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-   -   Steps towards action - pulling off the scab vs waiting (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51469)

JacobJT 08-05-2013 05:29 AM

Steps towards action - pulling off the scab vs waiting
 
So me and my partner have been moving towards poly territory. She has the poly leanings, I'm the mono tending guy working on reprogramming my beliefs etc. We've had a few very productive conversations but also some missteps here and there which have led to things perhaps seeming closer to us taking action than maybe either one of us is fully ready for? I'm oscillating between ideas of wanting to just push forward faster into action in order to get oriented and just 'pull off the scab' so to speak, but then get deathly afraid that I'm not ready and am doing this to relieve the tension and I really don't want things to blow up in our faces by handling this poorly. We both love each other and care about one another very much, but also recognize that how this happens could very well be make or break for us.

Does anybody have any thoughts or advice with regards to crossing the threshold into action (we've already talked expectations, boundaries, rules, negotiations, etc.), or in terms of a 'pulling off the scab' approach vs being more cautioned and deliberate and slow? I could really use some help and direction. It's late and I'm tired but we'll likely be talking in the morning.

Any advice is much appreciated!

london 08-05-2013 05:35 AM

Both start dating people. Abandon most of the rules you've set. They are based on fear.

TRBG 08-05-2013 06:08 AM

(1)I agree with the "start dating people" part. I disagree with the "abandon your rules" part. Your rules are based on your comfort levels which are subject to your own evolution.

(2)Continue discussions with each other throughout your evolution to determine comfort levels, especially seeing as how it's the comfort level/trust you have with each other that's safely gotten you to this point.

(3)Have fun.

Dirtclustit 08-05-2013 06:15 AM

might want to try swinging or gloryholes
 
until you figure out if you can be a mono and let your SO be poly without it ruining your relationship.

You need to honestly know what you have the most trouble dealing with, because it will be hell without help from your SO and preferably her boyfriends. It's kind of important you know if it's the sex or the emotional closeness with others so that you and your SO can better deal with what's really the problem. So take a lot of time for honest reflection, it is far too easy to not sit with your issues long enough to honestly identify the problem because it isn't fun. Otherwise trying to transition may work better with a don't ask don't tell sort of deal where you never meet or see any of your SO's boy friends. If you are really struggling with letting your partner be more "open" if will be much easier to take if it isn't constantly in your face.

Becareful of trying to play it cool when you are actually having a really hard time, but even that takes some calibrating of your own emotions because if it the transition that was not really hard, every couple would make it through the flames intact, or nobody would try to walk through them.

It is going to take a lot of understanding and patience, and as soon as you feel marginalized or that your SO doesn't really care you are in trouble.

Hopefully anybody either of you date will not be an asshole because it makes a big difference.

Becareful who you let into your lives unless you are out, because if you require discretion and count on the wrong person to not use that against you it could cause problems.

The world is still filled with a lot of unrecognized hate, people ruin other people's lives and are so far out of touch with reality they think they are making the world a better place, we are working on changing that, and the quickest way to deal with unrecognized hate is to speak up any time you see it, not just for poly people, but every situation, religious beliefs, LBGT, race, gender, everything. It is the only effective way to make everything in your personal life much more within your control, at least the things that a person should be able to control anyway

london 08-05-2013 06:18 AM

Quote:

Your rules are based on your comfort levels which are subject to your own evolution.
they'll give false comfort. get rid of them. trust.

TRBG 08-05-2013 06:31 AM

I'm kind of thinking that's one of those things they'll have to feel out for themselves. Even when you learn that rules aren't as set-in-stone as you think they are when you're making them they're still a good center piece for discussion. Yes, they're not something you want to get hung up on. But if they give you a more structured focal point (which people from more conservative backgrounds tend to need) then they serve the purpose of creating a stabilizing focal point... which understandably is going to shift.

GalaGirl 08-05-2013 01:26 PM

What does "pull the scab off" mean to you? Please explain

She goes off on a dinner/movie date? If so, chill. This doesn't have to be more than first date kinda stuff, and I'm sure she's gone off to dinner/movies with her friends. You can step in at the shallow end of the pool and make your way across in time. Realize that it TAKES time for the "new normal" to become normal.


She goes and has casual sex with someone else she doesn't know well?
I would not suggest this. Moving too fast too soon is a great way to have things "blow up" -- the very thing you are worried about.

Galagirl

YouAreHere 08-05-2013 02:02 PM

And if you try Poly (or even if you don't), and it's not for you, THAT'S OKAY. It's okay to be Mono while your partner is Poly. It may result in a lot of self-work and introspection, but you need to be true to yourself while your partner does the same.

Vixtoria 08-05-2013 02:21 PM

My advice, GO SLOW! Honestly, people are going to tell you get rid of those rules they are fear based. Well they are, but when you are starting out you are scared as hell! We got yelled at horribly, and abusively for 'rules' we set when we started out. It didn't matter what the circumstances, we were told that it was fear and not fair.

Going slow, really helped. The 'rules' went away because by the time they were an issue, we were comfortable. So I think that's what is most important. if it helps, don't think of them as rules. Think of them as, "I dont' know if I'm comfortable with XYZ yet." So you go slow. Just meet people, just do coffee, just talk on phones or internet until you find you are comfortable. When you are nervous, but not scared of X, then move onto X! Slowly but surely you'll find that the rules are gone.

Just understand, if you wait until you are completely comfortable, you won't be. Our rule of thumb has been when we are nervous, but not afraid. You don't get comfortable until after it's happened a few times and you realize it's not nearly as earth shattering as you thought!

BoringGuy 08-05-2013 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TRBG (Post 219475)
(1)I agree with the "start dating people" part. I disagree with the "abandon your rules" part. Your rules are based on your comfort levels which are subject to your own evolution.

(2)Continue discussions with each other throughout your evolution to determine comfort levels, especially seeing as how it's the comfort level/trust you have with each other that's safely gotten you to this point.

(3)Have fun.


I would add the caveat to #1 that "rules" should be decided for yourself, as if you were dating as a single person, "i have a rule that i pay my own way when i go out to dinner" or "i have a rule that i only take drinks from my own hand instead of letting people feed me shots of Gentleman Jack on an empty stomach after i have already had four Mike's Hard Lemonades.". Things like that; not stupid rules such as "you may not take someone else on a date to the Bridge of Flowers because i took you there first."

I believe that the more compatible you are (whatever that means to a person) and the better FRIENDS you are with your partner(s), the less of a need you will feel to "protect" your relationship with "rules".


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