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  #1  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:26 AM
LemonCakeIsALie33 LemonCakeIsALie33 is offline
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Default Forced separation with someone I'm falling for

I'm falling for someone. She has a boyfriend, and I've discussed my feelings for her with him. She knows about my feelings, too. He isn't sure how he feels about polyamory, and neither is she, but the three of us are all close friends, and they are both open to the idea, at least. They're both relatively monogamous; however, she is at least open to the idea of feelings for me. He thinks he might get jealous but said if she wanted to date me, he'd still want to be with her. I promised that if my pursuing her would harm them (not in a temporary jealousy way but in a way that was more permanent), I would back off and do whatever was necessary to abolish my feelings.

They're both largely asexual, so for them the boundaries between friendship and romance are necessarily a bit more fuzzy than they usually are for me.

The complication is that right now, she is very sick. She has chronic Lyme disease, which has recently worsened (hopefully temporarily) and has impacted her ability to think. The spirochetes are in her lovely, whip-smart, witty brain, and it hurts me so very much to see her struggling. She's one of the sweetest people I know, and I'm really starting to fall for her.

Because of the Lyme, she just doesn't have the energy to consider how she might feel for me. She can only say that she isn't uninterested in me, which is obviously a good thing. I think she would be honest if she was sure she didn't feel the same.

A couple days ago, the three of us watched a movie. She was in the middle, and he and I were both holding her hand. It was really comfortable and sweet, and she said both she and he felt comfortable, too. (I'm not interested in him romantically, but I do like him very much as a friend.)

I know it's important not to push her, and I wouldn't dream of adding to her stress. I guess, I just want to know what the boundaries might be - who is okay with what and not okay with what. They're not closed-off, but they don't talk much about serious things (especially right now since she's so sick), so I'm not sure what's up.

I want to be her girlfriend, I think. I know she isn't able to make that sort of new connection right now. I do I love her. I truly just want to be there for her, and while I do have to consider myself and my happiness, I'd never make myself happy at her expense.

She may have to leave school (in MA) soon and go back to the midwest, and I realized when she told me this that it would absolutely break my heart.

I don't even know why I'm posting about this. I guess I just wanted to get it all out. In my head I just keep turning around ideas, imagining things, and the thing that keeps coming up is...

I imagine her leaving. We are both crying, holding hands and holding each other as we were a couple of nights ago when she told me she might need to leave.

And in my imagination, I ask her, "Can I kiss you goodbye?"

I wrote something about her:

Some people you're drawn to, almost without noticing. Slowly - without obligation, without spoken commitment, without losing your independence - these people become knit into your life. You think in some deep, quiet place, "they will always be wherever I am," but you fail to notice how subtly and extensively you are intertwined until you are faced with sudden separation - and you are surprised (though you shouldn't be) at how much it hurts.
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Me: 22-year-old female, cis and queer, have identified as poly for ~2 years, currently in my first committed poly relationship

A: Poly boyfriend since 9/17/13, currently sexually open and not seeing other romantic partners but open to such in the future

Last edited by LemonCakeIsALie33; 04-19-2012 at 08:28 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:20 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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A difficult, emotional and heart-wrenching situation. I really appreciate you coming here and sharing this with us.

I really hope it works out well.
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2012, 03:10 PM
Nudibranch Nudibranch is offline
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Lem, I do know the anguish of that space where you have feelings arise for someone, you sense them in the other party...and you're nowhere near intimate enough yet to talk about all the questions and concerns that come up in your own heart and mind.

I surely know that profound sweetness in the moments where we are blessed with a wallbasher. That's what a poly friend of mine used to call it when you're with two or more people, and the walls just crumble. Instead of your "unusual" pattern of increase being dangerous and horrible and full of doom, it's just this simple, beautiful, glorious warmth. It's no wonder our hearts yearn so strongly in that direction.

Take care of your relationship with yourself as your own stress levels go up. This is hard work you're doing, and I wish you the very best as you feel your way through it. You were very kind to share it with us.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:23 PM
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If I can offer some insight from the "bugs in my brain?!" perspective: this past autumn one of the possible diagnoses for my eternal bodily weirdness was late-stage Lyme. Whatever-it-was got so bad that I could barely move, let alone be a good partner to CdM (message #2). He and I discussed what my health situation meant not just for us, but for me wanting, at some point, another partner. We had to conclude that until my situation improved, another partner would only detract from what we had.

At that point, "what we had" consisted of a lot of cuddling and some TV. I was housebound on my good days. I couldn't fathom leaving the house to meet anyone, even with CdM there. I did leave school, though since it was a distance learning program, at least I only had to shut my laptop off. I had a lot of doctor's appointments. You know you've been doing this too long when the prospect of giving your history again makes you snappish at best; I eventually had to print off a list and just hand it to whoever I saw. I was losing bits of all three languages I spoke.

During that time, I did connect with someone online who would've been really fun to date, once his own problems settled down. I had to let that connection go because it was just too much. Thinking about it, yeah, I'm sad, but turning inward allowed me to take care of myself and what turned out to be a nasty case of CFIDS/fibro (either I got both, lucky me, or they're two sides of the same die). So no lengthy hospital stay for Lyme treatment, but it took four full months from leaving school for me to feel close to human again. You know, like getting dressed. I still sleep ~12 hours a day, and my limit for out-and-about is somewhere around 1.5 hours before I start to decompensate. I will be ready to tackle school again in the fall. I don't know how ready I am to seriously entertain the prospect of a second partner.

Your love interest is facing similar problems, except that she might have to up and relocate on top of things. If the best she can tell you is "we could've been fantastic", she's still telling you a lot. It's cold comfort when you can't actually be fantastic together, but if that's all she can offer, that's all she can offer.

I wish her strength. I wish her recovery, if she can access it in our broken country. I wish you peace, and that you are able to go on if she can't go on with you. If she's anything like me, this is one more thing that The Disease took from her, and there is a very real grieving process attached to chronic, disabling illness. I'm so sorry for all of you.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2012, 09:02 PM
LemonCakeIsALie33 LemonCakeIsALie33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
A difficult, emotional and heart-wrenching situation. I really appreciate you coming here and sharing this with us.

I really hope it works out well.
Thank you. I really appreciate the support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nudibranch View Post
Lem, I do know the anguish of that space where you have feelings arise for someone, you sense them in the other party...and you're nowhere near intimate enough yet to talk about all the questions and concerns that come up in your own heart and mind.

I surely know that profound sweetness in the moments where we are blessed with a wallbasher. That's what a poly friend of mine used to call it when you're with two or more people, and the walls just crumble. Instead of your "unusual" pattern of increase being dangerous and horrible and full of doom, it's just this simple, beautiful, glorious warmth. It's no wonder our hearts yearn so strongly in that direction.

Take care of your relationship with yourself as your own stress levels go up. This is hard work you're doing, and I wish you the very best as you feel your way through it. You were very kind to share it with us.
Thank you for your support. Can you tell me what you mean by "increase being dangerous and horrible"? I do feel pangs of jealousy for her boyfriend, but I respect them and their relationship and the way she treats me makes it clear that she cares for me very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovefromgirl View Post
If I can offer some insight from the "bugs in my brain?!" perspective: this past autumn one of the possible diagnoses for my eternal bodily weirdness was late-stage Lyme. Whatever-it-was got so bad that I could barely move, let alone be a good partner to CdM (message #2). He and I discussed what my health situation meant not just for us, but for me wanting, at some point, another partner. We had to conclude that until my situation improved, another partner would only detract from what we had.

At that point, "what we had" consisted of a lot of cuddling and some TV. I was housebound on my good days. I couldn't fathom leaving the house to meet anyone, even with CdM there. I did leave school, though since it was a distance learning program, at least I only had to shut my laptop off. I had a lot of doctor's appointments. You know you've been doing this too long when the prospect of giving your history again makes you snappish at best; I eventually had to print off a list and just hand it to whoever I saw. I was losing bits of all three languages I spoke.

During that time, I did connect with someone online who would've been really fun to date, once his own problems settled down. I had to let that connection go because it was just too much. Thinking about it, yeah, I'm sad, but turning inward allowed me to take care of myself and what turned out to be a nasty case of CFIDS/fibro (either I got both, lucky me, or they're two sides of the same die). So no lengthy hospital stay for Lyme treatment, but it took four full months from leaving school for me to feel close to human again. You know, like getting dressed. I still sleep ~12 hours a day, and my limit for out-and-about is somewhere around 1.5 hours before I start to decompensate. I will be ready to tackle school again in the fall. I don't know how ready I am to seriously entertain the prospect of a second partner.

Your love interest is facing similar problems, except that she might have to up and relocate on top of things. If the best she can tell you is "we could've been fantastic", she's still telling you a lot. It's cold comfort when you can't actually be fantastic together, but if that's all she can offer, that's all she can offer.

I wish her strength. I wish her recovery, if she can access it in our broken country. I wish you peace, and that you are able to go on if she can't go on with you. If she's anything like me, this is one more thing that The Disease took from her, and there is a very real grieving process attached to chronic, disabling illness. I'm so sorry for all of you.
She isn't telling me we could be or won't be, at least not yet - and I'm thankful for the latter. But honestly, I will wait as long as it takes, until and unless she says "I don't think I'm interested in you in that way." I'm already making plans to visit her in Michigan. I'm from Ohio, so it wouldn't be that far of a hop when I'm home, and she's very much worth the money a plane ticket costs. When you love someone, you want to be near them despite the distance.

I hope she will be able to at least return to Boston in the fall or next spring even if she's not yet well enough to return to our university (it's a top-ten school, and it's extremely difficult).

For now, we live on the same hall in the same dorm, literally 50 yards from each other. I knock on her door every day for a hug at least, and sometimes for tea or a cookie or just to study in each other's presence.
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A: Poly boyfriend since 9/17/13, currently sexually open and not seeing other romantic partners but open to such in the future
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2012, 08:52 PM
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I am going to be as gentle as I can about this: when I was very ill, and trying to get my health back, I did not want any visitors except CdM and my metamour (who was unlikely to visit anyway, since I have cats + she has allergies). Please make sure she is up to seeing you if you spend money on a trip north. My reactions to people asking if they could visit ranged from "...um. Well, you're nice, but no" to "JESUS QUIT BOTHERING ME AAARGH". I would hate for you to get the latter reaction.

Also worth noting: I am not nearly as sick and I have still taken a full year. My school is nowhere near a "top-ten university", though I do think I'm getting a quality education anyway. I wouldn't be shocked if she needed until next spring.

Keep doing what you're doing, gentle overtures filled with more love than pressure. Best way forward, I think.
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2012, 11:13 PM
LemonCakeIsALie33 LemonCakeIsALie33 is offline
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Thank you. I don't ever want her to feel obligated to hang out with me if she isn't up to it or doesn't want to - I just sent her a message to make sure she knows that.
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A: Poly boyfriend since 9/17/13, currently sexually open and not seeing other romantic partners but open to such in the future
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2012, 02:29 AM
LemonCakeIsALie33 LemonCakeIsALie33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonCakeIsALie33 View Post
Thank you. I don't ever want her to feel obligated to hang out with me if she isn't up to it or doesn't want to - I just sent her a message to make sure she knows that.
She hugged me and told me she doesn't feel at ALL like that and similarly wants to spend time with me before she leaves.
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A: Poly boyfriend since 9/17/13, currently sexually open and not seeing other romantic partners but open to such in the future
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2012, 04:04 AM
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See? You got to yes.
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2012, 04:48 AM
LemonCakeIsALie33 LemonCakeIsALie33 is offline
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See? You got to yes.
Sort of. I got to "I care about you," but I already knew that. It's just a matter of what sort of caring, I think. I don't think either of us know yet. I really hope she'd be honest if she did.
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A: Poly boyfriend since 9/17/13, currently sexually open and not seeing other romantic partners but open to such in the future
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