Mono trapped in a poly world, HELP!
I've come a long way from where I once was. However at heart I'm still mono, holding on to Disney and classic American dream values. It would take way too long to explain the journey I have been on, but what I would really like to address is what I call my "impending doom". It is a feeling that I never got until I fell in love, and it is something that grows worse with each passing day.
I love my boyfriend, unconditionally and truly, and I know he feels the same way. But I just have this creeping feeling in the back of my mind that I do not belong in his life. That I am not good enough, or smart enough or have enough money or value. I'm the youngest out of all his girlfriends, and to be honest my life is a young person mess. I'm still trying to figure out who I am, who I want to be, and how to get there. When I'm not with my boyfriend I feel like he forgets me, or doesn't care, or that I'm not important.
I understand that he still has to take care of his other girls, but growing up with the mind set that I did, it is really hard for me.
It is the absolutely most heart breaking thing to me to watch the man I love, love two other women. I guess poly people don't feel that way, but I'm not poly, not yet anyway. But I couldn't imagine loving anyone other than him, believe me I've tried.
I don't know how this is coming off, but it is not meant to be a "monogamous is better" post, more so a "help I'm mono and in love with a poly" post.
Is there anyone else out there in a similar situation who feels the same way? Or knows how to deal with it? Or anyone who has been there and dealt with this?
I just want to be able to sleep at night again. I'm tired of crying and feeling inadequate. I know the fault lays with me and my mind set, my boyfriend has been the most wonderful, understanding, loving and patient person. I just want to be the same for him, but I also want to be better, for the both of us.
I am sorry you hurt. :(
Let me ask you this... Set BF aside for a minute. Did you feel better dating in a monoamorous and monogamous framework?
If so, maybe it's time to come to terms with the fact that you are "monoamorous AND monogamous" and that's how you prefer your romance shapes to come in. NOTHING wrong with that. You have tried. You are not "monoamorous but ok in a polyshipping framework" as a "V" arm to a polyamorous hinge person. It is causing you disturbances in your mental health and emotional health -- stress and heartsickness.
Everyone has the right to have their romances in a shape that they can be happy and thrive in. There is no fault. It does NOT lie with you. It just is what it is -- nobody's fault that you have different values and romance shape hopes that are not compatible together. Could feel sad, could feel disappointed. Could also not beat up on yourself. Treat yourself more kindly and with more self respect. That is what the dating time is FOR -- to find the compatible ones.
I'm sure BF is very nice, but you sound like you have basic imcompatability issues here. He is polyamorous and values being in polyship with several women. You do not want to be -- you prefer the Disney/American traditional dream values that imply a romance that is one on one.
Could stop trying to square peg round hole because YOU are responsible for your best healths -- physical healths, emotional health, mental health, and spiritual health.
If you were whanging your face with your cherished frying pan, and announced you felt yucky... I'd tell you to stop whanging. Love your pan a different way. Make pancakes in it instead of whanging. You are whanging your brain and your heart with the BF who has different values than you. Neither is better than the other -- just different. And not compatible. You say you are tried of feeling this way. So contemplate changes.
I'm going to gently suggest you consider breaking up. Continue to love him in a different shape -- as friends. There is NOTHING wrong with a good friendship. It is hard to imagine loving a new person -- because it's hard to know what is not yet here. That's normal.
I'm sure he will always be "a love of my life." But Life is long, and he doesn't have to be the "current active love" of all your life if there's basic incompatible here. If for your own best long term health you have to go through some short term break up suckage -- that could be the better investment for you.
If you choose that, you could go through the stages of grief post break up. You actually could be there already in the "denial" or "bargaining" stage as you come to terms with this basic incompatible. Could spend some soul searching time to sort your inner feelings out.
It is ok to be a young person. You will naturally outgrow it and move to your next decade of life. You will NOT outgrow being in a relationship where you cannot thrive and be happy in. You have to actively do something about it -- change the relationship.
I am sorry you feel trapped. You are in a Time of Discernment. That can be uncomfortable for a young person if you have not traveled that road before. It comes up many times in life -- your values get tested and reaffirmed or reshaped by Life. Sometimes you have to make a call you don't want to make but have to because it is the healthiest thing for all concerned. So the heart is heavy.
You will be ok. Hang in there. Do the job in front of you -- sort yourself out and decide whether or not to stay in this polyship.
I think for your best health, the best thing could be to change it to a friendship. You have already been here a while trying it out. How long you stay in the dating time before you determine a partner is a long haul runner or not is up to you. (You sound like you want a long haul partner.) But to me you sound like you could be done, and trying to come to terms with that disappointment.
It is not fun. But it is what it is. Be brave and do the job in front of you -- sort yourself out.
Lots and lots of folks come here in your shoes. If you search for mono/poly you find much to read about and lots of advice that may help in your situation.
People do make relationships work well where one partner is mono and the other poly. It is possible.
Is that what you really want? There is nothing wrong with wanting a mono relationship. It works well for lots of people. Poly may not work for you and that is ok. Contrary to Disney and pop songs, love alone is not enough for a relationship to survive and thrive. There must be some basic compatibility too.
I don't feel the same way, and I'll throw out the reasons I don't, in case they're of any use to you. Some will apply, some won't.
Some of these things are things you might consider--do you have a strong sense of self and your purpose in life, what you want out of life? If not, think about those things. You'll find yourself and your relationships changing.
Some of these things won't really apply to you because you simply WANT different things than I want. But this is worth thinking about, because your boyfriend at the moment can't or won't provide what you want. No criticism of him, no fault in what you want--you two simply are not a match right now. It's wise to see this head-on, clearly. As Gala says, you may need to quit trying to force your square peg into a round hole.
I'm just going to take a moment to take issue with one word here -- trapped, from your subject line.
You're not trapped. You can leave any time you want. I know it may not feel that way, and I know you can't imagine loving someone else, but all that comes back to being young and being scared. You CAN say "I care for you, but this isn't right for me." You CAN move on and love and be loved again. I hope you can come to believe that.
I'm not saying that staying or leaving is right in this situation per se, but I think you'll be able to make a better decision one way or the other if you can work on learning and believing that you truly are free.
The only thing that's keeping you "trapped in a poly world" is you. The only one who can HELP! is you.
I guess there are a few things about this not so traditional relationship that I should mention.
This is my first real relationship period. I had quick flings in high school but nothing serious, nothing lasting and nothing meaningful. That being said I waited a long time to lose my virginity, but I lost it to him. So he is my first lover, and relationship, and these are added factors that complicate things.
As for not being compatible I think this is both true and untrue. My boyfriend has literally been the most understanding, caring, patient, loving, and compatible person I have ever known. He was everything I ever wanted in a man, minus the poly thing. But I suppose that is a huge thing. Which is where the torn feeling I have comes from. I love him, and I do not doubt that he loves me. I am attached and he is very good for and to me. He just happens to have two other girlfriends. Its a very weird, complicated situation.
And thank you for taking the time to share your opinions and give me advice. It really does mean a lot to me!
The bright side IS that it is all new and it's a freshness felt not just on the level of this one relationship but in your current stage of life.
There can be other lovers, other New Relationship Energy times... but it's not like the one that is the first one.
That said? You do not sound like you are monoamorous and ok polyshipping. You sounds like you are monoamorous and monogamous. Is that so? You experimented and came to reaffirm that core value in yourself?
Well... you do not have to spend your whole life with your first lover -- life is long. A good sex share is a good sex share and can be lovely and all kinds of wonderful in mind, heart, body, and soul. It can also be a fun roll in the sack. There is spectrum there.
Do not make major life choices based on sex alone -- like staying in a polyship where you love the shared hinge but do not love the polyship shape. Sex can be part of a loving relationship, but a loving relationship is more than just sex. Do not square peg round hole yourself to a place of intolerable. That's not health.
Poly thing IS a big compatability issue. What you feel for him does not change and does not have to. But your BEHAVIOR might have to change. You can continue to love him even if you break up because you want a monoship and he cannot provide this with his wiring. You cannot provide polyship with your inner wiring either. It is what it is. Nobody's fault. Be friends. Do friend behaviors now instead of GF behaviors. Be attached. Be loving. Share friend love instead.
Free yourself to have a romance ALSO in the shape that you can thrive in. You do not have to "lose him" from your life just because he can't do a monogamous romance and you can't do a poly one. It's a personal limitation reached. So it is.
There's always gonna be a first time for everything. It is special to have shared that lovership with him. That is good, and the experience was worthwhile. Could enjoy it for what it is.
Cada epoca tiene su encanto. Every age and stage has its charms.
Enjoy the life experiences of your age and stage. The sweet AND the bittersweet. Nobody has done anything wrong here -- and it is totally ok to accept that things just are what they are.
I could be perceiving things wrong in thinking that you lead toward breaking up and have trouble digesting that.
It could be that you may be thinking about it the other way -- about a major core value/belief change within. It's possible, but would you be changing it just to be with him or for YOU because your belief base is having a paradigm shift all on its own? Would you change it even broken up?
Which way are you leaning here exactly? :confused: How can people best support you at this time? I'm willing to be supportive but I'm not sure where it is you are at or aiming for here. Are your needs just basically a safe place to vent and find comfort at this time while you are coming to terms within?
Really, so what if he was your first? You are unhappy and crying because you don't like that he has other relationships. Does the fact that he was your first mean you have to stay? No. If he were beating you, you wouldn't. If he were ignoring you or a criminal, you wouldn't. Not to say that his practicing polyamory is comparable to those things, but it does not satisfy your need to be monogamous with someone. Sometimes the most loving (and grown-up) thing we can do for ourselves and the ones we love is to let go and move on. It sounds like it might be time for that. You don't need to endure heartbreak just because he was your first lover.
I know how it feels - from the age of 16 to 19 1/2, I had a very tight relationship with a boy my age. I thought it was the be-all and end-all of relationships - he was my world. But at 19, I realized I needed to experience more out of life, and to break free of his extreme jealousy. He wasn't my first sexual partner nor my first relationship, but he was the first person I wanted to marry and the longest relationship I ever had until I actually did get married 20 years later. I loved him deeply and I had to break up with him. It hurt. I told him, "We've both been growing up but in different directions. We are on two different paths and I will always love you but I need to follow my path." I was scared to break it off, but I was also brave, and I never regretted it.
There will be more lovers, and there will be one with whom you can create the sort of relationship you truly want. But that can only happen if you take action and create the space for it to happen. The world is full of so much love. Be brave.
I know for certain I do not want to end things with him, he is the best thing to have happened to me so far. The problem I have is this feeling that I keep getting, but also this internal conflict. Although I have always believed in true love, I also did not believe it. I used to think that love did not exist. In the way that my parents are not together, my best friends parents do nothing but fight all the time, and my other friends parents who are still together show no emotion what so ever, no love, no communication, just a shared home and kids. And to me that is not love. I very rarely see a monogamous couple work in real life. So to me perhaps, polyamory is a smart decision because it allows love to exist in a newer, healthier way. It is not however what I hoped and dreamed for. So to me I am forced to face emotion vs. logic.
What I really need is some guidance, in the way of how to deal with such a transition of mind set. How to learn to cope, understand and then eventually get rid of the jealousy that comes along with this lifestyle.
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