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LittleMissMuffit 07-03-2012 06:35 AM

New here...
I stumbled across this sight when looking for some advice on how to proceed in my current relationship. Im dating a man who is engaged and in a long term relationship, they are poly, and she is also in another newish but serious relationship.. They consider each other primaries and I am his secondary (he has some other less involved relationships as well) and she has a secondary and he is my primary but i'm not currently with anyone else... so that is my understanding of a hierarchy i don't know if i believe in. it has been fairly easy thus far, we are both good communicators and really care for each other but the issue of me dating other people has recently come up and its become a hard topic for my partner and I and I am unsure of how to go from here.. I want to follow my heart but my head says different things.. and i'm new to ply in general (though i have never really been monogamous) basically i have met someone who i really enjoy the company of and he me, but it is someone that is involved in my boyfriends lives and town ( i live a little ways away in another town) and he has huge issue with me dating in his community) i just need some advice on how to proceed as a secondary i guess. Im coming from a long term pretty messed up relationship where a lot of lying and cheating went on (not from me) and i feel like im not really able to think clearly in terms of standing up for my rights and what i want verses giving in in fear of ruining a relationship which means a L:OT to me..

so anyways, im going to read like crazy and see if i can find any insight.

km34 07-03-2012 04:18 PM

Welcome! I hope you find information that helps you with your questions and concerns.

I do have some questions if you don't mind... Why does your boyfriend not want you to date people in his town? Is he trying to make sure people don't find out you and or/he are poly? How far away is this town? Is it far enough away that it takes an extra effort for you to travel there or is it like a 20 minute trip that can be done pretty much any day?

I guess I don't understand not wanting the people you're with to date other people geographically nearby. I understand not being comfortable with them dating coworkers or people in other relationships that could turn awkward (family, mutual friends to name a couple), but an entire town? Seems excessive. Granted, you do say the guy is involved in his life, so it is in a capacity that could be affected by a relationship with you?

kdt26417 07-05-2012 05:06 AM

Hi LittleMiss,
Welcome to our forum.

You do have rights, it doesn't matter if you're a secondary or not, don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and state your needs.

Like km34 said, what are your partner's reasons for not wanting you to date this new person? Are they valid reasons? Do you think they're valid reasons? What kinds of discussions about the problem have you had, and what kinds of things come up?

I hope you can get some of the clarity you're looking for here on Polyamory.com.

Kevin T.

LittleMissMuffit 07-05-2012 07:10 AM

thank you for your responses to my post...
to answer km34..
my understanding on why he doesn't want me to date is that he feels like living in such a small place means seeing this person and constantly being forced to work through issues he has between us. it doesn't make sense to me because I honestly thought he would be happy for me (oand or the other person) i am fairly taken aback. i have been encouraged by him to read a lot of books on poly and open relationships and we have had many conversations around compersion. when we talk it always goes around in this circle of me not really feeling like im any closer to understanding why it is so hard for him. i asked if it would be easier if he didn't love me as much as he did and he said yes. also his partner is in a relationship with someone from their town and he already finds it challenging and triggering at times. we live about 45 minute drive from each other and i don't have a car so it makes it a challenge for sure. i also have children which further complicates things in terms of finding time together alone. this other guy is involved in some community things with my boyfriend but they are not friends per say.. i can partly understand how it would feel for him, but it also frustrates me that i have this rule set out for me that i had no part in making. he did however this evening say i could be friends with this person and that would be ok.. but my feeling is if we spend much time together it is going to be hard to just maintain a friendship.
i do think that his reasons are valid, but i also think my reasons for wanting to explore this is valid as well..
we have talked about the structure of relationships and how his and his partners are and that we need to create and agree on our own structure, so we are going to work on that. its just hard for me to feel like its a balanced thing when he has a at home partner and im on my own with children and lonesome at times and really wanting to have more time with him but his life is busy and he says he gives me all he can. so i feel like this is an opportunity to have some of those needs met.

km34 07-05-2012 07:26 AM

Personally, I would find it really insulting if a partner asked me not to date within an entire community just because he didn't want to work through his feelings. That's part of a poly relationship. Dealing with jealousies, overcoming insecurities, and all of that is what needs to be done and avoiding triggers doesn't mean the underlying problems aren't there, it just means they aren't dealt with.

A relationship with this new guy may not be very plausible for you, either, though. If you already struggle to find time alone with one partner who lives 45 minutes away, how are you expecting to find time for a second one? Unless the new guy is able to travel to you more often than your current boyfriend is in which case the scheduling may be easier in this case.

GalaGirl 07-05-2012 12:51 PM


As a secondary you have rights.

There's also the general rights and responsibilities of all partners in relationship -- whether it is you and him, or you and the new BF.


constantly being forced to work through issues he has between us
Though I understand the nervous from living in the same town... This part sounds avoidy to me. I wouldn't be down with that because whether you date other people or not, the issues are still there between you.


but it also frustrates me that i have this rule set out for me that i had no part in making.
This is not fair, if it was not laid out as an expectation before you even got involved with him so you could decide whether you wanted to sign up for that or not.


we have talked about the structure of relationships and how his and his partners are and that we need to create and agree on our own structure, so we are going to work on that.
I certainly hope so. Get your framework down.


kdt26417 07-05-2012 08:56 PM

Re (from LittleMissMuffit, Post #4):

"I can partly understand how it would feel for him, but it also frustrates me that I have this rule set out for me that I had no part in making."
Yes, you should have had some say-so in the making (or non-making) of this rule. Of course, the rule is made, so now you have to deal with it. Will you ask him to change the rule (and I see no reason why you shouldn't ask), or will you insist he change the rule (and then it becomes a dealbreaker)? You have to figure out what your limits are here.

What kind of compromises are available here? If the new person's always the one making the drive out to see you, then your partner doesn't have to see you and him together. Would that make any difference to your partner?

I personally feel you should have some rights to get to know this new person. Maybe if your partner can "stand" a friendship, he can stand something more later on. Maybe?

I hope you get some kind of agreeable resolution.
Kevin T.

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