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-   -   Advice from my poly peers... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4471)

jokutus 12-16-2010 11:16 PM

Advice from my poly peers...
Well, after my encounter with the psycho woman - I decided to stop looking for awhile. Inevitably, when you stop looking for something - it finds you.
My partner and I are members of several communities (atheist and child-free) and are out (from a poly standpoint) to our friends. In fact, "E" tells everyone where sometimes I would rather keep it to ourselves...
Now our atheist group has an overlap with another atheist group that is in the same general area. This is how I met "B". It was well over a year ago at a mutual friends birthday party. I found her attractive, but never gave her a second thought.
We started bumping into each other at certain events and I realized she was kinda growing on me. Each time we would be at the same event and I noticed there was a certain chemistry growing between us. It got to the point where we would be the last ones talking at events. I have caught her staring at me and she has caught me doing the same. She is also friends with "E" and "E"'s group of friends.
So last Sunday, we had breakfast and lunch together with a decent sized group of friends. I walked her to her car and we talked. I asked her what she was looking for romantically...
She started to list several features where I joked "guess I am out of the running"...
She giggled, and I looked into her eyes and said "I really like you "B""... She said "I like you too, but..."
"Its the poly thing" I said, and she agreed. "I just don't want to get between you and "E" ". I nodded (and I was kind of shocked because it felt like everything was going so well) and turned to go to my car.
"Is it just the poly part?" I asked, before I started to walk away.. she said "Yeah" and I said ok...

I have been miserable for the last week over this. I can't sleep or eat because I feel like I am going crazy. My closest friends have both told me to cheer up, that there is still a possibility that she may need time to mull it over. Even my partner "E" has offered to talk to her and let her know that its ok to go out with me. Everyone thinks we are a great match...

I think if it was a simple overnight encounter, I wouldn't be this messed up - but when the fires of romantic interest burn slow, I guess they are harder to extinguish..

So my question to my "poly peers" - what should I do? Should I sit down and talk to her? Should I let "E" talk to her? Should I let it go and maybe bring it up a few months down the road? Do I just forget about it? I don't seem to be thinking in a logical manner, but with pure blinding emotion...

Has anyone had any success in a situation like this? Do people change their minds over time or is this a lost cause... Why does it feel like I have lost a really great relationship when it didn't even start?

Help me guys - I feel like I am going crazy...

ray 12-17-2010 02:15 AM

I wouldn't give up hope. I was approached by O for a poly relationship but it took me awhile to process what he was asking and then awhile to be okay with it. I flat out said no at first. But I really liked him so eventually I decided to give it a try. It depends so much on the person but maybe she's never considered a poly relationship before. That shift can take time. Or maybe she wants to have a greater priority than she could with you, ie wanting to be the primary partner. Who knows but i think it's worth talking about some more.

clairegoad 12-17-2010 11:52 AM

You don't have enough information yet.

What about the "poly part" is bothering her?
  • Is she looking for a traditional mono relationship? (this would be the dealbreaker.)
  • Is she afraid to try something new?
  • Is she concerned about Poly in general?
  • Is she worried about how others might see her?
  • Has she met a poly jerk.. and doesn't want anything to do with polys?

And as Ray said... maybe she just needs time to think about it. If it is "just" that she doesn't want to get between you and E, she may need to spend some more time thinking. Then the next time you and E run into her, you can invite her to coffee/casual time together.

Obviously the conversations are delightful/interesting. Let her see your relationship... how it works, how it has worked in the past.

jokutus 12-17-2010 04:31 PM

I just think i'm nervous on how to approach "B". Should I bring it up again next time I see her or should I let it lie...

"E" and "B" are exact opposites. "E" is much more out going. She is the kind of person who drags people out to the dance floor when no one is dancing. "B" is much more introverted. I don't know how to approach her again...

Somegeezer 12-17-2010 04:37 PM

If B is afraid of "getting in the way", but E is alright with it, then explain that to B. I think E explaining to B would probably help with that. But if B just doesn't like the idea of poly, I'd say leave it at that. Trying to push it onto them could make things even harder. Maybe down the road, B will change their mind and realise poly was for them all along.

GroundedSpirit 12-18-2010 04:00 PM

Hey Jok,

I wish I had some positive experience to draw on to pass on to you.
I don't.................
I've been in this situation a few times and not yet with a positive turnaround. I connected with several girls - we were very close and lost of warm vibes, affection and respect. But they couldn't cross that bridge.

If I wanted to play amateur psychologist I'd suspect it was based on several primary factors.

1> 'common' perceptions of such arrangements (doomed, unacceptable, complicated, or maybe some bogus moral standpoint etc)

2> Insecurity - the mindset that such things always bring some form of 'competition' and they lacked confidence to engage

3> A need for some element of 'control' - especially veto rights etc. Knowing from the beginning that one is only part of a team, or tribe, changes the political aspirations.

There's others, but these seem to be the most common present in some variable proportion.

I think the only hope is to try to stay friends and try to be as transparent as possible. Let her see that it actually IS workable ! Of course in order to do that, you have to do it right and make it workable :)

Good luck


redpepper 12-18-2010 09:20 PM


Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit (Post 56192)
I think the only hope is to try to stay friends and try to be as transparent as possible. Let her see that it actually IS workable ! Of course in order to do that, you have to do it right and make it workable :)

Agreed, it takes time too. So be prepared for that I think. Stay respectful, keep your word and be there... that's it. The rest is up to her I think.

ray 12-19-2010 12:26 AM

I will also add that O waited at least a couple of months before ever overtly bringing anything thing up. And then it was another month or so before the ball really got rolling. We knew each other 7 or 8 months before we started dating, so I had awhile to shift perspectives. And the idea definitely freaked me out at first. Mainly because I was afraid God was going to strike me down. But my curiosity won in the end.

Propast 12-20-2010 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by clairegoad (Post 56073)
You don't have enough information yet.

What about the "poly part" is bothering her?
Obviously the conversations are delightful/interesting. Let her see your relationship... how it works, how it has worked in the past.

I agree. Jokutus, from my experience: don't give up hope, but at the same time don't press. Just keep up the friendship and good conversations about other stuff.... probably at some point she'll ask questions (curiosity gets the better of most people, plus it sounds like she is into you) and that's your opportunity to explain and learn what she's thinking. Eventually if she never does it, open the conversation once from your side, a short discussion on your poly and let her know you're still interested if she changes her mind but you won't raise it again.

Worst case scenario? You've built a good friendship that doesn't lead to a relationship.

jokutus 06-10-2011 08:06 PM

Just a quick checkin, regarding the whole situation. After a terrible 2 month long relationship with a woman (one where this person actually blamed "E" for breaking us up - which makes no sense) "B" and I decided to go to a local scifi convention. On the drive up we were just chit chatting and she asked about "E"'s "boytoy". I told her they werent together anymore, which lead her to ask me about my previous relationship. After the whole story, she said something along the lines of "no one really understood why you were dating her anyway, she was pretty loopy even for you!". Out of the blue she starts asking more poly questions...

We had a great time at the con and it felt very natural.. Everyone has noticed how her body language changes when I am around. Here is the kicker - she is now in a relationship that, no one understands. The guy is annoying! He gets really defensive around me ( "B" and I pick and poke at each other)..

Everytime we are at dinner, or we go to a group event, I catch her staring at me.

I dunno, it is probably wishful thinking. As far as dating around, ive kinda given up. The pond really sucks out here, but if she asked I would in a heartbeat.

It sucks, because we are good friends, but i start analyzing everything. I'm going out of my head! We sit down last night and her BF doesnt even pay attention to her. So she turns to me...

Being friends in this capacity is really mentally draining, which makes me think putting myself in a voluntary exile may be helpful.

What fo you guys think (sorry about any typos, im on my iPhone)

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