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Nyx 07-26-2009 04:59 PM

New here, new to poly
Hello, all! I am new here and am not polyamorous (yet?) but my bf is. I am 30 yrs old, and he and I dated back when we were teenagers off and on, but I broke it off for good because of my feeling that he was a "ladies man". I was totally threatened and just ran off, never looking back.

About a year and a half ago, after hearing through mutual friends for several years that he has been trying to contact me, we finally made contact via the internet. He, at the time, was overseas and I was pregnant from a bf that I no longer was with. (I also have a daughter from another relationship who is now 8). So after emailing each other, he tells me he has never stopped thinking of me and loving me, oh and also that he is poly and had discovered this about five years ago.

To make a very long story short, he ended up deciding to move in with me and try being monogamous - needless to say it didn't work, he felt stifled and moved out about two months ago. We are still together though, even after numerous breakdowns on my part. But we talk a LOT and I guess I am at this point having to decide where I truly stand with him being poly and me, well not. Or maybe I could be. I have to admit, I am attracted to other men quite frequently, but so far have not met anyone. I find it difficult to make time between two children and full time college.

Meanwhile, he has two other girls he is dating, one more so than the other, and I am very intimidated and every time he mentions the one in particular I feel sick and angry and jealous. Thing is, I can usually calm down and think rationally about it after a while which makes me hopeful that I can get used to the idea and maybe even meet this girl, as my bf so badly wants me to. I have told him I am attracted to a man he knows through the fire station and he has encouraged me to strike up a friendship with the guy, but so far I have not pursued it at all. What holds me back is fearing that any guy will run the other way if they know I already have a bf. I have seen that as a common theme so far on this forum.

Anyway, I am here to get a better idea of what poly really is (I feel sometimes that my bf uses it as a label to excuse himself for being a man-whore...I know, not fair) and to bounce ideas off of other people, get some insight into it. All of my friends are strictly and jealously monogamous and though none have condemned me for venturing into an open relationship, I don't feel able to talk to any of them because they do not understand. So far one person whom I have been more talkative about it is my sister, but she, like me, can't get over the idea that it's an easy way to screw around and not get in trouble. My bf says the opposite, that sex plays less into his poly ideals than love and other connections do. I know I'm making it all about sex and not sure why that is. Probably because I have never been in a situation where I was torn between or in love with two or more people at once. I guess I just don't understand it.

And with my bf, even though I am attracted to other men, I can't see myself being in love with anyone but him. Well, I guess that is enough for now. I would like to be able to respond to others' posts, but I have no advice to offer, being kind of an outsider at this point.

River 07-26-2009 05:22 PM

Welcome, Nyx!

We hope your reading and participating here will be helpful.

In future posts, please try to break your posts into paragraphs, as it's easier to read that way than reading large blocks of text without such breaks. Thanks.

XYZ123 07-26-2009 10:03 PM

I have always acted in a monogamous way-and then cheated. But my cheating was never linked strictly to a sexual interest. I would simply see something in a person that attracted me to them in a mental and emotional way and, because I never felt I could be honest with my partner, it led to cheating. So I can attest to polyamory being less about the sex and more about other connections. If he were really just looking for a way to screw around he wouldn't tell you about it, nor would he wish for you to meet this other woman or seek your own other relationships.

All that being said, I understand also the fear of the sexual side of things. My hubby and I were poly in the beginning and went into a mono relationship, then back to poly with me being the one with a girlfriend. They didn't have a sexual relationship (though they had in the past) but were best friends, affectionate, loving, and it may have headed down that path had the relationship lasted. Once I became comfortable with being poly and with the emotions behind the sex I started to become willing to open up that part of it, something I never thought I would do.

It is hard to change your ideas about what a relationship "should" be. But you don't have to. Like any other relationship, you can choose to remain in it or not. You can choose how deeply you want to be in this lifestyle. It's a good thing he's up front with you from the beginning as honesty is most important. Just take it slow, communicate to him clearly your fears and doubts, and don't be afraid to ask him questions to calm them. There's a poster on here-MonoVP-who is a mono man with a poly woman who can probably give you alot of feedback on your situation. Good luck.

redpepper 07-27-2009 07:02 AM

Nyx... welcome.

I would love to be able to read your post but I am afraid my dyslexic brain will not allow it.... if you could go back (by pressing the edit button at the bottom) and put paragraphs in as rivermartin suggests I would so appreciate it.

foxflame88 07-27-2009 07:10 AM


Quath 07-27-2009 01:27 PM

Welcome to the forums.

I think we all have the ability to love many people. For example, you don't love your first child any less after you had your second child. So that means that you love does not have to diminish if you find someone else to love.

That is not to say that polyamory is for all people. Some people prefer monogamy because they can focus all their attention one one romantic relationship. So you need to look deep inside you to see what you think you can feel. Who knows? maybe you would feel comfortable being in an emotionally monogamous relationship, but swing sexually? Maybe you want to be monogamous, but be ok with him being polyamorous?

One thing to learn on a more intuitative level is that his love for someone else does not affect his love for you. We are taught differently growing up. We are told you can only really love someone truely who is your "soul mate." However, from a practical point of view, we love many times over our life.

Try to envision that his other loves could be friends with you. You don't have to be close friends or anything, but should be friendly. After all, you do have an important thing in common:you love the same man and want to see him happy, just as he wants to see the people he loves happy.

I wish you luck.

MonoVCPHG 07-27-2009 02:44 PM

Welcome to the forum!

While I don't think everyone has the ability to "intimately" love more than one person, I certainly know some people can!

Polyamory is not all about sex but sex is the defining level of intimacy that separates it from other forms of love such as the multiple love for children analogy...for me the two types of love are completely different.

There are many approaches to how the word "polyamory" is used. Sometimes it is used as an easy way to screw around in my opinion, sometimes it's about friends with benefits, sometimes it's about a solid degree of love, and sometimes it's about life long relationships of "spousal" commitment.

I would be a little concerned about your boyfriend's history of feeling he is a "ladies man". I can't say for sure because I don't know his depth of relationship with his two girlfriends.

I think you need to ask each other and yourselves what it is that makes your relationship worth the work you need to do. Expectations, goals, long term ideas of what things will look like.

I definitely don't recommend you try something you do not actually desire for yourself. It is very normal to be attracted to other people. I'm not sure exactly how you go about trying to see if you can be polyamorous in the sense of loving more than one person. I figure you just fall in love and realize it then. You don't want to do anything that might possibly take away from your own sense of self worth. Do things because you want to. You are in control of the situation.

Take care and do what is right for you.

Nyx 07-27-2009 05:23 PM

I go back and forth being ok with his other gf's and feeling totally ruined. Just last night I felt very angry and upset because he wanted to have a party at his house tuesday, but was going to invite his other gf and her roller derby team and myself. I told him flat out that I would not be going if she was there. He said he would call her and ask her if she even wanted o go.

So I ended up feeling like he put me in a position where I had to either A) go to his party and feel really uncomfortable about meeting this girl for the first time while she has all her friends around (and no support of my own since my bf is the only person I would know at this party) or B) what he calls "excluding myself". I have a major beef with this, it's not like he is trying to force me to meet her, but he doesn't seem to have a clue how intimidating it is for me despite the fact that I've told him how I feel.

We ended up talking this morning because he has an ability to always know when I am out of sorts and though we only chatted for a few moments before he had to leave for work, we sort of got things to a crux: I have to decide if I can even do this or not. When he is out of town at work, I feel ok about everything because I know he is not able to see this other girl. He talks about flirting with girls at the bar, etc. and it doesnt' bother me in the slightest. But when he comes back after being gone for a week or more, I feel really anxious because I perceive that he is dividing his time between me and her.

And come to find out, he is barely even spending any time with her and from what he says they haven't been intimate past kissing once a few months ago. It's so frustrating because even though he can assure me that he is not doing anything that involved with her, I can relax - BUT that doesn't change the fact that at some point it WILL be deeper, maybe not with her but someone else.

See, she has another bf (or two?) already - I'm not sure the exact details, but she has a "main man" with whom I believe she has a child and from what I gather she is living with him, etc. and so hardly has time to carve out of her schedule to spend with my bf. I guess in a way that makes me feel less threatened. But the thing is that I believe that if this is going to work at all - I have to STOP feeling threatened. Period.

Because it is not just about this particular woman, it is any woman he happens to meet. The next girl might be single and have all the time in the world for him and then I will have to re-adjust to that situation.

I know I myself don't have to "become" poly, and I won't try to be something that I am not. Although I think my bf would prefer I date other people so that he can feel relaxed in himself that I am not sitting there all lonely (which I never am with two children around!). I know I have to make these decisions because it is what I want, not because it is what he wants. I know I want to be with him and perhaps it will end up that we just have to change our relationship into a friendship for it to work.

MonoVCPHG 07-27-2009 05:51 PM


Originally Posted by Nyx (Post 3322)
I know I want to be with him and perhaps it will end up that we just have to change our relationship into a friendship for it to work.

I love the realization in this!

This is a great comment in that it shows you are aware that there can be a continuing relationship regardless if it remains intimate or not. A lot of people aren't fortunate enough to have a multi layered friendship like you do in accepting the possibility of changing your relationship, vice completely ending it.

Maintaining a deep friendship is more important than anything to me in my relationship with Redpepper. She knows I would do almost anything to keep her as my most trusted and best friend, even if I had to deny myself certain aspects of my love for her. I am completely comfortable in this because I love her so much and simply want to be in her life.

My point is, you obviously care about him in general, just do what is healthy for you to continue to share in his life in whatever form that is.:D

Nyx 07-27-2009 08:39 PM

That's exactly what my bf says about me; he just wants to be part of my life, whatever role that puts him in be it friend, boyfriend, fwb. And I have no problems being weird about ex bf's...I try to stay friends with all my exes and I am really sad when some of them never want to see me again for whatever reason. I could never have my current bf out of my life, it hurts too much to even think of it.

He and I just get along so well and I enjoy our conversations and the things we do together. He is one person I truly believe I could tell anything to, absolutely anything no matter how dark or embarrassing. It's hard to find that degree of unconditional love. I just wish I could reciprocate everything and be able to give him all the freedom he needs without feeling so jealous and upset inside.

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