Mixed Signals From My Boyfriend's (Former) Secondary
After my boyfriend came out as polyamorous, he told me that he wanted to begin dating another woman in a primary/secondary arrangement. The terms that we both agreed on were that they could only kiss; no sex, nudity or erotic touching of any kind. We thought this would work out well for the secondary because she is asexual (she is fine with emotional intimacy but romance and sexual intimacy freak her out). My boyfriend promised her that their relationship would be an expansion of the friendship that they already had, there would be no romantic obligations of any kind and all emotions would be strictly platonic. At the time, all three of us wanted this.
Unfortunately, my boyfriend did not know at the time what sort of a poly he was. He thought that what he wanted was one strong primary relationship with all secondaries as more like "friends with cuddle benefits" (his terms not mine) but that was naive of him.
He ended up falling in love with her but he had to hide it from her because it was not in the terms of their agreement and he knew that she, being aromantic, would not reciprocate it and could very well leave him over it.
A couple months later a mutual friend of my boyfriend and I, and one of the very best friends of the secondary read my boyfriend's texts without his permission and found out about their relationship. Out of jealousy over my boyfriend's attachment toward her, he then proceeded to out us to all of the secondary's friends. The drama resulting from this fiasco caused the secondary to break up with my boyfriend.
My boyfriend is still madly in love with the secondary, and, now that the drama has blown over, is trying to get them back together without revealing his true feelings. She has told him repeatedly that she is not interested in that sort of a relationship again. Her reasoning changes each time. At first it was because she thought I may not want it (I do), then it was because she did not want to risk more people finding out. Now it's because there is only a month left until she goes off to college so it isn't worth it for her.
At the same time, she also flirts with my boyfriend whenever the two of them interact, she'll give him compliments, act coy, and hold his hand when she feels she can get away with it.
My boyfriend and I are both getting tired of her behavior, him because he is sick of having his emotions played with, and me because I feel like she's trying to get the benefits of the relationship that my boyfriend and her once had without acknowledging its existence.
We're both at an impasse as to what to do about this. My boyfriend uses the flirting as evidence that she actually does want to get back together with him. Currently she has offered to be in a relationship with him only if they're doing "nothing that would constitute as cheating" and if, since they would be doing nothing that constitutes as cheating, I would not know about it. (My boyfriend refused this and then told me about what she said, otherwise I would not know). Her offering this also suggests that she might be interested in getting back together with him and could be gently persuaded into abandoning her notion that I should not be involved.
Yet he also knows that if she doesn't want to get back together with him, he's going to only get more pain and heartbreak trying to ask her and ask her so he's considering abandoning the whole thing, perhaps even including their friendship. He has been going back and forth over which option to pursue. If anyone with more experience should care to weigh in over which would be better for him, I would be much obliged.
So far I have remained impartial in this relationship. I offer my boyfriend support and advice without passing judgment or intervening. Yet no matter what, I feel that the flirting must stop and I am looking for advice on how to politely ask the secondary to cease and detist should my boyfriend prove unable to.
18 y/o mono female with a poly boyfriend
Last edited by paschendale; 07-27-2011 at 09:35 AM.