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-   -   Advice on the OSO relationship (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64432)

Hislittlemasochist1 11-21-2013 01:15 AM

Advice on the OSO relationship
On the advice of my love I'm reaching out for help on a poly situation that none of my friends can understand...

I fell into my first poly relationship about a year ago. My partner (t) has a fiancÚ (h) which he was in an open relationship with before I met him. As we developed a deeper relationship he decided to make it "poly" and not just open. Then at about six months into our relationship he decided to find a third partner (p). We are creating a non-hierarchial poly family in which we all can hopefully get to a place with at least some interaction and potentially deep and loving relationships between all individuals.

Over the past few months I have been communicating with p. A week ago we met for the first time. We are very consciously trying to develop a relationship/friendship in order to create more comfort and love for the entire situation. The problem is that as a result of focusing on my relationship with her I'm feeling a disconnection from my partner. The more I get to know her the more it feels like he is her boyfriend, and not mine at all. In reality I know it has actually strengthen our (me and my partners) connection but its hard to feel it on my end sometimes. Like working on one relationship is taking focus and depth from the other. I'm worried it means I really am mono and I can only work on deepening one relationship at a time.

Is this a thing? Do people feel this when they go from a V to a triad (or at least some relationship with the OSO, I'm not saying it's a true triad)? If so how do I prevent the disconnection from my love (which is the only reason I'm doing this in the first place) while still trying to keep my heart open to his OSO?

london 11-21-2013 10:18 AM

First off, why the pressure to develop this meaningful bond with your metamours? Now, I absolutely promote that there shouldn't be negative feelings between metamours, but I think being civil is enough. Anything else that develops between metamours organically can be a bonus. By organically, I mean that you might meet at some point and discover that you have lots in common and want to develop a relationship of your own, be that romantic or platonic. But it isn't because you have to, it's because you, of your own accord, met that individual and decided that they were compatible with you, as an individual, for a relationship of some kind. Not because they are your partner's partner and that means you have to be best friends/lovers.

I think what might be causing the problem for you here is that you think you have to have this deep, meaningful relationship with her to make this all work. That isn't the case, the only thing you could do to harm his relationship with her (if he lets you) is be spiteful and malicious by purposely obstructing their relationship. I don't think you intend to do that, so relax with trying to force a friendship/relationship. Let that grow on it's own.

bookbug 11-21-2013 12:35 PM

London made some excellent points, and I want to add this:

I don't think you have to worry that you are really mono. The fact of the matter is when we focus on one thing, it takes more attention, more resources. Think of it like this: what if instead of getting to know your metamour, your focus was a brand new job that is taking attention and energy, and making you less focused on your bf. In that situation, you would accept it as normal and not be worried, but because this is something that is not routine in our society, we tend to give such things as diverted attention more significance, even though it is really the same phenomena as focusing on a demanding job or fascinating hobby.

My advice is to do exactly what you would do to maintain the connection to your bf that you would if the cause of your diverted attention was one of the reasons I mentioned above.

Oh, and once you all get your foundation built, it won't require so much attention to maintain. But right now, you are all in the creating stage.

YouAreHere 11-21-2013 01:23 PM


Originally Posted by london (Post 248779)
I don't think you intend to do that, so relax with trying to force a friendship/relationship. Let that grow on it's own.

Agreed. I'm friendly with my metamour, but I know she initially wanted our relationship to be more of a BFF/sisterly one, and I felt a LOT of pressure about it, to the point where, when we would get together, I'd feel like it wasn't just us getting together and enjoying each others' company, but more of a milestone to be checked off on the "BFF schedule" - are we there yet? It made me not want to get together at all.

Not saying you're doing that at all, but it's something to be aware of - any of your metamours (or even you) may end up feeling the same way, and they may need to back off a bit. That's okay. Let it be what it'll be.

Ratcheting it back to an easy relationship among yourselves and letting it grow organically may help take some of that focus off, so you can apply it elsewhere.

Good luck!

Norwegianpoly 11-24-2013 07:14 PM

What is your relationship to the fiance? Do you have similar challenges with her?

GalaGirl 11-24-2013 08:26 PM

I agree with the others.

Welcome to the polymath. A polyship is made up of all the mini relationship inside it. Whether the people relating are friends,metas, lovers, or a combo. The polyship at large cannot fly well if mini relationships inside it are going hungry for ____.

When you go from a V to a triad? You have tripled your V's.

In a V, there is one hinge person.

In a triad, it's basically 3 hinges. Three V's laid over each other. The number of "mini relationship" has now increased!


The problem is that as a result of focusing on my relationship with her I'm feeling a disconnection from my partner.

how do I prevent the disconnection from my love while still trying to keep my heart open to his OSO?
  • You review your time management. Are you not spending the time you need in the right places and that cause the upset? Or expecting yourself to be in two places at once causing the upset?
    You review your emotional management. Is everything ok for the stage you are in and you are THINKING it isn't and "should be" something else -- and that's causing the upset?
  • You make time to spend with your love connecting. Even if that means changing some focus time spent with her or other activities you do. Or changing some expectations of how "fast" things might happen -- time is a finite human resource. It may be nothing can change right now (ex: work schedules limit free time) but later it could change. (ex: different work schedule coming 3 months later).
  • You ask your love if he's willing to meet your connection needs and set the time aside to cultivate that. And you ask for which specific connection needs you are talking about. Circle from list if you cannot articulate on your own.

It's a lot easier to feel happy for your love and the new partner P in the (love + P) tier of the polymath if in the (love + you) layer your connection needs are being met. You could review poly hell and polysaturation and guard against those kinds of problems by talking it over ahead of time with all your people.


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