Is It Worth It?
Hopefully your collective wisdom can help us all with some questions which Ill bet are quite common in this community. I'm on the fence between poly and mono and currently in a mono relationship of about 1.5yrs with basically the girl of my dreams. I love her deeply and don't think I could ever find someone that could compare.
Despite this, I have feelings within me which have made me inclined to investigate the poly lifestyle. Theres just something about it that seems to click with who I am; I'm not a jealous person at all, I am perfectly self-sufficient, and have never been lonely.
I've actually discussed these feelings with her, but it sounds like she is just not the type of person for poly. What makes matters more difficult is she doesn't really understand why anyone would be, or if they are, it's some kind of flaw. However she tries very hard to be understanding and open.
Now, Im still not sure whether its right for me either, but I want to at least try it because theres this thing inside me compelling me to. The problem is, she has made it quite clear on several occasions that if I do want to try the poly lifestyle, I will lose her. Here are our major concerns about the lifestyle...
1. Is it shallow?
-For example I desire to have her as my primary, but then a more casual friend+benefits on the side, maybe several. But are these relationships shallow? If we do separate, and I have several casual relationships but nothing too serious, am I being superficial?
2. Am I being unappreciative?
-She means so much to me, and is so special to me, yet I feel compelled to seek out other people to have relationships with. Does this mean I'm just not appreciating her enough? If I make more of an effort to appreciate her will I not need other relationships?
3. Will I hurt other women?
-Even if Im totally upfront about my lifestyle and intentions in all relationships, isnt it natural for women to become attached and form a loving bond. I know theres exceptions, those who can comfortably keep an emotional distance, but I think this isnt the majority. Also Im not sure most women would have the cognizance to know in advance that they couldnt keep it casual because most have never tried. So Im worried I will hurt many women in the process of finding those exceptions that are ok with long term, casual, sexual relationships.
4. And the BIG question for me: Is it worth losing a true love, and best friend to find out if poly is for me? :confused:
-I know you'll say you dont know my situation enough to make a good judgement, but if you have any thoughts or suggestions for the situation I would love to hear them.
Thanks so much for your support! It seems hard to find amongst the general public. I look forward to learning from and sharing with your loving community!
Hi Sky Guy
I checked your profile and you're quite young so presumably your girlfriend is as well. I might be way off track and if I am I'm sure I'll hear about it, but I think young women as a group would be the hardest to interest in poly relationships.
I'm sticking my neck way out here and this is just my opinion.
You say she is the girl of your dreams so she is probably petty cool. Why would she want to settle for something that is very difficult for a person who is not poly to accept? What would be in it for her? She probably wants to look at securing a solid relationship with someone who has the potential of providing for children etc. A poly lifestyle would seem very strange when the cultural dream for most young women is still the lovely wedding and happily ever after scenario with Mr Right.
Again I may be totally wrong but I think people come to poly after quite a lot of living and the realisation that there are other ways to be happy.
It sounds to me as if you are just not ready to settle down yet. If you decide to give poly a go lay down your intentions from the outset.
"... isnt it natural for women to become attached and form a loving bond. I know theres exceptions, those who can comfortably keep an emotional distance, but I think this isnt the majority. Also Im not sure most women would have the cognizance to know in advance that they couldnt keep it casual because most have never tried."
Poly relationships are not casual, or, rather, they can be deeply loving relationships that are anything BUT casual. If you want to be poly expect all the emotional engagement, risks, turmoil, and rewards that you would find in any loving relationship.
That is an answer to your question about superficiality, too. Poly relationships are not superficial, and do not indicate superficiality in the people who engage in them.
"She means so much to me, and is so special to me, yet I feel compelled to seek out other people to have relationships with. ... Is it worth losing a true love, and best friend to find out if poly is for me?"
Well, you have named the horns of your dilemma and you see them clearly! Unfortunately -- or perhaps fortunately! -- you are the only one who can deal with them. If you truly love her and believe that you two should go on forever, and she cannot accept poly, then you both must make choices. Be mindful, aware, and make your choices well.
As a couple you might, at some time in the future, look into attending a workshop or seminar on poly or on alternate relationships. I think you should not try to convince her of anything; instead you might present it as a way for her to educate herself in how you feel, a way for her to understand you more deeply. In time she might change her mind; she might not. But at least she will know that you are not abnormal or a potential cheater, and that there are people who live in loving relationships that are not monogamous.
Here's what I would do in your situation, and please keep in mind I'm not advising you to do it, just saying what I would do given my "degree" of polyamory and how much I love my husband.
I'm in the gray area between extreme poly and extreme mono, where I can be satisfied in either kind of relationship. I prefer the freedom of polyamory, but if it meant losing my husband whom I love dearly, I could be perfectly happy and satisfied without it.
I would leave polyamory as a seed in the back of my mind and focus on the here and now. It's a perfect example of "a bird in the hand is worth two of the bush." I wouldn't go out looking for another girl to be polyamorous with, especially if it would mean losing the love of my life. Especially if it's just to "find out" whether polyamory was for me. If I knew for sure and was feeling unsatisfied or trapped in monogamy, that would be different.
For you, it depends entirely on how much you feel that you have to explore polymory, and how much you love your girlfriend. Of course, you're the only person who can answer those questions.
At the risk of sounding pessimistic, if you're young, there's a good chance your relationship with this girl won't last forever. That's just statistics, nothing you've said implies that you're in any immediate danger. You'll have the rest of your life to explore poly. In future relationships, now that you know you're interested, you can bring it up before things get serious.
You've got lots of time I suspect. A big part of polyamory is philosophical and not everyone and every situation is able or ready to take it to reality. And time changes everything.
I'd suggest doing some studying - TOGETHER - talking and learning about advantages and disadvantages. At some point it will become more clear to you both whether this is something that fits practically in your lives or not. When that time comes you can make an informed decision TOGETHER.
Remember - 'polyamory' is NOT just about sexual variety ! And relationships are NOT just about sex. But learning about each others TRUE sexual needs & desires is part of growing a relationship. And there are a number of ways to explore those needs in a safe, sane manner as long as you can separate sex and love. So don't attempt to latch on to what you think polyamory offers in a sexual sense when that's all it is at this stage. Call a spade a spade and approach it from the proper direction.
My thoughts anyway...........
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