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Old 06-07-2012, 06:32 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oregon, USA
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Originally Posted by neo651 View Post
-No matter how many times I tell myself to the contrary I can't stop feeling like "the 3rd boyfriend".
You are, chronologically, in the same sense that you would be the 3rd child if you were born after two others. Do you believe it would make you less important?
When you think about being the 3rd boyfriend, remember it's just a description of who happened to start dating her first, and nothing else.

Originally Posted by neo651 View Post
-I hate this feeling that from her busy schedule with her other two boyfriends that she has to find time to fit me in now too.
People find time. If she didn't have any time, there wouldn't have been time for you guys to start something to begin with. If she didn't have time, she couldn't have seen you as a friend, either. She already made time for you before.
Just remember (and I'm saying that because of your phrasing), there is no reason to believe she creates her schedule by writing down everything she has planned with her first boyfriend, then everything with her second, and then fit you in the remainder. It's likely she creates her schedule as things come up, for instance, and not boyfriend by boyfriend, and you could have "first pick" on specific times too.
Not sure if it was an actual concern of yours, but I wanted to address it because you talked of "fitting your in".

Originally Posted by neo651 View Post
-I hate the idea that if not for them I could be spending 3x as much time with her.
From my experience, that's not true at all. Time spent with a new partner is rarely taken from time that was spent with previous ones before the relationship with the new partner started, but instead from hobbies or time that was previously spent alone.
As a result, if she was only dating you, she certainly wouldn't spend 3 times as much time with you, she just would be doing different things when she isn't seeing you. She might have seen you a bit more often, but certainly not by such a huge amount.
As the relationship progresses, if it does, you should be spending a chunk of time at her place, with or without her other boyfriends, and eventually move together since it seems to be something you both want. You will be spending a lot of time together then.
It's normal not to spend as much time together when you don't share a place.

Originally Posted by neo651 View Post
-I feel emasculated being 1 of 3. It feels as if she's just capturing partners and I'm just the latest one to have fallen for her.
I don't know how to address this feeling as I don't know where it comes from. I suggest you talk about it with her, she might be able to reassure you. If not, other people around here will be able to help you more.

Originally Posted by neo651 View Post
-I feel, that by consenting to be in a relationship like this, that I'm validating an internal sense of inferiority. I feel like I'm admitting to myself that I'm not good enough to justify being someone's only partner and so I have to settle for being a cog in a machine instead.
I don't know if you do have an internal sense of inferiority.
But I'm sorry you're feeling like you're settling. I love my partners and think they are amazing people, and would never want to treat them any worse than they deserve. Which is the best. Which is me
More seriously, I feel it's similar to friendship in my mind, in that I could never pick only one friend and tell all the others "sorry, I have a friend already", but that doesn't mean I don't love all of them.
I don't think you are a cog in a machine. I think you are a whole person and that she likes you as that.
This reminds me of a part of your post I found weird, about how one person can't satisfy everyone's needs. It sounds like a common thing I heard that seems to imply poly people gather boyfriends or girlfriends who have different qualities, so that together they form a perfect partner or something.
That's not how it works. Certainly not for me, at least. I'm with someone because I want to be with THEM, and what the others provide is irrelevant to that one. I never think "A is tall so I need a short partner now" or "B sucks at math, I need a scientific mind". Quite often, they have the same qualities and bring me the same things, and when they're different, they still don't "add up" to a single person. They're different individual that don't mix, different relationships.
They're not a cog each, they're a machine each, and there cogs might be the same or different, and I don't really care either way because it doesn't make much sense to compare them.
Sure, if I want to go out to the opera, I'll go with the one who likes opera. But if none of them did, I'd go with a friend. Your needs can't all be met by one person, but they don't have to, and they can't all be met by boyfriends either. You'll still have friends, family, coworkers, who each fill different roles.
A new boyfriend isn't someone who fills a gap because I needed someone who can cook to complete my super-boyfriend made of the bodies of lesser boyfriends. He's a man I am interested in, would be as interested in if I had no partner at the time, and who I want to get to know as a person.

I am sorry that you feel diminished by the presence of others, but please don't feel inferior in any ways. The fact that she needs more than one boyfriend has NOTHING to do with you "not being good enough", it's about her, the way she works, the way she loves. I understand it is hard to relate to as a monogamous person, but to explain it from the opposite point of view, the fact that you would want her to have only you doesn't mean that she can't be trusted, that she's not respectable and you can control her and decide who she gets to be involved with, etc.
All of these are ways she might feel about monogamy, but ultimately, that's not what it is, what it is is a relationship orientation and the fact that you are monogamous doesn't imply anything about her, it's just the way you are.
Similarly, not wanting to be with anyone else doesn't mean you expect us to be at your beck and call, fill your every needs, etc. It doesn't mean anything at all about what you expect from her, it just means YOU don't want someone else because YOU don't work that way.

Originally Posted by neo651 View Post
-The little time I do have with her is poisoned by my jealousies. I can't just enjoy our time, I'm compelled to continually talk about these issues even though all I'm doing is going in circles. When I can manage to not talk about these problems ad infinitum, all I've really done is restrict that negativity to my mind. In my head I still feel exactly the same. I'm consumed with jealousy. I don't know how to deal with it. This may sound strange but I've never been jealous before. Not really. I've experienced jealousy, yes. But always in passing, never this sustained constant overbearing jealousy. I have no coping mechanism for this and I don't know how to create one.
This is the worrying part, as if it keeps going the relationship might just never actually work out. I don't have specific advice right now but I suggest you do a search on "jealousy", both in text and tags, and see if you can find any advice that will help you. I'm sure others will also pitch in and hopefully help with that.

Good luck. You're already doing a lot by giving it a try, it won't be easy but it can work and I hope it will
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