I'm admittedly extremely new to the poly universe. I'm a 27-year-old, largely straight, cisgender male from the NYC area, and I'm in a relationship that has lasted for about 7.5 years so far. In other words, we were practically children when we met, and so our experience in dating and sex with other people was extremely limited.
A year or two ago, we decided to switch to a quasi-open situation. Our rule was (and is) "nothing without the other." As a result, we had a couple of women over for casual sex and had lots of fun.
However, with our most recent partner, things changed a bit. The current girl is herself poly. And, she made it clear she wanted to get to know us a bit before having sex. And so, our interactions with her have been more like dating than anything else. We've by now had sex with her a couple of times, but more importantly, after sex (and also sometimes without sex), she'll sleep in our bed and we'll cuddle. And I find myself wanting to spend more time around her and be affectionate with her and generally do things that people in relationships do, to the point that I wonder now whether what I actually want is a polyamorous relationship.
I've talked to my girlfriend about it, but she has made it very clear it's not something she's interested in. In fact, I think the idea of me loving someone else greatly upsets her. So I find myself stuck. I love my girlfriend, and don't want our relationship to end. But if I agree to stay in a permanently emotionally monogamous relationship, am I denying a part of my identity and missing out on something potentially really enjoyable and fulfilling? These are the questions which which I join this forum. I'm hoping by reading around a bit and talking to some of you that I can start to sort out the answers.
Well, if you made it this far, thanks for reading this tl;dr post!
Hope to see you all around the forum.