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Old 10-09-2011, 02:13 PM
heidi heidi is offline
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I had never really considered poly before, nor have I had any relationships that lasted long enough for this to even come up as a possibility.
Because of my lousy experiences with relationships, I have been very open and clear in considering that the relationship/lover that would work for me will most likely be something/one off the beaten path.
I just (less than 2 weeks ago) met a really great poly guy who really thinks I am amazing. We jumped in bed, which is apparantly more my MO than his. We have really great sex and really enjoy each other's company out of bed too.
Unfortunately, he had plans with another lover that began less than a week after we met, and is a week-long visit. We would not have met until after this visit except that we discovered a mass of coincidences that kind of jumpstarted our meeting.
While with me, he was totally attentive and did not get distracted by any other women, and I understand that this is important to his time with any of his lovers (I don't think he has many), yet he has made the effort to check in with me because he knows I am having a hard time.
Meanwhile, several men from my past have suddenly been anxious to see me. I even had a date with a new man. Since I have not identified myself as poly, I am struggling with wonder: am I interested in meeting up with these men because I am just filling the time that I want to have filled by my polyman? I did have limited sexual contact with all three men, being sure to be safe. Will I get to the point when I will actually want to spend full weeks with someone else? Will I ever feel ok when this is what he chooses to do? We live very close, which means that we will most likely be together more than we are apart.
I have had some bursts of tears over this week, but my feelings seem to be more attached to just not seeing him rather than with his being with someone else.
Obviously, the answer to all these questions is that I will have to decide for myself (so if this is what a person wants to reply, don't bother. I just want some other input), but are there some good pointers about how to know whether a person is the kind who can handle this kind of thing? What sort of indicators should I have been aware of when considering whether it was emptiness, or promiscuity, or just great opportunities that guided my choices about sex with other men. If I can handle this I would like to explore, but feel like I need some guidance. I don't want to get more deeply involved if it is clear that it will not work for me.
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:24 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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You say your sadness has been based on missing him, not on jealousy. That's a really good sign! You may not really know until you try it, though. Maybe keep things with polyman somewhat casual for a while so you can get used to the idea.
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:41 PM
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Hullo and welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi View Post
Because of my lousy experiences with relationships, I have been very open and clear in considering that the relationship/lover that would for me will most likely be something/one off the beaten path.
Poly/non-monogamy isn't necessarily the solution to having unsatisfying dating experiences in the mono world. Most if not all relationship skills you need for successful poly are the ones you need for a successful relationship, be it mono, open or poly. Is there a common denominator as to why your previous relationships haven't worked out? If it isn't you falling in love with others while dating someone else, then poly alone will unlikely be the solution.

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Originally Posted by heidi View Post
...I understand that this is important to his time with any of his lovers (I don't think he has many)...
How much do you know about this guy after two weeks? I'm not saying you should know his full bio, blood type and shoe size, but some really basic things like how many others is he involved with, what is their stance on poly/boundaries, could someone be considered a primary/co-primaries and what are his standards and expectations around safe sex?

Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi View Post
... am I interested in meeting up with these men because I am just filling the time that I want to have filled by my polyman?...Will I get to the point when I will actually want to spend full weeks with someone else? Will I ever feel ok when this is what he chooses to do?
Maybe. You should take into account the effects of NRE, or pure infatuation at this point. Plunging head-first into several relationships at once might be an attempt to stop-gap the loneliss, because it's not just any company you need - you want to be with your special someone.

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Originally Posted by heidi View Post
... are there some good pointers about how to know whether a person is the kind who can handle this kind of thing?
Imho, a degree of indepence and a belief in your own self-efficacy, believing you can be alone and still survive, is pretty essential. Especially if you don't have other partners at the moment, it's important you have an active life of your own where you don't just sit at home and wonder what he's up to with his other loves. Also, you have to have enough of a self-esteem to believe that you are actually lovable, desirable and dateable, which will not only make you a more interesting and charming person to be around, but also protect you against users and manipulators.

Good communication skills or the will to develop them is important, as is general willingness to learn. Be honest and know yourself and your needs, wants and desires. If you really want a partner who is able to devote themselves to you on a primary basis, don't pretend you are happy with being someone's occasional lover if that's all they can offer you, just because you think you are not good enough for a real partnership. Relationships take time and energy, and while it's perfectly okay to have more casual things, they are in a way drain on your resources and limit your ability to develop new connections.

And while it's good to have imagination and empathy, getting too caught up in a fantasy image of your perfect relationship will blind you to the real life chances around you. I think it's a delicate balance between not hammering every relationship into a pre-defined mold of what you think you need in your life on the other hand and not settling with unsatisfactory partnerships because of fear and neediness on the other.

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Originally Posted by heidi View Post
What sort of indicators should I have been aware of when considering whether it was emptiness, or promiscuity, or just great opportunities that guided my choices about sex with other men.
Were you focused on the situation, person and date you were with or did your thoughts keep on circling around this polyguy? Did you feel good and energized afterwards or empty and unsatisfied? Would you have gone out with these guys if you'd only met Mr. Poly after his trip? Is this your usual MO, or something that is uncharacteristic of you in general?
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Last edited by BlackUnicorn; 10-09-2011 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:00 PM
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Great post, BU.
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:36 PM
heidi heidi is offline
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Poly/non-monogamy isn't necessarily the solution to having unsatisfying dating experiences in the mono world. Most if not all relationship skills you need for successful poly are the ones you need for a successful relationship, be it mono, open or poly. Is there a common denominator as to why your previous relationships haven't worked out? If it isn't you falling in love with others while dating someone else, then poly alone will unlikely be the solution.
I feel that the problems I have had with men is that they don't give me a chance unless they are truly needy. I am not sure why guys with any of their shit together don't give me a chance, but the truth is they don't. I wonder if this guy seems to value me BECAUSE he doesn't need to consider me as an only one.From what I am reading about the poly mentality, this is not an insult. I do truly value myself and that is why I have not settled for any half-assed relationships. If someone offers me everything I have hoped for except what they poly caveat limits, then it seems worth trying to figure out.


How much do you know about this guy after two weeks? I'm not saying you should know his full bio, blood type and shoe size, but some really basic things like how many others is he involved with, what is their stance on poly/boundaries, could someone be considered a primary/co-primaries and what are his standards and expectations around safe sex?
Yeah, we have talked about a lot of that stuff. having been through the last week, and having read up on the subject, I think I know better which questions I still need to ask. I do get the distinct impression that he is very sensitive to his women's needs and would be willing to come to decisions together. He does not have a primary at this point, and I have not heard him use this term.


Maybe. You should take into account the effects of NRE, or pure infatuation at this point. Plunging head-first into several relationships at once might be an attempt to stop-gap the loneliss, because it's not just any company you need - you want to be with your special someone.
Yeah, NRE is always a big factor. Never had a 'word' for it before. I tend to go a long time between relationships and so when I finally find something the NRE tends to make me blind to a lot. I get that urge to use the word 'love' well before it is appropriate, knowing full well that whe the NRE begins to fade everything will look different.


Imho, a degree of indepence and a belief in your own self-efficacy, believing you can be alone and still survive, is pretty essential. Especially if you don't have other partners at the moment, it's important you have an active life of your own where you don't just sit at home and wonder what he's up to with his other loves. Also, you have to have enough of a self-esteem to believe that you are actually lovable, desirable and dateable, which will not only make you a more interesting and charming person to be around, but also protect you against users and manipulators.
This is all good advice. I have been alone fairly consistently and can't figure out how men can resist me. I definitely need to develop more in my life. I certainly have not waited for a man to do anything- have a nearly grown child, an old house that I fix up myself, a master's degree, great job teaching college writing. I do spend an awful amount of time alone. This will be an issue regardless of who I end up with. This man has been far more attentive than men I have dated in the last 6 years or so who could not find any time for me.

Good communication skills or the will to develop them is important, as is general willingness to learn. Be honest and know yourself and your needs, wants and desires. If you really want a partner who is able to devote themselves to you on a primary basis, don't pretend you are happy with being someone's occasional lover if that's all they can offer you, just because you think you are not good enough for a real partnership. Relationships take time and energy, and while it's perfectly okay to have more casual things, they are in a way drain on your resources and limit your ability to develop new connections.
Communication is one of my strengths, and I think his too. I am definitely not one to bottle things up. I think we will be spending quite a bit of time together. I don't know how I feel about dating others to look for someone who only wants me. I think this would be really hard. I think that I might embrace the freedom to be with others, but not because I am not content with what he has to offer. I am not good at staying in things just to avoid being alone.
And while it's good to have imagination and empathy, getting too caught up in a fantasy image of your perfect relationship will blind you to the real life chances around you. I think it's a delicate balance between not hammering every relationship into a pre-defined mold of what you think you need in your life on the other hand and not settling with unsatisfactory partnerships because of fear and neediness on the other.Thanks, you have helped me to think about what I do know about myself as a potential partner, what I have found wanting in relationships in the past, my ability to distract myself from negative thoughts....



Were you focused on the situation, person and date you were with or did your thoughts keep on circling around this polyguy? Did you feel good and energized afterwards or empty and unsatisfied? Would you have gone out with these guys if you'd only met Mr. Poly after his trip? Is this your usual MO, or something that is uncharacteristic of you in general?[/QUOTE]
I was pretty much into the experiences i was in. I didn't feel empty afterwards, I would say more energized, but not with the hopefulness that comes with the NRE afterglow. Do you mean if he was not with this other woman when these opportunities arose? Like if I had the choice between going to his house instead of having company? I would definitely have chosen to be at his house or him here. If he was unavailable for other reasons? I don't know. I guess I feel like that is something I should have been able to figure out before being thrust into withdrawal.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi View Post
I was pretty much into the experiences i was in. I didn't feel empty afterwards, I would say more energized, but not with the hopefulness that comes with the NRE afterglow. Do you mean if he was not with this other woman when these opportunities arose? Like if I had the choice between going to his house instead of having company? I would definitely have chosen to be at his house or him here. If he was unavailable for other reasons? I don't know. I guess I feel like that is something I should have been able to figure out before being thrust into withdrawal.
It often seems that once you are not looking for a relationship, or have already found a special someone, dating opportunities start popping up at every corner. A friend of mine is convinced that it's because you reek less of desperation . You can self-identify as poly or not and still be with only one partner or none. There's no obligation to date others while you are involved with someone who has multiple relationships, and it doesn't mean you are mono either - just "fulfilled" at the moment.

Many people, when they pronounce they can't handle poly, actually can't handle a specific aspect of non-monogamy, be it honesty, jealousy, time-management, NRE, safer sex, whatever. There's no test you can take beforehand to see if polyships could be something for you - you'll have to try it out. I understand there's the fear that you will get really attached and realize you can't share him after all, but risk is a part of venturing out on any new relationship .
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:00 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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You're single and you're dating. The thing with the poly guy is very recent and new. It sounds like you've gotten a bit obsessed and needy about this relationship very soon, too soon. It's just infatuation, and if you are the type to have sex pretty early on when you meet someone (I am, too), this probably is part of your pattern, too. Jump in bed and get attached, ya know? Watch out for that attachment. See if you can disengage from that a bit.

If I were you, I wouldn't worry about whether you're poly or not, nor how to handle poly relationships. I think you need to get your feet back on the ground. Just consider the dating a stage where you get to know people and have fun. Do focus on other things in your life that bring you satisfaction and make you feel good about yourself. Go out with platonic friends. It's okay to date several people romantically, even if you are basically a monogamous person, but I think you're blowing things way out of proportion here. Give things time, date a few people, try not to let your head go off into the clouds about them, and see who really stands out for you to be in a serious relationship with after getting to know them. Good luck!
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Last edited by nycindie; 10-10-2011 at 01:03 AM.
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