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  #1  
Old 03-19-2010, 09:42 AM
jphillmore jphillmore is offline
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Hi, I am a monogamous male who is falling for a poly female. I really don't know what to do. I don't genuinely like and care about someone enough to want to be in a relationship very often at all, and I have never had a relationship with a poly. We have gone out a few times over the past few wks and enjoyed each others company, stayed in a few times as well. Things were going well and we both feel the same way about each other. She gave me a disclaimer once as well that I wasn't the only person she was seeing.

I didn't really think about it much until I went to meet her with a group of her friends a couple of days ago. Some guy came in, gave her a big kiss, and she sat on his lap. It felt like someone dropped a 150lb weight on my chest, then kicked me in the stomach a few times. I left and drank, and drank, was really upset, and felt pretty stupid. I still have a lot of feelings for her... But how do people deal with that??? Is it even possible???

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:02 AM
korindino korindino is offline
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I remember this. I get these twinges at the beginning of almost every poly relationship.

It sounds like you're having "mine" syndrome--you've found something so precious and wonderful that you want it to be all yours. It happens. It's natural. It just is the big roadblock to you being in a relationship with this person that you've come to care for so much.

Before I go any further, I have to tell you this: if you go in with any intention of "converting" her back to monogamy, you are most likely in for a world of unpleasantness. This woman isn't splitting her heart between you and her current partner(s), she cares for each of you fully and independently from the rest--so it's not like you can win more "portions" of her love. Doing anything to pull her away from her current partner will break her heart.

My advice is this: spend some time in deep thought, and figure out if you think there is a way you can be with this girl. Consider this: when you're with her, do you feel like she's withholding anything from you? Does dating her feel any different from dating other monogamous people? Did you feel any of these pangs of hurt before you saw her with her boyfriend?

If you answered "no" to these questions, you have to realize that she does care for you, that she is opening her heart to you. Like I said, poly people don't split their love, but they love each partner in equal share. Her relationship with you will not be diminished by her relationships with other people. Concentrate on this fact, first.

Also, perhaps spend some time befriending her other partners. Once you get to know them, you will get a sense of what she loves in them too. Developing respect for those partners can go a long way for slaying the "mine" feeling--because you understand their role in her life, that what you offer is different from what they do, and that you enrich her life. And be honest with her--let her know that you just aren't ready to see her having PDA with another person because you're so new to all this. You can't expect for her to hold her lovers at arms' length forever, but if you openly explain to her your feelings, she'll almost definitely cool down on the PDA to make you more comfortable.

That's about it: realize that what you have with her is special, get to know the other legs, and be honest with the girl. This is the foundation of poly in a nutshell.

I hope this helps, and good luck getting through this.
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2010, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphillmore View Post
Hi, I am a monogamous male who is falling for a poly female. I really don't know what to do. I don't genuinely like and care about someone enough to want to be in a relationship very often at all, and I have never had a relationship with a poly. We have gone out a few times over the past few wks and enjoyed each others company, stayed in a few times as well. Things were going well and we both feel the same way about each other. She gave me a disclaimer once as well that I wasn't the only person she was seeing.

I didn't really think about it much until I went to meet her with a group of her friends a couple of days ago. Some guy came in, gave her a big kiss, and she sat on his lap. It felt like someone dropped a 150lb weight on my chest, then kicked me in the stomach a few times. I left and drank, and drank, was really upset, and felt pretty stupid. I still have a lot of feelings for her... But how do people deal with that??? Is it even possible???

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
Sending you a private message.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:05 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Hi Jp - and welcome,

Korindino sums it up pretty nicely. It's a lesson in how we are raised, what beliefs we inherit etc. Now is a great time to take some time to dig deep, look back at WHERE your particular beliefs and understanding come from. And remember - you are an individual, with free will, and have the right & responsibility to chose the life you feel will bring out the best in yourself , and people who your life touches.

So you see - there are two components to this.
Yourself - and the other person(s).
A big part of any good relationship is a shared desire for the other person's happiness. It's about respecting them and their desires in life. It's not about competition, a battle of ideals, winning,losing etc. And as Kori points out NOT about OWNING !

Then there's yourself.
Nothing about being in a polyamorous relationship requires you to be polyamorous yourself. But it DOES require that respect and understanding due another human being - especially one you care for. Your partner will no doubt understand and respect that.
All of us are different in what a relationship means to us and how we flow in it. We have at least one individual here on the board that is mono minded but basking nicely in the heart of a poly relationship. It's ok. More than ok - it can be beautiful.

But it will require really doing some deep digging into how you view the world and your place in it in regards to love & relationships. Some change is likely to occur. But the knowledge gained by going through the process can have huge benefits in many areas of our lives.

Good luck, keep us posted. Lots of good people here more than happy to lend an ear - or a hand/heart to help you travel this road.

GS
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:39 PM
EugenePoet EugenePoet is offline
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I was in a monogamous marriage for 30 years, it broke up, and about 14 months later I fell for a woman who's in a polyamorous marriage.

It's a little different, in that she and her husband are very considerate when I'm around -- they are friendly and loving but don't smooch on each other. But sometimes when she and I are talking on the phone she'll say, "I have to go soon -- D is drawing us a bath." That just gives me a warm tingle -- that she's so well loved and cared for. It's GOOD!

She recently told me she had started making out with an old boyfriend but stopped because she wasn't sure how I would feel about it. But after a little consideration I thought: I may have felt hurt if she had left my arms and gone to him...but I was not available and I was not there. So maybe if it happens again I'll get a little candygram from the noosphere that will tell me L is getting happy and sexed up, and that will give me a warm tingle too.

So that's how it works for me. But I've found a lot of consideration and respect in the relationship -- I think the people I'm with have realized that while polyamory is aesthetically and ethically beautiful there are polite conventions which can make it work more smoothly.

If you and this woman are really becoming committed to a caring relationship then you might talk about what makes you comfortable and what will keep polyamory viable for you, as well as for her. If she needs you to watch things that hurt you or make you unhappy, then that's a warning sign -- exactly as it would be in a monogamous relationship.
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2010, 04:59 PM
thunkybunny thunkybunny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphillmore View Post
Hi, I am a monogamous male who is falling for a poly female. I really don't know what to do. I don't genuinely like and care about someone enough to want to be in a relationship very often at all, and I have never had a relationship with a poly. We have gone out a few times over the past few wks and enjoyed each others company, stayed in a few times as well. Things were going well and we both feel the same way about each other. She gave me a disclaimer once as well that I wasn't the only person she was seeing.

I didn't really think about it much until I went to meet her with a group of her friends a couple of days ago. Some guy came in, gave her a big kiss, and she sat on his lap. It felt like someone dropped a 150lb weight on my chest, then kicked me in the stomach a few times. I left and drank, and drank, was really upset, and felt pretty stupid. I still have a lot of feelings for her... But how do people deal with that??? Is it even possible???

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
That's a reckless way to introduce other significant others. If she cared about you at all, she might have been more thoughtful in introducing her significant others to each other. The way your introduction went, as you described it, you had NO CHOICE in the meeting. It just happened out of nowhere. That is NOT love or friendship. It was UNETHICAL because you had no choice in the meeting. Now, you need to discuss with this woman to find out whether that was a planned meeting and there was a failure of communication or if it was an accidental meeting. Either way, don't blame yourself or your values because what happened was NOT YOUR CHOICE. Remember that. Poly is about freedom to make choices, not one person's freedom at the expense of others'.

Last edited by thunkybunny; 03-19-2010 at 05:07 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2010, 05:19 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Great reply Thunkbunny!
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2010, 05:33 PM
saudade saudade is offline
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Dump her!
Here's why.
@thunkybunny, whoa... A little slack, please. If jphillmore has just seen this woman a few times, and she told him up front that she's poly without it bugging him, it just might not have occurred to her that he'd feel torn up over this. It doesn't sound to me like he has the grounds (or the desire) to cut and run just yet... Let's all talk more and sort this through?

@jphillmore, I hear you. The first time you see someone you care about with someone else is a strange moment, even if you knew it was coming and you're happy for them. I definitely recommend riding the strongest wave of feeling out, and seeing how you're doing once it passes. (I also don't suggest drinking when you're down about it, but that's totally your call.)

Something people say on here, and in other poly resources, a great deal is that the first rule of poly is communication. You have the responsibility to tell the woman you're seeing that you felt this way, and the right to have a conversation with her about it. There's lots of communication recommendations elsewhere on here; I suspect it's a common tag for posts.

If I were your lady-friend, I'd probably apologize for freaking you out, and apologize again for not noticing how upset you were. I'd also offer to lessen the volume and intensity of PDAs I exposed you to, and then to either let you get to know my other lovers in some other context (bowling, bar-hopping, movie night, whatever) or to have space from them while you sorted your feelings out... Of course, I don't actually know her or the relationship structures she's a part of, so I have no idea what she'll actually do.

Good luck, and keep us updated!
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:47 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by thunkybunny View Post
That's a reckless way to introduce other significant others. If she cared about you at all, she might have been more thoughtful in introducing her significant others to each other. The way your introduction went, as you described it, you had NO CHOICE in the meeting. It just happened out of nowhere. That is NOT love or friendship. It was UNETHICAL because ...........
A good point here Thunky,
I don't know as I'd stretch it so far as to call it "unethical" but definitely "inconsiderate".
It's not atypical behavior but deserves to be called out - in the RIGHT way. Gently but pointedly.
It's easy for everyone when operating in their default "mode", to forget that not everyone is used to operating in whatever the circumstances are. It's like a cultural thing. Not everyone understands or is used to the culture so we need to be aware of that and make special allowances.
For example, because of living in a poly "mode" (culture) for so long, it's perfectly natural for me to throw my arms around a person - even total stranger - give them a hug and a kiss - maybe even a little pat on the butt.
But I've learned the hard way that I have to be aware of the setting and the particular individuals. Not everyone is used to that and can take it as being unacceptably forward.
So this is a lesson it sounds like your GF needs to learn too. A gentle reminder should be sufficient to connect her back to a broader reality If not, it's something you'll need to know about.

GS
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:30 AM
thunkybunny thunkybunny is offline
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A good point here Thunky,
I don't know as I'd stretch it so far as to call it "unethical" but definitely "inconsiderate".
It's not atypical behavior but deserves to be called out - in the RIGHT way. Gently but pointedly.
It's easy for everyone when operating in their default "mode", to forget that not everyone is used to operating in whatever the circumstances are. It's like a cultural thing. Not everyone understands or is used to the culture so we need to be aware of that and make special allowances.
For example, because of living in a poly "mode" (culture) for so long, it's perfectly natural for me to throw my arms around a person - even total stranger - give them a hug and a kiss - maybe even a little pat on the butt.
But I've learned the hard way that I have to be aware of the setting and the particular individuals. Not everyone is used to that and can take it as being unacceptably forward.
So this is a lesson it sounds like your GF needs to learn too. A gentle reminder should be sufficient to connect her back to a broader reality If not, it's something you'll need to know about.

GS
Yeah, it's the problem of 'going native'. Consent is still a big one. At least, in this case it was low-risk behavior. Some people are just as "inconsiderate" when it cums to high-risk behaviors. Prolly an opportunity to nip things in the bud before there's a chance for escalation. You two need to have a talk about this. Express yourself, listen to her response, repeat-rinse-etc.

Last edited by thunkybunny; 03-20-2010 at 03:26 AM.
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