Hey Y'all. Don't pop in here often any more. But, needing some advice in a forum wherein which neither of my core partners participate.
Quick background: I've been dating J who lives up here in Seattle for just over a year. I've been dating R for about 7 months. It is a long distance relationship; she lives in Cali. J is polyamorous and dates others, mostly as a secondary. R is monogomish and is only dating me.
My last several opportunities to be with R, I went down to Cali. A couple of months ago, she came up here. So, I thought it a good idea for R and J to meet. I checked with them before and they both agreed to it (or so I thought). A couple of hours before the get together, R tells me that she didn't agree to meet J. That although it wasn't a big deal, I mentioned it weeks before and then sprung it on her at the last minute. I thought we had agreed, but to be fair to her, I probably didn't nail a complete yes out of her. I offered to cancel the meeting as she was clearly anxious. But, she wanted to show me that it wasn't stressful and insisted on going.
It was simply a beer and conversation for about an hour. I let them do most of the talking, mostly about themselves as they got to know more about each other. I walked away thinking the conversation went well. It was awkward at times, but nothing unexpected in my view.
So, recently in talking about some challenges in our relationship R tells me that she thought the meeting was awful. She said she felt neglected and disrespected in that hour. Specifically:
- She thought I should have had a plan as the "host" and facilitated the discussion (examples she used were official introductions, ice breakers, making sure everyone feels comfortable, and keep the conversation going).
- R felt that J looked more at me than her (I purposely sat on the same side of the table as R to make her and I feel more like the "couple because she's kind of on J's turf not her own). She said watching J and I give each other the eye as if she didn't exist was extremely rude and alienating. They did most of the talking to each other. So, it's hard to fathom she felt J and I were treating her as if she didn't exist.
- And, when we left, I hugged and kissed J which R said was very alienating for her. I explained that I didn't think about giving her a hug and kiss goodnight as R was going home with me. R would get all the hugs and kisses she could handle over the next several days we were together. Impolite, indifferent and insensitive were words she used to describe J and my behavior.
It's so very different than how I remember the evening that it's striking and depressing (J has a similar view as mine on the evening). It is hard because she took so long to mention it. And, it feels like R is holding onto some animus for J that seems out of proportion. So, I'm trying to respond without trying to argue away her perceptions of the evening. My main goal is to find a path to reduce the animus and discomfort that I see has built up from R about J.
I'd appreciate your thoughts on what might be behind these radically different experiences as well as what possible ways to start moving this in the right the direction. Thanks!