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  #1  
Old 07-19-2012, 09:03 PM
bacon bacon is offline
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Question Secondary questions, feelings and stuff

I'm new here *waves*

I'm totally new to poly as well and I'm wondering how does one go about become a secondary partner? Is it a topic you bring up with the person your dating or do you wait for them to bring it up? I知 totally confused. I feel like I知 at the mercy of the guy I知 dating and his primary a bit but is that the way things are meant to feel? I知 wondering if I知 just a fling to him while I on the other hand have developed deeper feelings. He lives across the country and recently told me he can come to see me because he has to spend time with his primary. They live together!
So confused.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2012, 10:03 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Welcome!

Quote:
I'm totally new to poly as well and I'm wondering how does one go about become a secondary partner?
Is this what you want? If so, then you say "I'm looking to be a secondary partner. What that means to me is something like _______. Is that something you are looking for? Could it work between us?


Quote:
Is it a topic you bring up with the person your dating or do you wait for them to bring it up?
Um. I want to know. So I open my mouth and just ASK. If this isn't a runner here, I want to know, process and move on. Not wait forever. People are not mind readers. It is my responsibility to articulate my wants and needs so there can be clear communication.

"So I've been thinking about ____. Up for a talk on that?" usually gets it rolling.

Quote:
I feel like I’m at the mercy of the guy I’m dating and his primary a bit but is that the way things are meant to feel?
No, it is not the way it is meant to feel if this is not your desire for some kind of D/s framework thing. Yes, it can be arranged that way so "you are at their mercy" if you desire it so and it is all you guys' pleasure to have it be so. Notice that is in quotes. Even in BDSM there is consent given first before you go play "being at your mercy" stuff.

Are you not stating your wants, needs, and limits clearly? Are you shirking that responsibility of yours to the polyship? If so, why?

If you desire a different relationship structure, speak up on that if this current way of going is not floating your boat. Some people like being relieved of decision making and some people want to have a finger more in the pie. Some people want to lay out a D/s framework and then be relieved of the work, but a good sub is a good sub and still makes the limits known!

You have to know what YOU want in this polyship and are hoping to gain from it, and then make it known to your polyship people.

Quote:
I’m wondering if I’m just a fling to him while I on the other hand have developed deeper feelings.
Ask. "Am I just a fling here? Friend with Benefits? What are you looking for? What am I to you? Because I'm looking for ____. Do you see it moving in that direction at some point? Are we on the same page here?"

Quote:
He lives across the country and recently told me he can come to see me because he has to spend time with his primary. They live together!
And? Please expand/clarify. Where is problem?

He's says coming to see you. Is this not a yay?

Were you wanting MORE time with him? Is this a want you have articulated and spoken aloud? Or do you expect him to mind reader you?

You are dating. This is the "get to know you time." You are not "at the mercy" of anyone. YOU choose who you want to be in relationship with. Together you negotiate what "being in right relationship with each other" is going to be like.

You communicate and negotiate with your dating people. Everyone puts out their wants and needs, their soft limits (that can negotiate in time) and their hard limits (never, no way!)

Put your cards on the table. Ask for theirs. They match up, yay. You can try to deepen the relationship. No?

Alright. No harm, no foul. We got this far and it was good. Break up and be friends then.

As a secondary you have rights.

As a person in a relationship, even a fledgling just started to date one -- you have rights and responsibilities. Those are mine... you have to develop your own.

If at any point you are confused, the person who has the answers or can go seek out the answers is YOU.

Look within to make sure you are doing all you can do to broadcast your wants, needs, and limits to your people.

Then look without and ASK your people if there's anything else you need to be doing to be HEARD when you broadcast. And if they have any wants, needs, or limits they need to share with YOU.

Relate in your relationship -- get that back and forth action going.

HTH!
GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 07-20-2012 at 12:09 AM.
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2012, 10:47 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Mm, bacon, tasty!

I'd say that regardless of terminology, I'd want to know where I stand in any kind of relationship.

You definitely don't have to be at the mercy of the guy you're dating and his partner.

It's a tricky one - the whole thing about priorities of 'primary' partners is being debated over in another thread (entitled something like how quickly should you meet a lover's girlfriend, if you do want to check it out).

The guy you're dating will have his own set of priorities, whether he's single or partnered up. Since he's partnered up, it's likely that his existing relationship will be a current priority. You have to ask him about that and what he wants from your relationship.

To be fair: as for your lover needing to spend time with his primary... often when people live together, they don't get much quality time. It's all housework and cooking, perhaps children, work talk, one person on the computer and one person watching the TV. Often, you have to set aside a chunk of time to just 'be' together.

This is especially true if one, or both, partners has been freshly dating. New dating can be very time consuming and can be stressful for the other partner. For example, my girlfriend has just come out of a whirlwind of dating over the past two months. I've been dating a girl for about a month. Constant online chats with our dates, constant discussions about how we're both feeling, mild stress about new sexual partners, constant effort being put into NRE (New Relationship Energy) with the new people.

We finally got a chance to put everything aside, calm it all down and spend some time together and it was much needed.

So especially if your guy has just started dating you, he and his partner probably need a little 'refocus' time. That's a good thing - it tends to mean they know how to keep their relationship healthy

I'm not going to get into the whole secondary debate here (i.e. is a secondary less important), because it's being discussed on other threads and I don't want to stir things up.

Ultimately, you have to know what your own expectations and boundaries are.

I have a 'primary' partner, a girlfriend that I'm committed to, who is my priority. As for women that I date outside of our relationship.... I'm very happy not to be their top priority. In fact, I prefer it. I really don't mind fitting around their schedule if mine matches up. If I was single, I might find it harder - I don't know.

The most important thing is that you get your needs out there on the table.

Take the girl I recently started dating - she's new to poly too. We sat down and outlined what we both wanted. I basically said (in the kindest but most open way possible) - I am not looking to fall in love, I don't have the time or emotional capacity right now. I want friendship with benefits. I want casual. My girlfriend will come first for me, but I will always treat you with respect and kindness, listen to you and care for you as a person. If ever your feelings start becoming deeper than this, if you become upset, or want something else, please tell me.

That arrangement suits us. We can't promise that someone won't get hurt - but we've put it out there on the table and now it's just down to communication.

Can you tell us a little more about your situation? How long have you known your guy? Have you met in person? Have you met his partner? What is your relationship with him like? Do you have any examples of feeling at their mercy?
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2012, 11:29 PM
bacon bacon is offline
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No prob, I can tell you more about the relationship.

I met my guy in October last year in Ohio on a business trip. Being 27 and just getting my feet wet I was quickly in awe of him.
Once back home we started emailing back and forth a lot. After tons of emails we met up in the middle of March at another business conference weekend. Again after that the emails continued and we last saw each other at another conference last month. We are going to meet up again because he'll be near me at the start of next month. But I mainly see him at conferences and the like.

I have asked if he would come to visit me but he said no because there's nothing where I live, I live in a small east coast town compared to LA.

I recently asked if he would come to a optional weekend conference in September, because I won't see him again until December. An that's when he told me he had to spend time with his primary, which broke my heart a little cause I barely get to see him, and would like to see him more.

He has said to me that when we are together it's on when we aren't it's off, whatever that means...

I've never met his primary, but I was told she has looked me up lol, and that I'm young and cute.

I guess I'm scared of speaking up because I don't want to ruin things I really have un-expectantly fallen for him. I sometimes create dreams in my head where I'm in a V with him and his primary. Crazy I know...
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  #5  
Old 07-20-2012, 12:15 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I guess I'm scared of speaking up because I don't want to ruin things I really have un-expectantly fallen for him. I sometimes create dreams in my head where I'm in a V with him and his primary. Crazy I know...
Are you talking about a cohabitating "V" or something like that down in the future? Is that a dream or a goal that is a dealbreaker if that isn't even on the table for them?

How will you know if you do not ASK?

What type rship is this anyway? Now that it's been 9 mos in? Why do you not know?

Yikes!

I don't think they have you at their mercy. I think you don't assert yourself and state you wants, needs, and limits. Are you waiting for a golden invitation to do so?

How can you hope to get what you want if you don't broadcast what you seek? It's like fishing without bait on the hook and with the wrong type pole, maybe in the wrong type water! (puzzled)

Quote:
He has said to me that when we are together it's on when we aren't it's off, whatever that means...
That is called a relationship of presence -- you are there it's there, you are not, it is not. But what type rship then? The rship of presence?
  • Is it fuckbuddy? No strings then?
  • Or some kind of special occassions physical, some emotional connection, kinda tertiary thing then? He's the hinge and you two are the "V" arms? Are there more lovers in his world you need to know about?
  • Or is it something else?


You are talking "secondary." I get "tertiary" or "fuckbuddy" vibes. People mean different things so clarify what YOU two who are in the actual rship mean. So it circles back around to your needing to speak up to GET CLEAR here.

I don't get the vibe either that you have had the conversation with him to get on the same page in vocab and swap the cards to see if what ye seek is what he seeks and it's a good match for this time. What kind of rship is this? What are the expectations? How long is it running for before we reassess -- a year? What are the parameters? Rights and responsibilites?

Again -- more talking to do.

I'd probably want to know where this stands more clearly then. To me it sounds like he wants it to be like a relationship of presence tertiary thing or more a "conference fuckbuddy hookups thing" -- so which is it?

If it is something you want to sign up for, cool. Neither is "wrong" -- just make sure it is the same thing YOU are seeking here.

If it isn't what ye seek? Renegotiate and if not negotiable, check out.

There really isn't much more to say. Live in limbo or speak up and get some clarity. If you are not willing to speak, then it's limbo land. And if you have fallen emotionally, you are playing games with your own emotional safety to let this carry on, without clarifying the type of rship this is, and you are not giving him full information on your feelings. That is lying by omission.

So that HE could do the honorable thing if it turns out he's not seeking this, and break it off with you gently rather than carrying on a relationship where he thinks it is "apples" and you are thinking "oranges."

If he's doing some assuming/nontalking of his own... hoo-boy. Fasten seatbelts! It's gonna be a bumpy ride!

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 07-20-2012 at 12:54 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-20-2012, 08:58 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bacon View Post
I have asked if he would come to visit me but he said no because there's nothing where I live, I live in a small east coast town compared to LA.

I recently asked if he would come to a optional weekend conference in September, because I won't see him again until December. An that's when he told me he had to spend time with his primary, which broke my heart a little cause I barely get to see him, and would like to see him more.

He has said to me that when we are together it's on when we aren't it's off, whatever that means...

I've never met his primary, but I was told she has looked me up lol, and that I'm young and cute.

I guess I'm scared of speaking up because I don't want to ruin things I really have un-expectantly fallen for him. I sometimes create dreams in my head where I'm in a V with him and his primary. Crazy I know...
GalaGirl has some great questions. Sparlkepop does too. I might repeat some suggestions but -

I know I'll never be my boyfriend's wife/cohabitating partner (caveat, I do have my own husband, I'm open to multiple important relationships, I am not coming from a single viewpoint) but I ask the hard questions. I sucked it up and asked for how much time I'd LIKE and my bf said that would not work because of his current arrangements with other partners. Sure that was awkward but we negotiated something that would be a compromise that everybody could live with. I've had plenty of uncomfortable discussions with people I date. That and other things like it (time/vacation/overnights/sexual activities/other sexual partner & STI questions etc) are something I verbally discuss when I get emotionally involved with somebody no matter if it's "primary or secondary". It is a relief!!! to know vs guessing.

A "secondary partner" can ask for anything, just like you would a monogamous partner, just don't always expect the answer is going to be a "yes"

My blunt advice is - the vibe I get is that I don't trust he isn't cheating - have you asked to briefly email with his partner? If he's said she looked you up and you're "young and cute" but he wont let you two chat...run like fucking hell. I don't care how much you have fallen for him. Don't ever give him the time of day. Most people fall for unsuitable people in their lifetimes. If it's not adding to your life instead of subtracting, move on. A few things you say don't give me the impression he is poly. You also don't directly say what he said in regards to his relationship dynamic.

Otherwise I agree that he's made it clear he's glad to be with you when you're in the same place, but you can't expect or rely on him for anything further. Are you interested in just being"friends" with benefits?

From all I've heard (and you know, from watching that movie "he's not that into you" (was that a movie?)) If a guy wants you and likes you, it does not matter how boring of a place you live in, because he's coming to see YOU - and looking forward to have lots of fun sex and then spending bonding hours spent wandering through the grocery store to get food to make more energy for more fun sex. If he wont come see YOU, there's a pretty good chance he doesn't consider you a potential partner, except for sexual.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:14 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Ah.... when you're together it's on and when you're not it's off...

To me, that says that he's either cheating or wants something very, very casual.

It's interesting that you've only been able to see him at conferences. It could be absolutely open with his partner... or could it be that he has an excuse to be away because of work?

Do you know for sure that she knows about you?

If she does, I think it's time to guard yourself.

It sounds like he's telling you what he wants.... and possibly you're not taking it in because you want to believe something else? I don't mean that harshly, we all do it sometimes.

I definitely think you need to have a talk with him... possibly consider withdrawing yourself from the situation if your feelings are getting to deep. It definitely sounds, from what you've written, that you want different things.
__________________

Me: (29f) open poly
life partner GF (39f)
newly dating Descartes (27f)

metamours:
Hubby (36m, GF's husband)
Garcon (26m, GF's submissive)



撤eace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:57 PM
bacon bacon is offline
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Thanks guys for letting me get all this off my chest, I haven't really had anyone I can talk to about what's going one so thanks so much!

Yeah my feelings are in kinda deep, but hearing these words got the cogs in my brain turning and I'm getting over it. I really really needed to hear what you guys said!

It's something that wasn't going to happen anyway, any what was the point of getting so worked up over it?

I'm going to just work on being friends with him, if possible.
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