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-   -   Polyamory Dating Nerves (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14983)

kayemm 09-25-2011 08:17 PM

Polyamory Dating Nerves
Hello! I'm new (to this forum and polyamory) and I would appreciate any advice about my situation:

My boyfriend and I recently (3 months ago) decided on a polyamorous relationship. We've been together for five years and were each other's first major relationship. We still love each other greatly and there's great communication between us. Consequently, one of things that came up was, even though we couldn't bare to part, we both lamented that we hadn't experienced anything outside of each other. To address this, we decided to try polyamory. Neither of us started to pursue anything off the bat as we expected relationships and other dating opportunities to come naturally.

Well, last night was the first time I was ...approached, haha. A friend of ours, who we had told about our open relationship previously, told me about his attraction to me and his desire to date me. I got very excited at first, since I am definitely attracted to him. After telling my boyfriend, he was also excited for me initially, though cautioned that since it was our first time venturing out of our comfort zone, that I should tread carefully.

However, right before he went to work today he mentioned that he is having some weird feelings. And, as the day progressed, I am feeling a little weird myself. However, I don't know how much these feelings are out of anxiousness to be back into dating after 5 years, knowing my friendship with possible-date may turn into something different, and my boyfriend's (and my own) trepidation about implementing our polyamory and changing our relationship.

I didn't realize initially that I would write so much! So, I appreciate you sticking it out and reading my story.
I guess my questions are - when any of you were beginning to branch out, how did you feel? Was it intuitive or did you have first-poly-jitters like I am? How did you move on from them, especially if you had a "primary" (we haven't used labels like that yet, but I most definitely see my boyfriend as my best friend and soul mate) with some of the same feelings?

Thanks so much! :)

River 09-25-2011 09:24 PM


I recommend that you and your boyfriend clearly identify and talk about the "weird feelings". Is it fear of loss? Is it jealousy? What is this "weird feeling"? What thoughts or beliefs underlie it? Are those beliefs / thoughts true? Where did these thoughts / beliefs come from?

I also recommend that you read articles and books on polyamory, if poly is what you want to explore.

Learn how to express your needs, desires, fears... with one another and to talk about these things as allies in a growthful journey.

NeonKaos 09-25-2011 09:35 PM

Indeed, you're going to have to get to the bottom of what exactly it means "weird feelings".

As for your wanting to know how it goes for other people - I think it's good that you might have your first "poly experience" with someone you already know. Although it is my first "poly" relationship since I have known my husband, I have actually known my boyfriend longer than I've known my husband (and been "involved" with him) so it was pretty easy for me to deal with it internally. I have checked in with husband periodically and he seems ok knowing that i'm still the same person i was yesterday and that my other relationship has not sent me into a tail-spin of self-neglectful behaviour, which is something i used to tend to do whenever embarking on a new relationship or even a casual affair with really great sex.

You know yourself better than we do, so only you can determine if your "weird feelings" are just a product of going down the road less traveled or if they are true gut-feelings that signify a "red-flag" of some sort.

MichelleZed 09-25-2011 10:03 PM

I do want to point out to you that there's no need to go through with this if you're both feeling uncomfortable. Maybe you just don't really want to have sex with this other guy that much?

I'm not trying to tell you how you feel, but I'm just throwing the idea out there so you can think about it. You don't get points for how many people you sleep with, and it's totally okay to give this opportunity a pass until you feel more comfortable (if you ever do).

River 09-25-2011 10:20 PM


Originally Posted by MichelleZed (Post 103713)
Maybe you just don't really want to have sex with this other guy that much?

And remember that many or most polyamorous people are less focussed on sex than on loving relationships which may or may not include sexual intimacy. Thus, if someone expresses an interest in exploring polyamory, we don't assume the crux of the matter is whether and/or how much a person wants to have sex with another person.

Take me for example. I figure that if a person wants to have sex with other people they can do that without being polyamorous at all. There are all sorts of ways people do this -- and name it. There are "fuckbuddies" and "friends with benefits" and "NSA" (no strings attached).... These don't involve forming intimate and loving relationships at all. So if what a person wants is sex, ... well, let them have sex. And if a person wants love, let them have that. And if they want love with sex -- and loving sex, let them have that. But these are all VERY different things.

Anneintherain 09-27-2011 02:46 AM

My first poly experience after a 10 year marriage was with a guy who'd been a friend of mine for 3 years. There were certainly jitters and anxious and nervous feelings on everyone's part, but my husband and I had talked about it at length, and it was a few months between starting to talk about it with my friend and anything happening.

It ended up being a very short sexual relationship with him, but we are still great friends 7 years later, and I felt safe to try with him because I knew him long enough to have a good sense of the type of person he was.

The one warning I would have, and the one negative of my experience was that I loved him as a friend, but his feelings for me were a lot more serious, and that is the one reason I wish I hadn't gone there. We managed to get through that, but now that I am dating again after a 6 year hiatus, our friendship is having growing pains from what I believe is jealousy about it - even though he's happily engaged. Might be one issue for you that could occur later if it doesn't work out or you end up having unbalanced feelings, but that's one of those risks you always have to take when dating friends regardless of mono or poly.

The great thing about where you are is - there's no need to rush. You don't need to go on a date with this guy next week or next month, and if you take it slow you can practice flirting, and have time to figure out how everybody feels about it, since once it happens you can't take it back! :)

nycindie 09-27-2011 04:30 PM

It sounds like nervous excitement, butterflies, etc. to me.

OpenandCountry 09-29-2011 05:36 PM

Having just "ventured out" earlier this year from trying to be monogamous for several years with my husband, I can't say that I had any jitters. It felt totally natural for me. My husband has had those jitters, though, and he often feels weird going with his new (girlfriend? not quite there yet) places without me. I'm thinking that he is a mono through and through, which is fine by me.

If the weirdness you're feeling is a sense of jealousy, that's something that needs to be dealt with before anything proceeds. My husband had a mini-breakdown about a week ago because I was spending too many nights with my bf. We had a heart to heart and he agreed to ALWAYS fill me in whenever he felt like he was being left out.

I know everyone says it, but openness is reallly the key to any relationship. Good luck to you guys!

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