Originally Posted by SummerAle
My lover and I have a deep connection and he recently started seeing another woman whom he is developing strong feelings for as well. While he and I have definitely had great physical and emotional connections with more than one person in the past, neither of us has had strong feelings for two people at the same time. It's becoming quite sticky. Anyone out there have some sage advice as we navigate this? Many thanks in advance.
Hello and Welcome! Congratulations on finding polyamory.com - there are lots of threads here and links to other resources that you may find helpful.
Advise? Patience, communication, and GO SLOW.
At the beginning of any new relationship there is often a phenomena called NRE (New Relationship Energy) - this is a heady drug and the people affected often can't really see things objectively - there is a tendency to focus on the "new shiny" person and existing partners may end up feeling neglected. If people recognize that this is going on, steps can be taken to make sure that the existing relationship gets the care and feeding that it needs during this, often straining, transition.
For instance, setting a date night just for the two of you - this is a time for fun and bonding, NOT a time to dissect and "work on" your relationship. Outside phone calls/txts should be banned at this time - except for family emergencies. I don't know if you and your lover live together but time spent on household tasks/chores doesn't count as a "date."
In addition, try to address any existing weaknesses in your relationship - poly tends to shine light into the dark corners of any relationship - revealing cracks that you might have been ignoring, or didn't even know were there. Not great at communication? That needs to be addressed pronto! Find online resources or get books to help you work on that together - BOTH of you, go to a counselor if needed. (I just used that as an example, as it tends to be a common problem.)
Finally, I would encourage you to resist the urge to add even more people to the mix (i.e. add a new partner of your own, you know, to be "fair"). "Relationship broken, add more people." rarely turns out for the best. Try to wait until the new dynamic has stabilized and the NRE has run its course, before shaking it up yet again. (This depends on how stable your existing relationship is and whether you guys are already comfortable dating others but this is the first time "strong feelings" have come into the mix.)
You may want to do a tag search here for "NRE" or "time management". Check out links in the "Golden Nuggets" thread. Peruse the threads in the "Poly Relationships Corner" sub-forum - you can also post more about your specific situation and get more advise here in this thread.
Hope that Helps.