Introduction and Seeking Advice (Emotional, But Not Sexual, Relationship)
Hi everyone :D
I am a 24-year-old woman and my primary partner is a 24-year-old male. We have been cohabiting and connecting romantically and sexually with each other for more than a year.
I have known I was inclined toward polyamory for a long time, but have kept that part buried because I was worried it would lead to adultery. I have never cheated on a partner and the idea of it terrifies me. It was only in my last relationship that I actually stepped forward and tried to date other people, obviously with my partner's consent and participation. Sadly, after a particularly bad date, I gave up.
Fast-forward: My current relationship got a head start on poly because I already had mostly-secret feelings for the person who would now be considered my secondary when it started. This person is a 19-year-old male. My current primary and I talked about my feelings for him a lot before we decided we would both be open to a poly lifestyle. Then the person I had feelings for became part of our three-person group. I'll just start capitalizing Primary and Secondary for readers' convenience, although we don't use the terms ourselves.
Anyway, I felt like things moved naturally for us. Our Secondary is closer to me than he is to the Primary, so I'm not sure if this situation would be considered a Vee. We think of it as a three-person group anyway.
I should note that my Secondary and I don't have a sexual relationship, just a romantic one. Part of the reason is that we are currently living in different parts of the world, and I cannot travel for a mix of health and legal reasons (nothing terrible, but enough to prevent safe travel for now). I don't like cyber sex, phone sex, Webcam sex, or taking or receiving explicit photos, and the Third respects my boundaries.
Instead, we buy and send each other romantic gifts, talk for hours every day either through messaging or on the phone, occasionally go on Webcam to flirt, and tell each other we love each other. It has been this way for a little more than a year. The Secondary says this is the most emotionally intimate relationship of his life, and it's certainly up there for me as well.
However, I have recently been pushing our Secondary to get a primary partner of his own because I don't like the idea of his sexual needs not being met. The Primary and I have introduced him to girls from his area and given him dating advice.
So, we were both very happy to hear that our Secondary recently got his own primary partner and they are sexually and emotionally intimate! The Primary and I have been a little jealous as well, but mostly just happy that all of his needs can be met now :D
The question I would like advice on is how to present this information to the Secondary's new partner. Let's call her Newbie. Until further notice, I am assuming that we are "broken up" with our Secondary, unless and until the Newbie gives approval. The Secondary says the Newbie is open-minded and he would be surprised if she did not approve, especially since this is a romantic rather than sexual relationship, not to mention long-distance. The most sexual thing we ever really do is light Dom/sub roleplay, but it's not even explicit.
But should the Secondary bring this up to the Newbie so soon in the relationship? Should he wait another week or two, then bring it up? Or should, as the Third says, I just message the Newbie and explain all of this to her directly? Or should we all have a big group chat and talk about it together?
I just want the Newbie to set boundaries for what the Secondary is and is not allowed to do and say to us. The Primary and I would be sure to follow these rules perfectly, if only we had them.
But I am so scared of causing problems for a happy new relationship that I kind of just want to go away and not make them deal with me and the Primary at all :( The Secondary says he still wants us to continue our romantic relationship, though, as it is apparently still fulfilling for him.
Can more experienced poly people please advise? I am sorry if this all seems silly to you :( I just want to be a decent person and not hurt people.
Well, the poll results are unanimous! 100% of you guys think "The Secondary should tell the Newbie right away." :D
I relayed this to the Primary and the Secondary, and they agreed. The Secondary has planned out a time to talk to the Newbie about this in person and in detail on Friday.
With guidance from y'all, I feel like we're doing the right thing, but I'm still really scared :o
Possible conversation that could happen:
Secondary says: "I still wants us to continue our romantic relationship, even though I am dating Newbie. Our relationship is still fulfilling for me.It isn't unreasonable to ask.
Then ball's in his court. He knows what you expect. If he agrees you can expect this behavior from him? Then he either delivers or not.
It's ok to feel scared. The 3 people thing could be ENDING. The new 4 people could STARTING. The "in between" transitional space.... not sure space? That space is weird -- neither here nor there. Just kinda up in the air... until you land.
So could align behavior toward a good landing. Letting Newbie know he comes as part of a poly package -- well, being honest and forthcoming so Newbie can make informed decisions is treating everyone respectfully, right?
ETA: Sounds like you sorted it out. Kudos!
Update: The "Secondary" says that he discussed relationship boundaries with the Newbie. Apparently, the Newbie basically said "no making out with/sex with" other people, and that's it. I am completely fine with this agreement since, like I said, our relationship was non-sexual anyway.
After that, we all talked to each other on webcam and flirted together, and she said that was a lot of fun.
I'm not exactly sure what the "Secondary" said to her about me and my Primary, considering I heard her call us his "friends," but hey, to some people, non-sexual connections are just friends. I guess I will just start thinking of this as a romantic friendship; labels don't matter to me anyway.
The "Secondary" is still calling me his "wifey" like he always did.
Should I take it I have done my due diligence here and, so long as I don't engage in any sexual behaviors with the "Secondary," not worry too much?
Welcome to our forum.
Does Newbie know that you and your Primary are romantic/sexual partners? If she doesn't, she probably should know (lest she find out by surprise later on). I'd mention that to your Secondary, but ultimately the onus is on him to take care of that.
I don't foresee any big problems based on your story so far. Proceed with caution and you'll probably do well.
Thinking of what you said about avoiding surprises, I talked to the Secondary again and asked him whether the Newbie actually knows that he and I consider ourselves more than friends.
Then he started getting really vague! He said he doesn't "know how much detail" he "went into with her" and is "not sure" what she thinks! I asked him what he thinks about us, and he said he thought that he and I were in a romantic relationship for the past year or so. At least he and I agree on that.
Then I asked him if the Newbie wasn't tipped off by him saying he had a "wifey," but he said he doesn't use that term around her. My follow-up question was what ever happened to the Newbie's rule of "no making out with/sex with" other people besides her, and then he told me that they also had "no open relationships" and "no dating other people" as guidelines!
What the hell?! Why did I have to interrogate him to hear about this part of the conversation?!
This started a frustrating and almost three-hour-long conversation where I repeatedly told the Secondary that he needs to tell the Newbie that he and I consider ourselves to have a romantic relationship, and he kept being vague about what he wanted to do.
The Primary was around for this and got so pissed off that he said he might just use his veto on my relationship with the Secondary if the Secondary didn't stop playing this game, since the Primary said it's been really hurting him to see me stressed out over the past week. That is the first time the Primary even hinted at vetoing something, so he really must have been concerned.
Finally, I just told the Secondary that I was breaking up with him and we would stay broken up until and unless I had evidence that the Newbie understood we were in a non-sexual but romantic relationship, set boundaries for this relationship, and gave it her blessing.
I also told the Secondary not to talk to me for the next week because stressing out over this has been frying my brain. I am just going to focus on spending quality time with my Primary and relaxing, then try to talk to the Secondary again next week.
Anyway, thank you for replying to my post. Everyone who has replied or voted in the poll so far has really helped me feel clear about what to do here.
Right now, my ideal outcome would be to get back together with the Secondary with the Newbie's blessing, but if that doesn't happen, at least I can shut off this silly soap opera.
I couldn't vote in your poll because my choice wasn't there. Basically, I don't think it is up to you and your Primary to dictate to your Secondary what kind of conversations he should be having with his other girlfriend. You manage your relationships and let him manage his. There seems to be a whole lot of control issues going on here.
My view of it is, if he is having a romantic relationship with me and not telling his girlfriend, isn't he cheating on her? That's the type of thing that people call an "emotional affair," isn't it?
I don't want to be involved in any behavior that I consider immoral. If I allow myself to be kept a secret this time, why not sleep with married men who are cheating on their wives as well? :(
Enough of those certainly seem to find me on a certain dating website popular in the poly community :eek:
Oh, I am not saying you should stay in a relationship with him if he is being dishonest about his involvement with you. I am saying that I don't see it as your place to tell him what to say to his girlfriend. There is a difference between standing by your own personal boundaries of what you will or will not tolerate... and micromanaging someone else's life.
How would you recommend that I find out whether the Newbie really knows that the Secondary and I consider each other more than friends?
I certainly don't want to micromanage anyone's life, but I guess I may be doing it just because I have no clue how else to handle the situation :(
My big fear is that she currently doesn't understand the nature of my relationship with the Secondary, and that upon finding out, she will freak out and dump him. That would hurt all four of us.
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