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  #1  
Old 11-30-2013, 02:30 PM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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Default New poly, first "date"

Ok guys and gals, first off this forum is a beautiful thing and I am so in awe of all who participate. I received some amazing support a few years back with a different situation which ended uneventfully, but now things are getting, um... interesting again.

Been with my wife Leigh for 9 years, married 5. We've both had feelings for other people but she still identifies, oh, 85% mono whereas I'm heavier on the poly. We've never opened our relationship, but by some crazy cosmic serendipity we been having some honest conversations about poly recently. She knows I identify with poly - in theory - although I've been practicing mono forever, and loyal too. I think Leigh's receptive, which is amazing. Hell, just last week I showed her some great articles about poly and the next day she asks me, "do you want to modify the terms of our relationship?"

I do. I really do.

I recently met someone that I am crazy about, Anne. We hit it off immediately, common interests, her flirting, me back, you know the story. Sparks are flying on my end and I can sense that she is attracted to me but I suspect she's holding back because of the ring on my finger. Problem is, I've been afraid to mention my wife, my poly leanings, etc. cuz I don't want to kill the mood between us.

So my question: How should I go about this?

Leigh knows about Anne. I admitted I have feelings for her. So without knowing just how freaked out Leigh will be when I try to open our marriage, the real issue on my mind here is Anne. We've only been on one "date" (yes Leigh knew about it) and it was amazing, but a guy doesn't just come out on the second date and say, "Hey girl I'm crazy about you and oh by the way I want to open my marriage for you." I reiterate... we've only been on one date. Wouldn't that just kill the thrill of the chase? I don't want to throw all the mystique and charged energy out the window by laying it all out there like some business merger. She's got me hooked and I don't want to screw it up. How do I go about easing Anne into the idea, telling her without being so obvious? Thanks all.
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:13 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Leigh knows about Anne. Does Anne know about Leigh? You said she holds back because of the ring on your finger, and yet, she's gone on a 'date' with you. Going on a date doesn't seem exactly like 'holding back.' If she sees a ring on your finger, isn't she already wondering why a married man is going on a date with her? Or is she under the impression you're cheating on your wife?
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:52 PM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
If she sees a ring on your finger, isn't she already wondering why a married man is going on a date with her? Or is she under the impression you're cheating on your wife?
Wow good point. That sounds pretty bad. Anne doesn't know a thing about Leigh, not even her name. I realize now that this was a mistake but I was simply afraid to scare her off. And I know this is just semantics, but it wasn't officially a 'date', it just felt like one. We had lunch and then talked for three hours before class, I drove her to her car, then we talked for another hour there. Although I can tell she has a thing for me, Anne has behaved herself for the most part - she's been largely 'hands off', for what it's worth. But I see what you mean about the intent of Anne meeting with me and not knowing what Leigh thinks or knows.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:03 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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If you want to practice polyamory, and you want Anne, tell her you've recently opened your marriage, and you're poly. Isn't part of "love" getting to know each other? If you're afraid to scare women off just by being true to yourself and telling the truth, maybe it's time to retreat and see why you are coming across as ashamed of who you are.

OTOH, if you're proud of who you are, and can own it, you'll find the right new partner. If Anne is "scared off" by polyamory, or the way you practice it, well, she's not the right "gal" for you.

Seems pretty straightforward to me. Personally, I date from ok cupid, and my profile states I am ethically non-monogamous, and that I have a live-in gf and a nearby married bf, and am still open to someone who is cool with that.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2013, 04:47 PM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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Magdlyn I see your point. I should stop assuming that Anne and I have this unspoken understanding and that we're on the same page. It's pure foolish tunnel vision and it's gonna get me into trouble. I am seeing her today and I am going to work it into the conversation one way or another. I am actually quite curious to know what she will say.

But I've opened my marriage so recently however that I do not hold a lot of hope... it's hard enough to date as a single person; things are so much more complicated this way but that doesn't mean I will give up. Maybe I'm just on a low today. It was a rough weekend with Leigh, but she's damned amazing for even accepting any this and we're still talking, at least. It would be nice if I had more of a support system here in PDX I know they are out there, but reaching out is usually a slow process for me. I'm working on it. Things will have to move slow with all parties regardless.

Great advice. I treasure your wisdom and experience.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:00 PM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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update...

Told Anne, she seemed at first kinda excited and into me a little more when I told her my situation two days ago. She even has some poly friends so I could see her being receptive. But now suddenly she's busy and unavailable to spend time which could mean one of two things: the obvious straight-forward surface meaning, or that my fears have been confirmed. Who wants to be with a guy who's still figuring out his primary relationship... the timing just effing sucks.

As for Leigh, we had another fight. Then I get this text which should explain exactly what we fought about: "Please understand my frustration. Wanting to be close to you and achieving that last night was a great feeling. Waking up this morning and being told that you want to be affectionate with someone else is basically a slap in my face. Everything I know about our relationship has been uprooted since Saturday..."

I know this is like clockwork in these situations, it's just not so easy to face when it's... well, in your face. Go figure. And now I feel like I've lost them both. How the hell does a person juggle two vulnerable relationships like this???? I want them both in my life, but that's not 100% up to me and never was. Feeling lost.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:47 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Hi Epsilon

I'm glad that you told Anne. Whatever happens with Anne, or doesn't happen, open and honest is definitely the way to go about it.

Quote:
But now suddenly she's busy and unavailable to spend time which could mean one of two things: the obvious straight-forward surface meaning, or that my fears have been confirmed. Who wants to be with a guy who's still figuring out his primary relationship... the timing just effing sucks.
~grins~

Well... she could genuinely be busy. She could genuinely be concerned about your marriage being early poly. The other alternative is that she could be feeling your excitement and the volume of it may be overwhelming, regardless of poly. I'm not saying that to freak you out - it may not be true. But hearing the way you've talked, and knowing what I know about early poly situations, I know that we are all capable of grasping this fantastic new person who seems to tick all of our boxes and drive us wild... and sometimes, this can put people off. It's time to take a deep breath, my friend, and start approaching the poly situation with reservation, patience, grounding and realistic expectations. Completely enjoy the crush you have on her, but keep your dreams in check. Take a look through your phone and if you see that you've been the one to get in touch first at least twice in a row, give her some space. If your texts highlight balance and equal interest, carry on as you are, but don't panic!

As for Leigh...

It's all about timing, my friend. Leigh will be feeling extremely vulnerable right now. She's trying to be very brave. She's likely extremely scared, and doubting herself. From her text, it looks like she really needed the intimacy with you. The following morning can be a continuation of the intimacy. It's usually the morning glow moment. Our hearts and emotions are vulnerable in the morning, because we are just coming back down to the reality of the normal day. To spend a night bonding and experiencing closeness, only to wake up and be reminded of your attraction to someone else, it's going to rip that closeness away from her.

Something that can work is to actually have a set time each day that you talk about poly. It doesn't have to be every single day - it could be every other day, or once a week. Ask her what time of the day would be good for her. It really might be a good technique. It allows you two to carry on as you are, without ignoring the poly issue, but without engulfing your relationship in it. The more loved she feels; the more one-on-one attention you give her; the more her trust will rebuild. And for the love of God, whatever you do, don't go mentioning Anne every 5 seconds, hmm?

Quote:
And now I feel like I've lost them both. How the hell does a person juggle two vulnerable relationships like this???? I want them both in my life, but that's not 100% up to me and never was. Feeling lost.
It's going to be ok. If Anne leaves, it's not a good fit. If Leigh leaves, it's not a good fit. However, with talking, patience, and communication, it is entirely possibly to have what you want.

The first question to ask yourself is how committed you are to Leigh. If you do want to be poly, would you be willing to pursue this even if it meant losing Leigh? If not, she has to be your priority. If that means slowing it right down or even losing or holding off on Anne for now, so be it. (I'm not asking whether you love Leigh - I literally mean, if you had to choose between Leigh and polyamory, which would you choose? The answer will tell you what your priority is. Either answer is perfectly ok.)

So then, if you do decide that, at least for now, Leigh is your priority, focus on that. Let Anne be what it will be. If it's meant to be, it will be. Offer to take your wife out for polyamory-free conversational dinner and spend one on one time with her this weekend. Also plan to have a long talk about polyamory the following afternoon or evening. Both things need attention. Start slowly. Start figuring out your boundaries, her boundaries, and start laying things out. First port of call is to ask her how she'd like to communicate about polyamory. Go from there. Just open the doors of communication and let things start to flow. Read, read and read some more. Then come back and ask more questions
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2013, 08:12 PM
AnonymousMe AnonymousMe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpsilonLyr View Post
As for Leigh, we had another fight. Then I get this text which should explain exactly what we fought about: "Please understand my frustration. Wanting to be close to you and achieving that last night was a great feeling. Waking up this morning and being told that you want to be affectionate with someone else is basically a slap in my face. Everything I know about our relationship has been uprooted since Saturday..."

I know this is like clockwork in these situations, it's just not so easy to face when it's... well, in your face. Go figure. And now I feel like I've lost them both. How the hell does a person juggle two vulnerable relationships like this???? I want them both in my life, but that's not 100% up to me and never was. Feeling lost.
Opening a long term relationship is not easy, even with a progressive partner (who does not naturally identify as poly) and strong communication and conflict resolution skills.

My personal approach would be to take things slowly and focus on stabilizing the relationship that you have invested so many years in already. The new relationship with Anne may not work out in the long run if it even ever becomes anything at all. The relationship with your wife, I assume from your other posts, has a great value to you. Work with her, giver her time to come to terms with and accept what it is you are asking her to do. Baby steps.

Even once you get there and she is okay with having an open marriage, things may not be easy on her. I can tell you from personal experience that, after opening a marriage, having a partner start a new and fairly serious relationship is hard...and I am the one who started off with the poly tendencies!! (New and unknown is scary, no matter who you are!)

Do your best to be compassionate and understanding of where she is. Comfort her, reassure her, and fulfill her needs within your relationship. If you are starting up something new that wont be easy for you due to NRE, and that will just make things that more difficult on your wife.

It sounds like you two have what it takes to succeed at this. Just focus on the basics - open, honest communication that focuses on the needs and wants of the all parties involved.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:14 PM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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Originally Posted by AnonymousMe View Post

Even once you get there and she is okay with having an open marriage, things may not be easy on her. I can tell you from personal experience that, after opening a marriage, having a partner start a new and fairly serious relationship is hard...and I am the one who started off with the poly tendencies!! (New and unknown is scary, no matter who you are!)
Yeah I could see that. Taking it slow and bracing for those speed bumps sounds like the way to go. And of course I'm totally open to Leigh reciprocating if she found someone too, understanding I'd still have jealousy to channel positively as much as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post

Take a look through your phone and if you see that you've been the one to get in touch first at least twice in a row, give her some space. If your texts highlight balance and equal interest, carry on as you are, but don't panic!
It was seeing her yesterday that confirmed it. A girl doesn't pat you on the back and call you "dude" in the middle of a hug if she wants romance, damn it. Same old story... passion runs hot, then it's an ice bath and there's no going back. Now I'm just thinking I mightaswell sit her down and tell her everything, since we're firmly in the hated friend zone - why not? It'll make me feel better and maybe take some of the pressure of having to lean away from me when we're sitting side by side. Forgive me, I'm kinda sucking lemons right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post

The first question to ask yourself is how committed you are to Leigh. If you do want to be poly, would you be willing to pursue this even if it meant losing Leigh?
Actually yes, I want to be poly regardless. I've been through this situation before and I can't keep suppressing the person I want to be, even for Leigh. Not anymore. This will happen again. I'm risking everything not for Anne but for myself. Still, I love Leigh and I do want this to work. I really like the idea of having little talks about the situation over time, and having nights where we just embrace what we are to each other without the stress of the ongoing issue.

You ppl are awesome by the way. It still hurts, but at least it's nice to be able to discuss it with those that have been there.
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