My boyfriends are about to meet for the first time, any advice?
Hi :-) Before I get into my question, I just wanted to say how great I think these boards are, and how grateful I am for all the information and wisdom I'm found here :-)
My partners are both attending an event next week (in full knowledge that the other is going of course!), and it will be the first time they've ever met. Apologies for being quite long here, but I'm not sure how much information to put in!
One of my boyfriends was my monogamous partner for 5 years - I'll call him X for the sake of clarity. We broke up over the issue of polyamory - it was my first mono relationship, and I went into it with a lot of baggage about being 'slutty' and thinking there was something wrong with me. Those days are behind me now, but I bring it up to explain how our relationship started. After 3 years together I came across polyamory online, started realising there was nothing wrong with me, and raised it as an option for us. We talked about it on and off for about 2 years, read a lot, met some poly couples (platonically), but in the end he said he couldn't see it working for him and we ended our relationship. It was pretty devastating for me, as I loved him very deeply, and apart from this issue we were tremendously well suited and very happy together. After we broke up I was single for about 18 months, and we kept our distance from each other in the hope that it would mean we could get past the breakup and become friends. When we started seeing each other as friends (about 6 months ago), it was clear to both of us that the deep loving bond was still there. We started talking about poly again, and he said that in the time we'd been apart he'd changed his mind and wanted to give it a go.
My other boyfriend (Y) I've only been seeing about 3 months. We met on a dating site and had been talking online for a few weeks when the prospect of polyamory came up with X. I explained the situation to both of them, so that they both knew what was going on, and both seemed ok to proceed.
So, things are going really beautifully so far. Reconnecting with X and discovering that time has only made our bond deeper has been very beautiful, and getting to know Y has been tremendously exciting - I have very strong feelings for both, spend an equal amount of time with the two, and hope very much that this is the beginning of something long term with both of them.
I had a lot of anxiety about the situation when it began, particularly to do with X's change of heart re: polyamory, but he seems very comfortable and happy (so does Y). But now they are going to meet, and again I am feeling very anxious.
They are both very introverted people who struggle with social situations in their own particular ways. Both have expressed a desire to meet each other, and the event next week will be very casual (gallery opening), which I hope will help. I fear it going badly, though I can't really say why. I've been trying to see it from X and Y's perspectives, but I feel like I'm getting into weird territory where I'm trying to micro-manage other people's interactions, which is creepy and also impossible.
So maybe this question is as much about their own anxiety as it is asking for advice about how to support them both and help the night go well. If I were Y I probably would feel intimidated by meeting someone that my partner had all this history with. If I were X I'd worry that the reality of poly - actually meeting the other boyfriend - might change my mind about the whole situation. Can anyone offer me any insights? Thank you for reading :-)