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Old 12-28-2011, 02:43 PM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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Default The epiphany, now the application...advice please?!

As groundwork let us say our relationship is incredibly secure, we don't waste our time or energy on useless emotions like jealousy/insecurity...we are VERY deeply in love, incredibly happy together and have an awesome sex life!!! We have been delving into the "lifestyle" and this aspect of our relationship has only contributed to our already deep love, absolute respect and total trust of each other. However our "play" in no way defines us as a couple, we don't NEED it for sexual happiness nor is it more than a pursuit of pleasurable to us. Both of us are bisexual with some limited experience.

While sharing some pillow talk the other evening we somehow ended up on one of those questions that is normally immediately unanswerable because of being put on the spot..."what would you like to add to your life to complete your emotional/physical happiness" (money etc. excluded)? She suddenly with a misty gaze softly said "I want a girlfriend," not just a friend but a lover too...he asked "do you want someone to play with or someone to love"...her response was both!!!

The depth of the emotion and quickness of the revelation stunned us both but that quickly evolved into happiness at the recognition of the emotion and importance of the trust involved in sharing such a feeling/need. Though we've been on here for a little while we had never discussed a poly arrangement fully, it appeared we would now need to!

We have a simple set of "rules of engagement" that we've set down that we feel work to start. We have decided that we will always be the primary members of the relationship and there really was never any question about that. Since we understood the dynamic would be shaped by the person(s) we eventually met we can't project what/how it will happen nor can we know which of us will be closer or more connected to this person(s). While we would prefer that this person(s) be attracted and interested emotionally in both of us we know that isn't always the case and we have no discomfort about them being somewhat exclusive to either one of us.

Can you good folks offer any further advice???
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:30 PM
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I know this is pretty simplistic, but read everything at www.morethantwo.com before you get started, especially the stuff on poly configurations and jealousy management, as well as the basic tips and do's/don't's, and you will be better prepared for surprises that still come your way (and there will be surprises!). If you're committed to a primary/secondary structure, don't look for exclusivity from a new female partner (I wouldn't suggest doing so even if you weren't, but especially in this case).

It sounds like you guys have a strong base to work from and an understanding that flexibility is an asset when moving into new territory, so you're well equipped already. I would just suggest arming yourself with more info and perspectives, as per above.

Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:33 PM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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Thanks so much, I've bookmarked that site and we will read/discuss it together! We have also come to the conclusion that whoever we meet can't really be limited by gender, no matter how much we want or focus on finding a girlfriend we may find ourselves interested in a guy! Now all we have to do is figure out how/where to find that partner!
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:28 AM
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Be careful what you say about jealousy. It can creep up. It isn't a useless emotion at all its a cluster of emotions that can tell us some very meaningful and deep messages and that is a blessing. Its our guts telling us that something is wrong and we have to figure out what. Usually its as simple as fear, threat and a need of ours not being met. To ignore jealousy means that the issues aren't discussed and dealt with.

Poo pooing jealousy as if it were in some way for people that are unable to control their emotions is also dangerous. I have known perfectly happy and solid relationships that have destructed because its members thought it weak to be jealous and when in fact they were they were ashamed and hide it to the point where they broke down and all hell broke loose. It was too bad because if they hadn't of been so full of pride they would of gotten to the bottom of their issues much sooner and might not of broken up.

So you are going from the "lifestyle" (by that I assume swinging) to poly now. Would that mean you can still take it or leave it? Would it still be a lifestyle choice? Its hard to go back to being a mono couple after. Have you discussed that?

There are lots of great threads here to read if you look in the tag section. All the ones of any substance in one area were tagged. If you have read around you know that, but if you need any direction to anything specific, please ask. While Annabel's link is a good one, its only one perspective and one source, there is so much to learn from so many places. More so than ever. If you find anything good, I'd love to hear about it.
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Last edited by redpepper; 12-29-2011 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:23 AM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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Thanks for your reply redpepper! Will will look through the "tagged" area and do more reading, we realize that Annabel's link is only one of many sites and views vary from person to person. Unfortunately we're not too up on navigating these sites...hence the direct open question!

We don't take jealousy, insecurity, codependency or any other potential threat to a healthy relationship lightly. We have both discussed our exploration into the lifestyle at great length and given a great deal of thought to the above issues, we will continue that approach in our efforts to connect with someone. We also recognize that pride/ego are the cause of many failures, not just interpersonal relationships!!!

Our foray into swinging wasn't/isn't approached lightly, it is/was a lifestyle choice, we also view polyamory as a lifestyle choice...nor would we just abandon either if things as they often do become difficult. We may decide to continue to "play" within the small circle of friends we have, none of which wish indulge in a more committed relationship...swinging after all is about sex not love even though deep friendships often are created. Obviously any continued swinging would be with the full knowledge of any/all partners just as it is now, they would also be welcome to join us. However it's obvious the dynamic of that relationship remains to be determined until/if we find that partner.

Unless we misunderstand the definition of polyamory there is a VERY wide range of sexual interests, relationship dynamics and interpersonal arrangements both monogamous and non-monogamous. If we are unable to find an appropriate partner or we establish a relationship that fails we would be returning to what is already a very healthy relationship and as primary partners we intend to maintain that relationship with or without another partner.

We both feel this is the next evolutionary step in our relationship. Often you hear people expound on how "special" their relationship is and just as often you see those relationships fail for reasons that seem obvious to everyone but the victims! We do indeed have something incredibly special, the love, trust, security, of our relationship surpasses anything we have seen elsewhere in or out of the lifestyle. We are both mature in our reasoning and we communicate clearly and concisely with each other, disagreements are few but in the nearly 5 years (3 married) we've been together we have never "argued" preferring instead to discuss our differing views and arrive at a middle ground comfortable to both. We share a depth of love and passion for each other and life in general that we would like to share with an appreciative partner. We honestly if somewhat naively believe no person can have too much love!

Last edited by swmnkdinthervr; 12-29-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:39 AM
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Sounds like you are starting from a really good place. I wish you well, as long as you stay open to what happens and the changes that come with that you should be fine. Poly seems to move people away from each other yet still includes more love than ever. Most change comes in becoming less co-dependant and more autonomous from one another. If you can do that and still be happy and healthy, still feel love is abundant and ever increasing you should be fine.

My only other recommendation would be not to use the term "lifestyle" when referring to poly as it can be a trigger for some poly people who are not on the spectrum end of poly where swingers lye. It could make or break a situation that could be successful in terms of a relationship. Its common to be in poly as a lifestyle rather than an orientation (such as gay for example), but poly people generally think of "lifestyle" as swinging and therefore that they are not worthy of any investment because its temporary. Does that make sense? Something to think about anyway.
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:20 PM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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Thanks again...we appreciate any advice!!! We were totally unaware that "lifestyle" would have that connotation! It seems odd though because to us and most of the swingers we know that is a permanent choice, "once you're a pickle you can't go back to being a cucumber again!" It must be a sort of cultural thing...maybe even regional, the Baltimore Poly group we just joined embraces all gender distinctions, alternative lifestyle choices and forms of poly fidelity? They in fact could be the aberration instead of the norm we suppose!

There is a dawning realization of how we would become more autonomous as we are drawn in our individual attraction to our partner and we begin to shape a relationship with/around them. Wouldn't we as primary partners to some degree be able to limit the depth of both interaction and commitment that we contribute thereby limiting the initial or eventual separation (if that's even the word) between us as the primary couple? We do see the potential for an even more loving than we now enjoy...if that's possible!
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swmnkdinthervr View Post
Wouldn't we as primary partners to some degree be able to limit the depth of both interaction and commitment that we contribute thereby limiting the initial or eventual separation (if that's even the word) between us as the primary couple?
In theory, yes. But that means that if you do feel yourself falling deeply in love with a new partner, you will have to be very conscious about holding back and making boundaries that work for everyone. That is a very good thing to do in the beginning of a new relationship, as unrestrained involvement can lead to you getting swept away and doing foolish things. However, in the long term it may lead to sadness and frustration for both you and the outside partners if the rule is that the newer relationships must always remain "secondary" so as to protect the "primary" relationship.

Many people do poly within that heirarchical model, so it certainly can be done. But I would encourage you to stay open to the idea that bringing in new partners and loving them sincerely can change your lives, and that you may need to, in time, and with rational thought and respect for the original relationship, release some control and let each relationship develop into what it wants to be. If that makes any sense?

It can seem like a scary thought, the idea that a new partner could some day become as important to you as your old partner and that you might want to share your life with them as deeply, but to reject the possibility entirely is to leave yourselves with no choice but to back off or break up with new partners if it does come to that point. Love isn't predictable.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swmnkdinthervr View Post
Thanks again...we appreciate any advice!!! We were totally unaware that "lifestyle" would have that connotation! It seems odd though because to us and most of the swingers we know that is a permanent choice, "once you're a pickle you can't go back to being a cucumber again!" It must be a sort of cultural thing...maybe even regional, the Baltimore Poly group we just joined embraces all gender distinctions, alternative lifestyle choices and forms of poly fidelity? They in fact could be the aberration instead of the norm we suppose!
Most poly groups do. But a lot of poly people associate "lifestyle" with swinging. Some poly people would not want to be associated with swinging so therefore might take issue with someone discussing poly as the "lifestyle." Doesn't mean swinging is frowned upon necessarily by all, just that its confusing for some and found as being inaccurate as poly is about loving relationships and swinging is about sport sex.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:37 PM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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Thank you Annabel, we did/do indeed fear that loss/separation of or primary relationship at least a little (ok maybe a bit more than a little) but we don't fear someone loving us deeply as we do each other. It has occurred to us that love generally takes it's own course rather than any anticipated one.

We think/feel we will want to limit at least the initial depth of commitment mainly because its wise to be somewhat cautious entering into any interpersonal relationship whether the duration is fleeting or enduring. Again maybe a little too much caution...but then this is new territory to us.

We've only lightly touched on being open to a love that becomes that all encompassing, your suggestion that we release some control allowing the relationship to grow as it should is probably the best course after we have reached a reasonable level of security. We can imagine nothing better than to share more of the incredible love that we already have, that potential is what brought us here.

What it appears you're saying is simply that we could be denying ourselves and someone else what we cherish the most about our relationship and that makes a great deal of sense, we really don't want to limit ANY relationship with fear no matter how seemingly rational it might be! You've helped clear up the initial misunderstanding (knee jerk reaction) we had about Redpeppers description of the "moving away from each other" and the "becoming more autonomous from one another" what she was describing makes a great deal of sense now and it signals growth as much as it might distance. Whew...the learning curve is steep!!!

Last edited by swmnkdinthervr; 12-30-2011 at 05:46 PM.
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