I've been a serious lurker here in the community for a while, reading and learning. I did post an introduction a while back, but have been silent since. For the sake of simplicity, the summary of my intro would be: I've been married to my college sweetheart and best friend for over 15 years, and we have a pair of wonderful kids together. Through our life journey to date, we have found that while I'm poly, she is very happily mono, but lovingly supportive of me. I've had one prior secondary relationship (secondary on both parts, she was married as well), which lasted over 5 years.
Unfortunately that relationship came to an end in a fairly rocky manner (didn't need to, but neither one of us handled things all that well), and today I'm not even in contact with her or her husband anymore. It's quite sad, honestly - because I do believe that if we'd done a better job we could have maintained those friendships. That rough landing did leave me with some emotional / romantic scars that took a bit longer to heal than I expected.
I've found I do miss the companionship of a secondary relationship in my life. To be honest, yes I'm a guy and I do miss the physical relationship too - but that's really not where I've felt the hole in my world. So my search began for someone new, and as I'm sure most here already know - such a search is far from easy. I did connect with someone who is a member here, got to know them a bit and even had dinner with them. However, I came to realize that I was still not in a place emotionally where I was ready. I could tell I was still dragging around some emotional trust issues left over from the way the previous relationship ended. I had dinner with her and her husband, and having realized they were really great people, I didn't feel it was fair to continue forward.
I let some additional time pass, and on the recommendation of someone here (well, it was recommended to someone else in a thread I was reading), I established an OKC profile, and let their "robot staff" find me some matches. Sent a few messages to select women who's profile caught my eye, and happily a few did respond. Had some nice conversations, but never really found a connection that was worth even an invite out for coffee. Discouraged, I actually disabled my profile and considered just "giving up" so to speak. After all, I do have a wonderful wife and family at home.
For some reason, probably out of just morbid curiosity, I re-activated my OKC profile. There were a couple people that I had sent messages to that I just wondered if they had ever responded (not knowing if the site would process the message to my inbox or not). In the time I'd been gone, I found, a fantastic woman (we'll call her J since first initials seem to be the norm around here) had created a profile. She was married, poly and looking for a secondary. Quite a bit of what she'd written really resonated with me, and I took the chance to write to her. I received a very positive message back that very evening. A few more messages were exchanged, then a great conversation via text messages through which the connection was quite obvious. A date for coffee was actually schedule the next day. Wow - within 24 hours of reactivating my account I've found someone REALLY cool!
J and I had a wonderful afternoon in the coffee shop, talking and getting to know each other. Neither in a hurry, we parted with the intent to check schedules and plan another date sooner rather than later (her words!). Between that date and the second, of course plenty of IM and text conversations happened, all the more finding common ground, and exceptional chemistry. The second date, somewhere a bit more private, was even better than the first - and being in a more private setting we were able to talk more freely. It was a wonderful time. I've since disabled my OKC profile again, but not because I'm giving up but because it sure looks like I've found what I'm looking for! (Ok, yea that might be the NRE talking there, but hell - it's a wonderful thing we all know and love anyway, right?)
Now I don't want to imply that this has all been a bed of roses. We both have some history that we are sorting through, but even the common ground there has been quite large. I'm confident that it won't be a perfectly smooth ride, but I believe that a wonderful, long term relationship is possible here.
All that to say, that it really is worth hanging in there, and not giving up. You never know what might be right around the corner!