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Old 08-09-2011, 06:07 PM
bluemoon bluemoon is offline
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Default Maybe poly is what I'm looking for?

I have many, many questions- some about polyamory in general and others are more my situation specific, but I'll get started and see where I end up

First of all, I am incredibly happily engaged. The life my partner and I have before us is more than I could ever have hoped for, but I am so surprised and thrilled that I stumbled into it. We co-habitate, will be married in a little over a year, and have just started our own business (although he carries most of it while I pursue school and an additional career). We have thoroughly discussed our plans to never have children and are both at ease with the decision. We’ve also thoroughly discussed the idea of swinging which is a frame of mind he brought to the relationship. After our talks I’ve realized that I’m quite comfortable with it, and have left it as a very probable option. However, I’m starting to realize that the draw for me is not to swinging as much as it may be to polyamory. I’m not particularly interested in sex with someone other than my fiancé. I am interested in going out with another man, in really getting to know someone, and in seeing where that may go without feeling like I’m cheating. How do I broach this shift in where I stand with my fiancé? How does a couple cope with the fact that one is looking outside the relationship for sex, and the other is looking for emotional ties? One issue being that we both already know who this “other man” would be. I have a co-worker that I’ve developed a fondness for. I’ve been very open with my fiancé about what I think of this person and that we casually flirt at work. My fiancé (J), the other man (T), and I are all very open people and get along well together. J has been understanding, and thus far has had no problems with anything that’s happened. A few co-workers have gone out together a couple times drinking and dancing and J has simply asked where to pick me up in case I can’t drive home. J is just over 5 years clean and sober and rarely goes out, but understands that I would be unwilling to give up that part of my life and since I do so very rarely it has never been an issue. T is still struggling with the idea that we can go have drinks and dance and that I won’t call him later sobbing that he broke up my marriage, or that J won’t storm into the club and beat him senseless. The problem is I feel…not guilty, but akward…that I’m enjoying this time away from my fiancé in a semi-romantic way. I haven’t acted on any romantic feelings, and I may never, but I feel like I should share these feelings with J. I’m a little worried this might upset him, and he might become uncomfortable with my going out even in groups with T around which would be pretty upsetting for me. I also “have it so good” so to speak. I feel blessed that I have such a non-jealous partner that going drinking, dancing, and casual flirting is okay so long as we discuss it, that jeopardizing that seems stupid. I’m not even sure what more I want, I think I would just like to know that if I got caught up in the moment and kissed T, or gave him a back rub, or had a 3 hour conversation about his childhood, or spent a Saturday afternoon at the pool with him, that I could come home to J and everything would be fine. I also want to be able to tell T that he isn’t ruining my life and to relax and enjoy himself. I can’t decide if I should be happy with what I have, or risk it at the chance for just a little bit more?

As a side note, I don’t see T and I in a long-term invested relationship. I see us as two really good friends who go out together. He is working hard to correct some past mistakes and get his life back on a great track, and I’d really like to able to support him through some of that. I actually hope that somewhere along the way he meets someone who’s fantastic and wonderful and loves him like I love J.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:54 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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How much do you want to get married? Right now your partner has no reason to feel jealous or envious ....he trusted you to be going out with friends just having fun in a group....From what I've read here the swinging mentality doesn't always translate to poly ....because it's done together...and its focus is just the sex. One thing I do know is.... once the door is open good or bad is fucking impossible to go back....be careful....good luck D
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2011, 01:09 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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I'm not feeling particularly insightful today, but I thought I'd throw my two cents in anyway. I might be misreading what you really want advice on because I am having trouble from your post what you think would upset J as you have already told him you are fond of T. (I too am one of those people who thinks you should make up a fake full name for each of them, I think it helps people's reading comprehension, as well as makes who is who more memorable for future posts if you make them).

As you have openly discussed swinging, and have realized you are pretty clear that you would enjoy relationships with an emotional component, I can't see why you wouldn't discuss it with J. Especially as you says he already knows you like T in some way.

If you don't discuss what is on your mind, does that mean you guys might try out swinging and you would do it but not really enjoy it because as you clearly state "I’m not particularly interested in sex with someone other than my fiance" although I assume you would be with T or other people you might date.

I don't see how telling J you are interested in more emotional feelings has too much risk of being bad. J might decide huh, I hadn't thought of that, maybe that would be good. J might decide he'd rather try swinging, then decide maybe poly would be good too/instead. J might decide he only wants to swing/have casual sex but is OK with you having romantic relationships. J might decide you can have romantic relationships and find a FWB to swing with. J might decide he is totally uncomfortable with poly and then you decide how much/if you both are willing to compromise.

Why do you think J is OK that you are fond of T and spend time with him but would be upset if it was romantic? Knowing that might help you prepare how to address this. I would probably say that you'd been thinking and would feel (empty? bored? not turned on? OK but you think there's something better for you?) by casual sex or swinging, but while thinking about it you realize that the idea of poly makes you more comfortable.

I can't tell from your post if you have discussed this at all, or if he has heard of polyamory, or you've talked about it and he's rejected it. If you having romantic feelings does upset him, you can have a good talk about why it would be ok for you to have sex with T (or random swinger) but not feelings. There are lots of sticky threads on here about good stuff, so you might want to find a post or link that sums up what you want J to know most, and ask him to read it. Read up on how to tell your partner you want to explore poly to see how others approach it, so you might be able to have answers ready if there are questions.

As for sex vs emotional. My husband and I became poly again (after a few years of being mono) because I want sex more often than he is interested. Although now there are lots of other benefits to being poly, at the time all I was focused on was having sex be fun and more frequent than it was.
Now I wasn't looking JUST for sex as it sounds you think J might be, but I was open to having relationships where I might have sex with somebody I liked but didn't see potential for love. My husband does not understand having relationships where sex is a main goal (or something you do 98% of the time you see a partner) and has dated a couple of women for 2+ months but is not in any hurry to have any relationship be physical past mild making out, putting more emphasis on hanging out, games, movies, talking with people. We both seem to be getting what we want out of this, and it's had a lot of positives for us.

You won't really know what J is open to until you discuss it, but it is possible for you two to have different goals for this and still be happy. Truthfully, if for some reason he would get really upset if you brought this up, it still might be something you want to know sooner than later. If you do swing it's not as if either of you might form romantic feeling for others at some point, it seems somewhat common in the swinging world, and it's something that should be discussed anyway. So DO talk about it, and sure, feel awkward, tell J you feel awkward because you're in unfamiliar territory,but don't feel ashamed.

Good Lord that was long.
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Last edited by Anneintherain; 08-10-2011 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:36 AM
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nicothoe nicothoe is offline
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I would say talk to him about it. You'll never know what his feelings are on the matter until you do. While I have no experience or knowledge of swinger mentality, what harm can also considering poly do? It's not like you are already deep in the swinging lifestyle, and are suddenly changing the rules or something.

One of the key aspects of any successful poly relationship is being able to tell the other person what is going on in your head, what your thoughts are, your feelings, your desires, your wants and needs. Knowing you can confide in a loved one, and have them listen without freaking out, is often a sign of a stable and secure relationship.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:36 AM
bluemoon bluemoon is offline
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Strangely enough, as if he was reading my thoughts, my fiancé actually brought up the swinging conversation this evening- allowing me to totally transition into a poly conversation. While we haven't sorted out everything my thoughts and feelings are on the table now along with his and it feels great to have started the ball rolling!
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:33 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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@bluemoon, please use paragraph breaks. Thanks
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:44 AM
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sagency sagency is offline
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Since J already knows you like T and dance and drink with him, and since you and J are open to swinging, the only real gap is emotions. In your story, you specifically mention that you don't expect a long-term thing and do good that T finds his own soul mate. Thus, the stated degree of emotional investment is low.

I would expect that if J can handle polyamory at all that he can handle this scenario. It's good you're talking. The best cure for poly problems is often clear, blunt, and proactive communication.

Is telling J worth it? I don't think the risk is that high, so I'd suggest you spell it out (if your previous conversation did not detail things already).

Best of luck.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:27 PM
affablegreen affablegreen is offline
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I am in a similar place with my spouse. I wanted (and have formed) a deeply emotional and romantic tie with another woman. My spouse, on the other hand, wants to do BDSM play with partners, perhaps including sex, and she does not have any need to fall in love with them.

So, yes... I sure think it can work. But this is brand new for us, so please don't take my word for it! I am an uncertain, questing amateur.

Does your fiance understand this difference? Does he feel that if you fall in love with someone else, he will lose you? I got the impression he has done swinging but not polyamory.

I understand the "awkward, not guilty" feelings... wondering if what you are enjoying is really a good idea. I feel that a lot. Can all three of you talk about feelings and sexuality openly?
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