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-   -   can I handle polyamory? Why or why not? Advice needed (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=34177)

moowithelsie 12-03-2012 01:11 AM

can I handle polyamory? Why or why not? Advice needed
 
Hello all,

First of all, I've never really considered myself polyamorous, but I've never been closed to the idea of it either. Right now, I'm in a relationship that would be labelled 'monogamous.' But I've been having to think of it otherwise.

I've been seeing someone for almost a month now and I really like her a lot, but there's another girl in her life who's an ex and a best friend, and they have a very emotionally intimate relationship. I've been trying to think of their relationship in terms of polyamory, even though this would probably upset my new partner if she knew I was thinking that. But I'm starting to feel really jealous and, well, less special than this other girl. She mentions her almost every single time we talk, be it for 5 minutes or 10 hours and it's making me crazy. It feels as if they never took time apart to 'break up' properly and still have a very skewed relationship. I know she cares about her deeply and they've been very close friends for a long time, but she also wants to be with me.

I wanted to ask you guys because I wanted advice from people who are poly on what it means to BE poly and how you can tell if it is for you or not. I'm saying this because I can't tell if my jealousy is a symptom of a problem, or if I'm just not cut out for polyamory, or what it is. In the past, I've cut off casual hookups and general 'dating around' because I just felt like I was being way too intimate with too many people in my life at once...and that was when there were 3 other people. I don't know if this means anything? Gaaahhhh I'm so confused guys!! I'm going to talk to her about it regardless, but I just wanted some advice first. I felt like this was the right place to ask.

Sorry if this is rambling, I'm just a little lost and confused, and I could really use any help, at all. :) Thanks.

Note: my partner considers herself strictly monogamous.

MeeraReed 12-05-2012 02:45 AM

I arrived at polyamory via having a close friendship with an ex whom I considered my best friend. (Or rather, I arrived at polyamory after that relationship imploded and I realized I could have understood the situation better and communicated better with him using the framework / labels / structure of polyamory).

So I get what you mean about feeling that your girlfriend has a somewhat polyamorous relationship with her ex, even if they are not necessarily sexual anymore.

It might help you work through your jealousy by approaching the situation with poly in mind. The best friend/ex is in her life to stay, is really important to her, it's a relationship you should give her the freedom to keep, etc.

The basic idea of polyamory is that someone can have feelings and closeness with more than one person without diminishing the value of those feelings and closeness. Your girlfriend can love both you and her ex (maybe in different ways) and that does not diminish her love for you.

And also, you can COMMUNICATE with your girlfriend about her ex, as poly people do about their other relationships...you can point out how frequently she mentions the ex, for example, and say that you support the friendship completely but it also makes you jealous to hear about her CONSTANTLY.

However, I'm confused by part of your post. Your girlfriend may have a poly attitude toward relationships, but what does that have to do with whether YOU are capable of dating more than one person??? You can accept her relationship with her ex, and learn all about poly if it helps you understand her better, but you can still be monogamous yourself. You don't have to run out and date a bunch of people just because your girlfriend has a special bond with her ex.

ThatGirlInGray 12-05-2012 03:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MeeraReed (Post 170530)
However, I'm confused by part of your post. Your girlfriend may have a poly attitude toward relationships, but what does that have to do with whether YOU are capable of dating more than one person??? You can accept her relationship with her ex, and learn all about poly if it helps you understand her better, but you can still be monogamous yourself. You don't have to run out and date a bunch of people just because your girlfriend has a special bond with her ex.

Well, there's a difference between someone who is not only monogamous themselves but is only interested in a monogamous relationship of two and someone who is monogamous themselves but willing/able to be in a polyamorous relationship. Choosing to be in a poly relationship means choosing to do extra work dealing with the extra communication and the jealousy, even (especially?) if you yourself only ever have one partner.

For the original poster (is your handle a Rent reference??), it's rather difficult to say if you're up for being in a poly relationship or not, since you say your girlfriend would consider herself strictly monogamous. Perhaps dating multiple people yourself would not work so well, based on your past experiences, but it sounds like regardless of if you're going to think of your relationship in a "poly" way or not, communication and honesty need to increase BIG time. Really tough to tell how deep the jealousy issues go when your gf doesn't even know the issues exist and hasn't had the opportunity to try to address it.

moowithelsie 12-05-2012 04:59 PM

Yes my handle is a rent reference! I've been using it since I was 13 or so and you're probably only the 5th person so notice, haha.

I really appreciate the input. I talked to her about it and things got a little confusing and messy...my gf doesn't know if she wants to keep going because she's afraid of the jealousy tearing us apart. I really want to stay with her, but I also want to know how to manage the jealousy. Do you guys experience jealousy in poly relationships? How do you deal? Thanks :)

onoma 12-05-2012 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MeeraReed (Post 170530)

And also, you can COMMUNICATE with your girlfriend about her ex, as poly people do about their other relationships...you can point out how frequently she mentions the ex, for example, and say that you support the friendship completely but it also makes you jealous to hear about her CONSTANTLY.


Moowithelsie, I'd think you should _start_ with this. Maybe you're just overreacting and she is just good friends with this ex. Maybe you can work it out before going into a polyamory discussion or even trying to decide yourself.

You might just be jumping the gun... especially after only a month!


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