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Old 12-21-2014, 12:34 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Default "I'm not leaving you, I'm leaving poly."

My partner of just under a year, Pike, is thinking of ending our relationship, not because of anything to do with us -- things have been great with us -- but because he's not sure he wants to do poly any more. And not because he's naturally monogamous -- he actually seems very well adapted to loving multiple people -- but because he thinks he might have a better shot at long-term happiness if he aimed for monogamy.

He's only ever done monogamy before. After his long marriage ended, we found each other and he accepted my lifestyle (solo poly, a couple of other partners) easily. However, until just a couple of weeks ago, he hadn't had an intimate connection with anyone else while he was with me. The opportunity just hadn't arisen, he's not big on pursuing people, and he knew from talking to others in our big group of friends that some people were turned off or confused by my poly lifestyle.

Then a girl, a casual acquaintance, reached out to him and they started a fling that started to grow feelings fairly quickly. But she says she "doesn't like to share". And even though he's not sure he necessarily wants a serious relationship with her, it's thrown him into a crisis. He wonders whether he'll ever get the chance to date someone else seriously, to maybe find a new primary relationship, which I can't offer him, as long as he's with me.

If he leaves me, he says he won't really be leaving me, he'll be leaving poly.

So, my question is, have you ever said those words to someone? Or have you had them said to you? Any advice?

I don't want to lose him. Not yet. I feel like we still have so much to offer each other, so much exploring and enjoying to do. But I don't want to keep him in a situation that's not best for him either. Is he just being fearful and impatient? Am I just being clingy and short-sighted.

This sucks. :/
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Old 12-21-2014, 01:12 AM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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I've really feared that, being in a relationship with a monogamous man who wants children. We toyed around with the idea of him finding another partner but its a very strong possibility that in the future if he met a woman who would be his legal wife and have his child they would live together full time and he would eventually leave me if she gave him an altimatum. I was very hesitant to continue a relationship with someone who wants a family if I won't meet that need, my insecurity of the future even made me break up with him a couple times because his needs and mine aren't the same. I just didnt want to allow myself to get hurt . I highly doubt he would find a monogamous women who would be ok with him living with me half the time.

So I completely understand where you are coming from.
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Old 12-21-2014, 02:37 AM
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When I started dating my boyfriend, my biggest fear was he'd eventually find another monogamous woman to have a family with someday. However, he's remained staunchly mono with me for almost a year and never waivered on the fact he doesn't want to be a father.

If your guy is uncertain about his long term goals, I think you need to give him space to figure those out.
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Old 12-21-2014, 02:15 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I had this happen to me once, not nearly as serious a relationship as you've had however. And my sympathies! That sounds really painful.

I had a few dates with a cute sexy fun guy, who told me he was interested in poly after having just got out of a mono marriage. I knew he was also interested in another woman, and had had a few dates with her. But soon enough, he told me he was going to go mono with her! I didn't mind terribly as I was polysaturated myself at the time. Also she was closer in age to him and also had a young daughter the same age as his daughter.

But sometimes, I think, people treat us polys as if it's a scenario of banging the town slut until a "good girl" you want to marry comes along. We are good enough to have some fun with for a while, to relieve sexual tension, but not true boyfriend or girlfriend material? Bah!
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Old 12-21-2014, 02:59 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
He wonders whether he'll ever get the chance to date someone else seriously, to maybe find a new primary relationship, which I can't offer him, as long as he's with me.

If he leaves me, he says he won't really be leaving me, he'll be leaving poly.

So, my question is, have you ever said those words to someone? Or have you had them said to you? Any advice?

I don't want to lose him. Not yet. I feel like we still have so much to offer each other, so much exploring and enjoying to do. But I don't want to keep him in a situation that's not best for him either. Is he just being fearful and impatient? Am I just being clingy and short-sighted.
I've never said those words, but it's absolutely part of why I broke up with XBF. It's absolutely true that as long as I was dating him, my chances of ever meeting someone else for a primary relationship were severely reduced. I'm in no rush to marry, but neither am I willing to sacrifice my entire future and the chance to have a real partnership, in exchange for the limited relationship he offered.

It's very true that I left poly, not him.

No, Pike is not being fearful and impatient. He's being realistic. He's highly unlikely to ever find marriage, which he wants, as long as he dates you. I'm not sure what impatience has to do with it, considering there are almost no women who will marry him under these circumstances. It's not as if he's likely to find such a woman by giving it a little more time.

You say you don't want to lose him 'yet.' When do you want to lose him? When you're through with him? Yes, I do believe you're hanging on to what you want, and no, I don't believe it's best for him. He clearly wants something you have no intention of giving him.
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Old 12-21-2014, 03:39 PM
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I am so sorry you are going through this. I have never experienced this, but could imagine how hurt you feel. (((HUGS)))
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Old 12-21-2014, 03:54 PM
WhatToDo WhatToDo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post

You say you don't want to lose him 'yet.' When do you want to lose him? When you're through with him? Yes, I do believe you're hanging on to what you want, and no, I don't believe it's best for him. He clearly wants something you have no intention of giving him.
I was struck by that very same line. "Not yet"? What does that mean? You're not done with him yet so you want him to stick around?

I think some here scoff at the idea that someone could want marriage and monogamy. He's not being impatient at all. He knows that he's not going to get what he wants in life from you and wants to start going after that.
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Old 12-21-2014, 04:04 PM
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A2Poly A2Poly is offline
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I took the "yet" to mean more 'I recognize that our long term goals don't align, but I think we still have a great relationship right now'.

Djinn's other (ex)partner, Alladin, is also mono, and they transitioned to friendship when he had a third date with a mono girl he is interested in and he told Djinn that it had the potential to get serious. Their understanding was always that they would transition back to friendship when that happened, and they did. Dating your partner until he finds someone is possible, and doesn't need to be restrictive, unless he feels it is restrictive.
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Djinn: f(42) my BFF (30yrs), married to Mal (15yrs)
Mal: m(42) my partner, LDR (9m)
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The Kids: Djinn and Mal's children f(12) and m(6)

Last edited by A2Poly; 12-21-2014 at 04:08 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2014, 04:39 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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I have not been directly involved with someone figuring out what they want as Pike is doing. However, SW told me long ago that he is more likely to get the relationship he wants if he dates monogamous women. That there is a larger pool of possible partners was a major part in his calculation. He has been seeing someone monogamously for a couple of years now and seems mostly happy.

I'm sorry. I have no advice. Just that not all meaningful relationships last very long.
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  #10  
Old 12-21-2014, 05:18 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is online now
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Hi Annabel,

I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this. I think that many poly people fear that their partners - particularly those they don't live with - could eventually meet someone else and 'leave poly for monogamy'.

I understand that you are hurting, and it's completely natural to want to bargain when you're facing a great loss. I was once involved with a married woman, for two years, and though we both knew it would inevitably have to end at some point, I definitely prolonged the relationship and postponed our heartache for as long as I could. I really feel for you.

I do think that Pike is being realistic. While some people do get lucky and do manage to find their own 'primaries' whilst having other partners, other people really struggle. For instance, my girlfriend's 'secondary' (in that he does not live with us and their future is very limited in all arenas but love itself) expresses the same thing. He tells me that even as a hot young 26 year old guy, living in one of the most poly-friendly cities in the US, he's struggling to find that enigmatic 'primary of his own'. He meets monogamous girls, or poly girls who either want to sleep around a lot or already have a primary partner. He really wants someone with whom he can build a real life, as much as he loves my girlfriend. This is important to him, and I don't blame him for that.

Overall, I wouldn't say that Pike's being impatient, nor that you're being clingy. As hard as it is, it is important to put the happiness of those we love to the forefront of our minds. This might be the kind of thing that would have to happen sooner or later. Asking Pike to change his long-term desires is no different to him asking you to become monogamous with him.

On the other hand, it might be comforting and useful to remember that relationships don't have to be set in stone. You could agree to take an indefinite break from one another while he pursues his relationship with his monogamous girl, or other monogamous women. He may discover that what he's looking for isn't there, either.
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