Whoa! Lots of responses since earlier. I appreciate it sooo much.
GroundedSpirit - Thanks for your comments on getting to the bottom of whether this cautiousness is related to fear or idealism. I feel as though I am open to compromise but as the relationship goes on I become less and less so as I feel like the compromises are commonly on my end. Although...he counts me being allowed to be involved with anyone as a "compromise" for him which I do not fully understand. I definitely recognize why he would be fearful of my interest in other loves AND that my freeness could cause some trouble. I am open to having rational conversations but in the past they seem to always end in the decision that I need to change. I first recognized this as becoming a major problem when I caught myself afraid to admit to my boyfriend that I liked someone. He had previously bad mouthed this person (who I had admittably just started getting to know) and implied that there was something childish about me being interested in this person. I retaliated by denying that I did not. I think what happened was that I had the beginnings of a crush on this person but because I was afraid of how my boyfriend would react, I just shut it down. Something somewhat similar has happened before and it lead to a very difficult spring for him and I. I do not want my frustrations to pile up and cause issues again but at the same time, it's hard to express myself honestly when my boyfriend is so negative about the whole thing.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe our boundaries need reworking. Does that sound right?
And thanks for the conversation starter. I'm bad at that part.
CielDuMatin - Welllll...I think I should have been more clear. He has actually said those exact words to me, although not in response to a question. In some of our conversations he has said he does not like me being so free with other people because it makes him see me as "slutty". But you're right. It would be wise to have that be part of our conversation as well because I need to know exactly what his issue is. I think something that is important is that this time around (as opposed to when we had first got together and I was much more green) is that I take a harder line on this kind of thing. While I don't want to say, "That's your problem if you think that I am slutty", I feel like it is important for me to stand up for myself and express that regardless of his negative feelings, this is important to me. Am I being too uncompromising in that?
lisbeth - Nope! It's just the lovers he interferes with! Good thing to watch out for though, for sure.
LovingRadiance - I definitely hear this and I appreciate the sentiment. Do you think there are real ways in which I can be more accommodating without giving up freedoms that are very much important to me? I feel like we've gone down the route of me trying to make a change in myself and it is proving itself to be both painful and frustrating. Maybe I approach this the same way he approached me about the lover he wanted me to give up on, "if you can't help me figure this out, I will be miserable and continue to start fights about it...because it is that important and hard for me".
saudade - Yes. It bothered me too. We had a rather large fight about it and unfortunately, it has sort of stuck in my head ever since.