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Old 06-15-2010, 06:59 PM
Scaredofcasual Scaredofcasual is offline
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Default 40 year old Gay Male - First true love relationship

Hi everyone. I hope I can learn a lot and try to not only understand my partner but be able to incorporate our feelings into a workable compromise. It's a weird situation for me now...although it wasn't as a concept before.

I have had 2 relationships prior to this. Both long term, the second one 8 years. The first one was a terrible disaster because he was a true sociopath that caused me innumerable amounts of stress and grief as he was a thief, con-man and even stole money from my parents, along with terrorizing the in a way that involved dragging me out of the closet. I was quite scarred after that experience. My second relationship was primarily good as to companionship, but there wasn't any true passion in it and we eventually got to the point that we were never having sex anymore, it was always separate and I realized this couldn't work.

My 3rd, my current, has been the revelation. I fell for this man in a way that I never dreamed was possible. Not only was he everything I ever wanted but he also fulfills me completely and totally in every way, especially sexually.

The snag is this...we met online, while we were both single and we had both an admittedly promiscuous past in the main (in my case mainly anonymously and completely unemotional), and in his particular case he has never been in a serious relationship that even required any type of fidelity. He has had some relationships but I don't really know much about them. He never talks about his ex's and we had a big fight recentl about it being none of my beezwax unless he wishes to share. His past is his past and he doesn't like to remember a lot of it, he's well over it and as long as he gives me his present and future, that's all that matters.

We're 7 months along now..but I discovered a month or so into the relationship that as I fell in love with him, I lost all of my desire to play with other people. The only times we managed to do so was when we both partook in a bit of hard substances which can make you ridiculously sexual and dampen your higher mind functions. However, we both only dabbled in these things the last few years and wanted to be out of that scene although he still admittedly has a hankering for the experiences once in a blue moon although he still has a natural distrust and aversion to it too.

I started off this relationship with the expression to him that if we were going to be serious, I first off could NEVER handle an "open relationship" of any kind. I simply cannot experience compersion in a way that would allow me to accept or even tolerate such a thing. I have an incredibly active and vivid imagination and even the thought of an intense sexual moment between him and someone else sparks a stab of pain in me. It's MANAGEABLE when I'm there and involved and that's our compromise. He personally does not feel physically jealous. He would not be bothered about me playing with someone else separately even and he wouldn't have qualms about him doing so either, but he's willing to not do it because it hurts me to think of it.

So he's ethical, he is giving me what I want and only allowing me to call the shots. He also has said that he is only emotionally involved with me, and nothing casual could be a threat. He just thinks it's hot and shouldn't be overly sentamentalized as meaning anything deeply connected to love and relationships. He loves sex with me, but his true intimacy comes from sleeping with me, cuddling with me, talking about the future..etc.. He just always saw sex as easy to get, uncomplicated and ultimately divorced from real intimacy and committment. Not like the norm in most cases. He did admit though that maybe in his early days he thought he wanted that but it seemed to turn into a disaster of an idea and he gave up on it as being realistic or ideal.

The one thing he DOES have as an absolute necessity is that I be home with him every night, always sleeping with him. I could screw many hot guys and it wouldn't bother him, but he'd FLIP if I stayed the night and actually slept with them. This of course is so weirdly foreign to me...

I think in truth that I am a monogamous person at heart. I like the idea of "romantic love" and two becoming one, and I just can't help but see this inclusion of other people as a spreading and thinning of desire and commitment. He thinks that's a foolish Hollywood notion and that only true individuals wanting to be separate and together demonstrates true love and commitment, not being "half of a whole". See, to me it seems selfish to not be satisfied with one person if your sex life is great and they want you in all other major ways. (Sorry, not trying to be judgmental on the people who live this lifestyle and are fine with it, but hoenstly, that's the emotion it invokes in me). The problem is I keep hearing this simple message...I'm simply not good enough. I can't satisfy you completely. Worse, if it eventually led to a breakup because he does not want monogamy (which he spelled out clearly a few days ago...he does not want to have to limit himself sexually to one person period when we should be able to enjoy extra spice for the fun of it.), then that sends another strong message to me too. If you're willing to let go of a primary partner that (supposedly) fills your sexual needs in the main, as well as all of the other major lifestyle commitments and partnership qualities, then what does that actually say as to your priorities? That in the end, casual sex is the MOST important thing? If you couldn't kep getting it you would choose to throw away the love and commitment and never have sex with me again just to keep the new and novel? I have an extremely hard time resolving that with "committment".

One last thing...he did mention a couple of times a triad couple who share a 3way relationship in England and he was admiring it and even said "I think that would be the ultimate". One of his reasons was that if someone left he would still have someone. To me that would be the ultimate nightmare. I know unquestionably I cannot invest myself emotionally into 2 people at once. I want one person and one love. I was quite upset by this and kind of lambasted him on it which got him upset for talking freely and he said that it was only a theoretical idea. He isn't saying he requires it or wants to plan it out.

He accuses me of constantly thinking too much and imagining these horrible scenarios of him playing around and judging him when he hasn't even done anything without me in all of these 7 months.

Ok..this is getting quite long...There's much more I could express and explain to clarify and discuss parts and I hope there's some good advice out there for me to figure out where to get my head space at. What's bothering me is I'm constantly obsessing about this. I have merry-go-round mind that is always thinking about having to deal with this issue and when it's going to happen, how I'm going to stand watching him pleasure and get pleasured by someone else other then me. I've been heavily drinking in the day and sleeping more to retreat and I've been losing my natural interest and happiness in the world around me. I keep feeling like without a full commitment to me, a total satisfaction between us, that it simply isn't complete and strong.

Help!
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:39 PM
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Scaredofcasual,

Hello. Welcome to the forums. And thanks for sharing your story.

While I myself am polyamorous, I respect monogamy. So....

Maybe a good way to begin to address the challenges and difficulties you both are facing is to agree to be monogamous for now?

I was with my partner for years and years before we discussed polyamory, and we were both ready for that by then. It works for us. We love each other very much and have a basically good, healthy and happy committed relationship. It is from this strength that polyamory is workable for us. And it seems to me that couples who are not already both inclined to poly, and capable of handling it well, should probably first be monogamous with one another for a year or two--at least. Once a strong connection is deepened by years of commitment to one another, the conversation about poly could -- perhaps -- be raised again.

Ask your partner if he will practice monogamy with you for a given period--say a year, or two. And tell him that you'll be very willing to open-mindedly and honestly discuss poly -- or open relationship, non-mongamy -- after that period. That could ease your fears while you develop and deepen your relationship.

What do you think?
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:58 PM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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Originally Posted by Scaredofcasual View Post
I think in truth that I am a monogamous person at heart. I like the idea of "romantic love" and two becoming one, and I just can't help but see this inclusion of other people as a spreading and thinning of desire and commitment
Well, yes that does sound like something someone who is "monogamous at heart" might say.

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Originally Posted by Scaredofcasual View Post
If you're willing to let go of a primary partner that (supposedly) fills your sexual needs in the main, as well as all of the other major lifestyle commitments and partnership qualities, then what does that actually say as to your priorities? That in the end, casual sex is the MOST important thing? If you couldn't kep getting it you would choose to throw away the love and commitment and never have sex with me again just to keep the new and novel? I have an extremely hard time resolving that with "committment".
Instead of defending nonmonogamy to you here, I think that there's a bigger assumption that's getting missed. People fall in love, and have rewarding initial relationships, with people they're not compatible with for all sorts of reasons. Love, you know, doesn't actually conquer all. We need to know what things are dealbreakers for us, and be clear about them. Whatever that dealbreaker is may not be the "most important thing" in our lives, but not settling for a relationship with incompatibility may well be.

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Originally Posted by Scaredofcasual View Post
One last thing...he did mention a couple of times a triad couple who share a 3way relationship in England and he was admiring it and even said "I think that would be the ultimate". One of his reasons was that if someone left he would still have someone. To me that would be the ultimate nightmare.
As an aside, this sounds weird to me. Relationships don't actually work this way, at least in my experience. If someone leaves, you mourn the relationship with that person, and while it is always nice to have someone who can support you in that process, it's not like having a backup stereo system in case you blow the speakers out. Relationships are unique.

I'd find it pretty unsettling if my partner said something that made it sound like they thought of relationships as disposable.

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What's bothering me is I'm constantly obsessing about this... how I'm going to stand watching him pleasure and get pleasured by someone else other then me. I've been heavily drinking in the day and sleeping more to retreat and I've been losing my natural interest and happiness in the world around me. I keep feeling like without a full commitment to me, a total satisfaction between us, that it simply isn't complete and strong.
That sounds really awful, and also not healthy. It may well be possible that after the two of you have been together longer and you have done some work on personal and relationship issues, you may feel more stable and less likely to obsess over things. It may be that going to see a counsellor who is familiar with open relationships could help you in getting to a healthier place with this. But I think it's worth carefully considering the idea that you may just need to demand monogamy in your relationships and therefore there is a fundamental incompatibility here.

That said, you're crazy about this guy, he is respecting your boundaries with a compromise that is more-or-less working, and all of this angst is about stuff that he'd like to do but is not because he respects your relationship. That's a lot of angst over something that is not actually happening, just like it wouldn't be happening in a monogamous relationship! Whatever you decide to do, you need to stop letting this interfere with your living a successful, happy life.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:01 PM
Scaredofcasual Scaredofcasual is offline
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Thank you for your reply River. What do I think? Um....It's certainly a very tempting idea. It puts the issue off and enables me the time to deal with how I feel. But I keep thinking that if I don't take the plunge so to speak...that It'll just be easier and easier to accept the temporary deal and not fully explore his desire and feelings to play with others. In one sense I shouldn't have so much to complain about...he's not demanding a separate emotional or even a sexual encounter at this point. A truly polyamorous person would not be satisfied with that kind of limitation. I at least have that sharing option of doing it only together.

I guess the biggest question I have is what steps can I take to overcome the hurt I feel about the desire for other people? How do I accept his love and devotion for me as being primary and profound without letting the horniness of spice play be a threat? I guess deep down I just feel a sense of betrayal and insincerity of deep emotional involvement when he doesn't feel and possessiveness or exclusivity in regards to me. I can't wrap my head around the idea of someone needing/wanting a sexual encounter with someone with someone else if they are truly in love and sexually satisfied with their partner. I can admit freely that I have been attracted to other people and it's not even that sex with them would be so horrible, but my natural inclination is to feel at the core of my being that I only need and want this kind of attention and behaviour from my partner. I want them to be the person I yearn for, save my sexual energy for and the idea of him plowing someone else, (or being plowed..whatever), just feels like it's a symptom of discontent and unfillfilled need that I cannot ever satisfy because I'm not ENOUGH. I can't seem to move past that one basic feeling. I know I'm good in bed, we don't have any hangups or strange fetish desires other then his liking of multiples at times. I DID enjoy some of that behaviour in the past, but it's all paled now in comparison to the love that comes along with our sexual expression. Sorry to be so blunt...but I don't care if I EVER have a dick up my ass while I'm orally working on him just because it's "hot". It all seems so superficial to me now and just not as "hot" when my feelings became focused on him alone.

I mean, how do you live a life with somebody that you want to be special and committed as a partnership...first and foremost...a couple if there are always extra people needed in the paradigm for someone to be fulfilled? A couple to me means two as one. Not 3 or 6. I guess when it comes down to it, I'm just not built for polyamory. I can hopefully deal with 3somes as a spice things, but I just seem to have a hard time separating love from sex now when you are truly into someone.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:05 PM
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As an aside, this sounds weird to me. Relationships don't actually work this way, at least in my experience. If someone leaves, you mourn the relationship with that person, and while it is always nice to have someone who can support you in that process, it's not like having a backup stereo system in case you blow the speakers out. Relationships are unique.

I'd find it pretty unsettling if my partner said something that made it sound like they thought of relationships as disposable.
So true! This fits with my experience as well. I've been dumped while in a monogamous pair and also while with my present partner of almost 15 years. Neither experience was less painful.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:18 PM
Scaredofcasual Scaredofcasual is offline
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jkelly Wrote:

Quote:
"As an aside, this sounds weird to me. Relationships don't actually work this way, at least in my experience. If someone leaves, you mourn the relationship with that person, and while it is always nice to have someone who can support you in that process, it's not like having a backup stereo system in case you blow the speakers out. Relationships are unique.

I'd find it pretty unsettling if my partner said something that made it sound like they thought of relationships as disposable."
I think that's what concerned me too. I don't even think in truth that's it just the casual sex play that bothers me...it's that I feel a reluctance on his end to fully commit to us and accept it as a plan that you don't expect to fail and do eveything you can to make work. Just as an aside, what bothered me is a little thing that to some might seem sensible and not such a big deal, but to me was very hurtful. He's always been a little slow on where he says he is and putting labels on things and unlike me he didn't feel the initial love attraction as a revelationary thing that he wanted to (for example) post on facebook, or even add me as a picture and description in his home page that details other past friends and in some cases sort of loves...I think they were more casual actually..but in any event...

We went to New York about a month ago to stay with his brother and as he was sitting beside me he sent a mass email to all of his friends and acquaintances in New York that he was descending on the town and would like to know if anyone was up to anything or had any suggestions on what to do. The way it was written sounded very singular, and I said something like "It sounds like you're coming here on your own for fun, you're not even mentioning that you're taking your boyfriend to the city for the first time together." He got defensive about that and said this was general email to everyone to people that were also aquaintances, not just friends, and that he isn't the type to put out sappy, sentimental things like "Oh my new boyfriend and I are in love, and we're here to see the city together". He accused me of pushing too much too fast and always taking such a negative view of things. And I countered, so all of these people in the city that are acquaintances AND/OR friends don't have a clue about me after 7 months of a long-term relationship that's seriously ongoing?

He amended it as I watched to a slightly different wording. Me and "a friend" are descending on the city. He couldn't understand why that made me so upset. I felt that if he couldn't even naturally acknowledge me as a boyfriend that this felt like I wasn't really that important. It's not like the man is not out or has any homophobic worries. He just kept downplaying this as a casual, non-personal email and he would obviously and naturally introduce me as his boyfriend in PERSON when and if we met such people but that it wasn't something that had to be sent out as a mass announcement.

Is this something I'm being too sensitive about? It's a little thing but I've been finding that it's the little things that add up and make me feel like there's some big thing hiding at the heart of his true depth of commitment and love. When I fell in love with him truly, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I don't have single friend or acquaintance that does not know of him in some way, shape or form. But people are different in the way they express themselves and I am trying not to paint him with the projection of my own personality. Maybe he just doesn't see this kind of trivial thing as a true demonstration of devotion. But to me it feels off.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:34 PM
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Maybe he just doesn't see this kind of trivial thing as a true demonstration of devotion. But to me it feels off.
SOC,

From my perspective, your relationship is still pretty fresh and new. A few months is less than it generally takes most people to really get to know one another and to figure out how to nurture the garden of love they are cultivating together. If you are not careful, you'll find that your fears and worries will have the opposite effect of the one you want. That is, you may end up pushing him away by fearing that he isn't really committed to you and the love you share. Developing trust is a delicate dance, and it takes years, not months, to get into the deeper strata of trust.

In the mean time..., trust! Trust him if he tells you he loves you. Believe him. (What luck!) Trust in him that in the future he'll be more apt to announce you as his boyfriend (parner, whatever) even in casual group email notices, etc.

Believe me, you'll know down the road if your trust was misplaced. But give him a little break for NOW. He's trying to find his way with you -- just as you are with him. He deserves the benefit of the doubt -- for now. And now is all you have -- so enjoy it! Soon there may be years and years behind. But that may require you to trust.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:39 PM
Scaredofcasual Scaredofcasual is offline
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JKelly wrote:

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That sounds really awful, and also not healthy. It may well be possible that after the two of you have been together longer and you have done some work on personal and relationship issues, you may feel more stable and less likely to obsess over things. It may be that going to see a counsellor who is familiar with open relationships could help you in getting to a healthier place with this. But I think it's worth carefully considering the idea that you may just need to demand monogamy in your relationships and therefore there is a fundamental incompatibility here.
I'm hoping this too. I've read that the "eros" phase of love lasts between 6 months to a year and half on average and that after this period there is an invariable slowing down of the neediness drive and the romantic singularity you feel toward a person. I'm hoping that this will be the case. I don't want to think that I'm completely imcompatible with the concept and practice of just having fun with others. I was never that straight laced BEFORE and I find it incredibly vexing that I've developed these conservative feelings. Maybe it's insecurity in the main. Maybe I just feel that there is always a threat if your partner is potentially open to other people's sexual affections.

Quote:
That said, you're crazy about this guy, he is respecting your boundaries with a compromise that is more-or-less working, and all of this angst is about stuff that he'd like to do but is not because he respects your relationship. That's a lot of angst over something that is not actually happening, just like it wouldn't be happening in a monogamous relationship! Whatever you decide to do, you need to stop letting this interfere with your living a successful, happy life.
Yes. You're absolutely right about that. I need to keep myself grounded and not allow myself to focus on our relationship as being central and of absolute necessity to my happiness and worthiness as a human being. But that's easier said then done. I LOVE him. I desire to be with him as much as I can be, share his life and experiences with him and plan the future together as a committed couple. I don't want to joined at the hip per se...I have never stopped him from going off to his parents for days at a time out of town even when I could have joined him. I don't need 100% attention focused on me and I want him to live his life in respect to family, friends and work, but I just can't help but feel threatened about anything that involves sexual attention or interest involving someone else than me. He sees it as unimportant to commitment and relationships, but I don't. I see it as a natural expression of desire for someone to be your one and only companion. What is so important in casual sex play that is missing from devoted lover sex? Is it just a feeling of fun and adventure that someone feels is unecessary to deny for the rest of their life based on an outdated and narrow-minded dogma of one-on-one patnership? Is he just saying that he is happy, can be happy with us a couple in the main, but just does not see a necessity of barring all future sexual experiences as exclusive? I just worry that his basic feeling is a sense of incompleteness and worry of boredom and staleness. But since I discovered that it's really possible to be completely fulfilled with someone when you fall passionately and totally in love with them and they rock your world sexually, I keep doubting his depth of feelings for me. I keep thinking that maybe I'm just the best thing that's come along so far and he wants it desperately, but also wants much more that I can't give him alone. This makes me feel inadequate and somewhat of a failure.

Last edited by NeonKaos; 06-15-2010 at 10:58 PM. Reason: quote correction
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:44 PM
Scaredofcasual Scaredofcasual is offline
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Believe me, you'll know down the road if your trust was misplaced. But give him a little break for NOW. He's trying to find his way with you -- just as you are with him. He deserves the benefit of the doubt -- for now. And now is all you have -- so enjoy it! Soon there may be years and years behind. But that may require you to trust.
*sigh*. Yes, that's the hardest part to swallow. Patience. I know things take time. I know this is relatively new. It's also not just truly new to me, it's really the FIRST for me. I may be a little older now, I may have had my casual life experiences with sex, but as to falling in love, this is just as new as if I was a 16 year old school boy. Probably with more drama and angst though since you have hangups and baggage complicating what should be an easy, free discovery of yourself and others. Thank you so much for the advice. I appreciate it and am eager for more points of view.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:09 PM
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... just feels like it's a symptom of discontent and unfillfilled need that I cannot ever satisfy because I'm not ENOUGH. I can't seem to move past that one basic feeling.
I can say with great assurance that my desire to share deep intimacy with others -- physical, emotional, etc. -- is in no way as a result of my being disssatisfied with my partner of almost 15 years. It is no indication that I love him any less. It's just how my heart works. I can love more than one person at a time--fully.

But it sounds like your partner is mainly interested in sexual non-monogamy: openness to sexual experience with others. I got the impression from what you wrote that he's the sort who can enjoy sex with people with whom he does not have an ongoing close relationship, but that he's not really into polyamory, per se.

I'm the sort who needs to feel closeness and developing trust, as well as a sense of continuity in relationship, to enjoy sex with a person. - - - though I'm not entirely sure why I'm telling you of this! I try not to be critical or judgemental of people who enjoy "casual" sex or "one night stands," but I have a bit of difficulty understanding why anyone would want that. Just as you have difficulty understanding why anyone would want sexual openness while in a committed relationship. But differences aren't necessarily indicators of wrongness or badness. What ultimately matters, for me, is ... Am I loving and being loved? Maybe that's what ultimately matters to you as well? And maybe you can allow sexual freedom with your partner so long as he is honest and loving with you?
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