View Full Version : Partner wants to introduce me to his new fling
07-16-2012, 04:59 PM
So, my partner wants to introduce me to his new fling, someone who he had met up with a few times already. I was a little put on the spot last night when that opportunity was brought up, and at first I said I wasn't ready. Then, thought about it... it might be a good idea to meet... The reality is I'm now going to meet them for lunch today. They both have the day off of work, and after I go back to work (wish I had a more fun diversion to keep me distracted), I know they'll go back to his place to hook up for a while, spend the day together, etc.
Just looking for any words of encouragement, etc., as I'm trying to process this before meeting. I'm starting to feel that green monster pop up and want to make sure I keep it at bay for the meeting...
07-16-2012, 05:25 PM
Good luck. I hope all goes well and work is busy enough to keep you distracted.
07-16-2012, 05:50 PM
Hi Tigger :)
I think I remember you saying from another post that you are quite new to poly? I'm quite new too (16 months) and I think it's very normal to be feeling apprehensive about all of these new situations you find yourself in.
One thing I've found it that the fear of these events is worse than the actual event.
In fact, meeting the person can help *so* much with any jealousy feelings. It also gives you a chance to show your partner how wonderful you are by being charming and welcoming to this new person ;)
Is this their first time actually hooking up? Or have they hooked up before you meeting them? If it's their first time, I think that does add a little stress for you... but it's great that you've got work to distract you.
The best advice I can give you... is keep your chin up, be brave, put your most charming hat on and get in there. I promise that you might actually have fun. Let us know how you get on!
07-16-2012, 05:59 PM
Hey there! Yes, I'm definitely new to all this. I've only been in this relationship for a near 8 months (my first of this nature).
Your thoughts are soothing... thanks so much!
I'm sure that the anticipation is worse than the actual experience. Almost like getting a shot, or drawing blood. Heh.
My partner has hooked up a couple of times before with this fling. And the fling is brought up more times in conversation than others, I've noticed, which makes it tougher, and as a result, I'm curious about the connection. In fact, we've had some hard moments because one of the times they spent the night, and I had a real tough time with that (we don't live together yet). I'm getting a little better at navigating this, and processing it, but it's still tough.
I know that meeting will help. My partner is probably pushing for us to meet to take away any some of my jealous feelings.
(Deep breath)... getting ready to do this in an hour or so, and hoping to feel confident and charming...
07-16-2012, 07:21 PM
Im pretty new myself, but meeting the othee person does help a lot with the jealousy because you geta to experience first hand what their connection is rather than just sitting thereto on your own letting your imagination going wild.
07-16-2012, 08:36 PM
Hoo boy. Okay, I just had the lunch with my partner and his fling, and now I'm in processing mode. Overall, it went okay. We found commonalities to talk about, I felt like we connected overall, etc. There's no interest for me in doing more with him still (I was approached first by the guy, turned him down, but my guy was into him, and asked that I resume conversation with him to start so they can meet originally).
The guy did have a few lite barbs in the beginning towards me. I can tell he can be a little sarcastic (and more than likely out of insecurity, of course). It was 'all in good fun', but odd when you first meet someone, and considering who they are, who I am, etc.
The guy had put out a couple of things like 'Should I order the tuna? Would you mind if that's on my breath?', asking my partner in front of me, as it's known that they will go off now and hook up. :-/
I felt that was a little odd.
And, the had a couple of moments himself that he seemed to be put off by. My partner and I shared a (maybe) 3 second unspoken acknowledgement of sweetness (in each others eyes, but oh so brief), and he was perturbed enough by that to bring it up? And he didn't seem to like it when my partner said 'Goodbye, sweetie', calling me 'sweetie'.
This, also, didn't make me feel too good. I'm glad that these things happened for him to see... it wasn't overboard or anything by any means, but I'm curious why (considering the situation) this guy would be upset by these moments.
My brain is reeling just a little bit, knowing that I probably won't have a conversation with my guy until later tonight after all is said and done (maybe tomorrow), and this guy will go back with a potentially sarcastic judging tone, and maybe have other judgment calls on me... but this is that little green monster rearing it's ugly head a little... I have to remind myself that my guy is into me and wants our relationship. He just gave me a key to his home yesterday.
My partner did seem to be pretty disconnected towards the end, as when the guy went to get a box for his leftovers, and all he could say to me was 'have a good rest of your day'... and trailed off, not saying any more, not asking questions (in private for a quick check-in) or giving me just a little reassurance, which I'm going to have to reiterate that I need especially right after something like this. I waited at a crosswalk for the signal for what seemed like forever as my guy looked on, crossed the street, and walked back to work.
And first thing, I pop on here to type... which is seeming to help a little... (sigh). Sometimes I question if I can handle this... given the circumstances, I think it's a bit more than what I imagined... or I'm just in the moment processing right after... it's still my first relationship like this, it's under 8 months, and this is the first time I'm meeting a hookup that my guy talks about (more than normal) right before they leave to go back to his home to have sex and hang out all day while I go back to work.
07-16-2012, 10:23 PM
Hard to focus on work, as this is still on my mind a coupla hours later... I guess what I'm most worried about is the fling is young (22) and my guy is 43. The boy demonstrated that jealousy streak a little bit... and coupled with the judgmental side that came out a little (insecurity), I realize there was just a couple of competitive barbs that were put out there... and a little bit of staking claim.
My guy is really excited about the boy, and is more of a logical sort than a feeler (like myself), so in some cases, I'm left to sort through my feelings unless I can explain them in a real logical way. I'm not even thinking about the sex they're having as an issue for me... it's just more about the jealousy streak... where does it come from? More than likely it would come after the boy might've idealized my BF and their connection together. And he might work (judgmental side and other) to wedge a little between us, in a competitive way (insecurity tossed in, as well). I noticed a couple hints of the competitive nature regarding me at the lunch already. This is the tough thing to process as I know they'll be spending the rest of the day together. Or, is this just normal stuff that comes up regularly?
07-17-2012, 03:15 AM
After I met my girlfriends boyfriend the first time (we had encountered each other a couple of times but never actually had a conversation) I was thrilled. He was cool, I was cool, everything was obviously a'ok. After the meeting I told her that I liked him and how glad I was that we had gotten along so well. She relayed to me later that he agreed and said "Yah, I don't think Alpha Males really work in polyamory"
That still rings very true to me. The type of competition in an Alpha Male type personality is not going to work out very well in any relationship I'm involved in. I'm not in this to prove myself, to out flank an opponent, or to strut my tail feathers and try to impress my mate.
Hopefully the competitive streak you picked up on is just in your head. Or possibly just his social awkwardness from being nervous himself. If either of those are the case then those are issues which can be worked through. Either way, your emotional approach and your boyfriends logical approach will likely need to sit down and talk about your feelings. It will remain very important (imo) that the two of you are able to express your thoughts to each other safely.
07-17-2012, 06:27 AM
"The boy....."???!!! What's that all about? Seems like a bit of sarcasm and condescension on your part here. He may be young, but he's 22, which is at least legally an adult. Perhaps the other guy was picking up on some of your attitude towards him and became reactive???
You don't have to like this other guy. It's someone your partner is interested in. But it generally behooves one to treat others with courtesy for your partner's sake unless the other person is being a real A--hole to you.
07-17-2012, 10:36 AM
I personally didn't read anything into you calling him 'the boy'. If you meant it scathingly, you were in an emotional moment of processing your feelings.
Most likely, your boyfriend found it as awkward as you did. He's in the middle, because he doesn't want to make his date uncomfortable by being overly demonstrative with you and doesn't want to hurt you by being overly demonstrative with him.
Either the guy is an Alpha Male and was purposefully saying little things to make you jealous, or he lacks a sensitivity bone.
Either way, you're probably better off not being too involved with him if being around him makes your feelings worse. Better yet, you could say something at the time - i.e. after the tuna comment, you could have said "a little discretion please, gentlemen..." If he is the game playing type, it should call him on it.
I once had a girl who made my girlfriend extremely jealous on purpose. I either overlooked it or didn't see it at first. I knew that I felt so awkward in the middle of them, trying to keep both happy. My girlfriend and I actually used to hide our affection in front of secondary partners, to make them feel more comfortable. We realised that this made it worse. Now I am very free around my girlfriend in front of secondary partners. Behaving in a normal way around her seems to help curb any games new people might play. Maybe I'm picking different types of people.... but all I know is when we weren't openly affectionate, the girls would play games... now that we are openly affectionate, the girls don't play games. Perhaps there's something to be said for showing a solid front. If they can't see cracks, they don't try to stick a crowbar in there?
I wouldn't badmouth this guy to your partner, but if he asks what you thought of him, you can always be honest and say you felt he was trying to get at you, but you could have just been reading him the wrong way.
And yes, you should definitely communicate your feelings. You shouldn't have to work through them alone. You both chose poly, your boyfriend is reaping the rewards - he has to pick up his end of the slack too. The slack being your feelings that result from his actions. Just because you're both open to sleeping with others, doesn't meant you have to be a robot. Especially since this is new.
In terms of the guy, some people try to push buttons and some people are just less sensitive than others. My girlfriend isn't very sensitive. For example, we were just on the phone this morning with her online sub boy (P), who will never be able to meet her. She slept with someone in 'real life' for the first time on Tuesday, also a sub boy. Probably not easy for him to hear. She declared to us on the phone "oh, I have a new method for training sub boys!" when neither of us responded, not wanting to hear the details, she repeated herself. P eventually meekly said "oh yeah?" to which she replied "yes! Before they get any pleasure, they have to learn how to please me!" Due to other things she'd told us earlier in the week, we immediately knew that this meant she'd taught him how to make her come with oral sex and then had sex with him as he reward. Lovely way for us to start the day. ;) We both went quiet and she couldn't understand why. Just lacks the tact bone. Or we have too many sensitive bones, who knows.
Sometimes things do slip out and people don't intend for them to.
You're still very new to poly and emotions do feel big at first. They still feel big for me too - I'm like you; less logic, more feeling. Be true to yourself and ask yourself what the root of the problem is. Are you scared he'll leave you? Are you scared he prefers this guy sexually? Are you mostly just angry because you felt your BF could have handled the meeting better? Once you know those things, have a chat with your boyfriend.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
"The boy....."???!!! What's that all about? Seems like a bit of sarcasm and condescension on your part here. I picked up the same vibe from "his new fling".
07-17-2012, 04:02 PM
Well, the meeting is over. It doesn't sound too horrible to me. A bit awkward, but that's expected with first meetings. Esp the awkward of not having common language yet in talking about each other, with each other, expressing affection in front of each other, etc. The new guy may have emotional process of his own too do -- I don't know how old you are but he may feel the need to assert himself more because he's that much younger than your guy.
I didn't esp pick up snark on your part with the "new fling" or "boy" stuff. I kinda wondered though about your emotional safety though, esp if your guy is logical processing type and you are feeling type. And this "distancing" of the new person in your writing in calling then "the new fling" and "the boy" comes from that?
Between dread of being put on the spot for setting up meeting, then dread of the meeting, some discomfort at meeting, unsatisfactory goodbye at meeting, then dread waiting to hear back from your guy post meeting and post date with new guy...
I'm not getting a sense that you lay out your limits for a pace you can deal with.
I'm getting a sense of "Aaaaaahhhh! I do not feel emotionally safe here!" from you. That maybe isn't being met with support/nurture at the right level from your guy when you are at these places so you don't have to feel all "AAAAAHHH!" Is your guy is aware of your emotional safety needs? And he's not doing it? Are you actually articulating your needs so he doesn't know there are needs to begin with?
Do you feel like his being all Logical Person and you being Feeling Person means Feeling Person has to just go at the speed of Logical Person? Or if you articulate Feeling Person needs they will be pooh-poohed?
07-18-2012, 06:10 PM
Thanks for the responses! To address my use of the words 'new fling' and 'boy'... :
I have no negative connotation in my mind on 'new fling'... It doesn't seem like an insult to me, but good to know that it can bring about a reaction from others, and that it can be perceived as negative, depending on who you're talking to. As for the use of the word 'boy', I did use it after our meeting, I noticed... and this is mainly because I realize after meeting him that he is indeed young. He's intelligent, worldly, cultured, and can be creative. He does read emotionally immature, however (shrug). My partner and I are both in our early 40's. Had the 22 year old come across as mature (and without digs, jabs, a competitive nature and demonstrated a jealousy streak in our first meeting about my and my partners relationship), there wouldn't be an issue, and I would've considered him a full-blown adult, not just legally. I assure those that are concerned, I came across with as much charm as I could muster, interest in him as a person, and kept the conversation rolling as much as possible to try to have a positive meeting (and without attitude on my part).
I believe he was jealous and working to stake his claim, albeit a little disrespectful in its execution.
Marcus: THanks for your words... I like the 'not wanting to outflank, outstrut' sentiment. Yes, we do need to talk... it's in my best interest to explain how I feel in a logical way, in order to get my point across... which is quite a challenge on occasion to put into words...heh.
Sparklepop: Thanks for your examples... this helps for me to process and obviously know others are going through this exact thing. I let my partner know all that I thought, how I perceived it to happen. Our communication was cut off unfortunately at the moment (other business to attend to) so I'm in limbo, waiting to hear how he perceived things. I totally understand what you went through with your conversation with your girlfriend and the sub boy on the phone. My guy can lack some tact, himself, on occasion. What I can be thankful for in having a logical-minded guy (and him specifically) is I have someone who can be honest to a fault. I know whatever I get is the real deal and it's honest. It has it's downfall, tho, hence the world 'fault'. Sometimes I have to remember the good aspects of being honest and upfront when it counts the most in order to try to excuse moments that are TMI with others and myself. I do need to process what I'm fearful of. I'm afraid of this guy badmouthing me, doing what he can to create a wedge for him to squeeze into. I have to trust my guy in that he wouldn't let that happen. He's shared too many things already (from our confidence) with the new guy to make me a little fearful of this connection. I don't know how his side of the situation will pan out. I'm also fearful that he will say I'm exaggerating how the meeting went down, when I have a very good read on people, small nuances, etc., that when added up, can really prove a point.
GalaGirl: You make a really good point. Yes, it is an emotionally unsafe feeling I can deal with, on occasion. I've told my partner many times that if I'm feeling low, to give me reassurance. That if he's thinking of a sweet thing, to not keep it rolling in the brain, but to say it out loud, do it. And I let him know after a hookup (or before if I know it's going to happen), I would love to have reassurance and support through processing it. He's logically-minded as I said (if you're familiar with the Meyers-Brigg Personality test), he's an INTJ, which basically means to an extreme he's Spock, Sheldon (from 'Big Bang Theory'). Under 1 percent of the population make up this one personality type of sixteen. And he's that to a 'T'. He doesn't like to give reassurance unless it's organic from him (I do understand this argument...but). And he can also be a little less touchy-feely than most. So, I'm a little left to process stuff on my own, and maintain a good amount of the self-love enough until he is no longer distracted and comes back to me. I do ask for the reassurance, but have to work to train myself to go at the logical speed...
I know (overall) that I do have stuff that I need to work on...in processing. I'd love to be able to be at that point of compersion, being excited for my partner and not feel like things are going to affect me and our relationship in a negative way. I know I've made some leaps and bounds in just under 8 months, but I do have a little ways to go.
I guess it doesn't help with strong examples like this to churn my brain so hard. Or maybe it does. I know that if the meeting went well without feeling the competitive and jealous side from the new guy, I would've processed it much easier.
07-18-2012, 09:01 PM
Had the 22 year old come across as mature (and without digs, jabs, a competitive nature and demonstrated a jealousy streak in our first meeting about my and my partners relationship there wouldn't be an issue, and I would've considered him a full-blown adult, not just legally.
Being 22, he's gonna just BE all Luke Skywalker. Act first, think later, go, go go! Very passionate about certain things, not fully gripping nuances of every social interaction, totally not a Jedi Master, etc.
Since you two are in the 40's and he's in the early 20's, can't we chalk this up to there being age differences? His posturing and whatnot?
I'd let it go and give him the free pass of first meeting heebie jeebies of his own.
If this comes up again, tell him to chill a bit. Assure him you aren't blocking him from BF or anything, you are happy shared BF is happy, and wish him well too as your meta.
If he does anything that is odd, just speak up to him to clarify. "When you said/did ___ I heard/felt ____. Was that how you meant it to be?" And invite him to do same with you. He's a meta -- I doubt your hinge BF expect you to be best friends just because of that alone if there's no connection besides that.
He doesn't have to be horrible and he doesn't have to rock your boat... but we do teach people how we want to be treated.
Being this young, I don't know how many polyships he's had -- so consider him with these glasses -- "Assume good intent. But perhaps sometimes clonky in execution." -- just as you expressed.
He won't be 22 forever. He'll outgrow being 22.
First of all, it bothers me when people chalk up bad behavior to age. I'm 23 and I've known how to be respectful for YEARS. My husband is 24 and HE has known how to respectful for YEARS. It may be an inexperience thing, but not an age thing.
Personally, I get really upset when people judge me based on my age. I have been discounted as next to useless in various social situations because I'm "too young to be able to handle it" whether it be conversationally, physically, or emotionally. And quite honestly I think it's crap. I have more life experience than many 40 year olds that I meet and can often offer something of value even if it is just a different perspective of the main topic without adding any real content.
I agree with a lot of what GG said, except for the focus on age being a contributing factor, because, well, as I've said I don't think age really matters but experience most definitely does.
Now, this guy may be young AND inexperienced which which would make him act jumpy and probably inhibit his ability to plan ahead. Everyone gets nervous and can act completely different when they are in new situations that push their limits.
Is this the guy's first foray into anything poly? It's quite possible that he was subconsciously "staking his claim" because that's what you do in mono situations. Unlearning social norms (like trying to tell people to BACK OFF, HE'S MINE without actually saying it) is difficult. I'd expect the same behavior from an older person who had never experienced being with someone in multiple relationships, too. There's got to be a bit of a learning curve - talk to him about the signals he was sending out, or if you don't want to, have your partner do it. Help the guy grow and learn from this experience instead of assuming he can do it on his own.
07-19-2012, 04:08 PM
Hey there, km34... I have no doubt that you have been respectful for years, along with your husband. If you're posting on a polyamory forum, chances are you have the tools necessarily emotionally, coversationally, and experience-wise to handle (and work within) situations that some 40+ year olds cannot. Are you unique to your age bracket? Maybe, Maybe not. It really does boil down to experience, doesn't it? You mention that you have a good amount of life experience, and that goes a long way.
In regards to the guy I've been talking about, he's grown up in a small town, still lives with his parents, and this is his first time in engaging (more than once) with someone who happens to be partnered. I'd wager to say his experience is lesser than yours (in this realm), and this is why he's acting out in different ways, and is probably processing our meeting on his own, as well, currently. I do know where you're coming from, and felt the same way when 30+, 40+ year olds would have an opinion based solely on my age (when I was in my early twenties), and it angered me so much that I would try to make a point whenever I could to make my life experience be heard, fighting against an unwarranted judgment call.
Remembering that, and looking at my situation specifically, age isn't as much a factor, as much as it is life experience, of course. I had said that if the guy handled it maturely "(and without digs, jabs, a competitive nature and demonstrated a jealousy streak in our first meeting about my and my partners relationship) there wouldn't be an issue, and I would've considered him a full-blown adult, not just legally."
I do hope he unlearns 'social norms (like trying to tell people to BACK OFF, HE'S MINE without actually saying it)', as it seems that he's here to stay for a while... or at least my partner is now staking his claim (per our conversation last night), and basically had tried to discredit all of my observations, chalking it up to 'he's just kidding!', and 'I think he was being discreet'.
I like your approach...it's a reminder that here's an opportunity for allowing someone to grow. I'm not too enthused because my emotions are involved, and this first impression was a doozy for me, but we do teach others how to treat us.
Thanks for your wisdom in this... I'm relatively new at this type of thing (as you might've read), and I appreciate your viewpoint. :)
07-19-2012, 05:30 PM
as it seems that he's here to stay for a while... or at least my partner is now staking his claim (per our conversation last night), and basically had tried to discredit all of my observations, chalking it up to 'he's just kidding!', and 'I think he was being discreet'.
He has his head full of NRE and no matter what you say, he won't believe it's as bad as you see it. While it's not as rosy as your partner is trying to paint things, it might not be quite as bad as you see it either. It will usually fall somewhere in between. For the most part, I'd keep your opinion of this guy to yourself UNLESS your partner asks (or there is something really offensive). He won't believe you if it's not great and will just get defensive. Be polite, but stand your ground. If you normally kiss your partner goodbye in public, don't let his issues make you stop. I know I've been wrong about people based on a first meeting many of times, both good and bad and I've had enough experience to be open to my opinion changing.
I have some really good friends that are in their early 20's, I'm 43. Most of the time I don't even notice the age difference and other times, I'm taken off guard by some stuff until I remind myself that they are actually young enough to be my kids (and only 5 years older than my actual kid) :eek:. At which point, I can let myself step back without being offended or feeling the need to prove my point - I remember not believing people my parents age knew any more than I did at that age either :p.
07-19-2012, 05:52 PM
Yes, indeed, SNeacail, the NRE will negate most of what I say... and I do agree that it probably does fall somewhere in the middle (my viewpoint and his). He's got the excitement that someone else is excited about him, wants to continue on, and I (being new to this) am apprehensive given the energy I felt from the new guy, his insecurities, and lack of experience coming out in different ways.
I feel a wee bit better now. But it is a mite annoying that my partner isn't as supportive or nurturing to me at this time, chalking it up to me 'overreacting'. He let me know the guy walked away from the meeting saying I was cute, funny, and a nice guy (nothing negative). And me... well, I seem to be the one with the problem. (sigh).
So... Yes, I also agree that it is in my best interest to keep my opinion to myself unless asked (within reason).
2 days ago, I had the opinion that I don't want to meet the guy again, he shouldn't be invited to any get-togethers with our friends, etc. (I didn't articulate this to my partner). Now that I see that it lands a little in the middle, and it might be just a little emotional wind blowing through, I am looking at it from the viewpoint that I can try to be open to another potential meeting, without being guarded (which would be a little tough), but that's what growth within is all about.
I work with a good amount of people in their late teens / early 20's... and I agree with you... you don't really notice the age difference, but really depending on who it is, and the situation, of course.