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-   -   The third... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17374)

Shyliss 11-19-2011 06:42 PM

The third...
I have recently found myself head over heels in love with a woman who happens to be head over heels for me. I am a lesbian, she is pansexual and is currently in a cimmitted relationship with a man. As we speak and message and see each other, I can't help but want to spend my life with her. Then I remember the part about her being polyamorous and having a life partner and I wonder how this will work for me. I want, so much, to be with her and, at this point am not afraid of the jealousy - however, I recognize that I am the one she is wooing and paying attention to right now. What happens when I have to share that attention... Just wanted to be here with people who don't judge me for my choices. Thoughts? Recommended readings? Advice? All welcome. Thank you.

FireChild 11-19-2011 07:02 PM

Your relationship could blossom and she could feel about her man and you equally. The sky's the limit really.

Amitrye 11-19-2011 07:07 PM

I completely understand where you're coming from. I'm mono, but I've been in a relationship with someone before who was poly.
One key to allowing yourself to feel comfortable with "sharing" is to realize that a person isn't property, and honestly, your partner is far ahead of many people who claim to be polyamorous because she was forthright with you.
Another issue that arises is when the two partners she has dislike each other, or don't spend time together. It's easier to tell yourself she's with one of your friends than to be angry because she's run off to "the other one" again.
Have you spoken to her OSO yet? It might help to ease some of the tension you've been feeling... break the ice. As long as he knows and is fine with it, I think you guys could have a good road ahead of you.
I'm not saying it will be easy- I've been there and broken up for various reasons- but even as someone who is mono I can understand the good that comes from having multiple loves.
Honesty and communication are going to be key. Between her and you, her and him, and him and you.
There are some good books that can help as well- such as "Opening Up" and "The Ethical Slut." They really assisted me in letting go of some of my fears and jealousy in the past. Good luck!

AnnabelMore 11-19-2011 07:17 PM


I would say the most important thing to establish at the start is whether she sees her relationship with her man as the only long-term life-partnership she ever wants, in which case all other relationships would be "secondary" (sounds bad, but can be a totally lovely way to share intimacy with someone even though you're not sharing a life), or whether she's open to the idea that she could some day have two life-partners (aka "primaries"). I think knowing what the possibilities are will probably make you feel less adrift.

Regardless of her answer (and she may just reject the terminology entirely, as some people do, so I would recommend using something like the phrasings I employed above rather than the shorthand terms of primary/secondary, since the concepts have value as disscusion points whether or not you like the terms), chances are very very good that you're going to be secondary at this point in the relationship -- her long-term partner will come first. After all, terms aside, who would meet someone new and immediately treat them just the same as their life partner?

Being in a secondary relationship with someone who has a primary when you don't have one of your own can be disconcerting and leave a person prone to insecurity. You may feel like you don't know where you stand. Remember, if you're confused about how she sees something, or what's "allowed" you can always just ask. If your gf is loving and supportive and you're actively examining your feelings and talking as you go along, it will just get easier and easier. I highly recommend everything on this website, but the essays under this heading may be particularly useful: http://www.morethantwo.com/polyconfigurations.html

Eventually you will want to figure out if you want another partner (or two or more!) of your own or, if she can give you enough to make it worthwhile, if you only want to be with her. Many people make such a relationship work, where one person is polyamorous and the other is monogamous (poly/mono). It's up to you to make that call but it by no means has to be made right away (nor is it immutable for that matter)... some people find having multiple new relationships in the establishment-phase to be too much to handle anyway, so it may not be an issue for some time regardless.

Getting to know her man at some point will probably be a big help. Assuming he's a cool guy, seeing him as a person rather than as a mystery or a rival will help head off jealousy. You guys could even potentially develop a great friendship some day -- after all, since you share the same woman, you'll always have a topic of conversation ("does she do that annoying huffy thing with you when she's losing an argument too?" "wanna go in on a birthday gift together this year?").

Good luck!! Hope you stick around and keep us updated with your story. :)

Shyliss 11-19-2011 07:19 PM

thanks. the best part is that we are completely honest and communicate openly without fear of judgement.

I am not sure what OSO means... I assume it is the man she is with. He knows about me and has been very supportive of her pursuing a relationship with me. We have not met yet, but will next Friday. I am nervous but I hope that ... well, I hope I don't freak out.

Shyliss 11-19-2011 07:23 PM

how incredible to have found such a great community. I am thankful I have.

AnnabelMore 11-19-2011 07:30 PM

Originally started to tack this on as an edit to my post above, decided to give it its own post instead:

Oh also, regarding your worry about what it will be like when/if she's wooing someone new, you can always ask her if she intends to continue to be open to new loves in the future, and how she handles splitting time and attention between old partners and new ones. Some people do get caught up in "NRE" (new relationship energy) which can leave their old partners feeling neglected. If that ever happens, you just need to speak up for yourself and make sure you're still getting the love, time and attention you need to feel cared for. It will probably involve a lot of discussions of how you each show and want to receive love, what your needs are, and juggling of schedules. Poly can be absolutely wonderful but it's not ideal for people who need everything to be neat and simple or for people who don't like to talk things out. Of course, that makes it ideal for lesbians, who are notorious for talking everything into the ground. :D

OSO = other significant other

Shyliss 11-19-2011 07:32 PM

that made me laugh! and, yes, i am a typical lesbian that way... into the earth's core!!!

sometimes i like neat and simple but my world has been opened up by her and now i feel like anything is possible and, even beautiful!

AnnabelMore 11-19-2011 07:38 PM

In the words of a member of the queer women's cabaret I sometimes hang with: "we are processing the progress of our programs and programming the progress of our process..."

Shyliss 11-25-2011 02:26 AM

Well, tomorrow I meet my girlfriend's partner. I am freaking out but trying to keep my cool. We are meeting at a staff social (oh, did I mention that my gf and I work together - complicates things a little). I am not sure if that is such a good idea or not, with everyone around and no one knowing anything.

I am a little worried that I am going to feel strange ... she has mentioned that she wants to look sexy for me... but she will be on a date with him. I am still trying to figure out how that will work.

Sunday I will be meeting her best friend and am hoping she will meet my friends next week. But then I worry that we should get through tomorrow before we talk future stuff...

So. I suppose that I will keep you all updated. Thanks for the support!

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