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-   -   Filling A Gap (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10290)

onequarter 05-25-2011 08:51 PM

Filling A Gap
 
I'm looking for advice with my current relationship.

Background:
My boyfriend & I've been dating for about nine months, but before that we had been online friends for four years with a high degree of emotional bonding & kinky flirting. We talked for hours every day, shared everything, and had a lot of similar fantasies/complementary ideas about what we wanted in a relationship. When we finally ended up on the same side of the country and started dating, things didn't go as well as we thought they would. I was his first sexual partner and he had a lot of expectations which I didn't meet. Originally he broke up with me with the goal of dating more attractive people until he wanted to have a long-term relationship with me. We stayed FWBs, the sex has gotten better for him, and he's decided that he wants to keep his relationship with me while adding a second girl to fulfill his need for physical attraction. He has a theory that it's almost impossible to find someone who meets everything you want in a partner, and poly is an enjoyable way to get all of your needs fulfilled without causing resentment/divorce/etc. Since I'm bi, he theorizes that this arrangement will also let me get my queer fix.

I'm having a lot of trouble accepting this idea, and I still feel very unattractive. He's told me that I'm just not his physical type, he values the emotional/mental bond that we have (it goes well beyond friendship and deep into kinky territory), and he doesn't want to stop sleeping/cuddling/domming me, but he wouldn't be happy if he didn't get to fulfill his "shallow, immature" (his words) physical needs. Should I appreciate that I have a wonderful boyfriend who's willing to deal with all the hassles of trying to find a third person and values my personality and mentality, even if he also wants someone with a different appearance than me, or should I try and find a partner who finds me physically attractive? I feel shallow myself for considering throwing this all away just on the basis of physical attraction, since he has no problem sleeping with me/satisfying my kinky desires, but at the same time, I'm terribly insecure and I don't know if I want a long-term relationship where I'm constantly wishing my stomach was flatter/boobs perkier and wondering who my partner's really thinking of while sleeping with me.

The crux:

Is polyamory a good way to obtain something that you can't get in your current relationship, if both partners are interested in it, or does trying to fill a gap with poly mean there's something fundamentally wrong with your relationship?

redpepper 05-25-2011 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onequarter (Post 83257)
Is polyamory a good way to obtain something that you can't get in your current relationship, if both partners are interested in it, or does trying to fill a gap with poly mean there's something fundamentally wrong with your relationship?

For positive experiences in poly there should not be something wrong with your relationship when you are starting out. If there is it will come up quickly and then it is wise, I think, to stop and deal with it. The most successful poly relationships are ones that are conducted with positive, strong, communicative, honest relationship partners I have noticed.

Yes poly is useful in getting all your needs met. It fills the gap in that way, or can.

Have a look at the "lessons" and "foundation" threads found by doing a tag search for both. That might help.

Ariakas 05-25-2011 09:45 PM

I am not a fan of using poly to fill a gap when there is something "fundamentally wrong" with the core relationship. The core relationship should ideally be strong.

With the ups and downs of poly, you want the stability at its root. Otherwise it could wreck havok and poly will create more problems than good.

SNeacail 05-25-2011 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onequarter (Post 83257)
Since I'm bi, he theorizes that this arrangement will also let me get my queer fix.

This bothers me. So, I guess he is expecting to bring home young hotties that he MIGHT share with you. WTF! :eek: If he needs to spread his wings and experience life (as you were his first), fine, then remain FWB or just friends and each of you find others to date on your own (male or female). One Penis Policy (OPP), just pisses me off when it's mandated by the male.

nycindie 05-26-2011 05:48 AM

Truthfully, he doesn't sound so wonderful to me. Why stay with someone whom you feel like shit to be around?

It is possible to have multiple relationships in which all of them are attracted to you and love being with you and treat you with respect. It's possible to be involved with more than one person in whose presence you feel good about being you. Why settle?

I don't think it's healthy AT ALL to use other people, in the name of polyamory, to fill in and prop you up in areas where it feels bad with one person. First of all, it's an unfair burden and expectation to put on that additional person. Why should they fix the holes in your life or relationships? It wouldn't work, anyway. It'd be like trying to put a cherry on top of a bowl of ice cream that someone already laid a turd on. No amount of cherries or whipped cream can cover up the fact that there's a turd in your ice cream.

CautiousLoops 05-26-2011 04:46 PM

I have to agree with the others. Poly should not be something you explore to fix something in the relationship. My bf and I are exploring the idea because while we love one another very deeply and know we are spending the rest of our lives together we also know that there is room in life for other loves and other experiences. It has been very eye opening, very truthful and full of love. Its amazing the things you think will be the hardest on your relationship somehow turn out to be the best idea there has ever been!


it sounds like the relationship as a whole isnt in the best form right now and that should be worked on before entering into other relationships. Especially if you feel you might be seeking out other relationships solely because you are not happy in your current one. Then its more of just replacing your partner than having a poly outcome.

onequarter 05-28-2011 03:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 83312)
Truthfully, he doesn't sound so wonderful to me. Why stay with someone whom you feel like shit to be around?

I have bipolar, which leads to a lot of warped thoughts. I'm making a lot of progress (moodgym is awesome if anyone else has similar issues), and one of the things I've been trying to work out is if my negative thoughts are due to the situation or my emo interpretation of it.


Quote:

I don't think it's healthy AT ALL to use other people, in the name of polyamory, to fill in and prop you up in areas where it feels bad with one person. First of all, it's an unfair burden and expectation to put on that additional person. Why should they fix the holes in your life or relationships? It wouldn't work, anyway. It'd be like trying to put a cherry on top of a bowl of ice cream that someone already laid a turd on. No amount of cherries or whipped cream can cover up the fact that there's a turd in your ice cream.
That made me laugh for a good 30 seconds! I don't look at it as using people though -- we'd be clear with what we were looking for, and the ultimate goal is have a polyfidelous relationship. I've probably explained it with a negative slant, as well.

BlackUnicorn 05-28-2011 05:49 PM

I'd be more worried if it is you that is being used right now.

Considering this is a first kinky relationship for both of you, I have to wonder if you are active in your local community. Getting to meet others in the scene, especially other sub women, might be a really good idea. From what I understand, it is very common for subs to get very attached to their first dom, and maybe gloss over the parts of the relationship that are not that great.

Has your self-image in general improved, and does it keep improving, once you started out with him?

Hopeful 06-01-2011 03:13 AM

Honestly, the idea that a man would ever say to a woman who he loves and wants a romantic relationship with that he wants to date other women because he wants "more attractive" lovers rubs me completely the wrong way. I am not an underwear model. Neither is my husband. Neither, for that matter, is the guy I hope to form a secondary romantic relationship with. But they are both gorgeous men to me, partly because of my own "shallow" physical preferences (love me some blue eyes and dimples), and partly because they are wonderful men deserving of affection and respect. And they both treat me with affection and respect as well as demonstrating their physical attraction to me.

If physical attraction is not a part of your relationship, that's fine. It doesn't devalue the relationship in any way. But I get a bad vibe from the idea of a guy who is WILLING to sleep with you, even though he really wants someone he finds "more attractive." I don't even need to see you to know that you are worth more than being someone's back up plan. I might be way off base with this assessment, and if I am I apologize. But I've not always been so lucky to know such great men as I do now, and I've known both men and women to do worse.

onequarter 06-01-2011 03:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn (Post 83608)
I'd be more worried if it is you that is being used right now.

Considering this is a first kinky relationship for both of you, I have to wonder if you are active in your local community. Getting to meet others in the scene, especially other sub women, might be a really good idea. From what I understand, it is very common for subs to get very attached to their first dom, and maybe gloss over the parts of the relationship that are not that great.

Has your self-image in general improved, and does it keep improving, once you started out with him?


I'm not active in the kinky community yet, but I'm planning on starting very soon -- there's a ball next month that I am quite giddy about attending. However, I don't think I overlook the bad parts of our relationship; I consider them frequently. :/

I suppose my self-image has gotten better. I've lost ~50 pounds since we first started considering a romantic relationship 18 months ago, and that, of course, has been a big boost to my self-esteem. My boyfriend gives me compliments and points out when he likes what I'm wearing and such, but I just always feel an undercurrent of knowing that I'm never going to fully be his "type." I don't know if that's a rational thought or just a warped way of dismissing compliments/wallowing in self-pity.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Hopeful (Post 84158)
Honestly, the idea that a man would ever say to a woman who he loves and wants a romantic relationship with that he wants to date other women because he wants "more attractive" lovers rubs me completely the wrong way. I am not an underwear model. Neither is my husband. Neither, for that matter, is the guy I hope to form a secondary romantic relationship with. But they are both gorgeous men to me, partly because of my own "shallow" physical preferences (love me some blue eyes and dimples), and partly because they are wonderful men deserving of affection and respect. And they both treat me with affection and respect as well as demonstrating their physical attraction to me.

If physical attraction is not a part of your relationship, that's fine. It doesn't devalue the relationship in any way. But I get a bad vibe from the idea of a guy who is WILLING to sleep with you, even though he really wants someone he finds "more attractive." I don't even need to see you to know that you are worth more than being someone's back up plan. I might be way off base with this assessment, and if I am I apologize. But I've not always been so lucky to know such great men as I do now, and I've known both men and women to do worse.

I am definitely going to think about what you're saying here.


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