I have a lot of my mind lately about relationships, but I figure that's my stuff to work through. I just realized this week that my natural tendency (which I hadn't really been seeing objectively) is to bounce things off somebody before making a decision. I think it comes from marrying young, I never lived all by myself until i was 32, and never really got a chance to be independent, all big decisions impacted more than just I, so it was just habit to discuss and let somebody else have input.
Sometimes I ask for a second or third opinion because I'm happily open to multiple outcomes, sometimes I am indifferent or unsure so open to information that sway me one way or another (and as a married person, will one route make whoever I live with happier than the other route?) Sometimes I don't know if I can make an objective decision so I look for help instead of taking the time to look inside myself and be patient for an answer. Fuck, even for figuring out where to go to grad school I pinned different schools to a dart board because I didn't want to actively make a decision (best school in a crappy location vs OK school in a closer more awesome location,) so I know it's a more widespread issue for me.
Dating Brian has been refreshing in the way that he is a more private person. That means I don't bounce a lot of things going on with him by Adam to get his input or advice because I haven't asked for or gotten permission to do so freely. There are really only a couple other people I could talk to deeply about relationship dynamics, but they are people I've been relying on my whole life for feedback.
Both Adam and my ex husband are around a LOT of people and have a much broader view on how and why people act than I do. I learned the limits of that last year, my ex stated there was no way I could date Brian long term because he was sure I could not handle a relationship that wasn't my ideal type, where I was not best buddies with my partner and able to talk and share what was going on with me and them multiple times a week. It's odd to realize that even somebody who's known you 20 years is seeing who they think you are, the idea instead of the reality, and that they don't actually know or understand you completely. Odder still to have somebody insist they know you better than you know yourself, so when you say you are open to trying something new and seeing if it will work, say they are sure you will fail.
Adam is better about that stuff, (he knows me, he's been on both sides of these (and most) circumstances, he is almost always objective and unbiased (one of the things I was amazed by on our first date 8 years ago) but perhaps he too has been with me long enough that asking him for input would get advice based on a skewed view of who I am. I am just not sure I will see a clear border between objective advice and advice given because he is assuming I see things a certain way, so that has given me pause.
That gave me one more reason to really stop and think about this subject, of being independent and making decisions for myself. I realized that I did a lot of "What do you think" with my partners - several times in the last year or so I asked Adam if I should go on a second date with somebody, or if I decided I didn't want to, looked to him for affirmation that I was making the correct decision. I imagine there was a lot of that with my ex when we were poly too. This is a harder subject for me because with the wider people knowledge that he and my ex have - I am pretty sure that I would not still be dating Brian if both of them hadn't given me their take on things, when I was sure it was not going to work out - they gave me great reality checks. Because I listened and it worked out, it's very tempting to keep relying on third person advice, but I really think it just isn't healthy.
Thankfully some of the blogs in this section are really good reality checks and have made me think more. This is the first time I've had a "secondary" relationship actually, or a relationship that seems very unlikely for many reasons to never going to be more than that, regardless of feelings and good things about the relationship. Changes may be afoot with that relationship, and as tempting as it to talk about all the stuff going through my head out loud, I am trying to be aware. Even if I do talk about what is going on in my mind to Adam, I have to remember to say I'm just sharing what I'm going through, not asking for advice.
So not really a point to talk about the specifics as I am still noodling through stuff, but I feel the subject of decision making is pretty integral to poly when it comes to interpersonal relationships, so thought it was worth writing about.
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.
Last edited by Anneintherain; 11-16-2012 at 04:39 PM.