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  #1  
Old 03-21-2012, 02:55 PM
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Question Conquering nervousness?

Over the last week or so, Hubbs & I have been really discussing & ironing out our feelings/rules/etc on a poly relationship. It is not something we ever imagined until the last year or so. Even when it first came up, it was awkward & we weren't really in the right space emotionally to truly do it. However, we've come a long way. Now we're here. We both realize that individually it's what we want, and together we think it is workable & beneficial.

But we're both nervous about the order of things. We've set up initial "first step" boundaries (meet & befriend someone - we're not into casual sex, too much risk- and we let each other know if we're interested in pursuing someone romantically. Next, we meet said interest & agree they're not psycho or a cowgirl, then kissing is allowed. Then we discuss the feelings that come up & move on from there), we've discussed everything openly & we're comfortable with it. We're both afraid of being the first one to take the first step, but we're also afraid of the other being first. To make it simpler (I hope) I'll speak for myself here, but he echoes my feelings. We both do have a jealous streak that stems from insecurities. I know it's irrational, I can't color him with my past; it's not fair, nor is it accurate. He's not any of my exes. I feel if I was first to find an outside relationship, it would help stave off any jealousy felt when he finds a relationship. Kind of, "Well I'm seeing so-and-so, so I can't be upset that he's seeing someone." And really, honestly, I'm excited for him to find someone who can love him and whom he can love. I'm excited for him to have those giddy, over-the-moon feelings... that rush of new love. The excitement, the fun, the exploration... all of it. Simply seeing him that vibrant again... just the thought makes me happy. And once the NRE wears off, even if nothing physical happens, he'll have the emotional completion. If something physical happens, that's fine too. Our sex drives don't match up in many ways, so the supplement could only be good for him. And really for us, since it would take some of the stress off of us. We have great sex, and it's not a terribly rare thing. But he's ALWAYS ready, and as a housewife/mom/budget-keeper/etc. oftentimes, I'm just not in the mood. Or, I'll get the urge when he's at work & by the end of the day, it's gone. "Throwing him a bone" tends to be detrimental to both of us, but going without also is. So, the help - for lack of a better term - in that area of our lives seems like it would be good. Plus, I think it may spark almost a competitive (in a playful way) drive in me. Obviously this is all theory at this point, but the idea of him with another woman... makes me ... I just think in the end, he'll be the one turning people down. KWIM?
But at the same time, I'm nervous that me having a relationship & him not having one yet may hurt him.
We both understand that there is a learning curve. There will be skinned knees along the way. We're dealing with emotions here, so it's bound to get messy.

We realize that finding a unicorn is highly unlikely, as is both of us finding a secondary simultaneously. But, even with that knowledge, we're both kind of stutter-stepping now.


As I said, by his own admission he feels the exact same way.

And we're, I believe, being realistic about it. Yet we're both so nervous-excited. I'm willing to bet this is all normal newby territory, so I guess I'm looking for advice or personal stories? How did you handle all this?
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:16 PM
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To clarify, we are open to new relationships/people, but we are not interested in forcing anything. We want organic chemistry... REAL relationships.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:53 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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It sounds like the two of you have really done a remarkable amount of groundwork! Great job.

It's really not possible to predict just when one of you will click with someone - so thinking about how you think you would feel depending on "who goes first" is fine but you won't REALLY know until you get there.

In terms of advice? No matter how slow you go it is very possible that one of you will have flashes of - doubts, jealousy, insecurity, whatever - that doesn't mean that you're doing it wrong, it means that you are trying something new and learning about yourself as you do.

(In my blog here I talk about my first jealousy moment and how it resolved - it's here if you want to read it:
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showp...4&postcount=11)

We learned that for us the best answer was to ... pause. To not react to the negative reaction right away. To let it percolate a bit. So it might go something like this:

Something is said or done.
Someone has a negative reaction.
- pause - (thinking about it)
Other person is informed about the negative reaction.
- pause - (thinking about it withOUT responding right away)
First person is informed about Second persons response to that reaction.
- pause - (both people thinking about the other persons perspective)
THEN the conversation starts...

For us these pauses may be minutes or hours or overnight depending on how long it takes for each of us to get out from under the influence of our negative reaction and see things more objectively.

**********

Wow, sorry this turned into more of a "How to fight with your spouse" essay then I intended. My point is, there will be bumps in the road, which you already know, if you and your spouse continue to communicate as well as it sounds like you have so far - I think that you have a great chance at building something wonderful!

JaneQ
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 03-21-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:12 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OkNewbs View Post
Our sex drives don't match up in many ways, so the supplement could only be good for him. And really for us, since it would take some of the stress off of us. We have great sex, and it's not a terribly rare thing. But he's ALWAYS ready, and as a housewife/mom/budget-keeper/etc. oftentimes, I'm just not in the mood. Or, I'll get the urge when he's at work & by the end of the day, it's gone. "Throwing him a bone" tends to be detrimental to both of us, but going without also is. So, the help - for lack of a better term - in that area of our lives seems like it would be good. Plus, I think it may spark almost a competitive (in a playful way) drive in me.
This actually all resonates with me and made me recall an incident that made us laugh. I have a higher sex drive than MrS and Dude is horny ALL the TIME. At one point Dude was trying to sex me up and my response was "Seriously?! We SO JUST did that!" and I rolled my eyes at MrS - who comes out with "Yup...now you know how it feels." I keep telling Dude that he needs to go get a "morning girlfriend" so that he stops pesting me 'cause it's NOT GOING TO HAPPEN...

Jane("Not-a-morning-person-doesn't-even-begin-to-describe-it")Q
__________________
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 03-21-2012 at 04:14 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2012, 04:14 PM
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Well, ok then. Sounds like we're on the right track.

That's actually a skill we've developed in our own relationship over the last year or 2 and has made a world of difference. So it makes perfect sense to carry that over into the secondaries & the primary-secondary discussions or whatever.

I understand a lot of this is simply all the unknown. You did put my mind at ease a bit that, yes, this is normal, and yes, this is something that can be (fairly easily it seems) dealt with.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe View Post
This actually all resonates with me and made me recall an incident that made us laugh. I have a higher sex drive than MrS and Dude is horny ALL the TIME. At one point Dude was trying to sex me up and my response was "Seriously?! We SO JUST did that!" and I rolled my eyes at MrS - who comes out with "Yup...now you know how it feels." I keep telling Dude that he needs to go get a "morning girlfriend" so that he stops pesting me 'cause it's NOT GOING TO HAPPEN...

Jane("Not-a-morning-person-doesn't-even-begin-to-describe-it")Q
Bahaha! That's awesome.

Leads me to a question, though. How long did it take you (I know, every person/relationship/etc is all different) all to become that comfortable?? I'm a little nervous about being affectionate, not to mention sexual , with my (future) secondary in front of Hubbs. That is my comfort zone, to just be free, but out of respect for Hubbs, I feel I should reign it in. Does that make sense? I don't want to push anything on him, I mean. Does that ease come with time in every relationship, or sometimes & sometimes not?

I feel that what you describe is my ultimate ideal. Having Hubbs, but also a female & possibly also a male secondary & we all get along. All friends, almost to the point of a chosen family. Everything is just... effortless. Ideally. I just wonder if that's truly realistic for everyone?
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Patrick: Husband, Straight, 23 year old dad to 1


Currently exploring Poly together, our latest adventure.
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2012, 05:18 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OkNewbs View Post
How long did it take you (I know, every person/relationship/etc is all different) all to become that comfortable??
Well, I think that we had a head-start in a number of areas.

MrS and Dude were already close friends before I even met Dude. Also, Dude was staying with us part-time and his girlfriend at the time would sometimes stay over. So we all were already used to hearing sex-sounds from the next room over (this is a small house with NO sound-proofing). My husband was already used to seeing me be flirty/touchy/kissy with our friends and me being sexual with my girlfriends in the past. So the only thing that was new was seeing/hearing actual sex with another guy and from the very beginning we've had sex all together at times (with both of the guys' attention on me - they are both "straight-but-not-narrow").

From Dude's perspective - at one point he lived in a BDSM house (he isn't kinky but his roommates were) and had some experiences with friends in an "open marriage." From his description this was more swinging/NSA sex/voyeurism than poly (I was surprised to learn that he had never heard the term "polyamory" before he met me).

Quote:
Originally Posted by OkNewbs View Post
I'm a little nervous about being affectionate, not to mention sexual , with my (future) secondary in front of Hubbs. That is my comfort zone, to just be free, but out of respect for Hubbs, I feel I should reign it in. Does that make sense? I don't want to push anything on him, I mean.
This makes perfect sense. The potential future secondaries will also have their own comfort levels and everyone will need the chance to get to know each other and form their own bonds. Going slow and being mindful of each others responses will help. So yes, you will be nervous and, yes, you will take baby steps and, yes, you will check in with Hubbs and see how he is holding up. ("I was worried that you would be upset when you saw me kiss MrDreamy goodbye last night but you seem to have taken it in stride - are you having any feelings that I should know about? Would you prefer it if we said our goodbyes in the car rather than at the door?")

Quote:
Originally Posted by OkNewbs View Post
Does that ease come with time in every relationship, or sometimes & sometimes not?
I'd say sometimes/sometimes not - every relationship is different and every person has different comfort levels. There are certainly many successful stories on these forums where people have varying levels of comfort with seeing their partners' interactions with others. My impression is that a lot of people end up getting comfortable with non-sexual displays of affection (hand-holding, brief closed-mouth kisses, hugs). But more than that seems to depend on whether the metamours have developed their own relationship (friend-wise).

Quote:
Originally Posted by OkNewbs View Post
I feel that what you describe is my ultimate ideal. Having Hubbs, but also a female & possibly also a male secondary & we all get along. All friends, almost to the point of a chosen family. Everything is just... effortless. Ideally. I just wonder if that's truly realistic for everyone?
I don't think that it is realistic for everyone (in fact, it may be completely unrealistic for most people). It may, however, be possible for you personally if that is how things end up. However, I think it is best to try to open yourself up to infinite possibilities and see what happens. Interacting with each person that you meet naturally and seeing what develops and not judging them based on whether or not they are "ideal" potential. I wasn't "looking for" Dude - MrS just brought him home one day and...this is what ended up happening - because of who each of us is and where we are in our lives. If we were different people we wouldn't be us!

JaneQ
__________________
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2012, 05:25 PM
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I feel like everything I read on here is stuff I already felt/knew, I just needed to hear it from someone else lol.
That all makes perfect sense & is pretty much what I assumed.

We have our "ideals" but realize, of course, that ideals are generally not real life. Just like my ideal would be to be multi-billionaires & never have to work or worry about bills & be able to travel & never want for anything & put our kids thru whatever college they want. Just cuz it's an ideal doesn't mean it'll ever happen in real life.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:17 AM
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Have you had a look at the threads in the tag search section on "foundations" and "lessons?" Might help. And keep looking around here... there is lots of info just by reading other peoples stories... your questions is really what this forum is all about, telling ones stories and learning from each other.
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