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Old 01-07-2010, 09:37 PM
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Default Taking the plunge

Hi there, fine folks of the Polyamory.com forum! You might remember when I started posting a few nervous queries/concerns a month or so ago regarding my monogamous relationship and my hesitation to open it up. Well, since then, I've discussed things in greater detail with my SO, and we decided to open up our relationship. We also become engaged, and are planning a handfasting/commitment ceremony for this Summer. Things between the two of us are amazing, I'm so very in love with him and so happy with the way things are going. I told him that I fancied one of my female friends that he and I had an ill-fated threesome with several months back, and told him I wanted to sleep with her by myself.

After many tear-filled conversations regarding what we both wanted, my fears and inhibitions, he finally agreed to letting me see her alone. It wasn't like I twisted his arm, a lot of the problem was believing he was okay with it. I didn't want to just take a cursory, initial reaction as a go-ahead and jump into something without making sure he was really, truly good with the decision.

We both agreed that if another person came along that we were interested in, regardless of their gender, we'd tell each other, discuss it, and allow each other to date that other person. My big hang up is that I'm bi (pansexual, really) and wanted to sleep with other girls. He's only interested in women, and I was having a hard time, afraid my jealousy of letting him see other girls would make me insane. He said he'd be okay with letting me date another guy if I so chose. Having that freedom was the solution, I instantly felt comfortable in letting him see other women. (It wouldn't seem "fair" to me if I could date girls but not other guys if he was allowed to see other women, yanno?) I don't see me being interested in another guy anytime soon, but knowing that if I am I have the option to be with him is all that I needed.

I asked my SO if he'd be okay with me using dating sites to connect with other girls, and he said he'd be fine with that, too. I have, in the last few days alone, made contact with several fellow pansexuals in poly relationships! Even if we never have any intimate contact, getting to know of their existence has made me feel less guilty of my own desires, knowing so many other women are out there in the same situation as me. It's one thing to think other people are out there, but to actually meet them is liberating. I ordered a copy of "The Ethical Slut" from Amazon. I'd heard of it from being on these forums. I feel like things are progressing in a direction I've wanted them to for years, like a major puzzle in my life has finally been put together.

I still worry that I'll get all crazy and stupid once my SO finds another girl to date (although right now he seems content enough with me) but I suppose I'll jump off that bridge when I come to it

I want to thank everyone on here for your advice and support. I'm sure you'll be hearing much more from me soon!
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:41 PM
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Wow, what a wonderful account! Sounds almost textbook the way you have been talking, trying things, talking and so on...

Sounds like both of you are really stretching yourselves and finding that the stretching isn't that uncomfortable.

When he finds someone, I'm sure you will take it slowly, make sure everyone is comfortable - deal with the small issues before they become big ones... and so on.

I wish you happy travelling on your path!
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:08 AM
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How lovely! Good luck!
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by fauxsisticated View Post
I still worry that I'll get all crazy and stupid once my SO finds another girl to date (although right now he seems content enough with me) but I suppose I'll jump off that bridge when I come to it
Best way (as you've already discovered) to realize that the 'real' beast is FAR less fearsome than the 'imagined' beast is to go meet the beast.
I suggest finding him some girl you know he'd like and hooking them up - then sit back and enjoy. You'll feel sooooo much better after. Another beast pelt on your floor.

GS
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:13 AM
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Having that freedom was the solution,
There's several things about your story that strike a chord with me personally...particularly how sometimes small things open very large doors to possibilities. Even if there's no inclination to walk through, it can make all the difference knowing you can.

Awesome to hear you're doing well with it.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
Best way (as you've already discovered) to realize that the 'real' beast is FAR less fearsome than the 'imagined' beast is to go meet the beast.
I suggest finding him some girl you know he'd like and hooking them up - then sit back and enjoy. You'll feel sooooo much better after. Another beast pelt on your floor.

GS
I've actually already dipped my toe into that pool... I found a bi girl online and started chatting her up. My SO and I are on the same dating site, and she saw his profile. She mentioned she had a lot in common with him, their favorite album is the Barenaked Ladies's "Gordon," for instance. I showed my SO her profile, and he did a little happy dance when he saw her favorite album It was cute to see him get so excited. Deep, deep down, of COURSE I want him to be happy, even if that happiness could be found with someone else some of the time. My fear is that he'll grow to love someone more, or start spending more time with them than me, and I'll wind up lonely and missing him. We spend a LOT of time together now, and I love it that way! I don't want that to change. I don't want to spend time with anyone else more than him, I'd just like to see someone else every now and again, like when he's busy at work and I'm home by myself, or when he's out with friends, or even if he's out with another girl in the future, etc. I made that abundantly clear in my profile, that I don't want someone to come into either of our lives and try to compete for our affection and shut the other one out, so this girl that I introduced him to should hopefully get that should anything blossom between them.

Luckily communication between my SO and myself is stellar, and although we started off being mono, I think that was the best way for us to do things. We've got a strong foundation of love and trust developed, I'm worried (likely quite irrationally) that something might jeopardize that. Even though I was the one who showed him her profile, (and I messaged the girl in question to tell her about his happy dance,) I felt this little pang of worry and jealousy. It's weird being happy for someone and jealous about the same thing at the same time. Even discussing it now is hard for me. Sigh. I really want to unload this baggage. I hate jealousy, I think it's the dumbest human emotion going!

The thing is... I've been down this road before. I was in a long distance relationship with a guy that I eventually moved across the country for several years back. He and I decided to try and open up our relationship right off the bat, and I showed him pictures of a girl I thought was my friend, who was also bi. I mentioned I had the hots for her, and that it might be nice for all three of us to hook up sometime. He started talking to her behind my back and developed a huge crush on her. When I found out, (after some interrogation, he was such a liar,) I mentioned it bothered me that they were carrying this flirtation on in secret and that I didn't find out about it til afterward, but I didn't put my foot down and forbid him from seeing her or anything. I'm not like that. I left it up to his conscience, and told him how much it hurt me. He told me he stopped talking to her, but he secretly kept things going. He broke up with me eventually, and I moved back home. Then after a few weeks told me he loved me and asked me to move back for in with him again. Like an idiot, I did, as I was young and very much in love. I found out when I moved back in with him that he was still flirting with this other girl, and I was really hurt. He dumped me again after three weeks, and I moved back home again. I couldn't believe they would both do that to me... This was a girl that I thought was my friend, that I had known for years. I still feel hurt and betrayed when I think back on it. He slept with her after we broke up and found out he didn't have any chemistry with her anyhow and told me he regretted ruining our relationship over a stupid crush, but at that point I refused to speak to him and cut off all contact for several years. We just started talking earlier this year, and we're sort of friends now, but I'm still mad at him for hurting me then. I would NEVER want to go through that again, it was really, really painful.

That was a totally different situation, but I'm terrified that my desire to be poly might sabotage the best mono relationship I've ever had. My current SO is my best friend in the world, I really feel like he's the proverbial missing piece, my second half. However, I don't think all of a person's relationship needs can or should be fulfilled by just one other person. I think setting people up for the expectation of monogamy only leads to cheating and hurt feelings. Being poly, to me, is the ultimate in honesty. At least, it should be :/

Last edited by fauxsisticated; 01-08-2010 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by fauxsisticated View Post
That was a totally different situation, but I'm terrified that my desire to be poly might sabotage the best mono relationship I've ever had. My current SO is my best friend in the world, I really feel like he's the proverbial missing piece, my second half. However, I don't think all of a person's relationship needs can or should be fulfilled by just one other person. I think setting people up for the expectation of monogamy only leads to cheating and hurt feelings. Being poly, to me, is the ultimate in honesty. At least, it should be :/
I sincerely appreciate you sharing this.

Looking at this from the outside and from a mono perspective, I have to ask...Are you pushing yourself into poly because you want it in your heart or because you have a fear of investing too much in one person because of the failure you have seen in monogamous relationships?

I know you don't think all your needs "should" be filled by one person..but what happens if you find that all of yours are? Is it not ok to live in that..at least for a while?
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:38 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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My fear is that he'll grow to love someone more, or start spending more time with them than me, and I'll wind up lonely and missing him.
Hi Faux,
Hey, nothing unusual or abnormal about those feelings what-so-ever !
Given the bad experience you had in younger years it's understandable - but that was then and this is now.
You're older now, more mature, more experienced -as is your SO. Don't compare apples to oranges
But you do have to be prepared to "share". And yea - that means time, interests etc. But that's a big girl thing If you think about it, you probably have some interests and stuff that's not his cup of tea so you need the chance to pursue those too. It's just healthy for everyone. Viewing it as a threat or competitive is a choice - and not a particularly constructive one. You seem like the type of person who really knows this - just needs a reminder from yourself


Quote:
Originally Posted by fauxsisticated
We spend a LOT of time together now, and I love it that way! I don't want that to change. I don't want to spend time with anyone else more than him,

It's weird being happy for someone and jealous about the same thing at the same time. Even discussing it now is hard for me. Sigh. I really want to unload this baggage. I hate jealousy, I think it's the dumbest human emotion going!
/
I think it's sooooooo easy to slip into an unhealthy dependency when two people really love each other and connect on many things. We don't realize it - don't see it coming. Your statement above shows some possible evidence of that. On guard ! Don't let it dominate your relationship ! If it does, eventually one or the other (or both) will begin to feel trapped & constrained. Not good !

"Happy & jealous at the same time" ?
Yep - pretty normal. It WILL go away if you practice. Doesn't make it a lot easier at the time I know but at least you've identified the beast and can call it for what it is.

Good luck. You seem to have the right attitude & outlook !

GS
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:51 PM
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Good food for thought, Mono. I have seen a lot of relationships fail, in my own life and in my parents' (they've both been married and divorced three times apiece) but I think it was more due to incompatibility and inability to compromise than anything. It's hard to say for sure. Although maybe monogamy has something to do with marriages breaking up, because being faithful to only one person is so hard. I know for me, I've always wanted to be in a poly sort of situation, ever since I knew it was possible! As a kid, I thought relationships HAD to be monogamous. Finding out there are other options was an eye opening experience. For me polyamory is appealing chiefly because I'm attracted to men and women pretty equally, and when I'm with a guy I crave sex with girls and vice versa, but also because I think if you truly love someone, you should be able to allow them to be as happy as possible, even if that happiness is found with someone else. Sharing is just, well, less stingy. Heh.

I look at it this way... I have many friends. I love all my friends dearly, and I love different things about them. Some I'm closer to than others, but they're all important to me. I think we, as people, understand that we can have more than one friend, because they all share different interests that we have, and it's fun to spend time with them all for different reasons. One of them might share your love of Jazz music, one might love to visit museums, one is fun to go on vacation with, etc. We don't get hurt feelings if we call a friend and she's busy shopping with someone else, or if your friend wants to go see some geeky movie you don't like with another friend. You might even recommend it, "Oh, that movie seems completely dorky to me, why don't you just go with [Person X] instead? You guys would probably have more fun without me." And there's no hard feelings. Why is it different just because sex and romantic love is involved? I don't understand that aspect of humanity. I should be able to say, "You can share _________ with this person that you can't find with me. Go be happy."

I'd be lying if I said ALL my needs would be forever met by being with my SO, or with any one other person. The gender thing is a big one. I've had a lot more experience with men than women, and I feel I have some wild oats to sow, if you will. I don't want to break up with my SO just to experience these things, and I don't want to go through life gritting my teeth, fantasizing about girls when I masturbate or during sex, all the while lying to myself saying that's good enough. I don't feel it is. At times I have felt selfish for feeling this way, but now I think it's just part of human nature to be attracted to many people, even at the same time. It's part of my nature, anyhow. I don't want to cheat, either, because lying is deplorable to me. So for me, it's about being honest and true to myself and respecting my partner(s) enough to be honest with them.

I know it would be selfish of me to expect my SO to be faithful while I sleep around, so I've got to be a big girl, as GroundedSpirit pointed out, and allow him the same freedoms he'd allow me. Plus I do love him and want him to be as fulfilled as possible. I hate playing video games, for instance. If he met a girl he could play video games with and sleep with and all that good stuff, why should that make me jealous? I know rationally it shouldn't, but it does. Because I am a jealous creature. And I hate it. Haha.
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