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-   -   Setting up the mindset... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3664)

dub1h 09-06-2010 11:45 PM

Setting up the mindset...
 
How do you handle the feelings of jealousy, and feel good knowing you're one of many, rather than one special person in their life?

I just had a talk with this girl I've been seeing, and I've learned (or rather, confirmed) that our relationship with one another is basically friends with benefits, and I don't think I'm the only one that has this sort of relationship with her. I want to feel good about it but I need help getting my mind to let me. :(
I want to be happy with what we have (it's been only good so far), and I want her to be happy living her life how she wants, but now I have this added uneasiness/jealousy coming into play..

redpepper 09-07-2010 06:09 AM

There are a lot of people here who have written and asked similar questions... have a good look around. Do a tag search on jealousy, and anything else that interests you..

not everyone agrees that "friends with benefits" or "intimate friends" is poly, but a lot do. Get to know what the theory is so that you can be educated. Find out what you need to have as far as boundaries go and what you want from this relationship. This will help so you can start working towards that with her, or anyone else you think would suit you. Remember to be honest with yourself and then with her... and keep your mind open to possibility... this would be my advice.

sage 09-07-2010 07:31 AM

Yes I agree with RP (as I usually do) about thinking about what you want to get out of this relationship and what your needs are. Labels are fine but they often mean different things to different people. She may have so far had "friends with benefits" because she hasn't understood any other options to monogamy.

For your relationship to have any chance to work on a level beyond "friends with Benefits" you are going to have to learn how to communicate with her really well. If she isn't up for that kind of work you are going to have to decide whether you can work with what she wants.

Jealousy sucks, but again, dealing with it works best together. If she won't come to the party well...that's a whole other story and I don't know if there is much around about that here. There is a really lovely video on the blog Hot Poly Mess, about being alone.

Keep us posted. I will be interested in how you go. I have a post on my blog (link below) on jealousy but it really applies to committed relationships. I'm sure you aren't turning into a pyscho and plotting to do terrible things to her car.:) At least I hope not.

dub1h 09-08-2010 01:40 PM

thanks for the replies guys. i torched her car and spraypainted angry messages all over her house, so it's all good now.

but really, after I slept on it, I woke up feeling a lot better (or perhaps it was after reading your replies that this happened). I don't really feel that initial jealous feeling. She is extremely open to communication, as am I, so talking about all of this is definitely possible...
but I haven't really been able to make myself bring up the topic of polyamory. I might have to save it for next time I see her in person (we spend time together about once a week usually).

How can I talk to her about polyamory? What am I trying to gain exactly is my question. We've established what our relationship is labeled ("friends with benefits due to time constraints and nonexclusivity" (to her, dating is spending lots of time together, and being exclusive), but would changing that label to some sort of poly relationship really accomplish anything?

I'm going to have a better look around the forum but I would still appreciate any specific advice too :)

Ariakas 09-08-2010 04:56 PM

Nothing really specific we can give you. Changing a label shouldn't change the actual relationship. But it may give it direction.

Poly usually involves love. If you are simply a FWB than it sounds like you fit the open relationship mold better. Poly is fairly eros-specific :)

dub1h 09-08-2010 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ariakas (Post 43421)
Nothing really specific we can give you. Changing a label shouldn't change the actual relationship. But it may give it direction.

Poly usually involves love. If you are simply a FWB than it sounds like you fit the open relationship mold better. Poly is fairly eros-specific :)

this is a little strange for me, because it's my first relationship of any kind. The LOVE word hasn't been said at all yet, but I do feel like way more than just a friend of hers. I do "love" her as I would want to love the world around me, if that makes any sense. I guess I should have a talk to her about this. Let our hearts open more, instead of trying to keep them closed because we can't be in a "relationship" because of time and distance. hmm

I guess I am a little naive to the actual emotion of love. I do feel something..it's not a sex-only relationship...i dunno this is confusing. How can I bring up the word love without scaring her? I guess I'm assuming it'll scare her.

redpepper 09-08-2010 06:27 PM

Ya, if leave the love thing. Just by your being around and constant will show her you are serious. When she sees you aren't going anywhere and trusts you then tell her you love her. Chances are she will already know and it won't scare her.

dub1h 09-15-2010 12:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 43437)
Ya, if leave the love thing. Just by your being around and constant will show her you are serious. When she sees you aren't going anywhere and trusts you then tell her you love her. Chances are she will already know and it won't scare her.

I agree and have decided to hold off on saying that for some time. Love seems like such a strong word..
Perhaps my idea of polyamory is incorrect, but I feel like love can take any form, any strength, and still be love.
Can someone tell me why friends with benefits wouldn't be considered poly? Can love not be involved with that sort of "casual" relationship as well?

WildCard 09-15-2010 05:41 PM

hey dub1h, I recently had to break up with someone who wanted a more time-consuming and emotionally intimate relationship that I could handle. I could be just projecting my experience on your situation, but it sounds to me like you might be walking into the same trap, with you being the one who wants "more" than the other person can give.

First thing to remember is that when poly folks talk about love it's LOVE a.k.a. Romantic Love or Passionate Love, the kind of love where you're euphoric one day and in despair the next (see Roller Coaster thread). This is not the type of love you have for the world, your neighbor, or your family. I wouldn't tell this girl that you love her unless you are "in love with" her, because that's what she's probably going to assume if you say "I love you." And usually one of the unwritten, or sometimes explicitly stated, rules of Friends With Benefits arrangement is that you don't fall in love, you don't get that bond and dependence that leads to the emotional roller coaster. Usually people looking for FWB are explicitly saying they don't want a Relationships and all the pleasures and drama that comes with that, whereas poly is all about Relationships.

It's not just semantics, or different terms for the same thing, it seems to me. The FWB relationship is not intended or expected to progress to anything other than a casual friend with whom one has casual sex, while poly dating can lead to something more serious, with the two (or more) people moving in together, sharing resources, starting a family, etc. as you can see from some of the amazing success stories on this site.

So if you're falling for this girl, or want a girlfriend-type relationship with her, you owe it to her to either tell her, or cut ties with her, since it sounds like she made it pretty clear that's she's looking for something different. Just my opinion, based on what you've told us.

GroundedSpirit 09-15-2010 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dub1h (Post 44444)
I agree and have decided to hold off on saying that for some time. Love seems like such a strong word..
Perhaps my idea of polyamory is incorrect, but I feel like love can take any form, any strength, and still be love.
Can someone tell me why friends with benefits wouldn't be considered poly? Can love not be involved with that sort of "casual" relationship as well?

Hey Dub1h,

If it's any help to you, a lot of this is loaded with semantic traps. A little more studying and you'll find that the term we throw around as 'love' has many facets & definitions. RedPepper just posted an interesting link in another thread of a talk by a leading anthropologist trying to lend some insight to the chemical basis behind all these confusing feelings & emotions. I can't look it up right now but maybe RP will chime in or I'll try to locate the thread when I close this post.

As far as clarity around what's 'poly' and what's not - that's also much debated. And as others have mentioned, labels don't have a lot of use in many circumstances. But it might be helpful that the term 'polyamory' came into being as a term (label) to describe multiple meaningful relationships that had grown beyond sexual limits. So that's the foundation. Since it hit the public's eye a lot of people have either tried to re-define it or gain some clarity around the myriad of gray areas that can be involved.

If it matters, and you feel you need a true understanding (for yourself only) you need to dig into what the term 'love' (amory) means to YOU. Only then can you discover what poly-amory means.

But the one thing I feel comfortable saying is that it's NOT about sex - only as a possible component of the whole.

Good luck in your search.............

GS


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