Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Newbie dilemma (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23465)

rrrrr 05-04-2012 10:25 AM

Newbie dilemma
 
Hi there,

I'm new to poly and still coming to terms with it. I'm not sure I identify with it 100%, but it is the closest approximation of my beliefs and I thought this group would understand. :)
I apologise if I've posted this in the wrong place or if it's been asked before (I did a quick search).

I am currently seeing two people. They both know I am not willing to be in an exclusive arrangement and are alright with that, although we haven't specifically discussed other people we're seeing. Person A I am a bit closer to, he has not dated multiple people and I'm not sure that he is personally able to but he may, because he sees the logic in it and has no problem with it. Person B is pursuing other semi-casual relationships, we are still in early stages. I suppose B is secondary based on time we've known each other, but I don't feel super comfortable with hierarchical arrangements.

I will be having a party. Do I invite both partners? How do I introduce them to guests when neither is 'official'?

Person A is in my friendship group, Person B is separate at this point.
I don't want to exclude Person B, but nor do I want to invite both people and make either jealous or uncomfortable, or have it appear that I am being disrespectful to Person A in front of our mutual friends if I'm affectionate to Person B as well. I'm not ready to come out to everyone and sort of think I shouldn't need to explain myself to every guest, but I don't want to act neutral or unaffectionate towards the partners I care about.

And who stays the night?

Is there a rule of thumb here, or an old thread that might be relevant?

Thank you in advance for any advice offered!

nycindie 05-04-2012 11:00 AM

Hi and welcome!

So, just wondering - age, gender, orientation, etc. of you all???

There are a few threads here about introducing lovers to each other. I think the tags are "introductions" or "introducing lovers." You could also look for "vee dynamics" and thinks like that. Anyhoo ~ as I read your post, I thought maybe it would be good to invite them both to have coffee with you and meet before the actual party, to lessen any awkwardness.

For the party, rather than just inviting them and then fretting about what the outcome will be, just ask them if they even want to go. You could simply say, "So, I'm having this party and I'm not sure what to do. I've never been in this position before. I'd like to have both of you with me, but I don't want anyone feeling uncomfortable. Do you want to go?" And if there are issues raised, discuss them. Ask them what would make them feel more comfortable.

As for how to introduce them to other guests, you could just introduce them by name or as a friend. If you haven't been going out for very long, you might not be serious yet, so "friend" usually works. But how you handle that would depend on your audience (the other folks you invite), how "out" you want to be, and what your lovers are comfortable with. How uptight or receptive do you think your other party guests will be? Again, you could just talk about this with your lovers - "How should I introduce you?"

Regarding who stays over, you have a few choices: Person A, Person B, Both, Neither, or Someone you pick up at the party. :D

rrrrr 05-04-2012 11:07 AM

Vee dynamics! That sounds exactly the field I need to look into!
I'm honest but awkward about explicitly acknowledging the situation because I'm so new - I guess I need to get over that if I care about communication as much as I say I do.

We are all in our twenties, I am a sort of bi female, A is a bicurious male, B is a bi male.

My major concern is stigma from other guests (many of whom would be really non-receptive to poly ideas) that they don't raise, so I don't get an opportunity to explain, "No, it's not about sluttiness or disrespect or cheating or any of those notions, it's actually all consented too and good", and wanting to protect Dude A.

Thank you so much for your sensible and prompt advice :)

nycindie 05-04-2012 11:28 AM

Well, if you are going to be worried about judgments coming from a good portion of your guests, then you won't be enjoying your own party much at all.

So, since it's all new for you and you are still getting acclimated to the situation, maybe being brazenly, totally OUT might not be a great idea. Introduce them as your friends or just by name. If people want to know more, you can talk about how you met, say that you're really close, etc., and gauge which people would be okay with knowing you are seeing them both on a case-by-case basis. I don't think you need to get defensive with people ("I'm not a slut.") -- it's nobody's business, really, and you don't owe anyone an explanation.

When you do feel like there is someone you want to reveal more to, just do it nonchalantly like it's the simplest thing in the world. I mean, really, if you had two platonic friends visiting town, how would you introduce them?

Another thing to talk with your guys about beforehand is the level of public affection they would be willing to engage in. So ask them.

When you wrote: "I'm honest but awkward about explicitly acknowledging the situation because I'm so new..." did you mean revealing yoru poly life to people outside these relationships, or were you saying you feel uncomfortable talking to each guy about the "other one" and stuff like how to manage events and situations like this, whether they want to meet, how comfy they are with others knowing the depth of your relationships, PDAs, etc.?

If

rrrrr 05-04-2012 11:59 AM

I'm defensive because I have had conflict with people over it. I'm awkward about both situations because of the idea that acknowledging someone that you are interested in others, are actually close with others, real people with names and bodies and so on, is a more tangible situation and even rejection than a generic 'Exclusivity is not right for me'. This is just residual conventional and hurtful ways of thinking about relationships (the myth that if someone is good enough, you won't ever want anyone else by definition) and I think that A and B understand this intellectually like I do but may still have that sense of rejection or discomfort.

I don't want to make either guy look bad. I do fuss too much about explaining everything, though.

You're right about asking. I shouldn't have asked for a rule of thumb as such because everyone's different!

Okay, I will keep referring to them as friends I'm seeing a bit of and find out a level of affection both are happy with because I do want to be able to express that. If I think the actual situation is okay, then acknowledging it should be as well. Ah, confusing feelings of this being right for me but feeling guilty at the same time!

nycindie 05-04-2012 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rrrrr (Post 134856)
Ah, confusing feelings of this being right for me but feeling guilty at the same time!

Ahh, yes, those moments when we think we're not really allowed to have it all! Don't feel guilty unless you can spin it as a guilty pleasure!

rrrrr 05-04-2012 02:04 PM

It just seems like the most logical way of life. Thank you for your help :)

feelyunicorn 05-05-2012 09:54 PM

I would stay away from PDA. Certainly before it`s discussed and consensual. I would also stay away from labeling your relationships to unsympathetic guests. But, to tell you the truth, the party doesn`t sound like it would be much fun for B. If he`s not within your close group of friends, I don`t see the point of inviting him.

Each of their needs might be different. I know if I were B, I`d be happy not to go. :D

Are you inviting both out of guilt? Or, because you feel you should be even-handed?

NovemberRain 05-06-2012 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 134857)
Ahh, yes, those moments when we think we're not really allowed to have it all! Don't feel guilty unless you can spin it as a guilty pleasure!

I usually spin it as a guilty pleasure! I lean in, lower my voice as if I'm sharing the coolest secret ever, and say, 'I have two boyfriends!!'

It has worked pretty well for me (I do live in california though, and have awesome friends).

HotPepper 05-06-2012 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NovemberRain (Post 135100)
I usually spin it as a guilty pleasure! I lean in, lower my voice as if I'm sharing the coolest secret ever, and say, 'I have two boyfriends!!'

It has worked pretty well for me (I do live in california though, and have awesome friends).

I LOVE this approach! There's just one drawback... now follow me on this....

I'm a guy, on a first date with a girl, and I lean over and whisper..'I have two girlfriends!!"

Now what are y'all thinking?

This just doesn't work for guys unfortunately. For women it's adventurous and daring, for guys it just sounds sleezy.


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:52 PM.