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-   -   Time to tell a new partner you're in a relationship? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25531)

9minutes 07-12-2012 01:52 AM

Time to tell a new partner you're in a relationship?
 
My boyfriend of 2 years (J) and I are currently in a long-distance relationship, but in 2 months he's coming to the US from Europe and we're moving in together. Recently, he told me about meeting another guy (X) who he seems quite interested in, and from what he's said they seem to have really hit it off.

After his first date with X, I asked him what X thought of the fact that he was in a polyamorous relationship, assuming that he had told him. J told me that he hadn't told him, but that he would tell him on the second date. After the second date, I asked J what X thought of the situation, and J said that he still hadn't told him--that he didn't feel like he was avoiding telling him, but that it just didn't "come up". J told X that he would be moving to the US, but didn't mention why. He told me that he would tell him on the third date, and I think that he will, but the whole thing just doesn't sit well with me.

I've been trying to deal with jealousy using some tips I've read, but that feeling of jealousy is amplified now knowing that some other guy gets to be with him for the next couple months, while I don't. It's amplified further when I feel like he's avoiding telling this guy about me, and then those pesky negative thoughts and insecurities creep in.

I hate the idea of dictating his behavior by making up and enforcing "rules", but I think I would just feel most comfortable if any potential new partners (or at least, ones that go beyond casual one night stand encounters) are informed as soon as possible of the situation. I don't know if I'm being reasonable for expecting this, or if I'm being petty and selfish. It just makes me feel more secure if I'm acknowledged as a significant part of his life right from the get-go.

Of course, I'm going to have a conversation with him about this after their third date (whether he tells him about me or not by then), but until then any advice would be much appreciated, as I'm still pretty inexperienced at this.

Long story short, I'm just curious about how you deal with informing potential new partners that you are already in a committed relationship. Do you have "rules" with your partner regarding this, or is it more of an assumed thing?

LovingRadiance 07-12-2012 03:03 AM

Our rule is that we don't even talk to someone who is potentially interesting as a new partner until we've established with them that we are in a relationship. No dates alone until they've met our significant other. Period.

ThatGirlInGray 07-12-2012 03:07 AM

It's not a rule, but I can't imagine going very far in a conversation in a social situation without bringing up my husband and kids. And if it's someone I'm interested in being friends with, TGIB gets brought up shortly after. Anything else feels like false pretenses at best. And trying to explain after the fact (cause it's a part of my life, it's GOING to come up if I'm good friends with someone) has way too much potential to BLOW. UP. If there's going to be tension or drama, I'd rather it be at the beginning before anyone's invested.

gab 07-12-2012 03:51 AM

Seems to me
 
It seems to me that there must have been ample time to discuss your polyamorous relationship with his new overseas friend. "tell me about yourself?" would be an appropriate time to broach the subject. I don't think that your feelings of jealousy are unwarranted. It seems to me he isn't being honest with his new friend and that isn't fair to anyone. If you have been dating two years and he is moving to be with you and move in with you that seems like a big part of his life he is not mentioning. Only advice I can give is talk to him and let him know it bothered you.

km34 07-12-2012 03:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray (Post 143112)
It's not a rule, but I can't imagine going very far in a conversation in a social situation without bringing up my husband and kids. And if it's someone I'm interested in being friends with, TGIB gets brought up shortly after. Anything else feels like false pretenses at best. And trying to explain after the fact (cause it's a part of my life, it's GOING to come up if I'm good friends with someone) has way too much potential to BLOW. UP. If there's going to be tension or drama, I'd rather it be at the beginning before anyone's invested.

Minus the kids and boyfriend, this. I live with my husband. When we don't have other plans or commitments, we spend all of our time together. He comes up in conversation. A lot.

Since J doesn't live with you and your contact has been somewhat limited by being in a LDR, the existence of your relationship may not come up as naturally as ours, but I still think it is something that NEEDS to happen either before the first date or during the first date, unless it is a casual, no commitment at all kind of situation where the other person (X) won't feel deceived if/when he finds out.

This doesn't really sound like a jealousy issue on your part, other than you being a little envious about the time that X gets with J while he is still living away from you. It sounds like it's an issue of you expecting more openness and honesty about the situation than J is wanting to have. Who is right or wrong is kind of irrelevant - what matters is that the two of you get on the same page so that future interactions with others won't cause the same issues.

SchrodingersCat 07-12-2012 04:52 AM

I like to spring it on people like it's no big deal. I'll mention something about my husband, later I'll mention something about my girlfriend, using the word in a way that doesn't sound like a bff... and then let them ask their questions and usually it gets straightened out.

I would never go past the first date without explaining my situation and relationship style. I'm not in the mood to train someone new on the ins and outs of poly if they're not interested in it on their own. I don't want to trick someone into liking me so they'll be less likely to leave when I give them the news.

nycindie 07-12-2012 05:08 AM

There have been lots of threads on this question before, and it usually seems to be that the married folk talk about being poly upfront before a date happens, and the not so tightly partnered people might take their time with it. Like, a few dates. Myself, I would definitely talk about it by the third date. I may or may not talk about it before that, depending on the person and the conversation. I feel like saying it too early is presumptuous, as if one is assuming that the other person wants them. I basically start off trying not to assume anything, so if the fact is appropriate to the convo, it gets said. I am sure you will find a variety of interesting answers here and in the other threads, if you do a search.

SchrodingersCat 07-12-2012 05:11 AM

Good point nyc. When I was basically single but dating, I wouldn't make a big deal out of being poly until anything got serious. After all, I assumed everyone was dating around. Sometimes it would come up in conversations with casual acquaintances and that could lead to all kinds of interesting things.

turtleHeart 07-12-2012 05:25 AM

I agree with the others here, it seems I can't go 10 minutes without mentioning my wife in some way during a conversation, without even going out of my way to do so. Details like the fact that you're seriously dating someone else should be in one of your first conversations with someone being considered romantically. If you have an online profile, it should be one of the most prominent details. If you send someone an online message, it should be repeated in the first message. If you ask someone out in person, they should know before they see you at that first date that you're seriously seeing someone else. If that's not something they're already ok with, no one's time should be wasted and the date should never happen.

It sounds like your BF is treating your relationship as out of sight, out of mind, essentially behaving as if he were single until he can be with you in person.

nycindie 07-12-2012 05:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turtleHeart (Post 143130)
Details like the fact that you're seriously dating someone else should be in one of your first conversations with someone being considered romantically. If you have an online profile, it should be one of the most prominent details. If you send someone an online message, it should be repeated in the first message. If you ask someone out in person, they should know before they see you at that first date that you're seriously seeing someone else. If that's not something they're already ok with, no one's time should be wasted and the date should never happen.

WOW! That's a lot of "shoulds!" Rather a hard-line approach, but wouldn't work for everybody. Certainly not for people who are a little more laid-back in their dating style.


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