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Old 04-09-2012, 10:45 PM
HapaxLegomena HapaxLegomena is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Default This is one of those "help me, I'm confused" posts

I'm not sure if I belong here. But maybe somebody who has the patience to read through this whole thing will be able to give me some insight. Or maybe not - either way, getting it off my chest has become necessary to my mental health.

I am two years into a committed monogamous relationship with "K". I love her deeply and we have a strong, happy and healthy relationship (with the occasional bump, but nothing that most couples don't experience). She feels like family to me and I can't imagine leaving her.

I am also helplessly, intensely in love with another woman, and have been since before I met K. (I'll call this person "V"). Before I met V, I had only dated men, and she was the first woman I consciously allowed myself to fall for. Because I was anxious and uncertain about this new emotional terrain, I kept a distance between us, even though I was sure I could sense an attraction on her part. We went on a few platonic dates, but because she intimidated the hell out of me and I was frustrated with my inability to break out of my own shell, I gave up. And joined an online dating site, and met K.

With K, everything clicked into place easily and naturally as if we had always known each other. Being an introvert, I had never experienced anything like that - all that corny stuff you hear about, feeling like we understood each other without having to say anything, finishing each others' sentences, etc. And I was (am) attracted to her physically, though not in the same intensely visceral way that I am to V. Despite the fact that I was well aware of my continuing attraction to V, I rationalized that K was better for me, that there was a reason things were easier with her, and that in time my feelings for V would fade as my relationship with K progressed.

They have not faded. They have, if anything, grown stronger. And V, for her part, has become more flirtatious and affectionate with me since K and I began dating.

K and I moved in together about a year ago. I have been thinking about proposing to her, but I don't want to do so until and unless I manage to deal somehow with my feelings for V. I actually wish I could talk to K about this - but she is absolutely intolerant of any hint of infidelity, even if it is purely emotional/mental and not acted on at all. It's one area where we disagree - she believes that if you're happy and in love with one person, there is no room for any feelings of that kind towards anyone else, whereas... I know there is. I'm living it. And I'm pretty sure it's normal and common for people in happy relationships to experience attractions or infatuations to other people. Regardless, I don't think our relationship would survive such a conversation. And breaking off ties with V isn't really an option either, even though I know that would probably be the most emotionally healthy thing to do, because we all have a wide circle of mutual friends, and explaining to V, K and everyone else why I've suddenly cut her out of my life would be impossible without some kind of reasonable explanation.

So why am I posting all of this on a polyamory support forum? Polyamory is something I never really thought much about, or knew much about, until I started participating more actively in the queer community. I have never personally experienced anything other than monogamous relationships, and never seriously considered the idea that I might want things any other way until recently. And I don't know at all if that's actually what this is all about. I don't know how I would feel about being in a poly relationship, even if I was in the position to have one (which will never be the case as long as I'm with K.) But I've had to start asking myself, is it "normal" (apologies, I know that's not really the right word) to be completely in love with more than one person at a time? Am I assuming that I prefer monogamy because it's what society expects and I've never tried anything else? Is it simply that I selfishly want to stay with K but have the chance to be with V as well? V, I should add, has denounced relationships altogether and seems to prefer keeping things casual with her partners. So maybe I'm only wondering about this because she (inadvertently) put the idea in my head? Is it just that because V was the first woman I fell for, and my feelings for her were never resolved, I'm not able to let go of them? Or if I did manage to get over her, would I just end up falling for someone else eventually and find myself in the same conundrum? Is it true that humans aren't "meant" to be monogamous? Or is this something that lots of monogamous people go through, and I should just suck it up and learn how to make a real commitment? But if it turns out I am polyamorous by nature - if that's a thing - isn't that something I should share with my partner? And can people be poly but still be happy in a mono relationship? None of my previous relationships lasted this long, and most were quite dysfunctional, so it's not like I can look to them for clues either.

I am confused, as you can see. And I know nobody can really answer these questions for me. But I am desperate to figure this out, and I thought maybe someone could give me some insight into the whole concept of being polyamorous, or whether any of this jumble of thoughts and feelings sounds familiar. Thank you to anyone who actually takes the time to read this all the way through, you rock.
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