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-   -   Mono secondaries, feeling love? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25496)

WhatHappened 07-11-2012 01:20 AM

Mono secondaries, feeling love?
 
I saw no good way to sum up my question in the title better than that.

So let me try to explain better what I mean.

I ran into a friend tonight and told her a bit about what's going on with BF. She asked if I feel butterflies in my stomach when I'm with him.

No. I don't.

I don't really know what I feel and it bothers me. I know I love every minute with him and enjoy everything we do. I trust him completely. I respect him a great deal, in his profession and in his personal character. I like him. I look forward to seeing him again, and never want to leave when it's time to head home. I think about him in the days in between and even if it's only 24 hours until I see him again, it seems like a long time; I count the hours. I'm distracted thinking about him.

I feel I'm becoming a better person as a result of our relationship. Our relationship has become emotionally intense--I recently found myself crying in the wake of a conversation we had, but they were 'healing tears,' not because I was upset or hurt.

Yet I don't feel 'in love.' I don't feel infatuated. I don't think I feel NRE.

It bothers me because I've known him for a long time and always knew there would be an attraction between us if we were both available (although we never so much as flirted; but I knew it was there); and now that we are, I'm not feeling what I expected to.

I wonder if it's that I'm just really not in love; other times, I worry that after a marriage full of lies and cheating, I've lost the ability to love. And often I suspect I'm refusing to fall in love with him and really let myself feel that because I only see a painful ending as a result.

I would love to hear some feedback from others in this position as to whether you held back and resisted feeling more for your poly SO.

newtoday 07-11-2012 01:25 AM

I held myself back for about a year. Knowing the constraints of our relationship, I didn't want to put myself out there too much. I didn't want to set any expectations. Same story, bad marriage, series of bad boyfriends post divorce, hurt, used and abused in so many ways. I was cautious.

But then he whispered to me one night, "I could fall in love with you so easy.". And my heart opened up.

One month after that, we exchanged "I love you's". :D

WhatHappened 07-11-2012 01:28 AM

What did you feel for him in that year?

newtoday 07-11-2012 01:33 AM

I felt similar as you do.

I really looked forward to our time together.
I loved getting texts/messages from him every day.
I wanted to look nice for him.
I was super attracted to him.

Otherwise I lived my life, friends, family, career, looked forward to our date every 2 weeks but that was the extent of it.

With time, it became emotionally intense too. That was the start of my fall. Once I felt the comfort to cry to him, also a healing cry, I felt safe.

Sleepovers started.

He met and was kind to my children and they loved him.

I started to hurt or stress when he did.

It was gradual but once we opened it, it rushed in.

Jade 07-11-2012 02:15 AM

If love required the insanity of butterflies, I never would have married my beloved husband of 21 years. There may be one destination, but I think there are many paths, and the kind of love that conquers all... well that takes time.

NRE, butterflies, being "in love" - all those sensations make me nearly crazy. I'm grateful that Cupid's venom is finally wearing off in my relationship with my OSO, because now, for the most part, I can think straight:)

Treasure your relationship for what it is. Your friends cannot tell you what is to be valued in it.

WhatHappened 07-11-2012 03:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jade (Post 142917)

Treasure your relationship for what it is. Your friends cannot tell you what is to be valued in it.

I was concerned about the lack of 'feeling' and what it means long before she asked the question tonight. I worry if it's a brokenness in me after a bad marriage or if it's sort of normal, given the situation.

Newtoday, thank you for sharing your experience. BF does not say love, yet he strongly alludes to it, and to wanting far more than just dating. He says he would be a terrible father, but is kind to and considerate and thoughtful of my children. I, too, want to look nice for him and highlight the things I know he especially likes. :)

NovemberRain 07-11-2012 03:18 AM

Yah, I don't see butterflies as a measure of love. I view love as a verb, it's something I do, by taking consistent loving actions towards others.

I had a fight with CBF over the weekend. He hasn't always done this, but has learned, in our relationship, that it's very important for me to feel still connected when we fight. He makes an incredible effort to say, 'I still love you, I just need to be alone and MAD right now.' I get mad at him endlessly. I make an effort to speak to him pleasantly, especially when I've been mad for a few days. I know that most of my mad is my own nuttiness; so why take it out on him?

That's just an example of loving when it's hard. It's easy to have dates, have presents, do the fun, do the sexy. It's hard to love when what you really want is to slap someone, or say the meanest thing you can think to say.

I'd much rather love and be loved than have butterflies. Not to say I don't like butterflies, they're fun. But not a pre-requisite. for me.

newtoday 07-11-2012 03:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WhatHappened (Post 142928)
I worry if it's a brokenness in me after a bad marriage or if it's sort of normal, given the situation.

It could be a mix of both.

Quote:

Originally Posted by WhatHappened (Post 142928)
Newtoday, thank you for sharing your experience. BF does not say love, yet he strongly alludes to it, and to wanting far more than just dating. He says he would be a terrible father, but is kind to and considerate and thoughtful of my children. I, too, want to look nice for him and highlight the things I know he especially likes. :)

No problem. :D

It's funny, we sound so alike, similar circumstances, similar history, similar reactions. Parallel stories. :D

Anneintherain 07-11-2012 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WhatHappened (Post 142912)
Yet I don't feel 'in love.' I don't feel infatuated. I don't think I feel NRE.

I would love to hear some feedback from others in this position as to whether you held back and resisted feeling more for your poly SO.

Well I'm not monogamous, though my relationship with husband started off as a secondary relationship. I felt LOVE but I never felt infatuated or NRE with him. I felt all that in stuff with my first husband, but I was 20, and I think that happens easier when we're younger and haven't been hurt much. I will say I was confused about not feeling that stuff the second time around (I feel a big distinction between love/in love). 8 years later I'm glad I didn't let the lack of butterflies keep me from exploring the relationship. Neither relationship was more rewarding because of the presence or absence of those things, both relationships are wonderful in their own right.

I think it can be harder to let yourself fall in love with people who already have partners, it can be harder to understand where your place in each others lives are, and often there's worry about if it's going to be negatively impacting their other relationships - that makes it pretty hard to relax and just feel.

I wonder how much of this is because your bf only alludes to love. I am guessing if he told you he loved you, you might be able to let go and start feeling those warm fuzzies more? I didn't actually start feeling NRE with my boyfriend for over a year, and that was related to a level of comfort and trust built over time, so it's possible to experience it later on. I know it's hard to sort out how much of what you're feeling is connected to mono/poly and how much is related to if he's the "one" you want to be with. All I can recommend is talking to him about the subject if you haven't.

StarTeddy 07-11-2012 05:22 PM

I don't know, that sounds like love to me.

I don't think feeling "crazy" for someone is necessary at all to be in love. I've never had "butterflies in my stomach" for any of the people I've loved, because they made me feel comfortable instead of nervous. When it happened, it was just a natural connection and I wasn't afraid of being rejected anymore. It's how I prefer things to be--though I do value comfort and companionship the most in relationships. It might be different for you.


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