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  #1  
Old 11-08-2011, 02:46 AM
blister blister is offline
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Default opening up relationship vs. just breaking up

Hello,

Have browsed the site a bit, but this is my first post...I'm afraid it sounds like a bit of an asshole-y question, but I am wondering if anyone has ever had experience with opening up a (monogamous) relationship when they they were thinking of breaking up.

My boyfriend and I have been together for several months, and, perhaps because it was both of our first relationship, we're together all the time. That said, we also started out both interested in having an open relationship. Nothing came of our open-ness, though, and, after a problematic period between us, we decided against being open for the time being.

Anyway, I know that this is not a life-long romantic monogamous relationship, and know at some point we'll go separate ways, at least as exclusive lovers. Pretty sure my super-romantic friend does not acknowledge this, will be hurt by this reality, and possibly will get really depressed. But at this point, I'd like to go out with other people.

I don't want to cut off contact with him, both because I would enjoy staying his friend/some-time lover, and also, not unrelatedly, I want to make sure he fares okay.

I'm considering bringing up having an open relationship and seeing where things go from there instead of just cutting off things completely.

Just wondering if anyone has done this... I know it sound like a bad idea in many ways, but I wish it could be possible.

Thanks....and sorry if this question seems at all infantile.
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2011, 07:23 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Well, its kinda mean and dishonest don't you think? You could ask him what he thinks will happen in the future with the two of you and see what he says.... I think I would just tell him that I want to be his friend and maybe sometimes have sex, but that I'm are moving on because I realize that I am not in love with him in a long term way. . It might hurt him, but I think its cowardly to not be honest and up front about how you feel. It isn't saving you any work in the long run really to hold on to your thoughts and it certainly would save his feelings of feeling connected with you when you aren't with him. Why waste his time if you are not feeling what he is and don't care to be around for much longer? Why waste your time for that matter?
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:54 AM
blister blister is offline
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Yes, I suppose you are right. It wouldn't be dishonest to open the relationship up really, from my standpoint, but he would probably interpret it that way in the long run.

I guess I just wish it was possible for a relationship to fade away gradually like a regular friendship without having to "break up"...because really that is what I would hope for. But obviously even -- well, ESPECIALLY -- open relationships require work and talk and hurt feelings when new people come into play...so I guess there's no way an open relationship would protect him from the hurt feelings.

Thanks for replying....I guess I knew the answer though.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:01 AM
Hannahfluke Hannahfluke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blister View Post
Yes, I suppose you are right. It wouldn't be dishonest to open the relationship up really, from my standpoint, but he would probably interpret it that way in the long run.

I guess I just wish it was possible for a relationship to fade away gradually like a regular friendship without having to "break up"...because really that is what I would hope for. But obviously even -- well, ESPECIALLY -- open relationships require work and talk and hurt feelings when new people come into play...so I guess there's no way an open relationship would protect him from the hurt feelings.

Thanks for replying....I guess I knew the answer though.
I don't know that open relationships require hurt feelings when new people come in to play. Sure, they require work and talk but it is possible to avoid hurt feelings. My husband seems to do pretty well at avoiding hurt feelings when I start seeing new people as long as I continue to make him a priority in my life. I do pretty well at avoiding hurt feelings also a long as he does the same. Maybe I'm reading what you wrote wrong?
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:00 PM
blister blister is offline
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I guess I just meant that from what I've gathered (and what appeals to me) it seems like some people in poly relationships make an effort to acknowledge hurt feelings, and do acknowledge that that is part of life...as opposed to denying it.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:43 PM
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Everyone who's ever had to break up with someone they cared for has wished there were an easy way out. Unfortunately there's not. Any attempts to spare his feelings by trying to let things just peter out rather than being clear about where you're at will backfire and cause more pain overall, not less. Your best bet is probably just to tell him exactly what you've told us -- that you don't see this as a forever relationship, that you care for him and would be happy to date him causally or have an FWB relationship, but that you're ready to date others. Be strong, for both of your sakes.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blister View Post
I guess I just wish it was possible for a relationship to fade away gradually like a regular friendship without having to "break up"...
Oh, I've had plenty of relationships just fade out. It can be a big relief when it happens that way. It fizzles out by just calling and seeing each other less frequently until neither one makes the effort anymore.

It usually only works in situations where things are very casual, which makes sense, right? Just letting things fade usually happens when there's not much spark, or the people are just tired of each other, or it's not very involved in the first place. It's always possible to hookup again down the road a few years, months, or whenever, as long as there're no hurt feelings left about it.

I don't know if letting it fade would work for you here, because you say you two are together all the time, and you want to stay in touch with him and maybe still get it on with him once in a while. You may just have to find the words to tell him. That being said, it's your first relationship, you've only been together a few months, and you may look back at this in the future like, "I wanted to stay in touch? Why?" Only you know what feels right for handling your situation. I would say, just be clear with yourself about what you want, as far as ending it completely or keeping possibilities open.
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Last edited by nycindie; 11-08-2011 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:37 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I was in a somewhat similar situation recently and it was hard on both of us. I met a girl who was married and poly, like me, and I really wanted to be friends with her, since she was someone who could relate to my lifestyle.

But she ended up having feelings for me that I did not return. Since I haven't had much experience with women, I was torn between wanting to pursue the sexual side of the relationship for the experience, but not being attracted to her.

Didn't take me very long to figure out that wasn't going to work, but in the meantime I inadvertently sent mixed signals.

Part of my thing was that I did not want to lose her friendship.

Well, it ended up with very hurt feelings on her part. Mind you the whole situation happened within the span of eight days, but I felt afterwards like I should have been more honest with myself first, and that would have allowed me to be more honest with her.

Although she told me we would still be friends, it didn't work out that way. As soon as the romantic possibility was off the table, she stopped calling and texting me. She said it was so she could work through her feelings, but I also suspect that she was not interested in "just" friendship.

So what does this have to do with you?

I think it's better to put all your cards on the table and let the dice fall where they will. Accept the possibility that you might lose the friendship as well as the romance. Not going to lie, that's going to suck. But otherwise you're leading him on. At the very least, tell him that you don't see this relationship being forever.

That actually reminds me of another story from years ago. I was dating this guy, it was fun, but I knew it wouldn't last forever. That came up once in conversation, and he broke up with me two days later. He basically said that, although he didn't know whether I was "the one," he said he couldn't be with someone if there wasn't at least the possibility of marriage at some point.

I had to respect that. It sucked to lose the romance, but it isn't right to hold someone back from working towards what they want in life, if you know deep down that you're not it.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:39 PM
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Carma Carma is offline
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Maybe read up on codependent relationships. It sounds like you are struggling with establishing some boundaries in this relationship. You're together all the time, but it might be better to have some breathing space. You realize your bf is probably going to be depressed when the relationship ends -- and how much of this is your responsibility??? Do you each have other friends/support systems, or is the emotional stability of one another primarily your focus? He is "super-romantic" -- that can be a red flag for a codependent personality. Look out -- you could feel terribly guilty about leaving this relationship when you feel you've outgrown it. That guilt can eventually hold you hostage, by the way. The longer time is invested, the more obligation you may feel to this guy -- even at the expense of your own health and happiness.

He should be able to "fare okay" without you. Otherwise, he is using you to fill emotional holes that are HIS -- not your -- responsibility to fill.

Be careful, and don't compromise what you know you need in life to be happy. If this is your first relationship, and you know it won't be your last, this will be a great opportunity to learn and to grow. Best wishes, glad you're here.
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