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-   -   monogamous(?), non-romantic and looking for advice (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70921)

astar 08-16-2014 12:10 AM

monogamous(?), non-romantic and looking for advice
hello all, i'm new to both forums and polyamory, so please be patient with me! :)

basically, my boyfriend recently mentioned to me that he thinks he may only be able to have relationships with more than one person. being a very involved member of the lgbt+ community, i'm pretty familiar with it and have no problems with it, however i'm not sure if it is for me, and i know that only doing it to please him is the wrong decision.
the thing is that i am aromantic (i do not feel romantic attraction to people), so im not sure how i can define polyamory for myself, as i am interested in the concept of it and trying it out in our relationship, but the main definition ive found for it is 'having the cability to be romantically attracted to more than one person at once and want a relationship with them', so i'm not sure how that would work for me as i don't get romantically attracted to people that easily and don't really go looking for relationships.

now for the background information.
i am non binary (i do not fit into the gender binary of exclusively male or female) so please use they/them/their/they're if you must refer to me using pronouns.
the definitions for my sexual and romantic orientations tend to change depending on my mood and such (as it is hard to define feelings!), but i do currently see myself as aromantic/demiromantic (the second one meaning capeable of romantic attraction after forming a close bond with someone) and asexual (not getting sexually attracted to people). defining romantic and sexual attraction is hard, but the extremely close feelings i have for my boyfriend make me feel like i am definitely romantically attracted to him a lot of the time.
note: i am not here to discuss identities so if you disagree with anything like this, please go elsewhere! if you don't understand these terms, please try googling them before asking about it. i understand that to answer my question(s) you may need some more information about my aro status, and that's fine.

as you can see from my identities, i'm not really interested in relationships at all. before i met my boyfriend i had happily put off the idea of looking for or needing an S.O. as i have a lowered need for sex/romance and not much interest in it when it isn't available. i still had an interest in dating if someone understanding came across who i was attracted to, and that's what happened with my boyfriend, he was someone i didn't know i needed in my life until a few months ago, and as he is also part of the lgbt+ community (we both identify as bi in some way), he is very understanding about my 'taking it slow' and my identities.

the thing is that, although i am an easygoing person who is open to trying basically anything, having the need for a relationship with someone isn't something that happens that often for me, so it is hard to pinpoint whether being poly is something i can be.

i have had several casual/short term relationships before my current partner, and being in a relationship over a couple of months is new to me, so i am still getting used to being in a serious relationship, let alone the idea of a new type of relationship, but thinking about and discussing polyamory from an early stage will help in our eventual agreement on it, i think. but the fact that i have little experience in wanting relationships, having relationships, wanting romantic attraction, having romantic attraction etc. makes it hard to know how i think about being involved in polyamory! :confused:

on the monogamous side of things, my identity as monogamous (currently) ties in with my aromantic status - as i am still inexperienced in relationships and not really keen on being involved with another person when i am still getting used to my current relationship and partner, being mono is just the better option for me. i also struggle with several conditions and keeping up with a relationship with more than one person does sound like it may be too much hard work for me, but i don't know how for sure that would affect my health, this is just another thing that makes me think it just wouldn't work for me. as i am asexual and have a lowered interest in sex, i think that my boyfriend being able to have one night stands or another partner for sex may be something that has to happen, and i think i am fine with that.

i am still learning how to communicate with my boyfriend and test our boundaries and closeness, and i think once i am more used to being with him and we understand each other more, i will have a better idea of whether i can communicate and be in a relationship with another person as well. we live quite far away from each other so we have only managed to meet in person a handful of times and always in public, so we haven't been able to have serious conversations about these things face to face or get used to being around each other much, although we contact each other everyday using other means, but this is also another factor towards my being inexperienced with relationships, and therefore having no idea about how polyamory would factor in our relationship.

i am not sure if i've explained things in a very easy to read order, but if anything doesn't make sense, please ask!

my issue is basically that i just feel quite lost as i don't know if it is possible for me to polyamorous (seeing as relationships for me are a very much a choice and only happen after knowing them for quite a while, rather than something i am led to by strong feelings) and i'm not sure if it's okay that i just feel that our relationship is too new for me to know yet how polyamory would work with us, should it be something i should know straight away?

i think i currently see polyamory for me as how i see sex and relationships: its something i am happy trying although its something i don't have a natural inclination or need for, but that doesn't mean i'm not happy being involved in it.
i want to start gathering information and advice now so i can start to think about whether it is right for me/our relationship, and i just hope i am doing the right thing, as we already have some differences with him being alloromantic and allosexual (capeable of romantic and sexual attraction to people) as opposed to me being aro and ace, and i worry that being mono/poly too will just be too many differences for us to work with.

if anyone else has a lowered interest in romance/sex and/or is ace or aro, please, please let me know your thoughts on my situation/polyamory in general! advice from others is welcome too, of course, as i just think i need some help knowing where to go from here and maybe some more information on polyamory re: finding other partners? thanks for reading!


Eponine 08-16-2014 12:52 AM

Welcome to the forum!

First, there are different definitions of polyamory. The definition I like most is along the lines of "multiple loving/intimate relationships" rather than "multiple romantic relationships." Loving/intimate doesn't have to imply romantic, although many people may interpret them as the same. So aromantics, gray-romantics, and people with undefined/ambiguous romantic orientation can all be polyamorous. Here's an interesting blog post about an aromantic poly relationship. The Thinking Asexual blogs about non-romantic love quite a lot, and this post explains aromantic poly at the end.

Second, you don't have to have multiple intimate relationships yourself in order to have a successful poly relationship. Many members here are in mono/poly relationships where everyone involved is happy and content. As long as you're okay with your boyfriend having other partners, I don't see any big problem. You don't have to seek out other partners if you're not naturally inclined to do so. Actually a lot of romantic poly people (including me) don't seek out new partners either; they just let things develop naturally from friendships.

Good luck!

GalaGirl 08-16-2014 12:55 AM

The main question seems to be if you can participate in a polyship if you are not polyamorous yourself.

In some models you could be monoamorous, love and have only one sweetie. Like a "V" shape where your BF is the polyamorous hinge with another partner.

The other question seems to be about whether it works here or not...

If you have strong feelings against going there, do not go there. You are right about not doing it just to make him happy.

If you are willing to go there for a while to determine how you feel, be up front about that when you go there. Willing to try for a year or whatever you choose for yourself. If you come to find it is not for you or not for you with this batch of people, could stop participating and not continue.

I do not know if these could help you any...



KC43 08-16-2014 01:56 PM

As Galagirl and Eponine said, being in a polyamorous situation doesn't necessarily mean that you yourself are polyamorous, or that you have to act polyamorously.

If you're accepting of and okay with your boyfriend's need to have relationships with more than one person, you could allow him to follow that path without doing so yourself. He can have his "more than one" while you continue having only him, if that's an arrangement you're comfortable with.

Reading your initial post, I'm not seeing where your boyfriend's statement that *he* may only be able to have relationships with more than one person automatically leads to *you* having to have relationships with more than one person. Is there a reason you believe this would be the case? (Apologies if you did mention it in your first post and I missed it.)

astar 08-17-2014 06:55 PM

thanks for your replies!

your main points are that just because my boyfriend wants to have multiple relationships doesn't mean that i have to myself, which i understand!
but the thing is that as i don't get romantic attraction i don't have a natural feeling that lets me know whether i do go more towards poly or mono relationships as it is all very much me choosing to do things rather than being led by romantic feelings (as it was with deciding to date my boyfriend, which ended up being a good idea!), so i would like to try out being polyamorous myself as well, its not to do with his choices meaning i automatically have to be poly too, just that it would be a good opportunity for us to both see if it suits us! i hope this makes sense to you.

thanks to you all for clearing up things about polyamory in general which i didn't know about, i think a mono/poly relationship may probably be the eventual route, and i'm spending time thinking about whether i would feel comfortable with that.
i've been looking around the forum(s?) and knowing that polyamorous relationships are very much choosing people together and making sure everyone communicates with each other a lot makes me happier with the idea of it, although i'm not sure how i feel about losing some of the exclusive-ness of it just being two of us.

i think i also want to try polyamory for myself as i would feel happier if it was three of us all in a relationship, as then i would feel like i'm getting more out of it, if that makes sense? it probably sounds quite selfish but i feel like if it was just my boyfriend having several relationships i would feel like it was a bit unfair if i couldn't do the same, i think?
although if after some experimenting, if that's the right word to use, i found that i was definitely mono, maybe i would feel more content staying with a mono relationship on my side of things. i have no definite feelings on this yet so we will have to wait and see which i feel better with and how that works with my boyfriend’s needs.
i'm not sure, sometimes i think i would prefer a group relationship or relaxed open relationship kind of thing, then other times i think it would make things too hard, and these are things i think i just need to talk through with my boyfriend when we both have time for a long conversation.

Eponine - thankyou for your links and the defnition, they're really helpful and have put my mind at ease on several things, as with your 'relationships developing rather than seeking for them' idea, as i think, with me and my boyfriend both just being pretty easygoing (and it being hard for us to find understanding partners as we are both non binary), that kind of thing would work best for us.

GalaGirl - thankyou for your links as well, and for what you're saying about making sure to check in with how i feel every so often when trying out polyamory, i'll keep that in mind. :D

KC43 - thankyou for your message! i hope i cleared up the 'trying polyamory myself too' thing above, it just feels like something i would like to try so i can have a more definite idea of whether i am mono or poly, and to lead me towards finding what will work for me and my boyfriend.

if any of you have any further questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reply! i'm not sure how to link you to this post so i hope you find my reply well enough. :)

Arius 08-18-2014 04:59 PM

I got the impression that you were feeling a need for some stability in your new relationship with your BF before jumping into a poly thing. Is that true?

It is totally reasonable for you to ask for that. Hopefully your BF would be willing to exercise some patience. Of course, he may deny that request. You would then have to decide if you want to plow ahead or end the relationship.

It's definitely a bit of a sticky situation. But I've found that no two people are ever fully on the same page about everything. Relationships are about compromise!

Best of luck,

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