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Old 10-31-2011, 02:54 PM
newfane newfane is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Default Worried about not being the best any more

I am a 30 year old man in a relationship with a guy in his early 20s. We have been together for a little over a year and just moved in together.

The first time we met, we both talked about how monogamous relationships weren't for us. There has been a lot of trial and error, and a few "monogamous breaks", but we have been open and actively seeing other people for the vast majority of our relationship without losing focus on each other. The primacy of our relationship is pretty idealized between both of us.

Sex has always been great between us, and I've always felt like the main attraction--the other guys were just variety. As a matter of fact, he's the first guy who has been able to hold my sexual interest for so this long. What has happened lately though is that my partner has started to explore the world of bondage and other kinks with guys who have years of experience and thousands of dollars of gear, and I just can't compete with it. I feel like he's having more amazing and mind-opening experiences than I can offer and that sex between us will become boring and perfunctory for him. He just seems to be riding on a wave of excitement now, and I feel left behind and inadequate.

I've spoken to him about all my feelings, almost to the point that I wonder sometimes if I'm purely expressing my feelings or trying to make him feel guilty. He's done everything to reassure me that his life is still built around me and that sex with me is different than with "doms" and he still loves it. It's just that I've always felt like the ideal partner to him in every way and part of that is slipping away. My fear is that he will go further and further down this path until that's all that could satisfy him. Has anyone else gone through this?
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:45 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 2,155


It's really common for one partner in a non-monogamous relationship to have what's called New Relationship Energy (NRE) for someone new in their life. It's similar to the ridiculous crushes most of us had in high school - we think of no else, we're obsessed, all other people and activities go by the wayside. Basically we become little high schoolers all over again with all the drama and stupid behavior that implies.

Your partner sounds like he's found not a new relationship energy exactly, but a new (to him) kink energy. So, yes, he is riding a wave of energy right now. And folks experienced in kink have noted that kink can release a different high than more vanilla experiences.

Now I said 'different' - not better than or more awesome or deeper. Just different. You do not have to compete with this new interest of his (and from your message it seems like this is not your thing anyway). That is perfectly ok. Lots of people are non-monogamous solely because one partner is kinkier or wants a different kink than their primary. Doms likely do give him a different experience than you can. And again that's ok.

Now's the time to let go of unrealistic expectations that you are his ideal match. That's not true for anybody - not even ridiculously in love monogamous people who been married for 50+ years. That ideal is not good for you - how can you ever manage to always be perfect in every way to meet his every need FOREVER - and it's not good for him. I'm sure he just wants you, the real you, to be his partner in life. You are more than good enough right now, just as you are. After all, he's told you that, many times apparently. Unless there are some major warning signs he's not telling you the truth, believe him.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:31 PM
LittleSara LittleSara is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 34
Default Just on the side

I've not really been through the same thing but... jealousy I can recognize a mile away because I've experienced a lot of it. Giving & receiving lol...

Sometimes it helps me, when I am feeling jealous, to stop focusing on what I am unhappy about and any negative thoughts about my partner and shift my energy to my partner's happiness, and being glad for that...
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:42 AM
newfane newfane is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2

Thanks, opalescent. You're good at this.

I showed your post to my partner and he told me to pay attention to the last four sentences. Then he gave me a big hug and told me that is what he's been trying to express to me. I guess the sky isn't falling after all.

My current relationship seems so exceptional to me that every perception of a threat seems to really get to me. When there's someone older or more dom than me in his life, I feel inadequate. When there's someone in his life who's closer to my age and sexuality I feel like I could be replaced. But it's never happened. This isn't the most conducive attitude for a poly person, but I like my other guys too and realize they have their own benefits to offer me.

I suppose I just have to forge my own journey dealing with self-esteem and jealousy issues, and really believe him when he tells me how much I mean to him. He's never made me feel otherwise and it must be frustrating for him to have to reassure me.
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