Back for some final advice on how to move on
Hello, everyone. You may remember me from this thread a week or two ago concerning my recent breakup. It was my first poly experience, and through it all, I became more understanding of the poly lifestyle, and have an increased respect for those who can make it work. That's the reason I'm back to get your opinions on where I go from here.
I am still quite sad over the breakup... and understandably so since it was so recent. But I know I'm healing. I'm taking some time for myself to process, become renewed, and grow. I'm no longer self-medicating. I'm pleased to say I've not had one drink since we officially split. But there is one factor that I didn't mention in my previous post: my other ex-girlfriend. She was my partner of six years when my other (most recent) partner came into the picture. In fact, she was included in the poly relationship for awhile until she decided she couldn't handle it. Due to some other issues that had been surfacing for awhile, we split about four months ago. Because she could not handle seeing my newest partner, she disappeared for awhile. However, we reconnected the day after my most recent breakup, in a kind of unintentional way. She was sexually assaulted, and had no one else to turn to. I offered her my place for one night, so she could get a hot shower, a hot meal, and a good night's sleep (in seperate beds). I made my boundaries clear, and she was respectful of them.
Now, she has made it quite clear to me for some time that her ideal situation would be to get back together with me in a mono relationship again. I have been completely honest with her, and told her that I honestly have no idea what I want (which is very true). But we have been talking and seeing each other more often the past few days. And even though she knows that we are just friends at this point, I can't help but sense that she is getting her hopes up about us. She has also asked me if she can move into my extra room (as a friend), and split the rent while I figure things out. She knows this is not my ideal situation, and says that she is trying to find another roommate... but wants to know if she can move in with me if she hasn't found anyone by the end of the month.
I'm going to be honest. When I'm away from her, the idea of working on our relationship sounds like a good idea. She is so good to me, and treats me better than any of my previous partners. However, when I actually spend time with her, it feels like a bad idea. I don't feel the chemistry anymore. And while I have no reason for this, I'm not physically attracted to her anymore. I honestly don't know if this is how I will always feel, or if my emotions are just tied up in knots because of my recent breakup. I'm actually beginning to enjoy my alone time, and I love the thought of me taking some time for myself, possibly dating around eventually, and not being tied down for awhile.
While I am being honest with her, I still feel that she is holding out hope for something that in actuality may never happen. I enjoy her company. But I don't want to hurt her any more than I already have. I'm not sure how to best navigate this from here. I feel like I'm finally getting my life on track, and I'm afraid that if I open my house and heart to her right now, things will get messed up again. You guys have all given me such good advice before. I know this may not be a poly issue, directly. But if you have some thoughts for me, I would absolutely love to hear them.
I think you just need to be honest with her and gently state what you wrote here. I have taken your words and made a few adjustments:
"I am still quite sad over the breakup but I know I'm healing. I'm taking some time for myself to process, become renewed, and grow. I know your ideal situation would be to get back together with me in a mono relationship again.
Gosh, as I was writing that (just rearranging and adding to what you already stated), I was thinking about how to gently tell someone your feelings and then remembered all the times people were brutal with me about wanting to move on or explaining why I couldn't have what I wanted... it hurt, but I survived.
Of course, no one needs to go out of their way to be mean or harsh, but sometimes we have to set aside all the pussyfooting we do in order to avoid hurting people and just come out straight with what we have to say and let the chips fall where they may!
It is kind that you offered her shelter in crisis, but if you are not up for this kind of support long haul, it is totally ok to NOT be. Could be a friend and guide her toward appropriate aftercare and then step back and deal with your own break up processing.
Could not be telling a recent sex crime victim you don't find her attractive. Even if it is true, you can keep that data to yourself. There's other ways to be firm and NOT start a romantic relationship with her.
Could keep it simple, short and sweet.
"Thank you. I appreciate you and your feelings and I care about you as my friend. But this is totally NOT the appropriate time to be thinking about big life decisions like starting a new romance together.Focus on being a friend and focus on HEALING appropriately first (both of you.)
And if she wants to float off into dream world so she can escape her current reality? You could...
You might be good for initial shelter person, but you are NOT be the guy for ongoing aftercare person. You are not at that place emotionally right now and you don't even sound like you would want to be even if you were emotionally well.
So... could respect your own limits. You are not emotionally well right now yourself. And you have no desire. Not able. Not willing. Limit reached.
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