I don't blame him for this. I think it makes sense, and if that's what he needs right now.... to date around before he's sure about me... I want to give it to him. But I am naturally monogamous, and I am having a really hard time emotionally with this. I am terrified that, despite his promise, he is going to fall for someone before he and I have truly worked through our issues.
I am confused. Let me sum up as I understand it. (I could be wrong):
You guys broke up. You are processing previous hurt. You are thinking about dating each other again if hurts can be resolved.
At this time, he wants to continue date others while processing because he's not ready to commit to (to borrow an old fashioned phrase) "going steady" with you at this time or "building commitment" at this time.
And you want him to agree to "going steady" or agree to "building commitment" at this time with you even though past issues are not resolved yet? But you agree his want is reasonable and fair. So you have inner conflict.
Part of the problem in the past was not being able to ASK for what you need.
You seem to need reassurance. How about practicing asking what you need then? Grow this skill? Here is opportunity.
Why not ask for reassurance on his behavior rather than reassurance on the final outcome so you can feel better NOW? Because he can reassure you NOW he intends to do and will do his best to process with you. That's his behavior. He can know that right this minute. He's promised he's not looking for relationship and ultimately hopes for a monogamous relationship with you. That doesn't seem satisfactory -- maybe you want more SPECIFIC behavior you can measure?
If you are more reassured right now if you could have a time frame... you could ask if he's willing to give you a small one. Negotiate. Ask if he's willing. Maybe something like...
"Ok, you date other people. Cool. But could you be willing to give me 1-2 weeks of you not dating anyone and telling me about it? Because these recent convos really took it out of me emotionally. I'm not ready to deal in more challenging emotional stuff right away. Could we call a time out? What is a reasonable breather space to you? I'm not asking for going steady or anything just... breather space here before we continue processing here."
The point of DOING the process is to determine
the outcome. That part he can't reassure you on. He can't read into the future. Neither can you. Limit of the Universe.
I'm also not reading where the polyshipping part comes in here at this time. That's where I am confused.
To me it sounds like you are fearful that you might not get to date him again. And it is true. You might not. But then again... you might!
Rather than "what iffing"... you could focus on what you have going on right now: You are engaged in conflict resolution. Resolve it. THEN level up.
Here's the toggle variables that I can see. (I could be wrong.)
- You do not reach resolution. And part ways and not be friends.
- You reach resolution. And part ways and not be friends.
- You do not reach resolution. But agree to be friends anyway.
- You reach resolution. And be friends.
- You do not reach resolution. But agree to date anyway.
- You reach resolution. And agree to date.
You could not connect things that don't have to be connected.
You could treat each portion of it separately rather than taking them on at once so it is "baby steps" and not "scary leaps."
Because you could deal with (conflict resolution and return to right relationship) first.
Before you get to move on to the next stepping stone to discern whether or not you will build a NEW relationship and what shape that might be:
- Parts ways?
- Friend relationship?
- Dating relationship?
Can't level up til you complete the previous floor, right? Could consider that reality as "the price of admission" here.
I know it could feel "ugh" in limbo, but you could exercise some faith. 5:1 odds there that you will at least get a partial green or a double green one and not a red. So to me? The odds are looking pretty good for something
green in there. Which is better than before -- broken up and not speaking, right?
Could that adjustment in your outlook help make the wait more bearable? And help you be more able to focus on the job of conflict resolution and discernment?
Talk, sort it out. You both can do this.
Hang in there!