you go to that link and scroll all the way down, all the Read Related Articles are great.

I think @Liquidlucy spoke beautifully. Theoretically, the idea is appealing to me. I don't want to be inhibited, ever, in my ability to connect as deeply as I wish with any other human being I meet, in any way. I want that type of freedom. However, I'm not blind to the fact that there are many, many obstacles that would make a poly-relationship very difficult. Qualities like open-mindedness, strength of self (avoid jealousy), ability to rest in the unknown, the ability to let go, all have to be held by all parties involved. Not to mention it must be hard to find people who don't mind you connecting with others once you think you want a relationship with them. It's far beyond sex. For me, at least, it would be much more about soul-to-soul connection and finding someone who meets your needs or a need in a deep, authentic way.

It's all about deciding one way or the other. It's a simple, yet complex choice. But the best part is it's all yours to make! :D

EDIT - And to add to that, I can barely keep up with all my friends now and I'm STILL striving for more ME time, more ALONE time. How could I possibly juggle all those people!?! Ah!
Awww thanks :watermelon:

As for your edit: I have the same. I really don't have enough energy for the world, let alone for all kinds of new people. It is no coincidence that I invest more in my other relationships when my spouse is on a trip to somewhere.
 

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I bet it was this awesome free-sex, free-loving paradise back in olden times.

You know, back in the cave man days before 'culture' and 'society' forced its closed-minded views on everyone and shoved monogamy down their throats.

Painful infections and weeping sores on my genitals and treatment won't be available for thousands of years.

No understanding of microorganisms. No antibiotics.

Women incapable of bearing children due to untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea. Or you're pregnant all the time because there's no effective birth control.

Back in the golden age of free love.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
@mystikro

You make some good points. It can feel a little out of control. I'm fortunate enough to have a partner who understands me - when we discussed it last night he said he always "sort of knew" I was that way inclined because I have a "big heart and a lot of love to give". To me, that sounds pretty typical of a Feeler, no?

I think that maybe polyamory and open relationships are being confused. Open relationships imply sex for fun and thats about it, but polyamory is more about really caring about the person and loving them in however you define love. Thus, feelings definitely are involved. A lot of them.

For me, if I was to decide to not only be polyamorous in heart, but in life style as well, kids would happen with my partner, or "primary" as @Faey said. I try really hard not to think too far ahead, but I have had these thoughts. "What do we tell the kids? Do we stop?"


@Faey

At the moment, with my primary's full knowledge, things are transpiring between me and a friend. I'd say right now, we might be considered "queerplatonic", so thanks - thats a great term! However, things have quickly progressed at times and there is definite chance of more romantic feelings coming into play... So then what? Is that polyamorous? My partner is an ESTP. He was raised very traditionally and so this idea of monogamy was always sort of ingrained in him, but I could always see a tendency towards a wilder side in him. I think he is almost relieved about this prospect of becoming polyamorous... I know its an incredible relief that I can feel the way I do and its not going to hurt him.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have to admit, polyamory just sounds like a lame justification to sleep around with whom ever you want when the mood strikes you.
Wow, ouch! You're entitled to your opinion, however I think you're confusing open relationships with polyamory. I don't want to sleep with just anyone "when the mood strikes", its not even always about sex but if it was I would only want to sleep with the people I really care about.
 
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