Longtime mono transitioning to mono-poly
Hi everyone. I've browsed this board periodically over the years, but thought that I should finally post an intro as my relationship status is evolving.
I'm a straight male, early 30s, and have been in a monogamous relationship with my partner (J) since high school; the only relationship for both of us until recently. About 4 years ago, I learned about polyamory, and the idea of multiple relationships really struck home. Shortly after, I met an experienced poly woman and began to get close to her.
J had recently moved away for school, and was not comfortable with the situation, so I backed off and ended up relocating to her a little later. After that, we had a few discussions about poly, and J basically concluded that she was monogamous and preferred monogamy, but was open to my being poly if it made me happy. For my own part, as interested as I am in poly, I would stick with being mono if that was necessary to maintain my relationship with J. This essentially meant that one of us was going to end up causing some emotional pain to the other, which wasn't ideal, but we each feel that the other was worth it.
A few months ago, I found out that a friendly acquaintance (T) was poly, and we started seeing each other. T has her own monogamous male partner (K), so it seemed like a great match for working through J and my first poly attempt. J and I have had a few bumps along the way, but we have great communication and have been talking and working through "Opening Up" together. Things are progressing slowly, with all of the usual issues that plague new mono-poly relationships (fear, guilt, social stigma). T has been very accommodating, and I'm hopeful that this will work out well for everyone.
At any rate, I'm hoping to learn from others and be able to share any of my experiences that prove to be helpful. Surprisingly, the California central coast doesn't seem to have a very socially active polyamory crowd.
TL;DR version: 30s/straight/male in a 10+ year mono relationship, now transitioning to mono-poly. Recently started a 'Z' shaped relationship with another woman.