What am I doing wrong?!
First of all, just wanted to say that this is my first post and I searched poly forums specifically to be able to get some guidance on my situation but also, to familiarize myself with this lifestyle as I am totally new to it.
My partner and I decided to open our relationship earlier this year. There was a guy that kept hitting on me online and my partner wanted to go on a date with a women he knew. Perfect timing. My guy who's 14 years younger than me turned out to be absolutely wonderful... things got really intense. Contact every day, declarations, plans for the future, etc. The sex was okay, not great but I figured we'll get there. The sex was much better with my primary partner because I was aroused by the new situation so that was great too -- everyone was pretty happy, I think.
Except that I was getting too attached to the new guy. No wonder since he was constantly bombarding me with attention and it was all butterflies and roses. We talked about my primary relationship and I told him a few times I wouldn't leave my partner and he was okay with it, although he did ask me how many times my partner and I had sex, etc. But he continued to be super intense and said he was smitten with me.
Then about a 1.5 months into it, the new guy became distant. He said he couldn't be there long-term for me (I never asked), the constant contact ended, now things are sporadic and he hasn't asked me out in a long time... He hasn't dumped me but I'm definitely neglected. He says he's depressed (for other reasons) but I know he's actively dating and sleeping with other people.... I don't know why he throws me these breadcrumbs (still an occasional declaration, etc.) I don't know why he is that way and I haven't asked him but I am absolutely heartbroken. The worst is that my partner doesn't know that my gloominess is because of that -- I don't want to hurt him and it's not my place to seek relationship advice from him. I feel terribly guilty for falling for the other guy too and I'm having a terrible time getting over the new guy, I am angry at myself for falling for him where the poly thing was only supposed to be about sex and fun. It's definitely not and I've been miserable for a month now. Anxiety, depression, not able to do anything and not wanting to do anything and obsessing over the situation
I don't know what to do. What advice do you have? And how do you protect yourself from falling for the new person? Is this a rookie mistake or is this a known side-effect of poly relationships? Why do you think the new guy pushed me away?
I'm sorry you struggle with this. :( Coming on too strong/too fast could sometimes be a warning sign that the person is not healthy. Was it "love bombing" you to access you for supply, and then when it wasn't feeding his need he cools off seeking other supply elsewhere? But keeps you on the string?
To me it sounds better to let this one go and be rid of all the UGH.
Start over, more slowly.
Be clear on what type on open model relationship it is you want to practice with your current partner. Understand the pros/cons of each.
Going in wanting casual, polysexual fun can sometimes lead to emotional attachment because sharing sex triggers all the brain cascade of feel-good-hormones. Rush too fast into dating and/or sharing sex without giving yourself time to assess a person's character? You could be at risk for dings. If what you are after is "open relationship, sex and fun" and he's offering you effusive over the top love stuff? Could end it sooner.
"Thanks! I'm sorry, that's not what I'm looking for at this time." Shop at the right store.
Do yourself care, give yourself time to heal, and with your next openings go a little slower. Read more, prepare more. That would be my suggestion.
are some places to begin exploring that could help some.
Having sexual relations and explicitly excluding emotional intimacy is not polyamory. What you are describing is an open type relationship... maybe closer to swinging.
All we would be doing is throwing random guesses at you and would only be correct by blind luck.
You make really good points. And you're right. And I'm confused and in a lot of emotional pain so I ask stupid questions like that. Thank you for taking time to answer.
And it seems to me that if you don't feel comfortable having conversations with your partner about your emotional life and experiences with other partners and lovers, then you probably aren't ready or your relationship isn't stable enough for any type of non-monogamy.
At first I thought you should talk to the new guy and notify him that you'll be breaking up with him if he continues to give you the cold shoulder. But then when I read about how severely the situation was affecting you, I changed my mind and now I think you should just break up with him, period. You need to remove this guy from your life, even if it's really painful (in the short term) to do so.
There isn't a "typical" reason for a guy doing what this new guy has did. His behavior isn't typical behavior (poly or otherwise). I suppose it could be as simple as, he met someone else he was more interested in, and being an ADD type or something, he then lost all interest in you. Though like Marcus said, that's nothing but sheer guesswork on my part and as such probably isn't worth a lot. The only way to really find out is to ask the guy directly (and hope he answers honestly).
GalaGirl is right in saying that if you don't want to fall in love, you have to refuse to go along with any falling-in-love types of interactions. If a guy approaches you with sex and/or fun, say yes. If he starts texting/chatting you all the time and telling you he's smitten with you, end the relationship right there. Make sure you warn all guys you get involved with that going beyond sex and fun will result in your immediate withdrawal from them.
If you are open to the possibility of falling in love, then you have to be open to its inherent risks. Emotional vulnerability means the possibility of being badly hurt. It's only worth it if you think it's worth it. Worth the eventual romance that turns out to be the real deal for you. That's the prize you seek when falling in love, and the price for finding it might be a broken heart or three.
You should probably take some time to think about what you really want, what your boundaries are and how you will stick to them. And sure, "sex and fun" are more swing/open relationship type things. "Falling in love" is more of a polyamory type thing. Not that the terminology is the priority here; it's more important for you to figure out what you want and figure out how to stick to it.
In any case, remove this new guy from your life as soon as you can. He's not providing sex, fun, or love. Probably not too good of a guy based on how he's acted; it's actually lucky for you to get rid of him.
Hi trueunicorn, and welcome.
I'm truly sorry to hear that you are going through heartbreak and confusion. I hope I/we can help.
Firstly, I have often found that people who are extremely quick to declare highly intense feelings (to me, quick is before even a month has passed) are often likely to develop and declare those feelings for others just as quickly. Sometimes we can meet a person and just instantly be bowled over by them and enter a lifelong partnership, but in my personal opinion, huge declarations so early in the game can be a sign of a lack of control over one's emotions.
While I cannot tell you why he drifted off so suddenly, I do recognise the signs of a person who seems to fit into the above category. Additionally, some people love the chase, but once the other person feels safe enough to reciprocate with the same level of intensity, the originally intense person becomes turned off.
The only way to know for sure would be to ask him. I would personally advise this as good practice, because if he does give you an honest reason, you are bound to learn something that could teach you something about yourself (even if that's not to jump in too soon).
The other thing I would like to pick up from your thread is that it sounds like this was the first guy you've dated since opening your relationsip up? It is extremely common to fall head over heels into NRE during the early days of poly, become completely overwhelmed by these new, powerful feelings, and become utterly devastated when it ends. NRE can be particularly prevalent when one has been in an existing for a long time and then meets a new person. This can also bring feelings of confusions, guilt, etc. The more you understand these feelings and learn to balance new relationships, the more perspective you can retain.
There does seem to be some work needing to be done in the communication realm. I feel that it is completely acceptable (actually, desirable) to provide support for - and ask for support from - our existing partner(s). In fact, I think it's vitally important that someone you live with and share your life with should know when you are heartbroken.
My honest advice would be to reconsider your situation, agreements, paradigm and communication. There is every chance that your partner may fall for someone else at some point, and that you could again. It might be the time to be candid about that. If you are absolutely certain that you're not up for polyamory (i.e. loving others), and you really feel that you can't tell your partner, the only thing you can do is try to heal and avoid the intensity with future play partners.
Whichever path you decide to take, I wish you luck!!
My hunch about the other guy is that he feels he was /is falling for someone and desiring things that they can't offer. This might be habitual.
This is just gut instinct.
I'm guessing you brought up the guy's age, because he's 20something, young, and might be flighty. Age difference is usually something that can be overcome, but in this case? It looks like the gap is too much. I'm sure he likes you, but most people tend to develop the more serious relationships with people their own age.
You need to be more like a guy is, in these cases. Enjoy the eye candy for what is is, but don't get too attached, Men wouldn't. You needn't, either.
he could just be a new relationship energy junkie and once that newness wore off he didn't see enough to stay around for
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