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  #1  
Old 04-26-2011, 06:22 PM
BFTrick BFTrick is offline
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Default When/Where to Discuss Being Poly

Hi There,

I kind of want to talk about two things: (1) my current thoughts on relationships and (2) where I am now with my relationships. If you can read all the way through the first part I have some questions about where I should go from here.

My Current Thoughts on Relationships

Let me start with I have never been in a poly relationship nor have I ever met a poly person in real life. I am fascinated by the idea and I want to explore it.

I am starting to believe that significant others are just really good friends. I don't think there is any special magic that makes a girlfriend any different than a girl you are friends with. That extra connection you feel towards your girlfriend is something you create and it is based on whatever makes you like people.

Having thought about this for a little bit this is the route I want to take if I ever get into another relationship. I want to be friends first and see where things go from there.

My Current Status with Relationships

I have been single for about 7 months and I am feeling great after getting out of a not so good relationship. There is a girl (we can call her M) that I have been friends with for years and I like her but I don't want to get into a relationship. I want to build a connection with her but I don't want to put any pressures on her or visa versa. This girl goes to university 3 hours away and I want her to feel free to date other people and generally do whatever she wants. When we do see each other I want to express how I feel about her but I don't want her to be tied down.

I let M know that I like her and we decided that not putting a label on us is the best place for us to start. We both like each other and I think we want to see where it goes before attaching any labels. But we haven't really talked about being poly. It is on my facebook page but we never talked about it. And I feel that I owe it to her to talk about it even though we are still just friends. I am of course scared to do so because I feel all warm and bubbly for the first time in many months I don't want to scare her away. It is worth mentioning that even though we are officially just friends we have kissed and have expressed some intimate thoughts and emotions.

To make things more confusing there is another girl in this story (we can call her K) that wants to be physical with me. I don't want to be anything with K but I wouldn't mind some playful sex. Despite the fact that M & I aren't a couple I still want to tell her. I feel that it is the right thing to do.

I know polyamory is all about being open and honest but when is the best time to tell M? How do I bring this up? Would it be easier to not talk about K (and obviously not have sex with her) until after M & I have talked about poly and sorted through it?

My last thought bugs me the most. How do I know if I'm poly? I would like to think that I am. I know I'm not very jealous and I know that I want my friends to be happy - sometimes even at my expense. I feel that these qualities tend to be found in poly people. But it is hard to know until I have been in a poly relationship. A corollary is that if I am not poly and I find out it doesn't work what if I just threw away a perfectly good relationship with a great girl?
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:55 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Originally Posted by BFTrick View Post
Let me start with I have never been in a poly relationship nor have I ever met a poly person in real life. I am fascinated by the idea and I want to explore it.

I am starting to believe that significant others are just really good friends. I don't think there is any special magic that makes a girlfriend any different than a girl you are friends with. That extra connection you feel towards your girlfriend is something you create and it is based on whatever makes you like people.

Having thought about this for a little bit this is the route I want to take if I ever get into another relationship. I want to be friends first and see where things go from there.
This is certainly an interesting way to think about it. That said, I have really good friends, I have my wife, and I have my crushes. They are definitely on different levels of feeling to me. I am a straight guy, however, and all of my really good friends are also men (by design, as I have thus far avoided cultivating close friendships with women for fear of falling for them and straying in my currently-mono marriage).

Quote:
(...likes M, but hasn't discussed poly with her for fear of scaring her away...)

To make things more confusing there is another girl in this story (we can call her K) that wants to be physical with me. I don't want to be anything with K but I wouldn't mind some playful sex. Despite the fact that M & I aren't a couple I still want to tell her. I feel that it is the right thing to do.

I know polyamory is all about being open and honest but when is the best time to tell M? How do I bring this up? Would it be easier to not talk about K (and obviously not have sex with her) until after M & I have talked about poly and sorted through it?
M will be very hurt if you sleep with K and only tell her after the fact, I suspect. Society has conditioned us all to think that, by default, we pursue with the goal of exclusivity. If you desire to be poly, then, yes, I believe the honorable course of action is to tell M about that, first, before sleeping with K. Tell M about K, and tell K about M (and have the poly talk with K, too). Make it clear to K that you just want an FWB arrangement. You may end up not getting together with either of them as the result of being honest, but you will at least avoid severe hurt feelings later on, and you will have a clean conscience. You can't buy that.

Quote:
My last thought bugs me the most. How do I know if I'm poly? I would like to think that I am. I know I'm not very jealous and I know that I want my friends to be happy - sometimes even at my expense. I feel that these qualities tend to be found in poly people. But it is hard to know until I have been in a poly relationship. A corollary is that if I am not poly and I find out it doesn't work what if I just threw away a perfectly good relationship with a great girl?
There will be others, and you may even be able to reconcile after some time. How do you know if you're poly? If you're in love with one girl, and you feel like you're falling crazy in love with another, too, you're probably poly. If you're in love with one girl, and despite your best efforts not to think of another girl you know, you can't stop thinking about her and can't stop imagining sharing part of your life with her but don't want to toss away the relationship with the first girl, you're probably poly.

At least, that's how it is with me. I hope that helps.
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2011, 11:08 AM
bella123456 bella123456 is offline
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My last thought bugs me the most. How do I know if I'm poly?
This sentence was the one that struck me.

Most of the people I know are poly in one way or another. Most of the people I know, many of them in long term mono relationships have developed deep intimate connections with other people other than their primary love. In some ways, many people are poly by nature, but not by practice. Many of those people have had affairs, or have not done so.....and have experienced the pain of letting someone they love go because of it.

Sometimes there can be various levels of denial about those connections...or what they mean. Or people can, and rightly so - choose not to pursue others they feel connected with.

In someways, a more important question can be "Do I want to be poly, do I have the skills and capacity to be poly, and could that be fulfilling for me, could I fulfill others that way ?"

Best of luck
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:09 PM
BFTrick BFTrick is offline
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M will be very hurt if you sleep with K and only tell her after the fact, I suspect. Society has conditioned us all to think that, by default, we pursue with the goal of exclusivity. If you desire to be poly, then, yes, I believe the honorable course of action is to tell M about that, first, before sleeping with K. Tell M about K, and tell K about M (and have the poly talk with K, too). Make it clear to K that you just want an FWB arrangement. You may end up not getting together with either of them as the result of being honest, but you will at least avoid severe hurt feelings later on, and you will have a clean conscience. You can't buy that.
*Sigh* I think I already knew the answer I just needed someone else to say it. The right course of action is being fully honest and upfront about the issues with both ladies. I will probably see M this weekend so I hope to have a (positive) update.


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Originally Posted by bella123456 View Post
Most of the people I know are poly in one way or another. Most of the people I know, many of them in long term mono relationships have developed deep intimate connections with other people other than their primary love. In some ways, many people are poly by nature, but not by practice. Many of those people have had affairs, or have not done so.....and have experienced the pain of letting someone they love go because of it.

Sometimes there can be various levels of denial about those connections...or what they mean. Or people can, and rightly so - choose not to pursue others they feel connected with.
This is my current belief. I think that everyone is poly to some degree. But these people just choose not to cultivate new relationships with people. Or they do it in secret.

I have a male friend that I have become really close friends with and we have shared some intimate moments together. Nothing sexual just really intense personal feelings and if he was a girl I could see pursuing a physically intimate relationship. The weird thing (and this goes back to my first point) is that I feel close to him and other than a lack of sexual attraction I would totally 'date' him. So I just feel that being poly is just about letting yourself feel the way you feel and express your feelings.

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Originally Posted by bella123456 View Post
In someways, a more important question can be "Do I want to be poly, do I have the skills and capacity to be poly, and could that be fulfilling for me, could I fulfill others that way?"
This is a good question because it is so difficult. I feel that being poly is that natural thing but in our society it certainly isn't the easy thing. Sadly I do enough other weird things that make me hard to date so I don't know if I can add being poly to my list of unusual things (vegetarian, yoga, painting toy soldiers, crazy sex stuff, etc). I imagine that people already in the poly community are pretty accepting of weird hobbies but it doesn't seem like the mainstream society is accepting of the weird hobbies. On a side note I am amazed how many people think it is weird for a guy to be interested in vegetarianism and yoga.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:49 AM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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So I just feel that being poly is just about letting yourself feel the way you feel and express your feelings.
Yes!

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Originally Posted by BFTrick View Post
Sadly I do enough other weird things that make me hard to date so I don't know if I can add being poly to my list of unusual things (vegetarian, yoga, painting toy soldiers, crazy sex stuff, etc). I imagine that people already in the poly community are pretty accepting of weird hobbies but it doesn't seem like the mainstream society is accepting of the weird hobbies. On a side note I am amazed how many people think it is weird for a guy to be interested in vegetarianism and yoga.
How do you know if you are gay? Some people just know, often from quite early on. Then there are those who have their suspicions, but for the lack of opportunity/general aversion to labels/fear of societal condemnation put the thought on hold until something happens that provides them with material for comparison. And then there are those who have no clue until they fall for someone of the same sex, BIG time. And sexual orientation can change during the life course, sometimes many times.

So how is poly different? I agree wholeheartedly with Bella. Self-educate before, during and after exploration. Seek out the local poly community, go to meets and look for that little spark of recognition; 'This is how I feel, this is what I have been missing all along'.

As to your list of weirdness; vegetarian (check), yoga (check), toy soldiers (Hmm, does playing knights count? And getting all hot and bothered over military history?), weird sex stuff (check). Add, I dunno, SF enthusiasm and more than a small dose of anarchism. Point being? There are a lot of WEIRDOS in poly. Gamers, BDSM folks, alternative lifestyle hippies etc. I guess many people who are interested in marginal things that label them WEIRDO in the mainstream realize that you don't actually die from being different, and if this basic belief that holds society together (difference equals death) doesn't hold true, maybe there are other beliefs that don't - say, single standard lifetime monogamy as the Only True Way of romantic relations?
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:36 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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I am starting to believe that significant others are just really good friends. I don't think there is any special magic that makes a girlfriend any different than a girl you are friends with. That extra connection you feel towards your girlfriend is something you create and it is based on whatever makes you like people.
In my world you can't dissect a relationship like that. romantic relationships are combinations of each type of relationship. One single aspect doesn't make a significant other.

Friendship, lust, crushing, intellectual interest, romantic interest all make up the people I "love".

The reason I explain it like that is because I have seen relationships last a long time where they had everything but friendship. It happens. Relationships can be built on many foundations. As long as that foundation is strong, everything else is fine.

Quote:
I have been single for about 7 months and I am feeling great after getting out of a not so good relationship. There is a girl (we can call her M) that I have been friends with for years and I like her but I don't want to get into a relationship. I want to build a connection with her but I don't want to put any pressures on her or visa versa. This girl goes to university 3 hours away and I want her to feel free to date other people and generally do whatever she wants. When we do see each other I want to express how I feel about her but I don't want her to be tied down.

I let M know that I like her and we decided that not putting a label on us is the best place for us to start. We both like each other and I think we want to see where it goes before attaching any labels. But we haven't really talked about being poly. It is on my facebook page but we never talked about it. And I feel that I owe it to her to talk about it even though we are still just friends. I am of course scared to do so because I feel all warm and bubbly for the first time in many months I don't want to scare her away. It is worth mentioning that even though we are officially just friends we have kissed and have expressed some intimate thoughts and emotions.

To make things more confusing there is another girl in this story (we can call her K) that wants to be physical with me. I don't want to be anything with K but I wouldn't mind some playful sex. Despite the fact that M & I aren't a couple I still want to tell her. I feel that it is the right thing to do.
Isn't this just dating? Remove the poly from the picture and date the girls. You may not even be poly. You might find yourself more involved with one more than the other and it naturally takes care of itself.

Quote:
I know polyamory is all about being open and honest but when is the best time to tell M? How do I bring this up? Would it be easier to not talk about K (and obviously not have sex with her) until after M & I have talked about poly and sorted through it?
Poly is about loving more than one. Being open and honest is a good foundation for a relationship. But it isn't required. If you want the relationships to work at all, it sure helps though. You can't .. or its very hard... to build relationships on a foundation of lies.

Poly is like jenga. Build up the foundation, don't remove the pieces you need and you can keep adding on. If you find a piece being remove (lying, cheating etc)... your world might just topple around you.

Quote:
My last thought bugs me the most. How do I know if I'm poly?
When you love 2 or more people at once... thats when you know.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:28 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Poly is like jenga.
Nice Ariakas! This is my new favorite poly quote.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:21 PM
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Nice Ariakas! This is my new favorite poly quote.
I see it as tetris, is jenga similar?
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:03 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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I see it as tetris, is jenga similar?
Jenga is a block game, in 3rd. Essentially you want to build the building taller and taller by removing pieces from below. Remove to much in the wrong spot, it tumbles down..

"take a block from the bottom and put it on top, take a block from the middle and put it on top..."..haha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7H6w...eature=related

Last edited by Ariakas; 04-28-2011 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:22 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Jenga is a block game, in 3rd. Essentially you want to build the building taller and taller by removing pieces from below. Remove to much in the wrong spot, it tumbles down..

"take a block from the bottom and put it on top, take a block from the middle and put it on top..."..haha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7H6w...eature=related
ah right. You'd think I would know that; I have a child. Tetrus? Tetris? How is that spelt? Its more about fitting and jenga is more about balancing. Both are necessary.
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