J (primary male partner) and I have a relationship with couple B(bi comfy man) & C(bicomfy? woman). After a couple of weeks, we started negotiating how to have 1-1 relationships. So far (until now), people seem to be getting what they need in terms of interactions/encounters, frequency and quality of communication, etc.
We all started saying "I love you" a couple of weeks ago. I feel it on my end to be very true. It is a very deep caring feeling in my chest. I don't hesitate using the word to describe my feelings for either of them.
C started off our relationship by saying she was interested in exploring with me sexually. We have done that primarily in a group setting. A few days ago, during an online chat, she and I expressed to each other that all of the pieces for a romantic relationship were there (emotional and mental connection, physical attraction, etc). That conversation coupled with the verbal expressions of love along with some intense eye contact during our last group sex encounter left me feeling like I was safe to express my desire for a more intimate 1-1 date with her (one that would include more physical and sexual contact; our past two dates have been in public spaces for lunch, hanging with her 3 yr old, etc). I expressed this desire through a short and sweet text. She called me tonight to tell me that she is not comfortable with that and not desiring that.
I feel very confused by all of the mixed signals and messages. I know that one can love in a more platonic sense, but having sex as part of a relationship inevitably makes a relationship (to me) feel like something much different, even if the relationship doesn't automatically feel romantic.
I don't know right now in this moment how to handle seeing her next time we see them in a group, or even on my own. I don't know how group sex will feel; it sounds a little torturous to "play" sexually with her, knowing that the more romantic intimacy is not something she feels or wants. My heart hurts from taking the risk of expressing my desire and from the feeling of rejection.