Originally Posted by fuchka
I'm interested in the way you talk about friendship, in particular about emotional connections "beyond friendship". By this do you mean sexual tension (even if unfulfilled?) Or something like a spiritual connection that feels like it could naturally flow into physical closeness (but not something you are actively flirting with?) If it's the second, then what makes you feel guilty about having these connections, when you're in a monogamous relationship?
I'd probably call it a combination of the two. Rather, I'd probably say that some are the former and others are the latter. There have been a number of people with whom I've had a great deal of sexual tension while I've been in a relationship.
More commonly though I just become close to someone to whom I'm attracted, and get a bit wistful about the "what-ifs". Those "what if?" moments often make me feel more guilty than any sexual tension.
It's also important to view this all through the lens of how I interpreted these feelings prior to learning about polyamory. It was my understanding that love was effectively a zero sum game, wherein any feelings that I developed for other people meant a corresponding decrease in my feelings for my partner. This never made much sense to me, as it certainly didn't seem to ME that I loved my partner any less, but that's the way everyone around me seemed to interpret those kinds of feelings. So I just operated under the impression that I must be a douche with a wandering eye, and I expended a great deal of effort 'locking down' feelings of any kind for people I found attractive.
Related to this was the idea that wanting sex with my partner was somehow wrong if it wasn't her specifically that made me want sex in the first place. i.e. If a sexy conversation with someone else made me horny, I felt like I'd somehow be using my partner if I had sex with her while still worked up. Which seems patently ridiculous in retrospect.
In the few weeks that my fiance and I have been actively discussing poly and having feelings for other people, I've abruptly stopped forcing down any feelings for others. Between this forum and OKC I've come to know a number of people recently that I find very attractive. So as a side effect of these conversations my fiance and I are fucking like rabbits for the first time since we got together.
All we've done is talk
As an update on the status of things, we're having lunch with another newly polyamorous couple on Friday. I'm nervous, as is my partner, but also excited. I admit that I find the female half of the couple very attractive. With that said, there are no expectations from the lunch other than good conversation, which is exactly what I want. Being able to talk about this stuff in person with confidence will be nice. We're still pretty closeted to friends and family.