Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-20-2011, 08:01 AM
walterherbert walterherbert is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 3
Default to Love or to Crush

I've been doing a lot of reading about polyamory this past month, and coming from a strong monogamous background I find myself at times questioning what it is that I think and feel. Having never been in a poly relationship yet now learning a great deal about it, I feel like I am open to its possibilities. I guess you could say I'm poly curious.

I started looking into poly because of a new relationship that entered my life. I've been in a serious committed mono relationship for a little over 7 years now, and everything is great. She is a great person, I love her dearly, and couldn't imagine not having her as a part of my life. Even so, these last few years I've noticed myself developing what I would call crushes. I've had a few women enter my life who I've started to develop strong feelings for and I've known, or at least thought I knew that I couldn't be falling in love because I love my wife entirely.

Now here I am again in this situation, but it is stronger than ever before. The way that we speak, the things that we do, the way that I feel when I am around this woman seems to mirror the way my wife and I got together. I've been telling myself that it must be just a crush, but in truth I think it is something more. I know how she feels about me, but with my preconceived notions of love I'm not sure entirely sure what it is I'm feeling. I know that polyamory is quite literally a love for many, so I guess my question is how do you make the distinction between a love and a crush? Before it seemed like what I was feeling had to be a crush by default, but now I can't believe that. Is the distinction different, or perhaps more clear in the poly community then in that of the mono? I feel like I'm falling somewhere in between.

Walter
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-20-2011, 02:42 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New England USA
Posts: 1,231
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by walterherbert View Post
......... I know that polyamory is quite literally a love for many, so I guess my question is how do you make the distinction between a love and a crush? Before it seemed like what I was feeling had to be a crush by default, but now I can't believe that. Is the distinction different, or perhaps more clear in the poly community then in that of the mono? I feel like I'm falling somewhere in between.

Walter
Hey Walter,

I think that in order for you to answer any of the questions you've put forth you have to get some clear definitions down. Preferably in writing

We all toss around a lot of terms like crush, infatuation, love, etc but when we actually sit back and try to understand them in context we discover we don't even have a clear fixed definitive of the words ! And lacking that, how can we possibly get an accurate answer to a question such as about 'loving' someone etc.

But to take a totally different track - how would it sit if I suggested that it really doesn't even matter.

As we go through life we come in contact with others. With some of these we discover some 'connection'. That feeling that there's something we need to explore about each other. There's some lesson in there for us.
Sometimes it's nothing but sexual tension/curiosity. If we pursue it, it flashes in the pan and burns out quickly. Sometimes that's all we want - but we get more. And there's endless permutations possible. And we can't do a damn thing about it - save to choose to explore or ignore. Once we choose, it will be what it will be. We're just along for the ride

So pick your labels as you will. It really doesn't matter. If you can have it make some sense to yourself - and that makes you feel better - awesome.

GS
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-20-2011, 06:54 PM
BlackUnicorn's Avatar
BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 906
Default

Welcome!

Have you talked about your feelings to your lady wife?
__________________
Me: bi female in my twenties
Dating: Moonlightrunner
Metamour: Windflower
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-20-2011, 08:08 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,235
Default Uncovering love

Hi Walter,
What strikes me about your post is when you say, "I knew that I couldn't be falling in love because I love my wife entirely." It is possible to love your wife entirely AND to love someone else entirely. To me, loving someone entirely doesn't mean that they have all of my love, but that I love all of them. No one can really have all of someone's love because there is no shortage of love.


I think of it thusly: Love is at the center of all of us and what connects us to other human beings and other living things. It's the essence of who we are and fuels our passions, will to live, etc. All that happens when we feel love directed toward someone is that we let that person get close enough to us, or let ourselves get close enough to them, that they were able uncover the love that resides within us all the time. There is no end to that love. And sometimes someone new can tap into it and touch that love without a long ritual of getting closer -- for whatever reason, we sometimes just experience an instant heart connection with another and that connection allows them to touch the well of love we have. And that person may not even be in our life for very long but our feeling connected to them, and feeling our hearts expand, is undeniable.


Now the love we feel for a partner can grow deeper and stronger, as we become closer to that person, trust them more, know them very well, and find ourselves more "in tune" with each other. It's like we let them in further to that deep well of love that we have inside us, and it is comforting to have a special someone who has access to such a profound and inner part of us. But they don't consume ALL the love we have. There is always more love to give. We give it to friends, relatives, children, etc. We can love them entirely as well, but again that does not mean our love is used up entirely, just that we love them for all of who they are. The well of love is bottomless. So it is just a matter of whom we allow ourselves to get close enough to, or feel a connection to, when we love other people beside a special partner or spouse whom we have let in deeper than anyone else.


Now, all that being said, there is such a things as a crush or infatuation. That is usually a chemical bath we get dipped in! We are beings who have instincts and hormones and when the chemistry gets activated, we become aroused, euphoric, and dopey (on dopamine), beyond all reason. And it is beyond reason, because it's a very physical, chemical response, not a logical one. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to discern when it is just chemicals and when it is an instant heart connection, but I would suspect you can try by asking yourself whether it's a more deeply felt sense of oneness with a person rather than a heady physical turn-on. Maybe that will help sort it out, but it's best to not be too intellectual about it.


We can enjoy these crushes without necessarily acting upon them. Intimacy is not always sex, nor should it always lead to sex. There are all kinds of intimate situations we find ourselves with others -- a work environment, for example -- where we get closer to people and feel these heady feelings, but it would be inappropriate to take it further. For example, whenever I've been in a cast of actors in a play or on a movie set, and we've spent a very intense amount of time together, usually two things happen: we all get a cold and pass it around (!), and someone hooks up and becomes a couple. After the production is over, their relationship fizzles and they get upset. They thought it was love! However, they didn't have what it needed to keep it going after the parameters surrounding how they met fell away, because it wasn't meant to be an ongoing love relationship. They could have just allowed themselves to experience the intimacy of working closely together in an emotional environment, and to feel closeness, infatuation, and the chemistry, without taking it a step further and engaging sexually. They could have just had a casual physical liaison without expectations to keep it going, or trying to make it into something serious. But we are a touch-deprived society and afraid or unsure of intimacy in general.


And sometimes it's perfectly fine and healing and needed in some way to act upon these feelings, connect deeper with someone, and engage ourselves with them physically. Yes, even what someone observing from without might call a one-night stand can be the most healing thing in the world to the people involved. It's a matter of how connected you are to the other person and to yourself, your feelings. You ask yourself good questions. If it's just chemicals and a crush, are you willing and able to allow yourself to be immersed into it fully and know that later you may never see that person again or be able to take it further for practical reasons in your life? If it's someone with whom you feel a sense of oneness and connection to that well of love you have, can you handle the responsibility that comes with such an involvement?


So, there really is no one answer and no formula to tell you unequivocally how to know what to do. I think it just takes a certain amount of self-knowledge and self-examination. However, it does make things all messy and cheap if there is dishonesty and cheating going on. Communication not only lets the loved ones in our lives know what's going on, but it helps us figure out what we're feeling.

I hope this helps and doesn't confuse you even more!
Welcome!
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-21-2011, 04:52 AM
walterherbert walterherbert is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 3
Default

Thank you all for your kind responses. GroundedSpirit, that makes perfect sense to me. I was to hung up on the terminology, and made what should be a simple matter of the heart in to an overly complicated mess. I do that a lot. I really like the concept you mentioned of living with out labels. I've applied it to other areas of my life, it seems so natural here as well.

nycindie, I think you touched on the heart of my dilemma. I had thought of love in one way for so long, that I had thought it to be singular. Lately, I have been questioning that a lot. It makes sense for love to be shared, not given and taken. If something makes me happy, I want to share it with everyone, not just those who are closest to me.

I do think that it is possible that I am getting caught up in NRE. I don't lust for this new woman in my life, instead I find myself admiring her mind, and the conversations we share. Also she is very affectionate, which is something I've always adored. Your words certainly helped me put my thoughts in to more order.

As for my wife, I've talked to her about it only once, and briefly. The woman I am falling for has been a mutual friend of ours for years. Both my wife, and her have at different points in time told me they have a crush on each other. Neither has ever acted on it, its just there, and I'm fine with it. If they did want to embrace it, it wouldn't bother me because I trust, respect and care deeply for both of them. I would just like to be keep in the loop if something did happen. That said, the one time I brought up my "crush" to my wife she was offended. She knows that the other woman is in an open relationship, and was afraid that she would try to steal me away from her. I know that she isn't that type of person, but I wasn't about to try to argue with her about it. So I let it go. Sense then my feelings have continued to grow, but I've been holding them back. I won't cheat, I would rather be honest and a mess, than deceitfully embrace this. I know our friend isn't that type of person either. I don't want to hurt my wife either. I would rather remain friends and married, that try to force the issue create heart ache for all. I guess I just don't want to lose what I have with either of these terrific ladies. That, and perhaps more importantly to understand what it is that I'm feeling so I can live in a way that is true to myself.

Walter
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-23-2011, 03:36 PM
BlackUnicorn's Avatar
BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 906
Default

So am I getting it right that your wife and this other lady are interested in each other as well, or at least have been? But your wife does not want to try to pursue any form of relationship with the three of you, even as a triad?
__________________
Me: bi female in my twenties
Dating: Moonlightrunner
Metamour: Windflower
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-23-2011, 10:17 PM
magikman79's Avatar
magikman79 magikman79 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: College Station TX
Posts: 53
Default triad

When a Triad relationship really works the rewards are immense. It was a feeling my wife & I had never felt before, it was as if she completed a part of us we never knew was missing.
__________________
"The more a thing is perfect, the more if feels pleasure and pain."

Our Blog

My Facebook

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-24-2011, 06:47 AM
redpepper's Avatar
redpepper redpepper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,634
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by walterherbert View Post
I don't lust for this new woman in my life, instead I find myself admiring her mind, and the conversations we share. Also she is very affectionate, which is something I've always adored. Your words certainly helped me put my thoughts in to more order.

.....Both my wife, and her have at different points in time told me they have a crush on each other.
Quote:
Originally Posted by magikman79 View Post
When a Triad relationship really works the rewards are immense. It was a feeling my wife & I had never felt before, it was as if she completed a part of us we never knew was missing.
It sounds like he is talking more about a possible vee relationship no? as he admires this woman but doesn't necessarily love her?

Maybe I missed what you were referring to magikman, but as it followed walter's last post I am assuming it was that post you were referring to... your post doesn't seem to follow somehow... sorry, confused

Perhaps your partner and this woman Walter, admire each other also... who knows what their definition of a "crush" is. You'd have to ask them I think.
__________________
Anyone want to be friends on Facebook?
Send me your name via PM
My blog
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-24-2011, 01:20 PM
walterherbert walterherbert is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 3
Default

That sounds about right BlackUnicorn. My wife expressed interest in her (on multiple occasions) to me, but never to our friend. Our friend has expressed interest in each of us separately, and has been rather open with her feelings. While I think our friend and myself would be open to the idea of a triad, or some other formation, I don't think my wife would be. Obviously I can't know for certain with out asking her.

From what I've gathered she seems to like our friend, but definitely not enough to take an action, she is more of a sub. That and she has some severe trust issues from past relationships, because of which I'm quite certain she wouldn't want to share me. The only way I see it working would be if my wife and our friend were to start a relationship first. If that happened then she might open her mind to the possibility. I feel deeply that if I broached the topic to her she would feel hurt and offended again, I accuse me of wanting to cheat on her. All rational thought would go right out the window. The most important thing to me is that I don't ruin my marriage, I'm not sure if I could handle that.

Perhaps if I give it time I can find a more natural way, less abrupt way to mention my feelings to her again. I'm sure it is a lot for anyone to hear.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-24-2011, 08:20 PM
cuddinrick cuddinrick is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NE. Ohio
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Hi Walter,
What strikes me about your post is when you say, "I knew that I couldn't be falling in love because I love my wife entirely." It is possible to love your wife entirely AND to love someone else entirely. To me, loving someone entirely doesn't mean that they have all of my love, but that I love all of them. No one can really have all of someone's love because there is no shortage of love.


I think of it thusly: Love is at the center of all of us and what connects us to other human beings and other living things. It's the essence of who we are and fuels our passions, will to live, etc. All that happens when we feel love directed toward someone is that we let that person get close enough to us, or let ourselves get close enough to them, that they were able uncover the love that resides within us all the time. There is no end to that love. And sometimes someone new can tap into it and touch that love without a long ritual of getting closer -- for whatever reason, we sometimes just experience an instant heart connection with another and that connection allows them to touch the well of love we have. And that person may not even be in our life for very long but our feeling connected to them, and feeling our hearts expand, is undeniable.


Now the love we feel for a partner can grow deeper and stronger, as we become closer to that person, trust them more, know them very well, and find ourselves more "in tune" with each other. It's like we let them in further to that deep well of love that we have inside us, and it is comforting to have a special someone who has access to such a profound and inner part of us. But they don't consume ALL the love we have. There is always more love to give. We give it to friends, relatives, children, etc. We can love them entirely as well, but again that does not mean our love is used up entirely, just that we love them for all of who they are. The well of love is bottomless. So it is just a matter of whom we allow ourselves to get close enough to, or feel a connection to, when we love other people beside a special partner or spouse whom we have let in deeper than anyone else.


Now, all that being said, there is such a things as a crush or infatuation. That is usually a chemical bath we get dipped in! We are beings who have instincts and hormones and when the chemistry gets activated, we become aroused, euphoric, and dopey (on dopamine), beyond all reason. And it is beyond reason, because it's a very physical, chemical response, not a logical one. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to discern when it is just chemicals and when it is an instant heart connection, but I would suspect you can try by asking yourself whether it's a more deeply felt sense of oneness with a person rather than a heady physical turn-on. Maybe that will help sort it out, but it's best to not be too intellectual about it.


We can enjoy these crushes without necessarily acting upon them. Intimacy is not always sex, nor should it always lead to sex. There are all kinds of intimate situations we find ourselves with others -- a work environment, for example -- where we get closer to people and feel these heady feelings, but it would be inappropriate to take it further. For example, whenever I've been in a cast of actors in a play or on a movie set, and we've spent a very intense amount of time together, usually two things happen: we all get a cold and pass it around (!), and someone hooks up and becomes a couple. After the production is over, their relationship fizzles and they get upset. They thought it was love! However, they didn't have what it needed to keep it going after the parameters surrounding how they met fell away, because it wasn't meant to be an ongoing love relationship. They could have just allowed themselves to experience the intimacy of working closely together in an emotional environment, and to feel closeness, infatuation, and the chemistry, without taking it a step further and engaging sexually. They could have just had a casual physical liaison without expectations to keep it going, or trying to make it into something serious. But we are a touch-deprived society and afraid or unsure of intimacy in general.


And sometimes it's perfectly fine and healing and needed in some way to act upon these feelings, connect deeper with someone, and engage ourselves with them physically. Yes, even what someone observing from without might call a one-night stand can be the most healing thing in the world to the people involved. It's a matter of how connected you are to the other person and to yourself, your feelings. You ask yourself good questions. If it's just chemicals and a crush, are you willing and able to allow yourself to be immersed into it fully and know that later you may never see that person again or be able to take it further for practical reasons in your life? If it's someone with whom you feel a sense of oneness and connection to that well of love you have, can you handle the responsibility that comes with such an involvement?


So, there really is no one answer and no formula to tell you unequivocally how to know what to do. I think it just takes a certain amount of self-knowledge and self-examination. However, it does make things all messy and cheap if there is dishonesty and cheating going on. Communication not only lets the loved ones in our lives know what's going on, but it helps us figure out what we're feeling.

I hope this helps and doesn't confuse you even more!
Welcome!

Yeah what she said. I wish I could express myself like that. Well said Cindie.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
crush, curious, infatuation, love

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:30 PM.