Starting polyamory with friends
So a situation has suddenly come up and I was a bit nervous about it. I am not too sure how to handle it. Here is the situation:
I am living with someone I dated and am not with at present, however we hope to get back together someday. Now, while it pains me to see her possibly getting into a new BDSM relationship with someone( and possibly bringing another partner into the family, because she too is poly) she has allowed me to look for partners of my own. A little more on this bit.
I had issues in the past with things and am working to correct them so that way her and I could get back together. So it has been felt that it may or may not be alright for me to be getting involved in another new relationship while I am still working to fix myself. Thoughts?
Now, the situation arose that my two close friends from Pittsburgh, 5 hours away, told me they opened up their relationship. I admitted to them that I had felt a thing for both of them since I met them and have known them these past 4 years. They both said they too loved me and cared. So we have talked about it the past two nights. Both of them (guys) and I talked a bit about some things including how much time we could spend together in person, online talking, and texting, my expectations when it came to sex and that I expected that they get tested for STDs and HPV prior to anything we do in that aspect. We also covered what they viewed me as, if we could all talk reasonably and be open with each other, and what their expectations were. The last thing we talked about was a plan in case we had to break up.
It all sounds pretty good so far, to be honest. They will get tested, they will keep in touch as best as possible and visit when they can(I will visit when I can as well), they would view me as a boyfriend (probably secondary) and we could all talk about any issues reasonably. They expected me to not try to break them up and said that if we broke up then we would likely still be close friends.
The issues I am having:
I asked them to come here, though they said they felt like it was more of an interview process than getting into a relationship. They felt that getting into a relationship would be better if it just flowed naturally and didn't go as a process. Yet they understood that I want things to go in a process because I want it to be right and good for all three of us. I am wondering if there is anything that I haven't thought of before still possibly starting this relationship. I want to know if there is a time limit I should wait or if there are any concerns I have not thought of yet that should be talked about.
Please help me?
For me, relationships are things that just grow and happen so I can see where they may be coming from. That doesn't mean that it isn't a process - it is just a process that happens at it's own pace. So, you keep talking, and visiting, as friends, and if something at some point develops then...good!
Which isn't to say that you don't make plans - it's that you don't make plans that have an expected outcome. You make plans to keep lines of communication open with people you find interesting (as friends, not just "potential partners"), to keep yourself STD free, to meet people and socialize and keep yourself open to possibilities should they arise.
So, with regards to STD testing for instance, maybe it is reasonable to get STD tested once a year, or every six months, or every time you have an potential exposure. You make a personal rule for yourself about use of protection. You share this as a "good idea" with your friends (ALL of your friends - it's pretty much a good idea anyway). The point is, then you are prepared on your side, to have the STD talk with any potential new partner - not just them.
You invite them out to visit as friends without the expectation that something more necessarily develop on this trip. You come out to Pittsburgh to see them and maybe other friends that you have in Western PA. Come for a concert, plan to go to a poly Meet-Up with them, etc. Maybe something develops with one or both of them, maybe you meet someone entirely new...
Things can develop in a "right and good way" without following a pre-set script if you keep your eyes open for things as they develop and set for yourself a policy of honesty and integrity with all people at all times. I don't know that there is a time-frame for waiting - more of a "personal readiness" on the part of each person.
Be patient, be prepared, be open, be yourself. Enjoy the people in your life now, enjoy the relationship you have with each person (and yourself) for what it is now (not what it could become), enjoy the moment and the place you are at. And when the next moment comes? Savor that one as well.
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