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Old 08-17-2013, 06:10 PM
Krys Krys is offline
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Default Break-ups and transitioning roles

Hello!

I am wanting some suggestions on how to start a conversation with my partner regarding the status of our relationship. When we met, he was in a primary relationship with another woman and so I happily started dating him as a secondary/tertiary partner. There were a lot of rules in their relationship and a lot of boundaries that dictated where our relationship could go. About two weeks ago, they broke up because she didn't think she was cut out for a poly lifestyle.

Here is where I am at. I want to respect the relationship they had, and don't want to swoop in and try to "replace her." However, I feel like I am in limbo right now wondering if he would ever consider taking me on as a primary partner, or if he wants to keep things the way they are. If I don't bring it up, I don't want him to assume I don't want more and end up losing the opportunity to become more serious. I would hate for him to go out searching for a primary partner without even knowing if he would consider me. But if I do bring it up, I don't want it to end up this awkward situation that affects our current relationship because he doesn't see me that way.

So, is it too soon to have this conversation after they have just broken up (I don't necessarily want him to make this huge commitment to me now and send out a worldwide memo that I am his new girlfriend, but I would like to know that in time we could develop into that relationship). If it is the right time to bring it up, does anyone have advice for how to start and express this conversation with him. I have always had a hard time making my needs known, and this is the most difficult part of being in relationships in general for me!
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:19 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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How about-hey, I know you are hurting over the loss of your other partner. I want to be supportive in any way I can. I care deeply for you and look forward to continuing to see how and where our relationship can grow and mature.
I would love to increase time together if that is something you are interested in also.

See what happens from that-then continue as appropriate.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:31 PM
Krys Krys is offline
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That is a great way to express yourself. Unfortunately I think that opportunity has passed/sort of happened. When he told me about the ending of their relationship I expressed respect that they handled things amicably and that although he said he would be just fine I emphasized that break ups still suck and that I was there for him if he needed anything from me. I did not bring up how the break up would influence our relationship at the time, because it didn't seem appropriate in that moment. So now I need a way to bring it up kind of out of nowhere.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:56 PM
northhome northhome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krys View Post
So now I need a way to bring it up kind of out of nowhere.
What sort of communication do you two have? It sounds like you don't feel like you can be really open and honest with him about how you feel. Is this true? Are you afraid that if you are really upfront with him that you will scare him away?

Maybe the real issue here is not whether you are primary or secondary, but instead how open and honest you can be with each other.

So a way to bring it up might be:

"I've noticed that there are some things I'd like to talk you about, but I'm a feeling a bit unsure about how to go about it."

That gives him an opportunity to make a suggestion as to how to proceed, or he can ignore the invite which will also tell you something.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:56 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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"I'm interested in talking about where our relationship is going. I am interested in pursuing more with you. Is this a good time to talk?"

"I really enjoy my time with you. I think it's important to reassess a relationship when there's been a significant change that *may* affect it. I was hoping we could schedule some time to talk about our relationship and some possible changes going forward?"

"I love you. I appreciate our time together. I would be interested in increasing that time. Is this something you would be interested in?"

"I'm interested in being an option as a primary partner if you are interested in having a new primary partner. Is that something you would be interested in?"
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:16 PM
Krys Krys is offline
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Northhome: It is not that I feel uncomfortable talking and being open with him. I know that he would accept any conversation I needed to have with the seriousness and consideration it deserves, I am just generally bad at making my needs known. I have the "people pleaser" trait that has been a work in progress for me, but I still struggle with feeling like I am stepping on people's toes. I guess deep down I also fear the potential rejection. I definitely like him, and although we have expressed mutual interest and obviously date, I fear "not being girlfriend material." For these reasons I know I absolutely need to have this conversation with him.

LovingRadiance: Those are some great ways to open up the conversation. I especially like the second one and that may be a good way to open up the conversation. I want him to know I am interested, but not wanting to push anything too soon.
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:20 PM
northhome northhome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krys View Post
I fear "not being girlfriend material."
That's sound pretty human to me At the risk of stating the obvious, of course you are 'girlfriend material'. Isn't everyone, to someone? Well, OK, maybe not everyone - but the vast majority of people have a match somewhere.

Of course you might not be his 'girlfriend material' - which is the risk you take by opening up the conversation. I guess you need to decide whether to take that risk and find out the answer.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:35 PM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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I would just start out with asking him how he's doing with the breakup and his feelings then transition "where does this leave us"
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:08 PM
Krys Krys is offline
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The conversation actually came up quite naturally when he mentioned he had been on a couple new dates this past week. Unfortunately, when discussed he stated he preferred keeping things casual.
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:38 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Quote:
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The conversation actually came up quite naturally when he mentioned he had been on a couple new dates this past week. Unfortunately, when discussed he stated he preferred keeping things casual.
Don't let this dishearten you. I am seeing a man who is going through a divorce. Besides the distress of dissolving the marriage, at times he finds himself experiencing illogical feelings like: living with someone leads to turmoil and chaos. He knows generalizing (especially given that I am 180 degrees different from his ex) is not rational, but he still has to work through it.

It may very well be your bf will want to remain casual with everyone for awhile, depending on what he needs to work through.
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