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-   -   I seem to have ended up in a poly relationship and we're both mono. Advice? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22519)

cbgnar42 03-22-2012 08:02 PM

I seem to have ended up in a poly relationship and we're both mono. Advice?
 
Ok I'm going to try and sum up my situation here:
-I've been dating a girl for almost a year
-The relationship was going really well, but she came to the conclusion that she didn't have enough time to be single before we met. (she ended her last relationship just before meeting me) I don't think she really sees our relationship as a rebound, but she said she felt trapped, like she hasn't experienced enough yet. (I am 27, she is 25)
-We have always felt really connected, and still do.
-We still see each other, and are considering it "dating." When we hang out we are still very intimate and loving to each other, though no sex.
-I am very much in love with her and consider her my soul mate, she is obviously in love with me too, but it's like there is something holding her back from fully admitting/realizing it.
-I kind of expect/hope things will settle out and we will be fully reunited sometime soon. (hopefully a few months)
-We are dating other people as well. Though I don't have much interest in it, I will probably force myself to go on a few dates anyway. She is dating around because she feels like she needs more experiences and needs to figure out for sure what she is looking for in a life partner.
-It's sort of odd, because at this point we are basically in an open relationship, though I am monogamous and she very likely is too.

I guess I'm just looking for some advice for this situation. What is likely going to happen? What is the "next thing" that needs to happen for us to move forward? What should I be doing? Is it good to stay so close or should we try to distance ourselves a bit? (For the record, stay close comes really naturally to both of us) Thank you! I know this one is a bit complex.

(I know poly isnt quite the same thing as open relationship, but I figured people here would understand what I mean)

polypenguin 03-23-2012 02:40 AM

relax, you're way over thinking this. Being "free" is to me what being poly and open are all about. Find joy in your partner's joy (the term is compersion. And in "my girlfriend just had an orgasm, and i'm feeling very compersionate twards her right now). It can be a rocky road, no question. But the rewards are very often well worth the uphill climb.

remember, just because you feel fulfilled by one, doesn't mean you can't love another.

cbgnar42 03-23-2012 10:10 AM

But the thing is I don't consider myself poly, and at the end of the day, I don't believe she is either. It's sort of just an experiment. I don't want to be in an open relationship. I'm wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation before.

LusciousLemon 03-23-2012 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cbgnar42 (Post 130062)
But the thing is I don't consider myself poly, and at the end of the day, I don't believe she is either. It's sort of just an experiment. I don't want to be in an open relationship. I'm wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation before.

Unfortunately what you're saying and the reality of your situation do not mesh. You may not "believe" she is poly, but by what she's told you and what she is doing she is telling you otherwise, even if you don't want to believe it. You've agreed to this for now, and you need to find a way to either deal with it or speak up and ask for it to stop (or step away). Sure, it's possible that she will eventually have "sowed her wild oats" and feel comfortable stepping into a mono life with you, but that is not where she is now. Holding out for some future that may happen is not going to be the best option for either of you. If you really, honestly, cannot handle the fact that she is dating other people you either need to step up and speak up or step away.

It sounds to me like you really don't want to be pushed into a lifestyle you don't personally agree with (poly when you believe yourself mono) but you seem to be unconsciously trying to do the same to your partner by telling everyone she's mono when she's not there right now. Please step back and look at this objectively. She can really love you with the intensity that you expect of a mono partner and still potentially date other people. I'm not sure that that's an easy thing to accept when you're mono and believe that that is the way to be. I can honestly tell you that I feel that my primary partner is my "soul mate" and the "love of my life" in the way that all the mono fairy tales we hear as children describe, and yet I also love my secondaries greatly even though we just started dating. I can see the love I have for my secondaries growing into the same level of love that I have for my primary partner.

Is there something you fear by admitting that your partner may just be poly? Is there something that you simply will not be able to handle or accept if that is the reality of the situation? And my other question would be, have you mentioned this site to your partner? Does she know that the potential for honest, up front, ethical non-monogamy exists and there's others out there practicing it? I have the feeling if she realized that the potential was there for being madly in love with you and even engaged/married to you but still being able to date others were there (if you were open to that possibility) that if anything it may make her more able to accept the thought of "settling down" with you (not less).

nycindie 03-23-2012 03:16 PM

Ummm, you're young and single and dating. What's the problem? The woman you are dating feels a need not to be tied down in a commitment to you right now and wants to date other people. She wants to enjoy her independence - hooray for her! You seem to be having a bit of a tantrum about it, saying that's not who she really is to want that. Well, maybe you don't want it, but obviously she does. Who are you to say that she's holding back her real feelings or isn't really poly? You are judging her but you can't tell her how to live her life. Maybe you've become more attached to her than she is to you. Maybe you need to get your feet back on the ground.

You have a few choices: sit around and mope about it, enjoy your independence too, or break up. So, put on your big boy shorts, and deal with it.

cbgnar42 03-23-2012 07:44 PM

hmm. I think it's odd that people are assuming I'm trying to prevent her or drop expectations on her. I really don't think that is the case here. When I'm describing things about her it is either something she has outright told me, or something that I know about her because we are so close.

I also don't really think it's a situation where polyamoury needs to be considered because this isn't really a poly situation, it's an open relationship that sort of just happened after a break up. (When i say "just happened" what I mean is it wasn't discussed or part of the plan. She felt like she needed to have more experiences and just be single before she could settle down, so she broke up with me. But we are still "dating" and when we are together we act very close and loving.)

In any case, I don't believe her to be polyamourus. We had discussed the possibility of open sex lives before, but we didn't feel comfortable sharing each other. Also, in different talks about soul mates I think she made it clear she is monogamous. There is a possibility that she may discover she is indeed poly, but I don't think it is likely.

I guess to sum things up, I'm wondering if I should just stick with her and stay super close like we have been until the next phase comes (weather that phase sees us back together or not) or should I sort of "let her go and if she comes back it was meant to be, if not she was never mine to lose." I wouldnt fully let her go, we would still be friends. But sometimes I think it would be best if we stopped acting like lovers all together. But it feels natural for us to act like lovers because we are. That's what I'm confused about and looking for advice on.

opalescent 03-23-2012 08:47 PM

Yeah, I believe this is what monogamous people call 'dating'. Another term is 'playing the field'.

Also, while you state that you both consider your relationship with her to be dating, it seems to me that you are her best friend, not a lover. She loves you, but as a dear friend. She's not ready for a serious commitment and wants to figure out who she is and what she wants which is wise.

But this course of action may be her too gentle way of telling you that she is not into you romantically. I believe this is her way of letting you down gently without being too direct and without risking your friendship, which she clearly values.

She is seeing other people, and likely having sex with them. If she was interested in you sexually and romantically, then, well, you two would be having sex, not just doing the emotionally intimate thing. I'm sorry, you are her bff, not a boyfriend.

If you can remain friends with her without too much pain, go for it. But otherwise, it's time to cut ties and move on, as painful as that is initially. I've been in your shoes and it sucks. Best of luck.

Arrowbound 03-23-2012 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by opalescent (Post 130134)
Also, while you state that you both consider your relationship with her to be dating, it seems to me that you are her best friend, not a lover. She loves you, but as a dear friend. She's not ready for a serious commitment and wants to figure out who she is and what she wants which is wise.

But this course of action may be her too gentle way of telling you that she is not into you romantically. I believe this is her way of letting you down gently without being too direct and without risking your friendship, which she clearly values.

She is seeing other people, and likely having sex with them. If she was interested in you sexually and romantically, then, well, you two would be having sex, not just doing the emotionally intimate thing. I'm sorry, you are her bff, not a boyfriend.

This is what I gathered as well. I think you might be projecting your own desires onto her. She's clearly not down for a one-on-one relationship right now. And that's okay. You just need to figure out how much more time you're going to spend 'waiting' for her to fall into step.

NovemberRain 03-25-2012 05:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cbgnar42 (Post 130124)
But we are still "dating" and when we are together we act very close and loving.)

That made me think of how I came to be in my current poly tangle. I wasn't exactly still dating. I dated First bf for two years, we were good friends with the one I call Current bf. Broke up with FBF, shortly after, started dating CBF, and again we all were friends.

I remember going to dinner one day with FBF, and he fed me a bite of whatever he was eating. It was, to me, an exceedingly romantic gesture. It was one of the things that endeared me to him the first time. (I had asked him to stay with me (we were just friends, not dating) when my mom died. We went out to a park and took picnic like things, and I was ranting on and on, and he fed me. Because I was forgetting to eat.) When he did that, after we had broken up, and I was in the throes of NRE with CBF, it was unthinking, easy, breezy. just nice.

So, we multiply that by six years. Just friendship, amplified by the fact that we were once lovers. (and I really never stopped loving him, just changed my behaviour to mostly 'friend')

And now we are three. It's a 'vee' as they're straight. But they're very good friends.


Quote:

Originally Posted by cbgnar42 (Post 130124)
I guess to sum things up, I'm wondering if I should just stick with her and stay super close like we have been until the next phase comes (weather that phase sees us back together or not) or should I sort of "let her go and if she comes back it was meant to be, if not she was never mine to lose." I wouldnt fully let her go, we would still be friends. But sometimes I think it would be best if we stopped acting like lovers all together. But it feels natural for us to act like lovers because we are. That's what I'm confused about and looking for advice on.

I think it's wonderful you're exploring here; and I'm not sure this is the best place for you, especially if you believe that you are both mono. No one else (here or anywhere) can tell you what's best for you.

I do know it's a tremendous challenge to let someone go; moreso when your deepest hope is that they will return.

cbgnar42 03-25-2012 09:30 PM

Thank you NovemberRain, you're input has been the most helpful here. My situation has changed enough since I posted this that the thread is basically outdated. I would just delete it at this point, but I'm not sure how.


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