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  #1  
Old 09-01-2011, 08:01 PM
wannabe wannabe is offline
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Default How/when to bring up an interest in poly?

Hello all,

I've been interested, but never active, in poly relationships. Lets just say, there isn't really any scene for that where I'm living. Also I've never been involved in a very long term relationship, maybe 2 years is the longest I've done and I've been happy with one person for that short time. So I guess I could be mono, but I doubt it. I firmly believe we are not meant for long term monogamy.

Two months ago I started a long distance relationship with a guy I met in Feb this year. The distance is annoying but otherwise its fantastic, NRE abounds.

Here's my dilemma: He is all I am interested at the moment and likely for some time to come. I'm not looking, I'm very happy now and am pretty sure he has never even heard of polyamory.

I feel this person is someone I could have a long future with and feel that I need to say something to him about my interest in poly at some point. Otherwise its 'false advertising' ...or something. I would like to be open but its very early days and in no way would I want him to feel that I was unsatisfied.

Am I obliged to disclose that I'm a 'theoretical' poly, or that I might eventually be interested in having a sexual relationship with someone else?
If so, when?

If you were in my shoes, what would you do? Especially since I'm not even sure that if he insisted on mono that it would be a dealbreaker for me.

thanks for listening!

Ms W
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2011, 08:43 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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Make sure he's listening to Dan Savage's podcast. With all the non-monogamy stuff Dan's talking about these days, once you bring up the idea of not being exclusive, it won't seem so emotionally charged or out of left field.

Worked for us. Seriously.
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2011, 08:55 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Well, if I was in your gentleman caller's shoes, I would like to know if poly was a possibility for you, even if you have not acted on it. As the relationship is quite new, I don't know if you need to bring it up immediately. However, as things evolve and get more serious (if they do), it should be put on the table.

P.S. Geeked out I got to use 'gentleman caller' in a post!
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2011, 08:56 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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Heh. Gentleman caller. LOLZ FOREVER.
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2011, 10:54 AM
Freedom Freedom is offline
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Yeah i think listening/watching some stuff on dan savage could be good. Or just buy the book Sex At Dawn and reading it in front of him. (this worked for me with my girlfriend). It could go a few ways though. He could be totally uninterested and not notice the hints. He could get the hints and be repulsed and leave or he could get it and start asking you questions. Then maybe he will go through a transition period where he has to deal with the new realities of your relationship. If this happens I would guess he will stay around and you will go through a negotiation period. I this happens you are on to a winner.
In my limited experience with my girlfriend, she had to go through a kind or mourning process while leaving our mono relationship before she came around to the idea. this can be unpleasant but at least you are doing the right thing. if he cant deal with the realities of life, i guess its just his problem
good luck!
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2011, 08:18 AM
wannabe wannabe is offline
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Default thanks!

Yes, I think a steady diet of Dan might be a good idea...now i just need to wrestle my copy of Sex at Dawn back off the friend who has had it for months!


As a sideline to my main question, I wondered about how to deal with my lovers:
Before I met Gentleman Caller (hilarious AND apt), I had two casual, occasional lovers for over a year, lets call them Matt and Rob. Rob is married and lives in a different country. With Matt it was kind of a friendly NSA set up, with Rob it is a mentor type relationship with some great sex thrown in. Matt is a little bit younger and tends to blow hot-and-cold a lot, gets close for a while, looses interest (perhaps persuing someone else) then gets back in touch. I accepted it cause it worked for me and Matt is very honest.

Since things got serious with GC both Rob and Matt are more interested. They have both been important to me and I don't want to simply drop them, I could probably continue a sexual relationship with them and it would not affect how I feel about GC. But that would not be fair to GC, would hurt him if he found out, would not be honest and I don't want to go there.

However I'm reluctant to 'come clean' about GC because some decades of experience tell me that arrangements like I have with Rob and Matt are more stable in the long term than the big love relationship.

Basically, I feel really great about GC but I fear putting all my eggs in one basket (pardon the pun!)
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  #7  
Old 09-03-2011, 10:43 AM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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hi wannabe

In this situation, I would want to mention that poly might be important in the future. The earlier you mention it, the easier.

And if he puts an ultimatum to you: mono or nothing, the sooner you face that ultimatum the better for the future.

And if he leaves you totally, feeling you are dodgy for ever even thinking of such a thing, then that is part of who you are, and the sooner you know the better.

But none of that is why I would tell (even though all of that is true).

For me I would say so as soon as possible so that I do not have the feeling that I am keeping something back. I do not want a relationship where I have a secret, as secrets kept over time tend to feel like guilty secrets. In short, I would tell her (it would be a lady caller for me) I would tell her as soon as possible, for my benefit, not mainly for hers.

Just my take on it.
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  #8  
Old 09-03-2011, 06:44 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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What TR said...

And is GC under the impression that you are seeing only him? Have you explicitly, in words which were said aloud, agreed to be monogamous with him? If so, you need to address that as soon as possible.

Is that why you think GC would be hurt that you have other lovers? Or other reasons?

Finally, do your other involvements know about GC? If they don't, it would be a courtesy to tell them, especially if the relationship with GC evolves into something serious. I'm juggling a marriage and two lovers and have found it very helpful that everyone knows about everyone else.
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2011, 09:58 PM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
...is GC under the impression that you are seeing only him? Have you explicitly, in words which were said aloud, agreed to be monogamous with him?
I think we need to be aware that in the mainstream culture, just agreeing to be in a relationship is taken to mean exclusivity. Given that we know that, we do have more of a duty to disclose other relationships.

Let me give an analogy. You turn up at a restaurant, your table is not yet available, and the maitre d' ushers you into the waiting area. Would madam like a drink while waiting? Yes please.
Now, nothing was said about paying for the drink. Was it complimentary (as the table was late), or does it get added to the bill? If you don't check at the time, you cannot refuse to pay because the culture of restaurant usage is that you pay for all food and drink supplied, unless stated otherwise.
Or, still at the restaurant, you get to the end of the meal and you leave. When accused of dishonesty, you say, correctly, all these nice people kept asking what I wanted, nobody asked me to promise to pay.

So, I think there is an ethical push towards being explicit about being poly, as soon as you get around to behaviour that implies exclusivity to most folk in that setting. I think the original post makes clear that this has already occurred, and I would not go along with the idea that it is OK just because words were not said.
Quote:
...
I'm juggling a marriage and two lovers and have found it very helpful that everyone knows about everyone else.
here I agree totally. You will be more comfortable with all these people once you are not keeping something back from them.
That may lead to an ultimatum: choose them or me. Even so, that is better than continuing with something that would hurt the person if they later found out.
It may also lead to an outright rejection. If so, them being with you now is based on false assumptions -- it is not the real you they are with but a sanitized fake made by their assumptions. Again, though rejection is never comfortable, I personally would rather be rejected as the real me than continue to be accepted on the basis of a misassumption.

And you may get really lucky: they may be ok with the idea; even if it is not their ideal scenario, they may be content to allow it to continue.

So yes, my advice is to go for full disclosure of all current ongoing situations.
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quaker poly experiences and poly: a quaker perspective

I hope other British Quakers who are poly (or wonder if they are) will contact me here, thanks, Friends.
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2011, 10:12 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
He is all I am interested at the moment and likely for some time to come. I'm not looking, I'm very happy now and am pretty sure he has never even heard of polyamory.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
Since things got serious with GC both Rob and Matt are more interested. They have both been important to me and I don't want to simply drop them, I could probably continue a sexual relationship with them and it would not affect how I feel about GC.
The above two statements are rather incongruous with each other. This seems to be a conflict and I'm unclear on what it is you want.
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