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Old 04-21-2012, 11:10 PM
valelapena valelapena is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 24

Thanks so much for all the support and feedback everyone. Even the stuff that is hard to hear (or maybe even most importantly the hard stuff to hear) is really helpful. I am really not a forum joiner and sort of eschew technology even though I work in it (or maybe because of that), but this is really changing my mind about the usefulness. I really had no where else to go for this... I know lots of poly folks, but they are all also involved with my partner, so I really didn't want to open this up to them yet. You all have helped me not go insane...

Communication is key and it take effort and WORK to figure out how to truly communicate with your partner. More than likely you will find that you do NOT have the same definitions for words you thought were common or obvious.
This is an incredibly timely comment. We are struggling with this incredibly right now. Some of the struggle is his lack of honesty and some of the struggle is his insistence that there is no difference between friendship and romantic interest. I agree romantic interest is frequently (and for me most importantly) based from friendship, but I don't think to be close to someone or care about them in a significant manner you need to take it to a romantically intimate level sexually or emotionally. And I think you know when you are allowing or encouraging a friendship based relationship to move from friendship into romantic intimacy regardless of how you define that as vocabulary or concept. You can tell what your feelings are and you also know what your own motivations are regardless of what words you use to define it. It WOULD be fantastic to somehow figure out words that we can easily communicate with - we are having a hard time with that though because he doesn't want to upset me by being truthful I think and also now that i'm asking for this kind of explanation, he's having to be more truthful with himself about his own motivations.

Well for that reason, a lot of poly families keep calendars and schedules, so that everyone knows what's coming up ahead of time and there aren't any "unpleasant surprises." That said, you do have days that will be "scheduled" as a date night for him with someone else, and that does make it challenging if you wish he were at home with you.
This is reasonable and useful, but I don't think it would make me feel better. I'd still want the support from my partner when I needed it and the idea that the excuse that he couldn't be there for me was because he had a date really would rub me the wrong way. How do you handle something like that? I may have given too lighthearted an example, but let's say in the case where something fairly large happens, not a death or anything - but just something where I feel really stretched and need him around, but he has a date. How do you handle being there when unexpectedly someone just plain needs you?

That might be something to discuss with him, is whether he'd be willing to "date as a couple" with you. Or there's the theory of if you'd have a "date of your own," but that would depend on how you'd feel about that.
We haven't talked about this. I don't think he'd be into it because really what it seems like he gets out of poly is a) the ability to be attracted to other people without feeling bad about it b) the NRE you guys keep talking about - from his past its pretty clear to me he likes to prolong that as long as possible by resisting getting involved with someone, pining over them for as long as possible, choosing folks he can't really have so he can effectively do that even longer than usual and in general just claims to really like meeting new people (which totally upsets me because while it IS nice and stimulating to meet new people - the idea that you have to be poly and open to having a full on love relationship with every new person you meet is ridiculous). Also - he really likes having lots of people paying attention to him and gets into sharing poly gossip with his many poly friends - and likes to be part of that. He is drama focused and has been as long as I've known him, where drama and conflict really bothers me.

I'm also not sure I'd want to date as a couple either to be honest. It would be hard to see him interacting with someone else the way he does with me and being minimized while that person is around. I really do like feeling special to the person who is special to me and if everyone is special - isn't no one special?

If i were to date on my own - at least at this point - it wouldn't be healthy. I'd be doing it to distract myself which isn't fair to whomever I'm dating and also because I was mad at my partner (which isn't fair to my partner if I finally agree to this...).

Thanks for the reading recommendations by the way!!! My partner suggested this one - The Ethical Slut - but I was instantly horrified by it because it stresses "have all the sex you ever dreamed of" and I thought that wasn't what this was about. I thought it was more about intimacy that just sex. (maybe i am wrong...) But just dealing with sex would be easier to be honest. It's less time consuming and you don't have to worry about emotional ties - it's just having fun. Where it gets difficult for me is where it can affect our relationship and that's in the comparison of partners, the trust thing, the just being there thing, etc. I want to build a LIFE with someone I can trust and has similar goals and aspirations I do - someone I can share everything with and not think they are just going to toss it over the side when the next shiny person comes along. This isn't to say we have to be identical in everything - just that we appreciate, respect and support how the other grows/evolves along the way.

Do you know what his idea of poly is? What does he envision for himself?
His idea of poly is - as far as i understand it - that love is not finite and every different person is a different experience and no one person fills all roles in someone else's life. It's being open to meeting those new people and allowing the relationships to grow as they may.

In theory I agree with that, but the idea that every new person means a new relationship makes me cringe. Also that it implies that time and energy is not finite either but it really is. Especially in our lives where our jobs are so exacting and time heavy.

Why did the topic came up now? Is there a new interest of his already? Or is it more like a general feel he got that he is missing something?
We've been having problems anyway and this came up as something he was realizing he maybe wasn't being honest enough about in terms of the importance to him. He also seems to think I've judged him for being poly, which is totally not the case - like I said - I've been involved with multiple people before, but not when I've committed to a single one like this. It hasn't been in his life for that long - maybe 5 years - but he really also likes to self identify as poly, kinky, alternative, etc. He comes from a rural background, so it's sort of an evolution he's made for himself and he feels like he's more himself now than he was before which i can really appreciate, but coming from where I do - this all has been a fact of my life for so long, I have no need to force things and make sure folks ID me the way I ID me. I have nothing to prove because I've been "alternative" my whole life (well almost - as soon as i had enough self awareness to realize i had a choice...) and I also don't even think about necessarily identifying with any particular group at all - i sort of feel like that pigeon holes you unnecessarily too.

Did you two already talk about the shortcomings of your relationship? Before the poly topic entered the picture?
Yes - we're in therapy together and individually right now. In fact - our therapist just told us we're processing TOO much and are not allowed to talk this week at all til we next see her. LOL
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