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Old 02-28-2012, 03:51 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by bpc View Post
my partner and i have been together for about five months. up until now we have been defining our relationship as monogamous. I have only been in monogamous relationships, but my partner has been primarily in polyamorous relationships. we have started having discussions about opening things up but i am really nervous. there are many factors involved.
Okay, this is a new relationship and you're still getting to know one another. Now, your partner's talking about something else that is new to you. It's perfectly valid that you are nervous about something unfamiliar and which seems like it might threaten the relationship. But discussing poly doesn't mean blindly acquiescing to pursue it just because your partner wants to. Don't agree to something if you're not clear on what it means nor if it doesn't sit well with you. This is negotiation time, so know what your personal boundaries and deal-breakers are, and be prepared to walk away if you feel disrespected or if it isn't working/what you want.

Originally Posted by bpc View Post
one thing that causes me distress is that my partner has lots of experience with polyamory and is part of a subculture that encourages open sexual relationships, while i have never felt particularly defined by this subculture or a different one that specifically supports these types of relationships. because my partner is part of a culture that supports polyamory, there are lots of potential opportunities for polyamorous relations. because i am not explicitly part of this culture, i worry about my ease and ability to find and explore these types of relationships. i also have never been particularly promiscuous, and worry about whether i can/will find the ambition to seek out/explore other sexual relationships. if my partner is having an easy time exploring other sexual/emotional partners while i'm at home twiddling my thumbs, i'm pretty sure it is going to hurt my feelings. i'll feel jealous (about not having my partner and about not having the same sexual liberation as them), insecure about my own worth, and like i need to "get out there" out of some contrived sense of competition.
There's a big focus on sex in what you're saying here. Polyamory is more than having sex with multiple people. It certainly is a part of it, but most polyamorists would probably say it's about developing multiple loving, caring, respectful relationships. You don't need to feel comfortable with "promiscuity" to embrace polyamory, but if sex seems to be a major part of poly's appeal to your partner, maybe you need to communicate more about it and get really clear on what he or she is looking for - it might be more open or FWBs than poly.

You mention sitting at home, does that mean you live together already? You can negotiate down to real specifics like safer sex practices, limits on the number of other partners, and time spent on dating other people. But you also need to make sure, whether poly or mono, that you have other things and people in your life so you're not so focused on your partner making you happy (not saying that's what you're doing, just mentioning this as a "reminder").

Originally Posted by bpc View Post
we have discussed the idea that what is important is peoples' needs being met, and if i'm satisfied with one partner and accept that they have needs not met by just me, maybe it would be okay for them to have multiple partners while i do not. though logically this makes sense, it is immensely unsatisfying to my emotions. while i think it is good and healthy to challenge illogical emotions, i don't know that this is one i could really get past.
You don't have to go along with it or accept it out of coercion. Of course, that means that if they feel they must proceed, you have the choice to leave the relationship.

Originally Posted by bpc View Post
i see a lot of bad decision making and unnecessarily risky behavior (particularly when alcohol/drugs are involved), a high occurrence of sexual assault (or at least not respecting boundaries), poor communication, and a lot of jealousy and resentment (jealous of eachothers' partners and resentment of the bad choices people are making with regard to who is sleeping with who, the level of protection used, and the communication around what is happening)... while i don't want to resent my partner for not satisfying all of my needs (or them to resent me for not satisfying all of theirs), i have never experienced the level betrayal, jealousy, and resentment that i see deeply pervasive in the polyamorous relationships around me and hear about through the grapevine.
Egad! What kind of community is that?!!! No wonder you're skittish. All that doesn't really sound very ethical to me.

Originally Posted by bpc View Post
... i do have a lot of faith in my partner and their ability to communicate what is happening, respecting my boundaries, and making good decisions about sex (though risky decisions have been made in the past which makes me nervous for the future)... i do not want my partner to feel like they are being untrue to themselves and their nature by being in a monogamous relationship, but i also want to be true to my own nature and not make compromises i can't handle.
I would say that the best thing to do is ask your partner to move slowly. Ask for time to communicate your fears and get clear on your boundaries, make agreements between you, and if you do decide you can handle them being poly, take things in small steps, ie., meet the person first, find ways to get comfortable with it, know when and where they are going on a date, etc.
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia

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Last edited by nycindie; 02-28-2012 at 04:35 AM.
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