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-   -   Poly with limits? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70095)

younglove 06-02-2014 04:18 AM

Poly with limits?
 
I am in a poly situation (I have a husband - 4 years, and a boyfriend - 2 years) and neither of them have dated anyone else. There's been mild attempts like phone numbers exchanged and group hangouts (for my husband... not at all my boyfriend)..

My boyfriend I'd say is probably better suited for monogamy - When we started dating he wasn't sure he could handle polyamory - but he was interested in me and ended up pursuing me and has been very serious about our relationship. He has a great relationship with my husband and has been very involved in our daily lives and at times we really function as a team. Still though, I sense he would prefer monogamy - he has virtually 0 interest in other people.

My question comes into play here - where - there seems to be - at least the impression I have from various conversations, statements, jokes, whatever .... a limit that I should only have two partners ... I am not sure if because I feel bad they havent had any others ... or because this is what makes them most comfortable - but there seems to be a limit on the number of partners I can see...

This was never a problem - it's not a problem necessarily now - but I am wondering what to do when/if I end up sensing a connection to another person happening and I would like to pursue it - and the reason is because it seems contradictory for me to refrain from pursuing others while being in a poly relationship... ( but i do not want to break any boundaries or comfort levels or anything like that).

I am not sure exactly how to go about asking them about it... I suppose I could continue to be open about people I meet/find interesting/want to hang out with.. let them meet them etc.. but bare in mind that I should not let the relationship build further without seeing where they stand on this third partner issue?

I think what I want to know is how do I talk to them about this limit? And is the limit reasonable or not? I think the limit exists because I was working/going to school for so long which consumed a lot of my life - and that was already limiting the amount of time I could dedicate to them - that the idea of a third and less time was extremely unappealing.

What are other people's opinions? Please be gentle with me in the replies..

Thanks!

GalaGirl 06-02-2014 08:30 AM

Quote:

I sense he would prefer monogamy - he has virtually 0 interest in other people.
To me your BF sounds happy enough being monoamorous in a polyship. He is here isn't he?

One can be monoamorous (love 1) and be in a monogamous shape thing with 1 partner. He can be content meeting his want/need to have 1 sweetie there.

One can be monoamorous and be in "V" shape poly thing. He can be content meeting his want/need to have 1 sweetie there.

He doesn't HAVE to have any interest in other people.

Quote:

I am wondering what to do when/if I end up sensing a connection to another person happening and I would like to pursue it - and the reason is because it seems contradictory for me to refrain from pursuing others while being in a poly relationship... ( but i do not want to break any boundaries or comfort levels or anything like that).
Just because one is polyamorus doesn't mean one cannot say "No, not at this time. My plate is full right now."

Everyone reaches a polysaturation point sooner or later.

Even in the same person at different times of life -- the polysaturation point can change. One easy example is you might be free enough with time and money and other resources to date many and have a high polysaturation point while a younger adult. But once work and/or kids comes into the picture, your polysaturation point may be smaller because you now have those things taking up more of your time and money resources.

Quote:

I am not sure exactly how to go about asking them about it... I suppose I could continue to be open about people I meet/find interesting/want to hang out with.. let them meet them etc.. but bare in mind that I should not let the relationship build further without seeing where they stand on this third partner issue?
That's sensible enough. Talk to them about it. Just be up front and ask. Where's their comfort zone at this point in time?

You do not exist in a silo in your configuration's polymath. What you do/do not do affects other people to a certain degree with the resources.

For example -- if you and husband share finances and you spend so much dating that you guys can't make rent or the car payment, he's not going to be thrilled, right?

If your BF is happy spending enough time with your when it's a 3 people "V" thing, but then you go jump into a 10 people "you are the hub of the wagon wheel" thing with no warning and BF sees you much less often? BF is not going to be thrilled to go from seeing you a few times a week to seeing you a few times every few weeks or months right?

Just talk to them up front about your thoughts and what the resources at this point in time are, and what each of their limits are. You can do this. It's part of relating in a polyship to talk things out. So talk.

Galagirl

Inyourendo 06-02-2014 02:39 PM

I struggle with this. Ok it's true I don't have time for more partners. When it wsa just Nate and me I had dated here and tthere and was satisfied with just knowing that if I met someone I could date them if I wanted. Sam is monogamous and most definitely not ok with me having more partners. Now that I'm being restricted in that way it's kind of a forbidden fruit situation lol. This is why I never wanted polyfidelity. It goes against what I want for myself. Not that I want to date others necessarilybut if i wanted to its hard to tell myself no. I get that same trapped feeling i get when i was in a mono relationship

KC43 06-02-2014 03:35 PM

I'd say you definitely need to talk to your husband and boyfriend about this. Give them the opportunity to express their opinions and needs, give yourself the opportunity to express *your* opinion and needs, and give the three of you the chance to negotiate a middle ground if those opinions and needs don't match up.

Hubby, Guy, and I have talked about this extensively. I don't feel it's "fair" (whatever that means) for me to have both of them but expect each of them to only have me. Complicating the situation, Guy lives way too far away for me to actually see him, so our relationship is almost entirely phone and online messaging.

The agreement we've come to is that each of us is free to find other friends, sexual partners, or friends-with-benefits, but that none of us will seek love or a romantic relationship with anyone else. That's been Guy's preference anyway; he doesn't want any other relationship besides the one with me, but he does want to be free to "hook up" with other women if the possibility is presented. At this point, I'm more interested in friendships than additional romantic relationships or sex, and Hubby is pretty much monogamous though he wouldn't pass up the chance to sleep with another woman if one offered.

Marcus 06-02-2014 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by younglove (Post 268570)
And is the limit reasonable or not?

For me? Oh absolutely not reasonable. While I do hold the emotional well being of my loved ones as a high priority, my autonomy is exponentially more important. So according to my values and priorities this request is not reasonable in any way.

For you? Only you can know that. What's more important to you? You can agree to a limit like this or you can deny the request - it all depends on what you want.

There is no right or wrong answer here but I suggest going with the answer that is honest and in line with what you value most.

younglove 06-02-2014 08:21 PM

interesting...
 
I'm on a phone so forgive my typing or brevity.. I agree with inyourendo about feeling a little trapped ... But not in a terrible way.. In a way that reminds me of monogamy and conflicts with my values.

As for my values.. I cannot do sexual relationships at all that do not involve romance .. Currently I am friends with someone I have spent a lot of time with lately but have been careful not to let things develop in a way I haven't spoken to my husband or boyfriend about. They've met him and hung out with him a lot and like him and they know I talk to him a lot.

As suggested I read about poly saturation and like the idea that I should leave myself some room so that if a family crisis or other problems arise I could handle it... Or if things weren't really smooth .. Handle that... Right now my relationships are very serious and very smooth. A third person would definitely be more peripheral ... And questionably not sexual.

I will talk to them about it because I want to be up front about these concerns but I also wanted to give myself some education about what is reasonable and should be considered before voicing my opinion.

Thanks very much for your help! I wish I could talk to them both at the same time but my husband just left for 3 months and itll be more difficult... I really dont want to worry him while he is gone. Not that he needs to worry.

nycindie 06-02-2014 11:52 PM

Next time one of them jokes or makes those kinds of comments, don't laugh along and pretend it wasn't said. If I were you, I would say, "Hey, don't joke about that - you never know who I might meet!" in a lighthearted, but firm, way. And if that is met with a challenge, all you need to say is that there are no limits to your ability to love and manage relationships except for what you personally feel is necessary, and that you don't find it amusing to even joke about having limits imposed on you by someone else. If that doesn't get the message across or start a dialogue about it, I don't know what will.

pulliman 06-03-2014 01:13 AM

Wishing there was a like button for what NYCindie wrote...

Nadya 06-03-2014 08:11 AM

I have never agreed on a closed relationship, and will not do it. I agree with Marcus that my personal autonomy is the most important thing for me.

That said, I have reached my polysaturation point at the moment and am not open for new connections right now - have not been since I met Mark. But, I keep the option open for possibly adding another partner in the future. And *I* am the one who gets to decide.

My guys are not thrilled of the thought of me having yet another partner, but I won't promise them that there never will be one. That would make me feel trapped, just like Inyourendo describes.

kdt26417 06-04-2014 12:26 AM

FWIW, I am in an MFM V, two guys sharing one gal -- and I don't think it'd bother me if she had a third guy. I don't know, unless he was a jerk or something, but she's pretty discriminating so I doubt that'd happen. Anyway, I think she sees herself as at her saturation point, so it's probably a non-issue. [shrug]


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