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  #221  
Old Yesterday, 09:01 PM
breathemusic breathemusic is offline
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The fact that he's sad that he's hurting your feelings and wants to be around you, to me indicates that he IS into you and he DOES care about you. I think fundamentally the difference is, do you need to have relationships with people who express their emotions the same way that you do. If he's sad that you're sad, then that would indicate to me that he'd be sad if he lost the relationship with you. Now, would he express that the same way and be a sobbing mess? Maybe not, but that might just be a matter of how he feels his own feelings and expresses them.

He may even love you, or get to a point in the future where he loves you... but that doesn't mean that he feels or expresses his love the same way you do. He is clearly just not as emotionally expressive... but I think it's important to note that it doesn't mean that he doesn't actually feel those things or have those emotions. They're just not as intense for him and not expressed to as high of a degree.

Of course, that doesn't change the fact that if someone not being expressive as you is painful for you, then that may just be a fundamental incompatibility. This is something that you might need to think on.

I think SeasonedPoly makes a good point though in that all of your experience to-date with poly and relationships is that they have to escalate. Even if they don't result in marriage or kids, they still escalate with more time, more texting, more gushing, more SOMETHING other than just internal feelings. And it doesn't seem like you have the bandwidth for that growth here, so that is 1 roadblock that you're always going to experience. But on the emotional depth type of escalation... what should that actually look like for 2 people who only see each other once every other week and text in between? Yes, I hear you saying that having the emotions grow is important to you in that you're falling in love and you want to know that he's capable of falling in love with you. But it sounds like you have an expectation for what someone's behavior looks like when they're in love. I'm trying to understand how that behavior would *actually* look different when you still don't see each other as often. Other than eventually saying "I love you" it would seem to me like you'd still be doing most of the same things that you're doing now. Still just getting together for an enjoyable date every 2 weeks, having sex, making each other laugh, having good conversation, etc. That is what people do when they like each other, but ALSO what people do when they love each other. A deeper emotional connection may mean some deeper emotional conversations sometimes? But if things are going good, does it necessarily mean that's happening all the time? Maybe it does for you! Just throwing some random thoughts out there to chew on since from the comments that you've made, it sounds to me like you're more concerned with what behaviors you want him to show you because you have an expectation that feeling a certain way = behaving a certain way. So is this totally a feelings issue, or an actions/behaviors issue?
__________________
Me: 32, female, nesting partner and Domme of Sudo, dating Echo
Sudo: 36, male, lives w/ me, no other current partners
Echo: 34, male, Dom, dating me, married w/ 2 kids

RCT (or Ty): 32, male, mono, current roommate/friend, dad to Lizzy
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  #222  
Old Today, 03:00 AM
MsEmotional MsEmotional is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breathemusic View Post
The fact that he's sad that he's hurting your feelings and wants to be around you, to me indicates that he IS into you and he DOES care about you. I think fundamentally the difference is, do you need to have relationships with people who express their emotions the same way that you do. If he's sad that you're sad, then that would indicate to me that he'd be sad if he lost the relationship with you. Now, would he express that the same way and be a sobbing mess? Maybe not, but that might just be a matter of how he feels his own feelings and expresses them.

He may even love you, or get to a point in the future where he loves you... but that doesn't mean that he feels or expresses his love the same way you do. He is clearly just not as emotionally expressive... but I think it's important to note that it doesn't mean that he doesn't actually feel those things or have those emotions. They're just not as intense for him and not expressed to as high of a degree.

Of course, that doesn't change the fact that if someone not being expressive as you is painful for you, then that may just be a fundamental incompatibility. This is something that you might need to think on.

I think SeasonedPoly makes a good point though in that all of your experience to-date with poly and relationships is that they have to escalate. Even if they don't result in marriage or kids, they still escalate with more time, more texting, more gushing, more SOMETHING other than just internal feelings. And it doesn't seem like you have the bandwidth for that growth here, so that is 1 roadblock that you're always going to experience. But on the emotional depth type of escalation... what should that actually look like for 2 people who only see each other once every other week and text in between? Yes, I hear you saying that having the emotions grow is important to you in that you're falling in love and you want to know that he's capable of falling in love with you. But it sounds like you have an expectation for what someone's behavior looks like when they're in love. I'm trying to understand how that behavior would *actually* look different when you still don't see each other as often. Other than eventually saying "I love you" it would seem to me like you'd still be doing most of the same things that you're doing now. Still just getting together for an enjoyable date every 2 weeks, having sex, making each other laugh, having good conversation, etc. That is what people do when they like each other, but ALSO what people do when they love each other. A deeper emotional connection may mean some deeper emotional conversations sometimes? But if things are going good, does it necessarily mean that's happening all the time? Maybe it does for you! Just throwing some random thoughts out there to chew on since from the comments that you've made, it sounds to me like you're more concerned with what behaviors you want him to show you because you have an expectation that feeling a certain way = behaving a certain way. So is this totally a feelings issue, or an actions/behaviors issue?
I honestly think it is a feelings issue rather than a behaviors issue. You are right that I would expect him to act in a certain way if he loved me. But that isn’t all roses and statements of affection....it’s body language and the way someone smiles. There really isn’t anything I want him to *do* differently....I just view his behaviors as indicative of his feelings and, well, his words to describe those feelings seem to match that. So what makes me sad is that I have confirmation that his feelings for me just aren’t all that strong.

But I don’t know....maybe you are right. This evening he texted me and told me what his wife thinks is the root of his lack of emotional expression....so that means he is still thinking about our conversation and discussing it with the only person he goes to with problems. And that would indicate that he cares. But I also know that I have a tendency to read between the lines in order to keep hope alive. I don’t want to just grasp at straws that maybe he has deeper feelings for me than he is letting on.
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Me: 34, F, Bicurious

Amours
Glasses: my husband of 9 years --> 36, M, Queer
Ponytail: my first-poly-date-turned-boyfriend --> 36, M, Pansexual
Whiskers: boyfriend —> 42, M, Queer

Metamours and In-Laws
Ginger: Glasses's partner --> 30ish, Transgender (FTM), LDR
Curlycue: Whiskers's wife --> 40, F
Kitchenbear: Curlycue's partner and housemate to Whiskers --> 36, M
Rapunzel: Whiskers's girlfriend --> 40s, F
Chameleon: Rapunzel's husband --> 40s, M
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  #223  
Old Today, 07:00 AM
SEASONEDpolyAgain SEASONEDpolyAgain is offline
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I think it really problematic if you actively need someone to act how you'd act before you feel they're being genuine about their feelings. I've known of partners who were incredibly affectionate and told their partners several times a day that they love them. They also abused them though.

Right now you have also guy who likes you, wants to spend time with you and you feel the same. You're willing to risk that because he doesn't smile at you enough and he doesn't use the right words to describe his feelings.

I'd be really careful about making him feel like shit for being who he is when actually, this might be far more about your own limitations and unrealistic expectations.
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  #224  
Old Today, 09:23 AM
MsEmotional MsEmotional is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEASONEDpolyAgain View Post
I think it really problematic if you actively need someone to act how you'd act before you feel they're being genuine about their feelings. I've known of partners who were incredibly affectionate and told their partners several times a day that they love them. They also abused them though.

Right now you have also guy who likes you, wants to spend time with you and you feel the same. You're willing to risk that because he doesn't smile at you enough and he doesn't use the right words to describe his feelings.
I think that the part of this that I haven’t talked about as much here is how anxious I have been in this relationship and the degree to which not being able to read his facial expressions or hear him express any affection has affected me. I described it to him as having “first date jitters” for 7 months straight. I spend a lot of time perseverating and replaying every conversation in my head and looking for some sign that he cares for me. I am constantly thinking about the next time I will see him and what I will say and do and being angry at myself for caring so much when he doesn’t ever seem excited for our next date. When I told my therapist something similar to what you are saying here — basically “am i being ridiculous for considering ending a relationship that makes me happy?” She said “you have been happy when you are WITH him, but in-between those visits when you aren’t with him you are very unhappy and confused.”

Quote:
I'd be really careful about making him feel like shit for being who he is when actually, this might be far more about your own limitations and unrealistic expectations.
I recognize that this is as much about my limitations as it is about his. In therapy, for the first 6 months we had been operating under the assumption that my anxiety with him was something solely internal to me. I needed to be better at communicating my needs, I needed to give the relationship space to grow and temper my expectations. It was only in the last month that I started to consider that maybe we just aren’t compatible in the way that we feel or express feelings.

And that’s where I am now. I have never told him that I think he is broken or inadequate — I have always used “i statements” to express my own vulnerabilities and why I think that maybe we just aren’t on the same page. And he has been really clear with me about what level of affection he can offer and said the same thing — that our relationship meets his needs as it is, but he can see how it would not meet my needs. And at the core, it makes me love him even more that he has been so honest with me and that we can communicate like this.
__________________
Me: 34, F, Bicurious

Amours
Glasses: my husband of 9 years --> 36, M, Queer
Ponytail: my first-poly-date-turned-boyfriend --> 36, M, Pansexual
Whiskers: boyfriend —> 42, M, Queer

Metamours and In-Laws
Ginger: Glasses's partner --> 30ish, Transgender (FTM), LDR
Curlycue: Whiskers's wife --> 40, F
Kitchenbear: Curlycue's partner and housemate to Whiskers --> 36, M
Rapunzel: Whiskers's girlfriend --> 40s, F
Chameleon: Rapunzel's husband --> 40s, M
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  #225  
Old Today, 03:46 PM
breathemusic breathemusic is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 608
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Yeah, I don't necessarily think that you feeling anxiety over him not feeling as strongly for you as you feel for him is *wrong*. I just think it's worth asking the question.... is that anxiety something that you actually WANT to work on and try to overcome, or do you ultimately think that it's an incompatibility and you need to move on. I don't think either of those answers is right or wrong.

There's no requirement that you HAVE to be ok with an inequality of feelings between you and your partner. If it bothers you that much, you're allowed to be bothered by that.

I do think it's worth examining whether your concern is just about him NEVER having feelings for you, or if your concern is him not developing feelings at the same pace. Because it's actually pretty common for people to have their feelings develop at different paces, so understanding the pace that someone moves at and whether or not that pace is something that works for you is important.

It's also important to understand if he things he'll NEVER get there. Because that should inform your decisions too.

I definitely am not trying to imply from my previous responses that the issue is all you. Just that it might be worth talking things out more with him if there's a lack of clarity about whether his issue is what he actually feels vs HOW he shows his feelings. But also, even if the issue was just about how he shows his feelings, you're still allowed to have boundaries around that and incompatibilities if you just don't mesh well with someone who isn't expressive.

Ultimately, I think you need to at least know what you need from another partner and if you're willing to compromise on any of those things if there IS an incompatibility.
__________________
Me: 32, female, nesting partner and Domme of Sudo, dating Echo
Sudo: 36, male, lives w/ me, no other current partners
Echo: 34, male, Dom, dating me, married w/ 2 kids

RCT (or Ty): 32, male, mono, current roommate/friend, dad to Lizzy
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  #226  
Old Today, 07:18 PM
SEASONEDpolyAgain SEASONEDpolyAgain is offline
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I have a friend who met this guy. A great guy. A Buddhist. He believes in all this zen type stuff where he really just takes things in his stride. His philosophy on relationships ending is that he hope they find greater happiness. He's happy they've made a decision which they believe is their right path. Something like that.

My friend had to learn to feel loved despite this. Now she sees how we are taught really quite unhealthy displays of devotion and obsession and oppression are labelled "love". In extreme cases, you have the woman who thinks her man loves her because he'll punch her in the mouth for looking at another guy. At least extreme ends, we expect crying and ice cream eating when we have a break up.

I couldn't deal with him as a partner. Not because of how he views breakups so much as how this zen thing influences other areas of his life. Actually I might be able to have a casual relationship with someone like that. Not live in though. But honestly, she's a better person overall for their relationship. I see it in other ways.
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