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-   -   Third Confusion (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2502)

ksandra 04-14-2010 04:58 AM

Third Confusion
My partner is very new to polyamory, he started trying it as something for me since I was having a very hard time with monogamy. He slowly accepted it and then he started enjoying it and though neither of us are ready to become a serious V or N yet there is a girl he sees every few weeks. (And active with both of us once) She is extremely respectful of our primary relationship to the point where she sat us both down and made sure she was respecting the boundaries and that everyone was okay with the arrangement. She has also made a genuine effort to be friends with me and theoretically is great.
However (or else why would I be posting?)
I have run into them a few times when they have been spending the evening together and each time she refuses to make eye contact with me and will even step behind my boyfriend and try to hide.
The few times she has spent time with me she is nearly silent yet my boyfriend tells me of involved conversations they have every time.
Finally she will text me to make plans that day but I am very busy with work and being a full time theatre student at Uni so more often than not I need advanced warning. However, when I try to ask her for her schedule she won't reply nor will she give me the advanced warning I've asked for.

These things really bother me. I'm not particularly jealous of her or the time they spend together and I do like her as a friend. However I've started to feel like a big bad wolf to her and I am wondering why this might be or what I could do about it?

LovingRadiance 04-14-2010 05:23 AM

Maybe take that last little paragraph and text it to her with a lead in of "I wanted to talk to you..."
Ending with "could you please let me know if I'm missing something?"

vandalin 04-14-2010 11:06 PM

It sounds to me like she is nervous around you. She seems to be trying, at least, to associate with you, but I'm guessing she is afraid of stepping on toes or saying/doing something that might set you off.

Is it possible that she has had a precious poly relationship where this sort of thing has happened? Where the primary female partner said she was ok with the dating and then flips out?

You could be straight foward and just ask, like LR said. That may be the simpliest although difficult thing to do. I wouldn't get the boyfriend involved though at this point, might make it seem like he has to take sides or some such.

Good Luck!

ksandra 04-15-2010 01:06 AM

talking with someone about anything even a little confrontational is always scary but you're both right, it's necessary. we're going to meet up for coffee on Monday and I'll see how things go.

SchrodingersCat 04-15-2010 06:58 AM

Sounds like you may have done this already with your Monday coffee date, but maybe you could try just texting her out of the blue and say "Hey, do you want to go see a movie this weekend?"

It's a classic avoidance technique for people to say they're busy in order to avoid meeting with someone they don't want to see. By no means am I suggesting this is what you're actually doing, but it's possible she could be taking it that way. By initiating a request to make plans with a specific date in mind puts the ball in her court and makes it clear that you really do want to hang out.

Something else I just thought of is you could try some little token gestures, like buy her a little something that you think she'd like, and say "I saw this in the store and it made me think of you, I just had to get it." Or make her a mix-tape of some songs she'd like. That sends an UBER clear message that you accept her and want to be friends.

From the caution you say she's shown, she's obviously concerned about harming your relationship or stepping on your toes, so anything you can do to make her feel accepted will help.

ksandra 04-29-2010 06:44 AM

I realized I got all this great advice and I didn't give a proper thank you or update.
Initially I had to cancel coffee because timing didn't work out but we did eventually get together and just chatted. The whole avoidance thing never came up but that was mostly because once we started talking about small things (like trying to catch the TTC after the subways are closed, trust me, don't try it) we both just loosened up and we were laughing and talking about common interests and cute boys. She's even brought up that she was seeing T tonight, to make sure I knew and was okay with it, which given how shy M can be was a really big thing for her to do. Later when T came back he said they'd had a great evening and that some of the awkwardness that had been there initially was gone and for the first time he was feeling 100% positive about opening our relationship.
So again thanks so much for the great advice, I am really happy I found this forum.

redpepper 04-29-2010 06:52 PM

I was going to say that I think just being light and smiley and a gracious host is all you can do at the moment. If you have no beef with her then just acting like that will eventually lighten the mood and she will warm up to you. I don't always think that these kind of things need talking about. Sometimes just being your wonderful carefree self makes up for a million words that say, "I'm cool with this, don't worry." You could just say, "you know, I'm good right now, I don't have anything that needs discussing and don't have a need to hang out with you, so how bout we just check in in few weeks or so and go from there." That few weeks could mean a big difference to the level of communication and shyness she seems to have.

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