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Polygamy / Open Relationships / Casual Tings: Where do YOU stand?

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  • View Poll Results: Where do You stand on Polygamy?
    I’m male and I’d be most comfortable starting out in an ‘open’, or more ‘casual’, relationship
    10
    5.38%
    I’m male and I’d at least consider the prospect of an ‘open relationship’
    26
    13.98%
    I’m male and I’d never consider the prospect of an ‘open relationship’
    45
    24.19%
    I’m female and I’d be most comfortable starting out in an ‘open’, or more ‘casual’ relationship
    12
    6.45%
    I’m female and I’d at least consider the prospect of an ‘open relationship’
    37
    19.89%
    I’m female and I’d never consider the prospect of an ‘open relationship’
    56
    30.11%

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    I'm interested to know how guys and girls feel, hand on heart, about the prospect of polygamous relations, so I thought I'd make a poll. Also interested to hear from those who have attempted open relationships, how forthright you were about things and how you felt these relationships compared to other more 'traditional' relationships in terms of quality/longevity etc

    Additional Questions for Discussion:

    1) Should men, being more driven, and arguably programmed to 'spread their seed', meet with more sympathy/understanding if they express a desire to be 'casual'?

    2) Do you believe that a guy/girl can, conceivably, be in love with a person if they want to sleep with someone else (and would be prepared to do it assuming they secured their partner's permission)?

    3) Would the discussion of such a desire be grounds for dumping - if they asked: A) When you'd just started dating; B) Once you'd slept together; C) When you'd been together for say a year?

    4) Do people believe that the casual/open relationship trend, evermore pervasive among young people in 21st century Britain, has debased the currency of relationships, love and matrimony in general?

    5) Are expectations concerning less formal relationships leading to greater anxiety on the part of people who want to feel wanted/special?

    Indeed, do girls feel that feminism has shot itself in the foot here?- Girls seem to be evermore concerned with "how can I get him to make us official" etc ~ striking the right balance between being available/laid back vs. being used, or demanding certain respect/seriousness vs. being too pushy/a stick in the mud; has 'girl power' and sexual liberation gone too far?
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    I'm interested to know how guys and girls feel, hand on heart, about the prospect of polygamous relations, so I thought I'd make a poll. Also interested to hear from those who have attempted open relationships, how forthright you were about things and how you felt these relationships compared to other more 'traditional' relationships in terms of quality/longevity etc

    Additional Questions for Discussion:

    1) Should men, being more driven, and arguably programmed to 'spread their seed', meet with more sympathy/understanding if they express a desire to be 'casual'?

    2) Do you believe that a guy/girl can, conceivably, be in love with a person if they want to sleep with someone else (and would be prepared to do it assuming they secured their partner's permission)?

    3) Would the discussion of such a desire be grounds for dumping - if they asked: A) When you'd just started dating; B) Once you'd slept together; C) When you'd been together for say a year?

    4) Do people believe that the casual/open relationship trend, evermore pervasive among young people in 21st century Britain, has debased the currency of relationships, love and matrimony in general?

    5) Are expectations concerning less formal relationships leading to greater anxiety on the part of people who want to feel wanted/special?

    Indeed, do girls feel that feminism has shot itself in the foot here?- Girls seem to be evermore concerned with "how can I get him to make us official" etc ~ striking the right balance between being available/laid back vs. being used, or demanding certain respect/seriousness vs. being too pushy/a stick in the mud; has 'girl power' and sexual liberation gone too far?
    On a ROLL with these relationship threads aren't we?

    1. Yes I think men should be met with more sympathy - this goes a long way in ensuring that men don't get into relationships when they know there's little chance for them to be faithful, as well as less chance for heartbreak for women if they fail to "convince" their partner to be faithful.

    2. Yes, you can be in love with one person and want to sleep with someone else. Your attraction centers don't suddenly "turn off" when facebook registers a change of status to "in a relationship with xyz"

    3. ABC, yes. If the person is not comfortable with it, they just aren't. Better to end the relationship than adopting a "wait and see" approach which will only make things more complicated in the future.

    4. No. Polygamy/polyamory has been around ever since there were more than two people on the planet. Its simply that we are more open about it now than before. You can't debase what has already been debased since the dawn of man.

    5. - not exactly sure what you mean here.....
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    Topical.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)

    1) Should men, being more driven, and arguably programmed to 'spread their seed', meet with more sympathy/understanding if they express a desire to be 'casual'?
    -Well, it seems generally accepted that yes, men are "wired" to want to spread their seed, especially while young, and it makes sense to take this into account when hearing of a desire to see many women at once, but I'm not sure it would go down terribly well with many women, which is fair enough in its own way, as we're apparently "wired" to want to find someone to settle down and have bebbies with. Silly conflicting evolution.

    2) Do you believe that a guy/girl can, conceivably, be in love with a person if they want to sleep with someone else (and would be prepared to do it assuming they secured their partner's permission)?
    -Hmmm, well, I guess it's only a step further than still considering other people attractive while you're in love with someone... But I think many people would argue that part of being in love with someone means only wanting them that way.

    3) Would the discussion of such a desire be grounds for dumping - if they asked: A) When you'd just started dating; B) Once you'd slept together; C) When you'd been together for say a year?
    -A) Nope - if things are clear from the outset then fair enough.
    -B) Only if I'd been (deliberately) led to believe beforehand that I would be the only one.
    -C) Wouldn't be impressed by that.


    4) Do people believe that the casual/open relationship trend, evermore pervasive among young people in 21st century Britain, has debased the currency of relationships, love and matrimony in general?
    -I doubt that things are really that much worse nowadays than ever. Ancient Rome and Greece were pretty randy, and it's been accepted in many cultures - past and present - that men will have affairs. The Spartans were quite interesting - as far as I've gathered, a man or a woman could have as much extra-marital sex as they wanted, as long as it was with someone of the same sex. I think the difference now is that everything is so much more publicised.

    I think that being in a relationship with someone for any reason other than wanting to, telling someone you love them when you don't mean it, and marrying someone for a reason other than loving and wanting to spend your life with them debase the currency of these things. Not being open and honest about wanting something more casual.


    5) Are expectations concerning less formal relationships leading to greater anxiety on the part of people who want to feel wanted/special?
    -Only, I'd have thought, if it is such a person who has been proffered no more than something casual. I doubt that all such people are worrying about it every day - there are many, many people who are looking for something exclusive and meaningful.

    Indeed, do girls feel that feminism has shot itself in the foot here?- Girls seem to be evermore concerned with "how can I get him to make us official" etc ~ striking the right balance between being available/laid back vs. being used, or demanding certain respect/seriousness vs. being too pushy/a stick in the mud; has 'girl power' and sexual liberation gone too far?
    -I won't go into my feelings about feminism here, and a friend's just knocked on my door for dinner, so I'll leave it there.
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    I'm interested to know how guys and girls feel, hand on heart, about the prospect of polygamous relations, so I thought I'd make a poll. Also interested to hear from those who have attempted open relationships, how forthright you were about things and how you felt these relationships compared to other more 'traditional' relationships in terms of quality/longevity etc

    Additional Questions for Discussion:

    1) Should men, being more driven, and arguably programmed to 'spread their seed', meet with more sympathy/understanding if they express a desire to be 'casual'?

    Not really tbh, it's a somewhat patronising view of men in my opinion, as if they're completely controlled by their sexual desires and have no willpower. It also suggests that it's less acceptable if women want a casual relationship, as if they on some level shouldn't want more open sexual relationships but that men 'can't help themselves' or something.

    2) Do you believe that a guy/girl can, conceivably, be in love with a person if they want to sleep with someone else (and would be prepared to do it assuming they secured their partner's permission)?

    I would have said that it's clearly going to be possible for some people, but not for all. And if they have the clear permission of their partner then it's up to them.

    3) Would the discussion of such a desire be grounds for dumping - if they asked: A) When you'd just started dating; B) Once you'd slept together; C) When you'd been together for say a year?

    Well if the views of the couple were completely opposed on this issue then I'd find it hard to see how a relationship would be continued. Personally, if a guy tried to discuss a desire for it then I'd probably think very carefully about the future of our relationship, seeing as that just isn't what I want from one. But at the end of the day it's going to be down to each individual couple to decide how to deal with a situation like this.

    4) Do people believe that the casual/open relationship trend, evermore pervasive among young people in 21st century Britain, has debased the currency of relationships, love and matrimony in general?

    Well I'm not sure 'love/relationships/matrimony' are best referred to as 'currency'. In my view, horses for courses, I'd never want an open relationship but if someone else wants one who am I to condemn them as long as they aren't hurting anyone?

    5) Are expectations concerning less formal relationships leading to greater anxiety on the part of people who want to feel wanted/special?

    Are you trying to say that if open relationships are more accepted this will lead to people who want committed relationships being worried that they won't be able to find someone who feels the same as them? Well I've never seen any evidence of it, the vast majority of people aren't in or don't want open relationships and I don't feel that the expectations are that most people want or should want open relationships

    Indeed, do girls feel that feminism has shot itself in the foot here?- Girls seem to be evermore concerned with "how can I get him to make us official" etc ~ striking the right balance between being available/laid back vs. being used, or demanding certain respect/seriousness vs. being too pushy/a stick in the mud; has 'girl power' and sexual liberation gone too far?
    Errr what? I don't have a clue what you're on about here I have to say. I' haven't observed this as a trend in people's behaviour and if it is I'd hardly see how feminism is to blame. I also think your're grasp of what feminism is may be a little shaky.
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    I'm interested to know how guys and girls feel, hand on heart, about the prospect of polygamous relations, so I thought I'd make a poll. Also interested to hear from those who have attempted open relationships, how forthright you were about things and how you felt these relationships compared to other more 'traditional' relationships in terms of quality/longevity etc

    Additional Questions for Discussion:

    1) Should men, being more driven, and arguably programmed to 'spread their seed', meet with more sympathy/understanding if they express a desire to be 'casual'?

    2) Do you believe that a guy/girl can, conceivably, be in love with a person if they want to sleep with someone else (and would be prepared to do it assuming they secured their partner's permission)?

    3) Would the discussion of such a desire be grounds for dumping - if they asked: A) When you'd just started dating; B) Once you'd slept together; C) When you'd been together for say a year?

    4) Do people believe that the casual/open relationship trend, evermore pervasive among young people in 21st century Britain, has debased the currency of relationships, love and matrimony in general?

    5) Are expectations concerning less formal relationships leading to greater anxiety on the part of people who want to feel wanted/special?

    Indeed, do girls feel that feminism has shot itself in the foot here?- Girls seem to be evermore concerned with "how can I get him to make us official" etc ~ striking the right balance between being available/laid back vs. being used, or demanding certain respect/seriousness vs. being too pushy/a stick in the mud; has 'girl power' and sexual liberation gone too far?
    I'm a "I’m female and I’d at least consider the prospect of an ‘open relationship’"

    I've done a casual relationship before, and I'd happily do it again. In fact, when I go to uni, my and my long-term boyfriend are probably going to go open. I don't know what will happen there, as with my earlier casual relationship, it was more of friends with benefits, no feelings involved thing.

    1. If my boyfriend wanted to go casual whilst I was still around, I'd be okay with it. I think. There'd be no sleeping with other people though. Or having people round our houses. My head shrivels up at the thought of another girl in the bed that I sleep in most of the week.

    2. Yes. I'm not going to try to explain myself here, because there'll be so many believers who will just tell me I'm not in love with my boyfriend. If I was drunk, and it's meaningless, what's the difference to my relationship? We're strong enough to not let that sort of thing bother each other.

    3. No. Everyone has the right to say what they want in a relationship. I'd just be glad he was being frank with me.

    4. Yes. This is a confusing one for me, but I can't see myself getting married, I hate the feeling of control, so maybe it's just me.

    5. No. When I was in a casual relationship, jeez. I felt special, but only from time to time. I was no-ones princess, and I loved it, not going to lie. I'm pretty fiercely independent.

    Officialism takes a certain kind of guy, if you want things to be official and he doesn't, people should let it go. My current boyfriend had never had an "official" relationship before, but he jumped at the chance with me.
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    (Original post by dgeorge)
    1. Yes I think men should be met with more sympathy - this goes a long way in ensuring that men don't get into relationships when they know there's little chance for them to be faithful, as well as less chance for heartbreak for women if they fail to "convince" their partner to be faithful
    Know what I'm sayin' :cool:

    (Original post by dgeorge)
    Yes, you can be in love with one person and want to sleep with someone else. Your attraction centers don't suddenly "turn off" when facebook registers a change of status to "in a relationship with xyz"
    But prepared to act on that desire?

    (Original post by dgeorge)
    3. ABC, yes. If the person is not comfortable with it, they just aren't. Better to end the relationship than adopting a "wait and see" approach which will only make things more complicated in the future.
    Kinda meant dumped for having the audacity to even suggest it

    (Original post by dgeorge)
    4. No. Polygamy/polyamory has been around ever since there were more than two people on the planet. Its simply that we are more open about it now than before. You can't debase what has already been debased since the dawn of man.
    Fair to say it's a lot more pervasive these days though - sure people used to commit adultery and you did get the odd Casanova back in the day but in the late 20th/21st century many more people are openly 'at it' than was the case in the UK just a few decades ago
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    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    Topical.
    Indeedie

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    I'm not sure it would go down terribly well with many women
    Because they've been socially conditioned to expect 'stable', monogomous relations since we moved from the band arrangement to mass civilisational structures, and because lust (the will to mate) has become mixed up with modern conceptions of largely artificial constructs such as egalitarianism (1 for 1), honour, love etc :holmes:

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    we're apparently "wired" to want to find someone to settle down and have bebbies with
    Not so if you look at most social groupings still exhibiting more 'natural' band-like structures, more often than not childrearing/childcare are shared social responsibilities and (dominant) males mate widely within the group. Women are wired to attract a dominant mate time and again but this may not necessarily be the same one, indeed there's some evidence to suggest that they prefer to have more than one male inseminate them so that genetic variation and the best prospects relating to survivability of offspring under differing environmental conditions is achieved :beard:

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    I think many people would argue that part of being in love with someone means only wanting them that way
    That's my take on it too, and not only wanting them that way, only wanting them any way with the slightest romantic undertone (from a kiss through to full blown shenanigans..)

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    B) Only if I'd been (deliberately) led to believe beforehand that I would be the only one.
    C) Wouldn't be impressed by that.
    Dump in both scenarios or..?

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    The Spartans were quite interesting - as far as I've gathered, a man or a woman could have as much extra-marital sex as they wanted, as long as it was with someone of the same sex
    Spartan men got a rough deal

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    I think the difference now is that everything is so much more publicised.
    Aye, but surely that is accelerating the rate of promiscuity and the decline of the institution of marriage etc?

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    Not being open and honest about wanting something more casual
    Dread to think what getting married under those conditions must be like

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    There are many, many people who are looking for something exclusive and meaningful
    Sure there are, but take student-age people for example - the supposition is that (attractive, outgoing, red blooded) males who girls may have their eye on are well catered for by girls who are 'down for whatever', this creates will he/won't he, should I/shouldn't I anxiety in the way I've described (re: pushing the envelope where 'going out'/'going steady' is concerned)

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    I won't go into my feelings about feminism here
    Oh yes you will young lady!
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    I'm interested to know how guys and girls feel, hand on heart, about the prospect of polygamous relations, so I thought I'd make a poll. Also interested to hear from those who have attempted open relationships, how forthright you were about things and how you felt these relationships compared to other more 'traditional' relationships in terms of quality/longevity etc

    Additional Questions for Discussion:
    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    1) Should men, being more driven, and arguably programmed to 'spread their seed', meet with more sympathy/understanding if they express a desire to be 'casual'?
    if they want that then fine but they can't expect me to be ok with that and be in a relationship with them.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    2) Do you believe that a guy/girl can, conceivably, be in love with a person if they want to sleep with someone else (and would be prepared to do it assuming they secured their partner's permission)?
    i think that is a difficult question, because yes, on the surface i think they can truly BELIEVE they are in love with someone... but i don't think they can actually love them truly especially if they know that their parner would be extremely hurt by their actions..
    in the case of polygamous relationships where everyone is happy, i think they can love all their parners individually but they would have a favourite, they would love one more than the other...

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    3) Would the discussion of such a desire be grounds for dumping - if they asked: A) When you'd just started dating; B) Once you'd slept together; C) When you'd been together for say a year?
    i would dump them if they brought it up on all A-C because we would not want the same things... especially at C, i would feel very hurt and betrayed they'd even think that and disrepect me so much to think i'd be ok with it and i could not trust them, knowing they WANTED to be with other people... i would also question whether they had cheated on me.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    4) Do people believe that the casual/open relationship trend, evermore pervasive among young people in 21st century Britain, has debased the currency of relationships, love and matrimony in general?
    no, each to their own.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    5) Are expectations concerning less formal relationships leading to greater anxiety on the part of people who want to feel wanted/special?
    i think some girls and probably boys just want to feel wanted and loved so think they get that if all these boys/girls "want" them.. but ultimately they feel hollow and even worse when the other person leaves seeing as it was just a casual thing.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Indeed, do girls feel that feminism has shot itself in the foot here?- Girls seem to be evermore concerned with "how can I get him to make us official" etc ~ striking the right balance between being available/laid back vs. being used, or demanding certain respect/seriousness vs. being too pushy/a stick in the mud; has 'girl power' and sexual liberation gone too far?
    no i don't think so i think people have the right to know where they stand and if they aren't happy with the relationship wavering on "are we aren't we" and the guy/girl can't handle making a decision then at least if they ask then they will know and can take it from there.




    other people can do what they like but i would never be in a polygamous relationship of any sort. whether it were me with multiple partners, my partner with multiple partners or both of us with multiple partners.. would not consider any of them realistically.
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    1) Should men, being more driven, and arguably programmed to 'spread their seed', meet with more sympathy/understanding if they express a desire to be 'casual'?

    No.

    2) Do you believe that a guy/girl can, conceivably, be in love with a person if they want to sleep with someone else (and would be prepared to do it assuming they secured their partner's permission)?

    No, if your in love with someone you only want them.

    3) Would the discussion of such a desire be grounds for dumping - if they asked: A) When you'd just started dating; B) Once you'd slept together; C) When you'd been together for say a year?

    I wouldn't be interested in going out with someone who asked for a casual relationship

    4) Do people believe that the casual/open relationship trend, evermore pervasive among young people in 21st century Britain, has debased the currency of relationships, love and matrimony in general?

    Yes

    5) Are expectations concerning less formal relationships leading to greater anxiety on the part of people who want to feel wanted/special?

    Yes
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Indeedie

    Because they've been socially conditioned to expect 'stable', monogomous relations since we moved from the band arrangement to mass civilisational structures, and because lust (the will to mate) has become mixed up with modern conceptions of largely artificial constructs such as egalitarianism (1 for 1), honour, love etc :holmes:

    But does the manner in which we have become accustomed to something negate it? Whether caused by social conditioning or the product of evolution, the fact is that many women do hope for a stable, monogamous relationship. Does it matter why? I wouldn't at all say that honour and love are artificial constructs. They haven't been invented and taught to people - they're embedded within [most of] us, like a moral compass and our scope of emotions, or are those artificial constructs too?

    Not so if you look at most social groupings still exhibiting more 'natural' band-like structures, more often than not childrearing/childcare are shared social responsibilities and (dominant) males mate widely within the group. Women are wired to attract a dominant mate time and again but this may not necessarily be the same one, indeed there's some evidence to suggest that they prefer to have more than one male inseminate them so that genetic variation and the best prospects relating to survivability of offspring under differing environmental conditions is achieved :beard:

    I'ma read up on the above and get back to you, but would like to ask what you mean when you say that "childrearing/childcare" are shared social responsibilities. Do you mean among the group as a whole (or perhaps just the women), or between the parents? If the latter, wouldn't have thought dominant daddy's doing much rearing if he's busy "mating widely."

    That's my take on it too, and not only wanting them that way, only wanting them any way with the slightest romantic undertone (from a kiss through to full blown shenanigans..)
    Agreed.

    Dump in both scenarios or..?

    In B I'd discuss it with the guy after expressing my displeasure at having been misled, but in C I would feel a deficiency in the relationship (and in me) had been implied, so would be more likely to leave, yes.


    Spartan men got a rough deal

    Ha.

    Aye, but surely that is accelerating the rate of promiscuity and the decline of the institution of marriage etc?

    No, I don't think so. It doesn't mean it's happening any more frequently, or encouraging others to "get involved." Just that it's more well-known.

    Dread to think what getting married under those conditions must be like

    Aye...

    Sure there are, but take student-age people for example - the supposition is that (attractive, outgoing, red blooded) males who girls may have their eye on are well catered for by girls who are 'down for whatever', this creates will he/won't he, should I/shouldn't I anxiety in the way I've described (re: pushing the envelope where 'going out'/'going steady' is concerned)

    I think an attractive, outgoing, red-blooded male may be better catered for by girls who think they will, at some point, snare him. I'd imagine that if girls were told before anything had happened that he would never be theirs they wouldn't be up for very much after all. Unless they're the slaggy ones. Who maybe aren't the type a guy would want to be snared by anyway...

    Oh yes you will young lady!

    Nope. :P They're not terribly relevant.
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    (Original post by Historophilia)
    Errr what? I don't have a clue what you're on about here I have to say. I haven't observed this as a trend in people's behaviour and if it is I'd hardly see how feminism is to blame
    You're not aware of young people becoming increasingly au fait with loser/more casual relationships being fairly standard? Maybe it's just me :dontknow:

    (Original post by Historophilia)
    I also think your're grasp of what feminism is may be a little shaky.
    I understand it to mean the promotion of women's rights/equal opportunity/empowerment for women etc

    My feeling is that since women have been encouraged to see themselves as equal, and since a logical extension of that is that they have an equal right to behave in the same way, they have effectively been licensed to act more 'like lads'; thus a new 'market' has opened up for guys who like to start things/keep things casual, many young women have become more 'free' with themselves and less concerned about the various modes of 'contract' traditionally wrapped up in acts of intimacy (decline of the church/family reputational influences and increased mobility/sexualisation figure here)

    An additional notion concerns this trend creating a little tension among women who demand to be 'taken more seriously'. Girls may be intimidated by guys who are used to getting what they want quickly/with no questions asked, or feel like they can't identify with/trust that type of guy as much, or take a shine to such a guy but worry, as I alluded to in my OP, that they might be seen as too keen/forcing the issue if they bring up exclusivity/official relationship status etc - but under the conditions described the pool of (attractive) guys who don't fit this description is shrinking all the time :beard:

    (Original post by Magikus)
    When I go to uni, my and my long-term boyfriend are probably going to go open
    Interesting. I got into a relationship around half a year before I knew I'd be re-starting uni, and did so on the condition that she understood I'd want my freedom when I returned there. She accepted it at the time but secretly hoped to win me round in the meantime, something which came out when, with a couple of weeks to go, I reiterated how it would be once I was here

    Is there total balance in views on this matter or does the idea sit better with one than t'other? (usually the case)

    (Original post by Magikus)
    I don't know what will happen there, as with my earlier casual relationship, it was more of friends with benefits, no feelings involved thing
    I've given this a little thought in the past - I used to snort at people coming on here and saying "it'll never last" but actually, in order for it to last there usually has to be at least one of the following:

    • A total power imbalance in the relationship (effective exploitation), which is in a way the situation my ex and I wound up in, even though I often encouraged her to find someone more suitable

    • The (mutual) capacity to separate sex from love/attachment etc (typically only achievable if you're male, or a sociopath, or both [in my case])

    • Total (mutual) apathy e.g. reverting to fwb having had feelings and male pride being a non-issue (unlikely right?)

    (Original post by Magikus)
    1. If my boyfriend wanted to go casual whilst I was still around, I'd be okay with it. I think. There'd be no sleeping with other people though. Or having people round our houses. My head shrivels up at the thought of another girl in the bed that I sleep in most of the week.
    So you'd let him get his end away with a random but they wouldn't be allowed to stay over? I'd be more concerned about them being in my girl, than in her bed!

    (Original post by Magikus)
    2. Yes. I'm not going to try to explain myself here, because there'll be so many believers who will just tell me I'm not in love with my boyfriend. If I was drunk, and it's meaningless, what's the difference to my relationship? We're strong enough to not let that sort of thing bother each other.
    There's something deeply troubling about a girl you think you are in love with willingly taking another man inside her, no matter how drunk she is.. when you're in love with someone you want to know/feel that she's every bit as in love with you. You adore/admire that person. If she lets another man even kiss those lips it's like she's tainted that love, nevermind lets him get his hands on her, nevermind gets undressed for him, nevermind performs sexual acts on him, nevermind lets him **** her, nevermind lets him jizzm inside her (if unprotected) or in her mouth *shudders* :woo:

    (Original post by Magikus)
    3. No. Everyone has the right to say what they want in a relationship. I'd just be glad he was being frank with me.
    Well that's a good/novel attitude

    (Original post by Magikus)
    4. Yes. This is a confusing one for me, but I can't see myself getting married, I hate the feeling of control, so maybe it's just me.
    Definitely not just you, although whilst I am a control freak and hate commitment/feeling tied down, I do think of marriage as rather charming

    (Original post by Magikus)
    5. No. When I was in a casual relationship, jeez. I felt special, but only from time to time. I was no-ones princess, and I loved it, not going to lie. I'm pretty fiercely independent.
    Was he the instigator of it being/becoming casual, or you, or just a product of circumstance or wuut? :holmes:

    (Original post by Magikus)
    My current boyfriend had never had an "official" relationship before, but he jumped at the chance with me.
    Do you know why that was?- what's different about you to him, and surely if he jumped at the chance that does not bode well re: your attitude to life once you get to uni
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    I was with my boyfriend for about a year and then decided to make it into an open relationship when we came to different unis just because I know what uni's like and I didn't want to be tied down. Likewise I didn't want him to feel tied down and end up cheating; I'd much rather it was all just understood and above board.

    I dated two other guys during first term. One of them was loving the freedom but I got bored after a bit, the other one I ended up breaking up with 'cause he wanted to be exclusive with me in my uni town (i.e. he could just about cope with my home boyfriend, but no more), but I didn't want that.

    At the start of this term I broke up with my home boyfriend 'cause he couldn't handle the open relationship situation anymore. So I definitely think that if you're going to do it, both parties have to be entirely on board. I really liked him but I coped with the idea of him being with other girls just by asking him not to tell me anything about it. I am all over the whole 'what you don't know can't hurt you' dealio.

    Aaand now I'm in a kind of open relationship with a new guy. He wants to be exclusive and I like him a lot so I've conceded that we're allowed to kiss other people when we're out in clubs or whatever, but no more than that.

    I think as long as you're clear from the outset that it's what you're interested in then it's all cool. I am scared that I'll get into such a habit that I'll never settle down though, because I do want to be monogamous when I grow up.
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    (Original post by Bellissima)
    i don't think they can actually love them truly especially if they know that their parner would be extremely hurt by their actions..
    What if their partner said they were fine with it? I still think it's a warped kind of 'in love', even if a partner gives permission / seems ok with it. I loved my ex but wasn't in love with her, so didn't think twice about serving other girls when our exclusivity arrangement ended.. had I been in love with her I don't think that would've been the case at all :holmes:

    (Original post by Bellissima)
    in the case of polygamous relationships where everyone is happy, i think they can love all their parners individually but they would have a favourite, they would love one more than the other
    Generally yes, although there are different types of love eh - I've given a hypothetical hareem arrangement a little thought before now, think it'd be important to yes love them about equally, if not in the same way(s)/for the same reasons necessarily :beard:

    (Original post by Bellissima)
    i would dump them if they brought it up on all A-C because we would not want the same things... especially at C
    What, even if they said "just wondering what you thought about it?", seems a tad harsh no?

    (Original post by Bellissima)
    knowing they WANTED to be with other people... i would also question whether they had cheated on me
    Most guys want to be with other people, if often only for a short period/in a limited sense, at some stage, hell most women probably do at times too!- hence all those people who think of others while they're having sex with someone! (never done that myself)

    (Original post by Bellissima)
    at least if they ask then they will know and can take it from there
    For sure but quite a few people worry enough as it is about being seen to force the issue/get too serious/move too fast - my point is that the rise in casual relationships, and hence expectations of more casual attitudes, is likely adding to these concerns
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    What if their partner said they were fine with it? I still think it's a warped kind of 'in love', even if a partner gives permission / seems ok with it. I loved my ex but wasn't in love with her, so didn't think twice about serving other girls when our exclusivity arrangement ended.. had I been in love with her I don't think that would've been the case at all :holmes:
    if their partner is genuinely ok with it then sure, why not... but i (personally) would question the reasons of them agreeing sometimes.. you have to look deeper, maybe it's desparation, insecurity, think they will lose other person etc.
    i don't mean that happens all the time but it's something to consider..
    yes i agree, loving someone is different to being in love with someone.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    What, even if they said "just wondering what you thought about it?", seems a tad harsh no?
    well if they were just genuinely interested in my opinion on the subject then i wouldn't think negatively of them... but if they had been considering it seriously enough to even ask me if it were a possibility then i would be very hurt and feel disrespected.. i wouldn't be able to trust them. this is just me, other people feel differently.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Most guys want to be with other people, if often only for a short period/in a limited sense, at some stage, hell most women probably do at times too!- hence all those people who think of others while they're having sex with someone! (never done that myself)
    yeah i know i get that... but to honestly consider it enough to ask me would be taking that want to be with someone else too far... like it wouldn't just be a dream or fantasy, they WANT it to be a reality..

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    For sure but quite a few people worry enough as it is about being seen to force the issue/get too serious/move too fast - my point is that the rise in casual relationships, and hence expectations of more casual attitudes, is likely adding to these concerns
    yes, probably... but if things don't work out things don't work out... if you feel you need to know where you stand and want a future with the other person... then you should if you want to ans want to risk the other person reacting badly... if the other person isn't ready to answer "where is this going".. then you can make your mind up... is this relationship for you? do you see a future? etc.
    i do think it can be more confusing now though, you enter a relationship without really talking about expectations.. because that's a bit full on for a new relationships.. but if ultimately you have different wants and needs from the relationship and aren't on the same page, it probably won't work anyway so it doesn't matter.
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    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    But does the manner in which we have become accustomed to something negate it?
    Nope, it's just useful sometimes to understand the context in which certain phenomena come about

    To those women I would say that perhaps they need to consider the context within which the social norms that have shaped their own expectations have come about and ask themselves whether it is truly perspicacious to think purely in terms dictated by arbitrary/artificial social norms often effectively put in place to to some extent to 'tame the beast' that is man

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    Whether caused by social conditioning or the product of evolution, the fact is that many women do hope for a stable, monogamous relationship
    Hope is fine, but too fond a hope is harmful - young women need to understand the nature of man, in order to arrive at a balanced view/realistic hopes and to insulate themselves somewhat, or at least prepare themselves, for the fact that certain types of males are ostensibly programmed not to comply with such social dictat

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    They haven't been invented and taught to people - they're embedded within [most of] us, like a moral compass and our scope of emotions, or are those artificial constructs too?
    Yes. I'm a moral relativist, a realist and a functionalist systems theorist. Codes/systems largely come into being to fulfill functional evolutionary purposes, not because things are 'right' or 'wrong' but because they are conducive to achieving the goals of whoever's in charge

    Honour is a fantastical, romantic concept, as is love. That does not mean I deny that such concepts exist in the minds of many/do not value them myself, more that I believe that they have been used to (usefully) characterise certain behaviours that are not typically found in nature, that enable mankind (and leaders) to raise the stock of men above our animal essence

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    what do you mean when you say that "childrearing/childcare" are shared social responsibilities. Do you mean among the group as a whole (or perhaps just the women), or between the parents? If the latter, wouldn't have thought dominant daddy's doing much rearing if he's busy "mating widely."
    Shared by members of the community, you get cultures where younglings refer to every elder woman in the settlement as 'mother' for example

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    C I would feel a deficiency in the relationship (and in me) had been implied, so would be more likely to leave, yes.
    Think that's fair. Doubt there are many guys whose male pride could withstand that kinda tomfoolery either!

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    No, I don't think so. It doesn't mean it's happening any more frequently, or encouraging others to "get involved." Just that it's more well-known.
    Now that half the UK population use facebook.. perhaps we can pinch their stats on 'In an open relationship' trends over time to see who's right :beard:

    ..remind me about this in 10 years time :awesome:

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    I think an attractive, outgoing, red-blooded male may be better catered for by girls who think they will, at some point, snare him
    Without doubt, but implicit in your response is some acceptance that girls might see such an (implicitly 'accommodating', if determined) tac as necessary

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    Unless they're the slaggy ones. Who maybe aren't the type a guy would want to be snared by anyway...
    Do (many such) guys really (always) want to be 'snared' by one girl and one girl only though?

    (Original post by sweeter than a cherry pie)
    Nope. :P They're not terribly relevant
    Oh, well if it's not relevant fair enough - but if you feel feminism has a part to play in the frustrations of the modern woman vs. relationship openness then do feel free to vent
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Nope, it's just useful sometimes to understand the context in which certain phenomena come about

    To those women I would say that perhaps they need to consider the context within which the social norms that have shaped their own expectations have come about and ask themselves whether it is truly perspicacious to think purely in terms dictated by arbitrary/artificial social norms often effectively put in place to to some extent to 'tame the beast' that is man

    Hope is fine, but too fond a hope is harmful - young women need to understand the nature of man, in order to arrive at a balanced view/realistic hopes and to insulate themselves somewhat, or at least prepare themselves, for the fact that certain types of males are ostensibly programmed not to comply with such social dictat
    Ugh, really? What is right for you isn't right for everyone else - the vast majority of men I have met have wanted and pursued monogamous relations, including so-called "Alpha" types. Then again, those males have had jobs and other interests, resulting in them not having the "young buck" need to display and reinforce their masculinity through sexual prowess/bednotches. To define the "nature of man" as if it is based purely on an animal need for sexual fulfillment is pretty derogatory. I really don't see this open relationship/polygamy business as becoming the common phenomena you seem to think it is; yes it's often popular with university students, but in the "adult" world as it were, the focus is on finding someone to settle down with as opposed to looking for someone willing to put up with their partner shagging anyone who seems remotely available :rolleyes:

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Do (many such) guys really (always) want to be 'snared' by one girl and one girl only though?
    It's not a case of being "snared" and to put it in such terms is rather sad - people, by their nature, crave love; love, as a strong emotion, often goes hand-in-hand with the desire to be someone's only love (jealousy, possession and so on being natural emotions).. Most people wouldn't consider falling in love with someone as being "snared" by them, they'd consider it a wonderful thing.. Marriage is still a cultural norm - although it has been changed through divorce and higher expectations, most people still hold the desire to settle with just one person.

    To respond to your OP:

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    1) Should men, being more driven, and arguably programmed to 'spread their seed', meet with more sympathy/understanding if they express a desire to be 'casual'?
    No. Partnerships are not about the needs of just one of the parties; if a person holds a desire to have "casual" or open relationships, they should focus on the right target market for that; i.e. the polyamorous community.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    2) Do you believe that a guy/girl can, conceivably, be in love with a person if they want to sleep with someone else (and would be prepared to do it assuming they secured their partner's permission)?
    Sure, but that kind of love is limited to those in the polyamorous community, and it is not the same kind of love that the majority of people in society naturally have for their partners.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    3) Would the discussion of such a desire be grounds for dumping - if they asked: A) When you'd just started dating; B) Once you'd slept together; C) When you'd been together for say a year?
    It's not what I am looking for so there would be no point pursuing that relationship, regardless of what stage it was mentioned at. Of course, many of these people like to give the impression that a relationship would happen eventually, which is pretty dishonest and misleading, and certainly something a person should walk away from as soon as they realise it.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    4) Do people believe that the casual/open relationship trend, evermore pervasive among young people in 21st century Britain, has debased the currency of relationships, love and matrimony in general?
    No. It's not very common, it's not the norm. And the people who pursue those kinds of relationship are usually very damaged individuals, anyway.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    5) Are expectations concerning less formal relationships leading to greater anxiety on the part of people who want to feel wanted/special?
    No, because it's still not that common - however, for a normal monogamous person, it would be impossible to feel wanted or special to someone when you know they have been rutting someone else. I think most people would struggle not to feel like just another number at that point.

    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Indeed, do girls feel that feminism has shot itself in the foot here?- Girls seem to be evermore concerned with "how can I get him to make us official" etc ~ striking the right balance between being available/laid back vs. being used, or demanding certain respect/seriousness vs. being too pushy/a stick in the mud; has 'girl power' and sexual liberation gone too far?
    It's nothing to do with feminism because it's rarely women that suggest it. If anything, feminism is key to helping women walk away from men that offer them less than they want - as feminism helps women know their own worth, and knowing your worth means you are less likely to settle for just being the "**** buddy".

    Girls have always been concerned with how to make a relationship official, and that will continue as long as girls pursue relations with unsuitable men. There's no worry like that when you meet a balanced, healthy and compatible person.. Worries only occur when there is some fundamental imbalance in the relationship.
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)

    Hope is fine, but too fond a hope is harmful - young women need to understand the nature of man, in order to arrive at a balanced view/realistic hopes and to insulate themselves somewhat, or at least prepare themselves, for the fact that certain types of males are ostensibly programmed not to comply with such social dictat


    Okay, exchange "look for" for "hope for" in what I wrote. And indeed, certain types of males (guessing you are again thinking of young, attractive, red-blooded males here, though in fairness I know many of those at your uni who are delightfully loved up with just one girl ) seem not to seek monogamous relationships.


    Honour is a fantastical, romantic concept, as is love. That does not mean I deny that such concepts exist in the minds of many/do not value them myself, more that I believe that they have been used to (usefully) characterise certain behaviours that are not typically found in nature, that enable mankind (and leaders) to raise the stock of men above our animal essence

    I maintain that they are natural behaviours, inherent in those of us who are not psychopaths, and that they have been created/quantified only in being given a man-made name.


    Now that half the UK population use facebook.. perhaps we can pinch their stats on 'In an open relationship' trends over time to see who's right :beard:

    ..remind me about this in 10 years time :awesome:


    The stats won't be accurate - I have a lot of female friends jokingly in open relationships with each other, as well as engaged or married.


    Without doubt, but implicit in your response is some acceptance that girls might see such an (implicitly 'accommodating', if determined) tac as necessary
    I don't understand your response here... It's not a neccessary tac to appear as if you believe you'll end up with the guy - would have thought that would hinder more than help things, if the guy has any sense of decency. Just saying that I think a lot of girls who agree to open relationships are secretly hoping that they'll win the guy over into exclusivity, and that that's why they'll cater for him.

    Do (many such) guys really (always) want to be 'snared' by one girl and one girl only though?


    That was just a dig at slaggy girls - wasn't supposed to be some sort of profound point about what guys want.
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    I'm interested to know how guys and girls feel, hand on heart, about the prospect of polygamous relations, so I thought I'd make a poll. Also interested to hear from those who have attempted open relationships, how forthright you were about things and how you felt these relationships compared to other more 'traditional' relationships in terms of quality/longevity etc
    Every relationship is different. I currently have two partners and I feel much closer to both of them than I have to my partners when I was pretending to be monogamous. I've been with one of my partners for four years (we were mono for most of that) and I've been with my other partner for 4-5 months. I don't feel that my relationship with my newer partner is at all casual or less emotional as a result of being poly and I don't feel that opening up my older relationship has taken anything away from us (other than time). The quality of the relationship is not diminished because we are poly. If anything, we have to work harder and communicate better in order to successfully navigate the relationship dynamic. Only time will tell how long the relationships last.

    1) Should men, being more driven, and arguably programmed to 'spread their seed', meet with more sympathy/understanding if they express a desire to be 'casual'?
    Should they? No. Everyone is equally free to explore casual, open, poly or otherwise non-monogamous relationships. That isn't to say that certain behaviours are not met with more understanding when they come from certain people, even if it is simply as a result of social expectations and stereotyping.

    Being more likely to do something should not make that behaviour more accepted. The action should be judged on it's own merits.

    2) Do you believe that a guy/girl can, conceivably, be in love with a person if they want to sleep with someone else (and would be prepared to do it assuming they secured their partner's permission)?
    Yes, why not? We're conditioned to believe that love and sex are linked - that if you are in a relationship, you should only want to have sex with that person. Why? Historically it was to ensure children were brought up in a stable family and that society could be sure of paternity. We now have very effective contraception methods, STD checks, barriers to help prevent disease transmission, paternity tests and other methods of keeping us safe and determining who a child belongs to if one is conceived. There is also more support for single parents. In essence, we can now break the link between sex and relationships without much consequence (if people are responsible in their actions).

    If the link between sex and love/rationships is eroded, those in a relationship are freer to work out what matters to them and what boundaries they want to set. Sex is not inherently an act of love (although it can be) and if those in a relationship are comfortable with sharing sex outside of that relationship, why should they be judged as less loving or less serious as a result?

    I can say from my own experience that having multiple sexual partners has not affected my love for each of them, and introducing a second partner into my life has not diminished the love for my older partner.

    3) Would the discussion of such a desire be grounds for dumping - if they asked: A) When you'd just started dating; B) Once you'd slept together; C) When you'd been together for say a year?
    If a coue discover they are incompatible - in this case because one is poly and the other isn't - then you can't set a limit on when it is acceptable for the relationship to end. Once a couple realise they can't provide for each other's emotional and physical needs it is fairer on both of them for the relationship to end amicably at that point.

    As to whether having the discussion is grounds to leave someone - there is no 'master list' of reasons to leave someone. If one or both are unhappy, unwilling to work on their problems or no longer interested in the relationship then that relationship breaks down. That's life.

    I'd be pretty unimpressed with someone who left me simply because I told them I was poly/desired an open relationship, especially if I was willing to compromise and was able to live without that desire being realised. However, if knowing I wanted multiple romantic/sexual partners made them sad, then it's for the best.

    4) Do people believe that the casual/open relationship trend, evermore pervasive among young people in 21st century Britain, has debased the currency of relationships, love and matrimony in general?
    No. I think relationships and marriage were falsely formalised and artificially 'strong'. All a relationship is is people saying 'I like you a lot, let's hang out and do stuff'. I'm not saying that relationships can't be deep, profound, life-changing and all those awesome things, but they're not cages. We don't have to stay in them when we're unhappy or when we want to be free of them, and nor should society expect us to. I think it is a shame when people would rather bail than work on a relationship that was previously making them happy, but very few people are stupid enough to throw something really good away. When a marriage breaks up we should say 'what can we learn from this' not 'tut tut, there is no sanctity in marriage anymore'.

    People being willing to explore non-monogamy is not 'damaging marriage' - how can it? Those who want to get married, live together for 60 years and have 3 kids still can. Those who don't want to, don't have to. Marriage is righty at the mercy of social evolution and if less people are interested in it and less people see it as a 'through thick and thin' committment, then that's just a sign that social desires and expectations are moving.

    Non-monogamy certainly doesn't damage love. If people are in love, they are in love. It's an emotional and physiological state.

    5) Are expectations concerning less formal relationships leading to greater anxiety on the part of people who want to feel wanted/special?
    Probably. Seems there are still a lot of people who can't feel wanted, special, desired and the rest unless they have their 'one and only' tight and exclusively in their grasp. Why? Loads of reasons. It's the way they're wired, it's what their society/cultures tells them to expect, it's a result of insecurity, it's a result of indifferent treatment by past lovers, etc. If someone wants a committed, exclusive relationship with someone who will treat them well then they should search for it, not accept whether frog jumps in front of them and then bleat about not getting enough 'xxx' on the end of their texts. They also need to remember that even the best relationship can fail, so buckle up.

    Indeed, do girls feel that feminism has shot itself in the foot here?- Girls seem to be evermore concerned with "how can I get him to make us official" etc ~ striking the right balance between being available/laid back vs. being used, or demanding certain respect/seriousness vs. being too pushy/a stick in the mud; has 'girl power' and sexual liberation gone too far?
    No. I just think that people and society are complicated. Some will know what they want, be clinical in their search, find it and be happy. Some will hunt for something they don't quite understand, make poor decisions, get hurt, get confused, think that they need to fit in more, feel they need to compromise, second guess themselves and others, etc. From my point of view, if someone is worrying about being laid back because they're afraid of being used, or is worrying about asking for respect for fear of being seen as 'too serious' or pushy, then they're not with the right person.

    Compatibility is increasingly important - as 'till death do us part' crumbles, people are freer to leave relationships and as a result, relationships need to be better for them to work. We're at a cross-roads. We don't want to be caged into relationships but we're not yet well enough practiced in knowing what we want, finding it and making it work. I know loads of people who jump into a relationship with the first person who 'treats 'em nice' and then realise after a few months that they irritate the hell out of each other. Either be pickier to start with or move on more efficiently when it stops working.
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    (Original post by alawhisp)
    It's not a case of being "snared" and to put it in such terms is rather sad
    To be fair, "snared" was my word (not sure if you saw that) and I used it to infer the reluctance on the part of the guy to enter the monogamous relationship that a girl might want.
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    What an intriguing thread!
    I'm a bit umm and ahh about this, on the one hand I'm very attracted to other people even though I've been with my boyfriend for.. what a year ish, and I still feel for him! I'm amazingly attracted to his best friend in fact. I'm also a Cancer, and the traits are supposed to be loyal, moody, jealous, sensitive, affectionate, and devoted. Something about that suggests that I shouldn't be open to the idea of an 'open relationship', but I am.
    Certain environmental factors can change and it can become complicated, and I'd be all for it. Especially the whole friends with benefits kinda thing!

    however I went a bit dolallytat after a terrible break up and tried a friends with benefits things with someone I considered to be off the rails sexy, and literally everything you could ever imagine went completely wrong. And i'm talking EVERYTHING. All at once! So I'd probably say something was trying to tell me not to go through with it!

    I think it sort of counts on certain peoples self esteem and security I'd be all for it, depending on how I got along with my benefit-er

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