I searched for this topic but didn't find it - I know there are similar topics but none of the ones I read seemed to hit on it. Please point me to it if there is one!
So... here's a summary of my situation, and I'll be happy to give more information if anything is unclear.
I'm 21 and currently exploring polyamory for the first time. In the past I've been monogamous, but I would always feel trapped after about three months. I now realize that three months or so was when the NRE started to wear off and I started wanting other people. I thought I just hadn't found the right person yet.
I took a year off university and worked through some problems I had. Through CBT, a technique which teaches rationality, I kicked depression's ass.
Damn proud of that, too!
I started casually dating multiple people. Then I fell for one of them, A, but we kept seeing others when I went back to school out-of-state.
REALIZING I'M POLY
I'm in a semi-serious long-distance relationship of eleven months with A. I only see him every few months, and I'm not in love with him, but I love him very much and could see myself falling in love if we are ever able to spend more time together. He's an incredible, special person whom I value very highly. This has never been exclusive and I feel completely secure with him. He's 26 and has a pretty good grasp on who he is and what he wants. He's reasonably sure he's poly and we're exploring it on our own ends (he's seeing perhaps four girls in addition to me).
I thought I was more or less romantically "monoamorous" and "polysexual" by orientation. I made out with many people (close to forty), many of them friends; I hooked up with people (again, mostly friends); I felt close to many of these people and even felt giddy and happy to be around them. But it wasn't romantic feelings, not like with A.
Then I met C. He is sexy and sweet and makes me laugh, and he's playful and so smart. He challenges me in different ways than A does. We're intensely sexually compatible.
At first I thought it would be sex friends, but then I began to develop feelings for him that were clearly romantic, the first romantic feelings since I met A.
ABOUT C AND D
Just before C and I started hooking up, before I realized I was romantically attracted to him, we met D at a scifi convention.
C likes both me and D, and D and I have become warm friends. (D identifies as homoromantic but is sexually bicurious - for me!
So we're makeout buddies in addition to friends.)
When I realized I had feelings for C, I told him almost immediately. His actions and words both say he cares about me (like when he biked 12 miles in 40 minutes to come to an impromptu birthday party for me). I wish we had more time to spend with each other (gah school), but since we live in the same dorm it's easier to drop by and hang out whenever we have time.
But C is also exploring his bisexuality, and D is the first guy he's had a crush on. The novelty of it, combined with the fact that D is adorable and sweet (and a good kisser!) has C very much into D. They're really cute together.
D is mono. I know he wants monogamy with C because he's told me he's more or less "putting up with" this situation, even though he very much likes me and doesn't have a problem with C and I together. He just wants C for himself. Part of this may be insecurity.
C isn't sure he's poly. He's just exploring this, too. (He's 19 and from the South. Poly and bisexual aren't "allowed," so he's only now realizing this.)
So here I am, first exploring poly and trying to rewrite all this conditioning about "you must be the favorite or they'll leave you." And I'm using my CBT skills to remind myself using rationality that it doesn't matter if I'm "the favorite" as long as my needs are met.
But I'm afraid. I'm afraid that C will decide to be mono with D and drop me.
And though being "the favorite" doesn't matter in a poly relationship (though there are article after article about jealousy), it does if you're mono.
If C were sure he was poly, I would only have my own irrational conditioning to calmly think through and reframe using CBT. That's a big enough task.
But this fear of C turning out mono has me afraid to open up.
So much of this is new for all of us. I wish I had solid ground (other than A - I can always count on my sweet A - but as you know, people are unique and each connection irreplaceable).
It feels good to say this to people who won't ask what poly is.
Please help me? Advice or even just e-hugs for a new friend would be really helpful.
C is special. I'm only sorry all these feelings coincided for all of us in such a vulnerable time!