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Old 10-02-2011, 03:02 AM
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Seasnail Seasnail is offline
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Default Ahhh, transitions...

I started practicing poly a few years ago with my husband, because it was important to him. I learned not only to accept it, but also to enjoy it. I've been involved in a loving but "secondary" relationship for about two years now, and separated from my husband for about 18 months. The two things are mostly unrelated to one another.

I have just started feeling capable of dating again, along with a genuine desire to be in a full-time partnership again at some point in the future. I hadn't really considered whether polyamory was important to me all the while I wasn't ready for new relationships. Last week, I bumped into someone I may really like, and we've arranged to have a date next weekend.

I'm experiencing quite a few conflicting feelings. I'm excited. I'm encouraged that I'm excited, because I haven't felt that way about a date in some time. I'm nervous, and all of the other things that come with possible NRE. I'm also sad, because I see a couple of ways things could go, and I don't care for the transition that could come with them, should I genuinely come to like this man, or some other in the future.

I could mention that I've been living a polyamorous lifestyle and would like to include him in it. I fear he'd run away. I fear he'd need more support than I can give. I fear he'd agree and I wouldn't be able to cope with it when he takes another lover.

I could mention that I've been living a polyamourous lifestyle and would be willing to return to monogamy for the right person. Eventually, someone would ask me to do so. And if I do agree, I'd have to break it off with my current lover. I have spoken about this with my current lover, and he would understand and continue to be my friend, but I think the transition would be very difficult for me. I'm awfully attached not just to him, but his girlfriend and her lover as well.

I could break it off with my current lover before anything gets serious with another, but this seems very backwards to me, and likely to many of you. But I'm not convinced that there's a big enough pond to find another poly-practicing man that would suit me out there to form a partnership with.

I think my main trouble lies in not really knowing what I want, or how to go about looking. I do know a few things, though. My current lover is not "enough", and because of other concerns, that relationship is extremely unlikely to develop into anything more "serious". (Which, by the way is not unexpected and doesn't hurt my feelings.) I am unlikely to be willing and able to be completely monogamous again. I will need the freedom to appreciate the beauty of others and flirt and cuddle with my friends at the very least.

In a sense, there is no going back to who I was before I encountered polyamoury. I don't regret opening my heart to the possibility of multiple loves, but I certainly do wonder about the practicality of it all a lot.
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasnail View Post
I could mention that I've been living a polyamorous lifestyle and would like to include him in it. I fear he'd run away. I fear he'd need more support than I can give. I fear he'd agree and I wouldn't be able to cope with it when he takes another lover.
I hate to sound condescending but really, you haven't even went on a date with him yet? IMHO it's way too early to speculate how he might react. You don't even know if the two of you are at all compatible. Isn't it pretty normal to first feel each other out before even beginning the exclusivity talks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasnail View Post
I could mention that I've been living a polyamourous lifestyle and would be willing to return to monogamy for the right person. Eventually, someone would ask me to do so. And if I do agree, I'd have to break it off with my current lover.

But I'm not convinced that there's a big enough pond to find another poly-practicing man that would suit me out there to form a partnership with.

I am unlikely to be willing and able to be completely monogamous again.
I don't think you would be doing yourself or your prospective partner any favours, make-believing you can do monogamy again simply for the fear of being alone otherwise.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:37 AM
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I understand very well that you're thinking about this now, because it's not just about how this specific person will react, but more about what you want and what you need. Some things come up in your post already:

- you need the freedom to appreciate the beauty of others and flirt and cuddle with friends, but you want to be able to have more
- you don't think the relationship with you lover is enough to satisfy all your relationship needs, but you enjoy it nonetheless and you want to continue the relationship
- you want/need something more serious? What does this entail? Commitment, primary-type-relationships, more time together? Do you think you could get your needs met in a few less-serious relationships, or is "serious" what you're after?

I don't think it is impossible for you to find a man, who is either poly or willing to try poly for you, but obviously it will limit some of the options. You have some worries about that, though. If the person you're interested in would need more support than you are willing/able to give then I guess you wouldn't be compatible. I would think that if you find somebody you truly want to be with, you'd be willing to make yourself available to support him. What do you think? Then again, if you'd have a hard time if/when he finds another love, you do have a whole forum to turn to for help, and I'm sure you can work with that.
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:38 PM
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BlackUnicorn, I'm attempting to think things ahead, and not pinning my hopes on this one date. I think that having a date I was *actually excited about* is what triggered the feelings. I wanted to deal with them as they came up, so that when I am ready to talk with someone about what kind of committment we may wish to offer one another, I am prepared. I should have been more clear in my original post.

Also, this particular date has several aquaintances in common with myself, and I would prefer that he hear about my lover from me rather than from someone else and believe that I am hiding it from him. Therefore, if this date goes well, I'd like to be able to mention it sooner than later.


Rory, thank you for the clarity with which you restated my points, and the questions you posed to me. They are helpful in my process.

Yes, I would like something that can grow to be more serious. I think I'm unlikely to marry a second time, and I'm no longer looking for "the one" as I was before I married. But I would like committment to be there for one another in all situations. I think I would like a live-in situation, and sharing finances and life goals.

I know from experience that a couple of lighter relationships does not work for me. I'm very happy with my lover, but balancing him with other lovers makes me unhappy.... or at least that particular experience did. Balancing him with my husband was relatively easy. My lover's family treats me like family, (and when we were together, included my husband as well). I think it is a lovely situation, but it is structured so that I am "secondary", and because of that I can't ever expect to live in, share finances, or be committed. If, for instance, one of them got a great job opportunity in the North Pole, they would decide what is best for them, and I would not be consulted. Absolutely, I'd like to continue to see my lover, because I enjoy it.

As for dealing with it if/when a potential BF might take a lover, I know that those fears come from my experiences with my husband. As it turned out, he was not very respectful of my preferences when choosing and introducing a partner. I felt very betrayed, and I'm fearful of the same behaviour in others. I guess that speaks about my choices, and how important it is to insist upon partnering only with someone who will be respectful around my comfort zone. And it's my responsibility to know my own zone, so to speak.

A few things I know:
  • I need sexual safety: clean test results and barrier protection.
    I need my partners to be interested in stability (I can't handle a string of new people in my life. I will try to get attached to a metamour, and I need to know he/she has the possibility/intention to stay in my life for some time.)
    I want a family atmosphere.
    I need friendship/love with the people I fuck.
    I want a primary lover.
    I want to be able to flirt & maybe make out with my friends.
    I need to be able to honestly share my attraction to others with my partners.
    I need to feel respected and honoured by my partners.

Actually, that's more than a few things, and I'm starting to feel better already... I've turned the fears back around into my choices and priorities. Thanks to both Blackunicorn and Rory for commenting and helping me clear things out.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:32 PM
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Glad to hear that I was able to help. I agree that you have a lot of good stuff figured out already!
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:49 AM
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As someone still recovering from my separation and impending divorce, I can relate to the mixture of nervous excitement, sadness, and confusion you're feeling. It's been over a year since my hubs moved out and I've been dating, am seeing someone casually, and for the last two days I've been crying on my couch over the end of my marriage. Sometimes I miss my husband so much it is overwhelming, even though I totally enjoy hanging with my lover. And there's a whole realm of possibilities out there waiting for us, which is very often difficult to grasp.

Frankly, I don't think you have to worry about find a poly man who will enter into a poly arrangement with you right away. It's not like poly tangles just snap into place in someone's life like a puzzle piece. The right combinations of people often take time to find and develop. Besides, you say you don't really know what you want anyway, so how can you plan or predict?

So, date! Date for fun. Date with the goal of going out, doing fun things, and enjoying someone's company. There are so many cool guys in the world, what's wrong with meeting someone, getting to know him and seeing what happens without steering things toward some end goal? You don't even have to bring up the word polyamory right away, just tell the guys you date that you're seeing someone and are open to dating other people, and you just want to take things slowly. As you date more, you'll meet someone who wants to keep seeing you and then you each get to know each other more, you'll let him more and more into our life, and things will just progress the way they're meant to!

Breathe, relax, have fun.
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Last edited by nycindie; 10-03-2011 at 03:53 AM.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:52 AM
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Nycindie, I totally get what you mean about missing your husband and being happy with a lover at the same time. Lots of my friends don't, though some do.

It's not that I feel I need to find someone to be in a poly tangle with me right away. Or perhaps even ever. I sort-of fell into a poly relationship because of my husband. I'm not really sure it's something I want in the long run.... except I'm already in it now, and leaving doesn't feel right either.

In the meantime, I feel a value conflict in dating without sharing this information, and it drives me a bit crazy. I guess part of the legacy of my broken-up marriage is that I now need a really high amount of openness in communication in order to feel at ease. Like many, my husband cheated on me before he "discovered" his poly side. I feel as though I'm cheating if I leave stuff out... especially where sexual partners are involved. I can't remember if I originally posted about that? I'm obviously involved with my lover, and I'd like to be with the new squeeze too.

I had a chat with a poly friend this morning, and we practiced how to bring it up in a non-threatening way. I had been feeling quite anxious, having decided that I needed to tell him, but not really knowing how to go about it. So I have a few segues, from best/worst dating scenarios, to different ideas about what constitutes friendship/relationship, to not limiting love, to open relationships. She also encouraged me by saying that she generally only has a 20% run-away factor. So we'll see how it goes.
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