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-   -   Pursing a potential partner for the first time.. (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61703)

MostlyMarried 10-27-2013 10:10 PM

Pursuing a potential partner for the first time..
 
Hi! I'm new to the site. I know this is long, and this probably falls under the category of "dating advice," but I don't think I can get serious answers anywhere else.

Husband and I have been monogamous for 12 years and discussing poly for over 3 years. We jointly pursued a young woman who was dating an abusive asshole. Eventually she moved in with us, but we didn't learn until then that he had also infected her with HIV, and we all agreed that an intimate relationship wouldn't work. She lived with us for a year while she sought treatment, got on her feet, and started (responsibly) dating again. She and my husband were very close, spending almost all their time together between work and home, and they referred to each other as best friends, but I had to ask that she move out a few months ago due to my just feeling physically and emotionally cramped by having her around ALL THE TIME. She still comes by a lot, and our relationship is more healthy now.

This is all to say that while we've never actually been practically polyamorous, we've discussed it through and through, done the research, and even had a taste of how it would impact us on an emotional, if not physical, level.

In the meantime, there's a single guy I worked with for a year. He wasn't physically the type of guy I'd normally be attracted to, but the more I got to know him, the more he grew on me. He's a total introvert, a big Eeyore, some obvious self-esteem issues. He's totally into gaming, and I like to game too, so we've got at least one big similar interest. We ate lunch together every day as part of a group. He seemed fairly comfortable with me at work, complimented me from time to time; we flirted pretty openly, so much that other people noticed. He knew I was married as I mentioned my husband from time to time. I never mentioned that I was interested in polyamory. About two months ago he left our company for a new job (that I recommended him for at my old company), and subsequently moved much closer to me.

So now that I was totally hung up on him, didn't work with him, and lived about 10 minutes away from him, he suddenly became a viable option. I remembered from conversations with him, that relationships never work out because he always seems to find co-dependent girls who can't give him enough time or space to do his own thing. Bolstered by the thought that a poly relationship might actually solve this issue, I had the discussion with my husband and got his permission to pursue the relationship, promising that I'd check back in as things progressed. So, thinking that the best way to discuss it with my former coworker was in person, I started asking him to hang out...That's when things started going south.

A caveat here that I have not dated since I was a teenager, when hormones pretty much guaranteed that my interest alone made it a "done deal." Apparently, single adult (early 30s) men are much more careful and discerning about who they get into a relationship with. Assuming that his natural modesty and reclusion would mean that he needed a lot of encouragement, I may have been a little aggressive about trying to get a chance to discuss it with him. He refused every offer to see me, first saying he was busy, then that he was afraid it would be awkward, and finally that I was pushing too hard. Over time, he got more and more distant; not answering my texts, hiding from me on chat, being short with me on the rare occasion he did reply. I assumed he'd picked up on the fact that I was interested in being more than friends, and I reasoned (perhaps wrongly) that he was interested, but knew that I was married, so was trying to head things off.

So I decided to come out over e-mail. I wrote a short note to say that I was attracted to him, and wanted to get to know him better, in the interest of perhaps pursuing an intimate relationship, and that I had already gotten my husband's permission. He responded later that day to say that he, not being totally oblivious, had started to suspect something, and that was probably why he was pushing me away. He said he was sorry, but that he wasn't interested due to not wanting to get in the middle of my marriage. He was willing to be friends, but understood if I didn't. I wrote back to assure him that I wouldn't have asked if it was going to cause a problem. I explained a bit of our ethos, and made a case as to why this type of relationship might work well for him. I asked him to take some time and consider it. Later, I followed up to say that I didn't need any kind of commitment right now, all I was asking for was that he not shut me out so we can get a chance to know each other better.

It's been two days and I've heard nothing back. No response to my texts, and he's obviously got me blocked on Steam. As folks who've got more experience with new relationships and dating than me, does it seem like he was being honest that it was just about my being married, or is he genuinely just not interested in me, and used my marriage as a convenient excuse? What should my next steps be, to give up on him as a lost cause, or to keep up little signs of continued interest in the hopes that he's just working through it? How do you deal when you want to communicate so desperately with someone that doesn't want to communicate with you?

Thank you very much for reading, I look forward to your response!

nancyfore 10-27-2013 10:46 PM

Just off the top of my head, my first thought is that all the texts, emails, etc, etc don't really scream independent female. It seems a little "come on too strong" all the while you're explaining to him that he would have the freedom to be him. Actions speak louder than words most of the time. Maybe he is feeling smothered or that you came on to strong.

No one really knows what the issue is but him.

When someone doesn't want to communicate with another there isn't much the one can do but to quietly go away. Or continue to drive him farther away.

Dagferi 10-27-2013 10:51 PM

Leave the man alone.

He is not interested.

nycindie 10-28-2013 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MostlyMarried (Post 243055)
It's been two days and I've heard nothing back . . . does it seem like he was being honest that it was just about my being married, or is he genuinely just not interested in me, and used my marriage as a convenient excuse? What should my next steps be . . . ?

Does it really matter what his reasons are? No means no. Move on.

Next time you are interested in someone, check your need to have what you want when you want it. Dating means there will always be potential for rejection. You probably came off as too aggressive, demanding, needy - or all three.

BigGuy 10-28-2013 12:59 AM

Perhaps the more pertinent question you need to answer is why you're spending so much time and energy pursuing someone who is not interested.

MostlyMarried 10-28-2013 01:22 AM

Thanks for the responses, all. I guess it's pretty clear, looking at it from the outside. I was hoping that if I could give him more information, ease his concerns, that I could change his mind. I always try to say what I feel, so I have a hard time understanding when people are expecting me to read between the lines. I'm sure I was coming off as needy and desperate, but I didn't like the idea of pretending I didn't care; seemed too much like playing games. I was always able to justify it by saying that he was shy, and wouldn't make the first move, would doubt my intentions, that a lot of people probably didn't stick around long enough to break through his shell, and that he was probably really lonely. In short, I was probably projecting my emotions onto him; all too easy to do when he never really projected a voice of his own... I've deleted his contact information, so as to remove the temptation.

london 10-28-2013 07:00 AM

Yeah, thinking that if you just badger them that little bit more, they'll crack, isn't the best foundation for any relationship. He did project a voice of his own, he said no but you completely ignored him and asked for ways you can make him do what you want.

MostlyMarried 10-28-2013 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by london (Post 243105)
Yeah, thinking that if you just badger them that little bit more, they'll crack, isn't the best foundation for any relationship. He did project a voice of his own, he said no but you completely ignored him and asked for ways you can make him do what you want.

I don't think that's entirely fair. I just wanted to make sure there were no misunderstandings about what I was suggesting. For someone who's never been exposed to polyamory, I could see a knee-jerk reaction.

It's not like I was texting ten times a day like, "WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME!?" I have some dignity.

Bluebird 10-28-2013 01:38 PM

Sorry it didn't work out.

Natja 10-28-2013 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MostlyMarried (Post 243150)
I don't think that's entirely fair. I just wanted to make sure there were no misunderstandings about what I was suggesting. For someone who's never been exposed to polyamory, I could see a knee-jerk reaction.

It's not like I was texting ten times a day like, "WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME!?" I have some dignity.

I think that is fair, except the way you describe it in the OP feels very oppressive and needy (which is exactly what you said he dislikes).

We women often interpret male reactions in the same way we would react in that situation but men are much less subtle...if he was pulling away from you he was just not that interested. Truly. If he was into you, married or not, he would have replied, even if it was to say "You are married, I can't go there".

It's more likely that you were beginning to tick him off. I am sorry but that is how it reads by the OP.

Might be a good idea in the future to add the fact that you and your husband are in an open marriage earlier on in a friendship with a man.

Good Luck :)


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