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  #181  
Old 08-05-2012, 11:20 PM
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StarTeddy StarTeddy is offline
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The very first time I considered poly, though I didn't know what it was called, was when I had just started my very first relationship when I was 15. I guess I should start with the beginning with this story.

Around April that year, I became friends with a boy, J, and I liked him immensely. We had a thing going for a little bit, but he was still too emotionally immature to understand what was happening and stopped paying attention to me. This hurt me a lot and it took a very long time for me to get over the feelings I had for him. That July, I met the guy who would become my boyfriend, A. When school started back up, I discovered, to my horror, that he was J's best friend. So I was in a new relationship but I still had my old feelings for J. I didn't want to be around him AT ALL because I was ashamed of my feelings, but then that meant that A felt like he had to split his very limited time between us and often had to choose between one or the other. That wasn't fair, so I tried to be friendly with J again, but that ended up in unintentional flirting between us (which was pointed out by other people). I was ashamed of what I had done and so I stopped, but in my mind I thought that it would just be so much easier if I could be with both of them. I presented the idea to A, who (due to being completely spineless at the time) said that it was fine by him, though in reality it was tearing him apart on the inside. I realized that it was hurting him, smacked myself, and told myself that I had to focus on and honor the relationship I already had, and stop chasing after the other guy who had never been so nice to me anyway. After that, I had banished the idea from my head as That Really Bad Idea I Had Once. I still felt guilty though, about being attracted to other people while I was in a relationship.

I didn't think much of it back then, but recent events have made me realize that I can no longer deny the poly aspect of myself and that I refuse to continue being ashamed about my feelings of love for other people. I haven't actually been in a full-fledged poly relationship yet, though.

Last edited by StarTeddy; 08-05-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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  #182  
Old 08-06-2012, 03:21 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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I guess I'm living my introduction to poly right now.

Several months after my divorce was final, a long-time friend, married, asked me out, telling me it was a business meeting, and at that 'business meeting,' told me the rest of the story.

I'm still undecided about the wisdom of being involved in this, although some of my misgivings about our relationship and him stem from my own issues after 20+ years in a marriage full of lying and cheating. The problem is, I don't really know what's 'normal' anymore, what I can or should expect from a relationship or from him, and on top of it, am trying to figure that out within a relationship that wasn't 'normal' to begin with.
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  #183  
Old 08-07-2012, 07:44 PM
Passionate1 Passionate1 is offline
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My husband and I started out as swingers and I always felt "different" than the rest of them. I HAD to have an emotional connection or I just could not move forward. I would then cultivate amazing relationships with people that I am happy to say many of them are life long =) I started investigating this strange new word "Polyamory" one day and the more I read the more I identified. It truly felt like a eureka moment and I honestly cried tears of relief that I wasn't alone. This spoke to me and my true nature and i realized looking back over my life i have ALWAYS been this way. Sadly to the detriment of my other relationships. I was the BAD wife/gf who always seemed to wander and tried to fit into society mold. Now I am happily married to an amazing man who is NOT poly but open minded and understands me AND have a spectacular bf that I can't imagine my life without. I am at complete peace with my life now =)
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  #184  
Old 08-08-2012, 05:25 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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In high school I always felt multi-crushes, intense ones. I had relationships with several boys that were close. We did not know what else to call it so we put it in the "sister-brother" bucket but I remember the most intense one so was not brotherly in MY mind. Neither were the others. But... at that age you go with what feels safest in your public persona. Actually a lot of people just assumed I was dating one of the guys -- it was me and 3 other boys who were all friends together. And I would have dated them all at once if I could have! Sometimes someone would be brave enough to ask "So what's UP with you and X, Y, and Z? Are you going out with one of them?" and I'd just smile and shrug and say "Nah. We're good friends."

We all dated others and danced around it -- me never formally dating ANY of the three I most wanted to date. I don't think I could have had a "V" in high school though much less a 3 man quad! But I did have a few of those non-date dates with 2 of them -- dances, and movies, and whatnot.

The strongest, oldest crush in that trio of boys did not confess his own feelings to me until much later when we were in colleges miles apart and it no longer was an emotional threat. He had the strongest pull for me of the trio even though I cared for them all. It was sweet, but a "damn! what could have been?" moment when he told me he would have been open to it.

In college I had the start of my "V" -- that's where it ended up at after I played the field a bit. Closing down to me as the hinge of an MFM "V" structure for a few years. It was sweet. One (my future DH) did not see anyone else. The other side, my ex OSO did and I totally encouraged him because he had the hardest leg with it being LDR. I told him to find a local Sweetie and not limit himself. I did not expect exclusive. For me it just naturally fell that way. I didn't want more than the 2, DH didn't want more than the one though he could exercise the option, and ex OSO kinda HAD to exercise the option or endure a very lonely existance in LDR with me. One year, it changed to both of them being LDR to me and at that time I wondered if I wanted to exercise my option to see a local sweetie third... but I didn't. My plate was full enough as it was.

At the time I was still ignorant about vocab. I did not even know the world "polyamory!" I just knew I wanted to live and love how I wanted to live and love and nobody was going to stop me. And I was going to do it up front, honest, and ethically. As best as I could with nothing but my instinct to help me -- resources for me were nonexistant.

Then I was married and moving toward thinking of having a kid by the time the first edition of "Ethical Slut" rolled around. I was amused that it came too late for me. I was out of the dating pool!

I've been in a closed polyship of 2 with DH for 16 yrs and we've been together almost 20. He was one of my college "V" arms. We're not at a place where we'd consider Opening again. Too much on our plates with kidcare, eldercare for aging parents, etc. But we talk a lot, and he knows how I'm wired and he loves me how I am and I love him as he is. So we're happy.

If it comes to fly another polyship one more time... I think we'd be fine. It's been done before. I'm the polyamorous person and he's wired for monoamorous-but-polyfriendly.

So my intro to poly? I'm not sure. It's always been kinda... there. It's just been learning to roll with it and own it and live it.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-08-2012 at 05:38 AM.
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  #185  
Old 08-17-2012, 04:27 PM
Ttree Ttree is offline
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Hey Amnesiac

I may be in the same boat. I know I have had commitment phobia, and it seems to keep coming up after a few months (or sooner). I also have a general anxiety disorder according to my shrink. It seems in my experience I hadn't found the right type of person who could understand my anxiety. I am with a truly amazing mono guy now who is not threatened at all by my desire to be with other people.
It is good to find the root of your relationship phobia. For me it was partly the fear that the person might not be the right one, partly because I felt incapable of breaking up with anyone (fear of hurting anyone) and particularly the guy I was with whom I really care about and could never stand hurting (I still love him but I had to break up with him for the final reason which he could not accept also because I am pretty sure I am poly.

Having successfully broken up with him and had a GOOD breakup (really the best as far as breakups go, we are good friends who hang out and joke a lot), realising I have the strength to make my own decisions and am not with someone who will not fully meet my emotional needs and yet will not let me find that elsewhere, and realising that I now have the freedom to be poly (all in my current relationship) has gone a long way towards alleviating my commitment phobia.

If you find out what is causing your anxiety it will help a lot. Being able to relax and not overthink or freak out, and not condemn yourself for your feelings definitely helps with clear thinking. Honesty and openness is very good provided it is a healthy relationship (healthy as in not one where the other person is very manipulative or an emotional abuser) and assertiveness is a must: deciding what you are willing to compromise on and what you cannot under any circumstances compromise on. (For me my poly-orientation as nobody can tell me who I may love.).
Commitment phobia really can be treated. I'm pretty sure it's related to anxiety. Some good therapy and learning what structures you particularly need to put in place to feel in control really makes a difference (eg reserving the right to take some "space" or being sure that you are free to do what makes you feel secure that you are not losing your identity, or whatever your personal factors are).

I am sure with the right focus, confidence in yourself and the right support structures or necessary counselling you really can get through your commitment phobia. And you don't have to justify being poly even if you do see it as a result of your commitment phobia. You have the right to be who you are.
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  #186  
Old 02-01-2013, 04:54 PM
RockerChick RockerChick is offline
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Default Suddenly Realizing You're Poly - how did you cope?

Realizing I'm poly is still new to me, and I'm a little unsure how to deal with it appropriately as of yet.

I really don't understand how I could have fallen in love with another man while being VERY happily married to another. The two relationships are very different, and I would love to keep both. So far, it's working out okay, but I seem to be my own worst enemy inside my head.

My Primary says he's okay with this, so why am I feeling guilty whenever I spent time alone with my BF? Ideally, I enjoy the times when we're all three together the best, but my Primary has asked for this weekend "off" so he can adjust better (more slowly). I never wanted to be in the position to have to split my time between the two, so I hope this is only temporary.

I'm wondering how other people adjusted to the sudden realization (if it was) of being poly? How did you come to terms with falling in love with a second person while still being in love with the first? Was it difficult or easy for you? Did you seek poly counseling, or do it on your own?

Thanks!
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  #187  
Old 02-01-2013, 05:32 PM
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Hm

You sound like me. Totally ^.^ That's what my start into poly looked like. My/our journey is documented on here if you care to have a look (see signature). Most of your questions were part of my first post on here and are discussed in my blog.

I would advise you to listen to the needs of your partners. You can't mix them up completely and have them only spend time with you and the other all the time. It's important to take care of each couple relationship as well. Don't press them to be in a constellation when they are telling you that they are uncomfortable. Don't rush things. Take your time. Everyone needs lots of time to adjust to this new factor in your life. Talk and communicate about positive and negative factors, emotions, needs. It's important that everyone is able to voice how he/she is feeling and what they need to be comfortable with everything.

All the best to you.
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Last edited by Phy; 02-01-2013 at 06:01 PM.
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  #188  
Old 02-01-2013, 05:56 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockerChick View Post
I'm wondering how other people adjusted to the sudden realization (if it was) of being poly? How did you come to terms with falling in love with a second person while still being in love with the first? Was it difficult or easy for you? Did you seek poly counseling, or do it on your own?

Thanks!
I think there's ongoing discussion as to whether poly is something you ARE or something you DO.

My personal belief is that anyone is capable of falling in love with two or more people at the same time, given the right two or more coming along. I also expect it varies, with some people falling in love more frequently and quickly overall. I spent my early marriage 20 to 25 years ago being very much in love with my husband yet having a massive infatuation with someone else. I do wish I'd realized at the time that it was quite normal, that it happened to many people. I could have dealt with it more easily instead of feeling guilt. (I never acted on it, btw.)

At the same time, I feel that defining myself as BEING poly would in a sense chip away at my free choice in life, because we live in a world that gives us the message that if we are such and such, we can only be happy and fulfilled if we act on that, and in fact that we have a right and almost a responsibility, to pursue that. I, personally, don't believe that. I believe I can be in love with someone and choose, based on all the criteria, not just my feelings, whether to act on that or not.

I think--I hope--that answers, "how other people adjusted to the sudden realization (if it was) of being poly?" In short: I believe I'm capable of falling in love with multiple people. Yet I don't define myself as poly. I see it as perfectly normal, run of the mill, common to the human experience.
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  #189  
Old 02-01-2013, 06:13 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Somewhat like WhatHappened, I see myself as capable of being poly, in that I can be in love with more than one person without my feelings diminishing. I recognize that not everyone is capable of this. Falling in love with TGIB, however, was a surprise. I certainly never planned or looked for multiple loving relationships (beyond FWBs), and if either of my current relationships were to end I don't know that I'd ever be in a polyamorous relationship again. We did not do poly counseling, but worked through it ourselves. Luckily I have an amazing husband who is very open-minded and can wrap his head around people being the way they are even if he is not that way himself. Our situation is also different because TGIB is long-distance. The few times a year we get to see each other in person, it's understood that I will spend more of my time with him (though I make sure not to neglect MC completely). The rest of the time I rarely have to choose, since I can hang out online with TGIB while MC is at work. When I do have to choose, though, I agree it's difficult. There's always a little bit of guilt, but I try to remind myself that they both have lives outside of time spent with me, and that though they each have to deal with time I spend with the other, they also both then get time and attention devoted just to them. It's all comes down to balance, and making sure everyone (including YOU) gets the together time AND the alone time they need. And remember that it's not ALL on you as the hinge to keep everyone happy. They are just as responsible for asking for what they want or need, and you have every right to ask for your own wants and needs from them (sometimes the arms of a V get a pass from the hinge because "they're being so great about sharing me". this seems particularly common when one or both of the arms have no other partners besides the hinge).
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  #190  
Old 02-01-2013, 07:31 PM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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I just had to reply, I was so stunned to see this subject line in the list of 'new posts,' because this is the topic of my local poly meet tomorrow!

I think perhaps my realization was not all that sudden. I read Stranger In A Strange Land (Heinlein) when I was very young (10?). It was extremely important to my parents, that book. Mostly my dad. Just a small part of that is multiple loving relationships, but it is presented as the most ordinary thing ever. Or at least that was my impression. I didn't know anything about intimate relationships, save what I saw in my folks. (which is another post)

I was a little surprised, my senior year in high school, to discover I was attracted to women (I'd been 'boy crazy' since I was five). I read some articles about gays in the papers, and I was all 'women are an option? srsly?'

Just a few years after that, a woman tried to start something with me, while she knew I was living with my girlfriend. Eventually, I found out she had been trying to start something with my girlfriend as well. We attempted, for like one minute, something like a triad. GF and I had zero reference or experience of knowledge of anyone else doing such a thing. Lots of girl drama ensued. My issues were with being excluded. I'm not sure what their issues were. (this was thirty years ago!)

Being bi, I did dream that a couple might be the perfect thing, but I wasn't going to hunt for it. Once, while leaving a bar (at closing) a couple propositioned me, and it was so slimy, it put me off severely. I always figured that if it happened, it would be organic.

And then it was. My story is also in my blog, but I guess it doesn't pertain much to your question.

Although, I will say, I have not felt the need to seek counseling for the poly. I have been in and out of one sort of therapy or another for most of my life. I'm lots better for it. I have therapy to work on myself, or even on what I bring to relationship. But I don't feel specifically weird for the poly aspect.

I also go with the definition of poly (for me) as I'm capable of being in love with more than one. Just like bi is I'm capable of loving men and women, but bi doesn't mean I require both. So far, I haven't required more than one partner; but that might be changing. My current partner is an extreme introvert, and I suspect I might seek out another. Too early to tell.
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and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
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