New to a mono/poly relationship
Hello Im new around here and have nobody to discuss this with so I thought this forum may be a good place (I have been lurking for a couple of months but finally made an account)
I met a fantastic man who is poly. When I first met him he told me all about polyamory and later urged me to buy "The ethical slut". I had out of curiousity read about polyamory online after our first conversation. I felt open towards the concept, but didnt have any moment where i "knew it was for me". I dont know how I am "wired".
I have only been in one relationship before my current one. IT was strictly mono (w/ an extreamly controlling, jelous guy we will call S ). I was with him from age 17 to 20. S was my first. The first guy I even made out with.
Then shortly before turning 20 I reunited with this poly man(we will call P) after months of thinking he was unattainable and a man id never see again, I was really excited to see him and realized I liked him a lot. We fooled around a bit (S had told me he would have an open relationship with me but we both knew he wouldnt be able to handle it) anyhow, P later told me he wasnt looking for a hookup, he was looking for a relationship, but he wouldnt see me unless I came clean to S about him.
Needless to say I came clean to S, and eventually broke up with him(something I had been thinking about doing but never had the courage to do so I was staying in a relationship where I was unhappy.)
I felt like things were going swimmingly with P. Ive been kind of seeing him since September. Of course I didnt know if I was seeing him or what, his facebook status said single untill recently.
a few problems or challanges have arised though 1) P is a huge flirt, has dated and hooked up with hundreds of girls and makes out with many girls when we go out. This isnt a problem really...(he tells me "Im probably going to be making out with some girls at this party" and tells me about it after if i want to know. In a few cases he has told me he hooked up with a girl, but afterwards.) Of course I feel jelous the moment he tells me but I dont think the girl is going to replace me.
He encourages me to talk to other boys and see other people. I have only been with one other person in my life. I have social anxiety disorder and am not exactly a social butterfly. I dont really want to meet other people at this time. I dont want to seem clingy to him though.
He met a girl who I really liked a while ago about a month after we started seeing each other, I felt like he was in love with her. If he was he wouldnt admit it because he only uses the word love when giving his polyamory lecture. He would talk about her often. He would tell me to be more like her, some times that I was more and more like her everyday. that he missed her when she was gone ect. It bothered me and I told him so eventually. But she moved across the country to be with her love and he got depressed. and slowly got over her. It was really hard on me.
I felt like he would want to be mono with her even though he has been poly (or mono out of convienence) for 17 years. He is 30 and I just turned 20. I have no experience, and dont know how to even flirt with people.... and he has been an "ethical slut" for 17 years.
The problem now is me, I am depressed, I struggle really badly sometimes and S used to be a support system for me sort of. P doesnt know how to deal with my 'baggage' and finds it draining. He constantly tells me that confidence is a huge turn on well knowing i struggle with mine. The other girl, came off as extreamly confident and flirty. I feel like P preaches this idea that someone who is poly has different needs and loves people in different ways, but i feel like hes constantly comparing me to her.
She doesnt tell him about her problems as I do and I dont want to do that to him, and sometimes he reacts badly, so i try to no longer tell him when I am having trouble, unless things are reeally bad and i need a friend. (I actually dont have any friends really except a couple online. Social anxiety).
Last night after I went to him because things were really bad, a friend of mine was serious about suicide....after we were talking he told me "I dont think our relationship is going to last" because I am instinctually drawn to troubled people, people with depression, friends who are suicidal, people who hurt themselves. and he is non of those things. He said I dont think we have anything in common. I pointed out to him that I love that about him because it makes me more hopefull, more confident and feel better about myself and my life, and all the things we have in common in spite of his remark.
what he said really hurt me. he then signed offline after saying "Night!". I texted him later and said "thank you for your support. your right our relationship isnt going to last if you do not want it to." and he replied "I want you. but do you want me?" I replied of course, because i reeeally like this man. but his reply confused me. I felt relieved but simply confused.
I expressed my fears to him a while ago, not that I would be jelous of his other girls but that he will find a poly woman (which is what he really wants.) who will not have my emotional baggage and mono needs and will prefer that over me simply because I am a burden at times. I do not know if my positives are enough to out weigh my negatives when this man can get ANY any girl he wants. I havent told him, because I know it will freak him out but I love this man. Hes no longer the "perfect" guy I hooked up with because I know him better, his fears, what frustrates him, his mannerisms and "flaws" and I dont love him any less for these things. He is a beautiful person and I want to be with him. I do not know how he feels about me. He says things like "I dont know why i keep attracting girls with problems, who dont know what they want ect." and I told him that makes me feel bad and he said he was sorry. Likewise I told him that how he compares me to the other girl makes me feel bad and he apologized as well. He says he doesnt have a filter, he just says what he is thinking or feeling.
I know this is really a long message but well its cathartic even if I do not recieve any replies. I dont even know if I had a question....
I hope to get to know you guys around here. Thanks for listening.
It seems your intuition is pushing you in the best direction... You say you love him, but you are unsure of what to do. If I met someone who criticized me like that, I would leave him. (comparing me to other women, saying off handed comments about how he attracts people with "problems", etc.)
Also - EVERYONE has baggage. if anyone wants a relationship with someone, they have to realize that and know that it is a part of the person. Baggage can be a good part of someone if said person can work through it to become a better person. So, to assume you won't have baggage one day is naive.
AND "not having a filter" is Bullshit and immature. YES you should share things, be open, and honest. It sounds to me that he said that as an excuse for his bad behavior. If he truly cared for you, he would frame things better, while still holding on to the original meaning.
If I were you, I would ask myself this (for any one!): Why would I EVER want to be with someone who doesn't want me, or who treats me in a way that hurts me?
If you raise your standards and make a clear list of what is TRULY important to you in a relationship, those people WILL come to you... This especially works if you love yourself first and have confidence in your value in the world.
Here is an example of such a list (yours is personal to YOU, so may be different)
These are the things you have to do to end a relationship with me:
* Lie actively or by omission
* Be emotionally abusive by constantly criticizing me or not supporting my endeavors
* Assume that you are number one in my life. I am.
* Whine about how the world is always out to get you. You are in control of your own happiness.
* Cheat on me or deceive me
* Break relationship agreements and step over my boundaries
* Disrespect me, my family, my friends, or even my cat
* Become stagnant in life and stop improving yourself and our relationship
* Be disrespectful of my time by frequently cancelling plans last minute with no good reason – Or even always assuming me to always be available last minute.
* Rush me or push me in making decisions
These are things I need:
* Love, compassion, caring, respect, loyalty, dependability, kindness, great sex J, time…
* The opposite of the Relationship Death List!
Thank you so much redsirenn for your reply. I prior to meeting P I was in a relationship for 2 years, with someone who was manipulative, but clingy and controlling. Now with P I have this new freedom with him and I think hes a beautiful person who I do want to be with. Its true though I should not tolerate these off handed comments...I did tell him recently to stop comparing me and that it hurts me to hear these things. He hasnt said anything since, but he gets easily frustrated with my depression and doesnt want to deal with emotional things. I told him sometimes I dont tell him how im feeling because I dont want to upset him. He and I are different in that respect. Like you he is 110% devoted to improving his life. I would like to be as well but often my depression interfears with my motivation and optimism. Im not saying its an excuse, I am now on medications and trying to get the help I need. he is more understanding of my depression than the last guy I was dating, but he doesnt understand why sometimes I give up on trying to get better. (aka becoming stagnant in life). I really like your list and I am going to make my own. I never even thought of something so simple.
thank you very much for the advice
At the time, I resented anyone telling me what to do, but I will say this for myself, I will never allow anyone to demean me that way again. When one is 20 with a social anxiety disorder and a tendency towards depression, it is easier to look up to people who seem to have their shit together and feel inadequate.
But if this man is comparing you to another woman while touting polyamorous ideals and possibly avoiding deeper "baggage", then I'm wondering if he avoids the hard stuff.
At 20, I had lots of stuff to sort out. Family issues, depression, all kinds of stuff. So, as much as I HATED hearing this at the age of 20, my best advice is to work on yourself. Find the root of your depression and give it a lot of love. Nurture yourself and your own self-confidence. There is nothing this man can do or say to make you feel better about yourself, it must come from within.
Poly isn't something to be because someone you love is. It will be very painful and destructive to your self if you try to fit into a poly box because of someone else.
I also suggest having a very honest conversation and asking him questions about where he's at because it seems you're unsure.
The more I here the more I just shake my head and have to say I agree with the other ladies.
This guy honestly doesn't sound like he's poly. He sounds like he's an emotional predator who uses manipulation to get women to give him sexual and emotional power over them.
If I were you I would RUN, not walk, but RUN away from him.
You are worth SO much more than being treated like second best just because you are kind, loving, respectful, and open. He's taking advantage of a beautiful person. DO NOT let him do that to you.
((hugs)) and trust me, you will find someone (or ones) much better. You do deserve that. :)
wow thanks for all the in depth replies. Its really nice of you guys to really take a look at my situation and give me advice. I realize I will have to do some soul searching. While its true P is quite immature, and unfair at times, I do not think I am ready to leave, in fact I adore spending time with him and learning from him.
that was pretty profound to hear him say.
Thanks for all the great advice I am so glad I finally signed up around here. You all are very supportive and helpful.
Thanks for sharing all that with us !
I think Redsiren gave you some good feedback regarding relationships (current or future) but I think it also spoke indirectly to a bigger need/concept that you need to grab (maybe you did).
Right now - you need to focus on YOU ! Relationships - although they might be/seem helpful - can also be a distraction. And even detrimental. My thoughts are just that I'd go slow and not give them a high priority just yet.
I'd focus on loving YOURSELF first and working towards making your life happy & fulfilling first - by your own definition and no one elses ! You seem obviously bright, caring, insightful, attractive and have a lot going for you. Everyone is not so lucky. Embrace the good you already have and try to add to it ! As I think Redsiren alluded to - the rest will follow :)
"Polyamory" is a very complex subject in both philosophy & action. Because of what I pick up of your generally loving nature and ability to open your mind along with your heart, I can see where it might strike a chord. My thoughts - don't be in a hurry. Take note of the possibilities but don't necessarilly go running hell bent down that path (or any for that matter) with the idea that it's somehow going to transform your life in 90 seconds <grin>. Those sudden transformations are rare.
Here I also have to offer a differing viewpoint on a couple statements Redsiren made. I think it's important.
1> "EVERYONE has 'baggage' "
2> " to assume you won't have baggage one day is naive."
I don't question that maybe that's "someones truth" - maybe even a lot in our current society. But I can assure you it's NOT the only truth :) Depending on what we'd agree was a definition of "baggage", I could categorically assure you it's not true !
And the part about never being free of that 'baggage' just plain scares & depresses me. I think it could serve as an all too convenient 'crutch'. A failsafe for lack of total commitment. Ya know - kind of like saying "Well I'm off "Zgthryr Island" - which of course I know starting out doesn't exist - so if I never get there - it's not my fault. I'll just always be stuck on this dusty trail.
To me - that's just kind of self defeating.
You go girl ! You're awesome :) I can just tell !
Thanks GroundedSpirit I agree compleatly. I broke up with S because I decided my needs were more important to me then his. With P I feel like I have this freedom to put myself first. He isnt demanding, in fact he encourages me to put myself before him in any situation. Sometimes I dont because I have gotten used to putting S's needs before mine in my past relationship. I am learning how to improove myself in the process of being in this relationship w P. Polyamory seems challanging, but not impossible. Im not sure if im "wiered" that way, I dont think I am, but I can see the benifits of a poly lifestyle inspite of the challanges.
your point is right, about baggage. while i thin keveryone has baggage, its to different degrees and my baggage i have delt with for many years in certain way. P is not accustomed to this stuff. I wish i didnt have it, but i do. Its not an excuse to not improove myself but it does impact my motivation at times. I am a work in progress and that is okay. I just hope P can see that.
Thank you grounded, I feel a more optimistic now. . . got a lot to think about.
just to clarify:
When I say "baggage" I mean both the bad and good experiences in life that make us who we are. We will always have that.
Don't want to miscommunicate.
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