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-   -   New to the idea... Advice appreciated :) (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20382)

Naomi 01-21-2012 03:25 AM

New to the idea... Advice appreciated :)
Hi all,

I'm looking for a little advice... My fiance and I are just beginning to traverse the waters of polyamory. We are both completely new to it and have only recently discussed actually acting on the idea of us having romantic, loving relationships outside of our relationship. We've discussed polyamory before and we've had an open relationship for about 2 out of the 4 years we've been together. For those two years, we've been having sex with other people, mostly together and sometimes without each other. Always being totally honest and planning it all before hand (never doing anything unless the other knew about it and was totally okay with it happening). We have never had any romantic relationships with any of these people... Only friends, with some awesome sex!

Over that time, I've developed feelings for a fwb I've had... This fwb and I have been sleeping together on and off for about two years. The only reason we were ever "off" was because he got a girlfriend. Anyway, I've developed some serious feelings for this guy, as he's one of my best friends and I also enjoy having sex with him. My fiancé noticed this and had a talk with me about it, letting me know he's okay that I have these feelings and he's even okay with me pursuing them and becoming this man's girlfriend.

Now, the problem I am having is what to do from here. I'm not sure how to bring it up to the other guy and I'm in pain almost every day now wondering how this guy feels about me! Furthermore, this guy has no idea that my man and I are now okay with romantic feelings developed, so I feel like even if he does have feelings, he’d be holding back because he thinks it wouldn’t be okay. It's driving me crazy... But this guy has made it clear to me, many times, he's not the sharing type... So I really feel like there isn't a chance he'd even be into it. I also don't want to rush and bring it up because he just got out of a relationship. To complicate things further, he's actually moving in with my fiance and I next month (as a roommate).

I keep wondering if I'll be able to keep having sex with him, even if he doesn't feel the same. And I wonder why I'm so hurt right now... Because the truth is, even if he does feel the same and we do enter into a romantic relationship, it's not like it will be exclusive and I'll have to prepare myself for the inevitability of him leaving me to find a wife and start a family, because I can't be those things for him. I'm not looking to have another husband - NOT another equal partner. I'm looking for a secondary partner. I have already found the man whom I want to marry and have children with... And I’m pretty sure this guy, whom I want to be my secondary, is the type who does eventually want a wife and a family.

Anyway, I guess you can tell I’m kind of confused and in pain because of it. I just have no one to ask about these sorts of things and I’m trying to figure out what the hell to do.

I imagine I’m not the only one that’s been completely confused as to how to approach the second partner! (Especially when the second partner is a good friend whom you’ve had a sexual relationship with... Not to mention this guy also probably has no idea polyamory exists, he’s pretty vanilla when it comes to these things! It took him awhile to warm up to the idea of sleeping with me while I had a fiancé and this fiancé being okay with it.)

Any and all advice or comments is greatly appreciated.

ThatGirlInGray 01-21-2012 06:38 AM

Wow, sounds like there's a lot to consider. I'm sorry you're in such a painful situation. This bit confused me:

But this guy has made it clear to me, many times, he's not the sharing type...
By having a sexual relationship with you while you were engaged, hasn't he already been sharing you?
I understand that he might not want to allow himself to develop feelings for you because he sees you as "taken", but honestly, you never know until you ask. Yes, you might be hurt by his response, and yes, you might have to face ending a sexual relationship with him, but would you really want to continue one anyway if you're this torn up about it/him?

Though I understand the timing of him just getting out a relationship isn't good, I can't suggest strongly enough that you bring this up BEFORE he moves in. Waiting until after isn't going to help anyone and could potentially make the situation worse and even more painful.

I would try to think of it this way: Doesn't he deserve to know how you feel? If you want to ask him to consider possibilities, don't you have to let him know about the possibilities that exist? How can he make any sort of informed choice or decision if he doesn't have all the facts?

Naomi 01-21-2012 07:09 AM

Wow, thank you so much for your reply! :)

I think you are right... But I brought this up to my fiance, that maybe I should tell him before he moved in and he (fiance) thought it was too soon and I was obsessing and shouldn't say anything (because fwb just got out of a relationship, etc.). But I think you have a real point...

And, if I can't bring this up to my fiance, then my chances of having any sort of romantic relationship with this guy (while I am with my fiance) are slim to none... Because if it's going to work, I need to feel like I can talk to him about anything still.

Sigh. I'm so scared! Lol. Having these feelings in the first place scared the shit out of me... Because I love my man with all my heart and we have this amazing relationship... If this thing with the other guy fucked it up, I'd be heartbroken. Yeah, I'd be sad if I had to end my relationship with the fwb... But no where near as upset as if I ended my relationship with my fiance.

Anyways, thank you so much for your response. You've really helped me. It's nice to just put the problem out there and get a thoughtful reply from someone who probably has at least some idea of what I'm going through, lol. None of my friends really would at all.

nycindie 01-21-2012 07:20 AM

Gee, how nice that your fiance is okay with your feelings... as if your feelings need to be approved by anyone else, grrr. Sorry, but I had to get that out, it just rubbed me the wrong way.

Anyway... so, you develop deeper feelings for an NSA sex partner, discuss it with your fiance, and he gives you the go-ahead to pursue the guy as a boyfriend. So, now you feel you need to do something about it - great!

However, you're pretty sure the guy won't want to invest in being a boyfriend because he'll eventually want a serious relationship moving toward marriage which you cannot offer. Yet, you don't want him as an equal partner anyway. Hmmm.

And, even though he's been sharing you with your fiance, he wouldn't share himself with you and a "serious" girlfriend, 'cause he "doesn't share." Oh, and besides that, he's "vanilla." Makes sense, I suppose (not really), but what does that say about his respect for you, I wonder. Something to consider. In addition, he's about to move in with you and your fiance as a roommate, which could complicate things, especially if he does start seeing someone while living there with the two of you.

I can understand your confusion, but you say you're in pain... why? Because, despite the fact that these feelings have been building, your fiance has now granted you permission to act on them but you don't know how this FWB feels about you.

I think the problem here is, now that you are clear on your feelings and your fiance is understanding and consents, you have the idea that you must act on these feelings and make a relationship out of it. Maybe not!

Maybe it is progress enough at this point that you have a deeper understanding of yourself, your emotions, and of your relationship with your fiance. Perhaps you would learn a great deal more about yourself by just being with this mix of emotions you have, and not do anything with them but feel them - for now. It is a big deal that you won't have to hide your feelings for this guy from your fiance, and that is something to appreciate.

Why not be patient, try not to rush into anything and just for a while (like, a few months at least), let yourself feel your attraction to him, the excitement of being around him, adjust to him being in your living space, etc. See how things go with having your sexual partner living with you both. That in itself is a major shift in your dynamic, so go slowly. Breathe, and try to get your feet back on the ground.

Eventually, you and your fiance will know if/when the time is right for you to bring up the possibility of a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with this man, if that is something you still want. It might not be! And you will have a sense of how to do that, whether you tell him in private, you both sit down with him to talk, or it just evolves naturally from living together and continuing the involvement you already have.

Good luck with it all!

SchrodingersCat 01-21-2012 08:01 AM

If it were me, I would want to get all this out in the open before he moves in. That just presents too many possibilities for things to go upside-down, and then he's stuck looking for a new place to live in the midst of painful feelings.

If you have feelings for him and you're at all interested in a romantic relationship with him, then you'll have to learn to be open & honest at some point. Why not start now?

If you keep it to yourself, you're setting yourself up for heartache every time he goes out with a new girl and puts you in the "no" box.

From my impression of the situation, it doesn't sound like there's a lot of chance for this to work out the way you'd like. You've already decided that if you are in a relationship with him, he will be secondary. If he already said he doesn't like to share, I'd wager he likes it even less when he's in a prescribed secondary person. "I love you, but no matter what you do or how our relationship grows, you will never be as important as this other person." Ouch.

Naomi 01-21-2012 03:21 PM

Nycindie, thanks for the response...

I think you raise all very good points. See, the thing I'm worried about is, he moves in, I get to see him all the time, the feelings for him grow more and more... Then a few months down the road I tell him how I feel and either things go great, or a) he doesn't return my feelings at all and now I have to see him everyday while I try to move on from those feelings and b) he doesn't return my feelings and feels uncomfortable and weird that I didn't inform him of these feelings BEFORE he moved in. I don't want him to feel uncomfortable and all of a sudden need to find a new place to live. If he wasn't moving in, I wouldn't be rushing this (or at least I like to think so... But like you pointed out, it's almost like I now all of a sudden feel like I HAVE to do something).

SchrodingersCat (sweet name, btw)... I kinda feel like I'm leaning more that way... I'm the type of person that just gets everything out in the open right away. I don't do well with keeping secrets, and I feel like this is a pretty big one to keep inside. Then again, I can tend to rush things, be impatient and get a little needy/clingy if I'm not careful... And I really don't want to do that.

And then there's the whole "I love you, but no matter what you do or how our relationship grows, you will never be as important as this other person." Like you said... I think that probably would be painful to hear, but it's the truth...

Sigh. I'm really appreciating the responses... He's supposed to come over today and hang out with the two of us to discuss moving in, so I was thinking I'd tell him today. But I'm still confused as to what to do.


nycindie 01-21-2012 03:55 PM

I think your fiance is right in saying you are a bit obsessed with this right now.


Originally Posted by Naomi (Post 121430)
...I'm still confused as to what to do.


Consider this: you may just be immersed in the heady euphoria of oxytocin and dopamine, and it isn't love at all. Just a chemical cocktail resulting from connecting with someone on a level that goes a bit further than the physical. For more info on that, see: Your Brain on Sex.

That's one reason why I think it is better to be cautious and wait to say anything. I have the sense you still need to sort your feelings out. Most guys have certain beliefs and reactions to the word love. If you bring it up before the time is right, it could make everyone awkward and uncomfortable around each other, which is not what he needs after coming from a break-up and moving to a new living situation. And I do see value in not taking action on these feelings, as there is a lot to be said for not letting our emotions control our behaviors and disciplining ourselves to feel them without vomiting them all over the people we know. It's about self-management, and always a good lesson.

That's just how I see it. I hope it is helpful.

NovemberRain 01-21-2012 04:12 PM


Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 121437)
Consider this: you may just be immersed in the heady euphoria of oxytocin and dopamine, and it isn't love at all. Just a chemical cocktail resulting from connecting with someone on a level that goes a bit further than the physical. For more info on that, see: Your Brain on Sex.

nycindie, that was a fascinating article! Thank you SO much!

Naomi 01-21-2012 10:19 PM

Nycindie, I will DEFINITELY check out that article. I just don't really have the time to read right now, but I wanted to reply to ya.

I think you are right. In either case, I have decided to wait to tell him. Whenever him and I are hanging out alone together again and it feels right to do so, I'll find a way to let him know that the boundaries of the relationship with my fiance have changed.. Letting him know that we are now okay with pursuing romantic relationships outside of each other. This will give him some time to digest it (I won't be hitting him with a double whammy - my relationship with fiance has changed, oh AND I'm in love with you.. Lol.) In addition, like my fiance pointed out, I might find that he actually comes to me with any feelings he might have after awhile, once I've made it known it would be okay to do so.

In either case, I'm sure I will tell him eventually, but it's not like I have to admit I've had the feelings forever. He's probably not even gonna ask. All that matters is my feelings at the time of me telling him.

And in the meantime, I'll do what you said! Enjoy the changing of things now... And the truth is, the main thing I want to change between fwb and I, is that we spend more time together... Him moving in will prolly lead to that! Lol.

Thanks again all :)

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