Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-31-2012, 07:11 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,848

Panda -

You think a lot like I do.

My mother always told me the BEST decisions are made with head and heart together. There is no reason why you cannot think out your relationships. Decisions made ONLY from the heart or ONLY from the head are not so hot.

You are on the right track. HAVE THIS CONVERSATION with her no matter what.

It is ok if she is young, 19, and not sure how to handle being "out" as poly. At the same time, it's different to tell her dating partner that versus just skip it over in a lie of omission. At 18, 19 -- I lacked fancy vocab like "polyamorous" but I knew honesty and I knew enough to TELL my dating partners "I do not want to be exclusive. I don't expect you to be exclusive. Just give me the heads up if one of your others is looking to go Lover so I can make a decision about my sex health. If I check out or am ok being overlappy. Can't hack that? We're better as friends."

It wasn't elegant, but it was real.

So again - I salute you for trying to play like a Jedi here and trying to keep it real. I note she's also skipping on on truths to her OTHER partner Kim. That's so not cool.

Your posts are very self aware, you know what you want and what you are willing to do/compromise on. You don't have time to read more on poly but later you can.



What you might have time to do is lay out your things in piles. Ask her for hers.
  • My Wants:
  • My Needs:
  • What I'm willing to put into this relationship:
  • My Limits / What I am not willing to put into this relationship:

Then you can see how close a match up it is with the wants, needs, and limits.

And see how close a match up it is with honest truthiness, maturity level, and handling conflict resolution. It's ok to make mistakes and own it, but if this is constantly going to be more than it is worth -- and you are right to be picking up on all those red flags --walk away now before it gets deeper and costlier to your health buckets -- mental health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health. You don't need drama or a poor return on your investment.
If you want a partner, you want a PARTNER. Not an obligation or a chore.

All relationships have some baggage because all people have something. I'm not a perfect person. I have my own baggage.

But I feel everyone could own their own baggage and not be making extra work on others. And I feel that at the START of a relationship, it's show and tell time. So all can decide if they want to accept their new partner and helping them sort their baggage or not partner at all. I have the right to pick a relationship with baggage of a size I can handle and reject a relationship that is just too dang overloaded for me to deal in.

I'd be walking away on this one already because of the lies of omission -- but I'm me and that's one of my personal things.

You are you. So you make the call. Have the talk and see what is what.

If after the talk you guys decide there's enough still matching to merit giving it another trial run try-- put a time limit on it for the next check in. 3 mos? However long before Kim gets there? Something.

Then reassess how she's been playing with you. She can assess how you have been playing with her. Meeting all the agreements for how to be in right relationship with each other or NOT. Then whether or not you both will renew your options to continue or not.

If it is STILL Muppet Show? Check out. You don't need this.

Everyone deserves a second chance if they are honestly going to try and it was honestly being afraid at 19 to be out as a poly. But there's lots of resources now at fingertips to help -- there is NO excuse for not at least TRYING to keep it honest and keep it real.

Play ball already like a grown up ethical polyamorous person and stop pansy footing around. In or out?

You seem to be trying to play like a grown up ethical monoamorous person -- who is trying to learn about ethical polyamory and learn if you can Open yourself to that option - being mono and loving a poly. All while still keeping it sane and real in your learning process.

So for you -- I salute your personal growth there and how you are processing. That is truly remarkable and you are a gem.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-31-2012 at 10:09 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 07:40 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 172

Hi Panda,

You sound like a very sincere person with good personal boundaries. You sound like you're willing to learn about different ways of doing things, and you already have a pretty good idea of what works for you.

That's a pretty good place to be. It sounds like there are some differences between you and the girl you care about that may make you two incompatible in some ways. It sounds like you already know that might be true, and you plan to talk more about it this weekend.

I'll share with you a few things I've learned over the years. The most important thing you can do for yourself is get to know who you are. It sounds like you're making really good progress with that.

This world is full of people who do different things in different ways. As you live, you will come across people who like you, and like the things you do. You will also come across those who don't like you. It's easy to relate to those who like you.

What about those who don't? They will have a variety of ways of letting you know - a look, a comment, doing something, etc. As long as you are being who you truly are (or really trying to be) with honesty and integrity, and you know you are not trying to hurt someone with your actions, the best way to handle criticism is to be aware of it and let it slide off your back, while always being pleasant to the person criticizing you. Yes, I really did say that. Be nice back to them. Self confidence always wants to be pleasant.

What does it really mean to let criticism slide off you? It means being able understand and acknowledge what the person is saying to you and respect the fact that they wanted to say it, while at the same time knowing their opinion does not make you any different than you were before they spoke.

I hope you have a great weekend. I hope you continue to make the effort to learn who you are and what works for you.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 07:55 PM
Panda Panda is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15

Thanks GalaGirl. That makes a lot of sense to me. I'm going to follow your advice.

I believe in total honesty and full disclosure. Even if it hurts. I will be truthful with Cat, and I will ask her to be truthful with me.

If she doesn't feel that she can be 100% truthful with me then our relationship is not ready to move forward at this point.

With me it's easy, I have no previous relationships, I have my life plan pretty well mapped out (with room for changes as I grow and learn as a person) and I know who I am.

My baggage is my history of depression (100% in control thanks to medication) and my generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, being a bit OCD and low self confidence when in social situations.

Her baggage does include abusive relationships, giving herself to people sexually when she really didn't want to, and a fear of being open with her preferences and emotions.

I have a very stable and supportive home life. Cat unfortunately hasn't got this.

So I think I have to take control and let her know that we can't keep going with hidden agendas and partial truths. It never works in the end.

Your advice is brilliant.

I think I'm not going to have any wine for our talk. I need a clear head. Cat can drink if it makes her more able to be open with me.

I've talked things over with my mom. She agrees with this agenda and will be here to step in if needed. ONLY if needed. I asked her to have my back and if she hears me agreeing to things I don't want just to not hurt Cat or if Cat goes into baby talk and won't face the issues then she will step in. She will be upstairs. She can hear us. I want that. Not spying but to be a mediator if we need one.

Mom is familiar with pan sexuality, she identifies as pan. She knows about poly but is mono. She says she doesn't feel mature enough to handle a poly relationship herself because she gets jealous but she understands the dynamics and is supportive of mono and poly. She said maybe when she's older and wiser she might explore poly. Right now she is single. Left her last relationship with a man that lasted 6 years in December. But she says she waited a year too long to end it. So she can see when a relationship is unhealthy or one sided. So she's a good one to help us I think. She's my best friend.

Got to get back to work. Cat will be here in 2 hours. Mom is picking her up. Mom is cool, they'll just talk about girl stuff and do their nails or makeup or something. Mom has a huge wardrobe of clothes that Cat likes, they can dress up when waiting for me. They did that last time tee hee!


Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 08:06 PM
Panda Panda is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 15

Thanks Snowmelt! More good advice!

You guys are awesome, I'm learning so much.

I feel more confident now.

Nice to have support.

And I'll be more open to criticism. I'm overly sensitive. Not good being a sulky panda haha.

Thanks Snowmelt and everyone!

(almost brave) Panda <3
Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 10:15 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,848

There is criticism and there is critique. There is a difference. Assume positive intent. That makes life a lot less ugh.

Remember too -- Criticisim just tears you down for no constructive reason. Critique is constructive feedback on a situation.

If you say your goal is X, how do I think you are doing?

If your goal was making brownies? Well, I don't think pulling out ingredients for spaghetti was so hot and that shan't work well. Won't help you reach your goal effectively.

For your goals here -- you have it covered. You are doing fine. You are owning your own bag. WTG!

Hang in there!

Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 11:54 PM
YouAreHere's Avatar
YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: SoNH
Posts: 1,341

Hoping for the best, Panda - you sound like you've got a good plan and path forward.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2012, 12:46 AM
MusicalRose's Avatar
MusicalRose MusicalRose is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 405

I am hoping for the best for you as well. I look forward to hearing the continuation of your story.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2012, 01:06 AM
lovefromgirl's Avatar
lovefromgirl lovefromgirl is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Soggy Northeast
Posts: 353

Panda, you and I have brain things in common.

You ARE a brave Panda, and a kind one, and one with good instincts. Let them guide you forward. Also listen to the others, because they're smart about this stuff.

Still wishing you luck.
"I swear, if we live through this somebody's going to find their automatic shower preferences reprogrammed for ice water."

Refuge in Audacity { home of the post-raph stunner }
Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2012, 01:37 AM
CielDuMatin's Avatar
CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 1,467

I know I'm late to the party, but Panda, I really feel for you.

One of the big foundations of poly is open and honest communication. You were not given that. We talk over and over again on this and other fora about the importance of making sure that we don't end up hurting those that we care about due to our ambiguous communications. If she suspected that you had no clue about poly, that it was really up to her to tell you about it, answer your questions. Her not doing that gave you an expectations that this was heading for a regular, monogamous relationship - I can't blame you at all for thinking that. The "pansexual" part is about which genders or gender variants a person is interested in - it has no bearing on how *many* folks at a time.

So whether done through innocent assumption on her part, or a deliberate hiding something - who knows? let's give her the benefit of the doubt on that one.

But the fact is that you want an exclusive relationship, a monogamous relationship. This is a "bottom line" for you - it's not negotiable. Not only do you not want to have relationships with multiple people, you need a commitment from your partner that they want the same. She does not, and it appears that poly is a bottom-line for her.

These are utterly incompatible. No amount of talking, or cajoling or persuading is going to change that. In some ways, expecting that it will is disrespectful of each other.

You two need to recognize that a loving relationship isn't going to be possible because of these incompatible bottom-lines. Don't waste the time and energy trying to convince each other - I've been there and all it does it create resentment.

Accept things for what they are. Find out what sort of relationship (more than likely a friendship) you *can* have, rather than trying to push something that isn't going to happen. That way you can stay in each others lives, and maybe accept *each other* for who you each are.

I understand how hard this must be for you, after you had built these expectations of a relationship with this person. But don't compromise your core values for anybody - you are more important than they are, when it comes to your own happiness and what you truly believe in yourself.

Stay you.

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2012, 05:19 AM
Anneintherain's Avatar
Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 826

Originally Posted by Panda View Post
She started crying and at first I thought "OMG, I've hurt her, now I have to backtrack and say it's ok" but then I remembered what you all said and I just let her cry until she was done. When I didn't respond to her crying she stopped and told me she was sorry.
I agree with GalaGirl, I hadn't been around to read this thread until now but when I saw you say that I was so impressed. Really not that many people have the skill to hear advice and take it and then apply it right away and so well, that is an amazing skill.

I'm sure your weekend has been interesting to say the least, I'm still on page two of the thread, but I wanted to reiterate that it's awesome if you stay true to yourself, and never forget you can take time off to get your head clear if you don't know what clear to yourself is at the moment.
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.
Reply With Quote

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 08:18 AM.