Non-conditional love, unreciprocated compersion
I wish there were people in my life who are more experienced with polyamory, but I guess anonymous forums will have to do! :cool:
I'm a bit of an odd duck, I guess. I am super exclusive about who I date. I've tried casual relationships, but it's not my style. Currently, I'm engaged to a guy who is monogamous, but is extremely supportive of my polyamory. I feel that, for me, it's a part of my sexual identity and not a "dating strategy" or whatever.
I only came to this realization almost two years ago when I was not dating anyone and had to face being in love with multiple people at once. It was fabulous, because I had to face years of guilt-filled serial monogamy and also realized I'm bisexual.
In the middle of all this, while still single, one of my dearest friends of 12 years (let's call him Sam) admitted he considered trying to date me right before I entered a relationship with a mutual friend. This threw me for a loop because this question came up in high school when I pursued him and it was unreciprocated.
Well, shortly after this confession, he entered into a serious relationship. At first, I was really confused, and maybe a bit jealous, but his beau is adorable. She's a great friend and they are adorable together, and since Sam has had several harrowing relationships, I grew to be ecstatic for him. I still am.
When I was discovering more about my identity, I realized that I need a lot of nonsexual intimacy with my close friends. I enjoy being affectionate and close with "my tribe". At this point, I hadn't told anyone about my discoveries and Sam and I decided that, with rumors, we'd agree to distance ourselves.
It was really painful, but I met my fiance and it's been the best relationship I've had. Neither one of us received any congratulatory sentiment from Sam after our announcement, and that sucked because I missed my friend. But I realized that some part of me has always loved Sam romantically. A year and a half later, with almost no contact (including digital contact) and I feel exactly the same.
I finally "came out" to Sam after re-establishing contact. I wrote it in a letter, explaining that I love that things are going well between him and his beau and I would never dream of doing anything to complicate things between them.
He never responded.
Well, he did, sorta. To call and tell me about his plans to propose to his beau. And ask advice. It's awesome and romantic, but he never... even talked about my engagement.
I really wish I could just get over him. I'm afraid I'll always carry this love I feel on my own. I really don't know what to do. Do I invite them to my wedding? Do I reject their invitation (if they even want me there)? How do you deal with these confusing feelings of rejection and love and joy all at once?
While I know its difficult that Sam has not been able to return your affection nor congratulate you on your upcoming nuptials, I suspect it may be because he has mixed emotions too. If he is of a monogamous mindset, he may be afraid to acknowledge any feelings he has for you, and at the same time may be jealous of your fiancÚ - hence no congratulations. So it may not in fact be rejection, but just someone who doesn't cope well with his own emotions. If this is the case, although it may "feel" like rejection; it's not. If possible, I would attempt to reframe it.
An additional strategy might be to simply ask Sam why he has not expressed congratulations to you. Maybe he's been self-absorbed and needs to pull his head out. :)
As for loving him, while it's difficult to do, I would suggest simply accepting that you do, that it's unlikely to change, and there's nothing you can do about it. A lot of tough emotions are easier to deal with if we give ourselves permission to feel them without judgment or the need to "fix" them. (And while I know this, I still struggle with it. :p)
Thank you, bookbug.
I did send a follow-up letter that was friendly in tone but asked some questions, such as "How come you never said anything about my engagement?". Still, no response. I think it mostly just came at a really awkward time, since he'd been planning to propose for at least a month prior to our re-establishment of contact.
I may actually call him in about a month to give them time to have their newly-engaged joy in the hopes that we can actually have a conversation. By that time, I'll be ready to send out my Save the Dates anyway and I can just ask him whether he would feel uncomfortable going.
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