Hello, polyamory world!
I admit it: I am a forum lurker. Not just on this message board, but I'm more of a researcher and less a "get involved" type. I resolve not to do that here.
If I use labels, it's not because I like them and only for ease in communication. Take them with a grain of salt.
I'm also very wordy. I strive for brevity but work hard to make sure I'm communicating clearly. So, apologies in advance.... If you can imagine this all said with a southern drawl, you have me in a nutshell.
About me: My journey here has taken 33 years, but I have come such a long way. I was raised as a Southern Baptist. As such, I grew up only knowing that sex outside of marriage was unacceptable and that, within marriage, well....it's an easy way to get children. Appropriate relationships were with someone of the opposite gender and similar racial and social backgrounds. And since I'm HERE, you can imagine that didn't sit well with me.
I feel like I have literally clawed my way to this space. I have been married, divorced, and involved in a wide variety of relationships. I am currently involved in a newly-open relationship with a woman who has been my primary partner for just over three years. I am bisexual, and I admit to having had more difficulty coming to terms with THAT than with loving women on their own.
I am not new to the idea of polyamory and have long flirted with it being part of my life. I have gone through all the normal questions and concerns everyone else seems to have, but the overriding emotion now is one of relief.
I have recently been trying to take an honest look at my past, and it's been one of bouncing from one relationship to another. My partners have all been vastly different. Gender doesn't seem to play a huge part in whom I've ended up with. I am coming to accept, though, that this "bouncing" is probably a result of my complete inability to be consistently happy in a long-term, monogamous relationship.
My current partner and I, through multiple and ongoing discussions, decided that relationships outside our own are acceptable. Where we differ is in the nature of the relationship. Though she's content in the idea that she is the one I come home to each night, she would prefer to know nothing about my encounters and she would prefer that they remain only physical. Since this is pretty new to both of us, I can't say how open she would be to us having "full" relationships with other people in addition to each other. Obviously, we still have plenty of communicating that needs to be done, as I'm sure we always will.
I'm currently in a FWB situation with a guy, and though the physical part IS amazing, I find the lack of emotional connection to be hollow and unfulfilling. My best guess is the FWB relationship will fade away, but....who knows? I'm trying not to focus on him and his own issues; he will make his own decisions. I know I need to focus my energy on myself and in creating a life where I finally feel a bit less frantic and a bit more centered.
So, I don't really have any questions or answers for any of you. Please know that I am happy to be here and find reading this forum to be extraordinarily soothing. I'm looking forward to meeting others of like mind and am happy for any conversation that might come my way!