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cinnamonswing 03-19-2013 09:56 AM

Opening my heart to more love
 
writing has always been very important for me, not only for sorting out my thoughts and releasing tension but also to help me remember what has happened before - i have a really bad memory...so i thought i would describe my poly journey here and anyone who has questions or comments is more than welcome to chime in! english is not my first language so i apologize for any spelling mistakes or wrong use of words. i also feel most comfortable using only lower-case letters when i write which may annoy some people but hey...

to start off: i'm a woman in her early thirties, no children (and no desire to have any, at this point). i was quite religious in my youth and didn't date at all. i was always interested in love and sex but as a teen i put most of that energy into church and school. i'm still working through some issues of shame connected to sex from what i was told in church...church taught me many great things as well though and i still see myself as a spiritual person.

i met my first boyfriend when i was 20 and since then i've been in three other long-term relationships with some dating fun inbetween. i've never really been in a relationship where i saw us "old and grey" together, always just saw it as "as long as we still love each other and are having fun, let's keep going". it may come from my parents divorcing when i was very young but i guess i haven't had any role models of couples in a life time commitment and i haven't really seen the need for it. i have always felt that just because a relationship turns from romance to friendship (i am friendly with all my exes) it does not mean it was a failure, it still has its own value. i think this view has served me well in opening up my mind to poly.

if someone had told me six months ago that this would be the situation i am in today i don't know if i would have believed them. on the other hand, i see myself as an open-minded accepting person so maybe this is not so suprising after all...

about 2,5 years ago, i met the guy who i was later going to explore an open relationship with. i had then just gotten out of a two year long relationship with someone where it had been a struggle all the way. we are very good friends now and very compatible as friends, but romantically i found it so difficult to communicate with him. when i first told him i was in love with him he did not respond, merely grunted...?? i did not really feel that he accepted me as i was. also, the sex was terrible, and we could not communicate about that either... :(

when that relationship ended, i was not really in the mood to "find someone new". i wanted to try out the feeling of being single though, so i joined an online dating site. it was fun to flirt a little and to talk to people but i didn't expect to find a gorgeous guy who seemed to be a great match for me! but i did, and within just a few weeks from my breakup i was dating this guy. total NRE mayhem, drugged with sex (imagine after two years of bad sex falling in love with someone where it just w.o.r.k.s!) and the joy of meeting someone who was kind and sensitive. we were crazy in love, and i found myself more jealous than i had ever been. i was like gollum in lord of the rings, thinking everyone was after "my precious". only he was not a magical ring, just an ordinary guy. but not to me. i really felt that what we had was special, and i was so afraid of losing it. my biggest fear was that, since he is a musician, he would want to be with a girl who was also a musician. that was a world i could never share with him. through some discussions i realized that he found it more difficult than me to "push down" feelings of attraction towards other people. that was difficult for me to hear, but i felt that as long as he did not act on it he did not have to tell me about it, it was "only natural" to have some of those feelings. and he never gave me any reasons to doubt his fidelity.

after a year he moved in with me. it was his suggestion that we would move in together, see how it felt and then maybe get a place of our own. i had lived with a boyfriend before (it did not end well) and had not come to that thought myself yet, but was happy he asked since that must mean he really loved me. almost immediately when he moved in, trouble started. we are both people in need of a lot of personal space, which was ok since we worked very different hours and had time to ourselves. but working different hours also meant that often one person was asleep when we were at home together, and we did not make enough time to really hang out. we were just...there.

since it was my home i ended up taking most of the responsibility for buying food, cleaning etc. it took me quite some time before i talked to him about wanting him to contribute more because i didn't want to be the "nagging girlfriend". i am the type of person who absolutely does not want to force or manipulate someone to give me something, either you give it to me freely or not at all (again, maybe a good trait for exploring poly...). it does however help if you ASK for what you want, right? it took me a while to learn this. after a while if almost felt like his landlady. i would tell him how much to pay me for bills each month, he would rarely make enough food for me when cooking for himself (since we had different hours) and there was a ditsance between us which really saddened me, but i did not know what to do. i think we both, but especially him, have a tendency to put up a polite facade instead of spitting out what we have a problem with. he was struggling to deal with feeling less than positive feelings for me and our relationship. he wanted everything to be perfect and when it wasn't, he felt panic and shut down. how did we end up this way?

wow, this is turning into a novel! i think i will leave it at this for my first post!

cinnamonswing 03-20-2013 01:39 PM

ok, so part two of how i ended up exploring poly...
i was not happy with the living situation my boyfriend and i were having, but i was not yet at a point where i saw it as a serious problem or could find a way to voice my concerns in a clear way. but i could sense that he was thinking of things and pulling away from me. after a little more than six months of living together i thought i must ask him what is going on in his mind. he said that he was worried about us. one thing was that he thought we did not have great communication, we are both not very used to expressing when we have a problem with something (as the sentences above may have shown!). i agreed and finally started expressing my problems with our living situation. we started having regular talks about what we were feeling. he thought this helped. we also made efforts to do more things together outside of the home.

after a few months however, he came to me again with the same concerns. he was "worried about us". i became frustrated that he was so vague about what it was that was wrong, what he wanted. it seemed to have something to do with expectations. i was angry because i thought if anything i had not had ENOUGH expectations on him, such as contributing to the home. i had never had any problems with him seeing friends etc, only at one time had i expressed feeling a bit sad that he was taking on so much extra work when it was already difficult for us to hang out because of our different schedules. he was concerned that our sex life was not as spontaneous. not an uncommon problem for people living together i guess...when it happened it was really great but i agreed with him that we had lost some spontaneity. i asked him "so what have YOU done to make this better?" and he agreed that he had done nothing to try and make it more spontaneous. i felt blamed and i don't think that was his intention, he was just very confused. for some reason, he had conflicted feelings toward me. he said that he thought he might be polyamorous...but he wasn't sure and he didn't know how much of his feelings were because of that, if any.

we talked a bit about polyamory. i had several friends who were having relationships this way so i was aware of the concept but i just thought it wasn't for me. i wanted to be "the one", feel like the most special person in my partner's life and like i explained in my previous post i was extremely jealous in this relationship because i was so afraid of losing him, losing the way he made me feel. he was never saying "it's polyamory or nothing" but he was being very vague and did not know what he was feeling. he said he felt pressure from us living together and i said "then i don't think you should live here". i was very angry because i felt that he was the one who had suggested he should move in, then not contributing much and not feeling happy. i felt like "hey don't put this on me, you put yourself in this situation dude"! so he moved out and we both sighed a sigh of relief and felt it was a good decision. we started visiting each other in each other's homes instead and got a lot of spark and love back. meanwhile, the discussions about polyamory continued.

i was very curious about polyamory, i still did not think it was for me but i wanted to understand the mindset. so i read tons of blog posts and articles about it. for me, it had never been much of a struggle to be monogamous. i am a pretty private person and have limited body contact and sharing private information to close friends or the person i'm in a relationship with. i felt that i was giving a special gift to my partner if i poured most of my love on them and fought my attraction to others. so that part of poly did not resonate with me, the feeling that you would suddenly be in love with two people. i would have kept that feeling in check long before it became serious! in past relationships where i had started to feel like i could be physical with someone else i always took it as a sign that the relationship was beyond repair and it was time to break up. it probably WAS time to break up, but it seems strange to me now looking back that those were my thoughts on attraction towards others.

but then i came across one blog post, and later other articles, that spoke more about "relationship anarchy" and with a queer feminist approach. it really blew my mind! suddenly i found myself nodding along, thinking "i recognize this! i have felt these restrictions in relationships!". i really liked the idea of seeing romantic relationships more like friendships, not forcing them into a set mold according to the norm, where we have to feel a certain way and do certain things together. but instead make a specific agreement for that relationship, what we want it to be. and let ourselves be individuals, not melt together in some kind of couple blob. :)

ok, so that's all fine and dandy, but how about sleeping with others?? just the thought of it had initially given me a feeling of fear and being sick to my stomach. but i was confused and annoyed by my feelings of jealousy. i wanted to understand, what IS jealousy, why do i fear my own feelings? it didn't make any sense. so i started looking into that dark corner, little by little. quickly looking at that monster, then running away, then looking again. little by little i was facing my fears. i found that the best way of approaching it was thinking about how i myself would feel towards my partner if i were to, say make out with someone else. now like i said i had not really allowed myself to feel these feelings before, but now i brought to mind a cute guy i had seen at a club some months before. for some reason i was instanly drawn to this guy, although i never approached him since i was "taken". i visualized what i would feel if we hade made out. would that suddenly have made his "meter" go up (like in a video game) while my partner's would have diminished? no. i could see that they were two different people, and my attraction for one did not change my feelings for the other. i realized that there is no competition, we are all unique. also, my partner's image of me does not define who i am. he has an image of me in his head, depending on his personality and past experiences, and may like or dislike that image. but that does not make me a better/worse person.

it was through thoughts like these that i came to the conclusion that poly might be worth giving a try. of course wanting to keep a romantic attachment to my boyfriend was part of me wanting to know more about it, but it was for my own reasons of what would be good for ME that i decided i might go along with it. when i told my boyfriend all these thoughts he was SO happy! he felt we could finally be honest and open with each other, and that brought us closer. so, the adventure begins...? i'll tell more in my next post!

cinnamonswing 03-21-2013 02:29 PM

hello again...the story continues. so myboyfriend and i were talking about opening up our relationship, but i wanted to make sure that i could keep up emotionally with what was going on, that it was a progress i was comfortable with. at first i said that i wanted to keep talking but that as a first step maybe we could start by allowing ourselves to really feel attraction to others, to see how that felt. however, after just a few days my boyfriend brought up the subject again saying that he found it difficult to know where to draw the line really.

i wanted to accommodate him and thought that i would be ok with kissing, so i said "ok but IF a situation were to occur where kissing would be an option, it would be ok to kiss but not anything more than that ok? so that we could discuss how that felt before we moved on". he said fine and i think that it was also at this time that he told me that there was a girl at his work that he was attracted to. i took this news much better than i had anticipated. after all, my biggest fear was that he would want to be with a girl who was also a musician and here he was, expressing wanting to do just that! but i felt ok with it, since i had done so much thinking before and knew that that did not have to change what we had and also that i had reached a much better understanding of the fact that his thoughts and feelings do not define who i am. i think he was a bit hesitant and did not know if or how he wanted to pursue anything with her since she was several years younger and also, he felt that flirting in the workplace is generally not a good idea.

now i started to feel that i needed to "catch up". for me, even admitting to myself that i was attracted to someone else was kind of difficult. i don't know now if i maybe should have taken things more in my own pace and not followed his pace (since he was so much more open to these thoughts already) but maybe it was necessary after all, to give me a better perspective of what he was experiencing. so what happened was that i contacted a guy i have known a few years, although not well, we just have many mutual friends. i've always had a thing for him so i thought "hey i've got nothing to lose (hopefully?) so i may as well ask him out on a date. he said yes but we had not agreed on a day yet. i told my boyfriend who was ok with it.

the next day we met and he told me that since i had planned a date he had spoken to the girl at work and they were to have lunch the next day. my reaction was "oookeeey, moving a bit fast are we?" actually he did not move much faster than i did at that time, i just felt that since he was more "there" in his thoughts than i was it felt faster when he did it. like he would have much clearer intentions. also, he was not just going to lunch with her, he was to tell her he had a romantic interest in her and about our open relationship. intense! since i had not yet set a date with the other guy, my boyfriend ended up seeing this girl before i had a date. so he told her and she was apparently surprised and had not heard of poly or anything like it before. she had some complicated relationships behind her and did not seem to be interested in starting anything new. this is what my boyfriend said. i was convinced that this would make her notice him in a whole new way and that it would not be long before they hooked up. my boyfriend was sceptical but i got the last laugh...only the laughter was mixed with crying at that point...

well, so...a couple of days later i went on my first date. we had a really nice time, i was attracted to him but there was a casual feeling, like we could just be two friends out having a coffee. he is a really friendly guy so i have a hard time reading his signals. afterwards i sent him a message to clarify. since we are facebook friends he could see that i was listed as "in a relationship" so i explained the situation and said that i was interested in getting to know him better but did not have any expectations beyond that. i didn't really know what expectations i had. i was still coming to terms with fear and wondering "is this ok? going on a date with someone else?". i then came down with a massive cold so i was at home in bed for a few days.

when the weekend came along i spoke to my boyfriend who said that they were having a party at his work to celebrate the opening of their latest show. i just KNEW that she would be there and that they would hook up. it was the perfect setting for it. i just hoped that he would respect our agreement and that it would not go further than kissing. remember, this is still the same week where he went out to lunch with her which i only knew the day before. it was a pretty intense week! so, the day after he phoned me and said that he had something to "report". obviously, the had kissed. no surprises. i felt ok with it but i was so exhausted from having a cold for several days and this was a lot to process. he came over and we talked about it and i said that "this is all going very fast. at this rate it feels like you could have sex tomorrow or something. i'm feeling like i can't keep up. can you wait to have sex with her for two weeks?" he said ok but did not seem to happy with it and also said that he was afraid that it would affect his feelings if he felt limited. i thought a little about it and said, ok one week (this was on a sunday). he agreed to that as well but still added a comment about wondering how he would react to feeling limited. i was feeling a bit worried, wondering why he would even need to make that comment instead of just saying "of course! i want to make sure you are ok".

the next day i was really exhausted and crying all the time. it wasn't that i felt "i don't want to try poly", i was just..so TIRED. my head and my heart had gone through the blender in the past weeks thinking about all these new ideas and what they might mean to me, to us. i felt like i was running as fast as i could, you know to the point where you can taste blood in your mouth. and like i was working so hard to push myself to another limit because i really wanted to get there, but once i got there and said "ok, i've made it" he just sped right up to that point like it was nothing and said "ok great when can we keep going?" true or not, that was what i was feeling. i had a realization that even if i said "give me one week" i could never guarantee that i would be ok with this. and i did not want to take responsibility for his actions. i did not want to feel like it was up to me of we were to get through this or not or like i HAD to make it work. that gave me a sense of relief, but also a feeling of sadness. i thought "maybe it's best if i just let it all go...like a free fall, and then just wish us luck and hope that we land safely instead of a crash and burn. i told him all this, about how exhausted i was and that i couldn't promise that waiting one week would make me ok with it. that maybe it was better if he just did what he wanted to do and take the responsibility for what might happen because of it. he was very comforting and said that no of course he would wait a week. i sighed a sigh of relief that at least the following week i did not have to work through the fact of them having sex but just that they might meet again and make out. it felt really good to know that i could have some time to rest both my body and my mind.

but, the week did not turn out as restful as i had planned...

fuchka 03-22-2013 02:29 AM

Quote:

but once i got there and said "ok, i've made it" he just sped right up to that point like it was nothing and said "ok great when can we keep going?" true or not, that was what i was feeling.
I really identified with this, but maybe more often on the giving rather than receiving end of it. Give me an inch, I run circles round the moon. It puts pressure on other people to be clear about their hard limits. Sometimes it's hard when you don't know where your limits are, and when there's a difference between how you feel, what you expect you will feel and how you hope or want to feel.

Anyway, It's great that you seem to have a good handle on your emotions, and are able to express that. Bodes well for you handling the intricacies of poly!

Of course, awaiting the rest of the tale... :)

cinnamonswing 03-22-2013 07:58 AM

thank you fuchka, yes i am really learning the lesson about my limits now! i don't want to paint the picture of my boyfriend as a bad guy, we are just experiencing this in very different ways. there have been several times when i had thought that we were clear on something or that he "must understand how he should act because he knows how i feel about this". no. he found the loopholes :) and i really believe he has not done anything with the purpose to hurt me, but sometimes that has happened anyway. my wish was that he would have been more careful and take things more slowly, but then again if i were in his situation i might have done the exact same thing. we have talked about that we have very different lessons to learn through this. for me, the biggest lesson has been dealing with jealousy and not put so much of my identity in a relationship. for him, the biggest fear has been to hurt someone he cares about, and he is now dealing with that.

so, i realize i forgot to mention what happened to the guy i went on the first date with. he replied to my message that he had a great time on our date, thought i was very attractive, nice and funny (please, go on...) and was very flattered. on the other hand, he had recently met someone and he wasn't really sure about his thoughts and feelings towards her, so he needed some time to sort through that before he could see anyone else, no matter how nice and good-looking... so. there was nothing i could do about that, just wait and see if something would happen in the future.

ok so my boyfriend made out with the girl on saturday, and we are now on the week after, when we had agreed they would not have sex. apart from that agreement we had said that we were to tell the other person if anything happened with someone else. honesty and open communication was of course very important. in the beginning of the week he told me that they had met again, had lunch at his place and made out some more. i was ok with this. when the weekend came, a friend of mine came to visit, which was nice since i had mostly been at home snivelling from either a cold or crying in the past couple of weeks. on the saturday, it was my boyfriend's birthday and we had made plans to go out for dinner alone and then have my friend and maybe some other people meet up with us for drinks. then i would spend the night at his place, which was ok with my friend. i was really looking forward to us spending some romantic time alone together and my boyfriend also said he was looking forward to it. on the saturday he phoned me and said that they had met again and that they had spent the night at his place. they had not had sex but they had slept in the same bed, and it's a really small bed.

ok, so now we get to the loopholes. of course, he was not breaking our agreement since they had not had sex. but i felt that he was moving very fast to not only see her twice in a week but also to bring her to his bed, the bed i would sleep in the following night. he knew that i was having a hard time, feeling like i couldn't keep up, crying from being so exhausted. so i felt it was inconsiderate of him. like he wasn't being a good friend to me. he said he wasn't proud of himself and also felt that it had not been a good decision, but he had been very drunk. when we met that night i was very sad, we had an ok time when we were alone but every time i went to the bathroom i was crying. for me, what he had done or not done with here was not the issue. of course i could understand why he would want to do it, especially if he was drunk. i just felt, you've already seen her once this week, you know i'm having a hard time, why can't you wait like six days? like, was he trying to make it extra hard for me, to get rid of me? when my friends showed up i could lighten up a bit and had an ok night. but i didn't come home with him, i wasn't ready to sleep in that bed again so soon after she had been in it.

cinnamonswing 03-22-2013 02:15 PM

sooo...i was feeling very sad and not feeling very safe that my feelings and insecurities would be respected by my boyfriend. my friend who was visiting me has been very anti poly since i first told her because she is looking out for me and doesn't want me to get hurt. but i had told her that "i am a grown-up, responsible for my own decisions. i am doing this and even if you don't really understand or approve i could really use your support as a friend". and since then her attitude towards the whole thing was much better, which was a relief. but now when this had happened, and she saw how upset i was, she really questioned if it was worth it for me. "i see you falling apart" she said. and i also felt a fear of being close to my boyfriend because i didn't know if i could trust him. he said that he wanted to keep me in his life and yet these actions pointed in another direction, i felt. also, we had problems before opening up the relationship and that made our relationship more vulnerable in this situation since the foundation was shaky. at that point i was so mad, sad and disappointed that i didn't even know if i wanted to see him again, at least for a while. we spoke on the phone and i told him how i felt, how upset i was. he was still apologizing but also said things like "well maybe if this is too hard on you then it won't work out". this felt unfair since i thought i had handled most of the situation really well, and of course this wasn't going to be an easy ride, of course there would be some upset feelings. also, if you want me to be able to handle it, please be careful. or don't you want me to handle it? are you looking for a way out? those were my thoughts.

the next day however i was thinking about what had happened and reading some article about poly and about not cutting someone off because of one mistake. since we are creating a relationship outside of the norm, of course there is going to be grey areas where someone gets upset, you have to learn as you go along. i also felt that i loved him and wanted to see him, so what would be the purpose of cutting him out of my life? so, we met and talked and "made up" i guess. i sad that whe can keep going but from now on i don't want to hear what happens between you and this other girl. i knew that they would probably end up having sex that week and that was ok but i did not want to get a "report" of it. lately it had felt like most of our time together had been spent talking about what THEY were doing and handling that and i just felt like that took too much energy from me at that time. of course later on i wanted to be able to hear him talk about things that were happening in his life with different people, friends or otherwise (and i also said that if anything happened with someone else than this girl i wanted to know) but for now i wanted our time together to be focused on just us. he agreed to this. he still did not mind if i told him when i saw someone, and part of me thought it was only fair that he should have to deal with some feelings as well if i became physical with someone.

so, in the following weeks, i myself had some fun! i had signed up on an online dating site (specifying that i was in an "open relationship", which was kind of a simplified way of saying it but let people know that i wasn't monogamous at least) and went on a couple of dates. my first date was with a really smart musical guy (why do i always fall for the creative redheads?) who i thought was really interesting. we went out again, for drinks this time and surprise surprise, ended up a bit drunk and back at his place. the sex wasn't exactly mind-blowing, at least not that time (it's generally better sober, no?) but it was fun. i would like to talk a bit about compersion here. even though i was dealing with jealousy in the beginning, i was actually surprised by how quickly i began to have thoughts like "well i love my boyfriend, i want him to have nice fun experiences. sex can be a nice fun experience, and i would wish that for him, even if it was with someone else". and after that first date i found myself thinking "well i certainly hope his sex with the other girl was better than this"! weird. :) i told my boyfriend about what had happened and he was ok with it but definitely had a feeling of "wait, what? sex? that's something just you and me do!" at this point things between us felt good, i was experiencing some things myself and did not only have to think about what he was or wasn't doing.

i went out with another guy which led to some interesting conversation and a bit of awkward kissing. maybe i'll see him again, i don't know.
but! lo and behold, all of a sudden the guy from the first date ( i mean the very first date, the one where i didn't know if he was just being friendly or was into me. damn, i should really come up with some code names, shouldn't i?) sent me a message! we sent some messages back and forth, first just friendly but then he was more flirty. i ended up coming to see him and some friends of his at a bar. we just had a couple of beers, he was giving me "kind-of compliments", like i guess they were compliments but i was still not believing that he could be into me. generally i have this bad habit that if i am attracted to someone, i can't believe that they would be attracted to me. this was also i guy i had been attracted to for years and years so it felt unreal that anything would happen. but, he invited me over to his place and all of a sudden i was in someone elses bed again. what? and this time, the sex was...mmm good! i was high-fiving myself the whole next day. "yes" you did it! finally!" :)

so again, i told my boyfriend and everything was ok. i also felt ok with asking if he had now had sex with that girl and got it confirmed. we were also able to talk a bit about where he thought things were going with her and what he thought she might be feeling. it felt really good to be able to have that conversation in a relaxed way. i was saying that i think i might like to meet her, to just say hi, also to show her that i was ok with them seeing each other. i had met her once or twice before but that was when they were just friends, a while back. i got a good impression from her then by the way, she was very friendly. but my boyfriend was very hesitant, he felt nervous about having us in the same room, didn't know how he would react. i had to respect that but i was still a bit disappointed.

but, sometimes things just happen, and i was to meet her by accident not soon after... (another clifhanger ending...sorry for being a drama queen ;) )

cinnamonswing 03-25-2013 09:40 AM

there is a guy who i've known for a long time. i call him the ghost, in part because he is like a ghost of my past who keeps popping up in my head and sometimes in my life, and also because he is very pale. :)

we first met about eight years ago i think. we started hanging out and i found that we had amazing body chemistry. it was just something about how he smelled, the softness of his skin, the way our bodies fit together. we made out endlessly, had deep conversations, listened to music and ate pancakes. good times. but even though i had feelings for him i knew i didn't want to be in a "relationship" with him. i think i had a very clear idea of what a relationship should be and i couldn't see myself having that with him. i was still seeing other people. i always told him that i didn't want a relationship right now and he never pushed me although i'm pretty sure he was in love with me. then another guy i was seeing told me he was in love with me and he seemed like a safer bet so i stopped seeing the ghost and started a relationship with the other guy. but through the years the ghost never left my mind completely. always when i came out of a relationship i would contact him. sometimes we would hook up, sometimes not. i wondered about him, how he was doing, what was going on in his life. the connection was still there in some way.

when my boyfriend and i opened up our relationship to seeing other people, guess who i contected? yup, the ghost. we went out for dinner, talked and flirted a bit but nothing happened. a few days later, he invited me to come along with him to a concert. the concert was really good and it felt nice to experience it with him since we are both people who like to really get into music, like listening with eyes closed and a furrowed brow. then we kissed. and it was lovely. and he said it was "like coming home" which was cheesy but also melted my heart. so i was happy that he might be back in my life in some way, but it had happened so fast and i had not yet told him about my relationship status. he just assumed that i had broken up with my boyfriend i think. hmm complicated.

we walked from the concert venue to the tram stop, since we were taking the same tram. when it pulled in, who did i see on the tram, snuggling up to a familiar looking girl? my boyfriend! what are the odds? i sat down with the ghost and told him that i would just go say hello, then went over to my boyfriend and his date. the look on his face when he saw me was very amusing! everyone was friendly, i said hello to him and his date and they told me that they had been to the cinema. it was a brief conversation but it felt good. i was all giggly because i was kind of nervous and surprised that i had met them but also relieved that i felt so good about it. it actually felt like the best scenario possible at that time, since i wanted to meet the other girl, say hello and let her know there were no hard feelings, but my boyfriend was nervous about having us in the same room. this way, it was over quickly! i talked about it with my boyfriend later on and he agreed that it had felt really good. i was proud of myself.

this was on a monday.that thursday, i had made plans to see my boyfriend, he was coming over to my place to hang out so we could see each other before i went away for the weekend. now, i feel that i should give some background here. we did not want to "forbid" each other to do anything. but at this point we had two agreements
1) tell the other when something new "happened" with someone else, like something physical or when feelings developed.
2) safe sex (including oral). we had discussed that if later on one of us was dating someone where it felt serious enough to want to go into another phase and start having unprotected sex, everyone should get tested first so that we would know everything was ok. also, if an accident was to happen (i was thinking like if a condom were to break) then just tell the other person and don't try to pretend like nothing happened just because you were embarrassed.

that evening, my boyfriend told me he had something to tell me. apparently, he and this girl had had some unprotected sex, and also unprotected oral sex.
i was really disappointed, angry and sad. at first i didn't know how upset i was. i was just kind of sulking, trying to wrap my head around it. he said that she would be ok with getting tested, and that he thought that she had been really careful to use protection before (i was thinking "yeah, right, except with you? yeah, i'm sure you're just the only exception..."). later on, we were making out and it felt like we might have sex but i...just couldn't. i was so not in the mood after what he had told me. i had to stop and just became more and more angry. i think i managed to identify a few reasons why i was so upset:

* this whole thing has been very challenging for me. in a short time i had gone from a monogamous relationship with a live-in boyfriend, to him moving out and both of us seeing other people while trying to keep the closeness in our relationship. i felt proud of how far i had come, but like i said it had not been easy. we did not have any rules, just these two agreements and now he broke one of them just because he felt like it? i felt very disrespected. again, like he was not being a good friend to me by making it more difficult for me to cope.
* he couldn't really explain why he had done it (horny and stupid i guess), just that he "wanted to have that experience". but what about me? i had also wanted to have that experience! i love performing oral sex but when seeing other people i had to do it with a condom on, which was kind of disappointing. why should he have that fun and not me? i felt he was being very selfish.
* i felt like intimacy was taken away from me, from us, and moved to their relationship. my boyfriend had been the only person in this scenario that i could have unprotected oral sex with, and now i couldn't have it with anyone, not before everyone was tested and got their results back (which would take several weeks). but they could still have it.
* again, i had thoughts of "why is he making this so difficult for me? does he not want me to handle this? is he doing this to make me end it between us so he won't have to do it himself?"

over the next few days we talked and texted some more about it. he understood completely why i was so upset and apologized profusely. i think he had known that i would be disappointed but had rationalized it in his head so that he could do what he wanted. things like "well, we don't have oral sex that often anyway, the test result will not take long and after that it will be business as usual". eeer...no. he said that he needed to think about how he was handling this situation because he did not really recognize himself. neither did i. he is such a sweet caring guy, and like i said his biggest fear is to hurt someone he cares about. so the fact that he was being so careless now really puzzled me. that's why i was wondering if he was subconsciously trying to sabotage the situation so he could end it with me and not feel so guilty. he was also confused and didn't know what was going on.

we met a few days after. i was not as upset anymore which was nice (it's so exhausting!) but did not feel very warm feelings towards him. i didn't know if i could trust him. also, both this time and the other time i got upset (when she was sleeping in his bed) he had said that i had every right to be angry and sad and it was good that i expressed my emotions. but it was also followed by saying something along the lines of "maybe if this is too difficult for you, for us, it's better if we don't do this anymore" (i.e = just become friends instead). i felt very frustrated by this, like he was saying it's good that you express your emotions but when i did the result was that he took his love away from me. so i did not feel really free in expressing my disappointment, with the threat of him leaving hanging over me. on my end though, i was scared to be in love with him and stay close because i did not feel safe. like he told me one thing and did something else. so when we met we agreed that for the time being we should have more of a friend-type relationship instead. we needed to cool down and not try to force our relationship to be something that it maybe couldn't at the time.

so, that was a couple of weeks ago. i miss him and i think my heart is opening up to romantic feelings for him again but i don't know how he feels, i think we need some more time. we met the other night for a drink and he told me i looked nice and gave me "those looks". but i had to go home early and the girl he is sleeping with was standing at a table nearby (a lot of people from his work were there, including her) so it felt kind of weird. like they were both waiting for me to leave so they could go home together. he said that it wasn't like that, that his focus was on me now that i was there. and when i left we hugged for a long time. but it was still a strange situation for me. i am grieving that we no longer have that kind of connection. but maybe we'll have it again some day, when the time is right.

if anyone has any feedback or advice i would most appreciate it! specifically how to handle when boundaries have been crossed. if you have been in a similar situation for instance and what your view is.

cinnamonswing 04-02-2013 10:03 AM

i don't really believe in astrology, but one thing that is supposedly typical for "my" sign gemini and which i think is actually true for me is being interested in a million different things. i get so focused on a new idea, research it, think about it, talk about it. but i never want to do just one thing so i can sometimes find myself a bit overwhelmed and wondering how i ended up with such a full plate. and i guess it's the same with meeting guys...

my "original" boyfriend (the one i began exploring polyamory with) and i are "just" friends at the moment, but i'm hoping that we can have more of a romantic relationship again soon. i think we just need some more time and distance to what we went through. i still have a lot of love for him. apart from him, there are currently 5-6 guys that i have some kind of romantic connection with. with romantic connection i mean that we have had sex/made out, keep in contact and/or they would probably want to make out/have sex. BUT. not a lot is happening. i may have seen them once or twice, we may have talked about meeting up again but having difficulties finding a time when both are available.

in my last post i talked about "the ghost". i have been seeing him more regularly and had some discussions about me not wanting a relationship as such but just letting it be what it is. so far he seems fine with this and i am enjoying spending time with him. he is very tender and kind. he does however have some ed, so it's never full on sex, which is lovely in a way (building that tension can feel really good!) but still a bit frustrating sometimes. a good pounding would be welcome right about now. :p

so, even though from the outside it may look like i am seeing all of these guys, and my friends have a hard time keeping track of them, not a lot is happening. i was having more sex before when i was just with one person! i have been romancing myself more lately which is a good thing i think. i'm not just talking masturbation here, although that is good stuff too. it's just so easy for me to get distracted by other people and what they might want from me so it's important to have those moments where i'm just hanging out with myself. spoiling myself with the kinds of food, books, movies, music or other activities that i enjoy.

i'm a bit confused at the moment as to whether i should have a long hard think about what my intentions are with these different guys, or if i should just relax and let things happen, or not happen, as it were. i am a bit worried that i'm trying to force things, just because i think i "should". i don't really know what i want. :confused:

cinnamonswing 04-05-2013 07:22 AM

so, i've now experienced being "dumped" for the first time since practicing poly! this was from the guy who was the first person i had sex with since opening up my relationship. we went on about 5-6 dates and had sex a few times. i liked him well enough, i mean he is a really smart interesting guy with a lovely smile. but there were also a few ways in which he reminded me of an ex boyfriend and it kind of put a damper on my enthusiasm. which was good, considering the dumping...:p

yesterday, we went out for coffee and then for a walk. he let me know that he had been thinking a lot about this and had come to the conclusion that he is not poly and does not wish to be poly. fair enough. i'm not gonna twist his arm, i was just glad he told me. there is a part of me saying "what! but you must like me! everyone must like me! i must have all the options in the world!!" but that is not reality. he actually said that he likes me. i just don't think we're super compatible. but we said that we wanted to keep in touch, maybe meet up some time. he is apparently very bad at keeping in touch with friends in general so it will probably be up to me to ask him. we'll see what happens. so, in general it was perfectly fine, but i also hade some feelings of "is this the way it's going to be? seeing people a few times but then they will decide not to bother with me because of the poly thing?" at the same time, i know that this is not a guy that i would want to have a monogamous relationship with, because of the whole ex-boyfriend vibes. been there, done that i guess. but still. it makes you wonder.

tonight i am going to a birthday celebration for "the ghost". i'm looking forward to seeing him again and meeting some more of his friends. will probably go back to his place to cuddle afterwards. he is the best at cuddling *sigh*

tomorrow i'm meeting my former boyfriend to go to an exhibition we both wanted to see. also really looking forward to seeing him. and a bit nervous. it's not very convenient to refer to him as my boyfriend or former boyfriend since we are kind of inbetween right now...i think i'll call him "music man" since he is a musician. i am hoping that we can take a step towards having more of a romantic relationship, if the time is right. so we'll see how it feels tomorrow...

____________
me: straight woman in her thirties. new to poly.
music man: was my boyfriend for 2,5 years. some problems in the relationship coincided with discussions of poly (he has always been interested, i began to see the benefits after a lot of research) and we opened up the relationship in the beginning of 2013. at the moment our relationship is mostly a friendship.
the ghost: a guy from my past who never seems to leave my mind. we are now seeing each other again romantically and he seems to be ok with poly so far

cinnamonswing 04-08-2013 09:36 AM

on friday i was at a restaurant to celebrate the ghost's birthday. i had picked out a gift and a card that i thought suited him and was happy to see that he really liked them, and his friends liked them as well, one girl even said something along the lines of "good job, you get one point"! :) two of his friends i had met before about a week ago but the others i had never met. i was quite nervous and wanted them to like me. i don't know how much they know about me/us, but since we have a history where we dated several years ago but i broke it off to date someone else i was a bit worried that they might think i had hurt their friend. but everyone was really friendly, except one girl who i kind of got a weird vibe from. she was dating a guy there who looked a bit like the ghost and i sort of got the feeling that she and the ghost had some kind of connection. it made me curious, i might ask him if they have hooked up before or something. it might just all be in my head, but i got the sense that she was suspicious of me. anyway, everyone got drunk and we had a good time. i spent the night at the ghost's place but had to get up quite early since i had made plans to meet up with music man. the ghost and i sat for a while in his kitchen, sipping on tea and coffee and chatting. my heart was full of warm fuzzy feelings for him, seeing him there in the morning sunshine coming in through the window. skinny pale arms, soft skin against the fabric of a worn-in t-shirt. i am happy that he is in my life again.

i went home to shower and try to snap out of my hangover before meeting music man. i put on a red dress with a white peter pan collar and re-did my cat-eye liner. it was a lovely spring day. we met up outside of the museum and had a chat before the guided tour of the exhibition began. he said i looked really good and i told him he did as well. it was lovely to see him but a bit weird since we see each other so seldom now compared to before, and we are still adjusting to the new shape of our relationship. after the exhibition we went to eat some thai food. i asked him how things were going with the girl at his work place. he said that they were seeing each other now and then but he thought that she was probably looking for something monogamous in the long run. he spoke of his fear of falling into old patterns, of not being truthful in relationships but just saying/acting out what he thought the other person wanted to hear. i listened and tried to advice him as best i could. it is still a bit sad for me to think that he used to do the same things in our relationship, put on a show when he was actually feeling something else. not all the time, of course, but still. mostly though i just feel compassion for him as a friend, i feel sad for him that he has these feelings and find it difficult being close in relationships. we all have our issues i guess... he asked me about my life and if i was happy and having fun. i said yes, but...i miss you. he said he misses me too. i said that i have been thinking that he is not the only one (for me), but he is the only one that is exactly him, and therefore i have a hole shaped like him in me. i said that i have been thinking that i would like us to have some sort of romantic relationship again some time but i think we need more time, to make sure that we only do things because we want to and not out of expectations of how it should be. he agreed. it felt good to have that conversation with him, to be able to be honest and let him know how i feel and to get it confirmed that he is feeling something similar. afterwards we went for a walk. before i dropped him off at work we hugged for a long time and he gave me a kiss at my temple. we could have kissed on the lips as well but it just felt right to not do that, to take it slow like we had discussed before.

i spent the evening curled up in bed, resting and watching shows. the ghost wanted me to come to a party but i was too exhausted. i not only stayed in bed all evening, i also slept for ten hours during the night! on sunday i had more energy and even went to the gym. lately i have been swinging beer glasses more often than dumbbells and it felt good to be working out again. i'm really feeling it today! ouch. i had originally had plans to go out for coffee with a guy i've met online, but he had to cancel due to some situation at his work. i didn't mind, it felt good to have the day all to myself and to get some stuff done around the house.

we'll see what this week holds...

____________
me: straight woman in her thirties. new to poly.
music man: was my boyfriend for 2,5 years. some problems in the relationship coincided with discussions of poly (he has always been interested, i began to see the benefits after a lot of research) and we opened up the relationship in the beginning of 2013. at the moment our relationship is mostly a friendship.
the ghost: a guy from my past who never seems to leave my mind. we are now seeing each other again romantically and he seems to be ok with poly so far


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