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Old 12-08-2013, 02:45 AM
blacksofa blacksofa is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11
Default Is it possible to go from Primary to Secondary?

I recently broke up with my boyfriend. We were in an open/poly style relationship. He is much more sexually comfortable/experienced than I am and we have different values when it comes to sex (and money, for that matter). Essentially, I reached my limit of what I was comfortable with and realized I could not accept the totality of who is his as my primary/boyfriend.

I also realized that over all I cannot be healthy in a committed/primary style relationship and it is not something that I want at this point in time. I have personal boundary issues and a lot of self love to cultivate.

However, I love him dearly and want him in my life and I feel we would work well as secondaries to each other. Essentially, I want to be my own primary partner and as our core values are different I don't see a long term relationship with him working. I feel if it were more casual/less committed it wouldn't bother me as much.

Has anyone ever done this successfully? I am not even sure if I could do it (and I wouldn't right now we are still healing) but I am wondering if this ever happens.

Thank you for any input
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:27 AM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,725

Why not take some time to yourself and figure out who you are and work on yourself. No one can truly love us until we love ourselves.

Then when you are in a different and better place then maybe see where things can go.
40 yo straight female
Married in the eyes of the government to Butch since 2001...
Murf my monogamous second husband has been with me since May of 2012.
In a V relationship with an average 50/50 split of time between my two husbands.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:57 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,435

The simple answer is "yes." In principle, of course people can go from primaries to secondaries, especially if those labels are using more descriptively rather than setting expectations for how the relationship will be.

The complicated answer is "not always."

In my experience, incompatible is incompatible. So while I can understand something like "I can't stand the way he spends all his money the day he gets paid, so I can't share a house with him because I'm always stuck paying the bills" being a good reason to take the relationship intensity down a notch, I have trouble understanding how that would look for different values about sex. Perhaps if you explained what you mean by "values" in that context, it would help me understand.

More concerning to me is the idea that you cannot be healthy in a primary relationship but that you could be healthy in a secondary relationship. Again, this could be a problem of understanding.

End of the day, you can try anything you'd like. What works for one person may not work for another, and you'll never know until you try. Just take it slow and be aware of your feelings and needs and make sure you're taking care of yourself.
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.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:09 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 10,083

Anything's possible. You could even start relating to lovers just for who they are as people, and not bother with ranking them.
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia

Click here for a Solo Poly view on hierarchical relationships
Click here to find out why the Polyamorous Misanthrope is feeling disgusted.
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