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-   -   Exploratory Questions (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10816)

RunBabyRun 06-10-2011 10:41 PM

Exploratory Questions
I’ve got a few questions (see my Introduction post and “Baby Steppin’” thread in the Life Stories and Blogs section for more background on my/our situation):

1. I had originally thought that I’d prefer to get involved with a single man who didn’t necessarily define himself as poly. My logic was this, single guys (with no intensions or desire for marriage) would probably be more than happy to have a gf that’s happily married and entrenched in her life. He could spend time with me but still have his full life without the fear of being “tied down”. I’d make it clear that he could, and I’d encourage this, have other girlfriends and sexual relationships. This would allow me to have a buffer against dependency. I guess I was thinking kind of a FWB although a bit deeper.

The problem with this is that I am a student and I have a small circle of friends. I imagined that I would get involved with another student because they are the people I associate with regularly and because they would understand my limited availability. BUT, I am afraid (there’s that word again) that if I approached one of them and told them about this poly thing they may flip out and spread it around. My reputation is extremely important to me and I am closely associated with some of my professors who I hope to do research with and be seen as a competent and professional. It’s a small department and we all see each other very often; it would be hard to cover up a relationship and if it went badly it has the potential to go very badly. The ripple affect could destroy what I’ve carefully crafted for myself.

So, for those of you who have some experience, what are your thoughts and what do you recommend- trying to find a poly person or a someone as described above, or a third option that I can’t see? What red flags fly when you read this? Thanks much!

2. Rider and I have talked about trying to sync up our first poly experiences with one another so that neither one of us has to sit at home suffering while the other goes out those and experiences all of those “firsts”. I really like this idea in theory. I’m wondering if it may be a bad idea though because if both of us are in NRE at the same time and/or struggling with negative reactions about each other’s experiences don’t we run the risk of actually pulling apart? Also, we have teenagers and one of them is very intuitive. I’m concerned that that child will clue into the drama and time spent away and that it will make them very uneasy. Rider can correct me here if he disagrees but I think I speak for both of us when I say that his and my relationship is our priority and our children are our second. How have others handled this and how has it worked out?

nycindie 06-11-2011 04:32 AM

Here's my initial feedback: There really is no predicting how things are going to go.

You can say to yourself that you'll only seek out a certain type of person and you wind up with someone else who is completely different than you anticipated or hoped for.

That being said, it's still perfectly valid to pursue the kinds of people and situations you are comfortable with, until you get your land legs, so to speak. I know I don't necessarily seek out people who are immersed in poly or part of the poly community where I live, simply because I'm not that crazy about the men I've met there. Slim pickins'. What I am discovering is that there are plenty of "non-poly" people who have lived polyamorously and are open to it but just never heard of the word. The label isn't important, anyway. In fact, I've had my online dating profile up since last Fall, and have only now added the word "polyamorous" to it.

I also was really intimidated at first (I'm new to this, since this past October) by the idea of being involved with someone who is married. It isn't until now that I am embarking on a relationship with a married poly guy whose wife has a lover and has welcomed me in emails!! I wasn't seeking that out, and was perfectly content to continue looking for single guys. This is such a wild ride for me, I don't think I could have been comfortable in this dynamic before, now that I have experienced being involved with more than one guy after my separation. Baby steps are fine -- but leave room for the unexpected to happen!

And just a caution for you: don't expect all things to always be equal between your and your husband. You are two individuals with separate needs and energies. One of you might have a potential opportunity wa-a-ay before the other one. I would say, that could be a very good thing that would help you both get used to the idea of one of you having a second relationship before the other does. That euphoria that polyfolk call NRE hitting two of you at once might be more difficult to manage. But maybe you both can handle it - the thing is, like I said earlier... there's no predicting!

Set goals, allow for preferences, but know that you both might have to toss it all up in the air and go with the flow of what life brings you at some point, and surrender to some surprises along the way.

Good luck and welcome!

GroundedSpirit 06-11-2011 12:48 PM


Originally Posted by RunBabyRun (Post 85650)

1. I had originally thought that I’d prefer to get involved with a single man who didn’t necessarily define himself as poly. My logic was this, single guys (with no intensions or desire for marriage) would probably be more than happy to have a gf that’s happily married and entrenched in her life. He could spend time with me but still have his full life without the fear of being “tied down”. I’d make it clear that he could, and I’d encourage this, have other girlfriends and sexual relationships. This would allow me to have a buffer against dependency. I guess I was thinking kind of a FWB although a bit deeper.

Maybe it's just me - but I feel your thinking is bass-ackwards.

Someone who already is in some relationship is less likely to develop dependence. And to be too needy. They already have stuff they are balancing in their lives.
A single person may not have this and you may become priority one. Which doesn't sound like what you want ?


MonoVCPHG 06-11-2011 02:04 PM


Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit (Post 85723)
Maybe it's just me - but I feel your thinking is bass-ackwards.

Agreed. There are rewards for being with someone who is single but there is also a potential cost depending on the person and what you are looking for.

RunBabyRun 06-12-2011 04:38 AM

Thank you
Thank you all for your comments. Rider and I have poured over and discussed all the advice and comments made which address our questions and concerns. In reading these comments again I realize that I'm thinking from a place of fear in some ways; I'm trying too hard to manufacture "the perfect situation". I need to just relax and let whoever comes, come and to relax about the timing too. This is not some mail order bride situation and I need to stop trying to figure every little thing out before I/we take the plunge. Thanks again. :)

dingedheart 06-13-2011 06:12 PM

I have nothing to add from a relationship stand point....however I would use extreme caution with the kids. I personally think they will end up finding out one way or the other and so will others so keep that in mind. you didn't say how old...13 or 19 huge spread and huge difference. I think younger kids 5 -7 and perhaps older would be better....but the older is just speculation on my part. My kids are under 13.....oldest is a girl. Gender could play a role too but again have no way of knowing......as a coach for some of my kids teams I see wide differences in how each gender reacts to same issues. I guess what Im saying is if you have older boy it may not be that big of a deal. Younger girls......that I can say with confidence has the potential to be a very big deal.
Good luck D
Ps don't use texted or emails that you wouldnt mind your mother reading

Derbylicious 06-13-2011 07:17 PM

If you have teenagers you might want to have some discussions with them about non-traditional relationships to get an idea of their thoughts on the subject. Once you know where they stand it may be easier to gauge how much fallout there might be when you tell them or they find out by chance. (By the way I don't have teenagers so this is purely speculation).

As for the wanting to start new relationships at the same time it's an awful lot of emotion to go through all at once. In theory it sounds like a good idea but if you think about it do you really want to be processing jealousy at the same time as you're supposed to be enjoying your NRE?

RunBabyRun 06-19-2011 01:22 AM

Thanks again for the feedback. It's all so helpful.

We have a 14 year old son and a 17 year old daughter. I'm an anthropology student and have written a paper on monogamy and biology. I've had stacks and stacks of sex and biology books and particularly non-monogamy books scattered about and have openly read "Sex at Dawn" and "The Myth of Monogamy" (both in my personal library) in front of the kids. Our daughter even makes funny comments about my books and interests to her boyfriend.

She's a sharp one and we expect that she'll catch on pretty quick especially since we don't wear our wedding rings anymore. We have always been very physically demonstrative (Rider and I) and that has not changed. In fact, it's been more intense lately. We suspect that our ringless fingers may raise some concerns, especially with her (our son is still pretty clueless and obtuse) but since our affection for one another remains we expect that it offers reassurance.

We are very open with our children and have frank, honest conversations about sex and relationships so if she asks we will be honest. Our son need not know at this time.

Yes, I see the potential problem with processing all those emotions at the same time. Since I posted that we decided that we need to just let things flow naturally. I am pursuing a friendship with another man and Rider is getting his feet wet by flirting (so awesome and charming!). We're in flow mode- not forcing anything at this point, just enjoying the journey.

Haha!!! Amen about texting and e-mails, but soooo hard. Rider and I have done some pretty hot and heavy sexting in the past but some recent experiences with accidentally sending a text meant for him to someone else has curbed my enthusiasm for that practice. Mercifully, the accidental texts were not salacious. :p

The journey continues and I sincerely thank you all for your wisdom and advice.

Tonberry 06-20-2011 11:20 AM

Starting relationships at the same time is a common idea, but in practice it doesn't seem to work much. Not just because of the emotions involve, but because one partner might fine much faster than the other one.
In straight couples, quite often the female finds someone much faster from what I've observed. Even if you are both interested in someone, one of you can be rejected while the other isn't, as happened with Raga and me (he was rejected, I wasn't) and starting there, well do you say "hold on a second, my partner was rejected so I can't actually be with you for now, I'll keep you on hold."?

As for which partner would be best, well I figure if you're open about who YOU are and how YOU work, you should attract partners who are fine with that. It seems to me that it would work better than looking for people that fit a specific pattern that you think is the best one but might not happen to be for the specific person you find.

dingedheart 06-20-2011 07:30 PM

since making my last comments I had a chance to conduct a informal survey. I think form the inception of my company I've hired summer help ....in the beginning I was pressured by friends and associates to hire their kids. Now we just plan on it and it works out fine. Generally, by the nature of the work they are boys.... high school and or college age. Currently there are 4 .... a 17, 19 (2) 20 yr olds At the completion of a rather big project I bought the entire crew dinner (9 in total) thus having the opportunity to ask the question. " How would you feel if your parents developed outside romantic relationships which could be more than one and obviously would included sex ...in other words they had an open marriage.

I was very surprised by the responses. All were initially negative. There was also a gender issue. Moms were regarded differently. One said " I don't like thinking about my parents having sex let alone some strange guy or guys banging my mom.....that's disgusting. " They all had trouble with that image after that. Dad's seemed to get a little slack ....although it was most certainly negative it didn't seem to carry the emotion of disgust or revulsion. They quickly came up with hypothetical situations which would be ok with them....all of these were really outside of a truly open marriage ....if someone was injured an unable to have/enjoy sex , etc. Then it moved to swinging and that concept ....and the reactions from that...same or worse. Comments about respect or losing respect were common ...almost universal or unanimous. The issue of time came up ....some felt that adding these new relationships would most certainly impact time now available to them and their siblings. One said that his mom only makes it to about half of his sporting events as is....add one or more people to the dynamic he was sure it would cut into her limited time even further and that his younger brother would most likely get the short end of that stick.

How big of deal could this be ?...I now think it's completely dependent on the people and the dynamic involved. My original statement seems to be wrong form this very small survey. I guess the next question would have to be ..."whats a big deal look like" and Which gender is better at creating "the big deal " ? hard to say and I don't think I want to find out.
I do wonder if the same gender bias would exists for girls of the same age.....meaning they would have that same reaction(s) to their fathers being sexually open. I know I wont be doing any surveys to find that out any time soon . Thought you may fine this interesting ...I did. Take care D

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