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Old 12-10-2010, 01:20 AM
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Hi

I don't know if my situation is technically polyamory or anything, but I'm hoping that I might be able to get some advice here.

I am in an open, long-distance relationship - we both agree that the time we spend apart (which is for months at a time, 5,000 miles apart) we are free to see other people. We don't consider ourselves to be officially 'dating', but when we are in the same place, we are together and act in every way as a couple. We have both been burned badly in past long-term monogamous relationships and are both very reluctant to commit to that at the moment. What we have works very well for both of us.

I would like us to be very open about the other affairs we have, but he has said he doesn't want to know what I get up to, so we have a 'don't ask don't tell' with the flipside that he will tell if I ask. I do feel pangs of jealousy when I see photos of him with other girls; but then I am very much enjoying seeing other people myself, so can hardly deny him, I do feel secure in how he feels about me, and in many ways I am pleased to know that he is enjoying himself away from me and not just moping (I guess I have some compersion there - I've been reading and learning the lingo!)

So far I have had very short-term flings and one nights - with people that I know are leaving etc. Recently I have met a man that I am getting on with very well and I think it has the potential to be a more defined relationship. I've only known him a week, we haven't even gone out on our first proper 'date' yet as I was ill when were supposed to meet, but we've been talking every day and getting to know each other, and already there is more to this than most of my other affairs.

It's early days to worry this, but at what stage is it appropriate to bring up the open nature of my other relationship with this new man? I was thinking of giving it a few weeks, 3 dates or so, and if it is going well, then sitting down with him and explaining my situation.

Is there any accepted etiquette about this kind of thing? Any insight is welcome.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:23 AM
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Your mileage may vary, but I meet guys on a dating site open to poly people (but we are in the minority). I say I am poly in my profile, so most men who msg me know it upfront. Some dont carefully read my profile, however, but I always let them know before the first date. I guess I lose some guys because of that, but better to let them know before we start caring too deeply for each other, is my opinion.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:11 AM
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Polyamory is different for everyone. To me, I'd just say you're in an open mono relationship. You say you've not yet had a relationship with anyone else, just dates and one nighters? Seems like you've been in it for the sex. [doesn't have to be a bad thing!] But you also say you've met this guy you could have more with. I think that could be polyamory, if you do end up loving him. I don't personally enjoy that the openess is gone when you guys are together again either. Poly isn't something you can just turn on and off.

I hope you have a good time in whatever it is you're wanting to do though and hope it's something that makes you happy. Because that is the most important thing. =] If you want to talk more personally at anytime, feel free to send a PM my way. Welcome to the site.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:42 AM
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I would think you will know when the time is right. Sometimes people talk about their relationship status on the first date, sometimes the third, whatever feels comfortable. Everyone has their own pace. But when you do talk about it, I don't see it as having to be much harder than saying, "I am seeing someone but we are not exclusive and are free to see other people." At least while you're first getting to know him. If it progresses and he wants to know more details, then supply what you feel comfortable with.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:39 AM
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Here are some great threads I found by doing a search in the tags... I don't know, maybe it will help.

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2513
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1742

There is lots more if you start searching in tags and stickies on DADT and when to tell a prospective partner that you are poly or the like.

Generally it seems to be an established theme that the best time to tell someone you are not monogamous is in your dating profile. As soon as possible is not soon enough. In your dating profile you don't even have to meet the person, if they see you aren't mono then they can decide for themselves what to make of you and if you are worth contacting. Why get involved, fall in love and make plans if you are essentially lying about who you really are... if I were in your shoes I would be telling him right this very second... you are not being truthful. I would be very upset if I found out a partner was not telling me the truth about who they were right from the beginning. I would lose trust before even getting started... Mind you DADT would create that kind of mistrust for me too. I wouldn't be with someone or in a situation where large parts of our lives are secret. I don't need details but I need to know what my partner is doing or I just eventually would feel there is no point in being together. I prefer to bond with my partner, connect on such experiences and build more depth rather than move further and further away from our connection. That has been the experience I have had with DADT anyways.
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Last edited by redpepper; 12-10-2010 at 05:50 AM. Reason: adding
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:22 AM
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Thanks, I'll read through all that carefully and those links, thankyou

Just to clarify a few things if it makes any difference
- a few of my affairs have been ongoing (well, two to be precise) just never, from my point of view, felt like they were ever going to be long term. The other parties in those knew of my open status from the start; from mutual friends in one case, and the other started as a one-nighter and then turned out we got on as well, but it was always a casual fwb kind of thing, although genuine friendship.

- we don't have secrets, I don't make any attempt to hide anything - my fundamental requirement in this relationship is communication and honesty, I've never been so honest with anyone. He just doesn't particularly want to hear about my affairs especially details. He does know about some that come up in natural conversation. He answers honestly when I ask about his. Personally I would prefer we were totally voluntarily open about it all - but I think he struggles with jealousy more than me so I respect his wishes.

- this new man I did not meet through a dating site, I don't use those, so there is no profile for him to check! I met him just chatting in a random public situation and swapped numbers, there are no mutual friends. It just doesn't seem like something to bring up via phone/text (how we're communicating now) and not sure about discussing it on a first date, before even of us even know if this is an important thing or not. I think there could be a great friendship here if the romance doesn't turn out and I don't want to blow everything early on by making it unneccesarily complicated.

Last edited by pixie; 12-10-2010 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somegeezer View Post
Seems like you've been in it for the sex. [doesn't have to be a bad thing!]
Pretty much....and I think it's a terrific thing no shame whatsoever!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somegeezer View Post
I don't personally enjoy that the openess is gone when you guys are together again either. Poly isn't something you can just turn on and off.
I guess we're still defining what our relationship exactly is, and that is a protracted process due to the long-distance component. I've just personally started some research into the philosophy of open relationships/polyamory (was aware of terms and the existence of a community but that was that) to help me figure out how I want this relationship to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somegeezer View Post
I hope you have a good time in whatever it is you're wanting to do though and hope it's something that makes you happy. Because that is the most important thing. =] If you want to talk more personally at anytime, feel free to send a PM my way. Welcome to the site.
Thankyou :-) I agree my personal happiness is my priority - one of my life philosophies now is that ultimately noone else is going to put you first, so you should put yourself first! (when it comes to equal relationships obv.....children are different, I don't have those yet!)

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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I would think you will know when the time is right. Sometimes people talk about their relationship status on the first date, sometimes the third, whatever feels comfortable. Everyone has their own pace. But when you do talk about it, I don't see it as having to be much harder than saying, "I am seeing someone but we are not exclusive and are free to see other people." At least while you're first getting to know him. If it progresses and he wants to know more details, then supply what you feel comfortable with.
Thanks nycindie. I appreciate the advice to be minimalist about it at first. I have a kind of honesty-diarrhoea - I'm the most transparent person ever and often feel the need to supply unneccesary details about myself! I will always answer anyone honestly even when maybe I should perhaps have more discretion in certain social circumstances. Hence why I feel uncertain about how to handle this, I guess.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixie View Post
Pretty much....and I think it's a terrific thing no shame whatsoever!
I'm glad it works for you. =] I've tried it and never enjoyed it. I'm in love with love itself and enjoy having closeness, even without sexual activity. =]

Quote:
I guess we're still defining what our relationship exactly is, and that is a protracted process due to the long-distance component. I've just personally started some research into the philosophy of open relationships/polyamory (was aware of terms and the existence of a community but that was that) to help me figure out how I want this relationship to work.
Yeah, I'm rather new to the term polyamory too. As I said, I would call your situation polyamory, but everyone's polyamory is different. I think if you're happy and they are all happy, it could easily be seen that way though.

Quote:
Thankyou :-) I agree my personal happiness is my priority - one of my life philosophies now is that ultimately noone else is going to put you first, so you should put yourself first! (when it comes to equal relationships obv.....children are different, I don't have those yet!)
Agreed 100% =] Making someone else happy by sacrificing your own happiness only causes a ton of emotional problems. Children are different because they can't actually help themselves though. Once they are old enough to look after themselves, it all becomes about you again. =]
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixie View Post
we don't have secrets, I don't make any attempt to hide anything - my fundamental requirement in this relationship is communication and honesty, I've never been so honest with anyone. He just doesn't particularly want to hear about my affairs especially details. He does know about some that come up in natural conversation. He answers honestly when I ask about his. Personally I would prefer we were totally voluntarily open about it all - but I think he struggles with jealousy more than me so I respect his wishes
This is more like an open relationship than DADT. DADT is more like an affair or cheating that is known but not spoken of. If sounds like everyone knows what is going on and who everyone is, but because of the casual sporting nature of it all its not worth getting into it. Would that be what you mean? I got confused because you use the word "affair" to describe. To me that indicates unknown, or barely known.

The thing is that is sounds like this new guy you have deeper feelings for. This can be quite common with the way things tend to go... I too went through a similar process to get to where I am. I wrote about it on my blog and throughout this entire forum... I have been very interested in this process as a whole. You can find something about it in the latter part of my blog if you are interested.

What seems to happen quite often on peoples journey to poly is that they open their relationship or are having casual ones and then it becomes something that just isn't enough or they find someone that opens their eyes to so much more than sex and play. For me it was through swinging and casual dating. I went along having a good time and then I realized, in meeting Mono, that I had not really been present in my own life and that in the partnership I had with PN.

It sounds like you have a journey coming up. To clarify: You have a man that also has sport sex with others and is casual and has NOT met someone that rocks his world and struggles with jealous. You have some feelings that there is something more and you now want to see what that is... you are moving into a different time. Not to mention that this new guy you have met doesn't know what is going on and could either be cool with it just being casual, could scorn you and be disgusted and say good bye, or be into a deep and meaningful connected relationship with you. You just don't know yet.

You have a lot of things to sort out it seems and are on the threshold of an amazing journey. I'm very excited for you and apprehensive as I have been through it (of course it will be your own though) and know what a wonderful fulfilled life you could have.

I hope that you and your partner take the time to read here and talk about what you find. There is so much here on this forum that will help... jealousy tags, vee tags, anything that you could read would help.

good luck.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:31 PM
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For sake of confusion I'll start using initials for people!! W= my open, long-distance relationship. T = the new guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
This is more like an open relationship than DADT. DADT is more like an affair or cheating that is known but not spoken of. If sounds like everyone knows what is going on and who everyone is, but because of the casual sporting nature of it all its not worth getting into it. Would that be what you mean? I got confused because you use the word "affair" to describe. To me that indicates unknown, or barely known.
I guess we're somewhere in between - 'don't ask, don't tell' were W's words, as in, he wasn't going to ask me and didn't expect me to volunteer information. 'affair' is just my own term, it seems silly to refer to a temporary thing based on sex as a 'relationship'! W knows about 1 of my 'affairs' as someone else stuck their oar in and told him. I know about 2 of his because I asked last time we were together. I'll ask again next time we're together. We have limited communcation long-distance at the moment and I don't want to waste precious time on what I see as minor details.

Do you have a link to your blog redpepper? Your post is really insightful and I'd like to read about your story :-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
It sounds like you have a journey coming up. To clarify: You have a man that also has sport sex with others and is casual and has NOT met someone that rocks his world and struggles with jealous. You have some feelings that there is something more and you now want to see what that is... you are moving into a different time.
Almost. W and I pretty much rock each others worlds though. W is one of my absolute best friends; if I believed in souldmates he'd be it. We've both been badly burned by Love and are taking things slow, emotionally (at least out loud). We are both very open, sexual people. I'm very excited to follow where this relationship leads.


Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Not to mention that this new guy you have met doesn't know what is going on and could either be cool with it just being casual, could scorn you and be disgusted and say good bye, or be into a deep and meaningful connected relationship with you. You just don't know yet.
This is right - T is funny, cute, we click, we get on, communicating daily since we met, concerned about me when I was ill and had to cancel our date, sending me things to cheer me up, flirty......I have a good feeling about this one. Just feel I need to get straight in my head how I might handle telling him about W if it gets that far, before it does.
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