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  #21  
Old 03-25-2012, 10:55 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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I've been grappling a little with this too. I'm really excited about my new relationship with C, and sometimes find myself wishing I could see him more often, or that he would be able to promise to keep this going (he's mono and seeking more than I am able to offer). Now we joke about "living in the present" when we are together. Snuggled up together in our imaginary gift box, colorfully wrapped, we don't hold back any of our feelings, and we consciously avoid hanging them onto plans and hopes and expectations that are all outside the present we are reveling in. It has been a helpful mindset for me. Every time life gives us another "present" together we enjoy it for what it is. A gift.
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  #22  
Old 10-01-2012, 05:01 AM
ladyslipper ladyslipper is offline
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I am struggling with a similar thing as well : wanting to be less attached, wanting to need less reassurance. A good professional told me recently, that if I feel like I need reassurance something is amiss. Basically, that if I feel cared for and my needs tended to, I shouldn't need reassurance. She pointed out some ways that I wasn't being cared for that hadn't occurred to me. They weren't on my radar because I tend not to feel deserving of much. A secondary is right there in that spot that women so easily get to - putting our own needs to the side in service of harmony in our relationship.

I'm feeling excluded too. Lonely while thinking he is having fun. Forgotten. Jealous a little.

So where do I find the balance between asking for more and accepting what's given to me? I think you just have to ask. If someone is upset by such a request then they must be just a little bit selfish, no? It's the "needy woman" trap to be careful of...
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  #23  
Old 10-01-2012, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyslipper View Post
Basically, that if I feel cared for and my needs tended to, I shouldn't need reassurance.
Yes, that is a good point, from one perspective.

However, oftentimes these feelings of not getting enough are created out of our own negative thinking, rather than being an organic response to a certain stimulus in the present moment.

This is what I am having trouble sorting out - knowing whether I am actually being slighted, or if it is my imagination and I am just seeing things that way, based on my old patterns of behavior and thought surrounding "being picked" or rejected. Yes, I might feel rejected but it could be just because I've trained myself to wait for the other shoe to drop, so to speak -- in my mind, I always believe I am inadequate and will inevitably be tossed aside. I expect rejection just because I am me. So, my thoughts and insecurities take me to the worst case scenario, which brings up shitty feelings. I am trying to get free of that pattern of thinking which brings up such manufactured emotions, so I can see things more clearly.

If I can see more clearly, then I can respond appropriately to what is, and not what I fear.

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Originally Posted by ladyslipper View Post
A secondary is right there in that spot that women so easily get to - putting our own needs to the side in service of harmony in our relationship.
I wish this thread had a different title. I am not in a primary/secondary situation but recalled that this thread had some good stuff in it. I do not apply a hierarchy to my relationships. I think it's valuable to look at attachment and non-attachments in relationships, whether primary, secondary, non-hierarchical, or whatever.

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I'm feeling excluded too. Lonely while thinking he is having fun. Forgotten. Jealous a little.

So where do I find the balance between asking for more and accepting what's given to me? I think you just have to ask. If someone is upset by such a request then they must be just a little bit selfish, no?
Ugh, it sucks.

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It's the "needy woman" trap to be careful of...
Yes, I hate coming across that way.
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-01-2014 at 07:48 AM.
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  #24  
Old 10-01-2012, 01:27 PM
ladyslipper ladyslipper is offline
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Good point about our own tendencies to try and reinforce our insecurities. I should certainly keep that in mind as well. I guess that is central to the internal struggle at play.

Myself, I don't strive for non-attachment, I fully expect to become attached to anyone I'm intimately involved with. What I am striving for is healthy boundaries, for myself and for my partners.

Hierarchies aside, I use the term secondary because it denotes the amount of time/energy the other person is able to give to me. In my situation my partner is married and a father so I know, factually speaking, that the time he is able to give to me is finite. But there are ways of being attentive to me that don't require a lot of time or energy, for example, if he knows I'm going through a difficult time a simple message to say "I'm thinking of you" lets me know that while I'm not present I'm also not forgotten.

I don't want to feel inconsequential or replaceable. I want to feel valued and needed. As though I add something to his life that he values enough to put effort toward maintaining.

And the "needy woman" trope is a trap - a social construct that does not apply to men, instead it reinforces our feminine ideas of females subordinating their needs to those of others. So toss out that idea that you're being "needy" because you do have neeeds!
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  #25  
Old 10-02-2012, 02:20 AM
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I'm not approaching non-attachment as or like a Buddhist. For me it is about letting go of an addictive need for someone's attention. I have experienced non-attachment in loving relationships before. I had a bf whom I dearly loved and yet I encouraged him to move away to the west coast because I knew it would be good for him. This was in the days before email, so staying in touch was much harder. We were in love and I told him to go and was happy for him because I was not attached.

But I have also been told by many men I've been involved with that I become clingy and place too much expectation on them. Maybe I am drawn to guys who are unavailable (father abandonment issues), but it is a difficult tightrope for me to walk sometimes. I feel like when I am in a healthy place emotionally, I can be happy, loving, and unattached. When I am stressed, wanting to avoid my problems, or feeling fragile, I latch onto the very people who cannot or will not give it, instead of reaching out to the ones who can be there for me. It's like I reinforce my own need to feel dissatisfied (and ultimately abandoned if I push them too hard) - that's an addiction.

I am hoping I can accomplish this kind of detaching while still maintaining a healthy sexual relationship as part of the friendship. I don't think I should fall into the trap of getting all fucked-up over someone just because I share my body with him and have deeper feelings for him. I do think I need to reorient my focus, to distract myself from my obsessive thoughts about someone I'm gaga for, because to daydream about someone like that, long for more, wonder what he's doing and who he's with, get pissy about so many little things, compete for his attention, test him, and so on... is such a drug.
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-01-2014 at 07:54 AM.
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  #26  
Old 10-02-2012, 08:58 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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I keep coming back and reading this thread. And the links.

I can't entirely decide what I think about seeking to love without attachment. On the one hand, I very much agree that things are easier for me if the actions of others don't affect my emotional state. If I'm content with myself, my choices and my life and not dependent on others for happiness, contentment or pleasure. If I seek my own goals rather than trying to force a partner or a friend to do things for or with me just because of our relationship.

I get all of that. Really and truly get it.

But - on the other hand - I see human beings as social beings. We do get attached to each other and to beings that are not our species. I think our tendency to do so is wonderful.

Of course, we can go too far and lose ourselves in relationships with others but for me, the answer isn't to try and remain unattached but rather to look for ways for attachments to be healthy for all involved and to bring benefits to the lives of everybody who is attached.

Even if being attached means that the actions of somebody I love can really ruin my day or if it means that I would be devastated by their loss. Even in some cases if it means repeated and ongoing moments of discomfort - depends on the attachment and the reasons for the discomfort.

Cyndie - I have been thinking about your feelings for your current lover. I wonder if it's possible that what you fear is that your relationship with him might change because of his new friend?

It would seem to me that some concern over it is utterly reasonable. Sometimes a friend getting somebody new in their life does mean a change. I have experienced being edged out by the new person, deliberately edging myself out because of the new person, gaining a new friend for myself and most often - no change at all to the relationship I have with my friend.

But knowing the possibilities, it often does make me edgy if somebody I care lots about announces that they have met somebody new and exciting. I can be happy and excited for them and still anxious and worried for my relationship with them.

I think you might be being a bit hard on yourself. It's fine to feel worried and anxious under the circumstances. More so as you are making your way through a really tough time. I hope you are being as gentle and kind with yourself as you are with him.

IP

Last edited by nycindie; 05-05-2014 at 02:51 AM.
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  #27  
Old 10-02-2012, 09:06 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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For me this whole thing comes around the progression from dependance through independence to interdependence. There are people who are quite content in each of these modes of relating to others.

My preferred mode is interdependence, where I can have a select few people on whom I know I can rely - they've "got my back", as it were. I don't care whether they live with me (primaries) or don't (secondaries) - I can still form attachments and I enjoy those attachments - I just don't give them out willy-nilly. It takes time to develop a foundation of trust that allows for a solid interdependent relationship to develop.
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  #28  
Old 10-03-2012, 12:50 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
I get all of that. Really and truly get it.

But - on the other hand - I see human beings as social beings. We do get attached to each other and to beings that are not our species. I think our tendency to do so is wonderful.
This is how I feel. It seems to me that it is normal, good, even necessary, to have attachment in our relationships. That's sort of the whole point. I feel like I'm in a situation where I'm expected to continue going deeper with emotional and some physical intimacy, yet not develop messy emotions to complicate the situation. He wants 'harmony,' and 'honesty,' but wants me honestly not to develop any attachment beyond what works in his life. I'm on the brink of ending this relationship because I don't think that's healthy, either, to try to have a relationship without the normal attachments.
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  #29  
Old 10-03-2012, 02:30 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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In my pre-MrS days I was really, really good at non-attachment. (Since I ran from attachment at every opportunity - I even had a "rule" that I wouldn't sleep with someone more than 3 times because I thought they might get attached...more info in my blog). Then MrS happened and I couldn't avoid it - I became "attached" against my will (and better judgement) - in hindsight, 20 years later, this was "a good thing". When Dude showed up, I tried to emulate my older patterns, briefly, and unsuccessfully. I still greatly enjoy my "unattached" relationships with the women in my life - and have no desire to change them.

Relationships, because they involve more than one person, are NOT under any individual's control. (Damn it!) At some point they become their own entity...

JaneQ
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TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


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  #30  
Old 10-04-2012, 09:47 PM
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Ohhh, this thread has been so helpful to me, just by writing things out as I deconstructed my thoughts and emotions. Really good stuff.
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