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  #11  
Old 03-19-2010, 06:55 PM
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Zanie Zanie is offline
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Originally Posted by jphillmore View Post

I didn't really think about it much until I went to meet her with a group of her friends a couple of days ago. Some guy came in, gave her a big kiss, and she sat on his lap. It felt like someone dropped a 150lb weight on my chest, then kicked me in the stomach a few times.
Thunkybunny said:
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That's a reckless way to introduce other significant others. If she cared about you at all, she might have been more thoughtful in introducing her significant others to each other. The way your introduction went, as you described it, you had NO CHOICE in the meeting.
I'd just like to point out that it's very unclear here whether the "other guy" in question is indeed a "significant other". In my social group, it would not be unusual at all for that kind of behavior to be engaged in by two friends who were not necessarily involved with each other romantically or sexually-- I plunk myself down in friends' lap and plant kisses on them all the time, "just because" .

It may be that the norms of the social group in question tend more towards freely expressed physical affection. I know that if I was bringing a new person into my social group I would not necessarily have "remembered" that they would not be familiar with the norms and might be uncomfortable or draw conclusions that would be inaccurate about what was going on. The OP's friend maybe "should" have warned him, but I wouldn't fault her too much for not having done so.
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  #12  
Old 03-19-2010, 06:55 PM
jphillmore jphillmore is offline
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Thanks for all of your replies so far. I think it will help me put things into perspective.

To clarify a couple of things, I had absolutely no heads up that I would be "meeting" anyone that night. But, she didn't think that I was bothered by it until the next day when I told her how it made me feel (I tried pretty hard to not visibly react).

Also, I am generally not the kind of person that is going to try to change somebody's belief system or ideals so that is not at issue.

But, I am looking for a long-term relationship. Someone that I could take home for Christmas or to meet mom, so to speak. That being said, my ideals don't require (or prefer) a traditional family or marriage.

It would seem that I should continue pondering. I told her that I didn't know if I could do it. She wants to meet up and talk about things in a few days.
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  #13  
Old 03-19-2010, 06:59 PM
jphillmore jphillmore is offline
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Re: Zanie

It was a "significant other".

Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 03-19-2010, 07:37 PM
thunkybunny thunkybunny is offline
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One other thing. I have always been a fan of going at the pace of the one who is struggling the most. If she is interested in having you as a lover then perhaps she should be thinking in terms of this idea.
That's a tough one. It's an ad hominem rule that doesn't even work in theory if by 'struggling the most' one means experiencing jealousy the most. 'Struggling the most' is also hierarchical language that may neglect peoples' behaviors that were unethical. It excuses behavior by placing blame on the person struggling. Since jealousy involves the amygdala, there is no way to reason with jealousy. The only way forward is necessarily painful. Going at the pace of the slowest person appeals to our compassion, but there is no reasonable explanation for why that would work. This is troubling because it implies that some people are incapable of poly when it involves their partner(s) having other partner(s). Going at the pace of the slowest person also sets up double standards, where the safest way forward is possessive.

Last edited by thunkybunny; 03-19-2010 at 08:03 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2010, 07:45 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Originally Posted by thunkybunny View Post
It's an ad hominem rule that doesn't even work in theory if by 'struggling the most' one means experiencing jealousy the most.
It may not work in theory but it has worked in practice...sooo the source of the theory or assumption based on certain experiences must be faulty no?
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  #16  
Old 03-19-2010, 07:47 PM
thunkybunny thunkybunny is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
It may not work in theory but it has worked in practice...sooo the source of the theory or assumption based on certain experiences must be faulty no?
That's why I qualified it with jealousy. If the problem is not jealousy but something else more reasonable, there may be a less painful solution.

Getting back on topic, the introduction was poorly done. Now that it is done, the question is how to go forward without a repeat. Sounds like the lady in question has a lot to learn about friendships before having relationships.

Last edited by thunkybunny; 03-19-2010 at 08:07 PM.
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  #17  
Old 03-19-2010, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by thunkybunny View Post
That's a tough one. It's an ad hominem rule that doesn't even work in theory if by 'struggling the most' one means experiencing jealousy the most. 'Struggling the most' is also hierarchical language that may neglect peoples' behaviors that were unethical. It excuses behavior by placing blame on the person struggling. Since jealousy involves the amygdala, there is no way to reason with jealousy. The only way forward is necessarily painful. Going at the pace of the slowest person appeals to our compassion, but there is no reasonable explanation for why that would work. This is troubling because it implies that some people are incapable of poly when it involves their partner(s) having other partner(s). Going at the pace of the slowest person also sets up double standards, where the safest way forward is possessive.
Hm. Where jealousy is involved there is always trickiness in my experience. I have also experienced that being compassionate and giving things some time moves people to another undertanding of themselves or brings to light something that was covered before. Usually that something moves us forward. Everything changes. I am not interested in forcing that change. I would prefer it come naturally and in its own time. Yes sometimes its important to face and deal with things that make it uncomfortable but that for me is left to the person who is uncomfortable. That isn't to say I won't get on them about it or ask what steps they have made though. I'm just saying that some people feel fragile and see delicate about the complexities of poly relationships (especially when they are new to it) and should be respected enough to unravel it all for themselves, such as what the OP is going through. There is nothing wrong with feeling confused and jealous and asking for a slower pace, I reckon. Or being offered s slower pace. Its nothing to do with heirarchy to have the idea in mind of slowing down to make sure my loved one feels safe and nurtured in our growing relationship. We all have times in our lives when we need that, why would I not want to offer to them something that I will need at some point from them?
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  #18  
Old 03-19-2010, 08:26 PM
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Zanie Zanie is offline
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Originally Posted by jphillmore View Post
Re: Zanie

It was a "significant other".

Thanks!
Then IMO it would have been (at the very least) polite of her to have let you know ahead of time that he was going to be there and that she was going to potentially behave with him in a particular way.

You're welcome.
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  #19  
Old 03-19-2010, 10:12 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I agree with the others that your partner's way of handling the introduction was less than sensitive. It wouldn't even be a kind thing to do if you were already poly, never mind her knowing that you're monogamous.

At the same time, it doesn't sound like your relationship had reached any "status" yet (based on the "gone out a few times" description). She may not have realized your feelings were as deep as they were. No way for us to know.

What did she have to say about it after you told her how you felt about the situation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thunkybunny View Post
That's a tough one. It's an ad hominem rule that doesn't even work in theory if by 'struggling the most' one means experiencing jealousy the most. 'Struggling the most' is also hierarchical language that may neglect peoples' behaviors that were unethical. It excuses behavior by placing blame on the person struggling. Since jealousy involves the amygdala, there is no way to reason with jealousy. The only way forward is necessarily painful. Going at the pace of the slowest person appeals to our compassion, but there is no reasonable explanation for why that would work. This is troubling because it implies that some people are incapable of poly when it involves their partner(s) having other partner(s). Going at the pace of the slowest person also sets up double standards, where the safest way forward is possessive.
I think it works both in theory and in practice, and a lot of people here have personal experience to back that up. The crux is whether or not the slowest person is making an effort to work through their challenges as opposed to just putting up roadblocks to sabotage the whole process.

And I don't know about you, but I tend to be much happier in relationships with compassionate people who care about my feelings. I'm not a big fan of "I'm going to do whatever the fuck I want, so deal with it" attitudes... even though I want my partners to do whatever they want, giving me the opportunity to experience the growth of dealing with it. I just don't like being demeaned by being forced into a position against my will.
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  #20  
Old 03-19-2010, 11:47 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunkybunny View Post
That's a reckless way to introduce other significant others. If she cared about you at all, she might have been more thoughtful in introducing her significant others to each other. The way your introduction went, as you described it, you had NO CHOICE in the meeting. It just happened out of nowhere. That is NOT love or friendship. It was UNETHICAL because ...........
A good point here Thunky,
I don't know as I'd stretch it so far as to call it "unethical" but definitely "inconsiderate".
It's not atypical behavior but deserves to be called out - in the RIGHT way. Gently but pointedly.
It's easy for everyone when operating in their default "mode", to forget that not everyone is used to operating in whatever the circumstances are. It's like a cultural thing. Not everyone understands or is used to the culture so we need to be aware of that and make special allowances.
For example, because of living in a poly "mode" (culture) for so long, it's perfectly natural for me to throw my arms around a person - even total stranger - give them a hug and a kiss - maybe even a little pat on the butt.
But I've learned the hard way that I have to be aware of the setting and the particular individuals. Not everyone is used to that and can take it as being unacceptably forward.
So this is a lesson it sounds like your GF needs to learn too. A gentle reminder should be sufficient to connect her back to a broader reality If not, it's something you'll need to know about.

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