Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   New and confused (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2764)

gingerylocks 05-11-2010 07:37 PM

New and confused
 
I am new to polyamory (but old to swinging) and have a complicated situation about which I would hugely appreciate some advice. I am sorry this is so long!

In a nutshell, I am a 27 year old bi female and have recently met an older straight man with whom I get along extremely well. We have now known each other for three weeks and have spent about 5 days each week together including sleepovers.

We met online and chatted for many hours prior to meeting, during which he established that he already had one female shagbuddy and was looking for others. He considers (from what I can tell) shagbuddies to be very good friends whom he cares about and can hang out with but also shag. At the time, that was all I was looking for as well, and so we were in agreement.

However, after I had spent some time with him (after 2 coffees and a 48 hour sleepover) I realised that, in accordance with my life goals of marriage and children (with or without secondary partners - ie not neccesarily monogomy), that he was someone I could definately see myself with long-term. I make a point of not dating people I can't see myself with, and he is aware of this.

So my problem is that I have now effectively muddied the waters by falling for someone when I did not expect to. To make matters worse, I have been introduced to his other shagbuddy, and we really do not get along. At all. And we have tried to make conversation, but we are just two very different people. He knows that we don't get along and is understanding and pragmatic about it, but it seems such an unavoidable shame.

He and have discussed how I feel, and he (quite rightly) pointed out that at three weeks, he doesn't know if he could see himself with me or not. So he would like to maintain the status quo until his feelings develop (or not).

I understand this and think this is fair enough, but I am not sure how long I can allow myself to wait - I do not wish to remain in this kind of 3 person situation forever, and I feel that he will not come to a decision while he continues to get everything he wants (ie, two people to sleep with).

I do want to clarify here that he has told me that he wants to get married and have children soon and that once in such a relationship he would then like to explore other possibilities of secondary partners etc, which is exactly how I feel - I am not requesting monogamy of him (or of myself).

I do feel as though at some point he must choose what he actually wants to do. I do not want him to stop seeing her or sleeping with her if that is what he wants to do, but I DO need to know where I stand, and whether we are likely to have a future together.

So, as a result I am very confused! I am trying to be as open and honest with him as possible, but I don't want to sound demanding or unreasonable (and I don't think that I am being either of those things), but I do want him to know what my bottom line is, and to know where I stand in his bottom line.

So, if anyone has any comments, advice, warnings, rebuttals, I would be very glad to hear them!

Thankyou so much :)

NeonKaos 05-11-2010 08:02 PM

You seem to have a case of NRE (new-relationship energy) going on. If I were you, I wouldn't try to make any life-altering decisions until that passes. Three weeks is not a very long time - you don't even know how well you know this person, and NRE can make you feel drunk and giddy and can affect your judgment in a similar way to the way alcohol does.

idealist 05-11-2010 09:49 PM

Welcome!! I feel your pain!! :( I agree with YGirl. Step back and take a few breaths. It generally takes 6 to 8 months to get through the infatuation phase of a new relationship. Until you can get through that, you really don't know what you're dealing with. Can you continue to see other people for a while and see him occassionally (like once a week or once every other week)? A 48 hour sleepover within a few weeks of meeting someone might be "too much too soon" and it's enough to make anyone crazy. You might be putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on yourself and him.... and you might be coming across as desperate!! :(

LovingRadiance 05-12-2010 01:12 AM

3 weeks.

I would have to agree, you need to wait for the NRE to wear off some before you make life-altering decisions. That's just basic sensible behavior.

As for pushing someone to make a decision-there is no way I would have made a good decision in his shoes at 3 weeks. I ADORE my husband-but at the 3 week mark I wasn't even sleeping with him and sex is a big deal to me.

There are some things you just don't learn about a person without time passing and those things are often the ones that make relationships SUCK if they aren't in alignment....

So I suggest enjoying the moment and understanding that life is a journey-you don't need to rush to the finish line. The joy is in the GOING not the finishing.

redsirenn 05-13-2010 06:36 PM

And another " I agree".

3 weeks is NOTHING!

You say that you are spending lots of time with him - maybe taper that off a bit too. That should help you gain perspective about the relationship and the time you have been in it. Not that this is what is happening, but I get an immediate feeling that codependence is blossoming for you here, and that isn't healthy.

Take more time to yourself, maybe date others?

I am sure if you do that, the fog will clear and you will feel less stressed out about this.

CielDuMatin 05-13-2010 08:11 PM

First, thanks for coming here and talking about your problem - I hope you find the answers that you seek, or at least inspiration to help you continue down your path....

(I am going to paraphrase what I believe you wrote, to make sure I get this right... hope you don't mind...)

Quote:

Originally Posted by gingerylocks (Post 29328)
We met online and chatted for many hours prior to meeting, during which he established that he already had one female shagbuddy and was looking for others.

OK, so the basis of your relationship with him (mutually-agreed) was a shagbuddies.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gingerylocks (Post 29328)
However, after I had spent some time with him (after 2 coffees and a 48 hour sleepover) I realised that, in accordance with my life goals of marriage and children (with or without secondary partners - ie not necessarily monogamy), that he was someone I could definitely see myself with long-term.

So you see potential in him to be more than a shagbuudy, ok....

Quote:

Originally Posted by gingerylocks (Post 29328)
So my problem is that I have now effectively muddied the waters by falling for someone when I did not expect to.

Well, you are saying that you can envision a change in the relationship (should he want to) to something a little more committed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gingerylocks (Post 29328)
He and have discussed how I feel, and he (quite rightly) pointed out that at three weeks, he doesn't know if he could see himself with me or not. So he would like to maintain the status quo until his feelings develop (or not).

So he isn't willing to change the basis on which you both agreed to start the relationship, or commit to it changing in the near future.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gingerylocks (Post 29328)
I understand this and think this is fair enough, but I am not sure how long I can allow myself to wait - I do not wish to remain in this kind of 3 person situation forever, and I feel that he will not come to a decision while he continues to get everything he wants (ie, two people to sleep with).

OK, if having shagbuddies is "everything he wants" then why should he be under pressure to change things for something he wants less, just because you want it? You are the one that is looking to change the basis of the relationship, no?

Quote:

Originally Posted by gingerylocks (Post 29328)
he has told me that he wants to get married and have children soon and that once in such a relationship he would then like to explore other possibilities of secondary partners etc, which is exactly how I feel - I am not requesting monogamy of him (or of myself).

OK, so having two (or more shagbuddies isn't everything he wants...). In which case, when he is ready, and has found the right person, he will be looking for something different.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gingerylocks (Post 29328)
I do feel as though at some point he must choose what he actually wants to do.

Yes, I totally agree with you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gingerylocks (Post 29328)
I do not want him to stop seeing her or sleeping with her if that is what he wants to do, but I DO need to know where I stand,

Well, it sounds pretty clear to me where you stand - you are shagbuddies and he has said that he doesn't know whether that will change.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gingerylocks (Post 29328)
and whether we are likely to have a future together.

A future is what you both make it. Would you be willing to stay a shagbuddy to him? Would you be willing to be a secondary if he finds someone else as a primary? What do you want (not with respect to him, but in general)?

Quote:

Originally Posted by gingerylocks (Post 29328)
So, as a result I am very confused! I am trying to be as open and honest with him as possible, but I don't want to sound demanding or unreasonable (and I don't think that I am being either of those things), but I do want him to know what my bottom line is, and to know where I stand in his bottom line.

Then you need to let him make his decisions at his own speed, and not put him under any pressure. Are you enjoying the shagbuddy-style relationship enough that you would be willing to keep it going?

I have to admit that I struggle with this one because I am wired very differently than you are: I realised a long while ago that shagbuddies weren't fulfilling for me and that I really only wanted to share sexual activity with someone for whom I had deep feelings, so to me doing it this way around seems like an unfamiliar order, so I'm not sure if the conclusions I am drawing are valid or not.

So bearing that in mind, to me, 2 coffees and 48 hour sleepover seems awfully quick for deciding that someone is husband material. I mean, ok, you can see potential there, but you haven't even started to see the everyday side of him - or he of you. Why don't you just get to know each other better, without trying to have a goal in mind? Enjoy the relationship that the two of you have for what it is, without wishing it could be something more. Let it evolve the way it will, and stay conscious of whether it is giving you what you need or not.

Sorry if any of this came across as harsh - but you did ask for "rebuttals" :)

ArtemisHunts 05-14-2010 01:50 AM

How about giving yourself a personal time limit?

On one hand you really want to know where he stands for the future, on the other you want to give him some time to know for sure. You also know you can't do this forever, but don't want to be nagging or pressuring him in the meantime.

It seems to me that a good compromise would be to define for yourself what you consider a reasonable time to stick around. Some blend between what you can handle and how much he needs to be sure. Maybe with some kind of endpoint, you can feel comfortable putting the issue on hold and really enjoying things as they are now without feeling like you are wasting your time or being jerked around.

By the end of it, you both will likely be seeing things from a different perspective and with a lot more information to make a decision with.

gingerylocks 05-15-2010 09:59 AM

Thanks everyone for your advice, you have all been very understanding and sincere. It is much appreciated :)

Since our initial discussion of what each of us wants in general and specifically, he has continued to invite me to his place and to gatherings with his friends etc and he came to a party with my friends last night, so he certainly doesn't seem phased by anything so far. He is the one initiating the contact too, so I don't think I can see myself as pushing things. In addition, he says that he's not really interested in seeing the other shagbuddy very much anymore.

You are all correct of course! Three weeks is not long - I do realise this! I had been referring to it as the 'sex haze', but NRE sums it up nicely as well :)

The amount of time we are spending together is complicated by the fact that I have been off work and stufy for awhile due to an injury - in my normal life I work 100 hour weeks, and will be going back to this shortly. Thus I think we both have aware of time constraints.

CielDuMatin - yes your paraphrasing is accurate! In terms of what I want (with anyone) I do not think I would cope well with being a secondary. I do not mind my partner having one or more, but I think I would need to be primary. Thus, while I don't mind continuing the shagbuddy thing for awhile, I know I couldn't do it for long.

Which brings me to ArtemisHunts' comments - yes, giving myself a limit was what I had planned. I am not sure how long it would be, but I respond well to deadlines and end points, and I know I would feel far better if I had a point in sight. The question is: do I communicate this timeline to him? Obviously it sounds like an ultimatum (which it isn't really, but it might give him the incentive needed to come to a decision. The decision being does he want to continue as shagbuddies or make some kind of committment?)

Thanks again for your advice everyone! :)

LadyMonterey 05-15-2010 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gingerylocks (Post 29782)
... The question is: do I communicate this timeline to him? Obviously it sounds like an ultimatum (which it isn't really, but it might give him the incentive needed to come to a decision. The decision being does he want to continue as shagbuddies or make some kind of committment?) ...

I've been following your thread Gingerlocks as it sounds familiar to me. You don't have to give him an ultimatum. In fact, that will most likely result in shutting down any communication. Why not approach it as revisiting your agreement? I have to do this periodically whenever I hear or sense that the relationship has changed. I would even use the word "revisit". And according to one book on communicating, the word 'would' is more effective than the word 'could'.

gingerylocks 05-15-2010 11:32 AM

Very interesting LadyMonterey.....

Yes ultimatums are BAD! That is certainly not my intention - as you say, that would royally stuff things up. But I DO like the idea of 'revisiting'. And the tidbit about 'would' is intriguing.... thanks! :)


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:13 PM.