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  #1  
Old 12-12-2013, 08:38 AM
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Bucephalus Bucephalus is offline
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Default A Unicorn's Dilemma

I've recently entered into a new relationship and I don't know what to do about the difference between where I stand and where I want to be.

To be perfectly fair, I don't strictly fit the definition of a unicorn. I currently have 3 partners, two of whom I live with and one who is long distance. I have been with my long-distance partner (henceforth G) for about 5 years now; we got together while we were still living in the same area. However, because G and I rarely get to see each other recently, or even chat online, I had begun in daily life to feel as if I was single.

My other two partners (H and Y) and I began living together about 2 years ago. At the time, I was strictly platonic with them and the two of them were in a monogamous relationship. The three of us have become very close friends. Within the last year, we began a three-way relationship, but I am still unsure of what kinds of relationship it is. H and Y are very close and are obviously in love. In this relationship, I am a bit of a unicorn, with H and Y as the primary couple and myself as their secondary.

I have never been fond of hierarchical relationships, but due to the natural progression of things, it cannot be helped. In terms of love, I don't believe either of them have romantic feelings for me. H and I are sexual partners and friends. Y and I are very close friends, but we only engage in sexual activity together when H is around.

The problem is, I'm starting to develop romantic feelings for H. I haven't told them as I don't want to jeopardize our relationship. Y is a very emotional type, and gets jealous sometimes when H and I do things alone; even though she does encourage us to. I don't want to risk losing her friendship because I am taking things too fast or too far with H. Nor do I want to risk making things awkward with H by letting him know my feelings if he doesn't feel the same about me. But, I am having a hard time holding in my feelings and not letting on. I often feel like the outsider when I am with them, or even a third wheel, and try to stay out of the way when they seem to be doing "couple things." This is particularly hard on me because I feel the need for intimacy with them; but, often times it is denied because of my secondary status and because our relationship is currently non-romantic.

I have talked briefly with G about this, but since we can't talk as much recently, I still feel rather alone in this. I'm relatively new to relationships in general, which just adds to the confusion. Does anyone have advice on what I should do? My current thoughts are to hold back for now, to not rush things, and to see how this relationship naturally progresses. I hold out hope that it will turn romantic, but I have no idea where this road will actually take us.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:15 AM
london london is offline
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I don't think they are ready for a polyamorous relationship without hierarchy. I think it will be you who gets hurt if you try. I would move on.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:37 AM
KyleKat KyleKat is offline
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Why not talk to Y about it? She's encouraging you to be with H so she should be aware of what that entails.

Jealousy is difficult to overcome. If she's still encouraging you to do things alone with H, I would just take it slow. Talk to her, figure out how she feels about it, then go talk to H.

I think you'll be alright if you're honest.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:12 AM
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First of all, you are not a Unicorn so don't worry, Unicorns are expected TO develop feelings (albeit with each of the members of a couple equally).

It looks a bit more like they are treating you as a FWB, but you live with them and emotions can make things very bad for you if things go South, moving on...as in getting into a monogamous relationship or just saying that 'it's not for me sorry' might preserve your friendship (and therefore your home).

My worry would be an admission of feelings or engaging in a more emotionally based relationship would create a jealousy riddled environment with Y and she will push to get rid of you.

Be careful OP
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:36 AM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
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I suspect it would be good for you to be able to talk with someone, to have an outlet for your feelings and an opportunity to process them.

The questions is who to talk to.

G sounds like a possibility; at any rate, you did not say that he minds. Or do you have friends who you could talk to? This site can also be a pretty good sounding board, if you can deal with a cacophony of opinions instead of just one response. Or journaling might help.

I would tread carefully in talking to Y and H. I'm not totally comfortable with this reaction, because in general I like being open and honest. But I'm not sure whether talking to them right now benefits anyone. If your perception that H does not share your feelings is correct, then you risk destabilizing the relationship you do have. So maybe gaining clarity for yourself first is best.

This also depends on what the expectations are within the relationship in its current form. How much do emotional sharing is there between you and them? Does speaking or staying silent feel more true?

It is probably worth trying to be clear in yourself what outcomes you can be comfortable with. If feelings are returned and Y is ok, then great. But if not, then what? Can you stay with them when the extent of feelings is unbalanced, or will that eat away at you? Can you acknowledge your feelings (to yourself, if not them) but recognize that they don't lead anywhere, and let them go? Does the relationship in its current form still feel good for you, or have you come to a phase in your life where it can't work for you?

Did you ever talk about the relationship amongst you before your feelings shifted?
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:29 PM
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I think you need to tell them that you need to suspend sexual activity with them because you are developing romantic feelings for M. If they are open to a deeper relationship with you then they will be the ones to initiate it. If they are not open to a deeper relationship, then you will know and be able to get the distance you need to extricate yourself from the feelings you have.

All waiting is going to do is get you more emotionally invested and make it harder to break from them in the future.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:07 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGuy View Post
I think you need to tell them that you need to suspend sexual activity with them because you are developing romantic feelings for M. If they are open to a deeper relationship with you then they will be the ones to initiate it. If they are not open to a deeper relationship, then you will know and be able to get the distance you need to extricate yourself from the feelings you have.

All waiting is going to do is get you more emotionally invested and make it harder to break from them in the future.
I have to agree with Big Guy here. While it is true that some people can manage a FWB relationship without romantic feelings developing, I suspect it is difficult for the majority of people. Biology wires us to get emotionally attached to those with whom we repeatedly share our bodies. (Lots of brain chemical science behind this.) For your own well-being, don't continue down this path unless you get the green light from all other parties.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:47 PM
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Natja Natja is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookbug View Post
I have to agree with Big Guy here. While it is true that some people can manage a FWB relationship without romantic feelings developing, I suspect it is difficult for the majority of people. Biology wires us to get emotionally attached to those with whom we repeatedly share our bodies. (Lots of brain chemical science behind this.) For your own well-being, don't continue down this path unless you get the green light from all other parties.
This is really good advice!
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:57 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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You're in a sticky situation, to be sure.

What would I do in that situation? Lay your cards on the table. Trying to hide your feelings is a life-killer. How can you live with these 2, share lives, meals, television shows (I assume) cuddling on the couch, stories of your day, sexy times, while hiding your romantic feelings for H?

You started out as FWBs and now you're in love. Possibly jealous gf there in your face... Be prepared to move out if she suspects or confronts you with feeling "too much" for her bf.

You're playing with fire and you're getting burned. You're young, I am sure, attractive. Might be better to look around and find a local bf/gf, either before moving out, or after.

BTW, you are definitely NOT a unicorn. A Unicorn is a mythological beast that couples search for to "share" equally. What you've got is a sort of partially romantic triad. You're not really anyone's girlfriend, if you can't even talk about loving emotions.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:35 PM
scarletzinnia scarletzinnia is offline
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I think you should just tell H and Y how you feel about H. And also tell Y that you care about her too, and completely respect her relationship with H, and don't want to cause problems for them in any way. But your feelings are there and you don't want to hide them any longer. See what they say. The worst-case scenario would be, H ends the relationship because you have feelings for him. But if that happens, then you will know for sure that he can never give you what you want from him anyway, and you can walk away (hopefully) without regrets. Trust me, what he is giving you now (sex without emotional attachment) isn't so great, nor is it hard to find. I guarantee you could find even hotter sex with someone else who doesn't have any emotional attachment to you, without half trying.

H and Y may be in a nonmonogamous relationship, but do they know anything about polyamory? If not, might it be possible to educate them a bit? A lot of people really have no conception that it might be possible, and acceptable, to love more than one person, and some of those people are definitely capable of it, and might open up to the possibility if they were clued in. I lived monogamously for years, not because I really believed in it wholeheartedly, but because I had no idea there were other options, and would never consider cheating on my husband. Once I learned about polyamory, I knew I was poly. Before that, I had no idea.
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