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-   -   re: alone time with another (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47735)

watchman 05-25-2013 11:49 PM

re: alone time with another
 
Hi everyone, First post here.

I need your opinion. Am I in the wrong?

I've been in a LTR for four years with a great guy. Since last September, we were doing long distance. At my request, we decided to open up the relationship and it's been going well. He's back now in my town for a week before we move in together again.

I've been seeing someone else for about a month now, but I'll be moving in a week. Today, we all hung out together and everyone got along well. I don't really want to have a threesome, but I want to spend more time with the guy I've met recently before I move away.

I mentioned to my LTR boyfriend that I wanted spend a few nights this following week with the guy I've met and he didn't take it well. He said he didn't feel comfortable with it, even though he'd be open to us all hanging out again or even a threesome. But I really prefer one-on-one and I think my other relationship would prefer that as well.

If we're going to be living again together, there will certainly be times where one of us leaves the other to spend time with another person. I know these can be tricky waters to navigate, so I want to ask your advice on how I can respect my LTR's boundaries while also setting some of my own.

nycindie 05-26-2013 06:58 AM

Well, first you tell him that threesomes are not an option - you don't want them, so he should not expect that. You have every right to control how and with whom you share your body sexually. If he has a problem with it, it isn't his job to police you just so he can feel better. It's his job to examine and manage his feelings about it.

You are your own person and it is your life. He wouldn't dictate to you when you can go shopping or have lunch with friends, would he? So why does he think he can tell you when you can and cannot see your other bf? He isn't your boss or father. It is important that he realize that the only ones who have a say about any relationship between two people are the two people in that relationship. Your LD bf doesn't get to dictate what you do and when you see your local bf. He should only focus on managing his own relationship with you, NOT your other relationships with anyone else.

So, you make your schedule with whomever you wish, as you see fit, and let each of them know when you're available to be with them, but you don't need to go asking for permission like a child. So, as far as boundaries, what I would tell him is that how you spend your time is up to you but you will let him know when you have time for him - if you want to you can keep a Google calendar and let him see times you are free.

Now, you didn't say how soon he will be moving in with you, but I wonder if he thought that opening your relationship was only a temporary thing you wanted until you live with him. If that is the case, make sure he's clear that you want this going forward. I think what you said in your post and especially the last paragraph is something you can just express directly to him: "We opened up our relationship and it's been going well. I want it to continue to go well. For that, we both need to manage all our relationships in ways that make each of those relationships thrive. If we're going to be living again together, there will certainly be times where one of us leaves the other to spend time with another person. I know these can be tricky waters to navigate, so I want you to figure out what your boundaries are and tell me, and I will tell you mine, so we can discuss where we might need to compromise."

And the you will just have a lot of talking to do! But I think what's most important is that it be clear that each of you will make every effort to respect each other, but that does not mean that you give up the right to make your own choices about your other relationships.

watchman 05-27-2013 12:25 AM

Hey nycindie,

Thanks for the detailed reply. I really appreciate your considerate advice.

You're totally right. He does have a tendency to be possessive over me, and I can respect where that's coming from: love. But, I also need my freedom too, and I think he's coming to respect that aspect of me too. For me, I want to be respectful and loving to him, to be generous with my time and "be there" for him, but I also want to balance that with time with other people too.

We're going to be moving in together next week, and he's here visiting to help me with the move. Our polyamory isn't a temporary thing. I'm 100% poly and, while he's definitely more oriented to monogamy, I see him checking his online dating profiles and such sometimes too, so I think he's coming to see the benefits of having an open relationship.

I do have a lot of talking to do! We have pretty strong communication skills, so I think it will all work out. It's boundary-setting time, so I agree with you. I have to make it clear that my other relationships are my own and not try to please him at the expense of my own liberty.

Thanks again for the advice. I appreciate it.

mamalionesse 05-27-2013 12:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 206582)
So, you make your schedule with whomever you wish, as you see fit, and let each of them know when you're available to be with them, but you don't need to go asking for permission like a child.

I liked nycindie's boundary-setting advice, but I think the above is a bit cut-and-dried. There is a big difference between 'asking for permission' and 'taking into account the other person's feelings'. I would be inclined to use the admission of not being comfortable to probe further and find out exactly what the issue is. This is important because you don't want resentment.

It's easy enough to say everyone has to set their own boundaries and work out their own hangups, but this is a lot less easy to actually do. Most people are just not that self-aware. I agree that the only people who have a say in a relationship are the two involved. But this isn't about your relationship with new guy, it's about your relationship with LTR bf, and he DOES have a say.

nycindie 05-27-2013 08:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by watchman (Post 206679)
He does have a tendency to be possessive over me, and I can respect where that's coming from: love. But, I also need my freedom too, and I think he's coming to respect that aspect of me too.

Because I love someone, I want them to be happy, to know that they are free, and that my love doesn't impose restrictions on their freedom. It's funny how so many people think that loving someone is at odds with that person being free to be who they are, when it should be the opposite. If I love someone, their freedom isn't mine to give.

Quote:

Originally Posted by watchman (Post 206679)
I think he's coming to see the benefits of having an open relationship.

I do have a lot of talking to do! We have pretty strong communication skills, so I think it will all work out. It's boundary-setting time, so I agree with you. I have to make it clear that my other relationships are my own and not try to please him at the expense of my own liberty.

Great!

Quote:

Originally Posted by mamalionesse (Post 206681)
There is a big difference between 'asking for permission' and 'taking into account the other person's feelings'. I would be inclined to use the admission of not being comfortable to probe further and find out exactly what the issue is. This is important because you don't want resentment.

Yes, and that is why I said that there will be lots of talking ahead, and respecting each other. It is important to look at the issues behind the OP's partner wanting to limit what the OP does, and to think he can assert himself not only into the OP's sex life, but also into the OP's other partner's sex life (by saying "threesomes only," there is an automatic assumption that he also has authority over who the local bf can have sex with). But his saying, "No, you can't be with him without me" doesn't accomplish getting to the issues! It's up to the OP's LD partner to examine his own conflicts and work on them. Anything else is just a Band-Aid.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mamalionesse (Post 206681)
It's easy enough to say everyone has to set their own boundaries and work out their own hangups, but this is a lot less easy to actually do. Most people are just not that self-aware. I agree that the only people who have a say in a relationship are the two involved. But this isn't about your relationship with new guy, it's about your relationship with LTR bf, and he DOES have a say.

He has a say about his OWN relationship, no one else's. He can ask for more time with the OP, for safe sex practices, for clear, honest communication, for whatever he wants that has to do with him and HIS relationship with the OP, but why would he get a say over how the OP conducts his other relationships? That is possessive. They are not his to manage!

And although whatever I said about setting boundaries may seem simple, of course simple does not automatically mean it is easy. I get that. Many of us have a tough time asking for what we want and/or standing up for that, but it is essential that we establish those boundaries and that others know that if they want respect from us, they must respect us as well. People in relationships are still individuals!


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