first serious relationship, NRE, fear of losing; help appreciated
hi there =)
I am a 29 years old male from Turkey, living with my girlfriend with whom I have been together for almost three and a half years.
I have never been in a polyamorous relationship until this one but I always felt right when thinking of such since some 5-6 years ago. almost since the beginning of our relationship -app. 3 years ago- I have unveiled my desire to be polyamorous to my girlfriend. and since that time I have tried to encourage her towards understanding and even accepting the same for herself.
I am bisexual and I was the first to have a -mostly- sexual relationship with a male queer friend of ours nearly one year ago. only on two occasions we actually made sex. then she had one such sexual relationship with another male. I had a semi-romantic relationship with a girl friend of ours then.
we had slight to moderate problems with these, able to overcome them with ease at the end.
now, things are different and that was why I sought out some help online. you are very welcome to advice on this:
we are involved with an lgbt rights association here since some years ago, and all our outside relations have been within that sub-culture. it is the same now, except I currently do not have anyone except her and she just began -for the first time for both us- a thrilling emotional relationship with a boy (female-to-male transgender to be accurate) and I have felt very much alone since two weeks ago when they started.
he is from another city, we knew him from the same lgbt rights movement and they spent a night together two weeks ago for the first time. since then I felt so alone and deserted, with her head in the clouds, messaging, chatting -mostly out of my sight. it is stronger than what we anticipated to face at this level of polyamory experience.
after much buildup and patience I tried to exercise, two nights ago we finally experienced a serious bump after she ignored me for hours at the nightclub, closing her eyes and most probably thinking of him (we had quite a buzz that night). some drunk acquaintance girl came up to us and said out of thin air: you should break up.
I cried that night when we got home immediately after that incident. we then talked about it a lot, I told her I am afraid and would do better with more care from her, she calmed me saying she loves me so much and never thinks of letting me go.
things are better now, I know this is due to NRE - new relationship energy. and with a long distance relationship as this, it may be much stronger and long-lasting.
we are closer now, seeing our own faults in other areas of our relationship (at least I do) and showing more care to what we do for each other. I love her like crazy. she tries to be understanding and I try to be patient, try not to be afraid of losing her.
I'm not very good with terms maybe this should be called open relationship, some of you will know better. that's what I wanted since the beginning and it is me who encouraged us to the point where we are now. that's thrilling.
yet I cannot say I am totally calm and cool now. I am afraid but I think I must overcome it.
please comment friends =)
I don't think the terms matter too much. I think (and others feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that an open relationship typically is marked by more casual or short term outside relationships? As opposed to one or both of you developing a very serious other love. It sounds like you are worried that her other love is perhaps more serious that you may be comfortable with right now? And perhaps their NRE is difficult to deal with, making you feel insecure about the relationship. Now, who is this random person that told you two to break up? Is this some one who's opinion you trust and value? On what grounds do they say that? And why was your GF ignoring you? I guess it's hard to say much without more information.
It sounds like you have been used to a more casual version of poly until now. *Open* might be a good term for your relationship dynamic, but that is up to you really. Some people describe their poly as having many sexual experiences with where they kind of know the people and everyone knows that you are doing things with others.
This is different it sounds like. The possibility of something real to invest in. I can imagine that is really scary for you as the one watching it and being the same old same old. Possibility doesn't mean that everything ends though. Love doesn't mean everyrhing else ends either. What it means is that you will need to be clear about your needs and ensure they are met as much as your partner can. Most of the time people baring the brunt of nre need reassurance, extra words of compassion and understsanding, and time where the other person is not a part of the conversation or being text throughout.
Now that you are in it, it sounds like you are communicating and making sure that your partner knows you need extra attention. That's all you can really do. Going at the pace of the one that is struggling the most might help; that being you. There is no rush in all this, take your time to investigate how you feel. I don't suggest avoiding or ignoring your feelings. Embrace them and learn from them. Talk to people, read around here and get comfortable with the change. It sounds like you are doing fine. If you do a search in the tags here for nre, you will see that at least what you are going through is common.
thanks for your comments. they are big help to me and us right now. I underestimated the difficulty of poly and when I realised it really can be difficult, this site helped me not to be a sour person (which I always knew is a no no in relationships)
@ray - yes the problem is nre and insecurity. the strength of insecurity most probably comes from the knowledge that we are inexperienced and vulnerable at this early stage. that random person is just an acquaintance not much of importance. it was just a critical moment and a last straw.
@redpepper - many people around us knows we are open for some time but we are also a hmm.. 'cuddly' couple most of the time. things seem much better now, I also feel she is not forcing herself to show extra attention but it once more comes from within her.
she will be in the city where he lives for the weekend (she just left for the airport) for some work-related lgbt activity and will stay with him for one night. this would be a nightmare unless I was utterly calmed by her warmth yesterday and your constructive words. thanks.
she is not certain what is it that goes on between them, she says she just feels strong emotions. after this weekend I am considering to offer her to have a short talk with all three people involved. I think it would be better if I establish a relation a bit deeper than mere acquaintance with him, and it may clear the bitter air.
do you think it is too soon? with the pace things are going I do not think so.
oh an additional question: although I read many things about NRE's effect on poly here, I'd like to ask this question that keeps me a bit freaked out.
we had only small problems common to almost all relationships and a bit of that 'getting-too-used-to-together' feeling before this, but all in all we are much in love and having fun with each other often. I daresay we have a healthy, loving relationship.
in the light of this: within the context of poly relations, what is the risk of NRE severely damaging a healthy relationship?
as a last note: I really think it will be pretty incredible when this works.
It's never too soon to have everyone talk together. As long as everyone is on board, go for it. It can be really good to meet your metamour to demystify them. Real people are much less threating (even with the NRE) than the fantasy, perfect person, that we have a tendency to build up in our minds.
What seems to happen is that by meeting as soon as you can and getting to know them and their intentions there is a sense of release at some point. Compersion seems to take over from jealousy. The threat is often bigger before when the "idea" of the person and what is going on is not necessarily reality. Meeting the person and seeing how they are with each other, talking about how to make it all work can set the mind at ease and nre isn't such a big deal.
thanks again, I think I'll proceed and talk to her about that when she returns tomorrow.
my, it is so weird to think that she is with him at this particular moment and will stay overnight. whatever =) I'll restrain myself from calling.
if all parties are fine with it we can meet two weeks later when he will come here for the anti-homophobia gathering we are organizing. he really is a nice guy by the way, it would be quite fine to be closer with him and them. my girlfriend then can begin talking about their things with me, which she cannot do right now. and she says she needs to be able to talk to me for she cannot talk to many other people about these.
update: they broke up during my girlfriend's visit, and she is in much pain now. according to my girlfriend, he claimed that he felt my sadness and did not want to make me sad, that he has a jealous, monogamous side and could not understand how she can do this with me in her mind. I will be comforting my love during these days. for the moment I do not know what will happen further between them afterwards.
so, after two weeks or something, things did not improve really but went crazy instead for some time. my girlfriend is heartbroken but still thinking about the guy very much, and although he seemed to tell his feelings are over and that he wants to be afriend he may be sending some misguiding signs. they are not together, he even behaves often cold towards her. they barely ever talk.
and the more important issue is about our own relationship. we really had some intense talks about her emotions and I discovered that I cannot stand, at this stage of my poly experience, to have her love someone as much as me. while going deeper into her emotional state during these talks, I finally heard her say she does not know which one of us she loves more, that she does not compare the two feelings. she only said that she loves me so much and does not ever want to break up with me but that she needed some space. she confessed she is thinking about him, maybe more often than me.
this statement plunged me into chaos. I am very heartbroken and although she behaves quite passionate towards me, I am in a depressive state of mind and try and act positive. I feel I can never get past that statement of hers, that she may not know her love towards me is stronger than any.
I really try my best, and I know what I do/feel is idiotic but I also know that I was not ready for such a situation, such a statement from her. we both try and behave understandingly to each other, and I feel her love.
I do not think I can stand to be anything than her primary as of my current state of consciousness, and I am very much hurt. I do not know what will happen, how much I can stand this; I feel trapped.
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