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-   -   opening communication with potential partner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=41057)

genebean 02-20-2013 07:42 PM

opening communication with potential partner
So some how, we managed to find ourselves a unicorn. She is beautiful, funny, and charismatic. Everything we were looking for really. It is exciting but also scary so I have been very careful to let her know that I am very much willing to hear any concerns she might have. Even still, when she has a concern she only talks about it to our boyfriend, even if its asking how I'm doing with all of this. Its upsetting because I'm struggling with feeling like a third wheel as it is. I say "potential" partner because I don't really know her interest in me. I made it explicitly clear that my involvement with them was optional, not mandatory though she says that she wants me involved. Any suggestions?

learninginTN 02-20-2013 08:43 PM

I always think that direct, honest communication is the best way. Talk to her, let her know you want to be in the loop. All three of you sit down over some tasty beverages and talk and talk and talk until you're tired of talking. Let her begin to feel safe confiding in you as well. Let her know there is nothing she can say to one of you that she can't say to the other. Reinforce the idea that you and your partner share everything. Build up that trust. Find out whether you guys want a V or a triad. Talk about scheduling. Nothing should be off the table.

Really, nothing can be lost be open and honest discussion. You may even discover some aspects of this you previously overlooked.

GalaGirl 02-21-2013 03:27 AM


I made it explicitly clear that my involvement with them was optional, not mandatory though she says that she wants me involved. Any suggestions?
Could be more clear. "Involved" HOW exactly?

As another dating partner/lover? As a friend/person to talk to? WHAT?

And WHEN? All the time? Before dates, after dates, only on second tuesdays?

You could not seek to micromanage, but could strive to be clearer about your intentions and where your boundaries are. If she's asking the shared BF, it could mean she doesn't yet know. Be best if she came to you direct, but if that's part of the things to sort... could talk and sort them out then.

Could not have people guess how you want to be treated.
Could teach them how you want to be treated.


Dormouse 02-21-2013 10:51 AM

Just to back up the very sensible suggestions given, it sounds like a time for some conversation, and don't be afraid to be specific, and ask for clarity from others.
Also, you say ..feeling like a third wheel... you might want to get a strategy in place to help with that, don't be afraid to ask for what you need.

sparklepop 02-21-2013 11:16 AM

My first response is purely an assumption based on these two things:
"I made it explicitly clear that my involvement was optional"
"when she has a concern she only talks about it to our boyfriend"

It does sound very much, from the outside, that your Unicorn might well be thinking of your boyfriend as her main person, main relationship, with you as an extra person, rather than thinking of the two of you as her equal partners/lovers.

To have you 'involved' in this way means that she's saying "sure, have sex with us, that would be fun" - but that her relationshippy side is pointed towards him.

As everyone else had said, some clear communication and roles are needed.

Decide for yourself, before going into the discussion:
- Are you happy for him to date her alone?
- Are you happy to be an occasional 'extra' / purely sexual extra?
- If you are having threesomes, but she is more focused on him relationship-wise, are you happy to let them do their communication thing?
- If you are an 'extra/optional', what do you *need* her to talk to you about, specifically?

If you get those things straight in your head, you should be able to express yourself with clarity. I have an inkling that she's asking boyfriend "is this ok?" because their relationship is developing differently (i.e. more intensely) than the threeway dynamic.

I do think that it is rare for three people to find each other equally as attractive or appealing - in my experience, two people often end up developing something deeper. i.e. for you guys, threeway sex, relationship between you and boyfriend, relationship between her and boyfriend, you and her in a peripheral 'relationship'/friendship.

If you do agree to only be a sex partner, or to be happy with them getting more involved as a duo without you, then some of the communication stuff might be flexible. Of course she should come to you directly - that would be ideal. But if she's feeling closer to him, she might be chickening out - so, open the lines of communication with her and find out what it is that she really wants and how she really sees the two of you.

A final point to consider...

My girlfriend's husband was hopeful that I would be their Unicorn, for a very long time. I am not attracted to him, but I was open to (and did engage in) mild threeway play here and there. I was more open during the first 6 months. I did this because I was neutral - *not* because I was interested in him. I just thought it would be good for my girlfriend and wanted to give both of them that. It might be worth finding out for sure whether your Unicorn is neutral and doing it for the thrill of a threesome / for your boyfriend, or whether she is actually sexually attracted to you. The best way of determining that is by asking whether, hypothetically, she'd be interested in having sex with *just* you. If she wouldn't be interested, she's not really interested in you. If she would, she obviously is interested - but either there is a communication breakdown, or she's *more* connected to your boyfriend.

genebean 02-21-2013 03:33 PM

Communication is definitely a must, seems silly that we didn't outline things all that well to begin with. I think we all just assumed we'd roll with the punches and now we're getting our asses kicked for that erroneous assumption.

The biggest miscommunication we are facing currently is that we have all fooled around a few times and have done fairly well I think but I have not been able to bring myself to accept him penetrating her (I know, this seems kind of silly). I told her that this is something I am working on being accepting of and she seemed okay and understanding. We have been..doing whatever it is we're doing for about 3 weeks now and she has said to our boyfriend, T, that she is frustrated sexually and is considering just being friends with us because of my discomfort. Then continues to make out and "fool around" with T. She then tells him thatt she wouldn't stop him if he made a pass at her. It's a mess. T is also frustrated and scared that all of this is blowing up in his face. I told her that I am willing to negotiate boundaries but that I need to know that there is an issue or else I can't do anything to help.

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