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Old 09-29-2009, 04:11 AM
Serendipity Serendipity is offline
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Default When talking it through doesn't help..? Advice appreciated

I'll try to make this brief. I've recently opened my love life up to polyamory, and I entirely identify with the ideals it promotes, and the ability to allow our relationships to be just as they are, without boxing them up or saying always or never.

I've begun dating T, long distance. He does not identify as polyamorous, even though he's currently enjoying the fact that we have a sincere loving relationship, while I support him when he satisfies his sexual or intimate desires with other women, and he supports the primary relationship I have at home. He says that part of his reasoning for not identifying as Poly is because he may one day want an exclusive relationship with someone to be happy, and because he would empathize with a woman if she asked him to be monogamous with her.

We agree that our long distance relationship is important and meaningful to both of us, even though it obviously isn't based on constant physical presence. However, sexuality and romance are a very important aspect of the way we please one another, its simply limited to what we can accomplish over the internet, or during the points when we're able to visit each other.

Recently he's expressed interest in being with a girl in a primary relationship. No one specifically yet, and he doesn't plan on actively looking really, but he has decided that a regular relationship with more proximity is something he'd like. He has also expressed to me the possibility that if he falls in love with a girl who decides that for the two of them to be a serious couple, they'd need to be monogamous, he would consider leaving me to pursue it.

I stand firmly on the notion that he should make the choice that makes him happier. However its brought me a serious amount of insecurity and grief to feel like even though T and I might still have romantic feelings, he might chose to neglect them in exchange for other romantic feelings (based on whether or not a new primary relationship demands it, and whether he's willing to give up our relationship for it). The thing that really bothers me is that its a real risk in our relationship. I'm investing my emotions very heavily in this relationship, and i feel like I'm being given the kinds of return I need to make it worth it and to be happy this way, but it's pushing my comfort level to know that our relationship isn't about the freedom to love each other while we're in love, but instead to love each other unless someone who could make him happier wants otherwise.

And when we break it down in converstaion, I know its his choice in the end. But that's what bothers me, that he could chose one or the other, instead of honoring the love for what it is. I'd understand if he needed time with a new girl to establish a bond and trust, but that would be with the understanding that we're still allowed to express our true feelings again with time, and with goals in mind. Instead of just while its convinenient to love each other.

I know a lot of this is my own insecurity playing into fears, but the more we talk about it, the more it feels like a genuine risk and threat to our ability to be a couple. I'm not sure how to make peace with it, and I'm not sure how to approach it in a way that I can find a comfortable place. Worst of all, I'm not sure how to instruct him to comfort me. My usual fall back is to talk about it, but like i said, that makes me just upset all over again.

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this before, or at the very least have constructive thoughts for how I can approach these feelings. I've been trying to face them, and now I want to be able to let them go. Where do I begin?

***Edit*** Just wanted to clarify, I'm saying I know this is a situation that just sucks, and I have to try to get over it. I'm looking for advice on HOW to go about getting over it without just ending the relationship while the rest of it is lovely.

Last edited by Serendipity; 09-29-2009 at 05:55 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:01 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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This is one of the realities of any relationship, whether mono or poly. At any point, another person may find themselves moved to step away. It is a testament to the inherent emotional bravery of humans that we persist in chasing after connections in the face of this fundamental uncertainty.

Some folks just aren't poly. They may spend time sharing a lover in a poly arrangement, though that's not an indicator of whether or not they are fundamentally comfortable with it.

My most recent ex apparently never got completely comfortable with it. She was happy to spend time with me while still dreaming of finding somebody who lived closer and was mono. It wasn't apparent until near the end of the relationship, either.

You'll have to trust me that the grief passes and you'll be ready to connect again some time after. Until then, love honestly and pack away the good memories for as long as the relationship works.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:16 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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At a recent poly meeting I attend, one of the people there brought up an interesting point in his own relationship. He is poly, and she is mono. They communicated very openly and honestly about what that meant for them. Essentially they agreed to take as much positive from the relationship as possible and scale it back when their paths diverged. They want to retain their friendship and not part on a bad note which is very mature. I found this very radically honest and respectful. Others may simply have said "well it's not going to work so let's end it now" but they chose the mature loving path.

He is now feeling the pull to date others but is now facing the dilemma of being in love with his girlfriend and understandably not wanting to lose her. I get the feeling she is much more capable of reshaping her love. I feel for him but also recognize that they have already set agreements in place for this. I think monos are more capable of denying love for someone in order to maintain a healthy overall heart. My own pain pleasure balance is one I have become intimately attuned to and know what I can and can't be healthy in. It really is a nature thing and a wiring thing. I know it is hard to understand, similar to monos not understanding poly hearts.

Some things just are.

Take care
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:22 AM
Serendipity Serendipity is offline
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I'm quite fine with accepting the fact that we may not always love one another romantically, and that our relationship might move away from what it is now. My concern is with the idea that we'll still love each other, but that we won't be allowed to express it, when I've worked so hard for that kind of freedom in my own life.

And I firmly believe that i can be a happy person regardless of the turnout of this relationship. And I can tell myself "I'll be fine after we break up and the heartache is over." But I don't think that's a constructive way to be in a happy relationship right now, if my mantra is 'I'll be ok, once its over". I'm looking for a way to feel ok now.

Its obviously stretching my comfort zones, what I'm asking is how do I cope? How do I cope now instead of just waiting for it to be damage control later?
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:30 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
My concern is with the idea that we'll still love each other, but that we won't be allowed to express it, when I've worked so hard for that kind of freedom in my own life.

But I don't think that's a constructive way to be in a happy relationship right now, if my mantra is 'I'll be ok, once its over". I'm looking for a way to feel ok now.

Its obviously stretching my comfort zones, what I'm asking is how do I cope? How do I cope now instead of just waiting for it to be damage control later?
That kind of freedom is not the goal of everyone as odd as that sounds.

If you don't think it' a constructive way to be in a relationship right now than you have answered your own question I think.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:34 AM
Serendipity Serendipity is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
If you don't think it' a constructive way to be in a relationship right now than you have answered your own question I think.
I was referring to using advice like "You'll get over it when its over", as being a constructive way to face what's happening at this moment. Not the relationships itself. I benefit a lot from the relationship as a whole.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:26 AM
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nya47 nya47 is offline
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So... I know you say you don't want to end the relationship. My two cents, though: I've been in a relationship like that, and I'm pretty sure I will avoid going into another like the plague.

A big part of the reason why I'm poly is because I thin relationships should be based on desire and respect for that person, NOT on a desire to be in a relationship and an attitude that "well, you'll do". And even if it's not malicious; by dating with the intention of becoming monogamous he's essentially saying he'll date you until something better comes along.

My case was a little different, as he started dating a monogamous-minded girl a few weeks after he started dating me. He knew she wanted monogamy from the get-go, but continued to date her. A few months in -and several weeks after we had 'the commitment talk'- he decided that she was too important, and that he wanted monogamy after all. This whole situation has triggered a lot of self-worth issues in me, and brought back all the old fears of rejection from when I started being poly.

Is my view biased? Clearly. But I think, in an established relationship, you need to be committed to try and keep it going, or it's already failed. You sound like you really need to sit down and have a long talk about what you're both expecting from the relationship, where you see it going, and whether or not you're both committed to making that happen.

*hugs* I hope this works out for you. You deserve happiness.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by nya47 View Post
I think, in an established relationship, you need to be committed to try and keep it going, or it's already failed.
This was my thought unfortunately and I wonder if it is unconsciously yours serendipity? He seems to be preparing you for the fact that he wants to move on... perhaps he is saying that he doesn't, because he has nothing to go to, but I think if he did, then that would be it.

I agree with seventhcrow, "love honestly and pack away the good memories." Make yourself ready to move on when the time comes... prepare for it by starting new things and seeing what doors are open around you that you might of missed as a result of this relationship. Sure, it might never happen, but you may find that there is plenty going on for you in your life to even worry about the possibility of leaving. It may turn out to be a mute issue at some point.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:54 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
That kind of freedom is not the goal of everyone as odd as that sounds.

If you don't think it' a constructive way to be in a relationship right now than you have answered your own question I think.
Honestly-that was my exact response emotionally.

On the other hand-I get the idea that there is generally a way to make something work even if it seems impossible.... so maybe there is a way around this so you can be ok NOW in the relationship you are in... I'm not sure what it is... but I think maybe what you might consider is not worrying about hte what if's unless they become issues.

I know maca is terrible about what if'ing something to death and making himself miserable over things that never even come to pass. ...... in order to accept a poly relationship with me he can't focus on "what if she finds someone better." Because that will scare him out of taking the chance, so the what if will cause the demise of his marriage and love.... but if he lets it go-the truth (as I know it) is that he won't ever get to that point so everything will blossom beautifully for him-as it appears to be doing right now!

So maybe let up on the what if of the future possibility of him finding someone who is mono and just live for today with him.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:07 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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So maybe let up on the what if of the future possibility of him finding someone who is mono and just live for today with him.
I totally get the living for the day thing and in fact did that to get through a phase in my own relationship. Unfortunately I also found it froze the depth of our connection. We both wanted more from the future and growth. Living completely in the moment halted that for us.

What I have learned to do is accept possibilities but continue to move forward so I give the best of myself to our relationship. I refuse to let "what ifs" degrade my enjoyment of belief in the future. I will strive to make this relationship bloom until destiny herself tells me otherwise if that is in fact her intention
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