Thanks for the faith, JaneQSmythe. I appreciate it. But I'm not any kind of expert. I just know what I like for ME.
Perseus -- is she struggling with the "fear of the unknown stranger?"
I have that one pop up from time to time.
Because if SHE is dating them, she knows her own mind and she knows herself with you and she knows herself with Person B. She's in there knowing somewhere, FIRST HAND.
When YOU date, she only gets to know second hand and she has not direct influence on turn of events. That's being a rower in the lower floor of the ship and trusting that the guy at the helm is a good helmsman and being willing to devote self to rowing in the galley to power some of the going
(offering you support), and letting the helmsman worry about the direction
that the going is going in. (you deal with whatever is happening in your other relationship.)
It's taking the leap of faith, and if your relationship is only 4 years old? Maybe you haven't had to take leaps before in challenging events yet. Or the ones you have taken so far aren't as wide a leap as THIS one appears to be.
It's the interesting phase -- it's sometimes called the "7 yr itch" but really it's the 4 yr itch. Google more about that. You sound normal to me. The NRE stuff wore off, but you haven't been together long enough so where your couple groove is deep enough to hold you together when challenges come on down. It FEELS very "aaaaaaashhhhhh!" when it happens.
But having it happen and STILL coming out the other side together? That's where you grow confidence in the solidness of the couple. Because you come to find you CAN weather things together.
Avoiding the challenges of weathering things as a couple? Well, I dunno how you get to know that you CAN weather them then. You only get to evaluate how you did as a couple AFTER you did it as a couple. See what you did well, what could be done better.
I could go for mono but I have some concerns about my survivability in a mono relationship. Especially when I look back (at other relationships and breakups) with the knowledge I know possess.
How come? List concerns. What are they?
For myself I need to be able to have poly expression. The front page
of my blog thread covers mono-poly thoughts. I don't know if that would help you.
It seems that doing things in secret pays off more than doing it out in the open. So much for honesty working out. Lurking on these forums shows a lot of other people having major issues and not many seem to get it working.
Nope, I cannot recc. that path. Dishonesty kills emotionally intimacy because it kills trust.
You want to go that route? That is up to you. But if you are after ethical, honest polyship? That's not a way to go.
Remember people who do it well are usually minding their own business doing it well. They don't need advice as much -- they are off busy rowing/helmsmaning in turn over at their polyships in contentment.
Any people who were convinced poly who went successfully back to mono please let me know how you did it!
I've always felt polyamorous. I've not always had partners open to being in polyship. Years ago I asked then BF1 to enter into relationship with me and I was firm and clear about wanting to be with him. I was also firm and clear about NOT promising exclusive.
I dated, it eventually settled into a "V" kind of shape. I broke up with BF2 -- an agreeable, lovely parting.
I stayed with BF1 and married him. We closed up to deal with my health issues and have baby. The plan is still to remain closed in the "active parenting" time. We have no desire to co-parent with another person and honestly between the kid stuff and this eldercare stuff we'd not be the best partners to Others right now. Time is finite resource.
But we talk. Planning ahead to future when Time is different -- elders? Probably pass on. Or so on in healths that it is not homecare any more but in nursing home. So that reduces our load to visits. Kid? Grown up and doing her own thing. So that reduces our load there to visits too.
Some of the fears are still same for me --- I hate dating. I hate fear of the unknown person. I rather KNOW them already! I love ORE though and you can get THERE without passing through initial stages. If I want to get to there I have to suck it up that I have to spend some time in dating land -- either myself or DH or BOTH.
I think we could do it well. We've had many changes in life -- major changes. At 20 years clocked, taking the leap of faith isn't so scary really. I just EXPECT him to be a good helmsman when it is his turn. He just expects me to be a good helmsman when it is mine. We play to our strengths. Neither of us will make choices that will intentionally bash up the ship in a crash! But if it happens by accident? Well.... we're old at this business of working like a team.
We'll figure out metamorphasis into the next new shape.
We've done it before. Friends became friends with benefits became polyship/romance became monoship/romance became marriage became parents (.......) death do us part.
There's still a lot of unknown living to do in the (.......) space. Maybe there's divorce in there. And us being friends and good exes before one of us has to turn up at the other one's funeral for the final parting. Maybe there's a polyship in there. Maybe there's experiencing grandparenthood. Maybe there's a 50th anniversary party. Who the hell knows the future? We don't.
I'm not in with him to stay the same. I'm in it with him to enjoy the changing ever evolving journey together. I'm in it so I can find out what there is in that (....what comes next?!.....) space.
Kinda rambly -- and I'm not sure that answers or comforts you any.
Practical aid -- you'd have to list what concerns you are worrying more specifically with the mono/poly thing.
But in general I think you are normal sounding for a couple in the 4th year. Look up the "itch" thing. That has nothing to do with mono/poly, though you could have some concerns in that layer too. But I think perhaps it's worth investigating to see if part of the "ack" you feel is in the "general couplehood layer."