Feeling loss as a V "end" - the empty bed
This is as much stream of consciousness as an advice request...if you have thoughts to share, I am eager to hear them and happy to listen with an open mind.
Perhaps I am not cut out, here and now, to be one end of a V.
At the moment, I find myself at one end of a 3-male (mid-20s) V. The hinge has been my LTR live-with guy for 3+ years. Always sexually open to one-offs, etc., but poly (the L word and long-term sex with one other person) is recent. The other V end, about 3 months.
I've thought, since I came into poly, that a triangle (however lop-sided) would suit me more. Of course, I have never experienced it. However, having lived in the V for 3 months, I still feel that way.
This is because the V feels awkward to me for a few reasons, reasons I have examined and reasons that I think are fairly deep and basic for me - not insecurities or jealousy, but real desires for what I want in a long-term relationship:
-Amount of time spent together
-Sexual connection on-going with one other person
-Long-term questions (not as deep a reason as the others, maybe insecurity)
-The empty bed :-)
To break those down a bit.
Time spent together. I truly enjoy couple's time. Not in a controlling or always-need-to-be-with way. After all, I work 40 hours and have some volunteer interests. The hinge works fairly opposite evening/weekend hours. Overlapping free time is already limited. Thank heavens we live together! He does spend several nights a week staying overnight with the other end, and that's something the other end needs for the V to work for him. Yet, I truly enjoy visiting friends and going to parties with the hinge, more than I do when I go separately. Not in a "oh my I can't do this I can't handle being separate and this sure sucks," way but in a, "I sure would enjoy this more if G was here, and I really miss him" (G = hinge) way.
Sexual connection. G and I have a very strong sexual connection that keeps growing. Amazing. To some extent, my hesitance for one additional on-going sexual connection can surely be fear of "rivalry." Being open to one-offs or occasional flings/visits is fine with me. The former deal was, we dish to each other, one-offs only, or play together; makes it fun for both of us. The current deal is, G has a sexual area in his life in which I truly do not get to join in or explore with him. Again, I distinguish my feeling from a "that's horrible and terrifying and wrong, gah!" attitude to a, "I truly wish I could be there and participate with him" feeling. I don't desire to control his sexual activities, and I do acknowledge and work through my fears about sex with him. Yet that other base feeling is there...I feel left out and lonely.
Long-term questions. This isn't as deep. Fears and wonders about where a V, especially our current V, could be in months, years, etc. We don't know. Duh. Life is unpredictable. Duh. Yet, as a couple before poly, we surely talked often about years, decades, thinking we might grow old together. It was easy to hold that vision in my head. Not cling to it, but just as a nice reminder of what things could be in a while. I have a harder time picturing this with poly. Perhaps it's still the same picture, with even more loving folks added in here and there to bring more joy and love along :-)
The empty bed. I think this speaks for itself. As I feel, right now, unready for any new romantic relationships in my own life; and feel quite limited in dating options, given the relatively small city I live in, with a limited gay population, and that I already have an LTR partner firmly in place (further limits who is interested in you - I must be upfront about this, that's just a basic part of me too) - all narrows this down. Casual sex is one thing, but doesn't answer the empty bed part, because sex isn't the problem here. It just really is nice to have someone you love sleeping next to you, and I miss that when G spends the night with his other. Sometimes terribly, sometimes not much at all.
So - all of the above are some feelings of loss that I think are true, and deep, and real feelings, not life-long insecurities or little ticks or quirks that I can shed easily. They exist because, at present, I am one end of a V.
Do these thoughts sound valid to you? Do you have ideas how they might contribute to our V, or a possible triangular situation, going forward?
I know we can't force a triangle; I'm also not sure I can force myself to work in a V! At least not quickly, not quickly enough, perhaps, for this V to continue functioning. And I have certainly communicated ALL OF THIS to G, and some of it to the other "end" of the V. I am just seeking out here for further opinions.
I can see dating in my future, and think I will pursue it. Yet, I do suspect that even with a new partner "firmly" in place, the other V would still feel awkward/loss for the above reasons.
For what it's worth, we've become quite open with friends and most family about our lifestyle over the last few months.
Thank you for reading, and sending you virtual hugs,
Your thoughts sound VERY valid to me.
For now I'm a committed arm to my hinge.
But I do seriously consider if it is viable for the long term as I become more and more "monogamish" - I was ever only actively poly when my partner did not meet my needs when he was present. My current partner meets more needs and fulfills me in more ways than I was ever were aware were lacking.. hence the desire for more of that with him - NOT healthy in a relationship with an actively poly partner. So long term I know I may have to give up what is so overwhelmingly wonderful to be able to pursue full time contentment, or at least something closer to it than my mainly empty bed, etc...
But again, for now I am committed and will share my love freely and accept what he *can* share with me.
~ About me - currently living Mono, Partner Sunshine who is Poly in a V with me and his wife who is Poly with multiple partners.
Re (from Octovus):
I think you have to figure out for yourself whether this V thing is something you can do, and not worry overly about "what the poly community would think." Your concerns are valid for you, and that suffices.
The only difficulty lies in the fact that this is something *G* wants, so you may have a bit of a problem should you decide to ask him to simply give it (i.e., his second partner) up. You can certainly state your needs/boundaries, whether you can do this or if you would need it to be a triangle, what your timetable would be, etc.
Having stated your needs/boundaries, it kind of depends on what G can/is willing to do in turn. If you find that your "poly compatibility" doesn't cover enough ground to make it work, you could end up with a hard decision to make about whether you can live with G just has he is, given the current conditions.
I don't know what you could do if you found yourself at that kind of an impasse. I just know it's not really possible to control another person's choices (and would you even want to, if it was something they didn't want).
Some people find they can deal with the difficulties of being the end of a V, but there are all kinds of relationship structures for all kinds of different people. There isn't a one-size-fits-all right or wrong here; there's just a question of what's right for you, and what works for you.
These are just some thoughts; I couldn't say how helpful they are, but maybe some small part of them is of help.
Esteems and well wishes,
It may be possible to move to something less isolating-feeling without forcing a triad. For instance, if you and the other wing were friends, then both he and G could go with you, at least sometimes, to those parties where you miss G. Or you could all three go out for dinner. Or, perhaps, at least one night a week, without it being a sex thing, you all could sleep in the same bed, with G in the middle. Maybe in time you could all three live together (NOT saying you should rush into that, but in time) in a new, bigger place. Phy's blog provides a great example of a functional live-in vee.
Just some thoughts. I really do think togetherness is generally the only way that co-primaries (which is what it sounds like you two are to him, what with him spending several nights a week with each of you) can co-exist long-term. One big team, even if it's not a triad. "Brother-husbands", if you all ever wanted that level of commitment.
I echo what AnnabelMore said.
In the meantime, I would urge you to go out with friends when your hinge is going out with the other arm of the V, so that you don't end up all alone.
Or if you stay alone, to have plans (go to a movie, or watch something at home), in short keep busy so that you miss him less.
You could invite friends over and play games or something like that.
After all, if your hinge had to go out for other reasons (business meal for instance) you would have to deal with the same feelings. So I think similar solutions would work there.
And whenever you can go out with them or invite the other arm along, feel free to do so. You don't have to be dating to be in a relationship, even if that relationship is friendship. It might not be a full-on triangle but it can get closer to one. As long as you give them time to be alone together, spending some time with the other arm or with all three of you together could help you.
Things have evolved. The main man and I are stronger than ever, and more "together" than ever in our 4+ years. About 1 year in now, it's been amazing to see how poly can draw out what you have loved in each other AND show you new things to love, in each other and in others around you.
The other V end in my original post is now both somewhat more linked in to me, and somewhat less linked into my main man (my fiance). Why? I think it's a combination of the end of (the strongest) NRE, of new life circumstances, and of my fiance's reconsidering some of the "new" guy's qualities (this as the NRE wore off).
Certainly, new (well, year-old now) guy's perspective has also shifted, and he is more genuinely happy in the relationship than ever. At first, I think he felt cheated from a normal relationship. Now, he sees how poly is possible and what it can offer him. Now, we are all stable and happy. Seeing that growth has amazed and inspired me, and makes me love the not-so-new guy all the more (mainly as a friend, to date - I use the word "love" for friends, too).
What's more, we have a new (since Summer) fellow in our life, too! He has an amazing sense of humour and is so together about everything to do with poly. He has had many different relationship experiences, though not poly as such. He is so open to both my main guy and me (and to our first metamour above, for that matter, though they haven't connected romantically).
He comes from the perspective that the fiance-fiance relationship comes first, but that beyond that, he wants to share in whatever he can share in, and that he loves us both. The other day, because we were discussing the first metamour, he even made a joke (a real, belly-laugh joke) about how he'd never been the "fourth wheel" before. And it was actually funny, not full of resentment or barbs. Since clearly he doesn't feel like that, and we all know it.
All to say. We may have found a unicorn, here! Maybe it's not so hard to do, all of us being guys who are into guys - after all, we all enjoy mainly the same "bits" sex-wise :-p
I still feel incredibly grateful and/or, as the fiance and I have taken to saying, "deserving" of this new love. So long as we both keep acting in ways deserving of love, we'll keep on finding it in all kinds of places!
You know what else?
The unicorn lives across the street. We met on-line, chatted a bunch, then we exchanged addresses...and he lives across the street. (In a town with 1,000,000 people.)
What a ride this year has been. Sometimes it really is a small world...
Namaste, and thanks for reading. Reply or write to me if you fancy a chat :-)
Picture me dabbing at my eyes with a crisp white handkerchief. I'm so happy things have worked out so splendidly for you all.
Just glad to hear that things have worked out so well.
What a lovely story! I'm so happy for you. I can relate to all your feelings you posted in your first post since I am also in a "V" triad relationship...now I feel encouraged to see how things can work out! Wishing you continued love and peace...
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