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Old 04-19-2010, 07:25 AM
DownTheRabbitHole DownTheRabbitHole is offline
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Default New in so many ways

Hello all,

I am a 23 year old, straight monogamous male. Or at least I was. One of my closest female childhood friends, that identifies as bi, recently asked me out. However, it has been clear, both before that time and now, that she is interested in a poly relationship. As it stands she has nobody in particular in mind beyond me, but the idea of being "tied down", as she puts it, to just me, was enough to put her through a nervous breakdown. We've been so close for years that I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with her, and I suppose that's part of my problem.

I've always been monogamous. My one serious prior relationship was monogamous and I was completely happy with the experience (broken up by long distance in the end). While I myself am not particularly religious, my family is Roman Catholic, and while extremely open as such, don't see them being too happy with what I'm going along with here. I have nothing against the idea of poly myself, I merely have never considered it (beyond it's existence in our favorite scifi author Heinlein's novels), up until now.

My reservations on the idea stem from that fact. I've managed to go through my life completely happy in monogamous relationships, and the status quo of what I have (stable loving family, less complicated plans for the future), come into jeopardy for this relationship. Because I still feel that I'm very much "hard wired mono," I don't really see any particular reason to become poly, other than of course my love for my now girlfriend.

But that is enough for me. What problems I have with poly stem more from a logistical standpoint than anything, and I am more than happy to explore this lifestyle if it means that we can be together, and she can be happy. I am simply worried whether or not I will be able to adjust to this lifestyle. The additional bridges I would have to cross if she becomes interested in another man, or if I have more trouble than I expect getting over my jealousy or security issues.


We are very good about communication (came with the years), and by talking to her about this topic we've come to an understanding about how we will go about it. To accommodate my current.... mindset, we've agreed to only date as a group. It would help resolve my early jealousy issues, and yet satisfies her desire and exposes me to poly. As she has been interested in this for a while, she is much more versed in how to go about it than I. However, she also has never been in any serious relationship with anyone, and so I worry she may be a tad naive or idealistic on some topics. And so for different reasons, we are both treading on new ground. We know we'll just have to take it slow, and approach new things one step at a time.

This is one of those steps, at least for me. It is reassuring to see a thriving online community that's gone through all of the things we are likely to face, and so I intend to utilize this resource to further explore the questions and concerns I have. And so this is my obligatory hello first post, and I suspect not my last.

-Zachary
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:57 AM
SchrodingersCat's Avatar
SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownTheRabbitHole View Post
I am simply worried whether or not I will be able to adjust to this lifestyle. The additional bridges I would have to cross if she becomes interested in another man, or if I have more trouble than I expect getting over my jealousy or security issues.
If you're not running away at the mere idea, then confidence that you can deal with any issues as they arise will go a long way towards that goal.

Quote:
We are very good about communication (came with the years), and by talking to her about this topic we've come to an understanding about how we will go about it.
That's awesome! A lot of people start from a "we want to be poly" ground and then have to learn the communication skills required to make it work. If you already have that, you're miles ahead of the game!

Quote:
To accommodate my current.... mindset, we've agreed to only date as a group. It would help resolve my early jealousy issues, and yet satisfies her desire and exposes me to poly.
I'm assuming you mean dating other people, not that the two of you only go out when there are other people (like the way some teen's parents try to make them do).

Getting your feet wet slowly and just getting used to the feelings of poly is a great idea. It sounds like you're committed to making it work, so I don't fear that you will try to hold your partner back. That's awesome!

Quote:
As she has been interested in this for a while, she is much more versed in how to go about it than I. However, she also has never been in any serious relationship with anyone, and so I worry she may be a tad naive or idealistic on some topics.
That's a good observation and not without foundation. If it's any encouragement, my own husband was never in a serious relationship before we got together, and he's doing great with it. In all honesty, I'd be more confident about someone who had never been in a serious relationship vs someone who has been in dozens! If she's been true to herself to this point, to realize that the other people she's dated were not long-term material for her, not settling for someone who doesn't make her heart do flutter, and now she feels that you are, then she probably has a good sense of herself and what she wants out of life. I would never want to be someone's 4th wife... they've obviously proven that they don't have what it takes to stick to it for the long haul, combined with the naiveté to believe each time that "this time will be different"

Another thing, even though she's poly, it's still OK for you to be monogamous. You don't have to keep up with her or do the same things she does. There are a number of people here who are monogamous and in relationships with people who are poly, and it works very well for them. To this end, you may want to "wean yourself off" the group dates as you get comfortable with being in a relationship with a polyamorous person.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:37 AM
DownTheRabbitHole DownTheRabbitHole is offline
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From what I can gather about myself and my concerns about how I'll handle this emotionally, I felt that the best way, early on, for me to deal with what jealousy issues I'm certain I will encounter, will be if that what relationships we pursue beyond each other be, well, as a team. I'm making the assumption that I'll be more accepting of additional people in the relationship if I also am very familiar with them, as opposed to them being some remote acquaintance that she met somewhere. As you said, I expect that as I grow more comfortable with the system, things will change to a more practical one. But for now, as I'm still very much new to the concept emotionally I asked her that we pursue everything as a team, and she is happy to oblige.

I don't want to assume that I will be mono dating her in the end, as I mentioned I really have nothing against the idea, I've merely never considered it. I plan to leave all of my options open, and she is much happier that I am. Her ideal poly relationship would involve, well I guess a group. I don't know terminology for these sorts of things yet, but basically the more romantically and emotionally attached to each other we all are, the better. Both she and I are less comfortable with what I can only describe as a variety of interconnected pairings.

I recognize I may not be emotionally capable of following suit on her ideal relationship but I'm willing to give it a try. Only time will tell.
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