Originally Posted by monaural
One of my lingering worries is, my circle of friends are mostly married, or committed. They want me to have a wonderful partner, and those who know about this aren't thrilled to hear I'm with someone who "can't make up their mind", or doesn't value me they way they think she should.
I wonder how to make it clear to people that I treat this relationship like something "real", without seeming like a weak, cuckolded guy.
Bingo!This is a huge factor for monogamous people involved with polyamorous people. We see the affects of differing social circles it in our local poly community and I have experienced this first hand. If you say you are casually dating her it's pretty ok, but if you say you "love her" it's not received well.
You do get those looks and people will judge you just as you said. I certainly have felt this and continue to struggle with this at some times. There are several ways to deal with this although there are many more I'm sure:
a) debate - where you end up defending something you don't understand completely (which is never very convincing),
b) physical threats (one reason I chose not to be open around some people who would push beyond the effectiveness of verbal communication; I have very tough skin and could care less what some one says about me, but threaten my family and I can't seem to maintain composure),
c) introducing your partner to them....This has worked for me personally because Redepper and Polynerdist are amazing people,
d) Say good bye to a lot of people you knew and start over in a new social circle - I have lost most of the people from my old social circle. Luckily I was in transition towards a new me and having Redpepper by my side was incredibly supporting.
This is a tough one. The judgement that you are less of a man and a pushover is very real. A lot of this has to do with our upbringing and social background. My parents still think Polynerdist could shoot me at anytime LOL! This is where social conditioning comes into play...not in how you love some one.