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-   -   Stay a V, or become a Triad? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69437)

OpenMind 03-26-2014 01:56 AM

Stay a V, or become a Triad?
 
This is my first post here, so please go gently with me.

I'm in a fairly new V-formation poly relationship. My lover and I are one side of the V. The other side is my lover and her girlfriend. (Their relationship is primary, and of just slightly longer duration.)

For the sake of discussion, the all-female cast of characters is:
Alice = me
Betty = my lover (also Cindy's girlfriend)
Cindy = Betty's girlfriend

Poly is a new thing for me, and for the most part I've been very comfortable being with someone who has another relationship. But soon Cindy and I will be meeting face-to-face for the first time, and I'm nervous about it. We don't really know anything about each other, except that we are both partners of Betty.

I hope we get along, but maybe we won't. And if we get along, there's an idea floating around that we may form a triad rather than a V. It all seems a bit "much" for such new relationships. But maybe I'm wrong, and if we're going to be a triad, it would make sense to form that sooner than later.

So I'm here seeking advice about turning a V into a triad, and especially if all the relationships are new. What are some things we should consider? Are there any concepts we can use to help it be successful? Pitfalls to avoid? Opinions about whether it makes sense to do it "now" or wait a while?

If it turns out Cindy and I don't get along, I'm fine with remaining a V. Or if Cindy really doesn't like me being around, I'd bow out completely with no hard feelings. (I'd miss Betty an awful lot, but respect the primary-ness of their relationship.)

I really do want your opinions about this situation, please. Thanks.

Marcus 03-26-2014 02:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OpenMind (Post 263038)
C and I will be meeting face-to-face for the first time, and I'm nervous about it. We don't really know anything about each other, except that we are both partners of B.

I'm not sure why you would stress out about hooking up with C, this person who is essentially a stranger. That is putting the cart before the horse and freaking out about how well the wagon is going to corner.

I suggest dropping the idea of a triad when a third of the equation is someone you've never even met and know nothing about. It's causing you stress for no good reason.

nycindie 03-26-2014 02:10 AM

Could you please edit your post to use aliases/nicknames instead of letters to represent these people? It's too confusing. Thanks.

OpenMind 03-26-2014 02:21 AM

@Marcus, I'm nervous because I'm not sure how I'll feel or react to seeing them together. I'm fine knowing they're together, but actually seeing it - I don't know. And I won't know until it happens. I also don't know how Cindy will react actually seeing me and Betty together. It could all be great, or it could be a fuster-cluck. Of course, we're all hoping for great.

GalaGirl 03-26-2014 02:23 AM

I think the first step would be to relax, and just get to know Cindy. And get to know all the new-to-you relationships before changing/adding more on to the polymath.

How do you...
  • relate to yourself in all this? Being honest with yourself? Meeting your needs?
  • relate to and communicate with (just Cindy)? What about Cindy ---> you?
  • relate to and communicate with (Betty & Cindy) as a couple? What about (Betty & Cindy) ---> you?
  • relate in and communicate within (you & Betty & Cindy) in a V polyship? Does the trio work out time management, emotional manangement, and conflict resolution well as a V first?
  • How does Cindy handle relating to and communicating with (you + Betty?)
  • How does Betty behave as a hinge and deal with (You + Cindy) each needing time and attention and care?

There's other tiers there yet to get to know. Because you haven't ever met or interacted with Cindy "up close."

It might be helpful for you to take some time getting to know these tiers and observing how the dynamics are playing out so far before choosing to become even tighter/more entwined in a triad here with these people. Then you could make your decision to participate from a more informed place.

Essentially a triad is 3 v's stacked up on each other. Just because someone has the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to be a "V arm" person doesn't mean they are a skilled hinge person. And a triad breaking up doesn't always go back to "the original V" -- it could even break up all the way down to everyone single. These are things to talk about and consider. Can't talk about a decent break up plan when things are good? Don't want to START talking about it when things go to "clusterfuck" level!

Quote:

But maybe I'm wrong, and if we're going to be a triad, it would make sense to form that sooner than later.
What's that all about? I am confused. :confused:

Make sense to WHO and for WHAT purpose? Just to you to alleviate anxiety of "not knowing how it will turn out?"

What's the pros/cons to "sooner rather than later" for you? The others have what as their pros/cons?

To me? Agreeing to participate in a triad before really knowing any of the people well or even meeting one player -- that doesn't sound like a recipe for success. You haven't had time to take measure of their character or skills set or talk about boundaries or anything. :(

It's ok to take your time here and deal with one thing at a time even if being in "limbo" feels anxious. ARE you feeling anxious? :confused:

BREATHE, meet your metamour. That's a simple enough first step -- go to dinner or something and take it slooooowly is my suggestion.

I don't know if any of these links helps you:

http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/do...documents.html
http://www.kathylabriola.com/articles
http://openingup.net/resources/free-...om-opening-up/

GL!
Galagirl

OpenMind 03-26-2014 02:38 AM

@GalaGirl, thank you for all the insight. You've given me a lot to think about.

Marcus 03-26-2014 02:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OpenMind (Post 263047)
@Marcus, I'm nervous because I'm not sure how I'll feel or react to seeing them together. I'm fine knowing they're together, but actually seeing it - I don't know. And I won't know until it happens. I also don't know how Cindy will react actually seeing me and Betty together. It could all be great, or it could be a fuster-cluck. Of course, we're all hoping for great.

Sounds like you're already dropping the idea of a triad, that was quick.

I get being nervous meeting a metamour, it can be a little stressful. However, fortunately when people are interested in being nice and getting along that is generally what happens. So I'm guessing your meeting will go just fine, certainly without the added stress of a theoretical triad.

OpenMind 03-26-2014 02:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcus (Post 263052)
Sounds like you're already dropping the idea of a triad, that was quick.

It's just an idea. It's floating out there. I haven't picked it up, so I certainly haven't dropped it. :) I'm really full of "I don't know" UNTIL I do know. I try not to decide ahead of time how I'll feel about something. I only know that right now, I'm a bit nervous.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcus (Post 263052)
I get being nervous meeting a metamour, it can be a little stressful. However, fortunately when people are interested in being nice and getting along that is generally what happens. So I'm guessing your meeting will go just fine, certainly without the added stress of a theoretical triad.

Thank you. I guess I was a little wrapped up in my own head there, and didn't even think about that they'd be nervous too. DUH <forehead smack>

tenK 03-26-2014 12:53 PM

I think you should make like your username and just go into this meeting with an open mind. :) I don't think you can plan these things too much. You might meet Cindy and feel no attraction. You might meet her, realise you're interested, but it might not be reciprocated. You might find that you get on as friends. You might not get on at all. You can't control any of these things, or force the situation to develop one way or the other, so just relax.

With regards to being freaked out by seeing them being affectionate (or worrying about her being upset by your interactions), well, that you can do something about. Talk to your partner, gauge her opinion on what she thinks Cindy can handle, and have a good think about what level of interaction you are comfortable with at your end. Make sure you have the ability to either communicate in the moment if you are feeling bad, or have a way to just extract yourself from the situation. I think it's ok to not have a clear idea of what your personal comfort level is when meeting for the first time, but that doesn't mean you just have to keep a stiff upper lip and sit through something that feels uncomfortable either. That will probably do more harm than good in the long run. Make sure you explain that to your partner.

Hope it goes swimmingly!

vanquish 03-26-2014 01:12 PM

Agreeing with the advice you've been given so far. This person is a stranger. Becoming a triad would be like getting engaged to a mail order bride. You don't know this person from Adam. Sure any opportunity for new love - be it brotherly, romantic, or other - is always great, but jumping into a relationship shouldn't be something you feel pressured to do...even if the pressure is only from theorizing that "it would be better if we started the relationship this way".

Just go, be breezy, discuss your personal limits without being oppressive, and all will work out fine :)


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