Mind twisting. Am I being too sensitive?
If you could offer an opinion or two on our situation, I'd appreciate you more than you'd know. You're wonderful even to have the site up with all the resources. My mind is just racing. I promise I'll make it brief. I think I really just need help with better relationship rules.
I'm 43 and wired primarily as monogamous, however I have been in the BDSM community for over 20 years. Seven months ago, I started dating a 20-year old who is poly. Her 26 year-old sister is in a loving Poly/Monog relationship and S (that's my significant other's name) has seen a good example of such a relationship working out with them (Her parents are divorced and her father is a twisted hot mess, which I'm sure factors in somehow.).
I was coming out of a previous, short bdsm relationship...not even a relationship, just a few play sessions ending naturally. She had a BDSM daddy who lived long distance, but who was cool with her being poly. We met through a local BDSM club and connected instantly in so many ways.
Our first date lasted 3 days and still today we say we understand each other in a way no one else can. Over time, she began to move things into my house, though her mantra was always that "she didn't like relationships." She just wanted to be "deep friends who have sex." The girl is a model by trade and I am a lawyer with my own business. Not bad looking if I do say so. And she says so too. She's always goosing me and tells me how hot I am once in awhile. Only awhile because how many times is overkill? :)
Eventually she was staying over for weeks at a time. We used the "L" word and I was there for her in meaningful ways. (She has had several major stressful life events and I've been better than her medicine to calm her down she says.) We made plans about house improvements, though she always reminded me that she would still be dating other people. Our dynamic was one of Papa and babygirl, cuddling and very cutesy, but also including sex.
Months later, the honeymoon wore off and we were just as deep into each other, but the sex highly tapered off. I asked if it was me and she said no, it was that she didn't have to impress me with sex anymore as she did other men. I voiced that sex was still important to me. We've always had sex at least once per month, though I'd rather have sex more. Shocker. One night we hadn't had sex in a month, but she went on a date where she had sex with someone she'd just met and when she came home I told her how much that felt terrible. She agreed and said she knew that it wasn't right to have been putting me off for so long then turn around and do that.
To complicate things, I invited her sister and sister's fiance to come live with me. They are genuinely cool people. The house became a sleepover/clubhouse and it still is. Recently though (last month or so) she has had an anxiety attack about how close we are and has shuffled between living at home with her parents, as she had before, and living at my house in my bed with at least half of her stuff at my house.
Her future is uncertain because model work is slow in these parts and college or retail isn't something she sees in her future. She really doesn't have to because she's got a safety net at home with her mom and stepdad who aren't going to kick her out anytime soon.
I've been very helpful by helping her stock the materials for a home cosmetics business that she makes herself. She's absolutely a genius. In lots of ways I've helped her progress and she's thanked me for it in a very paternal way. Of course, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I thought it might help in the sexual arena. Not prostitution, just appreciation in the currency that means something to me. I often make grand gestures like going out at 6:30 a.m. for hot cocoa and breakfast in the bone cold or buying her clothes sometimes. Perhaps I'm just smitten, but she's not a gold digger because a) she feels bad when I buy things b) she tells me I dont have to buy her a thing and c) she's stayed with me when I was scrounging for change and was a broke as a joke.
Also, she's ADD to the Nth degree. She's always on her phone, blogging on tumblr about fashion...and working profiles for 5 or 6 dating apps. And constantly texting. We butted heads over that and come up with some rules about not doing that while we are on dates out of the house. That's a good one. But the flip side is that when we're at home and she's bored, she's got her feet and head on my lap, but texting someone else or making plans with someone else. It really hurts to know that while she's been in the den with me and being lovey-dovey, she's texted some guy across the country that she was daydreaming about cuddling with him. WHILE she's cuddling with ME.
Again, let me stress...she constantly tells me she loves me. She playfully digs a hole in my chest and dives in. She loves wrapping up in a big ol' ball on the couch and naked spooning in my bed. We have a short hand for I love you that she mouths all the time and I mouth back.
On the other hand, she's had dates and sex with a few guys in the last month. I've even driven her to dates and helped her get ready. I'm trying to be the best friend and enabler of her adventures (somewhat), but I don't want to be a cuckold. She's said that her usual m.o. is to hit it and quit it, but that I am special because she's lasted so long with me and loves me. Heck her family took me in for Christmas as I have no family and it was amazing. They cooked for me and bought me great presents, but more importantly made an ornament for me on the tree and consult me about family decisions.
That text about cuddling...along with the fact that she Snapchats (instant, temporary picture sending) this guy in the morning and in the evening (most nights), is making me go crazy. I GET that she should be able to text friends/lovers. And she tells me so much how she loves me and would never replace me. Yet my mind churns. I've communicated some, but she had a valid point about the fact that she is going to love other people someday. And this other guy is out in California, which she has no money to travel to. (Not that perhaps she couldn't save or he could pay for it. But that's afield, right?)
Every time she goes on a new date, the fear of being replaced looms, even though she says that could never happen. I dont want to be clingy. I know I should probably suck things up and toughen my skin. Could I just get some feedback on texting/phone usage as well as divided attention?
I've read a lot of pages on this forum, but I would really appreciate some direct insight into what your best guess would be for a healthy set up for phone usage and boredom. Couples of my generation can watch tv together and don't instantly go to their phone for stimulation (as much). HELP!!!!:eek::confused::o:)
Thanks so much in advance.
I get that she's young and a model, but don't let that get to your head ;) She may not be that young (26), but being taken care of by everyone around her, I'm guessing she's emotionally younger than that. She's got a pretty good deal going with you...someone who actually loves her and does relationshippy things with her, like supporting her in hard times and getting her hot chocolate in the morning. Which, very likely, her other guys don't. But she's also probably immature in many ways. As soon as she really has to support herself and think about the future, she's going to be going through a lot of changes in who she is and what she wants. Just be aware of that....
You're right. As a 20-year old, there are lots changes ahead of her. I want to help, while letting her achieve on her own also. She's so wonderful (not just looks) that I'm sure someone will eventually be as supportive.
She tells me all the right things but the voluminous texting is one of my main issues. Who am I to say she cant text friends when bored or otherwise, but the amount and depth is worrying me.
Do I need to just suck it up?
You are 43. She is your 20 year old BDSM play partner who has a problem putting the phone down and being present on dates with you -- in house or out of house.
You are not being "too sensitive" to object to her texting another lover while she's got her head in your lap cuddling you. If it is a turn off to you it is a turn off and you could ask her to stop that.
It's not as rude as her fucking you while she's texting another lover, but it is still rude if you don't enjoy that sort of thing. It is not POLITE. Jeez.
ADD is not an excuse to be rude.
On the other hand, maybe you find you don't want to deal with dating an ADD patient.
If she does not?
She doesn't have to change her behavior. You don't have to see it is all.
You could change what you see by telling her to move back home so you can be free of having to see her interact with her other lovers in her down time. She could have more down time at her parents' house free of you being around so she can text all she wants at THAT time over THERE.
So when you DO have dates over HERE, she could be prepared to be present with YOU on your shared dates over HERE.
Because she has so much of her stuff over at your place she may not see herself as "I'm on an extended sleepover date" -- she may see herself as "I'm hanging at home." She may see you as the ubiquitous roomie she no longer has to be polite towards as we are when we first date people. And now all her bad habits are hanging out.
You could restore order. It is YOUR home. When she comes for sleepover dates, she can bring a BAG for 2 days clothes, not MOVE IN.
You could restore a firmer boundary of "this is my house. When you come for a 2 days sleepover, I expect you to behave like a guest, and bring a bag, not your whole closet. I expect you to be present on the 2 days with me and not be texting others."
Otherwise? Just evening date. Don't sleepover date because she doesn't not want to attend and be present with your for longer than X hours at a time.
I think when she comes you see her as "on extended sleepover visit" so you hanker for her attention like "we on a sleepover date" and get upset when you do not get it because she's more like "I'm just putzing at home." Could keep firmer boundaries so both of you know what's going when the date times are happening. Be more clear in expectations of each other.
"The house as a sleepover/clubhouse fun" may have been fun for a while, but maybe it's time to get back to normal and the sloppy?
Because continuing it is not serving you well. It seems to be blurring your personal boundaries and opening you to witness behavior that causes you upset.
If she moves back with her parents?
Could remember what she said:
She says she loves you, but take it in the context she's explained -- as a deep friend who sometimes shares sex with her. You are not in a BF/GF relationship here.
You are NOT (her BF AND her BDSM friend.) At this time you are her (BSDM friend.) I think you would have said that up front if you were also (her BF.)
You seem like you wish she was your GF -- is that it? :confused:
Could note that in your post you took time and trouble to explain how you are NOT treating her like a prostitute and how she is not a gold digger. Why?
Because it does not relate to the texting/not being present on dates problem. :confused:
That's another separate issue, if it is indeed an issue for you.
A woman's orgasm being not guaranteed, often our early sex life comes from a different head space than what is more common for men. So she more often starts by gaining the approval and reaction of men. To be made to feel sexy and wanting to have sex based on the reaction and arousal of the man.
Unfortunately this can result in disappointment for a woman because men tend more towards easy arousal early on. This recedes over time and it happens to some extent in every non casual relationship. And when it happens, the lady in your life does take notice. Depending on how much her arousal is based on your reaction, it can be an ego blow to go from the reaction rate a man has in the initial stages to the reaction rate after he has gotten use to her presence
This is the about maturity. You have described an immature mentality in your partner. She maybe hasn't yet found her own reasons for wanting sex and relies only on the rush of getting a "rise" out of men. You no longer have the reaction of a new lover and she doesn't get the value of you having an appreciation for the whole of her and not just the swell and hole of her ;). Top it off with behaving like a provider and suddenly the baby girl and daddy stuff isn't so funny?
I second the comment that ADD isn't an excuse to be rude.
Every person in our household is ADD.
We have an agreement; no phones during meals, dates, family time, bed, bath time (yes seriously had to make that clear).
Because it's too easy to interrupt yourself and it's NOT showing consideration for the people you are with.
There's hours available in a day. There's no reason not to SHUT IT OFF for a few hours.
Also-we have times when we have no phones for whole days. Same reason.
(and that goes for adults and children and all ages in between-youngest kid is 6, oldest adult in the household is 42)
She doesn't text on dates or during meals. That goes for when she's out on a date with someone else too. She will text me if she's staying out all night. We also have a rule that she'll text after 4 hours.
What really just got to me was texting someone something so emotional while she was being emotional with me. It just seems like an huge amount of texting. I'm going to have to voice my feelings about the amount. Maybe set texting OSOs or flings for an limited number of hours?
I agree that ADD is no excuse. Its just a factor in the story so I included it.
UPDATE: We had a discussion/argument last night that ended well. She told me that there was never a time I couldnt ask her to put her phone down and cuddle. She did say that I am a bit too clingy sometimes, but we agreed we both need to work on meeting in the middle.
She feels like if shes in the room thats enough. I explained being present is dfferent than just being there. I know shes really getting attached to this guy out in California via text. I dont want to ruin that but I do want her to be present with me. She did somethingcool last night. Normally shell snapchatthis guy before she goes to bed, but since we were having quality time indbed, she didnt. Its onlyone time, but it meant a lot.
I guess we'll see how it goes.
That's great that you were able to talk about what you need and she's willing to work with you!
M - Me female, 59 - _trying_ to figure out if I'm poly
B - 56 - my husband for over 34 years
JP - 58 - my high school boyfriend, newly appeared in the picture after 38 years; very long distance; haven't actually seen him
A - 65? - JP's wife of over 30 years
Cool. Glad you told her straight up what you need and you found she was willing to listen and meet your request. :)
Maybe you could do more of that in future. It seemed to serve you better than you doing acts of service and hoping she will provide what you need without you articulating it to her. Nobody can be a mind reader. ;)
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