The polyamorous physicist
I'm not really a guy who has ever had trouble talking about his feelings. At least, I never thought of myself that way until the last year or two when I realized that I've always been suppressing the fact that I'm poly. I guess the problem was that I never realized that it was okay for someone to BE poly. Monogamy was simply "the way of things", and I never thought to question it.
My 'discovery' of poly all started with a conversation between my partner and I regarding our fantasies. Among other things, I mentioned a (rather stereotypically male) interest in threesomes. She took this to mean that I wanted an MFF threesome and she was clearly uninterested. In defense of her position she said "How would it make you feel to see me with another guy?"
My answer was a bit of an epiphani for me. I realized that I rather liked the idea, assuming it made her happy. I haven't been a jealous guy since high school, but I suppose that I haven't dated someone in the meantime who gave me much reason to be jealous. So when I actually sat down to think about it, I discovered that I don't have as much of the green-eyed monster in me as I might have thought.
This isn't to suggest that I would be immune to betrayal. Walking in on my partner with another guy (or girl) would be devastating. Not because of the sex, but because of the lie. I've always prized honesty, and this only seems to increase as I get older.
I've been a serial monogamist for my entire dating life. I love forming new relationships, and they tend to quickly blossom into strong, attached-at-the-hip LTRs. Through all that time though, I've always had other people I was interested in. Half-formed slightly-more-than-friends relationships with people other than my partner. Not physical relationships, mind you; Cheating isn't for me, so these relationships always remained half-formed. They were beyond friendship though, and I've always been frustrated by their limitations, while feeling guilty about their existence.
With my current partner though things are different. In the three and a half years we've been together there have been no half-formed relationships-on-the-side. She's got me completely smitten. I don't think she has any idea how much I adore her.
But I miss those little half-formed relationships, frustrating and guilt-inducing as they were. After the epiphanic conversation about fantasies, we began talking more openly about poly as a whole. So my incredible fiance has let me open up. I finally get to form these relationships without guilt and without secrets. I couldn't be more excited.
She's not comfortable with these relationships becoming sexual, or even physical, at least for now. I'm surprised by how little that restriction bothers me. While a physical connection would be nice, it's the emotional connection that I crave. I'm just ecstatic to be able to be honest about this part of myself.
I can't talk about this with any of my friends and family. I don't think they would understand. So my fiance is my only outlet, and supportive as she is, she's still coming to terms with all of it. I need to be gentle. But I'm on top of the world, and I needed to tell someone. So... here it is.
Thank you all for providing a venue that makes that possible.
If we had a "like" button, I'd click on it : )
Hey! Happy new blog :)
Keen to hear more of your story as it unfolds.
I'm interested in the way you talk about friendship, in particular about emotional connections "beyond friendship". By this do you mean sexual tension (even if unfulfilled?) Or something like a spiritual connection that feels like it could naturally flow into physical closeness (but not something you are actively flirting with?) If it's the second, then what makes you feel guilty about having these connections, when you're in a monogamous relationship?
Not sure if you understand the way I'm putting things. I guess the fuzzy notion of friendship and romance has tripped me over a few times. I feel like I don't experience things in the terms you put them... but I'm very curious to understand more about this perspective!
More commonly though I just become close to someone to whom I'm attracted, and get a bit wistful about the "what-ifs". Those "what if?" moments often make me feel more guilty than any sexual tension.
It's also important to view this all through the lens of how I interpreted these feelings prior to learning about polyamory. It was my understanding that love was effectively a zero sum game, wherein any feelings that I developed for other people meant a corresponding decrease in my feelings for my partner. This never made much sense to me, as it certainly didn't seem to ME that I loved my partner any less, but that's the way everyone around me seemed to interpret those kinds of feelings. So I just operated under the impression that I must be a douche with a wandering eye, and I expended a great deal of effort 'locking down' feelings of any kind for people I found attractive.
Related to this was the idea that wanting sex with my partner was somehow wrong if it wasn't her specifically that made me want sex in the first place. i.e. If a sexy conversation with someone else made me horny, I felt like I'd somehow be using my partner if I had sex with her while still worked up. Which seems patently ridiculous in retrospect.
In the few weeks that my fiance and I have been actively discussing poly and having feelings for other people, I've abruptly stopped forcing down any feelings for others. Between this forum and OKC I've come to know a number of people recently that I find very attractive. So as a side effect of these conversations my fiance and I are fucking like rabbits for the first time since we got together.
All we've done is talk. Amazing.
As an update on the status of things, we're having lunch with another newly polyamorous couple on Friday. I'm nervous, as is my partner, but also excited. I admit that I find the female half of the couple very attractive. With that said, there are no expectations from the lunch other than good conversation, which is exactly what I want. Being able to talk about this stuff in person with confidence will be nice. We're still pretty closeted to friends and family.
So we met up with this other polyamorous couple (A, the girl and J, the guy) on Friday for lunch, which lasted three hours including a walk along the waterfront. Everyone, including my usually shy fiance (M) got along really well. The subject of poly never really came up, but we all talked about our OKC profiles and there was certainly a lot of talk about sex. A and I are both more extroverted than J and M.
Anyway, after lunch both couples went home. Later that night (around 8) we got a message from A, tentatively suggesting we get together for a Rock Band party at our place (all four of us love the game). I was up for it, and was surprised to find that M was as well. So they came over around 10, and ended up staying until almost 5. We spent most of the time talking, drinking and playing Rock Band. If anything, conversation that night was more tame than lunch. Other than A being a bit touchy/flirty when drunk, the evening was nothing more than four people getting along really well. At least, so I thought. It turns out that while J and I went to get something out of the car, A started asking M about her sexual orientation. M is pretty mono, and definitely straight, so nothing came of it. Fortunately, M doesn't seem to be particularly put off about this as we're planning to hang out with them again this Sunday.
Anyway, it turns out that A and J are as new to poly as we are. I should be careful when saying "we", as M has decided that she intends to remain mono for the foreseeable future, but that she views me being poly as crucial to my happiness. I admit that I was hoping that M and J would hit it off, as I'm very attracted to A, and I had hopeful, drunken ideas of a quad. No such luck.
With that said, I'm now in several-hours-a-day chatting/texting contact with A, and we seem to be hitting it off. I'm very interested, and it's pretty obvious that she is as well. A and J decided that J is going to date before she can though, so there's no possibility of anything in the immediate future. This suits me fine as I want to take things slowly and give M time to adjust. I am, of course, keeping M fully informed about goings-on with A.
I'm still adjusting to being able to feel the way that I do about A. I'm also keeping a close friend (H, who lives a very long way away) in the loop. She used to be poly, but is mono (with her fantastic boyfriend) at the moment. It is our hope that someday down the road if both couples transition to poly, that we can have a long-distance relationship. We've had strong feelings for eachother for ten years, but the distance (which includes an international border) has forbid it. A long distance, secondary relationship would be amazing though.
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