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Old 11-09-2013, 10:25 PM
MissTwinkleberries MissTwinkleberries is offline
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Default New and Needing Advice

I've been in my first poly relationship for a while now, and was living with my boyfriend, recently or girlfriend moved in with us. Before she moved in, and even before we all agreed to be in a relationship, I knew our girlfriend was pretty high maintenance and very attention needy. Which is fine because I don't care to always be the center of attention anyways. However, now that we're all living together her constant neediness is starting to take a toll on me. I tend to wind up just feeling like the third wheel. I've spoken to both of them about feeling this way, but it hasn't seemed to make a difference. How can I keep from feeling like the third wheel all the time, without making her feel lonely?
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:40 PM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Posts: 519

I am generally opposed to "making" people fit the relationship.... so I'd suggest finding a polyship that better suits your needs.

Other than that, gently guiding them both towards the behavior you want, and being very appreciative when they do it, is probably best.

But you can only adjust behaviors, you can't change people.
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:18 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Many people base behavior on what they feel; not on what they think, and certainly not on what someone else may feel. "High maintenance" people tend to be especially ego-centric.

My suggestion is to gently make her aware of what the reality is as opposed to what she feels the reality is. And the only way you can do that is with something you can actually measure and document. For example, using a calendar, document time spent where and with whom - so that she can have an actual visualization of what the reality is. When she feels she is being slighted, you can say something along these lines: but look you've spent 4 of the last 5 days getting such and such attention. Don't you think I deserve attention too?

All of that said, I was once involved with a high maintenance individual who not only perceived reality incorrectly, but didn't care because she actually felt she was entitled to more attention than anyone else. It destroyed the relationship.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:07 AM
london london is offline
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Location: UK - land of the free
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Assuming I still wanted to be with this person, i would put rigid boundaries in place. I would be pointing out all unreasonable behaviour as it happened and explaining why it is undesirable.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:04 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I would try to focus on my own needs and what I require from my partners in order for those needs to be met, rather than what her needs are and why meeting them is taking a toll on me.

I doubt you'll be able to address the matter of her own neediness. You describe that as being a personality trait pre-existing your relationships. It's important to realize that's not a flaw, it's just how she is. Expecting her to change and become less needy does not respect who she is and sends the message that you don't accept her the way she is. Auto is the same way, and she almost lost me early in our relationship because of it. Because she's an incredibly self-aware person, she knew she had this character trait, but it had never been a problem for her. Before me, she simply chose partners who were also needy, and it worked out just fine. But with me, I made it clear that I wouldnt be able to meet those needs and that the expectation was putting too much pressure on me. So she chose (I didn't ask) to learn how to be in a relationship without being clingy. This was possible only because she has an equally needy husband, so she wasn't relying on me for all her neediness fulfillment. I dont think it would work that way in your situation, because she doesn't have anyone else to go to.

That's why I say focus on what you yourself need from these relationships in order to feel valued and included. It's not fair to expect her needs to change, but it is completely fair to ask their behaviour to change in order to meet your own needs.
As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.

Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 11-10-2013 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:56 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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How can I keep from feeling like the third wheel all the time?
Time is a finite resource. Agree with your people how the time is to be spent so it meets people's needs:
  • There will be X time set aside to be in trio.
  • There will be X time set aside to be in duos.
  • There will be X set aside to be ALONE with other people or alone alone. Nobody is joined at the hip.

Then stick to the plan for X weeks. See if it serves you well or needs tweaking.

Without making her feel lonely?
Could be willing to let her feel whatever she feels and let her be responsible for fixing her (lonely.)

If you are spending other times in trio, you could point that you spend THOSE times in trio. Then you could point the the times (BF + GF) spend in duo. And the times (You + GF) spend in duo. It is fair and needed for (BF + YOU) to have time in duo. All of you need time alone too.

If she feels lonely when it is time for (You + BF) duo? It's the price of admission -- everyone has a fair turn. She could spent time with other people. You could appreciate her effort to help create space for (you + BF) alone even though this is hard for her.

If it turns out your personalities do not mix well? Reconsider being together in polyship.

(1 independent) <--> (5 interdependent) <----> (10 dependent)

A super independent (1) person is not going to be a good match with a (10) dependent person. They will feel suffocated with "too much togetherness" if they lean one way to accommodate them. And the other one will feel "lonely/sad/abandoned" if they go lean the other way to accommodate the independent person. Limit reached -- a (9) point gap is too big to bridge well! Nobody is evil -- just incompatible!

The "gap" may not be so bad with a (3) independent and a (5) Interdependent. Or a (5) interdependent and a (7) dependent. The 2 pt gap is easier to take turns with and endure for sake of being together in relative harmony.

Could figure out if this is temporary NRE because it is new or not.
Could figure out what all your personalities rate and if they are compatible long term or not.

You sound like you entered into a polyship KNOWING you have a high needs personality and now come to find you are not up for it.

You could be kind, but firm about your boundaries in this polyship. If the NRE is getting over the top -- could ask for more attention. If it is a limit reached because of mismatched personalities, it is a limit reached. Could decided how to address that or disband.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-11-2013 at 06:12 PM.
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left out, living together, new relationship, third wheel

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