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-   -   Help please, I'm having a hard time swallowing poly (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3794)

kopoa 09-25-2010 02:09 AM

Help please, I'm having a hard time swallowing poly
Hi guys, I'm an unwilling newbie. I'm really, really, trying to figure out poly and whether I can accept it. Right now, it makes me feel rather queasy. It's really the interest of my semi-boyfriend. He tells me that he is naturally mono but likes shaping his personality into better forms, and that he is interested in conquering his jealousy and developing rewarding relationships with more than one person. This all sounds great on paper, but when he talks about girls who interest him, I just get this awful feeling in my stomach, and worse, do not want to talk about it.

He tells me that I come before poly, and that if I don't want him to pursue it he won't. He has been amazing so far, and I don't want to force him to give up on something like this that really interests him. I want to either see if I would enjoy having multiple partners myself, or whether I could tolerate (and even be happy about) his having other partners.

Here's part of the situation: we're long distance right now. I could sleep with/have relationships with other people, but I simply don't want to. He probably would if he could, but he is not in a position to where he is right now. All we've talked about with poly has been purely speculative. I think it would be different if I were friends with and liked the girls he was interested in, but right now they are a big scary mystery bag, and the concept of ploy is just a concept.

This is really, really bothering me. I'm fighting every urge to run and hide and not deal with these feelings. But I really care about him and want him to be happy.

If you have any advice, please help. Thanks!

Tonberry 09-25-2010 02:35 AM

It definitely is scary when a partner comes out as poly (or, in this case, poly-curious it seems), and the distance would make it worse.
You are right that the unknown is the worst part. When you can know and meet people, and feel part of the relationships, it's much easier, not that it's necessarily easy either of course.

As you going to be long distance for a long time, do you know? I would sincerely recommend putting this off until you can be physically together. Both because this way you can be sure you're not "filling a void" caused by not being together (which wouldn't be nice for the partners filling these voids, nor good for your relationship I think), and so you can be there to walk through it together.

Alternately, you could go at it if you talked a lot so the other feels involved. The problem is that just hearing about people and not actually getting to know them is probably not going to work. Your imagination fills in the blanks in the worst way possible. It would need to be people you get to talk to as well (online or something), and that before he has a relationship with them. So you can get to know them and see how comfortable you feel.

redpepper 09-25-2010 02:54 AM

I hope that you have a good read around these boards and make use of other peoples stories. There is a lot of really interesting things on here too if you do a search by tag or otherwise or read on the stickies provided.

I'm glad to hear that he is taking his time with this and going at a pace that is comfortable for you. that is important. I'm glad to hear also that you are talking to him and telling him how you feel. It's so important to stay honest and respectful to one another.

You are not alone my friend. I can guarantee you that :)

stay well and know that all gets better with time... make sure you take your time.. there is no rush to get it all right now.

vodkafan 09-25-2010 06:20 AM

Some people are just wired mono. I feel like I am one. I have no interest in meeting or getting to know another woman. I guess you will not know about that till you try.
About your boyfriend, the long distance thing is a killer I would say. If you are happy to talk about it theoretically then carry on, but tell him you don't want him to do ANYTHING until you are together properly. This will test whether he respects you enough for a poly relationship.
As the unwilling (or should I say hesitant) partner, I believe YOU should set the rules and the pace. That worked in my case. Good luck! :D

Vinccenzo 09-25-2010 01:47 PM

So what is the plan for the future regardless of all the conceptual poly talk? Are you to be moving to his location. He to move to where you are? Or will you both be moving to a new place together?

I ask because my SO and I spent almost a year in a LDR after we met in my hometown and dated for a year. I had never been in a LDR before simply because I had seen friends go through it and crash and burn for the suspicion of infidelity and/or real infidelity.

In discussing my concerns for a LDR, I told him I didn't want any pledges to remain faithful. I decided that he just WOULD sleep with others and maybe I would too. I told him that when the time came for the distance to be eliminated, we would just assess if we still had love for each other despite knowing either or both of us might have been with someone else. I felt I would rather focus on that than wonder about hidden nights of having a one off and keeping it a secret.

In the end, neither of us remained faithful, but the compatibility and love was still there. My only real concern in moving to where he had moved was the impression my absence might give to anyone he had been with. Would they have regard for me and my position in his life after having had him to themselves and me being this idea akin to "my GF, you wouldn't know her; she lives in Canada and I met her at Niagra Falls"?

It became very important to me that they at least knew I existed and that what they were entering into with him might very well be a short lived thing. In the end, I never met a single one. He had two ONSs and one several months situation where she tried to lasso him away; he declined and she dropped him and the subject. I was never in the position to worry or fret while it was happening because I didn't know the dynamic while it was happening. He wanted me here and protected that option for us.
I had a few months situation on my end and was very up front about the fact that I would be moving away. The guy I was seeing, after two months, admitted that he had designs on changing my mind from go. I stopped seeing him once I knew his intentions.

All in all, it was good practice for seeing that sex won't sustain or kill a real connection if the compatibility and emotions are genuine. And hey - if they are not real, you didn't loose anything that was ever going to be right for you in the first place.

vodkafan 09-25-2010 02:13 PM

Hi Vinccenzo,

I liked your post. Compared to mine I think that shows up the difference between a mono talking and a poly.

kopoa 09-25-2010 05:27 PM

Thanks for the advice so far! I'm lucky because he's been very open (as far as I'm comfortable with) about what he wants in the future. The situation is that he's in the military and is currently deployed, so he doesn't have many options when it comes to girls he's interested in the few times that they stop at a port. I on the other hand remain back n the states with many options.

At first he told me to do whatever I wanted, probably assuming I'd want more while he was away. I tried dating, half-heartedly, and then dropped it because I only have feelings for him. Maybe that means I'm mono? Anyway, when he found out that's how I feel, he said he would also abstain even if he met someone he liked while abroad, which I found rather touching. He'll come back in about three months.

I really like him, and I don't want to feel like I'm taking this away from him. I don't like feeling like he has to choose me or poly, which I think he currently feels like. I think it might be easier if I was actually friends with his other interests. I guess I'd be his "primary," which is honestly the only thing I could be for him. Is it better to be involved with the other interests? Does the jealousy get better?

On another note, do you think people are born with poly/mono tendencies? They've done interesting studies with prairie voles and bonding is why I ask.

Thanks so much for talking with me about this, as it's important for me to sort out :)

vodkafan 09-25-2010 05:37 PM

I'd say it was essential to get to know and talk to his other interests as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. Openness is what it is all about.
I will leave it to others to answer about jealousy. I am not jealous by nature and luckily OHb and I have never been jealous of each other. Hope this helps

SourGirl 09-25-2010 07:57 PM

Time,..it all takes lots and lots of time. There is no crash-course you can take to feel ok with it.

Your boyfriend and you, sound like you really have your shit together. That is awesome place to begin ! :)

Past that, wether you end up deciding you are mono, or poly, It takes a long time of soul searching. At first, you have to get your brain into a 'neutral state of acceptance'. This means you have to flood your brain with new concepts for a long enough period of time, that the brain has a chance of being objective, against everything you were ever taught, growing up.

Once in that neutral place, is when you will find where your natural tendencies truly lie.

Until then, there will be queasy feelings, and those small moments of panic. There will be the tennis match in your head,...where some days you feel you can accept it, and other days where it feels truly overwhelming.

Maybe those feeling will start to become a foreign concept, and maybe they won`t. Only time will tell that tale.....

Good Luck. :)

GroundedSpirit 09-25-2010 10:09 PM

Hey Kopa,

You make a great candidate for weighing in on another thread I started a few days ago.

You you be willing to go through a little exercise..........

1>Read, study, learn as much about a good poly relationship as you can
2> Do a comparison, from your own life, values and viewpoint, about the pros and cons of a mono life vs a poly life
3> Make your decision based on this, move forward in whichever direction felt best for you - and let us know.

Be awesome if you could help !

Thanks either way........


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