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-   -   A unique rule in open relationships? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24850)

tiggerdatiger 06-18-2012 08:16 PM

A unique rule in open relationships?
My partner and I are in an open relationship (both our first) for only 7 months now. We had met someone that we both liked at a party recently. It seemed that Dennis liked the both of us, as well. Dennis had texted just me after meeting, letting us know it was great to meet the both of us, I had responded with equal excitement. Then, after our communication had dropped, 2 days later, Dennis had texted my partner with the same sentiment. They had continued having a further texting conversation over a week or so (I didn't know any of this)... leading up to a moment where Dennis decided to go out of town to go to Hawaii for 4 days. My partner (last minute) invited himself along, and Dennis was into it. In the end, perhaps because of cost, the fact that we had plans, etc., my partner decided not to go. He let me know after the fact about this exchange, which took some pulling of teeth to find out. When I started to pick communication back up with Dennis (wanting to maintain my place in our exchange, as well as make a plan where the 3 of us can meet up after our first encounter), my partner let me know that it should only be 1 person out of a couple that becomes the main contact, as it can lead to mixed communications, etc., if the 3 of us are all chatting. I was equally excited about Dennis, but may have dropped the ball in communication originally (was planning on picking it back up), and feel like my partner might be working to build a separate relationship with Dennis, potentially wanting to exclude me from it (out of selfishness, insecurity?). A potential Hawaii trip would've excluded me. I've asked him to hold off on meeting up with Dennis separately until we get to meet him once again as a couple, and then go from there. We've talked about all of this, and my partner maintains that when it comes to communication, it should still only be 1 person that is the main contact (him now), and why would I feel insecure about him going on a trip with someone that we met together? Has anyone heard about this type of rule (the 1 main contact from the couple) and do you have any advice along these lines about the situation in general... something I'm missing regarding this situation? It's seemingly our first agree-to-disagree moment in our relationship... doesn't feel too good.

Mahogany 06-18-2012 10:32 PM

I am no expert, that's for sure. But I have come to the realization that all must be comfortable for things to work. If you are not comfortable, that discomfort can lead to lots of negative emotions and problems later. I say keep talking and negotiating until you both (or all three) find common ground that you all are comfortable with.

I do know that feeling excluded is not good, so my advice is to talk, talk, and talk....and do not settle. Does he know you are afraid of exclusion? Have you thought about time with Dennis yourself separate from your partner too. Have you asked your partner how he would feel if you had a connection with Dennis, as well, that is separate from him in the same way your partner is trying to establish his connection with Dennis?

I hope this helps.....

nycindie 06-18-2012 11:05 PM

I think all three of you communicating will be LESS confusing. Otherwise, you get into all that he said, they said, we said bullshit and crossed wires. There have been people here who had that kind of point person rule and it usually winds up feeling very oppressive to the person left out of the loop.

It's a pretty dumb idea if you ask me to only have one person in "the couple" talk to the person who is outside the couple. First of all, it separates you into a "Couple Plus One" mentality. But if you want a Triad, there are four relationships: A+B, B+C, C+A, and A+B+C. I see no practical reason on earth to have rules about only one of you talking to him. What you all need to do is sit down together and make sure you are all on the same page about needs,wants, goals, etc., and then if you are all honest with each other and clear in your communications, it should work. Plus you can all Skype together or conference a call for all three of you.

funeral0p0lis 06-18-2012 11:14 PM

I'm going to second nycindie. Rules about who can and can't talk to someone outside the primary relationship, especially if the outside person was interested in both of you, seem silly.

Additionally, if I may be so bold, his question to you about why you would feel uncomfortable with him going on a Hawaii trip with someone the two of you met together seems at best misguided and at worst manipulative. It sounds like the two of you met Dennis recently, and given that your communications with him were limited, you really don't know that much about him. The question is why would you NOT feel uncomfortable with that situation?

Personally, this whole situation sounds kind of fishy, and I think you have every right to feel uncomfortable. I can't really suggest anything except to keep doing what you're doing: being open with him about your feelings, even if that is scary sometimes. Hopefully if you continue to do a good job of that (it sounds like you are), he will follow suit.

tiggerdatiger 06-18-2012 11:16 PM

Hey, Mahogany, nice to meetcha and thanks for responding! I do want and need to feel comfortable most definitely, not wanting this situation to spiral. I think part of it comes from that it's a little too early for me to consider my partner leaving on a trip with one of our hookups separately (for 4 days) so early on in our relationship, just 7 months in. It didn't happen, but now I have an inkling that something like it potentially could somewhere down the road. I'm trying to work hard on processing all of this...and fight my own inner demons that put the green monsters in my brain. I kinda wish we had more of a foundation built first without the extra layer of the open part of it. But it is what we both wanted from the start. Hence, it's taking more work to build this foundation, figuring out all the ins and outs of the relationship as each unique idea/dynamic comes up.

I'm trying to convey that I don't want to feel excluded. And afterwards he's says that wasn't the intent... that after they had solidified travel plans (if they had) I would've been asked? But, again, the trip didn't happen.

Mahogany (AND NYCINDIE, nice to meetcha too!) I have little to go on when it comes to Dennis as we haven't had much communication since the night we met and a couple of texts, so I'm going to see what it's like when the 3 of us are together again, which will actually happen this weekend (our 2nd meeting). I might not be as interested as I was originally. I wholeheartedly agree that conversation amongst the three would make more sense, and am having a hard time understanding why my partner wants the conversation only A+B, leaving C out until we are in-person. The reason of it being hard with lines crossed doesn't seem to be enough of a good reason for me, as long as we're effectively communicating. I will have a better understanding of how communication can and will work after this weekend. If I feel compelled to reach out and contact Dennis on my own, I would like to without upsetting my partner, of course. Especially since we both met him together, and he likes the both of us, I don't see why he only has communication with one of us... there seems to be a wall up about this decision, with little to no leeway... even after communicating my concern about it. Hm.

tiggerdatiger 06-18-2012 11:20 PM

funeral0p0lis: Thanks for weighing in... yeah, it is a toughie of a situation... but the way I am, I would have a hard time hiding my feelings, or not talking about things... so for better or worse, I do have to communicate it. These are interesting points to consider, for sure... perhaps I should share the thread after all is said and done when we're having some open communication about stuff...

CielDuMatin 06-18-2012 11:36 PM

If you want to have a relationship with this person too, what right has your partner to stop that? He has no right to forbid you from contact, unless he is being selfish and trying to deny you something you obviously want.

In my opinion, poly relationships work FAR better when there is an open line of communication between all involved. When there are blocks to it, it opens it up to lots of miscommunication, either accidental or deliberate.

PinkDragon 06-19-2012 02:40 AM

Seems like a silly "rule" to me also. I talk to Lovely, Bear talks to Lovely, Bear and I check each other's OKC messages to see what the other 2/3s of the couple has been talking about. And, we all talk on the phone at the same time nearly every evening. There is LOTS of communicating going on in our triad!

Pretzels 06-19-2012 03:34 AM

I second or third the "talk, talk, talk, talk, talk" comment. It's the only way to go into something like this between three people and stay sane. Your life doesn't have to turn into "The View," but you should check in with everyone during a three-way conversation to see if they are comfortable with how things are progressing and try to troubleshoot where things might be leading before it becomes a real BIG DEAL for any one person.

dragonflysky 06-19-2012 04:11 AM

If there's any chance that all three of you will be involved with each other at some time, that I think it's essential that all 3 of you are communicating now! Yes, it can get complicated, but so can misunderstood 3rd party communication attempts! When I share a common friend with someone I don't expect the communication to occur only through one of us to the exclusion of direct communication with the other!

If your current partner thinks it should only be "1" person from the couple communicating, then maybe he should let you be the "1"
to do the communication for awhile since he's already had more time than have you to experience getting to know Dennis. (Something tells me this wouldn't go over too well, in which case I would suspect something else is going on here as you suggested, e.g. insecurity, selfishness, etc.)

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