Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-04-2012, 11:58 AM
persephone persephone is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 68
Default He wants a romantic relationship without the dating part

I have a good male friend who would like to be more to me, and I am very fond of him, but we are stuck at an impasse that I don't see us getting out of. I was curious what others would think of our situation.

I met J. on a dating site and we became friends and talked about having a poly relationship together. J. is married with kids, as am I, and they were just trying polyamory again after a hiatus of some years. At first, J's wife C. was not sure she wanted J. to proceed with dating me, or anyone, because of their family obligations. (She was, and is, not interested in having poly relationships for herself, although she has has them in the past.) I didn't argue, I just decided, no worries, J. can be my friend, we don't need to be in a romantic relationship together. That changed last November when their family obligations lessened somewhat and C. told J. that it was now fine for him to date me, and even encouraged him to take me out for the evening. We both had a very good time. I expected that he and I would continue seeing each other one on one, and he did make plans with me a few times after that, but they were always plans that included C. as well. (Both us ladies are straight.) I like C., but I made it very clear to J. that I wasn't dating her too. So he'd make plans with me, then invite C. along, and I'd shrug and invite my husband. We all became good couple friends that way, but my romantic relationship with J. did not feel, to me, as if it was progressing at all.

I finally realized that one way to have alone time with J. despite his seeming unwillingness to schedule it, was to meet on our lunch hour (we work fairly near each other), so I suggested doing that. C. cannot have lunch with us because her place of work is too far away from ours. We got into a pattern of seeing each other once a week that way, with no spouses or kids along. That was nice, and did help me feel closer to him, but I need more one-on-one quality time than that if I am going to be in a romantic relationship with someone. I've expressed this to J. upon a number of occasions.

At present, it feels like J. and I are in a stalemate. He's made it pretty clear that he would like to be in a relationship with me, but does not want to spend any alone time with me that would take him away from his wife and kids in the evenings or on weekends. I have made it crystal clear that a big part of what I want in a relationship is someone to go out with in the evenings, dinner, movies, all that mundane but fun stuff. I've had two local poly relationships in the past, and I had a "date night" with each of my boyfriends, and had a lot of fun with both of them. That is what feels normal and appropriate to me.

C. has made it clear to me that she supports J. having a relationship with me, and I do not believe she would object if he saw me in the evenings occasionally without her along. I think the issue is J. feeling guilty about taking any time away from his family to pursue another relationship. He has suggested to me that one way for us to have alone time is for me to come over to his house after his kids are asleep and "cuddle" in his basement. This might work for me if we ended up doing that AFTER spending some fun time together out doing something, but as a goal in and of itself, well, him suggesting that just felt demeaning to me, not very different from the creeps online who try to get me to just come over to their place for casual sex.

It seems a shame to me that he and I are stuck this way. We definitely have an attraction, we live quite near each other, our spouses are supportive, everything SHOULD work, and yet, we're both frustrated with each other and the situation.

J. recently said that he and I just have different needs. I agreed with him, then told him that if you really care about someone, you get out of your comfort zone a little to try to meet the other person's needs.

Thoughts?

Last edited by persephone; 04-04-2012 at 12:33 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-04-2012, 01:05 PM
CielDuMatin's Avatar
CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 1,456
Default

I've talked about this before, and even blogged about it, so apologies to those who remember for this familiar territory, but I think that it's really important for each of you to work out the things that are important in a relationship and to categorize them into what I call Needs, wants and likes.

Needs are non-negotiables - things that must be in place (or not be in place in the case of boundaries) for the relationship to stand a chance of working. If a need cannot be met, then that is a show-stopper.

Wants are things that are important, but could be given up as part of a negotiation.

Likes are "nice-to-haves".

If you and he have needs that are not compatible, then asking him to give that up under the guise of "expanding his comfort zone" starts to get into the area of not respecting his limits and needs. If this idea is a Want of his, then it is certainly something that you can negotiate, but you need to do it on the basis of making things work for the both of you, not him unilaterally giving up something that he regards as important.

And now, just to be provocative - you are asking him to expand his comfort zone in order to give you what you need - how about you expanding your comfort zone to give him what he needs? Why does this have to be one-sided?

In my opinion, so much of this sort of this relationship negotiation comes down to understanding how important each of our Needs, Wants and Likes are, and communicating them to each other in an effective way so that all the win-wins can be explored. if there are conflicting needs that are by their nature non-negotiable, then no amount of discussion, cajoling or arguing is going to make it work in a positive way.
__________________
Please check out The Birdcage - an open, friendly Polyamory forum for all parts of New York State
http://www.thebirdcage.org/

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-04-2012, 01:38 PM
nllswing nllswing is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 48
Default

Think about a situation, in which one has three resources: money, time, and efforts.

Some people have better money managing skills than others, and end up financially better off than peers with the same income. Similarly, there are people who "make time" by managing their time more efficiently then others. Lastly, the same can be said about managing one's efforts. Now, things get even more complicated when not everyone has the same starting pool of money, time, and effort/energy to spend.

Maybe J. is short in the time/effort department or thinks that he is so. In such a case, maybe he cannot "afford you" in terms of effort and time. I would also feel frustrated is someone is inviting me to her place for when everyone is asleep to "cuddle in the basement."

On the other hand, I could understand that because I spend very little time with my wife - we live apart during the week due to jobs. For this reason I would not meet people when I could spend that little time with my wife. I'd rather meet friends on "my time."

If J. can afford spending quality time with you, the question is how he better manages his time and efforts. If he is stretched thin and cannot put the time and effort in you, then you have a discuss.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-04-2012, 02:58 PM
ihaveasecret ihaveasecret is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: the beach
Posts: 24
Default

Sounds just like the story in this thread.

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19858
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-04-2012, 04:25 PM
rory's Avatar
rory rory is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Europe
Posts: 496
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by persephone View Post
I expected that he and I would continue seeing each other one on one, and he did make plans with me a few times after that, but they were always plans that included C. as well. (Both us ladies are straight.) I like C., but I made it very clear to J. that I wasn't dating her too. So he'd make plans with me, then invite C. along, and I'd shrug and invite my husband. We all became good couple friends that way, but my romantic relationship with J. did not feel, to me, as if it was progressing at all.

At present, it feels like J. and I are in a stalemate. He's made it pretty clear that he would like to be in a relationship with me, but does not want to spend any alone time with me that would take him away from his wife and kids in the evenings or on weekends.
It sounds like you're not very high in his list of priorities, and it sounds like that position is not enough for you to consider yourself in a relationship with him. It is pretty irrelevant to you whether his reluctance to spend time with you on evenings is because of his wife or because of feeling guilty: either way he has made his choice. I would suggest you continue as friends only.
__________________
Living with my partner Mya and metamour Hank. Seeing Lily.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-04-2012, 06:31 PM
persephone persephone is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 68
Default

CielduMatin, these are some of the ways I've tried to accommodate J.'s needs:

Spent time with him and his wife and kids on numerous occasions, even though his kids have some pretty extreme behavioral issues. I've been over to their house, had them over to mine, gone on outings with him and his kids and my younger child, etc., even though I would much prefer to see J. alone. I know that he needs anyone he dates to have a good relationship with his children, so I have tried to, even though they are very challenging kids.

Dealt with the fact that J. shows every single IM chat and email we have to his wife, even when I've told him very personal things. I know they have a need to be totally transparent with each other, so I haven't objected to it, even though it makes me uncomfortable at times, especially when he tells me that his wife was "amused" by something I had not thought of as amusing.

Rory, thanks for your input. I think you are absolutely right. I always feel that I can "fix" things, but I don't think I can do so here.

Last edited by persephone; 04-04-2012 at 06:46 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-04-2012, 07:33 PM
CielDuMatin's Avatar
CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 1,456
Default

Thanks for the clarification.

It is definitely sounding like mismatched needs or wants - the trick it to find out which are truly negotiable and which aren't. Hopefully he knows...
__________________
Please check out The Birdcage - an open, friendly Polyamory forum for all parts of New York State
http://www.thebirdcage.org/

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-04-2012, 08:03 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 1,305
Unhappy

Yeah, unfortunately, you and J have different definitions of a romantic relationship and different resources to meet those definitions. The parents I know with difficult, challenging children - for whatever reason - have so much less time to give to anything else, even beyond what 'normal' parents with 'normal' children have. He is just not ever going to have the time that you want with a romantic partner. And neither of you is wrong. He needs to be close to home right now and you deserve someone to go out on the town with you. You just don't suit each other.

Yes, they do sound joined at the hip. Showing the wife all of your texts, etc. is rather controlling especially as it seems you tolerate that but didn't agree to it it like it. But they are probably in crisis mode a fair bit and may have evolved that way in part to cope with a difficult situation at home. At any rate, it doesn't matter as an above commentator had noted J had made his choice clear. Let him go, remember him fondly, stay friends, and look him up 20 years from now :-)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-04-2012, 09:26 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsyl-tucky
Posts: 1,115
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
... unfortunately, you and J have different definitions of a romantic relationship and different resources to meet those definitions....
I agree with this. For me, personally, cuddling in the basement after the kids (theirs...I don't have any) have gone to sleep sounds WAY more enticing than having to get dressed in real clothes and go out to a dinner (my boys cook better than most restaurants) and a movie/show (most of which are not my cup of tea). But I am an introvert and a homebody . Spending time in public places with strangers around is so draining...rather be home (mine preferably, but a friend's if necessary) in comfy clothes, relaxing and having interesting conversations with someone fascinating while having a really good beer sounds like a perfect evening to me.

Good thing for me that MrS and Dude are on my page there...although Dude had to learn that I REALLY don't like other people in my house until we are already close (his friends may be awesome people...but this is private space for me).

Everyone has a different perspective, I guess.

JaneQ
__________________
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-04-2012, 11:46 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas City Metro
Posts: 2,186
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by persephone View Post
At present, it feels like J. and I are in a stalemate. He's made it pretty clear that he would like to be in a relationship with me, but does not want to spend any alone time with me that would take him away from his wife and kids in the evenings or on weekends. I have made it crystal clear that a big part of what I want in a relationship is someone to go out with in the evenings, dinner, movies, all that mundane but fun stuff. ...

Thoughts?
I think it's quite clear that he's not available for a relationship of the sort that you want. You can choose to become his booty call and have no romance or just have no romance and maintain the friendship.
__________________
When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
control issues, married dating

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:04 PM.