While reading an old thread, I found that this post of Mono's really struck a chord for me:
"To aproach the idea of being a third from my perspective I use the concept of the supporting actor. I have always preferred not to lead although in my line of work people are drawn to follow me. I find that I am most comfortable when I am supporting a boss I respect essentially. I like being the right hand man and the temporary lead in some cases if they are not available.
I think this is another reason that I feel so comfortable in our "V" as a "secondary" primary. I respect her husband and his position as her husband.
Every movie needs a supporting actor! I like my role and think it suits me well. Redpepper's husband is the lead man in her life but I will do my best to support him. Maybe I'll even get an Academy Award
Wow! As it happens, this description fits me exactly. I ended up managing people at my old job and I found I really didn't like it. I prefer to see people as peers rather than being in charge of them, though I'm willing to take a leadership role if necessary and am usually pretty good at it. I am happiest when I've got a boss I really like and respect. I like to follow a strong leader.
Followers get such a bad rap! What's a leader without a follower or two? I think what a lot of people don't appreciate is that a follower can be highly choosy in terms of who they follow, and, once they've made a choice, their competence and loyalty can be invaluable.
My friend Thom and I had a great conversation along these lines about how we are happy to be sidekicks in our friendship dynamics. As it happens, he's the one friend of mine who is also dating a married woman, so he and I talk poly regularly.
Do people like me, Mono, and Thom... people who naturally don't seek to be in charge in other areas of our lives... have an easier time being secondaries or thirds? In other words, whether in a triad or vee configuration, is it easier for us to join an existing relationship dynamic, such as a marriage?
Another point to consider... Mono is submissive in the D/s sense to RP, his partner, who is married to someone else. I also find myself drawn to a submissive role with Gia, my married gf. Thom is not kinky, as it happens. But I also find myself thinking of GG, Loving Radiance's boyfriend. For those who haven't read her blog, LR has a husband and GG is essentially co-primary, but he was still in the position of having to figure out how to fit into an existing marriage. Does an urge towards submissiveness also make it easier to be a third and/or a secondary?
Are the two things -- being comfortable with being a follower or supporting actor or sidekick or however you want to put it and being submissive as a sexual/relational tendency -- two sides of the same coin? And does that coin buy you an easier and/or more fulfilling entrance into a relationship where you are not necessarily first (whether that means chronologically or hierarchically)?