1) Start expressing your wants, needs, limits more clearly. That would have helped with the thing with Ted and Barbara cowgirling him somewhat.
2) If you play here, you play in the spectrum, and that includes breakups. ALL relationships come with a clock attached. Even in a polyship of just 2, the math breaks out as
me to me as part of a couple (vs me to me as a footloose single)
him to him as part of a couple
me to him
him to me
us as a duo working as a TEAM
ghost layer: when it ends, what we hope to be to each other. If it has to end differently than our "best" end, how to cope with it and still part as friends.
Then should that come even if we do NOT want it, there's a map to follow.
3) Do not rush Craig. Be alone, in the Hang Time at the Forge of ending the Ted thing. That is important. And that is the VERY THING that you struggled with Barbara. The other one not respecting your rship with Ted.
So if Craig loves you, he can negotiate on that.
He has expressed the WANT to be more to you. He's playing fair.
Has he expressed a NEED to know by a LIMIT date/time? Or he's just floating it out there?
What are YOUR wants, needs, and limits? For the HARD limit of the next 12 mos? 6 mos? 3 mos?
Are there soft limits within there?
Pull out how you play, make the adjustments that maturity/experience/knowledge demands.
So far my communication gamebook i
s serving me well with few tweaks over the years across many types of players -- my lovers, my friends, even my KID.
#1 is still my #1 full on hard limit. I keep testing it, and I keep finding I play well.
Everyone hold your own bag! We all have baggage. To sift and sort over time and friends can help you unpack and discard things that no longer fit or serve. But YOU pack it back up and carry it about.
Everyone hold their own bag. Hold it well.
I don't know if that's solid enough. I'm tired and tend to wax and wane philosophical.
Know I hear your sorrow and feel your pain. *hug*