So here's my story in as short a nutshell as possible:
My girlfriend came out as poly a couple of years ago. I guess she decided that she had to finally tell me because she was interested in another man. This was really, really hard for me. I spent a lot of time soul searching and trying to figure out how I felt about this. I won't deny it, I raged, I cried, I felt hopelessness, jealousy, anger, and fear. Most of all I felt fear that she would leave me. Also fear that I would never know if our relationship led to children whether or not they would be mine.
I've wrestled with these feelings for a long time and I've come to grips with a lot of my insecurities and jealousies (although I think this will be a constant internal battle). The arrangement still isn't easy for me by any means (of course, life isn't easy), but what I've learned about polyamourous relationships and my general dislike of "conforming to the norm" for appearances' sake have helped me through a lot of the heartache and jealousy and depression. We've talked about things a lot and we've agreed to some ground rules: that she doesn't have sex with him in our bed, and that she ask me before she goes out with him. She sometimes has troubles with the latter rule, and when she does I'm understandably angry about it and I let it be known.
I feel like I'm being pretty openminded about this whole thing, since it wasn't my idea to start it, and truth be told, it does in fact strengthen the relationship between my girlfriend and me, so it has become easier with time. I still have mixed feelings, mostly because I don't really know the guy well and what I do know about him I don't like; I don't think he treats her well enough to deserve her and I feel like he sometimes takes advantage of her good nature. It's her decision to make, though, so my opinion of him doesn't carry the same weight with her as her's does. So I feel like this polyamorous lifestyle we've been cultivating is working out, though it's still a lot of work (but of course every relationship is).
Since I've had to wrap my head around this new way of going through life, I've felt like possibilities of loving another woman are opening up for me. I've had a couple of budding relationships, and I've always let the other woman know before the relationship goes very far what my relationship situation is. In some cases, I've been totally up front about it, and I always get the "you're a typical sex crazed man" look and that opportunity is inevitably lost. Hell, I'm not even sure I want sex out of any extra-primary relationships. I just met this girl about a week and a half ago, and we really had a connection. We've spent a lot of time together in the past few days, and I told her about my situation shortly after we met. We talked about how it would work for a long time, and I was honest about how hard it is, and about how I don't know if I would ever pick one person over the other (her over my primary girlfriend, in this case). She couldn't really seem to wrap her head around the idea that I don't want to leave my girlfriend, and that I really care about her at the same time. She seems to think I would have to make a choice at some point down the road.
So now I'm even more confused. She said we should just play it by ear and see how things go. Things got intimate one night, but not too intimate mind you, I like to take things as slowly as possible. The next day she was acting kind of distant and I was getting vibes from her, so I asked her what was wrong. She tells me she's really confused about us and she doesn't know how to feel, and we should just be friends for the time we're together until we both get back home (we're on a business trip and live in two different but close together cities) and then we'll see where things go from there. I know she enjoyed that night we had together (I'm not trying to be cocky here but I am a very giving lover) so I know that's not it. She left to go back home yesterday, I'm still away from home on business for another couple of weeks.
I realize she didn't flat out tell me it won't work out between us, but I can't help but feeling adrift. I can't focus on my work (and it's really important that I'm focused) and I can't get this woman out of my head. I feel like we've had a deep connection and that if I don't see her again it's going to leave a hole in my heart. I guess I fall fast and I fall hard. I know that if I was single things would be different; she wouldn't have the same fears and confusion.
I guess I'm having a really hard time with being poly right now; it's so hard to meet people that are open to different ways of being and when you finally do meet someone and you tell them you're poly things almost always end up going sideways. I'm not sure what kind of advice I'm asking for here but does anyone feel the same way I do? Does anyone have any advice? I really, really like this woman and I kind of feel like a freak right now asking her to be 'the other woman'. I'm not sure if it's fair to her but I can't deny how I feel and I know I care about her, I miss her and she's been gone a day and a half. I realise that all I can do right now is wait and see what she decides but I can't help but feel empty somehow, like I already know the outcome.