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  #1  
Old 12-31-2011, 08:39 PM
fadinglight fadinglight is offline
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Default Confused and frustrated with a liminal state

Here's the situation:

My partner and I have always been poly, from the get-go. Both of us are rather reserved though, for different reasons, so we hadn't actually had many partners outside our relationship.

We moved from our old social groups and spent several years basically uninterested in other partners, just the two of us, so I often considered us "theoretically poly" and rarely brought the fact that we are poly up in mixed company.

So, it was much to my pleasant surprise when a friend of mine that I met in our current place of residence expressed a romantic interest in me, he is poly, and that I found myself reciprocating.

Of course, he didn't tell me this - it was his partner who did and I thought we needed to have a face-to-face conversation. We met for food and it basically turned into a date. So, I was like "Yay!" and giddy with NRE.

Later, I find out they had been fighting about me. And they continued fighting for a month. To be fair, his partner has had an extremely stressful time and so I've been trying to be very respectful of her feelings - especially since he's done some dumb things (like not communicate completely to her).

I actually hung out with her, and we've gone to dinner together (the four of us). We get along fine.

He and I went on a couple more dates and we usually chat online extensively.

However, he's basically been AWOL for the past two weeks and I feel somewhat... neglected. And I feel bad for feeling this way because our relationship isn't a "relationship" yet. We've kissed, and that's pretty much it. I don't feel like I am entitled to anything, but being basically ignored is kind of hurting. My mono-but-extremely-accepting friend thinks that I AM entitled to something and that there is some commitment to a relationship there - but I'm not so sure. Right now, with him AWOL, it doesn't even feel like we're friends.

So, basically, I'm in a liminal state and it's frustrating, and I would LIKE to be able to have some entitlement to his time but I'm also extremely aware that his partner has had a rough year and she really needs the emotional support right now - and that we haven't even had any sort of real conversation about defining the relationship or my needs.

Some people can do liminal relationships, I'm not one of them.

I know that the solution is to have a conversation, preferably face-to-face, but he hasn't replied to my texts. I feel powerless.
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2012, 06:28 PM
Moonglow Moonglow is offline
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Sorry, I know the lack of communication can really be a bummer. I don't have anything to add but wanted you know that I hope this time will move by quickly and things will come out to a good place for all involved. I always tell myself, I hate wishing for more when I have a relationship that will never yield the attention I am craving. It is also particularly hard when it is new, and it suddenly stops. So I get what you are saying...
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:21 PM
chg2winter chg2winter is offline
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For myself, I would set the tone. I would send the guy one more email, saying "You seem to have lost interest and unless I hear from you, I'll assume you have moved on" ... and I'd then move on.

But you can only say that if it is true - otherwise you are just manipulating :P

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:43 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Isn't this development only a couple months along? IMHO, it's too new to be having expectations about "entitlement to his time." That seems very presumptuous on your part - you two are just getting started to feel things out! I wouldn't make any demands. Holidays also add stress to relationships. Two weeks isn't really that long. I would just wait to see if he communicates with you again. He'll likely start off with something like "Sorry I haven't been in touch..." which I would forgive and proceed as usual without asking for an explanation. If he doesn't get in touch again, move on. Sometimes things just fizzle out and we can't do anything about it.

As far as being a "liminal relationship," I'm not sure what you mean, since liminal means "of or relating to a sensory threshold." Do you mean he is keeping too much distance between you? Again, it's at an early stage, and the holidays are a time of stress and obligation for most people, so I would try not to let yourself get too bent out of shape about it.
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solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 01-01-2012 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:46 PM
fadinglight fadinglight is offline
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Liminality is an ambiguous state, the experience of being on the threshold between two psychological or "metaphysical" places. Here, I use it to mean the place between in-a-relationship and not-in-a-relationship. By liminal relationship, I refer to a relationship that is without form, certainty or definition.

It's not that I expect him to go out or something. More that I would like even just a short "Hey, hope you're having good holidays. We're super-busy. Miss you!" sort of text message thing. I have acquaintance-friends who are super busy during the holidays and they still even manage to drop me a short message to say hello and wish me well.

Entitlement to time is perhaps too strongly worded. More, that I would like to be able to even mention that I would like to see him more without feeling like I have no rights and should just wait for him to have time or need for me, like a good little plaything. And saying "Oh, why don't you just do other things" is eminently unhelpful. Just because you're full up on hanging out with other people you like doesn't mean you don't miss someone who isn't there. I went to a fabulous New Year's party, had a great time with friends, but I still miss talking to him.

Last edited by fadinglight; 01-01-2012 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:53 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I personally think that going on a couple dates and having a kiss does not a relationship make.

"You're pretty cool. Do you want to be my boyfriend?" replied by "Really? Or course I do!" a relationship makes.

Assuming is never helpful. Everyone has different criteria for when relationships start, whether it has to be official or implicit, and what boundaries that automatically includes. Add in Poly, and it's very important to communicate and be clear about what you want, where you see things going, and what phase of relationship development you're in.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:58 PM
fadinglight fadinglight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
I personally think that going on a couple dates and having a kiss does not a relationship make.

"You're pretty cool. Do you want to be my boyfriend?" replied by "Really? Or course I do!" a relationship makes.

Assuming is never helpful. Everyone has different criteria for when relationships start, whether it has to be official or implicit, and what boundaries that automatically includes. Add in Poly, and it's very important to communicate and be clear about what you want, where you see things going, and what phase of relationship development you're in.
I never said it was a "relationship".

I just expect a little more communication from someone who even purports to be a *friend*.

It wasn't "a" kiss. But that's neither here nor there, your point is valid - it isn't a relationship until the people involved agree it is.

I know I'm being emotional and irrational and having all these expectations, but it's how I feel - especially right now when I can't even have communication because he's not replying. Like I'm talking into the void of the Internet.

Last edited by fadinglight; 01-01-2012 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:18 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fadinglight View Post
... I would like to be able to even mention that I would like to see him more without feeling like I have no rights and should just wait for him to have time or need for me, like a good little plaything.
Hmmm, who says you can't tell him you want to see him? How come you can't send holiday greetings to him? Why does it feel like you have no rights to reach out? I mean, I said that I would wait to hear from him if I were you, but I didn't mean it like you are not allowed to contact him, just that you relax and play it cool, not be pushy or assuming too much.

You say you haven't heard from him in two weeks. Was that the last time you sent a message, or have you contacted him several times since then? Can't you call him on the phone instead of send a message? I often go that long or more between communications with someone new. So, to me, it's no big deal, but it doesn't sound good if someone has already given you the sense that you're just a plaything, so soon into this. Could this just be the way you're seeing things, from a perhaps impatient perspective of wanting something to happen?
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The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 01-02-2012 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:07 AM
fadinglight fadinglight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Hmmm, who says you can't tell him you want to see him? How come you can't send holiday greetings to him? Why does it feel like you have no rights to reach out? I mean, I said that I would wait to hear from him if I were you, but I didn't mean it like you are not allowed to contact him, just that you relax and play it cool, not be pushy or assuming too much.
I did reach out, I tried very hard not to be That Person and text everyday - so I give him a couple days to reply. He hasn't replied. At all. I sent him a message Thursday, and I sent one today when I didn't hear back just saying Happy New Year. And it's not a matter of him not being online, because I see him tweeting (we're both those new social media types).

We don't do phone, which really is common in our social culture/generation. We *have phones*, but they're all smartphones so we're on the Internet all the time anyway and people don't call each other and our social group hates the "traditional" use of the phone.

As a result, we never bothered exchanging phone numbers. Well, technically he has mine, but that was for some group event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I often go that long or more between communications with someone new.
I think part of is that we were friends before this romantic stuff happened, at least, that's what I thought. I thought we talked all the time because we were friends, then it turns out he had feelings for me. And now I feel like I'm not a friend, not a lover, not anything.
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