Thank you both for getting back to me. Sorry again about the ramble.
Jane, I think you're right about "recognizing poly tendencies while trying operate in a mono world."
I feel so cowardly because I do not want to hurt anyone and I don't want to lose anyone either. I know it's a risk I need to take in order to Jane honesty and happiness down the road, but it doesn't make it any easier. I can't help but wonder if I'll ever find people that are not only accepting of this lifestyle, but that I truly adore as much as the people in my life now. I know that sounds naive ("waaahh I'll never find love again!!") but I don't know, I guess it's just really hard and counter-intuitive to tell someone you love so deeply "sorry, but we just can't can't be together if you can't accept this accept of me that I don't fully understand myself and haven't truly explored".
Bah. F*cking relationships. I hate having to devote mental and emotional energy to shit like this when there are so many other things worth devoting my attention to. Scientific pursuit, for one. Structural in equality. Gendered oppression. The plight of the panda. I would almost rather being an ignorant serial monogamist and float around alternatively in states of bliss or boredom or angst. At least then I could approach people with an assumption of both or us wanting the "status quo" rather than me having to pitch some "radical" shit in order to be "honest" and "authentic". Blech.
I appreciate all your hypothetical questions. The thing is, the major reason I even feel the need to "come clean" about my feelings and beliefs is so I can pursue relationships with BOTH these woman I love, and perhaps others I may meet in the future. However, I know neither of these people will be okay with "sharing" me, and I'll just lose both of them - at the same time I know the only right thing to so is be honest. I just find it so hard to explain to people - I think they think of it "having your cake and eating it too" wanting the best of everything without having to be responsible and commit.
I don't know how a conversation with my partner would even start. I told my ex-girlfriend first only because she professed really intense emotions for me (of the sort, "I've never wanted anyone but you, I think about you and my chest hurts, etc.") and she's not the emotional type normally, making what she says that much more poignant. My partner is a whole different matter - me saying this could potentially disrupt my entire life with her.
Okay, here's really why it's hard: I'm not the sort of person who likes to sleep around and I don't grow fond of people frivolously. If I give you my time and energy, it means I love you on some level. I don't even know how I'd begin to explore this life if I lose the people I love. I guess I'd just be like your average single person, except with the added baggage that I have to let people that I dont even deeply care about know that being in relationship with me is not traditional.
I know what I WANT to happen; I want A and S to come to terms with it, accept it, and be open to pursuing it. I want to continue seeing both of them on a level they are both comfortable with. I want them to meet each other and grow really fond of one another, everybody happy with the arrangement. Thing is, that's not happening. So I don't know how to envision my life in five years. There's what -or rather, who - I want, and reality.
Maybe skulking around this forum and reading about people who are really happy will make me feel better.