Originally Posted by pulliman
I mean, nobody's sleeping with anyone outside us three (except me, who rarely sees EL). AM [..] wants something deeper and more connected with the two of us, on the one hand, and wants freedom on the other.
I'm full up here.
There's no such thing as "exclusive except." You're exclusive, or you're not. It's pretty black-and-white. If you're not exclusive and you have no intention of being so (by dropping EL), then why waste all this energy overthinking it? Live your lives day by day, take things as they come.
Even if everyone is polysaturated and doesn't have time or energy for new people, that doesn't automatically make it exclusive. And making an exclusivity policy just because everyone happens to be polysaturated at the moment is both silly and moot.
You are not exclusive because you have EL. AM is not exclusive because she is in transition and may decide she wants space and support to explore outside the group.
So at most, it would make sense for you to just let the others know, as a matter of current circumstances, that you yourself are not planning on seeing other people right now.
Exclusivity doesn't make a deeper connection. Spending time together, building intimacy, showing respect, talking about hopes and dreams... those are the things that build deeper connections. When you're not home, you're not home. The connection won't "notice" whether you're at work or on a date. The connection will notice how much time you do spend together and what you do when you're together, not what you're doing when you're not together.