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-   -   I'm 20 and need relationship advise! (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47098)

PolyPaulie 05-15-2013 11:59 PM

I'm 20 and need relationship advise!
My name is Paulie and I'm 20. Iv'e known that I was polyamorous and Pansexual since before I knew there were words for those things. I'm having relationship troubles and I need advise from someone who has more experience with Poly dating than I do.

Over three years ago I started dating a guy who was NOT poly, but told me that he didn't mind me seeing other girls. He only felt threatened by "men" (anyone with a penis). I completely fell in love with him and he became my primary. We were truly happy together and GREAT for each other. I had a very fulfilling secondary relationship with another girl for a year until she left me. I grieved for a while and then I felt the itch to be seeing someone else. But his "no penis" rule turned out to be a big problem twice.

The first was when I fell for a girl who was on estrogen and hadn't had bottom surgery yet. I told him and we argued about it. He considered her a man and didn't feel comfortable with it. So I broke it off with her.

The second time is my current predicament. I fell in love with another man who is a mutual friend of ours (I'll call him C). I love C just as much as I love my primary. I thought that being with C would not be a problem for my primary because C is Asexual (which means he is not interested in sex) and sex was my primary's main problem. We talked it over, and my primary agreed to try it for a while, but he just doesn't feel okay with it and he wants my relationship with C to end now. I've tried and tried to get over C, but I can't seem to.

Well, my primary and I had a falling out the other night and he broke up with me. He told me that I'm better of with C because C is totally Polyamorous and he is not. And he told me that if I do want to be with him, I have to end things with C immediately, and then MAYBE we can work things out. This has made me feel like I've made a bad mistake pressing the issue. I love my primary and his condition of me not seeing other men was not a big problem until I fell in love with C. I don't want to leave someone who is my best friend, works so well with me, and that I love so much, for someone new I started dating four months ago.

Is it smart to stay with my primary? Can a Poly person date a Mono person and have it work out in the end? Can I get over C? Any other advise you think is relevant? I just need to hear something helpful from someone who understands Polyamory.

GalaGirl 05-16-2013 02:25 AM

Could ask him if he's willing to do jealousy work or not. If not?

Call it you are basically not compatible -- stay broken up. Because you cannot force him to do jealousy work if he's just not willing to do it. You have already been here a few times with this problem -- if you are willing to try and he is not willing? It's still NOT BOTH WILLING. Not compatible.

Do the work of the stages of grief for the loss of relationship.

At 20? You have just begun having your adult experiences. Life is long, and don't have to have them all up at the front end of your adult life. Learn to be ok with the good, fun to feel experiences and the ugh, not fun to feel experiences. That the business of the 20's -- gathering experience yardsticks to help you navigate other decades.

You will be ok, honest. :o Hang in there and process what you have to process.


Dirtclustit 05-16-2013 04:12 AM

In general it's not a good sign
at all for someone to give you an ultimatum of who you can and can't be friends with. When there has not been any sort of lies or cheating about your relationships I wouldn't tolerate such a demand unless you were in recovery and every time you hung out with C you were drinking or using.

But making a decision that will drastically affect your personal life because someone on a forum advised it is not a wise thing to do.

Sometimes the way a person gives you an ultimatum can give hints about their frame of mind and intentions, it would sound less likely to be manipulation if your primary give himself an ultimatum, more along the lines of he can't be in a relationship with you if you're seeing other people. It gets hard to explain the difference since the outcomes would be the same either way, but there are many subtle different ways a person can give an ultimatum. If the person giving an ultimatum has an angry attitude that feels blaming or has an aire of punishing I would be much more suspicious than a calm, somber man who decides he can't be the boyfriend of a woman who sees other people

if that makes any sense

What are the reasons he gives you for the ultimatum to end the relationship ? If the only reason is because you and C are "close" friends I would seriously question your primaries ability love you in a healthy way.

Especially if C isn't really a very sexual person

I say that because when a partner asks their spouse to sever ties with a good friend simply because said friend has a close relationship, that is a very destructive if not pathological level of jealousy.

Human beings have so much to learn about how to have healthy, close relationships with others. It really doesn't take much to destroy relationships, just a touch of dishonesty or a tad of maliciousness that is never owned up to and firmly denied can make life miserable for all involved.

Just remember you are lucky to be so young, as I believe there will be an awakening of sorts in the mind of civilization -- an understanding if you will -- of how much more fulfilling life can and will be when we allow ourselves to have close friendships wherein we truly share our lives and our experiences with the people we choose to be close to. When honesty is present among people with shared values and beliefs, close intimate relationships yield a more rewarding life than any amount of material wealth could ever bring into human lives. And it really doesn't matter whether or not sex is included in the intimate relationships.

In twenty years the world could be a completely different world, and it will be for many people, and you'll just be turning forty.

Hang in there, and do whatever you think is right

AnnabelMore 05-16-2013 05:54 AM

He considered her a man <-- Well, that's just kinda shitty right there.

In the end, it's a toss up. Mono/poly relationships seem to be really hard to do, but not impossible. Still, will you be able to adhere to this rule? Doesn't seem like it so far. Like GG said, you're very young, you'll have other loves. Maybe by staying with this guy you're denying yourself the opportunity to find someone with whom you could relate on more levels and have a more freeing, fulfilling relationship. But sure, in theory it could work.

PolyPaulie 05-16-2013 06:41 AM

Thank you all for your advise! Just hearing these things has calmed me a bit. I don't have a lot of people in my life who I can talk to who understand Poly dating, so this has been helpful already! I do feel like it is lucky I am young and have time for these dramas now. I also feel like you may be right when you say that staying with my Primary will stop me from having some of the experiences/meeting and being with some of the people I want while I'm young. So maybe its best that he broke up with me. Although, I feel like he didn't do it with the purpose of actually breaking up. I feel like he did it so that I would realize the severity of the situation and leave C and run back to him saying "I'm sorry I ever did that!!!". But thats not going to happen, because I don't know how to just stop loving someone. Also, Thank you for the link to tackling grief. I'm going to need that no matter what!

And yeah, I was really mad that he considered my transgender crush to be a man. I feel thats small minded and quite offensive. But the bottom line was that she still had a penis, so he didn't want me being with her. As small minded as it was, there was nothing I could say to make him feel differently. :C

GalaGirl 05-16-2013 07:58 AM


I feel like he didn't do it with the purpose of actually breaking up. I feel like he did it so that I would realize the severity of the situation and leave C and run back to him saying "I'm sorry I ever did that!!!".
The "threat of abandonment" tactic, huh? It is good you know what is manipulative behavior then and can recognize it as such. Could not let your soft feelings blind you to his character flaws and the basic unhealthiness of playing that move on you.

Love is not enough for a realtionship to be HEALTHY. There must be self-respect (you to you) and respect (him to you, you to him).


AnnabelMore 05-16-2013 01:29 PM

I wonder if he would have been ok with you dating Buck Angel (google at your own peril, images will be awesome but nsfw :D)?

PolyPaulie 05-16-2013 04:51 PM

Yeah the more I've been thinking it over I think its time to end it with him. You are right about love not being enough! There are so many other things that have to come along with that love to make a relationship work!

And, I dunno how he'd feel about Buck Angel, but I'd like to feel Buck Angel. ;D

Somegeezer 05-17-2013 09:30 AM


Originally Posted by AnnabelMore (Post 204625)
I wonder if he would have been ok with you dating Buck Angel (google at your own peril, images will be awesome but nsfw :D)?

My guess would be, no. Even though Buck Angel seems like an awesome guy. :D... I'm sure this partner would have only made more excuses.


Originally Posted by PolyPaulie (Post 204644)
Yeah the more I've been thinking it over I think its time to end it with him. You are right about love not being enough! There are so many other things that have to come along with that love to make a relationship work!

It's good you feel this way. =] I'm of a similar age to you, and will definitely agree with everyone here, that people like him are just not worth wasting energy on. There's too much stress in trying to not be yourself. =]

MeeraReed 05-17-2013 08:08 PM

Paulie, you're too young to stay with a primary partner who has such jealousy issues. From my own experiences of being 20, at that age you don't really know yourself well enough to be stuck with someone who won't let you explore and live your life the way you want.

If you were, say, 40 and had kids and a long history with your primary partner--then yes, it might be worth the sacrifice to work hard and make compromises to stay with your mono partner. But why do that when you are only 20?

Your case is a good example of why rules like "you can only date girls, not guys" make no sense. Some people are transgender, and their genitalia shouldn't be an issue!

I suppose you could offer your partner the chance to do some hard work getting past his jealousy (and penis-related insecurities), but I dislike the fact that he was so callous about people you dated. Why does he think it's okay to make you dump someone? Doesn't he care that it would hurt both them and you?

There are so many AWESOME poly-minded guys (and people of all genders) out there. Why stay with someone who sounds so...lame?

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