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Old 06-10-2012, 05:27 PM
Quietfever Quietfever is offline
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Default Greetings from a total newbie

Greetings, folks.

I have up to now been completely monogamous. I tend to be a person who goes a long time between relationships because I am a "difficult match"... have a lot of rare viewpoints/interests. It seems these are most often shared in the poly community. I am a "geek" and pagan and for people who are in the geek/fan community, then you know how much this is a "culture" of its own and that relationships between geeks and non geeks can often be difficult; there is a huge cultural divide. The problem is, I am a lesbian and lesbian geeks are very rare. I am also not really involved in "the lesbian community" and almost never meet lesbian women, let alone befriend any. They just never cross my path, ever. I am considering poly... because bisexual married women geeks are NOT rare. As long as I'm willing to get my companionship needs met by more than one person, perhaps I don't need to fear spending the rest of my life alone.

One reason I might consider poly is that despite being lesbian, I have had deep friendships with men that have been kind of "blurry"; we love each other very much, there is just no sex. My lesbian partners have always resented the presence of these men in my life.

The thing is that I want to share my life and household with someone, but the people who tend to be interested in me - almost exclusively - tend to be polyamorous people who already have a primary partner and are married to that person. I am starting to develop a complex that I am not good enough to be anyone's primary partner. I want to share a house and finances and responsibilities with someone and for all intents and purposes be "married".

I have considered whether I should be open to poly. In my relationships, I always feel that the very deep friendships always take a severe backseat and in each case, they've ended up being damaged irrevocably. I'm now completely alone because of the social damage done by my last monogamous relationship. She could not handle how "blurry" my friendships were, even though it seemed to me like her best friend relationship with her ex was itself very "blurry". There was a long time that I preferred to have platonic friends to even having lovers because the "lover" model with which I was familiar, seemed to take from my life, not add to it.

At the same time, I don't think I want to be in a relationship as a "secondary" right now... then again I am a full time student, living at home again at 38 (the living home with a mind reading Jewish mother who is socially very traditional, may make it difficult anyway; it actually makes it difficult to even date) and have little income, and maybe it will give me time to pull my act together until I am ready to be primary with someone (and perhaps I'll still be with the secondary partner when I do meet a primary partner)?

I find that poly people judge me less, all the same. In my experience with monogamous people I feel like they are measuring me up to see how "perfect" I am. Married bisexual women put fewer trips on me than single lesbian women, who seem to feel I'm not "together" enough and seem to be looking for someone to have children with. The married bi women seem to be able to get the "together" energy from the husband and already have someone to share the mortgage with.

I just think I might grow resentful over the long term if this is all I feel I can have ("how come everyone else gets to have a whole relationship and I only get to have half of one?"). I am also concerned that as a struggling person on county health insurance and who has health problems, I may grow jealous of the fact that my partners get to have heterosexual married privileges and I don't, and I'm left on my own to figure things out and scrabble around for roommates because I don't have a life partner. It also has never, ever been easy for me to meet people and one of the benefits of primary relationship to me is NOT feeling the pressure to be out there trying to impress women...

Maybe I'm just a better mistress than wife at this point in my life and I should accept that, and that when I am more "together" I will be more attractive to someone who would desire me as a primary partner? For the temporary time being, I don't really bring anything financially to the table.

My mother's monogamous relationship is not a model for me; I would consider it a living hell. These two drew a wall around themselves to the point that they have almost no other people in their lives and their social lives completely revolve around family life.

And also, perhaps being poly would open me up more to different kinds of relationships. If I have female lovers then I could see even marrying a man, it would just likely be a platonic marriage with someone else who desired that kind of thing (such as a gay man or an asexual man) and wanted the social benefits and life commitment of being married. I have had people suggest that a gay male friend and I marry each other and if my best friend had it more "together" himself then he'd be the first person I'd want to marry. I just don't like to have sex with men and am not physically attracted to them.

It still is not how I pictured my life though (I really want to share my life with a WOMAN) and I think I would feel I had "settled". I was married briefly because I had gotten tired of the lesbian community and the difficulties of dating/meeting women. I thought that my husband and I both being "geeky" might actually be enough to bridge major gaps in physical attraction.

I NEVER got over the feeling I had settled and it felt dirty and icky, and it felt like the marriage was a lie.

On the other hand, if we had been poly, it might have been different?

Last edited by Quietfever; 06-10-2012 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:13 PM
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LotusesandRoses LotusesandRoses is offline
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Sounds like quite the situation. I can relate - I'm living in a tiny mother-in-law apartment on my parents' land while working and going to school.

Being a secondary is hardly about being second-best. Between working 48-60 hours a week and school, I honestly prefer not having to sweat about my partner D and Mrs. and Mr. Nice (a couple I just started talking with, and had a date with). When I stumble home after working 24+ hours, it's all about me (and that rotten cat I got years ago in college). Being a secondary is about freedom, opportunity to live life outside a relationship(s), and being your own woman. No one gripes at me I don't look pretty enough in my oversized hoodie and pink pajama bottoms.

I know what you mean about meeting women being hard. But I'd strongly advise reframing your mindset - Why is it so important to have an intense, monogamous, primary relationship?
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:32 PM
Quietfever Quietfever is offline
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Well... A couple of things.

There's the feeling of resentment of married people, feeling like my life is harder on several levels. I'm very poor right now for one and don't feel like I actually get to enjoy any of the freedom I have for that reason. I'm going to be stuck with roommates and I'm terrified I'll hit my forties and older and STILL be living a life that is a revolving door of roommates. I would rather have a partner that I shared expenses with, than a roommate. I had a brush with my health at one point and part of wanting a relationship to me is security, knowing that we will be there for each other, knowing I may have someone to grow old with and share expenses with who is committed to me on a deeper level than just being my roommate.

I've been both single and in two committed live in relationships and the latter was definitely easier in many respects.

The other is it's hard for me to imagine being in a relationship but not being able to do the standard social "this is my girlfriend" stuff. And I do not feel I could be comfortable presenting a partner who already had a husband, as my partner, to my mother. This is assuming that my partner is my "only" while I am the "secondary".

The third is jealousy - not of other people in her life, but of her for being bisexual and having hetero privilege while I feel like I am "out in the cold".

The fourth is this... feeling like as a lesbian who has a hard time meeting other people, I will be "one down" in many respects and in more vulnerable of a position than any woman I date (because I seem to be able to meet bi poly women but not lesbians of any kind, including monogamous; it's my inability to meet and click with monogamous people that has me considering this). I am romantically very awkward and have always had a very hard time dating. I fear i may never be able to find a primary partner, but needing a primary monogamous partner may actually be even harder (might be easier to find someone if I don't require as much of them). when one of you is painfully romantically awkward and a difficult match and not someone likely to ever find a primary partner, it's a horrible power imbalance that works in favor of the less awkward person who already has or can easily find a partner. I've dealt with a lot of rejection by lesbians. I will say this, though. It is only because of my bi poly women friends that I have even discovered that some human being out there (aside from men; I'm slender and femme and attract a lot of men, just not interested) considers me a sexually and romantically attractive being of any kind. :/ At least that has been somewhat healing.

I am worried that... In the end, I'll still be in the "mistress" dynamic, pining for someone other than a family member to take me to the movies on the weekend and being depressed about not sharing a bed with someone. I'll end up like those women who date married men, who hope that the man will eventually leave the wife, but are still sad that they have no one to spend the holidays and weekends with.

Presently I am not on "weekend terms" with any friends because they are all in relationships. It's extremely lonely. I think it'd kill me to be in a relationship and STILL spend the weekends alone! I am considering taking a weekend job.

Then again, I'll still have my dates as a secondary to look forward to, and having something to look forward to, would mean a lot.

Last edited by Quietfever; 06-10-2012 at 06:50 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-10-2012, 09:34 PM
Quietfever Quietfever is offline
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Default My biggest observation...

...is that I have been in the singles world for a long time, and I observe that single monogamists over 35 make it VERY hard on themselves to find love. Most of us don't seem to ever have relationships at all and occasionally we have one or two dates. And I've learned to spot a certain "nobody is good enough for me" vibe. these people would rather be alone for the rest of their lives than "settle" and they would have to settle for ANY human being. All the lesbian women I meet seem to want to have children and want someone who is very financially stable (and preferably a high earner) and at 38 I am back in school and in a career change. I feel like I am facing the same set of expectations that 30something hetero, single, mainstream, monogamous women tend to put upon men and I can't live up to them.

It seems to be all of my poly friends who have the easiest time dating and the fewest hang ups and they have full lives that are full of love, sex, and enjoyment. They don't seem to put as much expectation on one person that no one person can fulfill.

Some of us who are a little different in some fashion seem to only be attracting poly people. The poly people are open to dating us but we are not good enough to be any monogamist's wife for some reason.

Whenever I talk to my poly friends who have become interested in me romantically, it always comes from friendship and seems to come about naturally. I get to know them because of things we have in common, and conversation is natural, then the attraction comes from that.

My construction of "poly" would probably mean in a PERFECT world that I have a primary partner because I like socially and publicly being in a couple but I am not sure any more that someone would want me as a primary partner. Plenty of people however seem to want me as a secondary partner. I don't know, could I be okay with this? I like these people and haven't clicked with any monogamous people. I also just don't MEET anyone who is not already in a married/living together primary relationship, and if I am in a secondary relationship, I will feel very bonded to that person and likely not want to give them up - which could make it harder for me to find a primary, because then the monogamous people will be out of the question (the ONLY single people I know are monogamous, the pool seems MOSTLY filled with monogamous singles looking for their perfect ego reflection).

I don't know that I could control my jealousy of the primary dyad if I were a secondary. I would feel very left out if I didn't have a partner of my own to spend time with.

My issue is not with the need for multiple partners myself but the weird dynamics of monogamous relationships and the general lack of honesty and openness i keep encountering. I just always end up liking poly people better and it seems to only be poly people who are ever interested in me.

When I talk to single monogamous lesbians and bi women, there seems this weird awkwardness and discomfort there... they can't just talk to me like a friend, we are somehow dancing around each other and trying to figure out weird dance steps to some weird ritual and it usually never actually goes anywhere. And there is a lack of honesty and a lot of game playing and a lot of pretense about feelings. i don't feel like i can be myself and I feel like these relationships always end up based upon dishonesty and tiptoeing around the other person's jealous suspicions. Like, for example. I can't be open about the fact that I used to sleep with my best friend before we both came out as gay, but now we are just friends and he and I are still very close (but it's okay for every lesbian to still be close with her FEMALE ex). There is so much tiptoeing and nobody seems to ever be terribly honest, from the first date to the last.

It's the poly people who seem to be able to come out and tell me, "I like you, let's talk about how this can work and explore if we are compatible" instead of playing high school games and giggling.

SOMETHING is going on here.

I am considering poly not because I think I may be naturally wired that way but because poly people seem so much more socially skilled than monogamous people! Every mono person I meet, has the awkwards.

Last edited by Quietfever; 06-10-2012 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:20 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi Quietfever,
Welcome to our forum.

There isn't a lot I can tell you, as your dilemma seems to be pretty set in stone and you're the only person who can figure out what's right for you. I will say that there is such a thing as a poly relationship with multiple primary dyads. I was (technically still am) the newcomer in the already-married-couple's household, but my status is considered primary, just like the "legal" husband.

On the other hand, if you literally want the legal protections of marriage, then you'll probably have to marry a woman and live in Boston, or marry a man (and I presume it would be a platonic marriage). Perhaps a platonic marriage with a man (with poly benefits) would be the best thing for you? I'd think it would be hard to find that kind of a match, though.

You can always keep looking for a monogamous partner, and decide later if entering a polyamorous relationship is going to work better for you. I would caution against entering any long-term relationship where you're going to end up feeling resentments, though. If you feel like, "Well, I'm just settling, because this is all that's available for me," that's not very fair for you or for the person/s you hook up with.

I don't think I'd make any big decisions right now, give yourself some time to think this over. Interacting with other people here on Polyamory.com will probably help you get your thoughts organized.

I hope you find a happy solution to your dilemma.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:12 AM
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LotusesandRoses LotusesandRoses is offline
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QF, I like you. You seem like a thoughtful, intelligent lady. There's nothing wrong with having roommates at 40, though. Gosh, I'm almost 30, have a good career, and live in a little mother-in-law apartment on my parents' property. I'm not embarrassed. (Though it is frustrating to bring people into my tiny place. Who wants their old dad breaking in while they're watching a movie with their beloved and accusing you of stealing hemmorhoid cream? Especially when it's true. ) And then have the old man's 180 lb. Great Dane crawl in the bed and smack the beloved out of the way... Dear lord, I understand getting tired of living at home.

Why limit yourself to just one partner? You can use polyamory to learn to flirt and be more comfortable. I know it may seem strange to think now if you were dating a bi woman who was married to say, "Mama, this is my girlfriend, and she's married," but when you love someone, it becomes easier. You've survived having a conservative mom and being a lesbian; you've got some deep steel in you, sister.

It sounds like at heart you're a housewife and mommy. That's a beautiful thing. (If you were bi, couples would be swarming you.) Keep your eyes peeled, honey, because if you open your heart to possibilities, your dreams can come true. Stay here and keep talking.
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