Exploring polyamory :)
I'm Pienata and I'm a 22-year-old girl from the Netherlands. For a long time I haven't believed in monogamy, but I did believe in honesty, keeping promises and not deliberately hurting one's partner. Therefore I have led a monogamous life with my former boyfriends.
Since a little over one year I've been dating my current boyfriend/partner, M. From the beginning this has been an open relationship, this came naturally to us, so I was very happy to find a partner who was more similar to me in terms of relationship values. It was, however, open in the sexual sense. I do believe in polyamory in the sense of being capable of truly loving more than one person, but M. is polysexual (is that even a word?) at most.
A few weeks ago I met T. I don't know him very well just yet but I've been smitten from the start. M. and T. have actually met for a short while when nothing had happened between me and T. yet. They seem to get along quite well.
When something happened between me and T., I didn't dare to tell M. right away, even though we usually tell eachother about any sexual escapades we may have. I was a little troubled by the fact that I felt so much for T. already, and was afraid M. would not be amused.
About a week later I confessed that I might be falling in love with T. The reaction given by M. could be narrowed down to: "Falling in love can happen. It's a good thing you told me, but actually I already knew (I hadn't been entirely silent about T., either, but we were supposedly "friends"). Do with it as you please, but take care because you could hurt three people."
As to what exactly would hurt M., he can't really tell me in advance. It seems that he doesn't mind me exploring this thing with T., but he wants to feel primary at all times. I do not want to treat T. second-rate, but so far there has been little conflict of interest. This might of course change as my relationship with T. changes/develops.
Since this is the first time for me in such a situation, any tips for poly-relationship maintenance are welcome, and I signed up to learn from similar situations. :)
My current and most burning question at this point is: M. an T. have met once and seemed to get along, before anything else happened. Both of them would feel a little awkward (though not sad/angry) around eachother at this point. I would really love to see them get to know eachother better and, in an ideal world, become friends, but I don't want to push it. Personalitywise I would say it's not a problem, they seem to be eachother's type (in the friendly sense of the word, not the romantic/sexual as they're both straight), but with the situation being new for all of us, there's something a little awkward about it. T. especially feels a little guilty towards M., and M., though not truly worried, is mildly suspicious of T.
As for me, when I do get to spend time with both together, how to make sure both are comfortable and how to properly allocate my attention without making anyone feel bad?
Welcome to our forum.
Sounds like you are in a developing V (two persons are the ends of the V and just associate with each other platonically, whereas you are the "hinge" of the V and have a romantic relationship with both of the guys). It's a good thing if the ends of the V are friends, but that's not required. I would suggest letting L and M decide if, when, and how often they will hang out together. Especially in the beginning, they need time to sort through their nerves and misgivings.
You should always try to improve your communication with T and M. Communication is a really important part of making poly work.
A couple of boards I'd suggest you check out on this site are:
Golden Nuggets board ... for the most basic/important info about making poly work
Life stories and blogs board ... for portraits of other people's experiences and what has/hasn't worked for them
Poly Relationships Corner ... for posting your own thoughts, questions, and concerns
I think if you take things slow with T, and communicate often with M about your feelings, you will come out alright. But check out the above links for further guidance.
Glad to have you aboard,
Thank you for your kind reply.
M. isn't quite the communicative type, he doesn't like to talk about feelings at all and usually falls silent when I try to. Generally, his biggest problem is "having to talk about it", that usually pisses him off more than any situation in itself. I realise that this is generally not ideal for polyamory.
The good thing is, he is generally accepting of anything that comes naturally (rather than being forced to talk about stuff), so I'm going to have to try a more natural way than sitting him down to talk about it.
M. tends to believe that when I'm trying to talk about my feelings that I am by definition "hurt", and therefore he's hurt. We usually experience these talks very, very differently. I usually tend to think "well, that didn't go so badly", while he's usually like "but remember the drama when you told me!" just because I want to share some of my reservations..
Here's a book title that might possibly help:
How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It
... by Dr. Patricia Love and Dr. Steven Stosny
It looks like it gets a pretty high rating.
When you do "talk about it," you might want to research something called "Nonviolent Communication." It's a style of communication developed by Marshall Rosenberg. From what I've heard, it helps reduce some of the "drama" that M so dreads. A couple of links regarding the subject are:
Having a reluctant communicator in a poly relationship is certainly a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. I myself am one of the guys in a V where the other guy pretty much hates communicating, and shuts down and goes into "silent mode" when something is bugging him or getting him down. There seems to be a couple of ways we approach this. One is to just give him some room and let him figure stuff out, and he'll usually talk eventually. If that doesn't work, gentle verbal nudging will often get him to talk in very small bits and pieces. But it takes a lot of patience.
Communication comes more easily/naturally to some people than it does others (just as some people have more struggles with jealousy than others). It takes a certain amount of acceptance to live, deal, and work with a "challenged communicator." You have to realize that they'll probably never be a great communicator, but there is a chance they can improve little by little over time.
In the meantime, check out that book and those links and see what might help in the short term.
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