Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-30-2011, 05:40 PM
km34 km34 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 624

Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
If you think that having a secondary partner is making it harder for you to find a primary, then it would make sense to go.
This is the ONLY reason I can think of (based on the info given) that would be a reason for you to end the relationship. It seems to me that you are happy with him, you just aren't necessarily satisfied with other aspects of your life. You say you are looking and have been for a while... What avenues have you been using? Would you ending the relationship with your bf open up other possibilities? Would you consider moving to another area where you might find someone(s) with whom you're more compatible?

I'm agreeing with most people who've responded. Find close friends/family who can help you with the day-to-day until a primary relationship develops. Pick up a new hobby or find a group who shares a hobby/interest that you already have. Focus on figuring out what exactly WILL make you happy before making an drastic changes.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2011, 06:49 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: East Coast, U.S.
Posts: 447

I'm going to give some different advice here:

It sounds like this guy is no longer meeting your needs or making you happy. You should break up with him.

If you eventually find a primary of your own and feel like your life would be more enriched by having the first guy as a secondary again, you could try getting back together with him then.

But right now, it sounds like seeing this guy once a week is making you feel MORE lonely and unfulfilled than you would if you were fully single.

Other suggestions:

Change what you two do on your once-a-week night together. Go out places and talk more rather than just having him come over for a sleepless night of hot sex (if that's largely what's happening).

Change your attitude so that you identify as single-and-seeking-a-primary-partner (like tons of people, both mono and poly). Put effort into dating and meeting new people. Then, if you feel like being a secondary to this guy once a week will still be fun and enriching, you can keep doing it while you are also dating other people.

My own attitude is the opposite of yours--I don't want a primary partner and I would be happy to be someone's secondary. I need a lot of alone time. The energy, time, and passion that other people put into a primary relationship, I put into my writing. I consider myself my own primary--and I think that's awesome and it makes me really happy.

I find it irritating having a boyfriend involved with my daily life. And I would never inflict my dull office Christmas party on anyone I was dating!

But it sounds like the dynamic works best for your boyfriend if his secondary girlfriends have primaries of their own.
Single, straight, female, solo, non-monogamous.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2011, 08:56 PM
SchrodingersCat's Avatar
SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,448

What's all this "until" business? Make yourself a primary "until" you find someone else...


Make yourself your own primary PERMANENTLY. Always be at the top of the list of people you love. Anything else is codependency. This comes back to the notion that you have to truly "be" happy single... not just faking it so you can trick potential partners into thinking you've got your life together.
ďAs I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.
Ē óbisexualbaker
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2011, 10:19 PM
PaperGrace PaperGrace is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 75

Thanks to everyone for their time and input. So many questions! Iíll do my best to answer them all. If I have overlooked your question, prod me and Iíll go back and answer it. **I see there have been more responses while I was composing this one. Yay. I'll post this now then see if I need to do some catching up.**

@Geminigirl, I hear you that a primary partner is not the solution in and of itself. Heaven knows, Iíve had my share of bad primary partners (and a few good ones along the way, too). Even now, Iím not done looking for someone to share much more of my life with.

My partner and I have been discussing where Iím stuck and heís helping me to work it out. He wants me - - to be happy, whether that means I am staying or going. Itís one of the reasons I love him. Iíd be crazy to leave, right?

@redpepper, I do have a busy life and surround myself with lots of friends. Outside of work, I play team sports 2-3 times a week, I sit on a Board, Iíve got what I would consider 3 circles of friends outside of the poly community and they keep me up to date on the latest food, art, movies, you name it. Theyíre great. I do rely on them at times, as they rely on me.

@ShrodingersCat, youíre right, it is not that different from being unfulfilled and single and thatís certainly a reason to stay in the relationship. Since I am in a relationship, it does take work to not wrap up this relationship with my additional needs. I donít want to drag down a good relationship because Iím lonely. Itís not his fault and itís not his responsibility to fix me, itís mine. On the flip side, pretending to be energetic when Iím feeling down and want more seems false and not fair to either of us.

I will say that Iíve been single before, and Iím pretty good at it. However, I canít get used to being single again when Iím not.  I would love to be able to just get used to the new normal of a ďpartialĒ relationship. I am familiar with all or nothing. Maybe these are poly growing pains. Itís a new normal Iíve never seen in a tv show or read about in a book. I do wish the adjustment was going more smoothly.

@dingedheart, about 2 years ago, I joined a community in which there is a sizably poly population. Because of this, I gained poly friends and learned about poly. It was a lifestyle that made a lot of sense to me. I do believe that love it plentiful, Iím not possessive about my love or my partners, I donít believe in ďThe One,Ē just in varying levels of compatibility, and I can see each relationship in itís own context. That said, I didnít specifically seek out a poly relationship. I donít feel I am hardwired for either monogamy or polyamory. I just want to be happy. Anyway, I met my SO as a play partner and we clicked on a deeper level. I have no illusions of trying to make my partner into my primary, heís got a great life and itís in nobodyís best interest to mess it up. 

As above, I have not stopped looking for other partners. Where are the guys who are my perfect match?!? (Tongue stuffed firmly in cheek.)

As for time, each of the 3 girlfriends gets an evening/overnight during the week. I keep to a more regular schedule. His other girlfriends have tougher schedules to work around, but the ideal is a night for each of us. The rest of the time defaults (for lack of a better word) to his live-in primary. There are weekend days and evenings that his primary prefers to reserve with him and we respect that. Sometimes weíre all together, as we were at Thanksgiving. He certainly values his overlap time with us, and I can see why!

I am 38 years old and I donít have kids. Because of this, my freedom is something I am valuing less and less, and regular companionship and a foreseeable future have moved up in the relationship needs column. Some of my loneliness may very well be what I jokingly call my Pre-menopausal Mid-life Crisis.

@bookbug and BigGuy, my SO is not stopping me from dating others. The only way this relationship would prevent me from starting another is if the new guy isnít poly. How to explain that one? But thatís another thread and Iím pretty sure Iíve read it. 

A number of you have talked about being a better primary to myself. That is fantastic advice and I will work on it. Itís been rough going lately. Whereís my happiness, dang it?

@AnnabelMore, In the realm of intimate relationships, I am getting love and affection from a partner, but am left wanting more. I wonder if whatís lacking is more salient, in part because of the other pieces I am getting. (I can have a slice of pie, but not more, even if Iím still hungry Ė sort of) I ask myself if it would be easier to just go back to being single. Seems crazy, but at least that I have some experience in. I get that these are emotional, not logical arguments. (At least, right now I get a slice of pie.) I thought most of the poly work would be done by the persons with multiple relationships. I only have one and itís work right now! (I donít know how my SO manages!)

Itís not fair to my SO to treat him like heís a stop gap along the way to getting all of my wishes fulfilled. Thatís certainly not how I feel about him. I love him and want to respect his feelings as best I can. I want to appreciate this relationship for what it is and not resent it for what itís not. Itís not easy compartmentalize like that Ė which has led me to wonder as Geminigirl said, if poly is right for me. Or maybe I just need to work harder at feeling good about this new normal.

If only The Facts Of Life had had an episode about thisÖ

Thanks guys. Again, if I missed your question, point me back to it.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2011, 10:44 PM
PaperGrace PaperGrace is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 75

Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post

But right now, it sounds like seeing this guy once a week is making you feel MORE lonely and unfulfilled than you would if you were fully single.
Boy, does that hit home. It doesn't seem logical to me, but that's the wrestling match right there.

Is this a case of the grass being greener on the single side of the fence? Is this just me not being poly? Or not appreciating what I have? Is it more important to find someone to fulfill my needs instead of struggling to stay in an sometimes unfulfilling relationship? In which direction lies happiness?

I expect the answer is, "it depends." But I appreciate everyone's experiences.

@Meera, I'm happy that you're happy!
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2011, 07:15 AM
geminigirl's Avatar
geminigirl geminigirl is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 111

PaperGrace, I do hear where you're coming from.. One of the biggest concerns I had when I was a "professional secondary" (for lack of a better term -- I wasn't, however, getting paid for it ) was that my loneliness would affect my perfectly good relationships with my partners. My solution (one that they in fact helped me figure out) was to talk to them a LOT about my feelings and ask them for suggestions and support while I worked through my issues. They were fantastic about it, too -- so fantastic that when I did find a partner who is now more of a primary to me in terms of time and energy, they welcomed him warmly and gave me the extra time I needed to nurture that relationship.

It's true that time is limited, but partners are partners for a reason, and one of the biggest is their commitment to supporting and reassuring us when we're dealing with tough emotions and decisions, no matter how much facetime we actually have with them. I can't urge you strongly enough to be open with your sweetie (and maybe even his other partners, if you feel close to them). Intimacy is born of openness, and so long as you're not expecting your partner to solve your problem but rather expecting him to listen, love and support you while you find your way, this should not affect a good poly relationship in a harmful way at all.

Good luck! It sounds like you're really working on things in the best way possible.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2011, 08:00 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,511

Have tried to date others in the past year?

Would you like a full time partner? Do you want wake up next to someone every morning?

How often do you talk or communicate now.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2011, 08:19 AM
redpepper's Avatar
redpepper redpepper is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,723

Poly might not be right for you. I'm glad to hear you are thinking of that. If you find yourself in need of much more than you are getting and you want someone in your life that spends more time with you, doing things you both love together, reaching some life goals and is also there for you for the long haul, then perhaps monogamous bf's are a better bet for now or maybe always.

I don't think that one has to stay poly all their lives, for some it isn't an option and they always will have many loving partners that they are devoted to and have sex with, but for some its a passing part of the journey of their life and changes in time and circumstance. Sometimes it changes back again. I can totally see poly as an option until such time as a monogamous relationship is needed and sought after. Both options are valid. Deciding what is right for you is what is important.

I think you could still love and spend time with your bf and your metamours and still be in his life but end the partnership aspect. He sounds very busy with several people, I can imagine that the time factor would be a big one and maybe its better to be loving friends instead.
Anyone want to be friends on Facebook?
Send me your name via PM
My blog
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2011, 06:16 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 757

I don't know how close you are to your bf's other secondary gfs, but it certainly sounds that in regard to your bf, they are in the same situation time-wise. Given that you all had Thanksgiving together, it sounds like you might be close enough to discuss your situation with them. Get their input. Perhaps given they could offer some insight as well.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2011, 06:52 PM
opalescent opalescent is online now
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 2,155
Default 'Partial' relationships


In an earlier post, you mentioned partial relationships - this really resonates with me. A lover, SW, ended our sexual relationship because he did not want partial relationships. He is looking for a primary partner too. I would have preferred keeping our sexual relationship but he could not reconcile seeing me and looking for a main partner. It was hurtful and disorientating for him. You may have similar feelings. It may be necessary for you to be truly single to feel comfortable looking for a primary partner. It was for SW. Some people do great being secondaries while having no primary partner. Some people don't want primaries. Others do fine being a secondary if they have a primary of their own. (I suspect I may fall into this category.) Still others have multiple primaries or don't acknowledge hierachial relationships at all. If it proves necessary for you to end the sexual and/or emotional parts of your relationship with your SO, I'm sure he won't be happy about it but he will support you and understand why you need to take this step. I did and SW and I remain very good friends.
Reply With Quote

hierarchy, primaries, primary, primary/secondary, secondaries, secondary

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 06:01 PM.