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  #21  
Old 09-08-2011, 09:33 PM
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Alternative first conversations

I can't stop thinking I've been really lucky with how easy it has been for me and Alec to open up our previously-for years-monogamous relationship. It seems to be so hard for many people, and I can totally understand why. But somehow it's just worked for us, and we've come to want similar things at the same time. I want to write about my experience, because I feel it's still important to know it doesn't have to be so difficult for everybody planning to open up.

We'd been together maybe around 3 years when group sex scenarios started to emerge as a theme in fantasies we shared. They became quite common, but we didn't discuss that outside of bed for a while. I started to think about sexual openness, and came to the conclusion that I wouldn't feel bad or jealous or threatened if he slept with somebody else, and therefore I saw no need to hold on to the monogamous rules anymore. I didn't feel like I needed freedom for myself, but I saw no reason not to "give him permission" to do stuff with others if he felt like it. I analysed this stuff on an internet forum first (some things don't change ). Pretty much everybody there was really monogamous, and when I brought up the idea of giving partner permission to sleep with others, they said they would react really badly to such suggestion and think it must be because I'd want the same for myself. Now my reaction would be something along wtf but then I got really nervous. I still proceeded to write a letter to Alec about it and waited, anxiously, while he read through it. And his reaction was something to the effect of "well isn't this sort of what we've been talking about". So, kind of anti-climactic, which I'm a total fan of.

Poly talk, 3 years after that, was none more dramatic. I had visited Mya and after that I realised that I don't just want to have sex and friendship with her but that we have mutual romantic feelings. Once I realised that, I approached the topic with Alec thinking that if he's not ok with me having a relationship with Mya I would just try to step back and wait for the crush to be over. After all, I didn't know how he would feel, since we hadn't really ever talked about the possibility of poly, only about sexual relationships and a bit about casual sort of dating. But when we talked he didn't feel any jealousy about my feelings for Mya, and was fine with us starting a relationship. It's actually pretty amazing. I'm sure Alec had ever considered to have another relationship himself, and he doesn't know anybody in this kind of arrangement. And yet he seemed to be instantly able to wrap his mind around the concept and didn't feel weird about it. Our talk even touched some practical issues and boundaries: he said that he's fine with any amount of love I may in the future have for somebody else, but what he wants/needs is that we'll stay together and I'll live (not necessarily exclusively but also) with him.

So, not saying that it can't be hard to open up a monogamous relationship, just that it doesn't have to be. I know I would have liked to know that when I was anxiously waiting for Alec's reaction to my open-relationship-letter. That would have enabled me to trust my instinct, that he won't freak out, rather than believe the people telling me he will freak out because that's how everybody reacts to a proposition of non-monogamy.
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  #22  
Old 09-08-2011, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
I feel secure and confident of our connection and her love.
I smiled like crazy when reading this. I totally feel like that too and I do love you a lot!

I also feel like this new situation has improved my relationship with JJ. I see new sides of him and we get to talk about things we wouldn't necessarily talk about otherwise.
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  #23  
Old 09-11-2011, 09:55 PM
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This weekend I had a lot of quality time with JJ. I opened up a conversation about our sex life and the ways we could improve it. It went really well and we ended up sharing all kinds of new things we didn't know about each other. There seems to always be new things to learn even after 8 years. And obviously things also change so it's important to talk about these things every once in a while. I'm happy we did that and the results were very...fulfilling.

JJ told me that he feels truly happy in his life, all aspects of it. And I do too. I feel like me and JJ have really reconnected during the last few weeks and I'm even happier than I was before, if that's even possible.
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  #24  
Old 09-13-2011, 10:52 AM
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I think I've lost a friend because of being in a poly relationship. She wasn't a very close friend anyway, so it's not too bad. But I do feel sad that this is something that makes someone disappear from my life. She is a former coworker of mine, from the time when I was working abroad. We kept writing each other every once in a while after I moved away from that country. Nothing really deep though, just keeping up with what's happening in each other's lives. Well, when I wrote her to tell her about this new situation of mine, she never replied. She didn't even answer my questions about her life. I waited over a month and wrote her again, this time not mentioning rory or anything about poly. I just asked how she was doing etc. And she didn't reply to that one either. This was about two weeks ago so I guess that's it then, I give up.

I'm very lucky though to have my closest friends and my mom totally accepting this. I have several people to talk to and I don't have to tip toe around this subject with anyone. Except my dad because he doesn't know yet. Okay well, there is this one friend who doesn't quite get it. He seemed ok in the beginning when we told him but not too long ago he said to JJ that he thinks I'm just bossing JJ around and he does everything I tell him to. And also, he thinks we're divorcing soon, this can't mean anything else. Well, obviously he's wrong and JJ told him that. But we'll see, at least there's some hope and we can discuss it. It's not like the one I mentioned in the beginning that just stopped answering me.

My mom has actually been pretty amazing about this. It was some kind of a shock to her when I first told her but she got over it really quickly. Now she even says she might consider this kind of lovestyle herself! She's single at the moment so who knows what's going to happen.
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  #25  
Old 09-15-2011, 06:50 PM
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We took a trip with Alec on the weekend. It was lovely, we had a really good time and enjoyed ourselves. I really love travelling with him, which we haven't had a chance to do in a long time since most of our energy and finances have gone into our moving to another country a year ago and beginning our life here. But now we had the time and wow, I've really missed that. Exploring a new place with him, it's just really exiting and fun. It's also been good to be home. Particularly after the trip I've felt like we are getting into our normal rythms and our normal routines, and it's just wonderful.

I've been missing Mya pretty strongly. It's been almost 3 weeks since we last saw each other. I think the tipping point is somewhere around 2 weeks. At least that's how it seems, I'm sure I'll know better with more LDR experience. Anyway, after 2 weeks it seems I really start to miss everything where you need the physical touch, and I feel that I need more frequent communication to avoid feeling disconnected.

However, we got some really amazing skype time yesterday evening and today morning (something like 8 hours put together ) so I feel totally reconnected. Also, it's only a week until Mya and JJ come to visit. I also talked about this with Mya, and we concluded that this time it will have been an unusually long time between our meetings, because of other commitments in our schedules. But our plan for the future is for Mya to visit me (and sometimes the other way around) every fourth week, so it will only be a 3 weeks wait in between. That way, even if it starts to feel harder after 2 weeks you'll know that it'll only be a week.

I'm feeling really happy in my life right now. Actually, it's been sort of a continuing trend lately, but I'm not complaining. So incredibly happy and fulfilled.
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  #26  
Old 09-18-2011, 05:41 PM
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We've had a good amount of skype time with rory this week. I like skype a lot. It's as close as you can get to an actual face to face conversation with the webcam and all. Obviously I still miss her touch, but yey, only few days to go until we see each other! Today we talked about the future and how I'm going to spend quite a lot of time there. We were thinking that I should bring my toothbrush and few other things and leave them there. It's almost like taking the first steps to moving in together! I actually like the thought of having few of my own things there, like it's my second home. It makes me all warm inside.

After we've spent the weekend at rory and Alec's, me and JJ are going to take a 2 week trip. After that he goes back home and I go visit my friends from my time working abroad and then spend a week at rory and Alec's again. So I'm going to be away from home for like a month! It's cool to have a job where I can do that.
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Last edited by Mya; 09-18-2011 at 08:13 PM.
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  #27  
Old 09-18-2011, 07:20 PM
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^Totally cool! And I'm really looking forward both to your visit with JJ and your week-long-visit!

I'm exited to see what it will be like having first Mya and JJ stay for the weekend. And still more exited for the week Mya comes here. The week will be quite a new experience, since I'll spend most of the nights with Mya. Current plan is 5 or 6 nights of the week and one or two with Alec. I feel that's reasonable, since it'll then be another 3 weeks before Mya can visit again, so I'll spend more time with her, but I think I'll still want to spend at least one night with Alec in the middle of the week. We haven't really talked a lot about it with Alec yet, so I'll have to check how he feels about the night-divide in plans.

Fortunately we've got good physical space to arrange that. I really like the possibilities our apartment has, even though it's a one-bedroom flat. The bedroom and the living room are both quite big with good doors, so sound doesn't travel much, and the bathroom is in between them. I feel that it's easy to make the arrangements so that there is private space for anybody wanting it and also for both couples. Also, Alec will be working by then (he just got a job, yay!!!), so we'll all be busy during days but the time periods may be a bit different. When we started our poly relationship, the thing I was most anxious was dividing my time between partners, but it seems there'll be plenty of my time for both of them.
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  #28  
Old 09-20-2011, 09:24 AM
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I think one of the weirdest things in our poly situation is that I get to see my partner's relationship skills when relating to someone else than me. I've learned a lot about rory when I've seen her interact with Alec. And I bet she has seen sides of me that wouldn't have come up if I weren't with JJ. For example me and rory haven't had a single fight during this time but she has seen me argueing with JJ so she now knows how I might behave in that kind of situation.

One thing that I've learned is that I need to ask for what I want. I haven't done that much with JJ because we seem to have quite similar needs when it comes to ways we show affection, amount of communication etc. At first it felt weird to me that I would have to say what I wanted. If my partner loves me, they would know what I want, right? Well, now I know better. I guess this one comes down to the love languages many people here talk about. I suppose my and JJ's love languages are quite similar so we've never had to talk about these things. He does just the things I expect someone does if they love me. Me and rory talked about this and she thinks it's good to ask for what you want, how else would the other one know. But for me this isn't so straightforward. If for example I needed to hear the words 'I love you' more often, I would really struggle to let my partner know that. If I did and the partner started saying it more, I would probably feel it's not genuine and couldn't enjoy it.

This is something I really need to learn especially in a poly relationship. I need to feel more comfortable asking for what I want because that is just one of the things my partner needs to care about. She also needs to care about what her other partner needs and what she herself needs, so she can't concentrate 100% on me.
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  #29  
Old 09-23-2011, 10:19 AM
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Mya and JJ are coming today to stay for the weekend! I'm exstatic!

Nothing more really to add!
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  #30  
Old 09-26-2011, 11:26 AM
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The weekend was great. It seems that everybody had a good time. It was wonderful to see Mya, and we had a few hours of alone-time, too (we sent the guys shopping ). Not enough to totally reconnect after a month of being apart, I'm afraid, but it was still lovely.

So far, we've had a few of these weekends with all four of us hanging out together. It's always been a lot of fun but it's also quite intense. I'm usually not a terribly social person: I enjoy time with friends but I need my own space. I think for me a weekend is pretty much a maximum time of this kind of intense group-time so that I'm still able to enjoy it. There have also been times I've spent time with Mya and Alec, and those have also been pretty intense, but in a slightly different way, since I obviously know both of them better than I do JJ (we're still getting to know each other, as are Alec and JJ, and Mya and Alec as well, although they've seen each other a bit more often). We'll see how it goes when Mya comes to visit: it'll be for a week, but all of us are doing other stuff too (they work and I study) and all of us will have some space and stuff of our own, so it won't be as intense as it is when it's weekend and one or two people are visiting. We'll be sharing more of everyday life and it'll be less of a 'special occasion', so it won't be/feel rude for anybody to take some time alone if they need it etc.

When we spend time as a group, I still seem to put some pressure on myself for everybody to enjoy themselves (and Alec does this, too; don't know about Mya and JJ). I know it isn't smart, cause it obviously isn't my responsibility and I can't make people have fun if it doesn't come naturally no matter how badly I want it. So I know it's moronic and I'm trying to stop. And it's getting easier to let it be the more time we do spend together and the more evidence I get that people actually like each other. I almost drove myself crazy with this the first time me, Mya and Alec hung out (as they can testify), and compared to that it's getting a thousand times better. But it's still exhausting, to stress over the what ifs and stuff I really have no control over (and I guess that's why I have such a hard time in letting it go). If anybody has any magical tips, besides trying to rationalise myself out of it, feel welcome to share...
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