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Old 01-04-2013, 08:20 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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You are very welcome for the response

I'm glad it helped in your thinking a little.

Let's see...

Ahh... that's important. She's mostly straight in practice, but not in belief. You know, I came out as a lesbian when I was 13. I remember brief, young thoughts of "why is this happening to me? why me?"... then shooting straight to acceptance. I think I had it easy. My girlfriend, on the other hand, has only just accepted her bisexuality at the age of 38, after two years with me. I thinks it is much more difficult for some people than we may realise. This could be (might not be, but could) a very big part of CG's hesitance and struggle.

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I think this is mostly frustrating because structure in our long friendship hasn't set of her need to recoil, but this seems to be triggering all kinds of new responses...even when it isn't *about* the crushy stuff.
So, it's spilling over, basically? She's showing signs of recoiling, even when it's not about the 'crush bubble'. That's an important indicator that she needs space. When someone pushes me and I start to feel that I don't know what I want, I bury my head in the sand and avoid that *person* - not just the talk about our connection. Even friendly hangouts and chats with that person feel stressful to me. The more they ask, the further away I want to get. As I said before, it's not nice behaviour and I wish I could change it - but it seems to be something inside me. I could absolutely be projecting - but CG seems to be acting the exact way that I do when I'm trying to say "please give me space".

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This is a good way to look at it. Do you think a "no structure when it comes to the romance/ish stuff but for work and our just hanging out we could schedule some things so I know when I'll be seeing you?" would be a compromise that would work?
To be honest? I don't think it would. For me, structure is structure. I hate any kind of structure. I love making plans with friends, but end up feeling resistant when the actual time comes around. I hate 9-5 work; I like to work at 2am, 6am, 12pm, whenever the mood strikes. My best friend is exactly like me - we don't text each other for weeks, we cancel plans to meet up 90% of the time, we are flaky with each other constantly; yet we love each other to death and are closer to each other than we are with any other friend. Why, when we can't commit to each other, do we consider each other a 'best' friend? Simply, because we are similar. We get each other. We work well. My ex-secondary needed structure. She needed to know when we would next meet, when we would next talk. We talked about it and she tried to make the same compromise that you are (sweetly) trying to make. She told me that she'd be ok with the sexual/romantic feelings to just happen; but she needed structure on the friendship part. I tried to give it to her. But it just didn't work. The more she pushed, the more I withdrew; the more I withdrew, the more she pushed. It destroyed our friendship, because she was hurt by me and I was completely put off her. Two opposites can be great for each other - you can give her structure, she can give you flexibility. But, sadly, more often than not, this kind of personality difference gets in the way. You shouldn't have to be less structured - it makes you feel uncomfortable. She shouldn't have to be more structured - it makes her feel uncomfortable.


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That is what I have done. She has said that she's alright with asking general questions (about poly, about how her relationships are structured, etc) and with me talking to primary BF. She also offered to attend one or two of the 6 sessions of the 6 week poly workshop I signed up for. That is more than enough for me on the "curshy" end of things, for now.
That sounds good

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It's just...I'm feeling a little surprised that this seems to have had more of a confusing impact on my friendship with the poly person than on my marriage to to monogamous one.
I can understand this and why you are surprised about it. Logic would say that it would cause more trouble between you and your main partner. I believe there are four things that can make or break a friendship - sexual involvement, living together, working together and money. One of my dearest friends is the polar opposite to me. She mocks my flakiness and I mock her military-level need to plan. I don't feel *as* close to her as I do my best friend, but for a close friendship, it works. We are SO opposite that, in a friendship realm, it's an entertaining difference. If she became my romantic partner? We'd drive each other nuts. If we lived together? We'd probably never speak again. If we worked together? Actually, we have, and it didn't work out well!

In my opinion, if you mix sex, money, cohabitation or work with a close friend and it goes wrong, it *does* affect the friendship. It's not working smoothly between you romantically, so that *is* affecting your friendship. It's because you're seeing sides of each other that aren't working outside of a friendship box. Does that make sense?

I'm not saying that *you* should change, or behave differently. But... if this helps... there is one tried and tested technique I know of when dealing with people non-committal, flaky, independent, unstructured people. The technique is simple. Let go. For her to give you what you want (structure) she has to *do* something. For you to give her want she wants (no structure), you have to *not* do something. That is the only difference. I'm not saying that it's easier for you to *stop* doing something than it is for her to *start* - but it could be an option. If you are capable (and it's totally understandable if you aren't) of giving her complete space, on friendship too, and asking nothing at all, you may very well discover that she starts actually giving you more structure. This works for me, at least, with others. If you pin a butterfly down, what will they be thinking about? Flying away. If you let it fly around, what will they be thinking of? Coming back.

It might be that if you test that technique out for a little while, it will work wonders. It might be that your personalities will only work in a friendship. Either way, I do think you'll be able to (at the very least) stub out some of the problems by accepting her personality and hoping that she accepts yours.
__________________

Me: (30f) open poly
Serious long-distance relationship with GF (40f)
Casual FWB with Descartes (27f)



“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
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