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Old 03-15-2012, 06:08 AM
PolyCurious4 PolyCurious4 is offline
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Default New and still figuring this out...

Hubby and I have been involved in the swinger lifestyle for many years off and on. For the last couple of years we have felt (and honestly before that) that the swinger arrangement though fun was lacking in something and felt empty. We had searched for "friends with benefits" for a long time and met great people but it never really panned out to be anything long standing because, well having a connection beyond sex in the lifestyle seems to be discouraged. At this point even friend’s with benefits doesn’t feel like the right fit.

So... Recently we met a couple that is more interested in a poly sort of relationship. It seems our ideal of a poly relationship is similar. A community sort of feeling between the four of us, a romantic pairing between the m/f couples and close friendship between the gentlemen & ladies (while I am bi she is only curious at this point). We envision date nights for our separate pairings and guys/girls nights out. We have talked about building real relationships and exclusivity between us. This is a very Utopian ideal and makes me wonder if it's even possible to maintain.

They had been in a similar relationship for nearly a year and recently ended. It appears they were left holding the bag when it ended very abruptly and though they admit it wasn't the best fit they were both hurt. As a result they want to take things very slow. As this is very new for us as well we are in total agreement.

Hubby and I had never 'played' separately before now. So far we've been getting together 1-2 times a week for separate dates. I have found this extremely liberating. The one on one time is very nice but also it’s freeing to know Hubby is enjoying time with her and I'm not jealous. I actually feel extremely happy for him to see him come home with a smile on his face knowing he's enjoying himself and connecting with her.

So that's the background...

Here are the concerns...

There is a bit of a discrepancy in attention shown between she and him. He and I talk every day. We talk about everything from sex to politics and religion. She talks to him as well but not nearly as often and nothing too deep, more lighthearted banter. Some days it's a "Hope you have a great day" and that's it. While Hubby realizes she has a busy schedule and communicates differently it can feel not so fun when my conversations are very different and more in depth. We realize no two relationships can be on the exact same page as another but it's so new for us and Hubby is more black & white, he'd like to know where he stands vs. is she going along for the ride because her Hubby is connecting so well with me. We’re pretty good at communicating so far between the four of us but how/should you address such a concern? He’s tried to let her know he’d like to have more time to talk to her but doesn’t want to pressure. The biggest thing for him is he doesn’t want to feel it’s more of a sexual thing than a connection. We are at a point that we want more than that.

The second concern is our lifestyles. We are in similar age brackets going to school and have a lot of similar interests. However, they don't have children (we have a young child) and enjoy going out to pubs and getting together with friends often. We on the other hand spend a significant more time at home. We don't like the idea of bringing people in and our child's world (not that we would share with our lil one that we were anything other than friends). However, we would like to do normal things in which our child could be present. However the vibe we get from them thus far is they don't care to get together unless it's sans child. This feels off...I can't imagine having a loving relationship with someone and cut out an entire part of my life as if it's doesn't exist. Not that I expect them to be an involved part of our child's life but to have them come over after our child is in bed or to always find a sitter if we get more involved feels off to me.

And finally... Hubby and I have been enamored with our playmates before. It's always nice to like the people you're intimate with. But something about them... or maybe it's just the experience...NRE? How do you manage those first new emotions and behave like a normal person not wanting to rush into things too quickly?
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:27 PM
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Hullo and welcome! You are not the first swinger to cross these boards, so I hope some members who have a similar background will want to chime in.

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Originally Posted by PolyCurious4 View Post
He and I talk every day. We talk about everything from sex to politics and religion. She talks to him as well but not nearly as often and nothing too deep, more lighthearted banter. Some days it's a "Hope you have a great day" and that's it.
This is very new, right? Whereas you have been with your hubs for some time already? I think those indepth discussions might come along once they get to know each other better. The guard is let down and people are more comfortable expressing their true feelings and opinions on matters. When we are in a new relationship with someone, it's very important to feel accepted by them, and thus many people avoid talking about their eccentricies, passions and strong opinions to minimize opportunities for disagreement.

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Originally Posted by PolyCurious4 View Post
...Hubby is more black & white, he'd like to know where he stands vs. is she going along for the ride because her Hubby is connecting so well with me. We’re pretty good at communicating so far between the four of us but how/should you address such a concern? He’s tried to let her know he’d like to have more time to talk to her but doesn’t want to pressure. The biggest thing for him is he doesn’t want to feel it’s more of a sexual thing than a connection. We are at a point that we want more than that.
So there are not one but three issues at work here. 1. He would like to talk more to her and about deeper stuff. 2. He would like to know if she is really into him or just going through the motions to keep everyone happy. 3. He is worried that their connection might just be about sexual infatuation.

As to issue nr 2 - that feeling of insecurity is part and parcel of any new relationship. There's no complete doing away with that. "Does she like me, does she see future potential for us, does she like me as much as I like her, is she just passing time in the wait for something better...".

With several people involved in the relationship at the same time, there's the added pressure of not knowing whether everyone is going to end up liking everyone the same way at the same time. This seems rarely to be the case, but then again, I think people often have very stringent time frames for when situations need to "move forward", "get serious", whatever. If you needed several years to figure out that swinging wasn't right for you, why should poly bliss happen within months?

Issue nr 3 - how about they get out of the bedroom and go out together, not just to pubs and the like, but actually do some activities together, share an interest or passion, do something that will also give them stuff to talk about?

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Originally Posted by PolyCurious4 View Post
We don't like the idea of bringing people in and our child's world (not that we would share with our lil one that we were anything other than friends). However, we would like to do normal things in which our child could be present. However the vibe we get from them thus far is they don't care to get together unless it's sans child. This feels off...I can't imagine having a loving relationship with someone and cut out an entire part of my life as if it's doesn't exist. Not that I expect them to be an involved part of our child's life but to have them come over after our child is in bed or to always find a sitter if we get more involved feels off to me.
I was involved with a couple who had small children, and while I love the wee ones dearly, it's hard being the one who isn't really a stranger but not exactly responsible for the kiddoes either. I don't know if the four of you have sleepovers or what are your kid's sleeping patterns, but a simple thing can put a childfree person off - they might think for example that they are too loud in bed, or can't express themselves freely when there are anklebiters around.

You say you get a vibe from them, but have you actually asked them how they feel about children? If they say that they absolutely hate children and don't want to hear, see or smell them ever, then you need to considerably tone done the seriousness of the relationship. If they are not that antagonistic, maybe you could have a barbecue with other people coming over too, go camping or whatever it is that families do these days, and have your child be a natural part of that in-group interaction.

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Originally Posted by PolyCurious4 View Post
But something about them... or maybe it's just the experience...NRE? How do you manage those first new emotions and behave like a normal person not wanting to rush into things too quickly?
I suggest tag searching NRE and doing some reading if you haven't already. I'm dealing with it right now and it's causing strain in my established relationship, so I don't have a cure . I think if you already have a settled life, so to speak, it's good to hang on to a timeline of approx. a year together before making any major life changes. Redpepper but it nicely somewhere: if your "date night" means a night spent in front of the telly, folding laundry and being barely conscious of each other's presence in the same room, it might be a good time to start the moving in talks.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:06 PM
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I don't think it best to "act normal" when things are new... you should be excited... I think it's just being conscious of how it influences the others and adjusting to express it in the right way...
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyCurious4 View Post
Hubby is more black & white, he'd like to know where he stands vs. is she going along for the ride because her Hubby is connecting so well with me. We’re pretty good at communicating so far between the four of us but how/should you address such a concern? He’s tried to let her know he’d like to have more time to talk to her but doesn’t want to pressure. The biggest thing for him is he doesn’t want to feel it’s more of a sexual thing than a connection.
Has he come out and SAID he want to know where she stands, and to find out if she's just going along for the ride because her husband's connecting well with you? Asking straight out at least has a good chance of getting to the heart of the matter, unless she's not really being honest with herself.

If you have dates 1-2x a week, it sounds like there is time to talk to her. If he requires she be a different sort of communicator than she is, I am guessing he is going to be left unhappy. If she doesn't want to have long heartfelt conversations over the phone or email, she's not going to. Besides asking for exactly what he wants and asking if she is willing to give it to him, it can be a problem in a relationship to not be satisfied with who the person IS, and focusing on how you wish they'd be. I really consider for me the time is over where I have enough free time or desire to spend every day giddy chatting with a partner, I have a husband, a boyfriend, chores, places to go and friends to see, and it maybe she is the same, and then there is school. Some people need some time to themselves. Maybe she isn't suffering NRE as much as the rest of you so doesn't feel the need to jump headfirst and prefers moderation. Nobody can know if they don't ask her about it.

How old is this relationship? Do you and your husband have some sort of timeline in mind where it is intolerable if they won't spend family time with you and your child? I am guessing lots of people prefer to bond before getting involved in family time. Nevertheless, if your relationships aren't to a place where you can broach the subject (Hey, I'm curious, I'd like to be able to hang out with the four of us and our kid, you guys seem reluctant to do that now, am I misreading that? Can we talk about if you think you would feel that comfortable at some point?), then it's probably to soon to be wanting to hang out as a 5some anyway.

Is it going to be a deal-breaker if you and the husband connect and want to keep dating but he and the wife end up not being that compatible? If it's really early on and it's such an issue that two of you are connecting more than the other two of you, I am guessing it's likely that it will be a difficult road if he can't focus on the positives instead of comparing.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
However the vibe we get from them thus far is they don't care to get together unless it's sans child.
It may be a misunderstanding, or it may be their preference (not to be around children). If it bothers you, you explain what you're seeing and ask them about it.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:05 AM
PolyCurious4 PolyCurious4 is offline
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Thank you so much for your helpful replies! It helped to put things in perspective a bit.

Such a good point. It did take us a long time to get to this point and to want it all ‘now’ is too fast & too much. We spent so many years contemplating the what if's and worrying about the what if's and to now to have a taste, have the worries put to rest - it feels good. So our emotions keep saying "I want more" and our head is saying "slow your roll". lol

Hubby has not come out and said to her that he'd like more time. He realizes it’s new and doesn't want to be pushing or smothering. When they are together he says they have an amazing time. She always tells him the next morning how much she enjoyed herself. I don't think that's an issue.

I think you hit the nail on the head, he *is* comparing. She is very much an artistic free spirit and very bubbly and coy at times. It doesn't seem she's into deep conversations as far as I can see. She and I visit as well and it's always lighthearted banter. He is artistic and all over the place as well but he's very much a talker and so he and I have very different style conversations. Hubby and I have shared how our evenings have been and perhaps sharing so much isn't a great idea.

They have had a talk at her prompting actually. She shared that she's overwhelmed and spreads herself too thin. She feels badly that she's not taking the time she would like. I thought it was very nice. She wants to live in the moment, not talk about the future and enjoy exploring where this goes organically. I think this sounds great. I think he just wants to know and for her to say he's not out there all by himself, that she has an interest in more than sex and that he's not going to be hurt because she's not really wanting the same thing.

In regards to our child... We would not want to introduce them at this stage. I don't know that we have a set time when we'd like to but certainly would be a long time before we would. And it's not a deal breaker at this point either. Very early on we were talking about what's, where this could go, what we'd like to have in a poly relationship etc... In one of those conversations Hubby did come out and ask if they were opposed to doing things with children around at some point. She said she would talk to him and never has responded or broached the subject again.

Hubby and I did talk about what if things didn't work out with her. He said he knows we have a connection and I like him so he'd be ok with it. But my worry is because he does have a crush developing would it be hurtful for him.

I guess my fear is will our lifestyles ever really mesh. Or are my thoughts still aligned with mono thinking? When I envision love and a partnership/relationships I imagine sharing many aspects of your life. Our lives are very different. We do all enjoy similar music, art, movies, cultural references etc.. But our free time is spent much differently. It takes planning for Hubby and I have a date night to enjoy the adult enjoyments of life. Maybe twice a month if that we have a short date night because of childcare concerns. We plan a weekend getaway at least twice a year. Beyond that our time is spent at the park, the zoo, discovery center etc… On the flip side they go out with friends a few times a week and happy hour is the place to be. Not to imply that they are lushes. We’d love to have more free time but with having a young child at home it’s difficult. Perhaps the answer is rather than planning evenings for the four of us perhaps it will require we plan completely separate date nights. I dunno…just trying to figure this out.

As much as I would love to be a free spirit I’m planner and if I can’t sort something out in my head it drives me bonkers. Or maybe I’m trying to label it into a planned this is how this should go… But on the reverse when he sends me a message every morning to wish me a good day and tells me how much he’s excited to see me I melt and none of this matters.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings…
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:21 AM
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Perhaps the answer is rather than planning evenings for the four of us perhaps it will require we plan completely separate date nights.
Sounds reasonable to me. Try to achieve balance so that no one is left feeling that they are stuck at home babysitting while everyone else is off having a good time. Those emotions will likely come at some point, no matter what you do, but making sure that you always have dates at the same time isn't completely safe either. If things are not progressing well with your hubs and her, they might end up feeling they are obliged to date so that you and your beau can have a date without feeling guilty. Cultivating independence is probably the way to go.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:02 AM
polyq4 polyq4 is offline
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Default I your boat but 4 years later

My wife and I were swingers also and met this one couple. Well let's just say it evolved organically. Today the 4 of us are together as a fourple, we now spend almost every evening and weekend together. Last night the four of us made love in the same bed (it varies). We do things quite often as cross-couples meaning my grand I couple and my wife and her bf couple. We have had many conversations about what if it failed in one half, but now I think we are well past that. I could almost write a book about everything lol. I don't want to get to long winded on your thread so if you have any questions ask away.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:14 PM
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I could almost write a book about everything lol.
Oh! I think a book on the quad experience would be a great addition to any poly bookshelf! You should seriously consider that!
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:52 PM
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I agree I would read it.
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