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  #1  
Old 02-03-2012, 10:58 PM
pjeck pjeck is offline
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Default Wanting a triad, potential third wants it too. Not sure if girlfriend is interested.

Just as a bit of an introduction: My girlfriend and I have been together for nearly eight years. While we don't quite feel the need to get married just yet, we may as well be. We share everything together and, despite a few bumps here and there, our relationship has always been happy and healthy.

Now, the bumps that I mentioned have pretty much always involved our feelings for other people. I've had quite a few times throughout our relationship where I have begun to develop feelings for other people around us, although I never acted on them and would eventually get over them. The thing is, those feelings for others never got in the way of my feelings for my girlfriend, and that's what interested me the most. I never once thought that I didn't need her love anymore, I just found the idea of sharing love with yet another person to be very fulfilling. And as time has passed, I've really strongly developed in that direction. I wholeheartedly believe that I will have more enjoyment in life by sharing love with more than one person. I guess, until more recently, I never really knew what that meant, but as I've looked into it, I've discovered polyamory and eventually this wonderful forum.

Now, to get to the situation at hand: She and I have had a best friend for a few years now. This friend does nearly everything with us, and we both love her very much. She is a wonderful person and it didn't take long for me to develop strong feelings for her. I love how happy she makes my girlfriend and the dynamic that she brings to our relationship. The possibility of taking it further and actually bringing her into our relationship has become my number one interest, but I just haven't been sure of what steps to take.

Interestingly enough, the three of us recently had a few drinks and my girlfriend decided to go to bed early, so our friend and I stayed up and talked. She revealed to me that she had been dealing with strong romantic feelings for both of us but she had no idea how to approach them because she feels that non-monogomous relationships "never work." At that point in time, I had not done anywhere near the amount of research as I've done now, so I sort of agreed to her that it seemed as though it might not work if we tried it. I told her that I've actually been struggling with the same feelings and that it was, at the very least, a relief to hear that she felt the same way. However, she seems to feel that we should both try our hardest to get over it because she doesn't think a relationship of three can ever work. I wish I knew as much then as I do now (I've done a lot of research in the last few weeks), because I would have definitely convinced her otherwise by explaining that triads are more common than she might think and that there are many ways to deal with some of the hardships that come with them in order to keep all three participants very happy and healthy together. Now I have no idea how to bring the situation up to her again without seeming like I don't respect her feelings on the matter, but that's a seperate issue entirely.

The major concern I have here is that I'm unsure if my girlfriend will ever be willing to consider bringing our friend into the relationship. Both she and our friend are openly attracted to women, and while I know my girlfriend finds our friend to be beautiful and she enjoys her personality, I'm not entirely sure if it crosses into the realm of actual attraction. I do think she has been exhibiting some behaviors related to attraction, though. For instance, if any longer period of time passes without our friend touching base with her in some way or another, she'll pretty much always mention it. "Where has she been? She's not responding to my texts. I hope she's not mad at me." That sort of thing. And that's definitely been a more recent development, despite the fact that they've been best friends for years. If I had to evaluate things there, I'd say that she does get some emotional satisfaction from our friend, on sort of a relationshipy level, without realizing it. However, she's incredibly focused on our relationship and her love for me, so some part of me feels as though she would feel threatened by the love for another, but I do think she's capable of it. I just need to help her get there.

I have no idea how to bring this up to her. I get the feeling that she won't understand. She'll most likely think she's not enough for me and that I just want to get into our friend's pants. I very honestly feel that there is a great deal of emotional fulfillment she can achieve from this, and she won't realize it due to fear and confusion. I'm wondering if maybe there's some way I can perpetuate the growth of her feelings for her friend. Perhaps the stronger she feels about her, the more likely she may be to consider this.

I just hope that people with more experience can help me figure out what to do here! Please let me know if you need any more information at all to help you get a feel for this situation. I'm sorry if my paragraphs are a little big and my thoughts are kind of scattered. I've never been the best writer.

Thank you very much for reading this.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2012, 02:59 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjeck View Post
Both she and our friend are openly attracted to women, and while I know my girlfriend finds our friend to be beautiful and she enjoys her personality, I'm not entirely sure if it crosses into the realm of actual attraction. I do think she has been exhibiting some behaviors related to attraction, though. For instance, if any longer period of time passes without our friend touching base with her in some way or another, she'll pretty much always mention it. "Where has she been? She's not responding to my texts. I hope she's not mad at me." That sort of thing. And that's definitely been a more recent development, despite the fact that they've been best friends for years. If I had to evaluate things there, I'd say that she does get some emotional satisfaction from our friend, on sort of a relationshipy level, without realizing it. However, she's incredibly focused on our relationship and her love for me, so some part of me feels as though she would feel threatened by the love for another, but I do think she's capable of it.
Welcome to the forum.

I'm afraid I haven't a single bit of advice for what you ask. I do feel the need to point out that what you've said in this paragraph is pretty standard, hetero-girl stuff. You know your gf, you may have other information about her attraction to women. But women who would never dream of sleeping with their best friends say stuff like that often. Women, in general, tend to express closeness and love for their girlfriends more than guys do ~ from a non-sexual place.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:42 AM
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idealist idealist is offline
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Hello and welcome to the forum!

I understand the hesitancy of bringing it up because then the reality has to be dealt with. Your partner may be against it from the beginning and so you will need to make a decision. It could also ruin the friendship with the woman.

I'm fortunate because I started talking to my primary partner about it and within 3 or 4 months, he was resonating with the whole idea. I didn't insist or push it on him. I have been in sales for over 22 years and I do have a natural gift of being able to influence people, especially when it's something I am passionate about.

This is what I did.......First, I did my research and I processed things for myself. I came to a place where I simply knew that I am polyamorous and that I wanted to pursue a polyamorous lifestyle.

With that firm realization and the confidence to move forward, I began to share my thoughts and feelings, being vulnerable and authentic with all of the people I am close to- including my current primary partner (we were in a non-sexual friendship phase at the time but we had been sexually monogamous before).

Within 6 months, I had 3 male partners that I was seeing- Richard, John and Charles. But Charles got into a relationship with a woman who doesn't have the emotional maturity to be in a polyamorous relationship so I don't see him any more. And John decided he wasn't interested in polyamory at all, so that ended and I had to grieve that. But Richard and I are still together and we are on the same page about polyamory......so, it can happen!!!
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:08 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjeck View Post
I've had quite a few times throughout our relationship where I have begun to develop feelings for other people around us, although I never acted on them and would eventually get over them. The thing is, those feelings for others never got in the way of my feelings for my girlfriend, and that's what interested me the most. I never once thought that I didn't need her love anymore, I just found the idea of sharing love with yet another person to be very fulfilling.
The previous times something like this has happened, did you ever talk to her about it, share your feelings? If you've never even brought up the idea of loving more than one person at a time, I might start with a more general discussion on the subject of polyamory to see if she's got any strong feelings one way or the other. Talking about it hypothetically could be a gentler intro than hitting her with, "Friend and I have these feelings and this is what we want to do and what do you think?"
Quote:
I just need to help her get there.
No, actually, you don't. You need to be honest and supportive as she figures out her own feelings and wants. That's the most "help" you can be.
Quote:
I'm wondering if maybe there's some way I can perpetuate the growth of her feelings for her friend. Perhaps the stronger she feels about her, the more likely she may be to consider this.
My gut reaction is "bad idea". You can't alter or affect what she feels for the friend. At the most, you can talk more about how much you enjoy spending time with Friend and perhaps suggest more often that she be invited/included, but that's about it. You can set the stage, but you can't direct the actors.

Basically, if this is something you want to pursue, you have to start talking about it. Maybe bring up seeing a book review that piqued your interest and suggest you both read it together (there's TONS of poly book recommendations around here) so you're not approaching the convo from a, "This is what I want, can you handle that?" place. If you don't want to read a book then a movie or tv show or even news article about poly could be a starting point.
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2012, 08:39 AM
pjeck pjeck is offline
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Thank you very much for the informative responses.

NovemberRain: I understand that women express closeness and love to their girlfriends more than men. It could certainly just be that I'm thinking wishfully and seeing things that aren't there, or at least I would not doubt that as a possibility. I still have a slight feeling that there could be some attraction growing, however. Another example is that they occasionally cuddle on the couch or nap together in my bed, and at one point when our friend was on her hands and knees, petting our cat, my girlfriend gave our friend's rear a smack. Our friend seemed a bit flustered and my girlfriend jokingly said "If you're going to stick it out there, it's gonna get smacked!" This was somewhat shocking to me, as it is definitely not like my girlfriend to do something like that. Once again, maybe none of that is intimate at all, in any nature, and I'm trying to see it as such. I guess I don't know!

idealist: I absolutely understand the importance of doing more research, processing my own feelings and coming to an understanding of what I truly want. I think I need to do more of that before I move forward. Also, I feel that I share your natural gift of being able to influence people, mostly because I am a very logical person and I have a way of helping people get through their fear and see things rationally, the way I do.

ThatGirlInGray: I think you're absolutely right about discussing polyamory with her first, before discussing this situation with our friend, although she actually did bring it up at one point a few months back. We were having some issues, directly related to my feelings for our friend, and at the time, before I really had a grasp of what polyamory was, I mentioned to her that I was struggling with feelings for others, like I wasn't sure if our relationship could last forever with just she and I. She processed what I had said and told me that we could try threesomes but that she doesn't think she can handle polyamory or open relationships due to her jealous nature. I will say, however, that her issues with jealousy (along with all of her anxiety related issues) have come such a long way in the last eight years. I'm not sure if the idea of polyamory actually bothers her as a whole (or if she's even taken the time to sit and think about it) but I do have a lot of confidence that she can get past jealousy, just as many people who are easing into polyamorous relationships learn to get past theirs.

As far as me helping her get to a point where she can want or accept this, I very much apologize for expressing it in such a way that seemed like I intend to force this on her. What I really want is just to figure out if this is something she could actually consider or not. If I see a sign that she could or would consider something like this, or at the very least if she seems even somewhat interested in it, that's when I would move forward and look into more resources that can help her learn.

I think right now, my major problem is that I have no idea how to bring this up naturally, in a way that won't scare her or make her question why I'm asking about it. I want to introduce her to this and feel her out, but I just don't know where to start.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:48 AM
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Hey there, welcome.

I have to second some of the stuff that was said already. Biggest possible issue: don try to MAKE her feel anything. Her emotions are her own, you shouldn't meddle and try to manipulate her into something. Be fair, let her come to a conclusion on her own. When I confronted the ones I loved with my wishes and thoughts, of course I wanted them to consider them as possible and OK and was afraid of them saying "Never, ever!" but that's just what can happen. You can't make someone feel something.

What you can do, is taking baby steps to reach a place where she will be able to understand what you are talking about. The smaller the steps the better the processing. Talking about it in a more theoretical context has helped some of my friends to wrap their mind around it. For example, I told a friend about 'some friends' who happen to find themselves in a vee eventually and they have been happy for years now. On that basis I talked about what was on my mind concerning my two partners. When I later (some months) told her the truth about my relationship(s), the light bulb moment came instantly when I mentioned it because of the story we talked about before. So, if she never heard of it, she may need some time to think about the whole range of possibilities without feeling pressed or threatened to reach a certain comfortable place as quickly as possible because the matter stands right in front of her door already. If you have the chance ease her into it.

When I confronted my husband with the whole mess, he was surprisingly OK with it. He needed some time still, but he was OK. This isn't the way it normally works (as far as I can evaluate it). You are turning her world upside down by going beyond the standards she knows and feels comfortable with. Even in the case of my husband he lost trust in our relationship first. Don't expect her to be happy and suddenly 'discover' a side of her that has always been there. This may happen, but it could go in a totally different direction. And as she hasn't expressed a clear attraction to your mutual friend, (the things you described are just everyday stuff and perfectly normal) her reaction is more likely to be not that positive in the beginning.

Wishing you luck on your path, Phy.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:45 AM
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I would suggest buying a book like "opening up." Sorry, can't remember the author but its in our 'book and link recommendation' sticky if you want to find it. Then I would leave it out and read it. Tell her bits of it and how it resonates. Eventually tell the friend about it and see where that goes. Leave her with the idea and don't jump in until all of you have researched and become accustom to poly theory. They might have to catch up. If it feels right with this woman after all that, then address it. Anything before that might lead to issues. To me its better to be completely prepared. All of you be prepared.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:41 AM
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The smaller the steps the better the processing.

*like*
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:59 AM
pjeck pjeck is offline
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Amazing advice, Phy and redpepper. If I decide to take this further, I will make sure that we all take very small steps and process as much information as we can before making any decisions. I'm going to check out "Opening Up" and see if it's something they might be interested in reading.

As far as approaching my girlfriend with any literature, it may take me a bit of time to come up with a natural way to show it to her. I'm a little worried that, based on her previous decision that she'd be too jealous to handle a polyamorous relationship, she would become scared and concerned with the knowledge that I am researching the subject. This is a tough situation for me.

I will continue to think about this and research and hopefully figure out the right thing to do. Thank you very much.
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