Originally Posted by CharlotteSometimes
Recently I've been struggling with two things. Firstly he seems to have so many partners sometimes (maybe not partners, maybe people 'on the go' that he's talking to and potentially playing with, although that's not a nice way of putting it) that I struggle to keep up with them. I find just keeping up with the people he is dating/potentially dating/playing with (etc) a job all to itself. I literally feel like through his partners, *I* have reached my saturation point! I feel like I have very little emotion left over to give anyone else once I've finished thinking about his life, certainly not enough left over for me to maintain another relationship of my own! Is this something I'll just get used to over time?
Secondly I get frustrated and jealous of the time he spends scouring the internet and meeting people with a view to future playdates/relationships/etc. I know rationally that this isn't time he could spend with me because of the distance, but I become frustrated easily when he always seems to be going out for coffee with people (a couple of times a week at the moment) and can quite easily find myself feeling a little hurt and rejected....
I suppose maybe it is because I'm not into playdates/casual/less-committed type relationships myself that I find it difficult to see him enjoying himself in that way. (And that's important - it's part of him and I don't want to change him because it would make me unhappy to think he was just doing what I wanted him to).
My first thought is why do you need to? You did not mention any concerns about him breaking agreements or being untrustworthy. As long as he is keeping his agreements and meeting your needs, his casual encounters are not your business. If you are spending this much emotional energy on something that isn't your concern and it is causing you this much pain, stop doing it.
Usually I'm all about more communication but maybe you don't need to know that he is trolling the intertubes for dates or play partners or that he has a coffee date with so and so. Maybe you don't ask for more information if he mentions he has a date lined up for Wednesday next. Maybe you ask him not to tell you about said coffee dates. I get wanting to know his daily life but maybe less information is better in this situation.
It's ok to be jealous that some random hookups are getting time with 'your' man that you can't enjoy because of distance. Some things about long distance relationships can't be changed - like limited time together - and just have to be accepted. Sometimes just acknowledging that one is jealous AND that there is nothing that can be done about it to yourself and to him is helpful in accepting that jealousy and moving on.
And you have different ways of doing ethical non-monogamy. You are fine with his committed partners, other than the totally normal tinge of jealousy that they get time with him that you don't. You seem very comfortable and happy being part of a committed poly 'family'. I suspect a polyfi situation would probably suit you very well.
But, as you know, that's not who he is. Sounds like he does poly with a side of open. And that's a fine way to 'do' poly. Lots of people do. He seems to be ethical about it. You don't have to accept casual involvements as something you would want to accept it in him. His casual dates and play partners have nothing to do with you. They don't reflect on you. And, except for your concern about them, they don't impact your relationship with him.
Long story short, stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. You're not in competition with his casual hookups. You've already 'won'. Enjoy your victory and move on.