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  #11  
Old 05-07-2012, 06:24 PM
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blytheandbonny blytheandbonny is offline
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Default Well, that was interesting. Meeting/hanging out with the metamour for the first time.

There aren't any real questions contained herein. Some of you read last week about this journey that is brand new for me and the others in my V, and this is just sort of an update about crashing through some practical gateways over the weekend.

So this weekend, I met up with my guy, his wife, and their son (8 yo) for a movie on Friday night, then had lunch with her and the son on Saturday and spent a few hours just hanging out with her and the son at their place afterward. Then dinner with all 4 of us again.

It was my first time meeting the son and the first time she and I've had any real significant interaction. We'd only met once before for about 2 minutes. Other than that, it's all been filtered though him (outside of reading each other's forum posts in the last couple of days.)

It was quite pleasant.

I found her to be lovely. She was sincerely friendly, very sharp, and I didn't get any kind of possessive, jealous, or other negative vibe from her. She was very open, and it was really a kind and polite thing to do to invite me back to hang out with them after lunch after I'd sort of sprung lunch on them with no notice. Their son could not be more charming, either. Totally, totally dug him.

All that aside, it was a strange thing to privately have so much intimate detail about each other yet be pretty much total strangers. Feeling out the conversation was interesting. I am just not comfortable leapfrogging over the "getting to know you" social niceties, you know? So, don't know if it was just me being conservative, but the conversation was pretty heavily weighted towards things like movies, games, where did you grow up, and so forth. We hardly talked about our guy at all.

It felt to me like there were Big Things To Be Discussed, but
a) I just can't go from zero to sixty with the social intimacy.
b) I want to get to know her in a boring normal way (as much as is possible), not plunged in Drama and Issues. If we're going to be friends, there has to be something that binds us outside of our hinge. Otherwise, to me, it will still be friendly but not an independent friendship, you know? And I do want us to be friends. I think this will be important for me internally - to think of her as an independent entity, whole within herself.
c) I was worried the whole time about how she was - having to deal with her husband's girlfriend. Welcoming me into her home is a big deal, and given the redrawing of boundaries that've been recently introduced between them, I have no idea what her comfort level is/was (maybe we each needed to be around each other without him to have a sense of a baseline from which to work?) So I didn't want it to be weirder for her than it already might have been. Not to presume that it was weird for her. For all I know, it wasn't. But if it was, I wanted to err on the side of caution.

On Friday night after the movie during the credits sequence, there was a tender moment between them as our guy sort of snuggled up with her for a few minutes. I spent that time talking to their son about the movie - about which he was an adorable enthusiastic fan.

That was quite the threshold to behold. Wow. This V relationship thing is really happening.

Not just an abstract construct.

I'm seeing it before my eyes. Living it. Internalizing it.

I wonder how she felt about seeing the tender moments between him and me.

I wonder how he felt about these (albiet mild) displays of affection for each of us in front of the other and what must the burden be like to be mindful of the feelings of each of us.

A whole bunch to process after an intense weekend. Well, an intense week+ actually.

Not sure what next steps are. Undoubtedly they will present themselves in their own time.
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2012, 01:09 AM
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blytheandbonny blytheandbonny is offline
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And now, Monday evening.

Not feeling as enlightened at the moment.

Ouch. Squirm.

*Deep breath*

Maybe tomorrow will bring some zen.
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  #13  
Old 05-08-2012, 04:33 AM
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Sounds to me like you're doing this thing in a smart/sensible fashion, and that you're off to a good start with your V companions. The only fly in the ointment is that you may be second-guessing yourself, e.g., "Was I really supposed to do that in that way?" It's all new right now, so I'm sure it's gonna feel weird for awhile. Just be patient with yourself, and with the process. Inevitably, difficulties will crop up. But you can't predict those. They tend to be different for each relationship.

I think you'll do fine, just keep taking those deep breaths, reading, studying, whatever helps you start to get your "sea legs" on this poly boat.

Sounds like the metamour's a pretty cool person (as are the two fellas in the cast of characters). Congrats on one big milestone, on the books.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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  #14  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:36 AM
strixish strixish is offline
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I think your concerns and intentions all show that you are approaching this in a thoughtful way. You do need to know her as an individual, and get to know her in the usual way that two people get to know each other, before you can be comfortable having BIG DISCUSSIONS.

Keep in mind that you don't have to be best friends. However, it can be very helpful to connect in some way. If you care about her (and her feelings, happiness, etc.), that can help keep jealousy at bay, or at least manageable.

(I'm the type who is going to experience jealousy all the time, but I've learned ways to keep it from becoming a problem. If it's like a little yippy dog in the background of my mind, not a roaring monster, then I'm doing well.)

Since you were caring about her experience, it sounds like it won't be difficult for you to find ways to care about her in general. That's good.

Don't try to push things, or rush into a relationship/friendship with her. Just continue to move at your own pace, with good will.
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  #15  
Old 05-08-2012, 02:56 PM
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blytheandbonny blytheandbonny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strixish View Post
If you care about her (and her feelings, happiness, etc.), that can help keep jealousy at bay, or at least manageable.

(I'm the type who is going to experience jealousy all the time, but I've learned ways to keep it from becoming a problem. If it's like a little yippy dog in the background of my mind, not a roaring monster, then I'm doing well.)
I am not a fan of jealousy. Worried that feeling it or expressing it shows something inherently negative in my character. Worried that it shows lack of faith and trust. That if it's there then my partner will take this as a sign that I can't do this or that he shouldn't ask me to and then I'll lose this relationship that means so much to me.

Your comment above implies that it's an ongoing state for you, though. Does this not affect your dynamic? Do you have coping techniques you can share? I mean, I had a whole full life before we met, and I still do. But some specific coping techniques would be aces.

Is jealousy a common thing that just has to be managed? Has this been done successfully by others in a LTR? Does it eventually fade?
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  #16  
Old 05-08-2012, 06:47 PM
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I'm not a very jealous person. It all depends on what triggers it, I think. Some people just don't tend to be the jealous sort, and yet others are always battling it. So, there's really no reaction that is predictable across the board. Your guy's wife doesn't sound like the jealous type, and you seem surprised by that suggestion so I guess you aren't either. Everything seemed to have gone well. I wouldn't worry too much about "keeping jealousy at bay" if I were you. Being respectful, amiable, and caring should be enough.
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2012, 12:47 AM
GreenMom GreenMom is offline
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Sounds like you two are off to a great start! Not everyone gets jealous. Those of us who do get jealous (I own it, I do struggle with this at times) sometimes have trouble understanding that not everyone does. My metamor is the type who does not, at least not of me that is for sure.
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  #18  
Old 05-09-2012, 11:08 AM
strixish strixish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blytheandbonny View Post
Your comment above implies that it's an ongoing state for you, though. Does this not affect your dynamic? Do you have coping techniques you can share?...Is jealousy a common thing that just has to be managed? Has this been done successfully by others in a LTR? Does it eventually fade?
Not to get too "woo woo" about it, but I think that when I can name the jealousy, it loses a lot of its power. I can try to repress it, because I want to be a good poly person, and don't want to let it exist. I can try to swallow it down and ignore it. However, that causes it to grow into this big huge THING that's constantly clouding my thoughts.

If I admit to it, and confess to everyone "oh, here's that jealousy that's chasing me all the time, check out this little green creature that's just constantly tagging along after me, that's my jealousy right there," then it shrinks. It's not a big deal anymore.

If I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of it, then it is a LOT easier to deal with. And more than that, if I make myself talk about it, then it's easier to get to the root of it (jealousy is a symptom, after all, and insecurity is the actual problem). And since talking about feelings is not something that comes naturally to me, it helps for me to get in the habit of pushing myself to talk about this.

It really does help to make jealousy into this little annoying thing that pops up and "pings" my brain from time to time, but too small to control me or to have a negative impact on my relationships. I acknowledge it, confess it, address it with humor, and it just becomes one of the mild flaws that makes me human.
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  #19  
Old 04-05-2013, 11:38 PM
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MindfulAgony MindfulAgony is offline
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Default Metamour intro meeting gone wrong

Hey Y'all. Don't pop in here often any more. But, needing some advice in a forum wherein which neither of my core partners participate.

Quick background: I've been dating J who lives up here in Seattle for just over a year. I've been dating R for about 7 months. It is a long distance relationship; she lives in Cali. J is polyamorous and dates others, mostly as a secondary. R is monogomish and is only dating me.

My last several opportunities to be with R, I went down to Cali. A couple of months ago, she came up here. So, I thought it a good idea for R and J to meet. I checked with them before and they both agreed to it (or so I thought). A couple of hours before the get together, R tells me that she didn't agree to meet J. That although it wasn't a big deal, I mentioned it weeks before and then sprung it on her at the last minute. I thought we had agreed, but to be fair to her, I probably didn't nail a complete yes out of her. I offered to cancel the meeting as she was clearly anxious. But, she wanted to show me that it wasn't stressful and insisted on going.

It was simply a beer and conversation for about an hour. I let them do most of the talking, mostly about themselves as they got to know more about each other. I walked away thinking the conversation went well. It was awkward at times, but nothing unexpected in my view.

So, recently in talking about some challenges in our relationship R tells me that she thought the meeting was awful. She said she felt neglected and disrespected in that hour. Specifically:
  • She thought I should have had a plan as the "host" and facilitated the discussion (examples she used were official introductions, ice breakers, making sure everyone feels comfortable, and keep the conversation going).
  • R felt that J looked more at me than her (I purposely sat on the same side of the table as R to make her and I feel more like the "couple because she's kind of on J's turf not her own). She said watching J and I give each other the eye as if she didn't exist was extremely rude and alienating. They did most of the talking to each other. So, it's hard to fathom she felt J and I were treating her as if she didn't exist.
  • And, when we left, I hugged and kissed J which R said was very alienating for her. I explained that I didn't think about giving her a hug and kiss goodnight as R was going home with me. R would get all the hugs and kisses she could handle over the next several days we were together. Impolite, indifferent and insensitive were words she used to describe J and my behavior.
It's so very different than how I remember the evening that it's striking and depressing (J has a similar view as mine on the evening). It is hard because she took so long to mention it. And, it feels like R is holding onto some animus for J that seems out of proportion. So, I'm trying to respond without trying to argue away her perceptions of the evening. My main goal is to find a path to reduce the animus and discomfort that I see has built up from R about J.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on what might be behind these radically different experiences as well as what possible ways to start moving this in the right the direction. Thanks!
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Last edited by MindfulAgony; 04-05-2013 at 11:43 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-06-2013, 01:49 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Unfortunately I don't have any advice about ways to move in the right direction, but I might have an idea of why R sees it the way she does.

First, though- you say R is monogamish. Has she ever been in a poly relationship before?

I ask because the impression I get is that she (consciously or not) expected you to act more like a monogamous partner around her. I would bet that so far in your relationship, especially with it being long distance, when you are around her she is the only one receiving visible romantic attention from you.

Since it seems you and she were not on the same page regarding meeting J in the first place, I would bet you also did not talk about things that might be difficult or uncomfortable for her, ways you planned to act (to her around J, or to J around her), or what her expectations of the meeting were. It seems likely to me, then, that she quite simply did not completely think through what the possibilities were when meeting your other partner with you, and the actual experience created a cognitive dissonance that she's working through. She may be trying to put the blame on you in order to avoid working through it; I don't know.

I guess it goes back to communication. You didn't communicate scheduling the meeting well enough, apparently, and she didn't take the time to communicate to you what she wanted from the meeting, nor did she communicate with you in a timely fashion when she was unhappy with it. So now her expectations have been communicated. Without arguing about her perception (because I agree that's pointless) it might be time to say, "This is the way I act in public when I am with someone I am dating. If you are not comfortable with it, we need to discuss ways to deal with that." and go from there.
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