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  #161  
Old 08-26-2013, 04:30 AM
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fuchka fuchka is offline
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but he had a bad night at work so the timing didn't feel right. But not telling him right away made me feel like I was hiding something even though I was just waiting for the right moment.
This is an important part of the answer to your question - I think. When in doubt, we do our best.

It's not always easy to say things straight away. If you don't have clear rules around this, then - as you did - you make the best call you can (and sometimes get it wrong).

I feel very grateful that my partners trust me to say things on a 'need to know' basis. We have a culture of sharing (but not over-sharing) but we also don't have many specific requirements as each situation has its unique aspects!

Clearly one concern here is whether you are "hiding" or "being secretive"... well, are you? In this case, sounds like you weren't. Does your husband trust that you have good intentions, and do not buy into hiding/secrecy? Then, if anything SEEMS like it is 'secretive', he can also KNOW that it is not. And you can go forward together on that basis.

I would consider that level of trust minimal for me to roll a healthy non-monogamy with anyone.

As for whether you should have rules/not, that's obviously nothing anyone else can say. It will be whatever works for youru and your partners. Whatever you need to navigate this stuff Good luck!
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  #162  
Old 08-26-2013, 06:08 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Gralson and I don't have any boundaries about when we meet other people. When I started dating Auto, Gralson was working out of town a lot, so there really wasn't an opportunity for them to meet until Auto and I had been dating for a couple months.

On the flip side, Auto and her husband have a policy that he gets to meet her new dating partners before any "sexy time" happens.

Auto and I have a very uncomplicated relationship. We've never talked about meeting new partners, but we always seem to work things out pretty easily, so we would play it by ear.

For me, it would feel presumptuous to arrange a "meet my other partners" before I knew the relationship was actually going somewhere. Conversely, if someone insisted I meet their spouse before the second date, it would feel like they're expecting something out of me and the relationship. That kind of pressure turns me off and I would probably choose not to see them a second time.

To me, a "rule" about when to meet other partners is weird. Every person, relationship, and situation is different. How could you have a one-size-fits-all response? I might meet one person and be unsure how I feel about them, so I would want a second date to get a better picture. Someone else, it might be instant chemistry, and I would want them to meet everyone asap so that I can get their impressions before plowing full steam ahead. So the most reasonable approach is "after you know there's something there, but before it gets too serious." But that's kinda wishy-washy for a "rule."
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  #163  
Old 08-26-2013, 10:06 AM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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I don't think waiting one night -- especially when it sounded like you were going to tell him until he came home in a bad mood -- is being secretive. You've just been corresponding online, unless your husband doesn't know you have an account on that site, how can that be considered being "secretive".

It almost sounds like the "being secretive" comment was taking out of context, are you saying your husband implied you are being secretive about M?

Because I don't think it's fair to tell someone that, not when they didn't immediately divulge corresponding, but did the very next opportunity and it didn't go well. To be honest, it doesn't sound like he is ready for you to actually "see" other people if he is giving you this much headache about online correspondence.

We all get grumpy and act like fools, so hopefully he will realize that is what he was doing and come back and inform you that he was just being over-emotional -- if he seriously implied you were hiding anything.

I consider it extremely controlling to interfere with your partners non-sexual friendships unless your partner is a recovered addict and they are using, however I would never "date" another person without meeting their bf/spouse if they are currently in an intimate relationship.

I would and have gone to lunch with women I knew had comitted relationships, but I would consider it very disrespectful to behave in ways that would be anything but platonic friendly. I have never demanded from a gf that I meet whomever they are dating, but I do insist that I meet -- in person -- anyone's SO before I go on a "date" with their SO.

There really is not that much difference between a gf/bf relationship and a close friendship, however that one little aspect of sex, sometimes is a very big deal to their SO. I would never choose to become involved with another person's gf if I knew it would be problematic, and meeting them in person is an extremely good indication of whether or not they would be able to handle the non-monogamous or possibly "poly" interactions that could potentially happen.

I am not saying my way is the right way and the only right way, but for me personally, it's a matter of respect. I won't be behaving in anything but a non-sexual friend unless I meet with their SO. You'd be surprised how many people claim they are OK with non-monogamy -- even those who are active in a non-monogamous/poly community -- that ultimately are not yet able to handle their SO being involved if others.

Sometimes it is not the sexual aspect of the relationship that bothers them, which can make things even more confusing, as I consider it controll that crosses the line of abuse if an SO dictates who their bf/gf is allowed to be friends with, though there are a few exceptional circumstances. Either way, as far as knowing whether or not their SO is going to have a problem with the relationship, there is hands down no better way then meeting with them.

Yes that does mean many "potential" people never get past the first or second real life meeting, and I am sure it prevents many first real life meetings, but it is the only way that works for me. It eliminates nearly every if not all major problems, at least the ones that could have possibly been avoided.

Last edited by Dirtclustit; 08-26-2013 at 10:10 AM. Reason: typos
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  #164  
Old 08-26-2013, 11:32 AM
Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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I went out on a date with a guy once where the first meeting was a meet and greet with all partners involved. So I met his wife and I brought n before we could go out on a date. I thought it a bit odd lol.
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  #165  
Old 10-13-2013, 08:41 PM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Default Impossible Rules

Was just reading over a post where the OP mentioned she had asked, among other things, for them to control the emotional aspects of their relationship, while she adjusted.

While that seemed to be a perfectly reasonable request, I find when rules like that are set, they tend to be broken, and everyone gets upset. "Impossible rules," you might say. The emotional one is a good one; how do you control how your emotions develop? How do you control how your partner PERCEIVES your emotions developing, even if you think you've taken a step back and aren't getting seriously involved?

Any similar rules that people suggest eliminating to avoiding hurt feelings when a partner can't help but break them? Any way to find a better one to replace? I.e. maybe asking your partner not to kiss a new boyfriend/girlfriend in front of you (might be seen as controlling, but for sake of this thread, I'll ignore thinking down that line). At least it's something that can actually be followed.

Or perhaps you disagree on that last thought? If so, feel free to suggest a better replacement rule for the "Don't get [too] emotionally involved" rule.
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  #166  
Old 10-13-2013, 09:36 PM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyinPractice View Post
maybe asking your partner not to kiss a new boyfriend/girlfriend in front of you (might be seen as controlling, but for sake of this thread, I'll ignore thinking down that line). At least it's something that can actually be followed.

Or perhaps you disagree on that last thought? If so, feel free to suggest a better replacement rule for the "Don't get [too] emotionally involved" rule.
So Gary and Sally are a couple and are poly (though shakily so). Gary hits it off with Debbie and wants to start dating her. Sally is feeling insecure about this and asks him to "slow down" until she can get a handle on her insecurities. When asked for clarification, Sally says "Well, you can have sex with her but don't fall in love". Right?

You are correct that this is setting everyone up for failure. This rule is both unreasonable and cruel.

Sally needs to grow up and let go of the idea that she can simply have other people adjust their lives to help her avoid having feelings she doesn't like. She is hurting everyone involved by attempting to regulate the actions of her fellows.
  • She's hurting herself: The reason people grow and adapt is because they have to. Our environment challenges us, we experience emotional discomfort, we learn the tools necessary to deal with the challenge, and we move on to the next one. What she is doing is trying to remove the challenge and thereby retarding her chances of actually learning to deal with it.
  • She's hurting Gary: By attempting to regulate his natural emotional tendencies she is taking valuable life experience from him. She is also setting a precedence that her comfort is of higher value than his and that he should sacrifice his well being for hers.
  • She's hurting Debbie: What did Debbie do to deserve being treated like a sex toy? What if she has feelings for Gary? Sally is sending a clear message to Debbie that she has (and will never have) any say in how her relationship with Gary functions.

Your suggestion of "don't kiss in front of me" would seem to be the most reasonable request Sally could make. If Gary and Debbie do not care to make this adjustment then Sally can simply not associate with Debbie until she learns to deal with her insecurities, or gets out of a relationship configuration (poly) that doesn't suit her emotional landscape.

Either way, the issue is in Sally and can only be dealt with by Sally. It's good to have support and people looking out for her but the moment she starts offloading responsibility for this growth she just starts doing damage to everyone around her (including herself).
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  #167  
Old 10-13-2013, 10:10 PM
Confused Confused is offline
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Personally, I don't think its unreasonable to ask for things from your partner. I think the things you ask for need to be behaviour based, not feelings however. We can all control our behaviour but feelings really are outside of that control to a large extent (not completely but we adjust them by first adjusting behaviour).

I believe as an adult in a relationship I need to speak up for what I desire or need. I believe my partner should also, and this way we can negotiate a solution that we are both happy with (we don't stop negotiating until we are both happy) but if we come to an agreement we should both abide by it until such time as we renegotiate.

That's not the same thing as setting rules or making demands at all. It's two or more people working together to make sure everyone's needs are met.
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  #168  
Old 10-13-2013, 10:29 PM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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Default here we go again

there is a world of difference between the situations where a previously existing relationship is attempting to open up and you have

1) Spouse makes a "rule" that sex is OK but not falling in love

and

2) When out on dates -- because the couple had discussed not being ready for overnight stays -- and agreeing to at least check in if they are knowingly not going to follow through with what they said they would, ie not coming home to next morning when they said if they were ever going to do that they would check in and let them know

It's the same tired old, supposedly different viewpoint where there is no difference, it's just the same people making the same point that rules which are impossible to not break, get broken, luckily for me there are sites like Franklin's who can explain this anomaly in straight forward language, as some things I just can't wrap my head around, esp the more complicated paradoxes such as these

Last edited by Dirtclustit; 10-13-2013 at 10:31 PM.
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  #169  
Old 10-14-2013, 04:53 PM
central central is offline
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Our only hard and fast rules are maintaining good communication, and keeping each other and any partners fully informed.

There is always a risk that a new relationship can supersede an existing one. We feel that if someone else truly does make us happier, then that relationship can/should become primary. In practice, our relationship (we are married) is so good that it difficult to imagine anyone else taking precedence, but we do realize it could happen. We would try to work with the circumstances if they arise. Now, if someone we are seeing tries to actively interfere with our existing relationship, they will be asked to stop - or to leave. Almost anything else is negotiable.

We have sometimes changed the frequency of seeing another partner or have rescheduled a date if one of us is experiencing a difficult time for any reason. Usually, talking about it is sufficient to resolve any issues, and a little flexibility in scheduling has taken care of any others.
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  #170  
Old 10-14-2013, 06:47 PM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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Default I completely understand Confused

before the these last four or five replies got tacked on to this thread, it seemed as if it were specifically addressing another thread, while I can respect PolyinPractice's habit of strarting new threads that address topics of another thread which I assume is to not be viewed as hijacking, sometimes it is better just to be bold and say it when and where it's pertinent.

The only permanent rule that works for me is honesty, it works a lot like your rule of communication. We aren't really concerned with other partners truly making us more happy in life, because what makes us "happy" is more than just time spent on dates. It's about our willingness to see each other through the hard times or not-so-pleasant aspects in life. We do practice what is often called "hierarchical" as we have "primaries" and "secondaries" but those terms don't denote ranks of importance, but rather our partners decision as to how much of the offer the are willing to accept. Love is offered in the form of sharing my life, nobody is obligated to accept it fully and completely when it is offered, however much of the offer is accepted is totally up to them.

I don't have one top spot I call primary. Those who I consider "primary" are very involved in my life, they understand how becoming involved at that level does bring with it an elevated sense of responsibility, comparatively, although comparing involvement is not something I routinely do. During the times when not-so-pleasant things fall into our lives and we must deal with them, I don't call a secondary to leave work to stay home with a sick child, or make sure they stop to leave a check payment where it's needed.

And while we don't necessarily call primaries primary, or secondaries secondary, it is unspoken but I know not call my girlfriend to see if she can stay home with a sick shild or stop by with a check, it is simply not the level of involvement in my life that she desires. And if she did I would have two "primaries" so to speak. But there is not one Top spot among lovers in my life but there are different levels of how much of my life they are willing to become involved with, and I have no problem with my lovers choosing how much of my life they are willing to accept, they are free to accept as little or as much as they decide to, They are not held to that decision and it can and does change on occasion

Last edited by Dirtclustit; 10-14-2013 at 07:01 PM. Reason: typo
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