Another long post, sorry.
I last posted with the thread "Long Post - Complex Situation" (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3831
). I'll summarize by saying that as of right now, it's not working out. It turned out that Beth's feelings were more divided than she was initially willing to tell us. We were all together, essentially living together at Beth's place, for most of a week; then (on a Friday) Beth changed her mind and decided she wanted to be with Caleb. So Adam and I went down to our respective parent's places Friday night, wanting some time to adjust and get to a more stable place. We came back early Sunday, and Beth called and said she had changed her mind again - she wanted to be with us. She came over to our place, brought a car load of stuff and the kids, and stayed with us all day - and then changed her mind again late Sunday night and went back to Caleb. (On a side note, we had thankfully decided to not get intimate until things were more finalized with Beth leaving Caleb - so things didn't get any farther than a kiss between Adam and Beth.)
After that, it's been a difficult mix of trying to be friends with Beth and Caleb still and trying to deal with feelings for Beth. It hasn't helped that Beth has a tendency to say what she thinks people want to hear, and not what she actually thinks. A bit more than a week ago we all decided to take a break from trying to be friends, and right now Adam and I are thinking that break will be permanent. We really did give being just friends a try, but it wasn't working out at all. There's too many issues of trust, too many hurt feelings on every side, and it just isn't possible for us (me, Adam, and Beth) to go back to not having any romantic feelings for each other. It doesn't help that we still feel that Beth and Caleb have an abusive relationship - mostly Caleb abusing Beth - and we don't feel right giving our acceptance to something that is hurting Beth.
And while we love Beth, and that part isn't going to go away, Adam and I have realized just how wearing it was on us to be constantly worrying about Beth and wondering what she "really" thought. Adam actually came down with shingles - the doctor said it's probably due to too much stress bringing down the immune system (he did get tested for anything else that could impact his immune system, everything came back negative). I'm in my 5th year of college, and probably looking at my first ever C grade, what with getting behind on all my school and now struggling to catch up. There's a small chance, if Beth every really decided to leave Caleb, and had something to back up that she really meant it, that Adam and I would talk with her about being together. But some things would definitely have to change before that would be a possibility, and we'd be taking things a lot slower if Beth ever wanted to get together in the future.
Now to the moving on part: the unexpected development, and really the reason I'm posting any of this, is that Adam and I have realized that we're poly. I know I posted in my original thread that I didn't think I would ever consider poly, outside of this one situation. That one week we had with Beth changed my mind. I grew up in a large, close family (if a highly monogamous one), and I've always appreciated having a group of people that were all very close and supportive of each other. Adam was essentially a latch-key kid, but he also has always really appreciated having a small group of very close friends. We've never believed that one person can be everything for each other, and much of our discussion about poly has come to, "Well, why not?" Finally, everything about our time with Beth just felt so right. I loved having a second person that I could share with, someone that could be much closer than just a friend. I loved being there for her - cuddling and just letting her talk as she tried to sort things out. (She may not have been as honest as we thought she was, originally, but I still really enjoyed just being able to be there for her.) And finally, even though we didn't "get to that part," the thought of being able to explore and try new things sexually with another partner without betraying Adam was wonderful. Adam's been my only everything - everything from my first kiss to my first anything-else-we've-done - and I've always wondered what might be different if I had had the chance to get to know other people, but I love him and am committed to staying with him, so I hadn't previously thought I would ever be able to discover anyone else sexually. It's freeing to be able to think, "I wonder what that person would be like in bed," and not feel guilt-ridden just for being interested in someone else sexually.
So even though things haven't worked out with Beth, Adam and I are both interested in trying poly in the future. Which brings up whole new questions.
We both feel that our "ideal" would be a woman who would be interested in us both, but we're willing to explore other situations. Adam is very highly on the heterosexual end of things, so he's not interested in men for himself at all. I'm at least bicurious, and increasingly interested in having a female partner. Adam and I have agreed that, if I ever happen to fall for a man, we'll talk about it and see how things go from there; but I'll only purposefully pursue a female partner, at least for now. He's much more comfortable with it, and it's where my interests lie right now anyways.
We both definitely want a committed, relationship-partner situation. I know, for me personally at least, I can be pretty inhibited - I have to know someone for quite a while before I would feel remotely comfortable getting intimate. So swinging or short-term flings are not something we want right now.
Our biggest hurdle right now is how to meet people. We're both rather introverted - our idea of a party is 3 or 4 friends with some good food and maybe a movie or a DnD game. One side-effect of our short time with Beth is that we've lost most of our social group. It used to consist of Beth, Caleb, and two other guys. Caleb's side of the story has been that we were trying to steal Beth (not absolutely untrue, but she was the one who wanted to leave him - we would never have even mentioned anything if she hadn't told us that she was leaving him regardless). Both of the other guys are siding with Caleb, so... We've mostly decided it isn't worth fighting about. We're working on getting more involved with other people - we've both joined a club at our schools, and we've spent time reconnecting with our families and with old friends that we'd lost touch with. However, I'm not seeing many opportunities to meet up with people who are "poly-friendly," so to speak. We live in a mid-sized college town. We're mostly thinking that while we'll keep our eyes open for any potential partners, that's probably not going to happen until we can move to a larger city with more possibilities for meeting like-minded people.
I've also been dealing with learning how to move through what is essentially my first-ever break up. It's been a novel experience for me - missing Beth, feeling mixed between sadness and anger and passion. I even felt a bit of a rebound, I went to a conference lately and had daydreams about hooking up with someone lol (NOT something that goes through my head normally). I think I'm over the worst of it - I really care about Beth, but on the flip side we weren't really all together that long. The whole thing has really been a learning experience.
I'm not sure if I have any questions, per se... Any tips and suggestions are welcome, I kind of feel that I don't know enough to know what questions to ask.
I've bought the book "The Ethical Slut," and I'm finding it has lots of great relationship advice, regardless of whether or not you're poly. I've been reading the forums a lot, debating about moving from a lurker to more of a participant, and figured I should post an update before I start confusing everyone who'd read my previous thread.