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Old 06-11-2010, 05:00 AM
Lost421 Lost421 is offline
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So here's my story in as short a nutshell as possible:

My girlfriend came out as poly a couple of years ago. I guess she decided that she had to finally tell me because she was interested in another man. This was really, really hard for me. I spent a lot of time soul searching and trying to figure out how I felt about this. I won't deny it, I raged, I cried, I felt hopelessness, jealousy, anger, and fear. Most of all I felt fear that she would leave me. Also fear that I would never know if our relationship led to children whether or not they would be mine.

I've wrestled with these feelings for a long time and I've come to grips with a lot of my insecurities and jealousies (although I think this will be a constant internal battle). The arrangement still isn't easy for me by any means (of course, life isn't easy), but what I've learned about polyamourous relationships and my general dislike of "conforming to the norm" for appearances' sake have helped me through a lot of the heartache and jealousy and depression. We've talked about things a lot and we've agreed to some ground rules: that she doesn't have sex with him in our bed, and that she ask me before she goes out with him. She sometimes has troubles with the latter rule, and when she does I'm understandably angry about it and I let it be known.

I feel like I'm being pretty openminded about this whole thing, since it wasn't my idea to start it, and truth be told, it does in fact strengthen the relationship between my girlfriend and me, so it has become easier with time. I still have mixed feelings, mostly because I don't really know the guy well and what I do know about him I don't like; I don't think he treats her well enough to deserve her and I feel like he sometimes takes advantage of her good nature. It's her decision to make, though, so my opinion of him doesn't carry the same weight with her as her's does. So I feel like this polyamorous lifestyle we've been cultivating is working out, though it's still a lot of work (but of course every relationship is).

Since I've had to wrap my head around this new way of going through life, I've felt like possibilities of loving another woman are opening up for me. I've had a couple of budding relationships, and I've always let the other woman know before the relationship goes very far what my relationship situation is. In some cases, I've been totally up front about it, and I always get the "you're a typical sex crazed man" look and that opportunity is inevitably lost. Hell, I'm not even sure I want sex out of any extra-primary relationships. I just met this girl about a week and a half ago, and we really had a connection. We've spent a lot of time together in the past few days, and I told her about my situation shortly after we met. We talked about how it would work for a long time, and I was honest about how hard it is, and about how I don't know if I would ever pick one person over the other (her over my primary girlfriend, in this case). She couldn't really seem to wrap her head around the idea that I don't want to leave my girlfriend, and that I really care about her at the same time. She seems to think I would have to make a choice at some point down the road.

So now I'm even more confused. She said we should just play it by ear and see how things go. Things got intimate one night, but not too intimate mind you, I like to take things as slowly as possible. The next day she was acting kind of distant and I was getting vibes from her, so I asked her what was wrong. She tells me she's really confused about us and she doesn't know how to feel, and we should just be friends for the time we're together until we both get back home (we're on a business trip and live in two different but close together cities) and then we'll see where things go from there. I know she enjoyed that night we had together (I'm not trying to be cocky here but I am a very giving lover) so I know that's not it. She left to go back home yesterday, I'm still away from home on business for another couple of weeks.

I realize she didn't flat out tell me it won't work out between us, but I can't help but feeling adrift. I can't focus on my work (and it's really important that I'm focused) and I can't get this woman out of my head. I feel like we've had a deep connection and that if I don't see her again it's going to leave a hole in my heart. I guess I fall fast and I fall hard. I know that if I was single things would be different; she wouldn't have the same fears and confusion.

I guess I'm having a really hard time with being poly right now; it's so hard to meet people that are open to different ways of being and when you finally do meet someone and you tell them you're poly things almost always end up going sideways. I'm not sure what kind of advice I'm asking for here but does anyone feel the same way I do? Does anyone have any advice? I really, really like this woman and I kind of feel like a freak right now asking her to be 'the other woman'. I'm not sure if it's fair to her but I can't deny how I feel and I know I care about her, I miss her and she's been gone a day and a half. I realise that all I can do right now is wait and see what she decides but I can't help but feel empty somehow, like I already know the outcome.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:18 AM
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Morningglory629 Morningglory629 is offline
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I can give you no real advice. I empathize completely. I responded so that you don't get discouraged. There will be posts ...just be patient. There are some really good people on here who are attentive to both sides of the coin. Best of luck. And all I can say is if it is meant to be it will happen.
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:34 PM
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girlcaleb girlcaleb is offline
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I'm dealing with this a bit myself.. I don't have any advice... I'm sorry. It is very hard when the person you want to spend time with can not understand poly stuff. Or if they can, they are not comfortable with it. Hopefully she means what she says about being friends... and you guys can spend some more time talking about it... with no pressure on her. She may open up a bit more in time.
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:47 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost421 View Post
So now I'm even more confused. She said we should just play it by ear and see how things go. Things got intimate one night, but not too intimate mind you, I like to take things as slowly as possible. The next day she was acting kind of distant and I was getting vibes from her, so I asked her what was wrong. She tells me she's really confused about us and she doesn't know how to feel, and we should just be friends for the time we're together until we both get back home (we're on a business trip and live in two different but close together cities) and then we'll see where things go from there. I know she enjoyed that night we had together (I'm not trying to be cocky here but I am a very giving lover) so I know that's not it. She left to go back home yesterday, I'm still away from home on business for another couple of weeks.
This is not bad. Not great but not bad. She was honest, wants to let it evolve at its own pace which may well mean it won't go anywhere.

Trust me, as one of the most impatient people you would ever meet, waiting sucks. But think of it from her perspective. She needs time to process, just be available and hopefully things work out

Quote:
I realize she didn't flat out tell me it won't work out between us, but I can't help but feeling adrift. I can't focus on my work (and it's really important that I'm focused) and I can't get this woman out of my head. I feel like we've had a deep connection and that if I don't see her again it's going to leave a hole in my heart. I guess I fall fast and I fall hard. I know that if I was single things would be different; she wouldn't have the same fears and confusion.
Reign that NRE in. Its thrown around a lot, new relationship energy. Its that rush when your brain is swimming in a crush...until you know for sure something is happening with the two of you, try and keep it to a minimum. While its a fun ride, it can also do bad things

a) make work hard
b) take away from other relationships and friendships
c) cause you to make overtly stupid mistakes

Quote:
I guess I'm having a really hard time with being poly right now; it's so hard to meet people that are open to different ways of being and when you finally do meet someone and you tell them you're poly things almost always end up going sideways.
This is where you need to start hanging with people who are open to non-monogamy. Not everyone is open to open relationships ...I am lucky that my friends accept me for who I am, but they are not open to being with me romantically...

Quote:
I'm not sure what kind of advice I'm asking for here but does anyone feel the same way I do? Does anyone have any advice? I really, really like this woman and I kind of feel like a freak right now asking her to be 'the other woman'. I'm not sure if it's fair to her but I can't deny how I feel and I know I care about her, I miss her and she's been gone a day and a half. I realise that all I can do right now is wait and see what she decides but I can't help but feel empty somehow, like I already know the outcome.
Slow down, talk to her, and fight that NRE until you know you can put it to good use...
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2010, 02:17 PM
Quath Quath is offline
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Give her some time to come to terms with the idea. Awhile back, I flirted with a woman. I told her that I had a gilrfriend and explained polyamory. (This was like 15 years ago.)

She kind of wanted to play it by ear. Basically, I think she thought she would have a fling with me and then walk away with an experience. She kind of saw it as friends with benefits or "being the other woman" while I was cheating on my girlfriend.

However, as the relationship developed, she realized that it was more about love than just friendly sex. That took some time so she could get her head around that concept. She surprised herself by how she felt about everything.
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:36 PM
saudade saudade is offline
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With your specific situation with the new lady-friend, I echo Ariakas-- couldn't say it better myself, Ari!

In general:

Quote:
I guess I'm having a really hard time with being poly right now; it's so hard to meet people that are open to different ways of being and when you finally do meet someone and you tell them you're poly things almost always end up going sideways. I'm not sure what kind of advice I'm asking for here but does anyone feel the same way I do? Does anyone have any advice?
Personally, my way of grappling with it has been to come just about completely out of the closet. (Many of my coworkers know, much of my extended family knows, all of my friends know, etc.) Being openly poly has meant that people who have been interested have approached me, rather than putting myself out for a confession every single time.

The problem is, that doesn't work for everyone. I live in one of the most liberal cities in the US. I have a wonderfully supportive family, an open-minded and understanding employer, and a circle of friends that sits almost entirely on the far left of the political spectrum. If you're not similarly blessed, I know it's much harder.

I wish I had more advice to offer. Good luck, both with this lady friend and in the future!
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:54 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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I echo much of what others have said. Patience, and being open are good ways to deal. Give her a chance to figure out what is in this for her. She might want someone all to herself or may see benefits to sharing you with another. She needs time to think that all through. Its fortunate that your situation can offer that.

What's your girlfriends view on it all? After all, she is a part of this equation also and has some experience in what you might be going through. Perhaps she can be a confident in your process?
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