Originally Posted by polypenguin
is there a middle ground? Or should I have to even try to find one, after all we did make a deal/promise. Am I being selfish in sticking to my guns?
I basically agree with the other two responses. That it's tricky, but there could be a compromise. I know it's effectively been, what, a year, is it, of poly prep? I understand that feels like a long time already.
Curiously - what was your motivation in telling her you want her
to be with others, even if you couldn't yet?
- helping her to empathize and feel less guilt, because she'd have been there first and know how it feels/ realize there's no threat when you start doing it?
- giving her something now so that you can insist it's your turn, come the end of Aug?
- your own feelings of compersion from seeing her with others?
- something else?
There are no altruistic acts in life. There are kind, wonderful, genuinely thoughtful acts - but it always has some sort of positive effect on us. I've noticed that my lady, for example, declares "I say f*ck her! Yeah! I'm cool with it! It doesn't bother me!" whenever she is threatened. Why? Because she's thinking of my happiness (altruistic), fighting her fears (self-orientated with altruistic knock-on effect), and giving herself an element of control to the situation (i.e. "I told you to do it" - self-orientated).
Your lady might not even be ready to date others yet? (I don't know - I'm not her girlfriend, hehe).
Poly isn't just about dating other people and not feeling jealous. For me personally, it has three main components:
- am I capable of being involved with others, whilst not losing interest in my primary?
- can I nurture my partner effectively whilst I am active with others? can I maintain our emotional relationship? can I balance it all?
- can I face my own insecurities well enough to cope with her being active with others?
So... does your lady actively want to be poly? Does she want to date other people? Does she want you to? Could you have 'guided' this relationship into something you want - or is she of complete free will?
Have you sat down and said... perhaps we could each write a list of what we like about the idea of poly? What will be good about it and what will be bad? That can be an effective way of unpicking your motivations behind it. If she's only in it to make you happy, that could lead to problems down the line.
What's your breaking point?
Ultimately, I feel that relationships come down to needs vs wants. I think it was actually GalaGirl that told me in a previous post - it's not about how quickly something happens, but it's about how *important* it is that it happens.
What does this 6 month transition period involve? What was it meant to involve, after your initial 6 months of talking prep?
The only flip side of long prep work, even though it does need to be done, is that it almost feels like revision for the scariest exam in the world.
Your girlfriend is scared. She's digging her heels in because she's afraid it's all going to blow up over your relationship and over her mental health.
In terms of your deal
Things to think about are:
- Do I *need* to see other people, or do I *want* to see other people?
- Do I need/want this immediately? Am I physically and emotionally capable of waiting longer?
- Do I want to be with my current girlfriend in the long term (i.e. if you're together for 50 years, can you wait another few months?)
- Where is my breaking point? (i.e. I no longer want to be in this relationship)
- Where is her breaking point?
The thing with deals and promises is that we lose sight of what's really important sometimes. Yes.. she agreed to your proposed deal... so she shouldn't manipulatively
try to deny you of something she knows you want/need. However, you shouldn't manipulatively
try to deny her of something she wants/needs (i.e. time and emotional stability).
Ultimately, it's going to come down to a decision on breaking points in your mind. There's no right or wrong.
My girlfriend was married for 11 years monogamously. It built up and up and up... and in the end she decided "It's poly or divorce". But that's after 11 years of poly repression.
She knew that although she loved her husband, it had gone from the point of "want" to "need". Her breaking point. Wanting is hormonal. Needing is emotional. Are you horny and bored waiting? Or are you unhappy emotionally, sexually and not feeling fulfilled? How long can you go on?
So... if you want to stay in the relationship... discuss a new time frame. Try not to resent her. If you want to stay in the relationship but you force the poly - it will cause bigger problems. If you're a breaking point now, if you need poly, with or without her, you have to tell her. Ultimately, if she is worried about her emotional stability, she's also probably thinking about the health of your relationship - she wants to make sure the sea is smooth before all the bodies start jumping in.
Give and take is tricky in poly. If you feel like you've done all the giving by waiting, how much do you have left to give? Only you can decide that.