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  #1  
Old 04-15-2010, 06:20 AM
jkk jkk is offline
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Default Opened up 1 year ago ... some q's

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum, but I've been familiar with polyamory for a long time. My partner and I opened up our relationship (my idea) about a year ago and have each had brushes with other folks who had potential to become lovers or partners, but so far nothing solid has happened outside of our relationship. We have a very open and honest relationship and share our attractions to others all the time. We strive to communicate the best we can and love each other very much.

Just one problem: not enough sex. Why? 1) Because she is physically unable to enjoy it due to constant, recurring bacterial vaginosis, and 2) Much of the time her libido is not as high as mine.

Any advice/experience on the above would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I have a question concerning dating a friend of mine whose company I enjoy and who I'm very attracted to. She's cute, energetic, and has a great personality; very warm and kind and also intelligent. The more I've gotten to know her over the years, the more attracted to her I've become to the point I'm at now where I frequently fantasize about kissing her, undressing her, and having sex with her. Common fantasy for someone that you have a crush on, right?

Okay, so here it goes. This woman -- let's call her L -- is also a good friend of my partner's. L is also already in a relationship with a man, H, who my partner and I are mutual friends with. We all live in a very small community in rural America and hang out a lot. L has expressed her relationship troubles with H to both me and my partner and processes emotions with us often. She is struggling in her relationship because H is depressed, moody, and isolates often.

In my opinion, L deserves so much more that what H gives her. I like H as a friend and don't want to disrespect him by moving in on his partner, but at the same time, I really have a strong attraction to L that I'm dying to share with her when I see her. I just don't know how to approach this situation! There's a big part of me that just wants to get L alone, tell her how I feel, and then kiss her. I've wanted to kiss her for a very long time!

Anyway, I'd love to hear what you folks think!
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:37 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Is L familiar with polyamory and you having an open relationship? Has she given an indication that this is something she may be interested in as well?

If she is monogamous, I would keep your feelings to yourself until her relationship with H has dissolved on its own terms. Making a move on a woman in a monogamous relationship isn't kind to her partner, nor is it kind to put her in a position to have to choose between you. If there are problem in their relationship that they are working on, and then she finds out she could just leave him for you, it might make her less likely to want to work on those problems.

Whatever problems her partner may have, be it depression or whatever psychological things he has going on, if she's still with him now, there's a reason. Just because someone is depressed and moody does not mean they do not deserve to be loved.

Another thing to remember is that friends tend to only vent when they have something to gripe about, and are less likely to call you up and tell you how great things are going when they are, because they're too busy enjoying it, and you don't need "support" for for positive feelings This can lead outsiders to think that the relationship is nothing but problems, simply because you're not privy to the good stuff.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:41 PM
Quath Quath is offline
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Yeah, that is tough. However, I think that long term, the best way to deal with it is with everything out in the open. Maybe talk about polyamory around L and H and see what they think. I generally try to act by putting myself in everyone's place. Since H has a big chance to be hurt by this, I think nothing should happen behind his back.

But for full disclosure, I do know some couples who prefer the affair model of nonmonogamy. They don't like polyamory, but they are ok with their partner being with someone as long as it doesn't complicate their life and they never have to heard of it.
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:12 PM
saudade saudade is offline
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Quote:
Just one problem: not enough sex.
One of my partners has a very high libido-- I tease him about it occasionally, joke that he needs another partner on that basis alone! I wish I had better advice on this one, beyond well wishes in partner-hunting and a reminder that being one's own lover isn't such a bad thing... If you happen to solve that eternal conundrum, do let me know!

Quote:
I like H as a friend and don't want to disrespect him by moving in on his partner, but at the same time, I really have a strong attraction to L that I'm dying to share with her when I see her. I just don't know how to approach this situation! There's a big part of me that just wants to get L alone, tell her how I feel, and then kiss her. I've wanted to kiss her for a very long time!
I'm with SchrodingersCat and Quath on this one: don't make a move without knowing if L and H are open to what you have in mind. Kissing L behind H's back isn't cool. I've been in your shoes, and I totally sympathize, but that's not the way to go about it. Bring it up casually in conversation, or mention that Boston Globe article from a few months back and ask them what they thought of it (with a link ready in case they didn't see it):

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ma..._new_frontier/

Also, it's worth keeping mind what SC said about depression/being worthy of love/etc. I echo all those statements, because they bear repeating.

Good luck on both fronts!
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:28 PM
jkk jkk is offline
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Thanks for the replies, guys!

SchrodingersCat & suadade,

L knows about my relationship status being open. I've talked with her at length about it on several occasions. It was interesting hearing her response, as I sensed a lot of cognitive dissonance in her words -- on one hand she really likes the honesty aspect of polyamory; on the other, she couldn't seem to wrap her mind around it. She said, "People can connect and be good friends without having to 'go there.'" By that, she meant sex and physical intimacy. She is a very flirtatious person by nature and thrives off of that part of herself. Unfortunately, H doesn't like that and tells her so often, as do other people in her life who see it as a "problem," and so she has guilt about it and tries to minimize it.

Recently L called one of her exes when H was away and had a wonderful reconnection and felt a pull towards this other man. H was not happy about this and their therapist agreed that it was emotional cheating. More and more she feels this guilt about who she is -- according to the common culture, she is a love addict or attention seeker. I simply perceive her as someone who is very open and loving. My partner and I are thinking about giving her The Ethical Slut to read; maybe this will offer her another way to look at herself. Most people, as many of you here know, don't realize they have the polyamory option in relationship.

As for H, to be honest, I hesitate to mention polyamory around him. He is far less open than L is in terms of talking openly about relationships, let alone polyamorous ones! Maybe one approach is to ask L if she has talked to H about the idea of this at all. If he seemed receptive to it, then maybe we could move forward. For some reason, I don't see that happening due to H's insecurity in relationship. And you guys are right: depressed and isolating folks like H need love and companionship, too. On the other hand, L shouldn't have to dim her candle just to appease his moods -- that would be codependency.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Quath,

It's funny because I've actually considered just going for it without disclosure. Not the most honest option in the world, but it might be the only one that would work in some way. I have feeling that, if things don't get out in the open soon, L and I might find ourselves alone and, well, you know where that can go ...

Thanks all for the advice. For now, I think I'm going to ask L about whether or not she has talked with H about polyamory. Trying to be patient and take it sloooowww ...
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:36 PM
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I think that in addition to the fabulous advice thus far that you should wait it out and be a good friend. If you want something to last and to have an ongoing loving relationship then it sounds like it might serve you better to bite your lip until such time as she is free or things between her and her man are settled more.

You might think she is worth more, but she chose him and she knows what is best for her. Right now he is. Not you. You are a good support for her and would be disrespecting that connection and her if you tell her your feelings at the moment. She won't be talking to you anymore if it turns out she is not on the same page as you. Which would be better, to address your desire when you might be able to later or lose her friendship and the chance to possibly be lovers later?

Those are my thoughts on it all anyways.
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Old 04-17-2010, 03:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkk View Post
L knows about my relationship status being open. I've talked with her at length about it on several occasions. It was interesting hearing her response, as I sensed a lot of cognitive dissonance in her words -- on one hand she really likes the honesty aspect of polyamory; on the other, she couldn't seem to wrap her mind around it. She said, "People can connect and be good friends without having to 'go there.'" By that, she meant sex and physical intimacy. She is a very flirtatious person by nature and thrives off of that part of herself. Unfortunately, H doesn't like that and tells her so often, as do other people in her life who see it as a "problem," and so she has guilt about it and tries to minimize it.
It sounds like you have your answer right there. If you've explained what polyamory is, and she's reflected that she likes some aspects (the honesty) but it's just not for her (being physically intimate with more than one person), then she doesn't want a poly lifestyle.

If she doesn't want poly, then you would be asking her to leave her relationship to be with you, bearing in mind that you're poly and will continue to be so. Therefore, whatever difficulties she may have in her current relationship, you'd be asking her to completely redefine her idea of relationships in order to be with you. That doesn't sound fair to me.

It sounds like the best thing you can do is validate her behaviour (flirting) by telling her that it's healthy and natural, and encourage her to talk to H about how she feels he is stifling her by forcing her to behave against her nature. You mentioned H may suffer from depression, and that generally goes hand-in-hand with low self-esteem and insecurity, both of which are easily triggered by watching your partner flirt. Does this give him the right to control her behaviour? Hell no! But that's between him and her, and the best thing you can do as a friend is be supportive.
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2010, 12:01 PM
jkk jkk is offline
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Thanks, guys. You're advice is very much appreciated, and I intend to follow it -- to be a friend and support her, rather than making a move right now (which I know wouldn't be right).

I'm really glad I signed onto this forum. You all are wonderful!
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