Nervous polywog needs advice, please
Hello! I could really, really use some advice regarding my current situation, which happens to be my first steps in polyamory. Here's a bit of background first, I suppose.
I've been dating L for almost five years. I'm so, so happy with him, but some days I can't help but feel that I'm not quite getting everything I need out of our relationship. I thought, for a long time, that something was wrong with me, because I can't imagine living without him; we've discussed marriage and kids, moving in together after grad school, the whole shebang. Why wasn't that enough for me? I felt confused, and selfish, and abnormal. So after several months of confusing feelings, I came across polyamory. I was overjoyed -- I wasn't alone! I wasn't betraying my boyfriend by wanting to seek love from other people, in addition to him!
So, after a few weeks of research, I brought it up with L. The discussion went both better and worse than I had expected. Better, because I had been worried that he would reject the idea entirely, and he simply said "okay" and had me explain polyamory to him; worse, because he is extremely low self-esteem and was afraid that this meant he was losing me. After a lot of discussion (and a lot of me reassuring him that if he wasn't game for a poly setup, I love him enough to stay monogamous), he gave me his blessing to pursue other partners. We do have a few rules; for example, L has the right to veto a potential partner if he's really not comfortable around them. I know that any partner of mine is also going to be a part of L's life, and everyone at least being friends is a must for me.
Okay, so the thing that I need advice on. The long and the short of it is this: I know that the idea of "sharing" me with another person scares L, but there is someone that I'd like to pursue, T. Even though L has reassured me, and even playfully teased me by asking if I was bringing anyone home for the holidays, I know that he's scared of a change in our dynamic. Do I protect my boyfriend a little longer, while he still comes to terms with the new aspect of our relationship? Or do I go ahead and pursue T, who might not even be interested?
Gosh, I feel kind of silly...Hopefully someone can give me some insight into this matter?