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-   -   new and so confused--can't believe i'm posting... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21326)

gfreelove 02-13-2012 11:40 PM

new and so confused--can't believe i'm posting...
I don't have a lot of comfort sharing personal details online with relative strangers, but I'm stuck and can't see any other course.

In 2010 I broke off a monogamous relationship of 6 years. When I met her I was young and did not want monogamy, but I loved her very much and still do. However for various reasons, including sexual related to our monogamy, our relationship failed then.

Subsequently I met a wonderful woman who was several years younger (I'm 30, she's 23). She wants to be with me and I want to be with her, but we both know I'm not interested in a conservative relationship model. When we began the relationship she explicitly repeated I could have sexual relationships, but not emotional ones, with other women.

That was alright for awhile especially because we were still a new couple, but in the end other women I was sleeping with became emotionally involved, so I broke it off with them. Afterwards we moved, and now we're in a new city.

I am not a clubber, a bar hopper, or a one-night-stand type of guy, and I've never really done a lot of shallow hookups. I'm not against it, and probably if I could I would; naturally, I love sex and beautiful women like most every hetero man, but I have a hard time investing emotional energy trying to 'hook up,' especially when I have an amazing girl waiting at home. She's beautiful as well, and I have high standards in general so meeting a woman who I like and is willing to openly accept what I want seems terribly hard.

Recently I took my girlfriend to a poly party which was interesting, but mostly older people. Also, she's not really the party type, and she says she doesn't want other men. I don't think I'd mind necessarily if she did, but she seems to be pretty set on me, which is one reason I like her. She had a mediocre experience, but I realized I would like to continue this sort of thing, even if I find another partner, besides my girlfriend, to do this.

I don't want to lose a wonderful woman. She says she's open to me doing other things, but she has strict limits that I'm not sure about. I don't think people should divorce sex and the natural emotional energy that goes with it--every loving relationship is different, from my view. I can't help admitting, if my ex were here now I would be unable to stop myself loving both women.

I also recognize the difference between swingers and polyamory--again, I'm confused as hell about it. I wouldn't mind swinging, but I doubt it would stay that way, especially with me. Nevertheless I'd be willing to commit to my girlfriend, marry her and make her the mother of my children, if she could handle that. I'll try to keep it to swinging,and if she wants to participate is up to her. But since she doesn't, how do I find someone who would take on that role? It's not that I'm a lecherous creep, I just have no clue where to look, and it seems a ridiculous conundrum. Help, please?

p.s. thanks for having this forum. Makes an embarrassing situation a lot easier.

AnnabelMore 02-14-2012 01:24 AM

There's nothing to be embarrassed about. For all we know this could be a made up story, you could be a researcher curious about our responses. It's all hypothetical when you're anonymous and on the internet!

I agee with you, divorcing sex and emotion seems not only unnatural to me but actually impossible. Don't get me wrong, I've had NSA sex that didn't mean anything, but to *promise* it wouldn't mean anything? How could I possibly do that? And it seems so cruel to have to break it off with someone just because you begin to like them. :/

I think you owe it to your gf to be honest that you feel this way. It's not fair to let her be blindsided when you develop feelings for someone else, when you knew all along it was a good possibility.

I'm not sure what you mean by finding someone "who would take on that role"? You mean, finding a woman to swing with you but with whom you wouldn't have an emotional relationship?

gfreelove 02-14-2012 05:06 AM

One thing that's great is she is really supportive and we have a good relationship, we have been openly discussing for awhile.

I suppose I would be looking for a woman to experiment with my girlfriend and me, and yes maybe go with me to do things my girlfriend may not be interested in doing. I have told my girlfriend before how I feel and she understands. Just trying to make it easy on her, since she seems to want to be monogamous (on her end, i mean) and i don't want to be cruel or unfair. I love her, I just know there's more to it.

I'm not worried that another woman would compete for my primary affections, even though my girlfriend probably is. That's probably my biggest concern, getting her to understand she's my priority, but some aspects of sex are more than physical, no matter what--even with one night stands, there is a non-sexual component. Could be the clothes, the look, the eyes, whatever--the physical basis for attraction is linked to deeper desires, and people who attract me wouldn't do so just for being good-looking...though it doesn't hurt. Not only do I want my girlfriend to understand, I also need support because for a man without a woman it's difficult, and reasonably so. I'm not into cheating, I'd rather just be honest...i'd like to know how people in the poly community find that balance.

Besides the problem of transitioning without overly upsetting my girlfriend, I was wondering about the younger poly community. She's early-mid 20's and I'm near 30, and while we have talked with some people and went to a party, the generation gap was an issue.

Since I'm new to all of it, I wondered what other people did if they had similar situations?

redpepper 02-14-2012 07:38 AM

Why does anyone have to be a primary? Can't several women or a couple of women be a priority? I think you have this a bit muddled. You are talking about another person here. Another woman that you say you will likely love along with have sex with. Why should she get the bits left behind from a primary relationship? Not very fair I don't think. I think what is important to realize is that this fantastical woman has just as much rights as your girlfriend does. That doesn't mean that she will fit the same spot as her, it just means that she is entitled to have her own boundaries respected, her own agreements with you, and just as much respect.

I think it very unwise to think of this from the perspective of swinging. Your statement about "looking for a woman to experiment with my girlfriend and me" is a red flag to me. Who says that your gf would find said woman attractive? Who says that the woman would find her attractive? Any number of things could come up when emotions occur. Sex? Whatever, its doable under the concept of swinging. Just don't fall in love.

This route you are suggesting is not the easiest route and not a good way to start seeing if poly works for you I don't think. Neither is swinging if you are prone to emotional connection with those you have sex with. I suggest you scroll right back and lay it on the line for yourself and her. If you want to be free to love others and have sex with them then tell her that and stick with it. It sounds like she is not interested and there is no reason she HAS to be involved with anything you do in terms for finding more love in life. Her role is to think that is awesome and support you while you support her in what she does. That to me is how any relationship in poly(or mono) works best. I would start practicing this.

If you read around here you will find years of people posting with similar concerns and thoughts. Have a look around. Read other threads. Do a tag search for "triads" "unicorns" "lessons" "foundations" "secondaries" "boundaries" "swinging" and anything else that seems interesting. I think the biggest thing missing from your story is education... yours and hers.

Take your time. There is lots of time. Keep going to that group. Age means nothing. Think of it as getting to know like minded people not as a place to find dates. Lots of older poly people could teach you some shit! Besides, you might find someone hot if you get to know them. I think that poly party was a great place to start. :)

nycindie 02-14-2012 07:45 AM


Originally Posted by gfreelove (Post 124790)
...I was wondering about the younger poly community. She's early-mid 20's and I'm near 30, and while we have talked with some people and went to a party, the generation gap was an issue.

How is 7 years' difference a generation gap?

redpepper 02-14-2012 07:56 AM


Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 124822)
How is 7 years' difference a generation gap?

That is less than me and my husband of 11 years! Geesh, I am younger acting than he is! I call him my old man and mono my boy. LB's older brother ;) Mono and I are both the oldest, PN is the baby of all of us but is the most responsible of all of us. Ya, age, pshaw, means nothing...

NovemberRain 02-14-2012 08:01 AM

I encourage you not to look at one poly party and assume that what you saw there makes up the entire poly community in your city/area/whatever. There might have a been a terrific concert that night and that's where all the twenty-somethings went.

I recently went to my first poly meeting. I was so pleased to see the age range from young 20's to grandparents. And there was a lot of talk about all the people that were not present. My impression is that lots of poly people have very active social lives, and any given party night they might have something much more interesting to do. (or they might be having a surgery, or a trip to the ER, or a baby, or a family obligation)

I recently met someone at a different social group I belong to. He's written the whole thing off on his (self-fulfilling prophecy) observation that everyone was 'old' and 'not interested in' what he was interested in. I found it sad.

gfreelove 02-14-2012 07:10 PM

thanks that's pretty salient info. I will consider and talk to my girlfriend more. And yes--I meant the age gap between us and the other people at the party, not each other.

feelyunicorn 02-15-2012 01:48 AM

I have never been to a poly gathering, unfortunately. But, if I were to guess, I`d say most polys are middle-aged. If finding a poly is almost impossible to begin with, finding a young one seems like it would be that much more difficult! :D

nycindie 02-15-2012 02:31 AM


Originally Posted by feelyunicorn (Post 124990)
...if I were to guess, I`d say most polys are middle-aged. If finding a poly is almost impossible to begin with, finding a young one seems like it would be that much more difficult! :D

Oh, no, I don't think that's true at all. At the poly events I've been to, there is a wide range of ages, from early 20s to crotchety old middle-agers like me. http://forum.volition.com/images/icon_smile_baby.gifhttp://www.prophecyfellowship.org/im...es/oldlady.gif

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