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  #1  
Old 01-13-2010, 08:12 PM
Hoseki Hoseki is offline
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Default Wondering How To Go About This

Before getting into any sort of sexual relationship, I had already made up in my mind that I do not want to get married or make any commitments that I wouldn't be able to hold on to. I am an independent person and marriage-like commitments aren't going to happen any time soon because of this. I have accepted this about myself. My thoughts are that committing to just one makes people miss out on all the others that I need to meet.

I met someone that I enjoy being with about 6 months ago. From the beginning, I told him that I wasn't looking for labels or the like. I wanted to explore a relationship without all the drama. We also talked about pursuing other people as well. The thing was, if we were to like some a lot, that we would share that with each other.

6 months in and he calls me crying. He tells me that he met someone 3 months ago, but was fighting with telling me because he didn't want to hurt me. He told me he cares about both of us equally and doesn't want to dish either one. He told her as well and she was like "well, I knew but was wondering why you didn't tell me." He told me and i feel the same way.

I am upset that he didn't tell me. He says he was completely in the wrong and has apologized. He pointed no fingers at anyone else.
Now I'm really facing all this now. Feelings that I didn't really know were there. We enjoy being together but I am upset that he didn't tell us sooner. On the other hand I am glad he didn't wait any longer or just drop off one of us. This is all new to me, despite the fact that I do want an open relationship. I have no idea really how to go about this. He sounds freaked out and worried that I'm going ot drop him. I'm worried that I could be making a mistake because it's not the social norm. I grew up religious so despite all the washing out I've been doing, that monogamous stuff comes up all the time telling me I'm wrong.
I've been reading a lot about open relationships. It says you need to be able to trust the people involved, find out and admit your jealous feelings, and communicate like no tomorrow.

I am really scared right now because I don't want to sound like I'm a person who is panning for a bad relationship because she's lonely. I stayed a virgin for 26 years because I was waiting for my maturity to grow and to find someone I actually wanted to be with. So, I don't see myself as so needy that I can't see straight. But I do need some insight. I don't want to make a bad choice just because I"m afraid to step out. Any help?
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:19 PM
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River River is offline
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Even though he knew that it was "officially" okay for him to see others while in a relationship with you, he probably had fear of telling the two of you because of his own monogamistic conditioning / programming. Also, people in general, and men in particular, often have great difficulty talking about stuff that's difficult. Many of us never saw such talking "modelled" for us growing up in our families, or anywhere.... Where were we supposed to learn it? Well, those (like me) who fit the picture, learn via the sink-or-swim method. We're thrown into life. We f**k up a bunch, and finally we learn a thing or three.

Not everyone who likes to think of him or herself as "independent" is commitment or intimacy avoidant, but it may be worth honestly asking yourself whether that in any way pertains to you. I have no idea. Not even a hunch. But it may be worth asking yourself.

Those are my two cents for now.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:21 AM
OurDream OurDream is offline
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no one can tell you for sure what you are or aren't doing in terms of "settling".
BUT-I can tell you that I simply didn't KNOW how to describe my love for another to my husband. When I finally did, I was SHAKING in terror. But he was happy to know the truth, while still trying to find out details of "what does that mean".
I too was raised religious. Yes those thoughts will creep in.

But part of maturity (and many people NEVER get this) is taking the responsibility to seek out what answers are true FOR YOU. Instead of just taking what you (we) are taught "as gospel".

So my advice is-give it a chance, you've already said you aren't getting married right now etc. Take time to learn yourself, and this relationship. Also-take time to REALLY consider WHAT YOU believe and what YOUR "world view" is.
Where are you going with your life?
What is your goal?
(I tell anyone who asks) EVERY decision you make in life should be put against those two questions.
If it doesn't help you move TOWARDS your goal-might not be a good choice. If it actively moves you AWAY from your goal, good reason to believe it's a BAD choice.
If it's not pertinent to your goals for you-drop it.
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:39 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
Even though he knew that it was "officially" okay for him to see others while in a relationship with you, he probably had fear of telling the two of you because of his own monogamistic conditioning / programming.
I think River pretty much hits the nail on the head here.
We are still living in a culture where knowledge & experience (especially experience) in these alternatives is sorely lacking. Consequently, how they proceed is often some distance from where they would in an ideal world/culture.
Myself, I simply wouldn't stress over this at all ! It seems all his intentions are in order and he did the best he could with the limited experience he has. Make allowances for this - not just with him but yourself (all). You can be sure other issues will surface over time if you continue down the path and this is a great opportunity to get a handle around the fact that this is all new and NOT easy. Stay together on it and don't overemphasize 'mistakes' that happen via the learning process. Just make sure you DO learn

GS
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:27 AM
StitchwitchD StitchwitchD is offline
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Being honest and open isn't just about not lying. If anything, the hard part of being honest is in trying to figure out how and when to bring up something that is awkward, will make someone uncomfortable. So, you put off talking about it, and then it's harder to bring it up because you should have said something about it weeks before, but you didn't. And it eats at you and you wonder how to come clean without damaging the relationship, until either it gets buried under all the other stuff that has passed between, or you get the courage to tell, or the gap in intimacy caused by you failing to tell widens until it starts needing actual lies to support it and finally there's more fake than real in the relationship....

So, building a relationship on a foundation of honesty isn't just about not lying, it's about ensuring that you have the time to really talk about whatever is on your mind, with the security to know that even if the other person is hurt by what you have to say, you will still be loved, and that while there might be short-term damage to your relationship, in the long run it will be stronger and more genuine. In that sense, everyone has a responsibility towards keeping a relationship honest- make time to talk, be willing to listen, make the effort to perceive what is difficult to express, try to find ways to communicate about things that seem like it'd hurt too much if you said it outloud...
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:34 AM
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crisare crisare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StitchwitchD View Post
Being honest and open isn't just about not lying. If anything, the hard part of being honest is in trying to figure out how and when to bring up something that is awkward, will make someone uncomfortable. So, you put off talking about it, and then it's harder to bring it up because you should have said something about it weeks before, but you didn't. And it eats at you and you wonder how to come clean without damaging the relationship, until either it gets buried under all the other stuff that has passed between, or you get the courage to tell, or the gap in intimacy caused by you failing to tell widens until it starts needing actual lies to support it and finally there's more fake than real in the relationship....

So, building a relationship on a foundation of honesty isn't just about not lying, it's about ensuring that you have the time to really talk about whatever is on your mind, with the security to know that even if the other person is hurt by what you have to say, you will still be loved, and that while there might be short-term damage to your relationship, in the long run it will be stronger and more genuine. In that sense, everyone has a responsibility towards keeping a relationship honest- make time to talk, be willing to listen, make the effort to perceive what is difficult to express, try to find ways to communicate about things that seem like it'd hurt too much if you said it outloud...
This. Yeah. Almost exactly.

I'd also like to comment briefly on what you said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoseki
I am an independent person and marriage-like commitments aren't going to happen any time soon because of this.
Being independent has nothing to do with making a "marriage-like commitment". If you find the right person/people at the right time, you can make a commitment and still be an independent person - because the person/people you are with support you as a person. Don't shut off whole scopes of possibility just because. If you remain open, you never know what you'll find.

This doesn't mean, mind you, that I'm saying you *should* get married or that you should even *want* to get married. But don't confuse not wanting something with being independent.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:10 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StitchwitchD View Post
Being honest and open isn't just about not lying. If anything, the hard part of being honest is in trying to figure out how and when to bring up something that is awkward, will make someone uncomfortable.
Yes - this is an excellent point and something that doesn't get talked enough about.
When any relationship is new (and 'new' I've seen last years !) everyone is putting on their best face and too often keeping little parts of their deeper selves kind of under wraps because of fear of tarnishing whatever image they constructed that seemed to work well so far. Kind of the old "if it ain't broke - don't fix it" syndrome. But in relationships this isn't such good philosophy because eventually it will 'break'. When it does it can be difficult or impossible to fix !
Kind of like little cracks in a dam. Better to fix them as they surface lest the whole dam blow out at once !

This is one reason we always advocated to our kids that they live full time with someone for a MINIMUM of a year before even considering marriage or other formal commitment. Nothing like living with all the day to day stressors and expectations to expose those painted over cracks.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:34 PM
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MrSteve MrSteve is offline
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Hi, Hoseki.

I can't say I've been in your situation, though I've sort of been on the other side of it. A couple comments:

1) I tend to agree that a legal marriage isn't really necessary (unless maybe you want to have children and desire something more legal/official involved).

2) If he loves you and desires to stay with you (which I'd assume he does from what you said) and you feel the same, then I think forgiving him would be good and also be something that would show he doesn't need to hide things from you.

It would definitely seem good to discourage a repeat of the same, but if you think he's truly sorry and it was just fear that you might not accept it that kept him from telling you earlier, then showing him you still care for him and that you're simply upset that he didn't say something earlier would seem like enough.

In any case, I hope things work out ok for the two of you and again, welcome to the site (I'm rather new here myself).
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:13 AM
Hoseki Hoseki is offline
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Default Wow

Thanks so much everyone. I had gone away from this site to go seek my own path. I've been learning how to debunk all those things and beliefs that don't fit in my life and focus on clearing away my true thoughts.
I checked my email tonight and found tons of replies all of which were exactly what I had just started learning. I am so happy to find that there are others out there who do encourage in the way I really needed. Thank you all again.

We did end up talking things out. It is all very new and it does hurt along the way trying to focus on what I want in life rather than what is expected. But it has allowed us to actually talk much more than we did before. I am determined that we will get through this and build something much stronger.
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