Originally Posted by nycindie
All you have to ask yourself is... is Davis more important to you than Harry? Remember, you will be starting anew. Why not just take it slowly, with a few dates here and there, no negotiations or contract, for a few months and just see if you even want anything with him again. Letting go of Harry before you even know if there is something solid and worth rekindling (he's an ex for a reason, right?) might be disastrous and hurtful to Harry.
Ahhhh, ok. The thing is, and this might have been the source of some confusion in all this, Davis and I have been doing what most people would think of as "dating" for... geez, I guess a couple of years now. We go out to see movies, get dinner together, stay in to watch something, have long talks. Sometimes it's been more often, like multiple times a week, sometimes we'll go a couple of weeks or even more without seeing each other. We have sex regularly, and as of the last year and a half-ish we've actually been saying "I love you" to each other. It was something that he would always say from time to time, and I finally realized that I wanted to be saying it back, so I did.
On the surface you could say we're already in a relationship, but it's been very casual and undefined and not about romantic gestures. At times we've been closer, at other times more distant. He's known about my other lovers but hasn't asked for details before. There hasn't been any expectation that we get to have a say in one another's personal lives. We've determinedly been friends... just friends who hang out a lot and are physically intimate and say I love you to each other.
Now he wants to define things, set terms, formalize the arrangement.
The reason he's an ex... it's a long story. The short version is that at about the two year mark in our relationship, I realized that I wanted to be with someone else. It wasn't that I didn't want to be with Davis or didn't love him anymore, I just wanted to be with this other person very much too (an old flame that I hadn't gotten over, who unexpectedly came back into my life professing regret for leaving me... what is with me and my exes?).
Torn between two lovers. How very poly of me, right? Unfortunately, none of us knew how to handle the situation in a positive way. I spent a full year of my life agonizing over whether or not to leave Davis, and it broke our relationship. I wanted to leave and he couldn't handle the idea and just got defeated and weepy and "how will I live without you" when I tried to talk about it, and I couldn't bring myself to go. FINALLY I did leave and tried things with the old flame... it didn't work out but I didn't regret leaving Davis. At that point, the relationship had become toxic for us both. The difficult thing was that, through it all, I truly did still love Davis and loathed the idea of leaving him with a broken heart. There was just no other way.
But we didn't stay apart for long, even if maybe we should have. Davis and I started occasionally fooling around together probably not 6 months after I left him (which was 4 years ago now). It was like... we were a balm to each other, if that makes any sense. But it really wasn't a good idea at that point. At various times after that either he or I would say "Y'know, this really isn't healthy" and we would stop seeing each other for a while, but we'd always end up talking again and then eventually getting closer again.
We've both apologized to each other for the various emotional wrongs we committed against one another in the past, worked on our issues, and forgiven one another. I think that, as of the last couple of years, our friendship actually *has* been a healthy, positive thing for both of us. It's a wonderful thing to have someone in your life who you KNOW will have your back no matter what. He's my best friend, really. Even though he can be a misanthropic, obnoxious, stubborn bastard at times (just telling it like it is, he wouldn't disagree with that characterization).
So, is Davis more important to me than Harry? Well, yes. But... that doesn't mean I'm necessarily willing to give up Harry for him. I hate the idea of losing a meaningful connection with anyone just because someone else tells me to drop it. It doesn't feel right. And it WOULD hurt Harry, as well as me, to end things. Even though Harry and I haven't expressed it to one another in words yet, emotions are involved at this point. It's clear in the way Harry and I kiss, the way we touch each other, the way we hold each other, and the way we laugh together, that we've moved at least one step beyond being just
casual friends-with-benefits. I would never stop seeing Davis just because Harry asked me to, never in a million years. But that doesn't mean I'm willing to do the reverse either. *sigh* Am I just being greedy? Do I want to have my cake PLUS three other pieces of cake, and eat them all too?