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Old 10-23-2009, 12:21 PM
celiset celiset is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 7
Default New to Poly. Problems with how to start?

A few months ago my boyfriend of 2 years expressed interest in having an open relationship. While I am open to that possibility, I'm definitely not as interested in it as he is. He is currently talking to/dating two women, nothing physical, but he flirts a lot with one of them. The reason nothing physical has happened yet is because I'm not comfortable with it. My idea was that we would introduce new things in small steps, and then see how I felt after each step, as opposed to just jumping straight into sexual relationships. For example, first dating, then flirting, then cuddling without sexual contact, then introduce some sexual contact, etc.

My boyfriend is moving much faster in this process than I am and is starting to pressure me more than I feel comfortable with. I can't help how I feel, and I don't think I can handle him moving into sexual relationships right now. The timing is just bad for me because of other things in life I'm trying to deal with, plus I just don't have any interest in dating other people myself right now. Because of this it's really hard for me to be interested in pursuing a poly relationship. The only reason I am open to it now is because I know how much it would mean for him to have other close relationships. He is reading The Ethical Slut and I haven't had a chance to read it yet. He feels, as what is apparently advised in the book, that I just need to go through the feelings (which for me would be confusion and pain) resulting from him being close and sexual with other woman. And then process and deal with those feelings, I guess by communicating with him about them.

I don't know. This seems weird. I mean, yeah, I can understand that, I guess, if someone was mentally and emotionally PREPARED to go through that. But I'm just not ready! There's nothing sexual he wants to pursue right now, but he is trying to get me to commit NOW for a trip he and I are taking in January. The woman he flirts with will be in that city as well and he wants me to say it's ok for him to stay an extra night or two just with her. The problem is that I don't know how I will feel by then! It might still be too soon.

So, I think he is pressuring me too much, is not being patient enough, etc. But he thinks that *I* am the one not being understanding of how important this is to him. I guess he thinks that if I really knew how much being poly meant to him then I would move faster with this process. But, like I said before, I'm doing the best I know how and I can't help how I feel!

Any insight, advice on this??? I mean, how do some couples handle opening up to poly relationships when one partner isn't as into it as the other?? Thanks.
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