Responsibilities and vulnerable hearts have me anxious!
Hi there. I haven’t been on here for a while. Emotions exploded, relationships ended etc etc. Over the last year I’ve stuck to myself and done some serious healing and self work.
I’ve recently entered into a relationship with an absolutely amazing individual and I really would like to “do it right” this time, at least as right as can be figured out… I consider myself naturally polyamorous and they have been involved in multiple polyamorous relationships before. We have chosen to be exclusive when it comes to sex, but both have an understanding that love and intimacy and close relationships with others is wonderful and encouraged. This is primarily due to them appreciating poly in theory but having it not work one too many times in practice. Down the road polyamory may be an option but I am prepared for it to not be and am currently enjoying the simplicity and prefer exclusivity right now as well (although I refuse to see it as monogamy… haha).
This is really just background info that may not be necessary but provides a little context. I’m not sure people will find my search for advice on this particular aspect appropriate but I know that being in polyamorous relationships seems to force a high development of relationship skills that can then be transferred to all sorts of relationships so am sure there is much wisdom on this forum that I would like to take advantage of. So here is my struggle:
I never thought I would date someone with kids but my new lover has children. I went ahead as their children are a little older (young teenagers) and far less dependent and demanding on their parents time and life. My initial perspective on this was that their children were simply another aspect of my lover’s life that wouldn’t be a part of mine. A positive actually to maintain our own lives and individuality the same as busy schedules, separate interests and close outside relationships with separate friends. Something I need but struggle with taking so anything that seems to “force” independence is a good thing in my eyes. I decided that if I got along with their children great, and if I didn’t that’s okay so long as we all treat each other with respect. But I felt very distant from “that part” of my lover’s life.
I tend to struggle with compassion and thinking of others (quickly climbing to the top of the self improvement list!). I realized the other day though that as things quickly escalate in this new relationship and I find myself hoping to build a partnership that this view is impractical and that I can’t factor children out of any part of my lover’s life. What has caused the most anxiety in me is the idea that their children may have a different ideal relationship with myself. I now realize that instead of being at risk of breaking one heart I’m at risk of multiple and the responsibility of that is a bit overwhelming. All the “what-if’s” are running through my head. Like what if the children really like me but I don’t like them? What if we developing a loving relationship and the main relationship ends… what are my rights for maintaining relationships with the children… or my obligations too… does it make a difference if I am the dumpee or dumper?
I have kind of likened this situation to that of metamours. People finding themselves building relationships based on a common love/relationship with someone else. I also see it as them being primary relationships and myself as a secondary which suites me just fine. Which was one reason I felt there might be much to learn here. I see the added complication of the fact that these people are young people whom are just learning about relationships and very possibly have very poor skills in this area… something I do not tolerate too well and my track record with metamours I do not connect with or communicate well with is not a very shiny one. Hence the sudden stress and worry.
So, what am I hoping to get out of this community? Not sure. Maybe some tag suggestions on how to manage/develop relationships with people (metamours) you wouldn’t otherwise desire a relationship with. It’s hard to find info on relationships between metamours specifically let alone that which translates into my situation.
Perhaps general advice on how to be cautious with children and their hearts and some useful boundaries or guidelines early on. I am very clueless when it comes to how to relate to and interact with children although as they get old enough to have full intellectual conversations I find it a little easier. If I end up being a huge fan of them and they think I’m really rad and the relationship with my lover becomes what I hope it will then everything will be just grand… but what are the chances that so many relationships will go so smooth? Any advice or different perspectives people have to offer would be useful to consider and I’d be very grateful!