i have feelings for a friend of ours, he has feelings for me. neither of us have openly said this to each but everyone around us is aware of it. my neighbor even mentioned it. my partner C has been friends with H for twenty years, and C is fine/thrilled with the idea of H and i having a relationship but H and i are both concerned with screwing up the friendship we all have.
so do i
a) admit my feelings and fears and hope for the best
b) leave things as they are, try to deal with my feelings and not risk loosing this person i care deeply for
is my being truthful with him and myself truly worth the risk? do i want to look back later knowing i never even gave it a chance? i realize these are questions only i can answer but what would you do?
Just trying to gain some clarity on the situation.
I say, figure out a way to express your desire and leave room for the option of remaining friends. Make sure he knows you're okay with whatever he decides.
Perhaps other folks who have taken a friendship further can chime in, but I think that if you are open and honest and don't let insecurities get in the way, you can't ruin a solid friendship.
When I have decisions like this to make, I make sure I don't make my decision based solely on fear. Fear is a helpful emotion and I listen to it but it does not drive the bus. It gets to have a respectful input but no more.
So in this situation, I would ask myself exactly what I fear. For example - Why do I fear sex will lead to the end of the current friendship? How do I think the friendship might change if we get together? Don't get together? Do I think that sex changes everything and one can't be friends with sexual partners if things go awry? What could get ugly, if anything?
Once I know why I am afraid, then I can figure out if I can live with the potential consequences - unforeseen or not. (Sometimes potential consequences are good things!) If I can live with the consequences to the best of my knowledge at the time I made the decision, then I go for it (whatever it might be - grad school, new lover, career change, moving).
i'm sorry i didn't mean to be confusing, yeah H(i really need to do nicknames), is the person i have feelings for. we talked a little about screwing up friendships, or possible drama, when my partner was discussing a friend he wants to date. we live in a small area and gossip abounds, we aren't out of the closet and didn't want to appear that we were doing anything dishonest.
One of the basic foundations that sets polyamorous folks apart from swingers and whatnot is the slightly rabid belief in communication. Asking poly folks if you should talk or shut up is kind of like asking a hungry shark if it would like to bite a wounded bloody fish or nurse it back to health.
Nom nom nom! :D
Seriously though, you have the best vantage point on how much opening up to this guy may go off the rails. If it's all sorts of ruin with a tiny sliver of hope, maybe quiet is better.
However, if you've talked to your target (H) about friendships and drama in regards to your partner (C), then H already has some understanding of your situation. Your memory of how he handled that discussion may help inform your thinking about whether to proceed. It sounds like you are already halfway down that road.
You might consider something simple like, "I wonder if you'd be flattered if you knew I had talked with C about you?" Or "I was thinking about how you understood that it was important for poly folk to not mess up friendships even when they're interested in a guy..." Ok, maybe you won't say "folk." I say folk a lot. You might try it though--to yourself out loud... right now. "Folk." See? Fun.
Alrighty then. Onward, Castalia!
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