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  #1  
Old 06-12-2012, 08:36 PM
Rara Rara is offline
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Question Mono partner needing some advice.

So, my girlfriend expressed recently that polyamory is something that she'd be interested in exploring. We're currently in a monogamous relationship, which was mutually decided when we started dating. Now, I'm completely monogamous, but I also don't want to deny her what may be a crucial part of her identity. I'm reluctant to open up the relationship, though, as previous experiences I've had in open relationships have ended horribly. I'm aware that communication is crucial, and that both of our insecurities and needs need to be adressed and worked through. We haven't talked much on the subject yet, since, I'll admit, this is a little out of my depth and I was hoping to get some guidance/pick up some more information before we come to any sort of agreement.
I love her quite a bit and I want to respect her needs without sacrificing my own.

I know I have some basic "requests" (for lack of a better word), but I don't know how fair my requests are to her and don't want to unintentionally create a double standard (though, there may already be one because I have no intention of seeing other people ?)

We'll, here they are:
1. That I be her primary partner
2. I want to know who she goes out with/if she starts dating someone else and that they know about me.
3. Somehow I'm more comfortable with her dating other people than sleeping around, but if she were to keep multiple sexual parters then to wear protection and get regular std tests.

I still don't know how I feel or what to expect. Any input or advice is greatly appreciated

Thank you !
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2012, 09:01 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Your requests seem very reasonable to me. Of course, what you need to do is talk about them with her.

About the primary thing, how do you define "primary"? Knowing the answer to that question could help you identify what you want in your relationship with her and her relationship with others. Do you want to make sure you're not being neglected? Do you want to make sure you always come first?

Knowing about a partner's partners is fairly standard, and being told beforehand seems normal to me - you don't want to feel like she is doing things behind your back. If it's people you don't already know, would you want to meet them or would you prefer not to?

And finally, safer sex isn't something that should be negotiable. After all, any partner she has non protected sex with, you'd be having unprotected sex with indirectly. It's important to keep all of you safe, and she needs to understand that.

I think you're starting off very well and I wish you the best.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2012, 10:15 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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A lot of this echoes what tonberry already wrote, but still...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rara View Post
So, my girlfriend expressed recently that polyamory is something that she'd be interested in exploring. We're currently in a monogamous relationship, which was mutually decided when we started dating. Now, I'm completely monogamous, but I also don't want to deny her what may be a crucial part of her identity.
I really applaud that. So many couples only want to see growth in their partner when it's within certain very safe boundaries, this probably pushes the boundaries way beyond where you thought they should be. That takes courage and dedication.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rara View Post
I'm reluctant to open up the relationship, though, as previous experiences I've had in open relationships have ended horribly.
So it's very important that you take this slowly. Baby steps so that you have the maximum time to adjust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rara View Post
We haven't talked much on the subject yet, since, I'll admit, this is a little out of my depth and I was hoping to get some guidance/pick up some more information before we come to any sort of agreement.
One of the main issues here is that there are many forms of poly - and the approach to each is very different. She may not know exactly what she wants, either, yet, but the more you know....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rara View Post
I know I have some basic "requests" (for lack of a better word), but I don't know how fair my requests are to her and don't want to unintentionally create a double standard (though, there may already be one because I have no intention of seeing other people ?)
That is absolutely NOT a double-standard! There are quite a few folks in so-called mono-poly relationships. Double-standards are when you both want something, but only one person is willing to grant it to the other, and the other forbids it. What you are talking about is dealing with and exploring differing desires when it comes to relationship structure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rara View Post
We'll, here they are:
1. That I be her primary partner
As Tonberry said, that term can mean different things to different people - you are going to need to clarify what you mean by that. If you need some prompting with questions to help you resolve this, just ask here, and we can help...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rara View Post
2. I want to know who she goes out with/if she starts dating someone else and that they know about me.
That is perfectly reasonable - it is also perfectly reasonable for you to require to meet the person before anything happens, and have a part in the discussion about whether or not the person is good relationship material or not. (Some folks like to do this last part, others do not). Some people go even further and ask for VETO power, but that is a topic of a lot of debate on poly discussions about how healthy that really is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rara View Post
3. Somehow I'm more comfortable with her dating other people than sleeping around, but if she were to keep multiple sexual parters then to wear protection and get regular std tests.
That is part of a so-called "Fluid bond" that you and your partner need to explicitly discuss. In addition to what you have written, you can be very specific about the acts that require protection - any form of penetration is usually a no-brainer, but what about oral sex? it's really important that this gets discussed BEFORE anything happens. Also, what are the procedures if a condom breaks,l or if for some reason, protection isn't used. The more you can get this sorted out (and maybe written down), the easier it is to deal with when something DOES go wrong.

The other question that you need to think about, since you have spoken mostly about sex, is how you are going to feel when she falls in love with someone. What sorts of reassurances do you think you are going to need to make sure that your insecurities don't go "off the rails" and manage to make everyone miserable.

I hope this helps a little - please feel free to ask whatever clarifying questions you like - we're here to help and exchange knowledge and experiences.
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  #4  
Old 06-14-2012, 01:27 PM
Rara Rara is offline
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Thank you both for your input - I appreciate your kind words and support. It's nice to have reassurance that I"m not going about this all wrong.


I've thought about what "primary" means to me, and I suppose what I'd like is for our relationship to have priority. Though, that does stem from the insecurity/fear that I'll be neglected. Something else to discuss.

It's hard to gauge what to expect - different people react differently to different things. I guess the best thing really is to take this as slowly as possible and see where it goes.

I don't think I have any other questions.. I'm really glad I've found this forum - Its an excellent resource.
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  #5  
Old 06-14-2012, 02:46 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rara View Post
I've thought about what "primary" means to me, and I suppose what I'd like is for our relationship to have priority. Though, that does stem from the insecurity/fear that I'll be neglected. Something else to discuss.
There are many different priorities in life, and it's important for you to know what the priorities are..

Is it time? You want to spend more time with her than she does with other people?

Is it love? You want to make sure that she always loves you more than anyone else?

Is it commitment? You want to know that if you both get in trouble at the same time, she will always come to your side, neglecting the other?

Is it money? She should never buy presents or dinners for her other partners that are more valuable than the things she buys you?

Those are just some examples, to try to get your thought processes working a bit. some are obviously easier to do than others, but it's important for you know what YOUR priorities are... makes sense?
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:52 PM
Rara Rara is offline
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That is a lot to think about, and I'm going to need to take the time to figure out what it is I want and need.

Though, in terms of ensuring that she loves me more; it would be ideal, but is that something that can really be helped ?
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2012, 03:28 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rara View Post
That is a lot to think about, and I'm going to need to take the time to figure out what it is I want and need.
That's entirely natural - stuff like this takes time to percolate and think through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rara View Post
Though, in terms of ensuring that she loves me more; it would be ideal, but is that something that can really be helped ?
I don't believe that it is, to be honest - I don't think that we should try to put limitations on someone else's feelings for another. but that doesn't stop some people asking (or demanding) it of their partners.

Good catch - I was hoping you'd pick up on that one! This really sounds like you are going about this the right way.
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