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-   -   Open Discussion and Time Constraints - Balance? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30282)

smiler 10-15-2012 05:11 AM

Open Discussion and Time Constraints - Balance?
Just curious to see if other people have had this issue.

How do you get the balance right between open, honest, transparent communication about issues and restricted time to spend together.

My BF and I are still working on establishing the right rhythm for us i.e. how often we manage see each other, sleep over rules, general relationship "stuff". So we generally have a lot to talk through. However, since we don't see each other for more than a few hours a week, neither of us wants to spend that time troubleshooting. And it's also awkward to communicate openly and honestly by e-mail/text/phone.

Has anyone had this problem before, or have any suggestions on how to approach it? I want him to spend happy times with me, not times sucked into analysis of the relationship. But avoiding issues won't work either. And I keep leaning to one extreme or the other i.e. we either spend hours sucked into meaningful discussion on feelings or we spend hours having an absolute blast and really living the moment.

Neither ends up feeling good because option one is exhausting emotionally and option two is short-lived happiness - quickly followed by anxiety.

Thanks for any tips.


BoringGuy 10-15-2012 02:22 PM

If it ain't broke don't fix it?

CattivaGattina 10-15-2012 03:35 PM

What all are you feeling like you need to discuss? You mention things like seeing each other and sleeping over but what other relationship stuff? For the other two is there a reason you aren't able to just see how each things moves along (like sending each other messages/calls to see if you are free to go on a date and then during that date discuss if you want to stay the night). It's hard to give suggestions for other relationship stuff not knowing what it is you want to talk about.

This is how those two things worked with me and my partners. Of course things kinda feel together and since there were times I would sometimes see them as part of the whole group of friends we could take a little time during that time to talk about what was on our minds. Now living with most of my partners makes it even easier but I'm pretty good at trying to give suggestions on time management.

nycindie 10-15-2012 06:55 PM

I can understand not wanting time spent together to be all about analysis and problem-solving, but I am not quite sure what the problem is here.

You say you still need to hammer out details on 'how often we manage see each other, sleep over rules, general relationship "stuff",' but how many times does that need to be discussed? Assuming you know your schedule, and he knows his, why would figuring out how often you see each other need to be revisited again and again? The same with rules about staying over... what is not getting resolved that you have to keep talking about it?

Is it that you don't feel heard? Is it that things are left unfinished? And what kind of relationship "stuff" do you feel needs to be all addressed at once in order to move forward? Can't you simply talk about things as they come up and then let them be once the discussion is finished? I guess I'm confused about what the struggle is.

It would also help if you explained your situation - is it that you and your bf have decided to open up your relationship and you're trying to find rules for being with other people, or are one of you married/partnered with someone else and you're trying to figure out rules for the two of you?

GalaGirl 10-15-2012 07:51 PM

Make appointment for Serious Talk. Set timer. Talk about whatever issue/problem it is. Stop talking at the beep. Make follow-up appointment. Then take brains off hook and got eat pizza/watch movie?

Some problems are too big to solve in one go. So just take it in chunks and live normal life in between appointments.

When I was having HUGE eldercare probs and needed DH's feedback on what to do for the patient parent we just made a standing date for Friday night at 10 PM to cover some til timer went off. Then the rest of the week -- normal life.

It kept things moving forward, but also kept the sanity.

We also put a limit -- if things do not feel better by X? We need to get more aid!

Because if we stopped making headway and needed to get a pro in there for extra support for us during a hard time, we were totally open to doing that. It wasn't just getting the patient to THEIR pro people. We have the right to get aid for SELVES too.

I don't know how severe your relationship issues are -- but that's how we tackled ours.


rory 10-15-2012 08:13 PM

A practical suggestion: you might try skype with web-cameras for better communication?

smiler 10-16-2012 02:40 AM

Thanks, everyone. The replies helped a lot, and actually put me back in line a little.

The questions around what specific issues I wanted to talk about were interesting. Because, as I thought about it, I realized that there are no major open issues. Time is a sore subject because there just isn't a whole lot of time for us to get together every week. But we've talked it through and we are where we are. We're both trying (successfully for the most part) to make more time and work this out, but there's really no need to endlessly talk about it.

I realized that my currently unmet need is some kind of constant reassurance, which is a wrong and unreasonable expectation. I think I would probably have that need in any type of relationship, but I need to manage that myself. It's just my self-confidence issues manifesting themselves.

It's weird. One of the things that I've learned since I started this journey is how valuable it's been to have such open communication with my BF - and actually how it's led to a more open communication with myself. Constant self-evaluation has actually done me a whole lot of good.

I appreciate everyone's input. Having an unbiased opinion "what's the problem?" has helped me reach the answer I needed.


GalaGirl 10-16-2012 12:14 PM

Glad it helped then and you got what you needed. :)


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