Polyamory.com Forum  

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

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-19-2011, 09:36 PM
Hypsie Hypsie is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7
Question Questions from a newbie

I'm new to polyamory and just entered into a triad and have some questions..

First: Are rules and restrictions normal for a third in a triad?
I ask because I've asked about being intimate with both if them separately, and they said "not yet". I can cuddle and kiss and be touchy-feely with him, but nothing more. I'm not sure what my boundaries with her are because she's apparently nervous about being physical with me since she's never had sex with a woman before. I try to be equally physical with them both but it's hard because she doesn't really respond or reciprocate when I touch or kiss her. I may just be acting insecure, but this makes me feel a little dejected and confused. Not to mention I feel bad giving him so much more attention than her. I think he feels the same way because he's always trying to get her involved with us cuddling and things. I'm not completely sure all of this is fair either, because I have no problem with them being intimate without me, and they are, but I'm still restricted with what I can do. Is this normal for the beginning of this kind of relationship?

And: How is this supposed to work?
I'm not completely sure what my role is supposed to be in this whole thing because they have an established relationship of 5 years. They said that we'd all be equals in the relationship(other than the intimacy rule which is supposed to be temporary), but I feel like I'm on the back burner to their relationship to each other. I expressed to them that I felt I was expendable but they told me I wasn't and that even if things didn't work with us as a triad we'd still be friends and they would go back to it just being them. But that didn't exactly help that feeling.. It's odd for me to be in a relationship like this because I don't feel I'm needed, I feel like I'm just an addition because they feel like having one. Should I get over this kind of feeling to be in a polyamorous relationship?

Advice and counsel is much appreciated =)
Thanks in advance!
-Hypsie
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-19-2011, 10:34 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 6,753
Default

This sounds like a primarily sexual relationship. If you want more than that, you need to develop more of a friendship and get to know them. Either way, they don't have to set the rules. You have a say, too, and you don't have to go along with anything you don't want to. Why did you agree to something that isn't clear and causes some discomfort and confusion for you?
__________________
Hot chick in the city.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me.
~Bryan Ferry
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-20-2011, 12:17 AM
Hypsie Hypsie is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
This sounds like a primarily sexual relationship. If you want more than that, you need to develop more of a friendship and get to know them.
It's not supposed to be primarily sexual, but I think I expected more emphasis in that area than them. I'm a few years younger than the two of them so that might be a big part of that..
I've been really close friends with the girl for a while now and I'm developing a relationship with him quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Why did you agree to something that isn't clear and causes some discomfort and confusion for you?
I fell for them as a couple rather quickly and wasn't expecting everything to be so hard and confusing. It all moved so fast I didn't have time to think about how it was all going to work..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-20-2011, 01:30 AM
AnnabelMore's Avatar
AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,230
Default

Hey Hypsie,

I went to look for more info on your situation in the Intros section and just found this. Don't feel bad, I never posted an intro either. But it'd be very helpful to know a little more. Poly situations are so complex sometimes that it can be hard to give advice without knowing the nuances. Give us the background... how you guys met, how the friendships developed, how poly came into the picture, what they're each like as people, and we'll work through it with you.

For now, all I can say is that rules are normal but they are likely a sign that things are moving too fast for someone... it sounds like probably the other woman... and you all may need to slow down and figure out where the desire for the rules is coming from. What are the fears and concerns and how can they be worked on?

As for how things are supposed to work, it's different for everyone. Respect, consideration, honesty, and the willingness to work on things if need be are the only requirements... just like in any relationship, really. However, it's important to understand that your lovers are being pretty unrealistic. How can a relationship that's been around a very short time be "equal" to one that's 5 years old? You may feel strongly about each other now, but it takes time to learn how you fit together and what you can build together. Rather than setting an artificial goal of equality... which might come some day and might not... it can be better to just accurately assess where things are at and let it all evolve naturally.

I don't say this to discourage you, just to help you think things out. It's likely that your lovers are as confused as you are right now. Like I said, give us some more details and we'll tell you if there are any patterns we recognize, and how you can go about working with them to build a situation that works well for everyone, whether it ends up looking just like you've all envisioned but maybe with some more hard work and thought to get there, or whether it ends up looking a little different but still good and satisfying for you and the others involved.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-20-2011, 01:38 AM
Bahalana's Avatar
Bahalana Bahalana is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Brussels
Posts: 28
Default

I understand that they are promising that you will all be equals eventually, but in the mean time it seems that you're being considered a secondary relationship. (A term about which there is much contention and discussion) Hopefully they are as good as their word and this is all just temporary as you work out the basics of your relationship.

Here is a link to some very useful information for secondaries, but it really applies to anyone in any relationship.

http://www.xeromag.com/fvsecondary.html

This second one is a useful satire, be sure you don't put up with this type of crap.

http://tacit.livejournal.com/346761.html
__________________
Shhhh!!! Be vewy vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbits. I mean unicown wabbits.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-20-2011, 02:39 AM
Hypsie Hypsie is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7
Default

I had originally spent about 30 minutes typing out the whole situation, but my computer spazzed out and erased it all Frustration got the better of me and I went for a shorter post. But since you asked, here goes the whole shebang:

I met her early this year in my art class and our friendship grew very quickly because we have similar pasts and understand a lot about each other that most people don't. We are very much best friends and care for each other deeply. Being that we're both bi-sexual, and I'm submissive while she's dominate -which caused a slight rift in their sex life occasionally because he's also dominate. She's willing to be submissive for him, but he doesn't do the same for her- we discussed the possibility of us being intimate but she didn't feel right about it without her guy being involved(who lives in another state). He and I spoke a few times online and on the phone if I was with her when he called and got along pretty well, so we had a little bit of familiarity with each other before he came down for his yearly month-long visit. When we met in person there was an instant connection and attraction to each other.
The night he arrived I ended up staying at her place with them because we had made plans for the following day. Given she had a house full of guests we all shared her bed(it's been a normal thing for me to sleep in her bed with her when I stay over, so it wasn't a big deal to me.) At first I was giving them their space and apologized in advance if I ended up cuddling him in the middle of the night and they responded with and invitation to go ahead and cuddle with them. So, I did. The next day we were all still cuddling and talking about how nice it was and I casually(and playfully) mentioned polyamory. We discussed what it was and our views and things on it, but not whether we actually wanted to do it.
The day went on and since our plans weren't until that evening we all just stayed in her room talking and cuddling. Our discussion led to talking about me being intimate with him and she said that she didn't care if we did anything. He and I didn't do anything until that night after we got back from our plans. We started kissing and touching and things were progressing, so he stopped to ask if she wanted to join us and if she was still OK with it. She declined to join but said we could go ahead, so we continued. But a few minutes later she abruptly leaves the room leaving us worried and confused. He went to talk to her and returned about 30 minutes later with the news that we weren't going to be picking up where we left off, ever. I had assumed as much before he got back so I was just worried about my friendship with her. She told him to let me know that we were still best friends but it would take at least a few days to get back to normal.
So, we all tried to go to sleep. It was awkward since we still had to sleep in the same bed, but I laid at the foot to avoid as much awkward as possible. She eventually asked if I was OK and came to lay with me and we talked and made up. The next day we spent cuddling again until I had to leave.
After all that I couldn't get them off my mind. I missed them both terribly and kept wondering if a poly relationship could ever work between the three of us. The next night, I couldn't bare to keep it to myself anymore, so I wrote her a long email explaining my thoughts and feelings and waited for a reply. When she replied, I was ecstatic. They had stayed up until 6 that morning discussing what I had on my mind. She had come to the conclusion that she was jealous of the two of us being intimate without her, not just jealous that her friend was intimate with her boyfriend. They had intended to discuss a triad relationship the next time they saw me in person, but since I opened the can, the worms spilled.
So for the last two weeks, I've been their girlfriend. The first few days were so easy and everything was so smooth, I didn't expect to run into any issues when I spent time with them in person again. They're being very patient and understanding with me about the insecurities I've expressed since this is their first real follow-through of anything with a third. They had considered a couple of other girls and one guy before me over the years, but for one reason or another, they didn't work out. I'm the first to be officially deemed 'girlfriend'.

I hope this all helps and isn't too much to read.. =)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-20-2011, 02:40 AM
Hypsie Hypsie is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahalana View Post
I understand that they are promising that you will all be equals eventually, but in the mean time it seems that you're being considered a secondary relationship. (A term about which there is much contention and discussion) Hopefully they are as good as their word and this is all just temporary as you work out the basics of your relationship.

Here is a link to some very useful information for secondaries, but it really applies to anyone in any relationship.

http://www.xeromag.com/fvsecondary.html

This second one is a useful satire, be sure you don't put up with this type of crap.

http://tacit.livejournal.com/346761.html
Thanks! I'll be sure to read those =)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-20-2011, 03:32 AM
AnnabelMore's Avatar
AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,230
Default

Yikes, I *hate* when I lose a long post like that. :P

There are some things in this situation that are very promising! The fact that you and she are close friends is awesome. The fact that good communication seems to be happening is awesome. The fact that the bf and you were sensitive enough to stop when it appeared that something was wrong is awesome. This could be *awesome.*

Of course, and not to scare you, it could also implode horribly. In fact, situations like this involve so many complex emotions and potential pitfalls, that you have to work pretty darn hard, especially at the start, to *not* let it implode! If all three of you are up for some long conversations, some courage and emotional honesty, and some flexibility and openness to letting the relationship become what it naturally becomes rather than what you feel it *has* to be, you will do much, much better.

A few quick thoughts...

- It sounds like even though you're attracted to him you still don't know the bf that well yet. If it weren't a three-person situation, would you really be comfortable calling him your "boyfriend"? Saying you're "their" girlfriend means he's your boyfriend too, and it sounds like it *might* be a little premature for that? Just something to think about.

- Which brings us to the question of... what does "girlfriend" mean, anyway? What does "boyfriend" mean? What can you all expect from each other? One big potential pitfall here is that people might be holding different unspoken assumptions. Are they expecting sexual fidelity from you (i.e. no other partners but them)? Are they seeing this as their relationship staying unchanged but with you added in, or are they open to the idea of growing into a new, three-person configuration (if it's truly "equal" shouldn't this be a possibility? and if not, maybe it's not equal right now and that's ok but needs to be acknowledged so you can work out a fair arrangement for everyone)? What if you fall in love deeply with one of them or not the other (this is *very* common), could they be ok with that? I know, I know, here I'm supposed to be trying to help you find answers and I'm just asking more questions! But if these things haven't yet been discussed by ALL THREE of you together, you might end up really hurting each other. And what you all agree upon now might not end up being the final word... these sorts of things often have to be revisited.

- If these two have never actually done poly before, they're in for a raft of surprises (like when your gf didn't realize that seeing you with her bf would hurt... these surprises can come along more often than you might expect in this sort of situation) and, pretty inevitably, mistakes. By mistakes I don't mean failing to follow some set of "rules", I mean inadvertantly doing things that hurt each other. It's going to take a lot of patience and learning as you go to make this all work! I really strongly suggest that they also read the xeromag articles that Bahalana linked -- especially the ones on being a secondary, so they'll understand more about what it will be like for you (this stuff will apply even if they don't think of you as "secondary"), and the ones on jealousy, since it sounds like that's an issue. They need to be very, very sensitive to not making the mistakes common to "unicorn hunters" (a la this handy chart -- http://www.obsidianfields.com/lj/hot...hart-large.gif). And you need to be very, very sensitive to not communicating with only one of them and not the other, not playing them off of each other, and not otherwise undermining their relationship.

- Take deep breaths, give her time on the sex thing, don't move too fast, go on dates together and separately to feel out where the points of connection are, stay flexible, keep it light, be honest, be brave, don't feel like you've failed if you click more with one of them than the other, speak up when you sense trouble brewing but try to figure out on your own what you're feeling and why first if possible, don't agree to anything that makes you miserable, stand up for your needs in the most compassionate way you can.

- Finally, and I cannot stress this enough... do NOT do NOT do NOT move in with them any time in the next year... seriously, on this board we've seen way too many third partners move in quickly with a couple, only to magnify times ten whatever issues needed to be worked out. Poly relationships can take a lot more time in working out the kinks than mono ones, and it's easy to try to commit too much too soon and have it all fall apart.

Phew! That's all I can think of for now.

HUG!!!! Sorry about all the run-on sentences and asides. My words aren't gospel, but I write because I care and because I've been there -- I'm coming up on my second year of dating a beautiful woman and being close friends with her lovely husband.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-20-2011, 03:50 AM
Hypsie Hypsie is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7
Default

Thank you SO MUCH! You've given me a lot to think about! And a lot of insight, which I needed. I was really starting to get discouraged, but I feel a little bit more sure about how to go about all of this now. =)

Oh and Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-20-2011, 03:56 AM
AnnabelMore's Avatar
AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,230
Default



You're so so welcome! I look forward to hearing how it goes if you decide to keep posting here. Best of luck.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
jealousy, new comer, new dynamics, new partners, secondary, third wheel, triad

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 02:26 AM.