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  #21  
Old 08-30-2012, 07:03 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Sneacail I'm really hurt by you calling me incredibly disrespectful. You don't know me.
Sorry your hurt, I was trying to point out that your line of thinking was not helpful and as I see it the COMMENT was disrespectful (maybe to both of you not just your girlfriend). You are struggling with the concept of poly and it's not fair to either of you to assume the worst.
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  #22  
Old 08-30-2012, 10:03 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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But she INSISTS on talking in person. I don't see what talking in person covers that cannot be done by phone. So be on guard for her throwing herself emotionally or sexually at you. It sounds horrible -- but let's keep it real.
GG - as always, I agree with much of the excellent advise that you have given.

However, I just wanted to point out, as an aside to the rest of the conversation, that some people, myself included, are not at all adept at holding a significant conversation by telephone. Social psychology suggests that up to 2/3rd of communication takes place through non-verbal (usually visual) communication. Apparently many people are able to adjust for this when communicating by a strictly verbal medium - I am not (I think this is because I am a very visual person).

Personally, I can pretty much only have only "information delivery" type of conversations on the telephone - "Leaving the office." "Do we need milk?" etc. (which I mainly use txting for now as I HATE talking on the phone). Anything that involves any kind of emotion or nuanced understanding...nope. I can barely understand what people are trying to say, constantly misinterpret intention, and often feel like I am not getting my point across because I can't see all of those "body language" cues that tell me that someone is hearing what I am saying and let me know how they are feeling about the words that THEY are saying.

If I am not able to talk to someone face-to-face I find writing to be a MUCH better substitute than a phone conversation...IF the other person is adept at communicating via the written word as well.

I am not saying that Panda should not be on guard against the types of manipulation that can happen when someone is physically present - just that not all of us are as capable of handling important conversations without being able to SEE the person we are talking to. (MrS teases me all of the time because I "talk with my hands" even when on the phone, when we are on the phone he can envision just what hand motions I am using to make my point, maybe this is why he is one of the only few people I can actually talk to on the phone- perhaps I should learn to Skype?)

Jane("Non-verbal Communicator")Q

PS. Dude is pretty much the opposite of me. He can ONLY hear the words that are said and can't interpret tone or body language AT ALL. He can't tell when he is making someone bored or uncomfortable or tell what effect his words are having on another person (which is really uncomfortable for me to watch in public settings)- I think that he has some degree of Asperger's. I have had to learn to adjust my communication style to meet his needs, someday I am tempted to try to teach him how to hear what people aren't saying (I'm told that this is a skill that can actually be learned/developed).
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  #23  
Old 08-30-2012, 11:59 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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So I've decided that I will not have any sexual intimacy with my girlfriend if we still have lifestyle incompatibility. Sex is special to me. I've waited this long for the right girl, and if my GF is not the one then I will continue to wait. I can love her without sex. I have so far.

She says she's a very sexual person and that's why she wants to be poly. To me it seems she just wants a lot of experimental sex. She's had sex with quite a few people already, even just casually with no relationship, and seems to look at sex as a pastime whereas I look at it as a special thing to share only with a girl I want a future with.

I will not be a sex toy. If I wanted to I could have had sex with many girls. I've had lots of girls (and guys) hitting on me since I was 14 or so. But I always said no. I think I belong in a different era...

She can't understand why I can only be with one person. I can't understand why she needs open relationships. She says she and her GF have never had a problem with each of them having romantic or sexual relationships with multiple people. She says it means they're secure in their relationship to know that it's solid. I say that just makes me another sex toy with money...
Panda,

I think you are on the right track for yourself. You know yourself and what you want. But I have a caution for you. Be careful how you talk about your perceptions of your girlfriend's sexuality, open relationships, and casual sex.

How to say this gently? Other than a lack of communication and perhaps some cluelessness (both of which you share in), your girlfriend has done nothing wrong. You have done nothing wrong either. It seems like the two of you are fundamentally incompatible. Again no one's fault.

You don't get casual sex or experimenting with sex. It clearly squicks you out. The idea of it makes you feel devalued- just a sex toy. And you know what dude? It's not for you and it is great that you accept and know this about yourself.

And here is the point. Because it's wrong for you does not make it wrong. Because it squicks you out does not make open relationships or casual sex or learning about what you like sexually by experimenting icky for others.

When you talk with your girlfriend frame it on what you want and need. It is always ok to state 'This is what I need from a relationship.', 'This (fill in blank) is wrong for me.' You don't have to understand or even approve but talk about your differences in ways that shame no one.
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  #24  
Old 08-31-2012, 01:22 AM
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lovefromgirl lovefromgirl is offline
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First of all, you're a good guy. I have to tell you that because entirely too many guys your age get bitter and sad over things like this and turn into rotten bastards. What you are, right now, is a good guy with standards and you're not willing to compromise them. That is fine. Don't compromise them. Don't doubt who you are. And don't let your experiences turn you bitter and sad. Someday, a very nice person will thank you for growing through your pain.

I'm sure your girlfriend is a good person, too. I echo the sentiment that she may not be right for you, but that doesn't make her bad. I question the ethics of keeping other partners a secret from you, but then I remember being nineteen and having no words for the vague poly longings I had. If she has the words, well, she's one-up on me but still nineteen. Society still treats nineteen like an adolescent; as a result, young adults up to about the age of twenty-two have been merged back into that teenage territory.

So I did some stupid shit. One thing I did not do, however, was insist upon staying with someone who expressed fundamental incompatibilities with me. I think that's a talk you two have to have, now, not down any line.

I don't think she is a gold-digger, either. I think she's letting you pay for nice things, yes, and it's awfully nice to experience those. I also think that if you two find a way to make this work, she should learn how to love things that don't cost money. That's not a poly thing. That's a living-within-one's-means thing. That's an adult thing. There is [cough] a significant income gap between myself and CdM, and we did have The Money Talk early. I am a cheap date. Literally. I am happy just cooking with him, or doing an inexpensive night out. Do I also love it when he shops with me? Sure -- but on special occasions, like birthdays. And I love to shop for him as well as being shopped for. It's just as blissful having little adventures as big ones.

Mind you, I learned the value of a dollar the hard way: by spending a few too many!

I wish you the best of luck. Do feel free to contact me in PM or here, and I keep a blog thread.
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  #25  
Old 08-31-2012, 05:26 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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However, I just wanted to point out, as an aside to the rest of the conversation, that some people, myself included, are not at all adept at holding a significant conversation by telephone.
Agreed. But I meant talking in person at his house. There's other places to go other than come for the weekend to spend time in his home with his mom picking her up when he's already said he's not cool with that. She insisted. That's not nice. Feels kinda pushy.

Well for this it is done, she's already coming.

But for the OP --next time remember there's other places you can take it. It is easy to feel cornered in conversation. It is totally ok to say "Um... I'm not keen on that idea. But I can't think of another. Do YOU have a second choice option?" if you feel stuck.

More ideas --

Could talk on phone only.
Could Skype.
Could ask for time out to think --- will get back to you on that.
Could meet for a date at bookstore or something midpoint between their homes in neutral turf.

But not just acquiesce when she insists to spend weekend at his place when things are clearly weird between them. It is hard enough to maintain boundaries when things are weird than to get one into "heat of the moment" things or be putting out his whole family.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-31-2012 at 06:47 AM.
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  #26  
Old 08-31-2012, 04:47 PM
Panda Panda is offline
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Default You guys are pretty awesome

I'm back.

There has been a lot for me to think about. I'm a thinker. Sometimes an over-thinker. I try to anticipate situations before they happen. Not a good thing when it comes to relationships.

This is my business brain. Business brain and anticipating all possible outcomes is a good thing at work, not such a good thing in relationships.

I'm learning.

You guys are helping me. Thank you.

In order to learn I believe that a person should be open to listening to different opinions. If one sticks with only what they are comfortable or familiar with one can not grow and learn.

This does not mean that one needs to agree with everything, but keeping an open mind is important. Ignorance is not bliss.

These are my philosophies.

I'm going to talk to my GF and tell her that I feel that we need to establish where we are right now, what each of us wants from this relationship and what our expectations are for now and in the near future. Also we need to discuss what happens when her girlfriend moves here.

She, let's call her Cat, since there are two "she"'s involved, Cat needs to face things and not just tell me that we'll deal with her relationship with her GF, who we'll call Kim, when Kim gets here. It is easier for Cat to just ignore the situation, but will cause me too much grief to have to be wondering what will happen if Kim shows up here in a couple of months. I feel Cat needs to be open and honest with me about this and also her feelings about taking on other relationships. If she's hiding other relationships, then from my limited understanding of poly relationships this would be cheating.

This will not be an easy conversation. But it needs to happen. I like analogies, so if she's reluctant to talk about it, as she has been every time I've tried to bring it up, I'll liken it to having a 3rd degree burn. In order for the burn to heal the old damaged skin needs to be removed. It may hurt, there may be agony, but after the old damaged skin is removed then the new skin can grow. That's how healing works. Sometimes it's painful at first, but the pain is necessary for the healing to start.

Healing? Yes, healing. When I found out Cat was poly it ws on twitter! She admits she hadn't told me about being poly, only about being pan. BIG omission. Now we need to peel away all the layers and get down to the fresh skin. I need to know what her expectations are and she needs to know mine.

Before this week I thought I was in a mono relationship with a mono girl. She knew she was a poly girl and knew I was a mono guy. I think some guys would have walked away or gotten angry. I'm not angry. I know that she was kind of scared to tell me about being poly. Now she knows I'm not running, hopefully she can feel comfortable being honest with me.

I hope Cat and I can work things out. I'm not going to try and over-think or imagine outcomes until we talk.

I am ready to accept that we may break up. I'm also ready to accept that we may be able to make it work.

It can only work if she's completely honest with me though. I will tell her that. I don't want to find out any more surprises on twitter. Haha.

So I hope I've expressed myself properly this time.

I welcome and wish that you guys would tell me, (gently though, I'm a very sensitive panda) if I'm on the right track or if I'm making more errors.

Thank you for listening and helping me.

Panda.
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  #27  
Old 08-31-2012, 05:05 PM
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Hey Panda, you aren't alone. Might I suggest a search in the tags for mono/poly? There have been many who have gone before and worked stuff out. It might be helpful to see what they have learned. It might cut down on your learning curve a bit.
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  #28  
Old 08-31-2012, 05:13 PM
Panda Panda is offline
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Oh, and about Cat insisting on coming here, even though I suggested we hold off until we had things all out in the open and could decide if we are meant to even be in a romantic relationship, it's ok with me now. I'm an old soul. I can deal with her being here for the weekend even if we split up. I can still love her as a friend and not have resentments even if we end up just buddies. After all, we've not been intimate, so going from bf / gf to buddies would hurt but would not be as devastating for me as it would had we been intimate.

What I first thought pan sexual was is "loving for the hearts, not the parts" I thought that it meant that pan sexual relationships didn't necessarily have to include sex. I was crossing pansexual with asexual and creating a "pandasexual" thing.

Haha!

My name here is Panda. Don't know if you know much about pandas, but they're a lot like me.

Pandas aren't that sexual. In fact they only mate once a year. (I'm not that bad, I am looking forward to one day having sex, just not yet). And sexuality is secondary to love for me. I don't think I'm a highly sexual person.

Pandas have to have a real special connection with their partner or they won't mate.

Pandas are shy. They spend a lot of time in solitary pursuits.

Pandas are sensitive.

Pandas are gentle.

Pandas are intelligent.

Pandas are loving. A mama panda stays with her baby panda for at least 2 years.

Pandas are cuddly.

Pandas are rare.

*hugs* Panda
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  #29  
Old 08-31-2012, 05:15 PM
Panda Panda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Hey Panda, you aren't alone. Might I suggest a search in the tags for mono/poly? There have been many who have gone before and worked stuff out. It might be helpful to see what they have learned. It might cut down on your learning curve a bit.
Thank you. I will try and find out how to search tags. I'm not experienced with message boards. Don't even know what tags are!
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  #30  
Old 08-31-2012, 05:47 PM
Panda Panda is offline
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I found out how to search tags. Thank you Red Pepper.

Right now it is mind boggling. I'm not going to be able to read much before Cat comes here. I'm at work. Reading & writing on my iPad.

You know, the more I read about polyamory the more I think that Cat should also read up on it. From what I read Cat may not even be poly, she does not seem to have the values that I'm seeing in poly relationships because she and Kim don't tell each other about all their partners, they may or may not allude to the fact that they have other partners, mostly they seem to be in a "don't ask don't tell" sort of relationship.

Kim is refusing to accept that Cat and I are really serious. That's why she and Cat call me "the boy toy" when they talk about me.

Cat did not tell Kim about our relationship. I did. A couple of days
ago And Kim brushed me off as just being a stand in until she gets here. I thought that was rude, but realized that Cat is kind of afraid to tell Kim how serious we are. After I told Kim she's been cold to me and avoids talking to me. Even though we've been friends longer than her & Cat. But I never knew she was poly. She had told me she was bi.

These things are red flagging for me. They don't seem like what a true poly relationship is from what I'm reading.

I'm going to direct Cat to this forum so she can read about poly relationships.

Maybe Cat and Kim are just mixed up and don't know what real polyamory is?

I don't know and I won't assume. I'll hope that Cat is open to reading about poly relationships and that we can have an adult discussion about it. She tends to avoid adult discussions. All I can do is try to stay positive and non-judgmental and hope for some understanding to come out of this weekend.

I'm so glad I found this forum.

Thank you all!

Panda

Last edited by Panda; 08-31-2012 at 05:49 PM.
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