Some things on my mind
I'm not really sure if this is the right lifestyle for me.
I find that I have a mental idea of my ideal partner, but I don't think it is ever possible for someone to live up to that standard.
In my past monogamous relationships, where I have been close to being happy with them, it wasn't because I didn't care for them, just that I wanted my own freedom. I would happily still see them, but because I don't like to be with only one person, it upsets them, which upsets me, as I don't want to hurt people.
I like to go clubbing, get drunk, and hit on girls, sometimes the next day, while sober I realise they don't always line up with my standards. Other times, someone is close, and they understand I don't want a relationship, and I continue to see them, others get hurt and upset I don't want a relationship.
I'm not really proud of myself, it's just a way for me to have fun. Other times I almost dream of meeting an ideal partner, but I think this lifestyle is something that kind of works. I almost go in a cycle between committed relationships, then being single and seeing a few people, or going clubbing and so on.
Maybe I want to meet the near perfect girl, or I like the excitement too much, the new sensations, but sometimes I feel guilt or regret if I feel they really aren't right for me.
So you like going out and having a good time? So what. Nothing wrong with that. For some that wouldn't be poly, it might be seen as having casual sex and relationships. Poly is usually based on establishing somewhat connected, somewhat committed relationships of love with many people. But; its a personal description usually.
If you are the type that falls in love in a one night stand then some would call that poly. I have a hard time with believing that is a viable definition as romances like that are often based on substance use and abuse and sex, rather than love. Induced love maybe? Still, I am on the other end of the spectrum with a poly family and four solid partners that I am deeply committed to and have been with for years for the most part.
I suggest that if you want a relationship or many with people for longer than a night that you look for that. There is no need to stop clubbing and having a good time as you have always enjoyed. There are people out there that would be okay with that. It might take some work, but if you are willing to invest to see where something goes you might find you can have it all.
I do suggest that you let go of finding the perfect relationship as it just doesn't exist. In my experience, if its perfect, then I missed something and need to find the imperfection so that I can embrace that bit. Imperfection means there is work to do and its that work that makes relationships strong, loving, caring and deeply committed and long lasting.
Think of a family member that you have known and loved your whole life. Do they have flaws and irritating parts to who they are? Likely they do. I bet you still love them thought. The same goes for anyone you have a chosen relationship with. Flaws will always be there, its a matter of deciding how much you can agree to deal with that is the question, rather than should you bother at all. Most people are worth investing and bothering with... only the select few are not. Maybe you should try to see if something wonderful comes out of just staying around for awhile and negotiating how much time and effort you put into each other.
Thank you for your response.
I'm in quite a confused state of mind. In the past I have hurt two of my exes because after sometime, I wanted my own space and freedom. Yet I still cared about them a lot.
It's not very easy to be with someone, without hurting them. I feel a lot of guilt and regret, and I'm really not sure where I'm meant to go in the future.
A good friend of mine points out that I seem to go in a cycle. Where when I am single I want a relationship, yet when I am in a relationship I want to be single again.
I recently broke up with my ex, and I feel quite sad that things didn't work out. Naturally she doesn't trust me, and was hurt to the point of not feeling anything any more. A similar thing happened with my previous ex.
I have no idea what I'm meant to do in the future, I don't want to make the same mistakes. I don't want to feel full of shame, guilt and remorse for hurting those who I care about.
I actually think that operating as a solo poly might work for you - if you can be honest with yourself and your partners you can "be in a relationship" (or relationships) and still "go clubbing, get drunk, and hit on girls."
You might want to read some of NYCindie (a member on this site) has to say about enjoying dating as a way to meet new and interesting people and have positive experiences without, necessarily, viewing it as an "audition" for a "potential partner."
I don't know that I would use the word "polyamory" from the outset - just let people know that you are interested in seeing them/sleeping with them but that you aren't interested in being "exclusive" and letting each relationship develop (or not) at its own pace. I do think that you might want to be VERY up-front about this to avoid the "hurt" that you have seen previously. I would advise being scrupulous about your sexual health (condoms always and frequent STI testing).
I look back fondly on my years of non-attachment - casual sex and "Friends-With-Benefits". I learned a lot about myself. When I fell into a relationship with MrS I "knew" that it was somehow very different - even though it started out the same way. I still like to "get drunk and hit on girls" though - luckily both of my boys are fine with this!
I missed being able to go out to clubs, one of the reasons I broke up.
After doing so, and seeing some girls as a result. I'm really not so sure if that is what I want to do.
I have no idea what I want.
Well, then - THIS is the main problem. If you don't know what you want then how can anyone else hope to satisfy you?
Get thee to a counselor!
I'm a big fan of being open to what evolves but if you don't even know what kind of situations you could be open to? Or, more importantly, NOT open to - then how can you communicate effectively with a potential (even non-exclusive) prospect?
Some questions to ask yourself (and investigate with your therapist!):
Could you see yourself...
dating multiple people simultaneously?
that know about each other?
dating one person exclusively?
living with one person while having NSA sex on the side?
living with a partner?
having a dog?
letting someone else spend your money?
PS. "Clubbing" is not something that interests me, or is available in our area - I don't really know anything about it. So I will relate it to something that bothers some women that has never been an issue for me - going to strip-clubs. I don't care if the boys go to strip clubs. Perhaps this is because the boys don't have a "thing" about going to strips clubs - they will go if invited or if the subject comes up but it is not a regular drain on our finances/time together so it doesn't affect me one way or another. If they do decide to go to a strip club while they are out - I don't have to know about it ahead of time, they can tell me, or not, when they get back. Now, if they (or one of them) were spending hundreds of dollars or exorbitant amounts of time at strip clubs - then this could turn into a problem. 5 nights a week, $100/ night? (70% of "free time" + $2K/ mos) THAT would be an issue - as it would be with ANY hobby that took them away for extended periods of time or cost a significant amount of money. So was the problem the "clubbing" or the time/money?
When you are in a relationship do you see other girls? Do you sleep with them? I'm asking just because I'm trying to understand my boyfriend and this lifestyle
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