View Full Version : Boyfriend wants a third
03-10-2012, 03:31 AM
This is super new to me, and it has been really eating away at the back corners of my brain lately. I needed an outlet and found this forum while I was searching for some people who could relate.
I've been dating my boyfriend for almost 6 months now. Not super long, I know, but the last guy I dated was way long term (5 years) and after some time to reflect after a fairly bitter breakup, it gave me some razor sharp focus on what I did and did not want in my next relationship. My current boyfriend meets if not exceeds all of those things, which I'm still kind of getting used to. =P
Anyway, at one point fairly early on in the relationship, he confessed that he was interested in a threesome. I told him I was not comfortable with the idea of including another girl sexually in our relationship. Then he clarified. He basically confessed that he didn't actually mean just for sex. He was talking about another girlfriend. I told him I needed to process it a little. Over the last few months, he has expounded on the subject, saying that he doesn't see a problem with loving more than one person at a time, that our culture is too constrictive on non-traditional relationships. (I don't disagree!) Again, though, I said I was really uncomfortable with the idea of any kind of threesome/third person, though, and so we kind of left it at that.
It has continued to come up every once in a while--but he has never pressed it on me or anything. He has made it perfectly clear that his number one priority is to guard my heart in all this, he doesn't want me getting into something that will end up with me being hurt (long term breakups and such notwithstanding). But it has come up again, the topic always being spawned from vaguely related conversations and never out of the blue.
So, now to the meat of the problem... I'm a pleaser. This is obviously really important to him, and at the very least something he wants to try. My gut reaction at first was no effing way, not a chance, I am too jealous of a person and I don't want to share. But I'm also a logical person who wants my boyfriend to be happy. I sat down with myself and worked through, over time, why I felt that way. A lot of it had to do with a cheating ex (and a lot of other negative results of dating that guy). Once I cleared out all the bad mojo, I could think more with more of a level-head about it.
I've come to the tentative conclusion that, if I was totally in control of looking for a third, getting to know her, forming a bond of trust with her first, before my boyfriend gets involved, I could maybe see that working. I would even go so far as to say I'm even intrigued by the idea. It would circumvent a lot of the issues I would have with the idea of bringing in a third person to our relationship.
This might sound a little convoluted, but I think it explains how I feel best. Him being in control of the search makes me feel like the third girl is *his* girl that we are both involved with. I'm comfortable with the idea of her being *my* girl that we are both involved with. If he picked out a girl and asked me if I approved, I would feel like I was being asked to share my position of being his girlfriend, whereas if I picked the girl and introduced them, I would feel like I was letting/asking her share in my role. My choice first, his approval second, instead of his approval first, my choice second.
He's not comfortable with this idea. He's very dominant, and he wants very much to be the hunter/pursuer/call-it-what-you-will in his relationship(s). I am severely uncomfortable with this idea as I'm the one who would be giving up the exclusivity of this relationship. If it's going to work, I strongly feel that I need to have control over who we bring in, which directly conflicts with his desire to pick the girl and get my approval. If he picks, I will have trust issues with the girl. If I pick, I won't, because I picked her.
On a side note, I'm a little concerned that it won't work out well because we are both straight. I can't imagine ever being strongly sexually attracted to another girl, and I know that a standard perception of a trigonomous relationship is that there is one straight and two bi partners. I feel like, due to my being straight, I would just end up one end of a V, and I would absolutely not be okay with that.
Again, just as a reminder, my boyfriend is not pressing this on me in any way. We're trying to figure out if it's a possibility, and he's ready to drop the thing (albeit with some disappointment, but that's to be expected) if I'm just not comfortable with it. Heck, as it is, we're both so picky about who we date that we jokingly point out that there's probably not a girl in the world who would meet all of both our qualifications.
03-10-2012, 05:26 AM
Sorry for the bluntness, but you are not purchasing a puppy. This "girlfriend" also has needs, goals, family, baggage, a life... Please put this into perspective and realize that people are not owned and cannot be pushed into "loving" and having sex with people after you decide they are okay. That they match up. Its very disrespectful and creates lack of worth for partners. This fantasy woman deserves to be loved and cherished equally to you. She is worth as much as you are. She is not your slave that will obey what you tell her.
I suggest you work on getting your head around him having another girlfriend and stay out of the triad situation. No one deserves a partnership that is made out of pleasing a man. What is more healthy is creating situations and relationships that are fulfilling the needs of everyone involved. If you know you are not going to be okay with this then I suggest moving on to someone that is like minded to you or working really hard on that jealousy and doing the work that needs to be done with him to make this work. It does work. It is possible, but it will rock your world and nothing will be the same again. Most of all your relationship will never be the same again.
I suggest you have a look around here. Read lots and get to know what poly is. You seem to not have a grasp on the basic concepts and theories. Have a look at the search engine in the tag section and find threads that seem interesting. You might want to start with "unicorns" "unicorn" "triad" "vee" "lessons" "foundation" I would also suggest getting your boyfriend to read and learn with you before looking at any "girlfriend" options.
03-10-2012, 06:18 AM
Poly isn't something you should even think of attempting to please someone else. Chances are it would just end in resentment. If your heart isn't in it just don't go there. If it means the end to the relationship you're in that just means you life has opened up to someone who fits your needs better.
And now I'm going to totally go off on a tangent: Why is it that in relationships where both partners are straight and they want to add a third is it always the woman who is expected to go against her natural sexuality? How about asking your boyfriend how he would feel about adding another boyfriend for you both to share? If he wouldn't do it why should you? If you're not into someone you're not into them and pretending to be will just be hurtful in the longrun to that person!
03-10-2012, 07:20 PM
If he picked out a girl and asked me if I approved, I would feel like I was being asked to share my position of being his girlfriend, whereas if I picked the girl and introduced them, I would feel like I was letting/asking her share in my role. My choice first, his approval second, instead of his approval first, my choice second.
Oh, like picking out a sandwich from a menu, how nice. Can you really think of anyone who would want to be "picked out" and "approved" like a slab of meat? :rolleyes:
And why would you have sex with a chick if you're straight? Just to have control? For a guy you've only been with for six months? http://polymatchmaker.com/graphics/smiles/duh.gif Don't blame bad ideas on being a "pleaser." That makes no sense. I suggest you do some reading about polyamory. I don't think you really have a clear understanding of what it's about. Sorry to be so blunt, but...
03-10-2012, 08:00 PM
Like Redpepper mentioned, I really don't think you have a grasp on what such a relationship entails. There is a lot of reading and processing to be done first. Don't even entertain the thought of involving someone else without doing your research.
03-11-2012, 07:50 PM
" I am severely uncomfortable with this idea as I'm the one who would be giving up the exclusivity of this relationship".
Why just you? I know the whole thing wan't your idea, and I can see that a threesome is what he wants....
But, you don't actually have to be a part of it unless you want to. He could find two girls who are willing, and you?
You could find a guy that you are attracted to to go on dates with when your other guy is busy.
Consider it, at least.
Because your solution of picking the girl?
Really not advisable!
I come at this from the angle of the possible third, mostly because I'm not married and my relationships mostly fall into the usual "secondary" pattern. Any woman approaching me as a possible partner for her guy and possible third would have a horrible time getting me to even consider the idea. The situation just SCREAMS jealousy and boundary issues, and I am so very not into complicating my life in that fashion.
Let me say this again, anyone you approached to add as a third would see this as Drama Waiting To Happen, unless they were way inexperienced or not perceptive enough.
On the other hand, if you let him find a girl or two(please don't force it to be a package deal!) and find someone to spend time with of your own choice, this seems way more reasonable and less Inevitable Drama to most.
03-12-2012, 01:45 AM
"If he picks, I will have trust issues with the girl. If I pick, I won't, because I picked her."
I think you're making a big leap, to assume you won't have trust issues if you identify the girl that you want the two of you to date. In situations where a new person gets involved with a couple, they almost always form a stronger bond with one member of the couple than the other. It's just human nature, no two relationships happen in the exact same way, at the same time, at the same rate. Since your bf is the one who is actually into women, it seems likely that a woman would form a stronger romantic bond with him than with you. Would you really feel no jealousy in that scenario... or would you just feel betrayed because she was supposed to be "yours"?
"I feel like, due to my being straight, I would just end up one end of a V, and I would absolutely not be okay with that."
How could there be any other result? Isn't the very definition of being straight that you fall in love and in lust with, and want to have relationships with, people of the opposite gender? In a triad all three people share relationships with each other, how could that *possibly* happen in this scenario? Not trying to be mean, but I really don't get it. :confused:
I would strongly encourage you to just say "no" and to move on if he can't accept being exclusive. Alternately, maybe do a bunch of reading and soul searching and try to get more comfortable with the idea of a vee and consider finding another guy to date in addition to your bf... that's a much better way to avoid feeling left out than trying to date a girl when you don't even like girls and trying to stake some claim on her that almost certainly won't work and will just leave all involved hurt.
This is a tough situation. :/ Good luck!
I can identify with the 'pleaser' mindset. I became someone's secondary mainly for that reason, once upon a time. The wife, also a pleaser, tried to go along with it but I don't believe she was ever really okay with it. The lesson being that trying to please some one else is a terrible reason to try poly and usually ends with people getting hurt. If at some point, you think about poly and feel good about it, great! Go ahead and try it. But it's really okay to look at it and say, hey, this isn't for me. Even if that means losing the relationship.
Here's the thing. Even if you can control who, what, where, when, there are still so many elements out of your control. Like feelings. If being in control is the only way that you feel safe to step into this, it's a fantasy. That's not how it will end up. Granted, boundaries are important in polyamory but there's a difference between good boundaries and running your relationships like a lab experiment with controlled variables.
Don't be in a rush to please your boyfriend with this one. There's no shame in wanting exclusivity. Nor in being straight. Listen to what you really need beneath all those pleasing instincts. You might end up between a rock and a hard place but it's usually better to pick the one that let's you stay true to yourself. :)
03-14-2012, 04:28 AM
after a fairly bitter breakup, it gave me some razor sharp focus on what I did and did not want in my next relationship.
Have you considered what razor sharp focus you'll have after the relationship you're in now ends? Snark aside, it's doesn't sound like a good idea to let your relationship standards be reactions to whatever bad thing last happened.
If you find the idea of monogamy outdated or part of a cultural regime that you don't necessarily agree with, you should by all means explore those ideas. If you decide to try being non-monogamous for a while, go for it. If you want a strong emotional component in all your relationships, you could try polyamory. Just realize that the polyfidelitous triad is not the only structure polyamorous relationships can take. Limiting yourself to that structure comes with a kind of reputation that could seriously limit your options (http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/control-tower/Content?oid=5713688).
But, if you're just sacrificing your emotional boundaries and happiness in your relationship in order to please your boyfriend, please don't inflict that drama (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency#Patterns_and_characteristics) on other people in the process.
03-14-2012, 02:40 PM
Limiting yourself to that structure comes with a kind of reputation that could seriously limit your options (http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/control-tower/Content?oid=5713688).Great article, Dr. Talon! That should be posted in the Online Poly Resources sticky or Press and Media forum, methinks.
03-14-2012, 07:09 PM
your position is a tough one. Here you have this ideal partner in your life, and after having a rough previous relationship, are very happy to have found him. He wants something that you wouldn't choose on your own, but given that you're trying to be a 'good' partner to him and want to make him happy, you're considering something you've never considered before. it falls way outside of your normal scope, and even though you sound like an open-minded person on the whole, you're a straight woman who is being asked to consider something that is not comfortable/natural for you.
it makes a lot of sense that you're coming up against a lot of concerns, and that you're wishing to draw boundaries and "call the shots" to a certain extent. In all practical ways, you'd be giving up a lot of power in the relationship, and putting yourself in an unknown and potentially very unstable place, and you'd like to hold on to some form of power/choice in this situation. you have a right to these feelings; they are real, and they are legitimate.
My first observation is that (in my opinion) it is too soon to be introducing another person into your fledgling relationship. the theory is that until you've been with someone for around 18 months, you don't even really know them/your long term relationship potential. is there a reason that you two aren't getting the opportunity to just be together as a twosome for a solid amount of time before opening up your relationship?
I hear you saying that even though you're pretty damn uncomfortable with the idea, that you'd be MORE willing to go along with it if you could choose the woman that you'd be opening up your relationship with. I hear this in conjunction with you saying that you identify as straight, and have never been with a woman before. I see some challenges with the second part of this, but understand your desire for the first part.
i think the thing that you need to consider is that no matter who "picks the woman" you'll still be a) opening up the relationships (which you're not comfortable with b) have a woman that you're seeking out under the pretense of a triad (you've said that you don't want a vee). this means that you'll be having sex with a WOMAN that you don't even really want in your relationship period. this is very problematic for you, for the other woman, for your partner, and for all engaged relationships (yours/his being the primary concern at present, as it's the only established one right now).
i think the thing to concentrate on is that people/love/relationships evolve in ways that you might not anticipate. even if you pick the woman, there is no guarantee that it won't end up in a vee anyhow (ie - they fall deeply in love, you find her annoying, and end up watching them be in a relationship that you're not really involved in despite your best intentions).
listen to your own heart. If poly isn't something that you want, you're getting into some dangerous waters by pursuing it. it's not fair to you, or the potential gf to be putting yourself in a place that you're not open/comfortable with. perhaps your energy would be better spent considering all kinds of options for poly that don't involve a triad at all.
my latest foray into poly was the poly-fi triad. i AM into women, and DID choose the woman, and still ended up in a messy vee that drove me crazy and put some intense strain on my five year relationship. poly-fi triads are fuckin' intense, and very few survive long term - it's a nice idea, but in reality, they're pretty hard to successfully sustain.
Options! Maybe you should get another boyfriend. maybe he should have his own gf. mebbe you two should be in a quad with another couple. maybe swinging. maybe put up a 'bi curious' ad on okcupid/CL and see if you could even go for a woman with him. maybe attend a sex club. There's lots of ways to explore sexuality and try poly without going for a poly-fi triad.... it's like trying out for the major leagues without even ever having held a bat before.
Don't push yourself too hard. there are a lot of amazing men on this planet, and if this not the guy, it'll be fuckin' awful to let him go, but you'll move forward knowing one more thing that you don't want to deal with in the future. Just know that you have a shit-ton of options, and pushing past your comfort doesn't have to be option #1.
03-14-2012, 11:20 PM
I like this handy dandy flow chart, too.
You might want to think about whether you are really willing to do polyamory for this guy.
If you do actually try polyamory, I really do think it works better if you don't try to force the possible relationship into a box.
03-15-2012, 03:52 AM
Great article, Dr. Talon! That should be posted in the Online Poly Resources sticky or Press and Media forum, methinks.
I don't think anyone will read it (so many don't even read the 'how to post an intro' sticky), but I wholeheartedly agree, NYCindie. I was just thinking that as I read it ~ this should be a sticky!
03-16-2012, 05:22 AM
Oh, like picking out a sandwich from a menu, how nice. Can you really think of anyone who would want to be "picked out" and "approved" like a slab of meat
I can see it now;
I'll take a redhead, tall, with extra mamories and an apple-posterior,hold the cheese and a side of coleslaw with a dr. Pepper.
That would be the best sandwich shop EV-AR!
03-18-2012, 05:27 AM
I'll take a redhead, tall, with extra mamories and an apple-posterior,hold the cheese and a side of coleslaw with a dr. Pepper.
That would be the best sandwich shop EV-AR!oooo, I am a kind of sandwich! ;) :D (I'm short though)