First romantic/sexual relationship and its polyamorous. Advice?
So as a result of many factors: extreme shyness, growing up a religious fundamentalist, etc. I have never had a girlfriend. I didn't lose my virginity until age 30 (just one year ago!), had a couple of one-night stands and while they were fun they were not really what I was looking for. And now I have met not one, but two women who I feel very attracted to and who feel the same way about me. For the sake of anonymity I won't use their real names here. Let's call them BrownEyedGirl (for her beautiful brown eyes) and Ginger (a gorgeous redhead).
I originally met BrownEyedGirl at a convention a few years back, and while I had always thought she was cute, she was also very shy and I was shy too and too dense to recognize if a woman was attracted to me unless she made it blatantly clear. We friended each other on Facebook, and I would occasionally see her at similar conventions, but other than that I didn't see her much. I didn't even know she had a longtime crush on me until she revealed it to me yesterday!
I first met Ginger at a meetup for people attending Burning Man (I'd try to explain what Burning Man is, but a few sentences just wouldn't do it justice!) and then saw her again at a fetish convention, which was my very first foray into the world of kink. I met her husband as well during that time. She asked me out of the blue what I thought about polyamory, and I responded that I'd heard about it and it made a lot of sense to me, though only on a theoretical level--having almost no experience at relationships or dating. Then she asked me out on a date (to which I said yes) and kissed me.
Meanwhile, I had been posting on Facebook about Burning Man and also various raves I had started going to, and how I really loved the burner/raver crowd. I felt like my oddities were accepted in this crowd. I wore a catsuit to some raves/burns (originally for the fetish convention), decided to pick up the art of poi, and started experimenting with various costumes to wear to these events. BrownEyedGirl commented on my Facebook posts about how fascinating my life seemed to be becoming, and how she would really love to join me to one of these raves I was going to sometime. I invited her to hang out at one of my friends' lake house one weekend, and we started talking and discovering we have a ton of things in common with each other! Later she mentioned she was going to be in town (she lives about an hour and a half's drive away from where I live) and would I like to hang out and maybe grab dinner or something? So I did, and then we went on a long walk in a local park, talking for hours, at the end of which I kissed her.
So BrownEyedGirl is single and is brand new to polyamory, although she says she's not opposed to the idea of it. Ginger is an experienced poly-goer and has had a poly relationship with her husband for a number of years now. I too am brand new to polyamory, but one thing I do know is that I definitely want to date both of these women and have ongoing relationships (and sex!) with both of them. I have now spent a night making out with Ginger while she masturbated and later spent a night having sex with BrownEyedGirl (I made sure to talk with BrownEyedGirl about Ginger before doing this, so there wouldn't be any surprises.)
I am looking for advice, since I am brand new to both poly and relationships in general. What are some challenges newbies are likely to face? What are good questions to ask going into a new poly relationship? Thanks!
Being very forth coming with information in as honest and respectful way possible is your best bet; as is consideration for everyone involved with you and with your partners/lovers. Try doing a tag search for "lessons" and foundations" to see what others have written is what they recommend for a successful poly relationship dynamic.
I would find the time to grasp what it is you hope to gain for your future. Poly is a great dating alternative for people, as a lifestyle choice, but there are those of us that identify as poly and are committed to several people at a time throughout life. Figure out as much as you can about where you fit in and talk about it. Let anyone you meet know and what to expect from you. Life, love and sexuality are fluid, so remember not to make promises that might not work for you in the long run.
I just wanted to say congratulations for breaking free of religious conditioning and experiencing the freedom of new communities!
I have done that journey too and it's a great one. One thing I would recommend is not to throw everything you learned from your religion out the window. There will be some wise foundations in there that you can hold on to, and give you a sense of anchoring as you delve into new worlds.
There is definitely a process to learning how to be honest with yourself, and with others. There is often a lot of stuff that is hiding in the shadows that you don't even know about and they can come up and surprise you sometimes (like jealousy). It takes practice to identify them (eg triggers), so don't beat yourself up if you don't get it straight away, or all the time. Keep those lines of communication to yourself and to other people open. Have a strong sense of integrity in everything you do and stick to your guns and do what you truly want to do/say rather than what you think might be expected of you (this goes for all situations, not just poly). People respect integrity way more than bending.
Enjoy your new two ladies, it sounds like you're going to have some wonderful experiences there.
So today BrownEyedGirl broke up with me. She said there was another guy she had started dating just 1 week before she started dating me, that her feelings for him were stronger than they were for me, and as of today they decided to be exclusive with each other. I replied that although I was hurt, I understood that not everyone is polyamorous and I respect her decision. I really liked BrownEyedGirl though and this is hard!
I remember Ginger had said she was relieved when she found out I was dating BrownEyedGirl, because she felt that should couldn't devote the amount of time to me that I needed (she is polyamorous and has a husband, and is generally quite busy, not just with lovers but with other stuff in life, too). I think I now agree with her. I think I know what I need to do. I need to put myself out there and try to find a second woman to date besides just Ginger.
This experience wasn't all bad. I had a wonderful time with BrownEyedGirl, short though it may have been, and I think I can finally say with certainty that I really am polyamorous and I'm not just trying to be polyamorous for Ginger. I think the moment of clarity came when I met BrownEyedGirl, we had a fantastic time together, I realized I wanted to date her, and at the same time I realized I also didn't want to stop dating Ginger.
It is still hard for me, thinking of BrownEyedGirl, knowing that she is (or at least was) attracted to me, wondering if she still secretly wishes she could be with me. I guess I should just try to get over it and not spend too much time daydreaming about whether she still thinks about me.
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