Just a few further comments . . . in reverse order!
I know what we've been doing is wrong & unhealthy & I hope to salvage it in the future. I hope that someday I can have a healthy relationship... Haven't had one yet in my young life. *sigh*
This is important. You are very young, yet. (Your profile says you are 21). You have lots of time to learn, and are bound to make any number of youthful mistakes.
You can be a little
patient with yourself. Consider that your brain isn't finished developing yet. As I understand it - second- or third-hand, mind you - the parts of the cortex associated with judgment and self-control aren't fully on line until around age 25.
And, in any case, you have a long life and many possible relationships ahead of you. If this one doesn't work out, there will be other opportunities to connect with people, at various levels.
At the same time, it's important that you do own your own mistakes, fix what you can, and learn . . .
But since yesterday, when he told me they were talking about me, I cut off most of my contact with everyone. I deactivated my Facebook account (a horrible addiction, I might add). I've been offline from IM programs. Only one friend has texted me (not the one involved) and she's the one I lied to. I know if I confirm their suspicions and tell them what's really going on, I'll lose everyone (except maybe him). I don't want that. I'm going to back off and let things fizzle out, die down. And I'll try to come back fresh.
I understand the urge to hide, and it may be that a cooling-off period will help everyone involved . . . to a point. At some point you need to open the conversation with him about being honest with his girlfriend. At some point, you may even need to have a conversation with her about what happened and what should happen next.
(We've all agreed never to get drunk around each other again.)
That's good. It's what we around here call establishing a boundary, and that you did this together, consciously and openly, is a good model for other boundaries you all need to set.
It was indeed a whirlwind romance. The same night we met him, the three of us & a few other friends all met up at a 24-hour diner & we were joking amongst ourselves that it was as if they had already been together for 5 years! That's how much they were "into each other". Within the first week they had hooked up.
This is something you can't deal with directly, at least where their relationship is concerned, but it raises a set of questions any young person (and older person) should consider. What exactly
are the terms of their relationship? Is the fact that they had sex (which is what I assume you mean when you say they "hooked up") enough to make them "a couple" with an exclusive commitment? Is that how each of them understands it? (Apparently not, but it's not clear.)
What are the distinctions among interest
in someone, attraction
to someone, lust
for someone, love
for someone, and a commitment
Your friends may be mushing all these together, which confuses a lot of issues. It's not really your responsibility to sort these things out for them, but you might do well to steer clear of him until the two of them have
sorted it out.
You might also do well to keep the distinctions in mind yourself!
He has told me that every partner that he has had in his life, he still loves, even if they are not physically together anymore. They now have a part of his soul, he says, forever. And if any one of them were to come back into his life, and want a relationship with him, he feels he could not turn them away because he loves them so deeply.
Well, that's very nice. He may be a generous and warm-hearted guy, but he clearly needs to sort out all of the distinctions I mentioned just above.
I still care deeply for past loves, and I'm happy when I get to see them again, but that doesn't mean I should take them to my bed (even if I kinda want to . . .)
Again, it's a question of explicit commitments and boundaries, not just feelings.
Again, sorting out his mind on these issues is not your responsibility, but you would do well to be cautious of him until he does get it sorted out.
So far, I haven't seen anything to suggest this guy is polyamorous. It seems more that he just has trouble being decisive in his commitments, trouble distinguishing what he wants and what he feels from what he should be doing.
If he's going to continue to claim to be polyamorous, he should get his young fool self on this forum, and he should read widely.
You might even direct him to this thread, as a way of opening the conversation with him.
I know that my friend is monogamous. She has extreme jealousy with the idea of sharing a partner. She does not even like it if I cuddle with him on the couch watching a movie. She considers that "physical intimacy".
The mere fact that she feels
jealously does not in itself
amount to a conscious commitment between the two of them. If you do any reading on this forum, you'll see that even people who have consciously adopted a polyamorous approach to relationships feel
jealously, and sometimes very strongly.
We just have to learn to understand jealousy for what it is - and it's complicated! - and keep it in perspective.
That said, your female friend might, in fact, be committed to monogamy. That's fine, but then she and he need to work that out, openly and honestly, between themselves.
You probably shouldn't be directly involved in that particular conversation. It's really not your responsibility.
But you should not do anything further with the guy until they've had that conversation, and come to some firm conclusion about the terms on which they'll stay together . . . if at all.
Should I assume your friends are the same age as you? If so, remember what I said about neurological development, and note that - if car insurance underwriters are to be believed - it's far harder for males under 25 to exercise good judgment and self control.