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-   -   I Am Clingy (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68968)

asmile 02-17-2014 10:18 PM

I Am Clingy
 
Hello! I am in my first relationship, kind of, not even sure if I can call it that. He was the one who said he was interested in poly. I had never imagined myself in a poly relationship, but I never had anything against them, and was interested in giving it a try.
As this is my first experience in a relationship of any kind, navigating everything has been tricky for me. I most certainly have been quite clingy, and very very available, due to many factors, mainly my craving for attention and wanting to finally not be lonely after years of being quite anti-social. I feel like I grabbed on really tightly, and am unsure how to processed. We are very open with each other. I know that there are other women he is interested in and says he feels a more "light my fire" type of attraction to them, but many of those people are quite unavailable to him for many reasons. He is my closest friend, we both enjoy being intimate together, and I do not want to lose what we have. But as of right now, for him it is more casual and fun, and it has deeper meaning to me. It is a bit confusing for me trying to sort out what the best course of action is right now. Should I just step back? If so, how far? Has anyone recognized their clinginess, and been able to turn it off? Just any advice would be appreciated.

graviton 02-18-2014 01:07 AM

my advice is to change your expectations or step back from the relationship. It is far easier for you to lower your expectations for the relationship rather than to expect him to somehow create deeper feelings for the relationship. That is something that he will need to do on his own or not at all. If it hurt you too much then I would suggest you remove yourself from the relationship.

bookbug 02-18-2014 12:35 PM

May I ask your age?

asmile 02-18-2014 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bookbug (Post 260057)
May I ask your age?

I am 21

LoveBunny 02-18-2014 05:52 PM

You're not clingy, telling yourself that is self-defeating. At 21, you're not fully formed yet! I can almost guarantee that whatever relationship you're in now will NOT be the relationship you'll be in 5 years from now if that helps you relax a little. You have a whole lifetime ahead of you for seducing and being seduced.

Sound like you might have what they call an "anxious" attachment style. As do I. The way to be less "clingy" is cultivate your own garden: form friendships, have hobbies and interests, have lots going on in your life outside your relationships. Be warned we "anxiously attached" tend to get involved with "love avoidants," who bring out the worst in us.

I'm assuming he's aware you would like something less casual with him, and he's just not on board. If you're not getting what you want from this relationship, you're choices are 1) lower your expectations, and enjoy a casual relationship. Date others. Don't try to fake it, though, if that's not what you want. You don't want to be hurting and pining and hoping for him to come around to love when that might never happen. 2) Walk away, tend to your own well-being, and seek someone who is as into you as you are into them.

JaneQSmythe 02-19-2014 02:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LoveBunny (Post 260070)
... At 21, you're not fully formed yet! I can almost guarantee that whatever relationship you're in now will NOT be the relationship you'll be in 5 years from now if that helps you relax a little. You have a whole lifetime ahead of you for seducing and being seduced...


While I agree that "you have a while lifetime ahead of you for seducing and being seduced" it is possible that someone might be in a relationship with the same person 5 years down the road (even at 21). The truth is that most potential relationships don't seem to weather the early stages...or, even if they do, they may not weather the fading of NRE down the road. (Which is why we have "dating" and "engagement" - so we can try things!:p)

Now, even if someone is in a relationship with the same person the relationship itself will be different - because people (and therefore the relationships that they are in) change and grow and evolve over time.

For the record, I am still with my first boyfriend ever (now my husband) - which comes as quite a surprise since I had never (until then) imagined myself "partnered" at all :eek:. We met when I was 18, married when I was 22...and that was 17 years ago. On the other hand, we were never, strictly speaking, monogamous (by agreement, although our boundaries have flexed and changed over time - evolving to where we are now)

The problem, as I see it, is not that you are young or clingy - but that the two of you are not in the same "place" in terms of what you want. Which isn't to say it can't work at all (MrS had to wait 6 mos for me to "catch on" to the fact that we were even dating) - but you can't force feelings, and you have to be able to accept that he may never be in a place to want a deeper relationship with you. Which is sad, but not catastrophic if you are able to allow yourself to be open to other opportunities at the same time.

Just my two (or twenty-two) cents.

JaneQ

Hmm 02-24-2014 10:25 PM

Posted with miss asmile's permission:

Not to be a creeper, but...

Quote:

Originally Posted by asmile
He was the one who said he was interested in poly...

Speaking :)

To add some context, I'm pretty sure the OP was from a night where she had a breakdown while spending the weekend alone, having realized she was being emotionally quite clingy. I comforted her best I could from afar and commended her for being self-aware about it. I have been working on fixing my clinginess myself, and setting boundaries has been a big step for me. I am her "first" in most ways, and so I am being patient and sympathetic as I can be to her learning. She is a wonderful, dependable friend who I am happy to have in my life, but emotionally, we are on different levels. Watching her slowly mature from her clingy, lonely, insecure self has been rewarding for me. I just hope I am not being a bad person by not loving her "the way she is". Then again, poly is about loving someone's personal growth right?

As she is emotionally still figuring herself out and such, finding a balance between giving and taking has been a challenge. I know if our friendship/relationship weren't open, I wouldn't be able to keep it going like this, which is why I am especially glad to be able to find this kind of support. I like not having to give up on a relationship just because it is not the greatest or because she is not "the one". As I've said, I find watching her mature internally is quite rewarding to me. That we are the younger side of the poly spectrum helps me see with bigger perspective what kinds of things I may look forward to and how much I needn't panic.

Trying to find a balance with her is challenging. Sometimes it has felt like she's just not getting it and that has been frustrating. She's still new to not being alone let alone having a close dedicated friendship let alone one that is open and poly in our day and age, so I am keeping that perspective in mind in that the struggle won't last forever. That said...

Quote:

Originally Posted by graviton
my advice is to change your expectations or step back from the relationship. It is far easier for you to lower your expectations for the relationship rather than to expect him to somehow create deeper feelings for the relationship. That is something that he will need to do on his own or not at all. If it hurt you too much then I would suggest you remove yourself from the relationship.

I especially like this advice. It gets a little overwhelming how she wants my romantic interest, or feels left out that I have romance with others but with her I feel emotionally not connected. I am hoping in time she finds a guy who can give her his all. Is that reasonable? Perhaps I am just hoping she finds self-confidence and self-reliance not to need to cling. I like her as a friend and that she wants things of me I simply won't feel is not going to change that I won't feel them, and actually makes it harder to.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe
The problem, as I see it, is not that you are young or clingy - but that the two of you are not in the same "place" in terms of what you want. Which isn't to say it can't work at all (MrS had to wait 6 mos for me to "catch on" to the fact that we were even dating) - but you can't force feelings, and you have to be able to accept that he may never be in a place to want a deeper relationship with you. Which is sad, but not catastrophic if you are able to allow yourself to be open to other opportunities at the same time.

Just my two (or twenty-two) cents.

And this as well, too. :)

Octopus 02-25-2014 03:19 AM

Wow... just wow.
You may not have intended to come across this way but your post sounds incredibly condescending, and really as if you hardly care about OP at all - or at least as if you are not interested in a relationship with her at all.

Hmm 02-25-2014 03:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Octopus (Post 260485)
Wow... just wow.
You may not have intended to come across this way but your post sounds incredibly condescending, and really as if you hardly care about OP at all - or at least as if you are not interested in a relationship with her at all.

Where and in what ways do I give off that impression?

nycindie 02-25-2014 04:21 AM

I don't think you came off the way Octopus said. I just think you were being direct and matter-of-fact about what you see and what is going on with you.

Look, the biggest challenge for the two of you -- and for all of us -- is to come to terms with expectations. Those expectations that are placed on us by the larger society in which we live, the smaller cultures we regularly interact within, our families, and so on, are extremely hard to shake. The ideas we form about how we can live up to those expectations become internal belief systems that limit us or deceive us into thinking we are unhappy, unsatisfied (or should feel unhappy and unsatisfied), simply because the expectations haven't been met. But most people rarely stop to question whether the expectations are realistic or even in tune with who we are as people.

There are expectations about what a relationship should look like, expectations about the direction a relationship should take, expectations about what women should want in relationships, expectations about what men should want, expectations about sex, about what is healthy communication and what should be kept to oneself, expectations about the the proper "role" of a partner, expectations about one's age and experience, blablablabla... gag!

Today I was thinking about the question that often gets asked of a person after they have been seeing someone romantically for a while. It is usually something like, "Are things getting serious?" or "Do you see it going somewhere?" Honestly, what do those questions even mean? Such questions come out of expectations and beliefs that a relationship isn't worth any effort if it isn't getting "serious" and going "somewhere." But what is "serious" supposed to look like, and just where, exactly, is this elusive "somewhere?"

Here are the questions I ask myself when in a relationship: Do I feel valued in this relationship? Do I feel heard in this relationship? Do I feel respected in this relationship? Do I feel comfortable enough to be myself with this person? Am I having fun? If I answer "YES" to all of these, but come up with a fuzzy "I'm not sure" or "Dunno" to "Are things getting serious?" or "Do you see it going somewhere?" - does that really merit getting upset or feeling disappointed when so many things are in my favor, and so many of my needs are being met, in the here and now?

Expectations are the ultimate buzzkill, because they distort reality and take us out of the present. And, if you think about it, the present moment is actually all we ever have.


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