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Old 05-26-2013, 09:40 PM
Krys Krys is offline
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Post Getting what you need as a tertiary

Hey!

I was hoping someone on here would have some advice based on their own experiences or insight regarding my current situation.

I was introduced to polyamory a year ago and sort of fell into it accidentally. I have since grown both with personal experience and knowledge and now confidently identify as a poly person. I currently consider myself single, because I do not have a primary partner and am more of a tertiary partner to those I am involved with. I am seeing two different individuals, the one who introduced me to polyamory and another I met roughly two months ago. Both of these men have primary female partners. Currently, we may talk via text 1-3 times weekly and I see each of them about once every 2 weeks, sometimes longer between dates.

I greatly enjoy the company of my partners and am happy with the time I do get to spend with them. However, because I don't have a primary partner I often feel like I am low priority and that I don't get my needs taken into consideration. I am not opposed to being a secondary partner, or having a more serious relationship with either, it just has not been mentioned by either. I would also like a primary partner, but there are very few poly people in town to begin with, not to mention single individuals so I just have not found someone yet.

So I am stuck. I am very understanding that my partners are busy juggling work and/or school, and primary partners to spend time with. I want them to be devoted to those things and have the time they need to invest in those parts of their life. At the same time, I wish I had some more time invested in me. I am having a hard time getting my emotional needs met and feeling wanted. Has anyone been in this tertiary zone, enjoying who you are with but not getting enough? If so, how do you manage feeling like the person on the back burner?
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:05 PM
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BigGuy BigGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krys View Post
or having a more serious relationship with either, it just has not been mentioned by either.
Have you asked for more time?

The best way to get needs met is to ask. If they aren't able to make more time for you, then you will need to put yourself out there. Not necessarily to look for someone else. Rather involve yourself in things you are passionate about. This does two things. It distracts you from not having your needs met. And, you may bump into someone who shares your passions, i. e. you "find someone without even looking".
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:24 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Originally Posted by BigGuy View Post
Have you asked for more time?

The best way to get needs met is to ask. If they aren't able to make more time for you, then you will need to put yourself out there. Not necessarily to look for someone else. Rather involve yourself in things you are passionate about. This does two things. It distracts you from not having your needs met. And, you may bump into someone who shares your passions, i. e. you "find someone without even looking".
This is pretty much exactly what I was going to post. Talk to each one of them, explain that you're open to the idea of things staying as they are but are also interested in whether more would be possible. See what happens. If more isn't possible, make them as low a priority as they make you -- don't rush to clear your schedule to be with them, don't drop everything to answer a text, just keep it equally low-key, and that way you won't feel like things are unbalanced. Use the extra time that you no longer devote to thinking too much about them to find a new partner(s), with whom you can state up front that you're looking for something more involved.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:43 PM
PolyInNJ PolyInNJ is offline
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Krys, you are in my exact situation. I posted my own story before reading yours. Finding balance isn't easy. Getting involved with social groups and activities definitely helps, but I know how not easy it is not to be anyone's top priority, and this is the exact demon I am battling now.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:15 AM
notalways notalways is offline
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I was in this place for a while, had no idea what to do. I wanted a relationship but didn't want to impose on my partners more important relationships. Two years later we are both kicking ourselves we were not more open about how we felt about each other.

I am not saying jump in and say you want as much time as their primary girlfriend but maybe you want a few more texts, when you are together you want it to be more special. All I can say is looking back I wish I had been honest with my now secondary partner how I felt about them, it would have saved us a ton of miscommunication and lost time.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:09 AM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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Default I don't think very many people realize there is a successive progression

in regards to having healthy relationships. But unless your life is so full with other relationships and prior commitments, you may find it is not healthy for you to maintain relationships that you can't be more involved in.

Any dynamic or style or level of involvement that you are happy with, is fine. Nobody has the right to tell you that any relationship you choose, is wrong. So please disregard my words if I sound off base, but from how you described what you are feeling -- which don't get me wrong as I have no idea if your describing how you felt right then and it's not how you feel most of the time or what -- but from your words in this thread it doesn't sound like your two "tertiary" relationships are healthy for you to be in.

What determines whether or not they are healthy poly relationships, is a matter of nothing more than if that is what you want.

but honestly the hierarchy dynamic doesn't work unless you freely choose your level of involvement. It sounds like you desire to be more involved in your partners lives, if that is the case you may find you need to first establish the relationships you know you desire first, and then add the less involved ones later

it's not impossible, but some people might have trouble ordering the life the way you are going about it. The analogy is that your life is like a jar and you won't be happy unless you can fit all of your life into that jar.

if the contents are three big rocks, some gravel, a little bit of sand and some water, and you know you need all those items in your life to be happy and feel content and when they are all there your jar is completely filled

the only way to make them all fit is to add them to the jar in the correct order

first the big rocks

second the gravel

third the sand

fourth the water

and that is the only way to get it all in

Sometimes you need to empty your jar first, and come back to those tertiary relationships after you have the first and second things ordered


I know this isn't a very coherent reply, but I am running late. I will try to say it in a way that makes more sense tomorrow
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:34 PM
Norwegianpoly Norwegianpoly is offline
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I may be wrong here, but it seems to me that having more time and being treated as important are two very different things.

The first is a practical matter. What kind of time do they have? what other things do they persue? could they stop doing something else (a hobby, watch tv, whatever) to spend more time with my? Could the time spendt be better somehow? what do you prefer?

The second is a value issue. Do you get the basic respect? Do you get treated as special? what do you need in order to feel special? are you perhaps looking to get another placing in their lives? how could that happen?
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